In the Know – Tools for Tech Success!

In the Know – Tools for Tech Success!

In The Know What's new?

This week’s activities offer some fun ways for your child to delve into the world of technology. With young people being the most active users of information and communication technology, having the right skills and being able to utilise technology is increasingly important. These activities offer ideal opportunities for your child to gain and improve their tech skills.

Calling all girls into coding!
Girls Into Coding is hosting this exciting event for girls aged 11 – 14 to inspire and encourage girls to get involved in tech. This free event will take place on Sunday 28th April at the Microsoft Reactor in London. It will include 3 interactive workshops that your girls can choose from such as building their own Robot or Micro Pet! Find out more here.

Tech with a twist!
Taking place at Somerset House on Sunday 28th April, this workshop will explore the application of coding to the natural world. This participatory workshop, run by artists Kasia Molga and Scanner, will allow young people to discover how digital technology connects to the soil and learn about natural living technology such as earthworms. This tech event with a twist is free and ideal for young people aged 14-18. Find out more here.

Khan Academy!
Khan Academy is an interactive online tool that teaches coding fundamentals using JavaScript and ProcessingJS. Your child can learn how to create animation, games, and drawings through programming. They’ll also learn how to make web pages using HTML and CSS. This website with its simple to use interface is ideal for 14 – 18 year olds. Go here to get started on your coding journey.

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. We run after-school and weekend programmes that help young people achieve their academic and career aspirations. Our programmes include tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-18. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.

7 Ways Undergraduates Can Boost Their CV By Becoming Volunteer Tutor

7 Ways Undergraduates Can Boost Their CV By Becoming Volunteer Tutor

What's new?

When it comes to volunteer tutoring, it is often thought that only those on the receiving end of the volunteering service are being benefited. However, there are many short-term and long-term benefits that volunteer tutors receive when they choose to take on this role. One of these benefits is how this volunteer tutor role can boost your CV, especially for undergraduates.

When a potential employer is going through your CV, they will always assess what extracurricular work you have done during the course of your studies. When they see that you have previously taken on the role of a volunteer tutor, it reveals a few things about your character and the kind of person they would be bringing on board to work for them.

It shows initiative
Taking on the initiative to be a volunteer tutor is a great way to get your foot in the door to the working world. Potential employers will see that you are not primarily driven by money and that you are willing to put in work when it is needed without being prompted to do so. It shows that the betterment of others is something you take into consideration and that you are also able to think beyond yourself. It also shows that you are proactive and willing to go the extra mile.

More exposure for you
By becoming a volunteer tutor you create more opportunities for yourself to be seen. It makes your CV more captivating to potential employers and gives them an insight into how you spend your time outside of university and an overlook of your skills and capabilities. The opportunity to be a volunteer tutor also puts you in an environment you may not usually be exposed to, and in doing so, it allows you to meet other undergraduates and professionals who may be able to pass your CV to other people. This creates a platform for you to network with different peers your age who may also be volunteer tutors, as well as potential organisations you may want to work with in the future. Taking on the role of a volunteer tutor can also expose you to different potential career paths that you can look into.

Improved skills and experience
In as much as you are helping someone else improve their skills through your volunteer tutoring, you are also improving your skills and experience in the process. You have to find ways to be able to relate to the scholars you teach and find ways to relay the information you know to them. This improves with every tutoring session you have and helps to sharpen your communication, leadership, interpersonal, and performance skills. Being a volunteer tutor also helps with improving your thinking skills and personal development. In doing this, it gives you the right skills and experience for the workplace and under different conditions and environments.

Time management
Becoming a volunteer tutor requires you to have good time management in order to balance your academic career and personal time as well as being a tutor. It shows potential employers your organisational skills and how well you are able to manage the demands of studying and tutoring while working under pressure in some instances. Employers like to see that their potential employees have good time management skills and are able to allocate their time accordingly and prioritise different tasks effectively. Taking on the role of a volunteer tutor is also a good way to utilise spare time and learning how to manage that.

Preparation for the future
Being a volunteer tutor helps to prepare you for working environments and other future roles you may look into pursuing. Even though you have the free will to undertake your tutoring sessions in times that work well for both you and your scholar, you still work under a specific structure and you must still meet the required hours as well as produce certain results with regards to your scholar. You also have to maintain a standard of integrity and abide by the rules that govern the volunteers within that organisation. This shows potential employers that you have the ability to follow instructions and how well you are able to fulfil designated tasks and work independently.

It shows that you are reliable
Becoming a volunteer tutor is one thing, but doing the job that is required of you is another. When taking on the role, you have to ensure that you will be able to fully apply yourself to the role. This is an aspect that potential employers look at – how reliable you are and how well do you perform in your role? The more reliable you prove to be, the higher your chances of growing professionally are and the more people trust you to do things that require greater responsibility.

An opportunity for personal enrichment
Lastly, being a volunteer tutor creates room for your own personal enrichment. It helps you discover strengths or interests you may not have known that you had, and it provides you with a different perspective on how you can approach your career and personal life. There are always lessons to be learnt and growth to be experienced when you open your mind to new possibilities. You also learn some of the things that work and don’t work for you and also leave having acquired some self-enhancement through the whole experience.

If you would like to boost your CV and become a volunteer tutor, then feel free to get in touch with us. Our after-school tutoring, mentoring and enrichment programmes are designed to help young people aged 11-18 achieve their academic and career aspirations. Visit our website if you’d like to know more about GT Scholars and how you can make a significant difference in the lives of young people.

In the Know – Easter fun!

In the Know – Easter fun!

In The Know What's new?

We’re always trying to limit our kids’ screen time but video games can be beneficial too! Video and board games can increase social skills and allow for personalised and fun learning. Particularly, educational games can develop your young one’s motivation, improve specific skills such as motor and cognitive skills, and test their competencies. This week’s exciting activities will allow your child to do just that with a variety of gaming experiences.

Power UP!
The Science Museum presents an Easter treat for young gamers this week with their fully interactive gaming event. Power UP will give your children hands-on access to the very best in video games and consoles as they celebrate 40 years of gaming. This exciting digital experience is ideal for 11+ and tickets start from £8. Book your tickets and find out more here.

Gaming at the V&A
This weekend at the V&A Museum, games designer Matteo Menapace will be in studio as he explores the V&A’s collection of board games. Matteo will be hacking and modifying old games and creating new ones that your child will be allowed to try out while also learning how games can be used to explore social issues and other important topics. This free event is ideal for 11-14-year-olds – find out more here.

Artificial Intelligence Expo
This event is a real treat for young technology enthusiasts. This exclusive exhibition will give your teens access to digi-tech market leaders and AI & Big Data experts. It will include topics such as Robotics and Deep Learning. If your 15-18-year-olds are interested in technology and computer science, this event that is taking place on the 25th and 26th April will be perfect for them. Find out more here.

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. We run after-school and weekend programmes that help young people achieve their academic and career aspirations. Our programmes include tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-18. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.

How To Get The Most Out Of Going To University

How To Get The Most Out Of Going To University

What's new?

University education opens the doors to a bigger, better and opportunity-filled world for its graduates. According to the UN, not only are university graduates better paid in the workplace but compared to high school graduates, they have longer life spans, better access to health care, better dietary and health practices and increased economic stability and security.

Most of us have expectations of what university is like based on what we see in movies and TV shows. But actually, the incredible thing about university is that it can be anything you want it to be!

It can be a creative outlet for artistic expression or a hub for intellectual debate. It can a place for you to discover your strengths and abilities or to discover something completely new about yourself. It can be a place to meet new people from all around the world, and a place to have plenty of fun while also studying something you are actually passionate about.

With this being said, there is also no doubt that transitioning from a high school graduate to a university student can be a little daunting, especially if you are uncertain of what to expect. To help you make a smoother transition from school to university and to help you get the most of your university experience, we have listed 8 useful tips below.

Choose your university courses carefully
Consider your interests as well as which courses would be best for your career choice. Avoid choosing courses because they appear to be an easy option as you may not like or be able to engage with the content. Moreover, avoid choosing courses just because a friend is doing it – you will definitely meet new people and make new friends in every course you do. Take your time doing your research about various courses and ask for advice from academic counsellors to make well-informed choices.

Be the master of your fate and the captain of your ship
Your first few weeks at university will be a little daunting as you juggle various assignments and keep up with numerous classes. One way to overcome this is to view university as a great big ocean with endless wonderful possibilities. You have the chance to try different academic programmes, learn from experts and the best minds in your field, and explore your academic passions. Think of yourself as the captain of a ship navigating through these waters. This means you need to be in charge and take control of this journey or else you run the risk of being swept away by heavy storms. You can do this by keeping track of your deadlines, attending classes and tutorials regularly, and taking a proactive role in your studies. This will make university a calm sea to navigate.

Immerse yourself in student life
University is usually one of the only times in your life where you will have the chance to move out of your comfort zone, try new things, be exposed to new opportunities, and connect with people of diverse educational and cultural backgrounds. Don’t be afraid to push your comfort zone and be open to the many social and networking opportunities that are available for you to get involved in. If you are not sure how to get involved in campus life, get in touch with your university’s student council. Student councils often lead various student associations, societies, and initiatives like sporting clubs, cultural societies, debate teams etc.

Always prioritise your studies
Whilst it may be easy to get distracted by the social and fun aspects of university life, it is very important to remember why you are there. At the end of your undergraduate career, you will need to graduate with a degree, and with good grades as well. It is therefore important to maintain a balance between having fun and studying. Do not risk an assignment deadline or studying for an exam to attend a party or a social event. The wonderful thing about university life is that there are always social events throughout the year, so study first and have fun later.

Attend extracurricular lectures and seminars
Most universities invite guest speakers and lecturers who are subject-matter experts and leaders in their respective fields. These guest lectures are usually freely available and are unique opportunities to learn something new in your field or in a completely different field and to meet some really interesting and innovative people who will be a great source of inspiration. These events will also be a great opportunity for networking.

Make use of university resources
Universities offer their students various resources to help them excel in their studies including well-equipped libraries, study rooms, free internet access, state-of-the-art sporting facilities and so much more.  Find out what your university has to offer and instead of spending your own money on expensive services outside the university, you can utilise the excellent free resources your university provides for you.

Be open to new opportunities
Most universities offer opportunities for students to apply for bursaries, university exchange programmes or to earn money whilst studying.  Find out about these opportunities and don’t be afraid to apply to be a part of them. These opportunities are great for preparing you for the working world and exposing you to new cultures and ways of thinking.

Ask for help
Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Universities offer a plethora of health and wellness resources on campus to help students who feel overwhelmed, homesick, stressed or who are just simply in need of a friendly ear. Your mental and emotional health is as important as your physical wellbeing, so reach out to people you trust or your university’s student health services for guidance.

As a final word of advice, don’t forget to enjoy your journey through university.  The movies and TV shows got one thing right about university- they are usually some of the best years of your life!

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. We run after-school and weekend programmes that help young people achieve their academic and career aspirations. Our programmes include tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-18. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.

Nature vs Nurture: Are gifts and talents down to a child’s natural ability or can they be nurtured?

Nature vs Nurture: Are gifts and talents down to a child’s natural ability or can they be nurtured?

What's new?

Young people discover their gifts and passions as they grow. As they discover their abilities, should parents take an active role to nurture these abilities, or should it just be left to nature?

In this context, nature is defined as the innate disposition of someone or the inherent attributes of a person – simply put, it is what makes up the person. Nurture, on the other hand, means to actively care for or develop someone so that they certain skills or abilities.

Each child has natural abilities that may depend on biology, genetics or the environment they grow up in. Abilities that depend on biology and genetics are usually to do with physical attributes – for example, for a child to excel in basketball, it would be easier if they are tall. It is not impossible if they are short, but it is far easier.

Natural abilities are part of what a child is made of and may play a role in their personal identity. They usually manifest themselves in the early stages of a child’s life. However, these natural abilities are usually just seeds waiting to grow, and as with any other seed, they need to be nurtured and nourished to grow and develop into a plant.

Hence, as your child grows, you can play an active role in nurturing their natural abilities to grow into fully-fledged abilities and talents. You can make sure that they are exposed to the right environment and experiences, that they are receiving enough resources and support from someone that can help them such as a teacher or coach, and that they are guided in the right direction.

You can also help your child to explore and discover their natural abilities by being observant of what they excel in, providing opportunities for them to explore various things from creative to academic, and getting them help from a guidance counsellor or insight workshop if need be.

How you can nurture your child’s gifts and talents
Like anything in life, a gift cannot grow on its own, it requires deliberate and intentionally guided steps to develop it to its maximum potential. However, when nurturing a child’s gifts, it’s important to listen to their needs as well. Here a few helpful points when helping them to discover and develop their natural abilities.

  • Give them time to discover their natural abilities by themselves. Generally, children like to explore, and they do this better without a parent’s preconceived ideas of where they would like their children to go in life. Give them time to do what they are interested in without being directly involved but just being there to observe and guide them
  • Provide them with resources and opportunities that will help not only unlock their gift but further develop it. Resources could include a musical instrument of their interest or identifying opportunities where the child can showcase their gift in front of an audience, even if it is just family members or at school. This can also help to build up their confidence. You can also play an active role in helping them practise their talents, for example, if your child’s talents lie in playing chess, you can buy them a chess board to practice with and you can play with them to develop their skills. If you don’t have the skills, you could also get someone else to play with them which will develop a healthy competitive element in them
  • Be their biggest supporter. They may not always feel inspired to do what they love, especially if they fail to perform at their best, so it is up to you to encourage them. They need to be taught that sometimes it’s okay to fail, it doesn’t mean they are bad, it just means that they learn from their mistakes and improve on that. As a parent, it means the world to your child when they know you support them. Whether you know much about their gift or not, let your child know you are there for them
  • Enlist the help of someone with more knowledge regarding their gift to guide them. Professional help goes a long way especially if your child wants to make a living out of their gift. Finding a coach or teacher to provide specialised support/guidance is important as it helps to identify the child’s strengths and areas that still need improvement so they can perform at their optimum.

In conclusion, one would say that, for a child to fully realise their potential in any area of their interest, both natural abilities and the nurturing of these will play an integral part. It’s only when the gift has been identified that one can help further develop the talent by providing the right environment and ensuring the child gets the necessary support. This support can either be in terms of the supply of resources/tools or emotional support.

GT Scholars offers many opportunities for young people to discover and develop their gifts and talents. We run after-school and weekend programmes that help young people achieve their academic and career aspirations. Our programmes include tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-18. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.

Education is the Wisest Investment that any Parent can Make in their Child

Education is the Wisest Investment that any Parent can Make in their Child

What's new?

Knowledge is power, and education is the key to success. We have all heard these mantras repeated throughout our lives – and now we understand the crucial importance of providing our children with the best education to prepare them for life and set them up on a successful career path.

With the costs of educational programmes and university soaring, it has also been said that saving for your child’s education is as important as saving for your retirement. Why is education so significant?

Well, education teaches a person how to earn their daily bread and butter while also making people better informed about their responsibilities. It also makes people open to changing environments from an early age, and it teaches them to creatively approach problems and to think innovatively.

Let’s explore how investing in your child’s education is the best investment you will make.

Professional success
A report published by the University of Birmingham states that around 80% of their alumni are placed in employment within six months from graduation. Good education and professional success are intertwined, and statistically, it is shown that placements of undergraduates and post-graduates into employment are increasingly successful with quality higher education.  

Furthermore, quality education has a direct impact on earning potential, pay progression, career possibilities and career progression. When reviewing employment data from various institutions, one can conclude that education influences a person’s professional success – with higher earning potential and faster and wider career progression.

Statistical data retrieved from the Labour Force Survey from September 2001 to August 2002, shows that generally if you have a higher education qualification level you are more likely to receive higher earnings. Across all ages, graduates earn on average 49.4% more than those with highest reported qualifications as GCSE, A-level or equivalent – and more than double in comparison to those with no qualifications.

Social wellbeing
While schooling systems are the primary institutions for acquiring knowledge and skills, it can also be said that these systems educate young people on the crucial social skills they need to attain a good quality of life. Education and good social skills are directly linked, as quality schooling ensures that children are well-adjusted, that they are able to form productive and trusting relationships and they perform well academically.

Moreover, schooling systems provide a supportive environment to students and aid them in having a better sense of self-awareness and awareness of their larger social environments. In turn, the various social skills attained during school also help young people to achieve success later in life.

Health
Proper education and the attainment of various skills through education are also linked to positive health outcomes in our modern healthcare environment. For example, people benefit from being able to comprehend their personal health needs, reading and/or following instructions and communicating effectively with their health care providers.

Since the impact of education can be linked to earning potential, it can also be linked to the attainment of proper healthcare. Furthermore, studies have shown that adults with higher levels of education are less likely to engage in unhealthy habits and generally engage in healthier behaviours relating to diet and exercise.

Finally, individuals who have not received good quality of education are less able to adapt to long-term stress (e.g. occupational stress, unemployment etc.), which in turn can lead to chronic illness. Exposure to set educational systems which consist of deadlines and responsibilities can help individuals to develop the necessary mental capabilities required to deal with stress and problem-solving.

Personal development
While many people value the attainment of higher education levels quite significantly, it is also important to value the less tangible benefits of quality education. Education significantly affects personal growth which will influence your relationships and success later in life. By acquiring new information, you are enriching your brain with new ways of thinking.

Young people greatly reap the benefits of education as it forms the basis of healthy learning habits which provides them with the necessary tools to navigate the next stage in their life. By asking questions and putting information into context, the knowledge we obtain through educational institutions broadens our horizon which is crucial for personal development.

Self-confidence is another facet of education we are able to identify with. Knowledge can be seen as a lifelong forte, and quality education can boost your confidence through various means such as improved societal standing and the ability to communicate your ideas more eloquently.

Conclusively, we can say that quality education is of utmost importance for various reasons; whether it is for professional success, higher income, greater social skills, overall health or personal development. Therefore, investing in your child through proper schooling, private tutoring and higher education is the best decision you can ever make, and at the very least, it will set your child on the path to a good quality of life.

We at the GT Scholars Programme believe that all children can achieve their educational goals. As a not-for-profit social enterprise, we aim to provide high impact courses, workshops and programmes to young people between the ages of 11-18, regardless of their household income. Contact us to find out more.

In the Know – Create your world with STEM!

In the Know – Create your world with STEM!

In The Know What's new?

The creative side of science, technology, engineering and maths is a fascinating topic for young people to explore. This week’s activities will allow them to interact with the creative side of STEM while also learning useful skills that they apply to their own creations. Don’t miss out!

Engineer your future
This week the Science Museum wants your child to be inspired to imagine and create their own world with their interactive engineering exhibitions. This event is aimed at developing your child’s problem-solving skills and giving your 11-15-year-olds an insight into what engineers do. This free interactive gallery will also let your child design, build and create! Find out more here.

Making Mang
This weekend’s digital workshop taking place at the Samsung Digital Discovery Centre is an ideal treat for young people that love comics and animation. Artistic young people will be able to improve their animation and digital skills and create their own manga comic at this free event. Find out more about this event ideal for 11-14-year-olds and book your child’s place here.

Virtual Playground
The Virtual Playground exhibition will be hosting an exciting day for young coders with their Kids Coding workshop. The workshop will include teaching your child how to make their own video game and learning the fundamentals of video game coding. This free event is ideal for young coders aged between 11-13 years old. It will be taking place at the Anise Gallery on Saturday 13th April – register your interest and find out more here.

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. We run after-school and weekend programmes that help young people achieve their academic and career aspirations. Our programmes include tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-18. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.

Are young people growing addicted to technology?

Are young people growing addicted to technology?

What's new?

We live in the information age. Every answer you need is a click away and most children know this by age five. In fact, most children have handled a smartphone by the age of two. It is often thought of as cute, as an indication of how smart they are that they can navigate technology so young; but is this leading to a generation of technology addicts?

Oxford University reported in 2017 that the perception that kids are becoming addicted to technology is untrue. Their study found that despite increased screen time, children are spending their other time doing a variety of other activities. Whether this is true for all children though is unknown.

Education Technology reported on a national pupil survey conducted by education technology association, Naace and Catshills Learning Partnerships, which revealed that 60% of four to five-year-olds are using tablets to get online. They may be using it to access their favourite shows online, but, that is a large percentage of young kids with access to unfiltered content. However, with the current trend of using technology in schools every day in the form of interactive boards, learning videos and online teaching; how do we gauge the effects technology has on our children?

Listed below are the potentially harmful effects of children being addicted to technology and some practical points to help parents avoid possible addiction.

Lack of social interaction
Being constantly exposed to technology can lead to children losing their social skills. They are so used to interacting via gaming platforms or social media that speaking face to face becomes an unusual situation. Younger kids may even seek technology as an escape from physically playing outdoors with other kids. Later on in life, this may lead to them having difficulty with communicating well with others. This will increase the risk of problems at school, in university and ultimately hinder their progress into the working world where interaction is often key.

Decreased emotional intelligence
With a decrease in physical interaction from excessive technology use, children’s ability to navigate emotions is also affected. They do not understand how to gauge emotional changes in others and often lack empathy. This is largely due to the fact that they are often so engrossed in a device that they fail to observe changes in people and their surroundings.

Impatience
Constantly having the power of the internet at your fingertips often results in children not understanding the concept of patience. As they are used to everything being a Google search away, they cannot grasp the concept of research and summarising. Also, parents of toddlers often struggle with their kids not being able to watch their cartoons on television due to advertisement breaks.  A smart TV can stream endless videos on YouTube. This leads to an “I can’t wait, I want it now” mentality.

Online personas and insecurity
According to Public Health England, extended screen use correlates to emotional distress, anxiety and depression in young people. Teens in particular, struggle with insecurity due to social media. At this age, they are extremely sensitive to what others think of them. With it being so easy for others to comment on a picture or status, teenagers also suffer greatly when it comes to cyber-bullying. On the flip side to insecurity, social media also sometimes leads to vanity and the upkeep of an online persona. The pressures of this can endanger a sensitive young person’s mental health.

Security risk
Young people are very impressionable and naïve. It is how they are meant to be before life experiences shape their character and opinions. However, with the introduction of technology, they can be easily manipulated by negative peer groups or online predators unknowingly. Privacy of accounts and devices are often ignored. In fact, most children can easily be traced via their social accounts or a mobile device when the location is enabled.

Decreased physical activity and obesity
With more time being spent on technology, there is less time being spent on physical and outdoor activities. Young people would often prefer spending time indoors on their phones or playing video games than going outside or playing sport. This leads to an increased risk of childhood obesity, even more so when paired with the high-sugar diet most young people have these days.

So, what can you as a parent do to avoid technology addiction if you notice any of these behaviours in your child?

“Become one with the matrix”
Make sure that you know how to handle the devices you have and your child is exposed to and that you know how your child is utilising technology. If you keep up with technology, it will be easier to navigate your child’s experience of it. Devices used at school are often restricted with regards to which sites are accessible so you can do the same at home.

“Moderation is key”
Technology cannot be avoided, so instead of fearing technology, introduce your child to it in small quantities. Do not allow them to become dependent on it, but rather encourage its usage to build skills. It can also be used for fun, but only for an allocated time period.

“With great power, comes great responsibility”
As parents, you need to teach your child from an early age to use technology responsibly. From being responsible with how much time is spent using technology to how to be safe online, it is important for you to discuss the best methods for managing technology use with your child. It is also important for you to be the example in your household and to also manage your own time spent on technology so that they can see how technology is used responsibly.

Technology is not to be feared, it just needs to be understood. The sooner that we realise this and are able to identify the pros and cons involved, the sooner we can use it to the best of our ability. We at GT Scholars promote the responsible use of technology in our tutoring sessions. In addition to this, we also teach young people these pros and cons so that they are able to identify and rectify their technology usage if needed. Contact us to find out more.

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Scholar Spotlight: “It really helped me with my grades, to become more organised and be more proactive”

Success stories What's new?

As part of our scholar spotlight series, we interviewed one of the scholars on the Bright Ambitions programme. Please watch the video above for the full interview. You can also find the transcript below.


My name is Tatiana and I am 13 years old and I am a scholar on the GT Scholars programme.

Why did you apply to join GT Scholars?
Well at first my grades weren’t that good so we were looking for a tutor and my mum was telling me that she saw something, so I was like, is that something you think I would like to try?. We saw a leaflet and that made me want to do it even more. So we ended up doing it and getting a mentor with it too.

How has your tutor supported you?
My tutors were very helpful, they helped me develop and get better at math and they helped to get my grades up and give me a little boost with my grades. We’ve done homework together. We’ve studied for exams and tests together, like anything I needed to do and if I didn’t have anything to do in my classes at school, then we would just go on things that they proposed.

How has the online tutoring been for you?
I really enjoyed the online tutoring because it’s easy to get or go somewhere in your house and video chat them and just start working. Also, you are in the comfort of your own home so you don’t have to travel out to go see them and I just find it overall easier and you have everything you need in your house so you don’t have to worry about taking things or forgetting things, everything is already here.

What were the mentoring sessions like?
Mentoring, it’s more of the mindset. I feel like that’s where I have become more confident and I have just become a better person with my mentor and that just really helped me with my lifestyle in general. I’d tell them about what I need and what is happening and when I tell them that this what’s going on and I need help with this, they’ll come back with an answer and tell me well this is what you should try and aim for and if I am missing something, they will ask me questions and I will be like well I need this too and they would just help me in any way.

How have the enrichment days helped you?
The first enrichment day was ages ago and I remember I was really scared for it and I just didn’t know what to expect from it. So when I walked in and we just sat down and just started talking and people came in and I just got gradually more comfortable and through the enrichment days I became more comfortable with everyone. With the mentor, I became more confident in myself so I got to talk to more people that didn’t make me that scared anymore and I just found them very helpful. There were lots of different kinds. Sometimes there was just a panel of people that came in, or sometimes you get involved and actually stand up and do things and get into groups with people, so they really vary but I liked all of them.

So my favourite enrichment day was the Dragon’s Den one, where we got to get into teams to create our idea or product and pitch it in front of judges. It was exactly like the real show, we just did everything the same, but obviously, it wasn’t the real show. I really liked it because I got to meet people, and I really liked the pitching and I obviously became more confident in myself so I wasn’t really afraid of presenting in front of a number people, so I was really happy with that because I noticed that lots of things have really helped me in this programme.

What have you enjoyed most about the programme?
So I’ve really enjoyed the enrichment days, well I loved really everything about it. Being able to go to the enrichment days and learn more things, and then having my mentor tell me things I did not know before and my tutor just explaining things and helping me understand and everything just helped me grow.

How has the programme helped you academically?
So before joining the programme, I was quite a laid back person and I wasn’t very confident in myself. But after I joined GT Scholars and got a tutor, I kind of gained self-confidence and became less laid back. With that in mind, I entered a math competition which I came third globally, which I am very happy about and I am proud of myself.

What goals did the programme help you to achieve?
Well, I wanted to achieve better grades and become more confident and not procrastinate and focus more. I feel like, over a period of time, I gained those skills and gotten better grades and I’ve become more confident, so I am happy.

What have you learned about yourself during the programme?
So before joining the programme I just wasn’t very confident. I didn’t really understand many things and still trying to understand how things worked and I just wasn’t very confident in myself. So once I joined the programme I just found my confidence and I could talk finally, and I did understand things and I knew I could do things and I knew I could do better than before.

What would you say to young people who want to join the programme?
So I would definitely recommend GT Scholars to other young people because it really helped me with my grades, to become more organised and be more proactive, have time management and have a growth mindset.

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. We run after-school and weekend programmes that help young people achieve their academic and career aspirations. Our programmes include tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-18. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.

The Differences between Internships, Learnerships and Work Experience

The Differences between Internships, Learnerships and Work Experience

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Before delving into what makes internships, learnerships and work experience different, it is good to know that all three do provide a platform for you to learn and gain some exposure in whatever field you choose to pursue.

Like all things, however, there are aspects to each of these that makes them different and it is always beneficial to know what route to take when pursuing either an internship, learnership or work experience.

Internships
One of the key points to note regarding internships is that every internship has a set period in which an organization will allocate to the fulfilment of that it. Some internships will run from a period of 1 month, sometimes 3-6 months or even a year. An internship can be paid or unpaid, with some internships also providing the option of a full- or part-time internship.

An unpaid internship often has some students questioning the fact that they will not be receiving any form of pay or minimum wage for the hours they put in. This issue is all dependent on the type of organization or company you are working for and the type of internship you are doing. To find out more about the applicability of minimum wage and who qualifies for this, you can go to the Government website and read up on the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wages.

Most internships are taken up by students and graduates in the hopes of attaining a level of experience and skill-building. Internships provide a structured working experience and exposure that is aligned with your particular field of study. The main focus of an internship is to give you a feel of a full-time working environment and what a particular role is like, while simultaneously facilitating the enhancement of both your personal and career development.

If you are looking to find some internships and do not know where to start, the government graduate talent pool is quite useful. GT Scholars is also a good starting point if you are feeling a little lost and not sure what career path you would want to take and need some guidance and assistance with gaining confidence in your skills and personal development.

Learnerships
Learnerships are slightly different from internships and they are a popular approach being used by companies in order to develop individual skills and gain real work experience. A learnership is essentially a structured training programme that has both practical and theoretical elements that allow for those undertaking it to obtain a national qualification without having a formal education from a tertiary institution.

This simply means that those doing learnerships are able to gain the exposure of working that an intern would without having the qualification of a graduate. Learnerships tend to target students or individuals who have their GCSE as their highest qualification. The learnership is an avenue that allows them to obtain a national qualification while simultaneously working. Simply put, a learnership is a work-based learning programme and yes, most learnerships are paid.

Unlike an internship which involves an agreement between an employer or company and the intern, a learnership contract involves an employer, you the learner, and a training provider. The practical aspect of a learnership is facilitated by your employer through the provision of training, mentoring and guidance for the time that you will be taking on the learnership. The training provider facilitates the theoretical aspect of a learnership. This is the same as having a typical classroom session in which you are taught specific things in order to apply them to your role in that learnership.

Work Experience
A work experience programme, sometimes known as a work placement, differs from an internship or learnership as this role has less extensive training or requirements than the previous two. It is more of an observatory learning role. Student work experience can be gained in a number of ways with the most common work experience programmes being work placements, volunteer programmes, careers events, and insight days set by certain employers for school-leavers.

Work placements can be arranged by your school or you can take the initiative yourself, and this runs over a short period of a week in a certain organization or location in order to give you a first-hand look of what working at a particular organization can be like.

Careers events are usually organized by either schools or organizations in order to meet employers who will give insight into what their organizations are about and what opportunities they offer to students and school-leavers. Some organizations will have a careers day or an after-school career programme in which students can participate in.

Volunteering is an open-ended field and there are always opportunities to apply yourself to and serve in your community. You can go look at the Volunteer Matters website to get you started and help you with both your career and personal development.

Other working avenues to get yourself involved in are extracurricular activities such as after-school academic, social or entrepreneur programmes or clubs and applying for competitions that focus on the working world. Applying for student leadership roles in school and afterschool clubs are also a good way to develop your working experience and personal skills.

Whether you decide to go for an internship, learnership or work experience, all three provide a platform for you to develop yourself both personally and professionally. Being prepared for them is just as important as applying for them. One of the best ways to prepare for them is to invest in your personal development and these are your skills, confidence and all-round performance in and outside of school.

GT Scholars is one avenue that can definitely help you in preparation for the future roles and career paths you want to explore. GT Scholars offers a variety of strategically designed programmes and workshops that aid in enriching and developing you to be the best version of yourself.