Swimmer Jack Brown

Jack’s story

Fifteen-year-old swimmer Jack Brown is also a gifted student who had achieved three GCSEs and one A level by the age of 12. Due to his higher learning abilities, his experience in mainstream school proved challenging at times so he began supplementing his education – attending his local school and studying online. He is currently taking his A levels with Wolsey Hall while also being a British National Level swimmer.

supplementary education for gifted students

Wolsey Hall Oxford helps many gifted students to unlock and achieve their full potential.

Swimmer Jack Brown

Higher learning potential

“Jack took his GCSE Maths when he was 10 years old, which is terrific but rather inconvenient for the school system,” explains Jack’s mum, Andrea. “He started A level Maths in year 7 and sat that when he was 12, achieving an A grade. During lockdown he was on Xbox non-stop and it took a long time for our school to organise online learning. I made him pick two courses at Wolsey Hall so he could continue learning and he had to do that work before his gaming. That was his motivation! In less than a year he completed GCSE Physics and Computer Science. By age 12 he had three GCSES and one A Level.”

“Our goal has never been for Jack to just take exams early,” continues Andrea. “He absorbs information quickly and gets bored easily if not challenged. I wanted him to stay interested and enjoy maths and academia. Wolsey Hall allowed him to work at his own pace so this fitted his needs perfectly.”

“We actually moved three hours across the country to get him in to a very good school to help accommodate his higher learning. Unfortunately their policy is not to allow students to take exams early. In the end a compromise was reached and Jack was allowed to go into his GCSE Physics and Computer Science classes with his headphones on while independently doing his Wolsey Hall work.”

“Jack is now aged 15 and has finished all formal school,” says Andrea. “There simply would be nothing left for him to do at sixth form. He is hoping to get an athletic scholarship for the US to study Mathematical Economics in either 2024/2025. We have a year to go and during that time he will be finishing his second year of A Level Physics and Computer Science with Wolsey Hall. He’s also looking for an internship with a financial institution to get some practical work experience.”

Success outside academia

Jack Brown is a British National Swimmer currently ranked number one for 100m butterfly in his age category. He also has top rankings for 50m, 100m and 200m butterfly. He’s a national open water swimmer too. He’s qualified for five individual events at British Nationals this summer as well as three National Relay team events. He’s recently published an ebook with his mum focusing on mental health advice and guidance for young athletes.

Jack also started a charity in 2015 Soap4all which provides toiletries for those in extreme poverty. He continues to work on this. Wolsey Hall gives him the flexibility to do creative things with his time mixing conventional schooling with independent learning.

Swimmer Jack Brown balances homeschooling with swimming

Making learning work for you

“I think people often think it has to be one or the other. If you have a school that is supportive you may be able to do a combination of both. I don’t advise taking exams early just for the sake of it. There are certainly pros and cons. Jack’s athletics have benefited tremendously from taking this path. Now we’re in GCSE exam season he is doing three less exams so has a little more time and a bit less pressure. He has carried on swimming throughout his exams where others have needed to cut back.”

“As a mum I have loved the relationship we have built over the years with our Student Progress Manager, Pat. She’s like the Head of Year you might have in a school. She’s accessible, responsive, knows us and our journey and has always been interested in Jack as a whole person not just academically. I have been able to ask her for advice and have never felt like anything was missing. Similarly for Jack the feedback he gets from tutors is great. In particular, his Physics teacher leaves him detailed videos which are full of personality, examples and learning which help to create that sense of connection.”

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