South Grafton Public School student Brock Thomas is representing his school and the North Coast in the Premier’s Spelling Bee finals in Sydney on November 24.
South Grafton Public School student Brock Thomas is representing his school and the North Coast in the Premier’s Spelling Bee finals in Sydney on November 24. ADAM HOURIGAN

Brock's our spelling bee champ

DECOUPAGE, colloquialism, jodhpurs.

Picture yourself trying to spell these words in a competition under the watchful eyes of hundreds of spectators knowing one mistake will send you home.

Now imagine yourself being in Year 5 at the time.

You've just put yourself in the shoes of 12-year-old South Grafton Public School student Brock Thomas, who will represent his school and the North Coast in the state-level Premier's Spelling Bee competition in Sydney next week.

The competition will be held at the ABC centre in Ultimo, and the final round is even broadcast on ABC radio.

To get to this level, Brock first had to score highly in school-based spelling tests before making it through the regional finals in Sawtell.

Brock now joins other students from around the state vying to be the champion year 5/6 speller in NSW.

“First we have a practice round and after that we go through as many rounds as it takes to get to the finals, you get knocked out if you spell a word wrong,” Brock said.

“Once you get to round 10 the words get harder, it goes from level one to seven.”

To give you an idea of what Brock's up against, the three words from the beginning of this story are on the list of potential level five words for the competition.

Brock, a keen reader and swimmer, said he was excited about representing his school and also looked forward to spending four days in Sydney with his family.

South Grafton Public principal Sue Hillary said it was a great achievement.

“It's a pretty big deal going to the state finals,” Ms Hillary said. “We're very proud and very excited for him.”


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