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Gympie maths whizz is something special

SMART COOKIE: Nine-year-old Brock Morgan from Two Mile State School is one to watch, gaining three distinctions and two high distinctions in the recent UNSW tests.
SMART COOKIE: Nine-year-old Brock Morgan from Two Mile State School is one to watch, gaining three distinctions and two high distinctions in the recent UNSW tests. Donna Jones

TWO Mile State School has a child prodigy on its hands.

Not only has nine-year-old Brock Morgan been accelerated into Year 4 and is learning Maths and English at Year 5 level, he recently received three distinctions and two high distinctions in the University of New South Wales testing program.

The program has five tests, in science, maths, English, writing and spelling, and for a single student to receive all distinctions and high distinctions is something acting principal Wayne Bahr has never seen in his 35 years of teaching.

"It's not unusual for a student to get a distinction or high distinction, but to show such a high level of aptitude in literacy, languages and numeracy is extremely rare,” Mr Bahr said.

Only 3% of Australian students will receive a distinction and only 1% will gain a high distinction. For Brock to gain more than one of each is out of the ordinary.

Educational Assessment Australia specialises in placement tests and school assessments including ICAS and the General Achievement Test. ICAS, commonly referred to as the University of New South Wales competitions, is conducted annually.

Students from more than 20 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Pacific region, Australia and the USA participate in ICAS each year and ICAS is the only assessment program in the world that enables the tracking of individual student performance and progress annually from Years 2 to 12.

Brock's teacher, Mike Jackes has been teaching at Two Mile for nearly 40 years and was not really surprised by his test results.

"Here is a student who taught himself to read in Pre-prep,” Mr Jackes said.

Brock's mum Debbie is thrilled her youngest is doing so well and said the first book he read was a 10-story compendium on the adventures of Zach Power in Pre-Prep.

"He just picked up a book and started to read,” she said.

She also said in Pre-Prep he astounded his teachers with the observation that "God is dog spelled backwards”.

"I remember when I was cleaning the workshop and I used to get so annoyed because the workmen would come in with their muddy boots. Brock must have been about three at the time and he wrote on the floor in chalk 'wipe your feet',” she laughed.

Brock himself agrees that he's a bit of a smart cookie, and said he was pleased with the result.

"It wasn't too hard,” he said, "But I enjoyed the challenge.”

In addition to schooling, Brock enjoys Scratch Club, where he and his friends complete computer coding to build their own games, hand ball, and reading fiction and non-fiction books, especially on Greek mythology. He is also a musician and plays both the drums and keyboard.

Brock definitely doesn't have a girlfriend, and judging by his reaction to the question, has no plans to change that situation just yet. He also has girl problems at home with two older twin sisters to contend with.

He is a fan of The Big Bang Theory and just like the characters on that show, would like to become a scientist one day.

While he isn't quite sure which field of science he wants to pursue just yet, he does know that it will have plenty to do with his favourite subject, maths.

While the environment and global warming weren't subjects he was particularly interested in, regarding American politics, he was definite on where he would place his vote if he were a voter.

"Not Donald Trump,” he said emphatically.

Gympie Times


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