JamesEight-year-old James has a busy schedule. After a morning cuddle with his mum and dad, and a breakfast ritual of much-loved Crunchy Nut Clusters or muesli, he’s off to school. “If I have time, I play the piano for a bit. I have just completed Grade 1 practical and theory exams with the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music.”

Music is a big part of James’ life. He takes formal piano lessons, but also plays the ukulele in his school’s kapa haka group. He can be heard humming and singing most of the time, and recently wrote a conservation song, which his class performed at their school assembly. He also takes an after-school musical theatre class one day a week, and was an integral part of their end-of-the year concert where he sang and danced to numbers from The Lion King, Les Misérables, and Matilda.

However, James excels in other areas also. Recently he entered the ICAS (International Competition and Assessment for Schools) exams. He did well in almost all subjects and aced spelling—his score was the highest in his age group throughout Australasia. James was presented with an ICAS medal in December.

When not playing music or aceing exams, James enjoys playing with Lego, riding his bike, boogie-boarding, learning surf life-saving, and “just having fun”.

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