It has long been in mind to track our LU alumni and to showcase some of the current achievements of our students. This newsletter is my attempt to share their stories in 2022.
I have long held the view that each individual child has a unique talent or gift to contribute to the world at large and that the schooling system has by and large failed to recognise this and encourage the flowering of these special talents.
This newsletter showcases some of these unique individuals and the way in which the Learning Unlimited team of exceptional tutors provided the space and environment for the emergence and expression of these gifts over the past 15 years.
The student testimonials below are records of remarkable accomplishment, both academic and sporting, as well as of ongoing contact with Learning Unlimited. Why should this be the case and what do these stories have in common?
These young people needed greater academic challenges and stimulation, greater flexibility in arranging their studies or both. International AS and A levels meet the first requirement because the relevant syllabuses are of a much higher academic level than the local with far greater emphasis on the ability to think critically and being able to apply one’s knowledge. Students who are bored and under-stimulated may therefore benefit not just academically but spiritually and emotionally from the switch.
The digital learning platform caters for the second need, flexibility. The fact that you do not have to be in a building at designated hours enables a student who is both disciplined and motivated to incorporate an academic program of the highest quality with extremely demanding training schedules of any kind. Indeed, a fair number of provincial and national level athletes could be added to the list of people below.
Perhaps the most important common thread is the emphasis of all on the exceptional quality of the teaching they received and the willingness of all connected with Learning Unlimited to work around greatly differing personal circumstances. This combination of academic excellence, high levels of individual customisation and genuine concern for the whole person is what makes Learning Unlimited exceptional and accounts for the fact that some students remain in contact with us years after their formal studies are over.
We hope that you too will be among those who take advantage of these opportunities, available in a wide range of subjects across the sciences and humanities.
It has been gratifying in recent years to be able to put former students in touch with current students so that they can advise current students on navigating the challenges they encountered in pursuing their goals. In this way Learning Unlimited has coalesced into a community with shared interests and concerns.
As a Learning Unlimited parent or student, current or former, let us know how you are progressing wherever you are in the world, so you can inspire and encourage others to pursue their dreams.
If you know of other students who would be keen to join our learning community, please share this newsletter and the attached brochure with them.
Isabella and Luca Nicolson
Isabella and Luca are both currently with us in Portugal right now but are off to university in September. Isabella is going to study in Rome at the European school of economics.
She is studying a bachelor of science in sports management. She was awarded a 50% scholarship.
Luca is going to study in Utrecht. He is studying economics and business economics at the university of Utrecht.
Isabella and Luca share their testimonials here.
In 2022 Nicole graduated with an MPhil in Genomic Medicine from Cambridge University UK.
“I started working with Sharon when I changed from Grade 11 NSC to doing my A Levels in order to leave school and pursue my sport as a South African mountain-biker. I did 6 AS subjects with Sharon and her team over 18 months.
Learning with Sharon was when my curiosity and love of science developed.; she not only helped me to achieve academic results but also helped me to develop an enquiring mind.
Doing my A Levels helped me to prepare well for medical school and I felt that it gave me a head start academically, allowing me to adjust to other aspects of university life.
After finishing my AS exams I got accepted at Stellenbosch University to study an MB, ChB which I have now completed. In 2022 I graduated with an MPhil in Genomic Medicine at Cambridge University.”
~ Nicole Schafer
Rachel Williams, a Learning Unlimited student, was awarded 1st Place in South Africa for Cambridge International A levels in Physics, Biology and overall for her 3 A levels.
“When I discovered Learning Unlimited (LU), my dreams to delve further into my love for physics and maths became a reality.
I decided to move to A-levels when the COVID-19 pandemic struck.
LU has created a platform that is accessible no matter what the circumstances. Therefore my education was not compromised due to the pandemic.
The accelerated and flexible learning environment that LU provides has many advantages. During my time studying, I enjoyed the flexibility. I had the opportunity to control my own work load and schedule and enjoy outside hobbies and activities. You are able to write the exams in May/June or October/November; therefore I was able to finish in May 2021. This allowed me to have the rest of the year to explore other opportunities before my university career began. In this time I tutored other A-level students and I participated in courses, such as one hosted by the Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics in Canada.
Previously coming from a high-school that followed the CAPS syllabus, I found that the Cambridge syllabus is much more current and better equips you for life after school. There is a much broader range of subjects to choose from and the syllabus for each subject treats the material in much greater depth. The way that questions are asked and how you learn the material focus on the application of knowledge.
The way of learning at LU enabled me to engage with the learning material, understand concepts at a deeper level and finish A-levels within a year. The tutors facilitated interactive lessons making the material easier to grasp and this allowed us to discuss the implications of what we were learning for real-life situations. This way of learning also taught me many skills, such as time and work load management, self-discipline and being inquisitive.
Whether you want to study overseas, make your life and your learning more flexible, deepen your knowledge of subjects you are interested in or improve your way of learning, I highly recommend studying through Learning Unlimited.”
~ Rachel Williams
Leo is currently touring South Africa, as a concert pianist and living his dream
The following is a review of his recent performance of Rachmaninoff’s 4th Piano Concerto at the Cape Town City Hall by Albert Crombrink.
“What an absolutely astonishing performance of Rachmaninoff’s recalcitrant 4th Piano Concerto was given by Leo Gevisser and the CPO.
This is such a cerebral work and so hard to pull off. Bernhard Gueller and Leo made it a super tight yet ultra-musical journey where neither soloist nor orchestra left the other in the lurch.
Leo, even as a child, had unfailingly accurate musical instincts, and an extreme awareness of the structure of the music, as well as the role of each of its constituent parts.
Tonight, these gifts were a perfect match to the work at hand.
Leo seems incapable of playing a single phrase without the utmost attention to musical phrasing and intention.
I know I sound as if I am gushing, but the consistent control and the musical shaping of every single gesture was really on an exceptional level. His talent was apparent already as a junior school boy, and it is sheer joy to see what has happened in the decade since I encountered this extraordinary young man the first time.
What a humbling and emotional evening.“
Here is a testimonial from a Learning Unlimited parent who recognised a child’s passion and innate potential and found a space in Learning Unlimited for her child to grow that talent and at the same time pursue her academic studies.
“Courtney Kuhn showed promise from a very early age that she would excel as a figure skater
We, as parents, were very torn between balancing her education with her skating and or simply allowing her to train the hours needed to reach the pinnacle of her sport.
We were incredibly fortunate to have teamed up with Sharon Levy and Learning Unlimited who made it possible for our daughter to follow her heart, live her dream and train at the highest level – often complicated by the fact that she trained in the USA at the Olympic Training Centre in Colorado Springs.
Sharon Levy has always supported and encouraged Courtney in her endeavours and has creatively worked around her schedule and time zones making sure she was more than prepared with her work, whether it be preparing her for a six month training block in the USA – making sure that she was prepared academically to work remotely or preparing her for her exams and working around a physically demanding training schedule .
Courtney has been the National Champion across the various age groups in South Africa ; Juvenile, Pre Novice, Novice and Junior and has represented her country at competitions held in Hungary, Italy, South Korea, Slovenia and the Philippines as well as having trained in Germany and the USA .
Courtney has fostered played a supportive role in by actively bringing back the latest cutting edge training skills and methods to South Africa and held Master Classes at one of the newest rinks in our country, in Port Elizabeth .
She is currently preparing to debut as a Senior skater and has her eyes set on representing her country at The Four Continent Championship, the World Championships and ultimately the Olympic Games . All, once our world returns to normal after the Coronavirus pandemic.
She has successfully petitioned to train full time as a Professional Athlete, under the USCIS P1 Visa in Colorado Springs, USA under Olympic coaches with the most renowned being Christopher Dean, from Torvill and Dean fame – who can forget Bolero from the 1984 Olympic Games in Sarajevo where they captured gold for Great Britain with their iconic performance that revolutionized the world of figure skating.
Learning Unlimited has been instrumental in moulding and shaping our daughter into the person and athlete she is today. They have given her the confidence to believe in her dreams, taught her to balance her academic and sporting life and the courage and ability to think outside of the box.
We are forever grateful to Sharon Levy for giving our daughter wings to fly and for showing us there is a different and equally beneficial route to educating our youth of today!”
~ Chris and Karin Kuhn
Courtney’s brother, Tim, also a former student of Learning Unlimited tied the knot this year.
He currently lives and works in Prague, Czechoslovakia