5 reasons why extra homework may be negatively affecting your child’s chances in life

5 reasons why extra homework may be negatively affecting your child’s chances in life

What's new? Young people

The topic of homework is currently at the centre of hot debates, not just in the UK but across Europe, as people argue about the possible negative effects that it can have, if implemented in the wrong way.

Some schools in the UK are reducing or even banning homework and parents in Spain have gone so far as to go on strike because of the amount of homework their children have been getting.

Why are they doing this?  Why is this becoming such an issue?  Why do people think homework is bad for students?

Here are 5 reasons why extra homework does not necessarily lead to a better future for your child:

1. It can be repetitive and not productive

Homework is often repetitive, a long list of exercises designed to drill the concepts into your child’s brain.  As Nancy Kalish says, this makes learning “a chore rather than a positive, constructive experience.”  This could have the detrimental effect of making your child hate the subject, without providing an accurate representation of the child’s performance.

2. Young people need time to be active

Students usually spend the majority of their school days sitting at desks, with little opportunity to exercise. Therefore, there is the argument that time after school would be better spent getting fresh air, being active and pursuing physical activities that they enjoy. It also gives them the opportunity to learn and develop critical life-skills that cannot be learned whilst sat at a desk.

3. Is homework an unnecessary added stress?

Being a student can be stressful enough, without the added pressures of homework.  It can cause a large amount of anxiety or stress if your child doesn’t understand the topic or is unable to complete the homework on time, as there are obviously no teachers around to help them. We, as adults, parents, teachers, tutors and mentors, need to realise the importance of doing what we can to help young people maintain stability over their mental health, without adding even more strain.

4. It can cause arguments at home.

Even public figures are getting involved in the debate, as Gary Lineker states, “all it does is drive a massive wedge between parents and children because you end up having to do it for them, and it’s stressful.” Putting additional strain on a parent-child relationship is never a good idea – there are already enough factors that can cause tension without adding another. A parent should be a source of support, without having to actively do the work for them – if they are, then obviously there is no benefit for the child.

5. Time management.

This is something that we all struggle with and this is especially true for students. The added load of a mountain of homework can make things challenging for students who are juggling busy schedules with after school activities, part-time jobs, a social life and household chores. It means that young people cannot commit 100% to one activity as they are always thinking about what else is on the to-do list, meaning that they are not able to benefit fully from the current task at hand.

Now we are not suggesting that homework should be eradicated completely, as a study for the Department for Education did find that students who did two to three hours of homework per night were almost 10 times more likely to achieve five good GCSEs than those who did no homework.  

It is simply a case of giving the students constructive, creative exercises which encourage them to think independently, and finding the right balance between the time spent doing homework and the time spent pursuing other, potentially more beneficial, extracurricular activities.

GT Scholars is an after-school tutoring and mentoring programme. The programme teaches young people how to manage their time, adopt a growth mindset and achieve their aspirations. To find out more, get in touch with us via www.gtscholars.org/contact-us


10 Free learning apps to learn everything from Geography to Human anatomy

10 Free learning apps to learn everything from Geography to Human anatomy

Learning Resources What's new? Young people

We know that young people spend way too much time on their phones but did you know that there are a multitude of apps available online that could boost your child’s knowledge and understanding in Maths, English, Science and other subjects?

Young people have access to so much information online and this means that with the right amount of effort and motivation, many pupils could teach themselves or be tutored in any subject, just by using the right resources.

There’s a tonne of research that shows that young people learn more when they’re having fun and thanks to the wonderful world of technology and the internet, everyone’s learning online.  

We’ve put together a list of 10 of the top learning apps that make learning enjoyable and the best news is that they’re free!

  1. Gojimo

This is the UK’s top revision app for GCSE and A-Level. Not only does it have a massive bank of questions for all major subjects, it gives detailed explanations for the questions and you can track your progress, strengths and weaknesses and check off each topic as you master it.

  1. Learn World History

Learn world history from the beginnings of civilization! This Android app helps you learn hundreds of key events throughout world history with quizzes that test you on details and dates. With options for customising quizzes, this app is great for secondary school children all the way up to adults looking to brush up on their history knowledge.

  1. Essential Skeleton 4.0

Essential Skeleton is an iPad app that young people studying the human skeletal system should definitely download. The app puts a 3D skeleton on your iPad and you can then rotate the skeleton, zoom in and out, find out the names of each bone and more. It’s great for a range of ages as you can go into as much detail as you want.

  1. DoodleMaths

This app is perfect for ages 7-11 and can dramatically improve your child’s confidence and ability in maths. It works by identifying your child’s level, strengths and weaknesses, and gradually progressing them at the rate that’s right for them. Use it on your computer or on any device.

  1. World Map Atlas

World Map Atlas is a great Android app you can use to grow your geography knowledge. It has a wealth of information about all the countries in the world, such as the capital, the country flag, the languages and even the currency.

  1. Duolingo

Learning with Duolingo is fun and addictive. This app, available on Windows, Apple and Android, helps you learn a wide range of languages, from French and Spanish to Ukrainian and Vietnamese. The variety of speaking, listening and multiple choice activities keep it constantly new and exciting.

  1. Magic Piano

You can learn to play the piano on a phone or tablet, Apple or Android! With everything from Bruno Mars to Mozart, this nifty little magic piano guides you through playing a variety of tunes on its three keyboards, by following beams of light with your fingers.

  1. How to Draw

Enjoy learning how to draw with this easy to use Apple app. Video tutorials and step-by-step lessons will teach you how to faces, bodies, flowers and even cartoon characters. There are simple instructions for beginner drawings as well as more advanced tips for the more experienced artist!

  1. English Grammar – Learn & Quiz

Who knew English grammar was so interesting! This is an easy and fun new way to practice and learn English grammar. With a huge variety of tests and activities, you can choose between basic grammar to more advanced concepts, making it suitable for all ages.

  1. ▻Sudoku

A classic puzzle game that is sure to make your brain work! This Apple app enables you to seamlessly play endless amounts of Sudoku at your preferred difficulty, all while keeping track of your scores. This app makes it so much easier to improve your Sudoku skills, without the hassle of having to use a pen and lots of paper.


The GT Scholars Programme is a unique tutoring programme that gives young people aged 11-16, the support, strategies and skills that they need to reach their academic and career potential. We also take advantage of what the Internet has to offer and use online platforms to deliver effective online tutoring to our scholars. To get more information, click here.

12 tips to help young people build homework and study habits

12 tips to help young people build homework and study habits


It can be highly stressful for the entire family when a child struggles to complete homework or study for an exam. Fortunately, it does not have to be this way. Here are some tips to help you and your child successfully build productive habits that will benefit your child now and in the future.

1. Turn off all distractions!

Young people are now growing up in the world of technology, and it can sometimes be tough to escape it. When the TV is on, or they’re constantly checking their phone, it is impossible to concentrate fully on their work. So unless the computer is necessary for the task, turn off the electronics!

2. Establish a routine

To create a habit, it is necessary to repeat the task habitually. Parents try and serve dinner at the same time every night so that the young people know when that is and can build a homework schedule around that. If the schedule changes from night to night, it will become easier to forget to do something as it is not ingrained in the daily routine.

3. Have realistic expectations

As a parent, you must consider your child’s age and developmental level, i.e. don’t expect a 7-year-old to be able to focus for an extended period. Encourage them to take breaks, perhaps after completing a homework section and encourage them to learn what their capabilities are in terms of their concentration span.

4. Designate specific areas for homework and studying

Choose a space in the house that can be a regular location for reading and learning, and make sure it is quiet for your child, without the distractions of other family members or the television. Keep study materials nearby; it will become a habit that when your child enters this space, it is time to work.

5. Organise study and homework projects

Help your child organise their assignments logically so they do not get overwhelmed by the amount they have to do. Create an exam study plan with them, and help them determine what assignments must be completed first. This ability to prioritise and organise tasks is vital for A-levels, university and beyond.

6. Encourage your child to be responsible and work independently

Support your child in their homework, but do not be the taskmaster. Provide them with the tools they need to succeed – a quiet area, supplies, words of encouragement – but then allow them to do the work independently. Young people must develop the drive to complete the work alone, without a parent constantly pushing them.

7. Studying is more than just doing homework assignments

It is important to instil in your child the desire to learn and understand the topics they are studying instead of just completing the assigned tasks. Encourage them to research the case, read about it, and ask questions to grasp the whole concept instead of just the specific questions being asked.

8. Help your child learn how to focus their mind

One of the hardest things to know how to do, for adults and young people alike, is to focus on the task at hand and be able to shut out distractions, worries or other thoughts. Encourage your child to keep a ‘worry pad’ – if they are prone to get distracted by their thoughts, they can write them down and return to them after they’ve finished studying.

9. Use as much positive reinforcement as possible

Like all of us, young people want to hear that they are doing a good job and can do well in their upcoming tests or exam. Whether it’s an actual reward, in the form of playtime or a treat, or simply encouraging words, it is important to tell your child that you are proud of their effort. They will, in turn, feel more confident and driven to work harder.

10. Find the right level of involvement in your child’s work.

A fine line exists between showing a keen interest in your child’s work and becoming a ‘helicopter parent’. If your child is struggling with their studying or needs someone to ask them questions, then absolutely step in and help. If they just want you to finish their homework so it’s out of the way, this is the time to hold back.

11. Lead by example

Young people are more likely to follow your actions than your advice! If you make your child study while watching tv, you can only expect your child to rebel. If you cannot participate in your child’s work, let your child see you working on something work-related or household-related.

12. Try and find ‘fun’ ways for your child to study

If your child is struggling to get engaged in their work, make an effort to help them try different approaches to learning in the hope that something will grab their attention. Use flashcards, the internet or even friends (you must be careful with this!). Once your child finds something that works for them, it will be a tool they can use repeatedly.

The GT Scholars programme helps ambitious young people improve their grades and build their confidence through tutoring sessions, mentoring sessions and enrichment days. To find out more, click here.

Need private tutoring support for your child? – Read this first!

Need private tutoring support for your child? – Read this first!

Parents Private tutoring What's new?

Many parents contact us to request after-school homework support, one-off private tutoring sessions, private home tutoring and last minute revision classes for the days leading up to their child’s GCSE exams. Unfortunately, this is not something that we offer.

Our tutoring programme is online and is carried out on a one-to-one basis. We believe that long term tutoring programme is much more effective than last minute preparation for exams. We provide a limited number of free places every year and charge means-tested fees with the goal of making it affordable to all families that we work with.

We’ve written a guide on where you can go for support if you are not able to join the GT Scholars Programme.

  1. Ask for support from your school:

This might seem really obvious but it’s important that you are aware of the support that is available from your school before looking for external support.

Many teachers run drop-in classes at lunchtime and after-school so it may be worth asking your child to take the time to attend these sessions with their teachers in school rather than hiring a tutor. Work collaboratively with your child’s teachers to set targets for your child and find out what needs to be done at home and recommended resources that you can use at home in order to meet these targets.

Most schools run revision sessions during half-term holidays so sign up to these sessions instead of paying for external revision sessions.

There are also lots of low cost or free learning websites where students can go through a process of self-study to improve their grades. Many schools have already signed up and paid for these sites such as www.mymaths.co.uk so make the most of this.

  1. Check if you qualify for free tutoring support

We aim to make the GT Scholars programme as affordable as possible for young people from a range of backgrounds, we charge means-tested fees for this but we have a limited number of scholars that we can work with each year.

If you’re looking for free tutoring, you may be able to get this through your school or through tutoring organisations such as The Access Project and IntoUniversity. Other organisations such as TutorFair charge students for tutoring and use profits to provide free tutoring to young people from the lowest income homes.

Please be aware that due to limited funding, most not-for-profit organisations will only provide free tutoring to young people living in a particular borough or attending a specific type of school.

If you are looking for a condensed revision course, crash-course tutoring or last minute tutoring then you may want to look at Justin Craig or use websites such as Tutor Hunt or Tutor Pages to find a local tutor.

  1. Search for after-school clubs and organisations:

When children’s grades are not where we want them to be – it’s easy to think that the solution is to start tutoring. However, you may find that taking up extra-curricular activities may be just as effective as private tutoring.

Your child’s school or your local borough will probably already offer homework clubs, sports clubs, science clubs, coding clubs, film clubs, debate clubs, entrepreneurship and math clubs. These clubs may be able to boost your child’s grades and very few young people recognise the importance of this. All you need to do is sign-up and get started.

  1. Look into enrichment opportunities for your child

If you’ve looked into all options and you feel that your child needs more than just tutoring, then there are a range of organisations that may be able to provide this to you.

In addition to the GT Scholars programme, we offer a range of courses and workshops which take place in the evenings, at weekends and during half-term in London.

Organisations such as Sutton Trust and Social Mobility Foundation are not tutoring organisations but may also be able to provide you with support for getting into a top university or competitive career.

There are also holiday and weekend revision courses and pre-university courses that can help your child prepare for exams or help your child prepare to get into top universities or specific careers such as the Girls in Engineering programme.

Or the Interview preparation days with Oxbridge Applications:


  1. Sign up to our mailing list

Remember that you can still sign up to our mailing list if you’d like to know about opportunities for your child throughout the year. We actively look for interesting events and activities that are of interest to parents on our list.

We do our best to include organisations and events that are free or relatively affordable to young people from low or middle-income homes. We’ll also keep you updated on our courses and workshops that are open to all young people through the year.

GT Scholars is a not for profit social enterprise in London. We run courses, workshops and programmes that help young people achieve excellent grades at school, get into top universities and enter competitive careers.

Our flagship programme is The GT Scholars Programme which includes tutoring, mentoring and enrichment for young people aged 11-16. To register your interest in the programme, click here: www.gtscholars.org/register-your-interest