6 Misconceptions that young people need to address before embarking on a degree or an apprenticeship

6 Misconceptions that young people need to address before embarking on a degree or an apprenticeship

Narrowing the gap Social mobility University What's new? Young people

University debt has now risen to £100 billion in the UK and it’s set to keep rising. Many young people are now looking into alternatives to university. But what happens if you’re not sure which path to take.

There is no reason for anyone to throw themselves into an apprenticeship or go to university just for the sake of going! There are a lot of things to consider. In this blog, we’ll do our best to address some of the typical misconceptions that young people have about apprenticeships.

  • If I do an apprenticeship, I’ll earn less than a graduate. When you’re studying for a degree, you’ll need to pay for your course and for most people, this means taking up a student loan. During an apprenticeship, you get paid to work and gain your apprenticeship certification and you won’t have a student loan to pay off. The reality is that your salary as an apprentice and even beyond your apprenticeship will pretty much always depend on the profession you’ve chosen, the type of apprenticeship you’ve chosen and the company you work with. The same applies for graduates, it will depends on the work-experience you gained before and during your degree, your qualities and what you have to offer, the degree that you studied, the university you attend and the profession you’ve chosen. There are so many variables that it’s almost impossible to say that one is better than the other.
  • An apprenticeship is easier than studying for a degree. Again this is not necessarily true. So many young people believe that doing an apprenticeship instead of a degree is an easy way out. There is a belief an apprenticeship doesn’t require good grades and it’s a safety net that will secure them a well paid job after school and ensure that they are debt free. I’ve seen so many students mess around in their final year of school because they believed that all they needed was 5Cs to get a good apprenticeship. They didn’t attend any revision sessions, hardly prepared for exams and did the bare minimum to get 5Cs at GCSE and who could blame them? Why work so hard if you feel that you have the safety net of an apprenticeship waiting for you. Instead of looking for the easy way out, you should probably take the time to decide on your ideal career and then choose the path that will take you in the right direction.
  • It’s easy to get an apprenticeship with a top company. The reality is that the top apprenticeships and school/college leaver programmes are competitive. Just like graduate programmes, you’ll face a lot of competition. Top companies want top quality candidates so you’d better be prepared to have a brilliant CV and get good GCSEs and/or A-levels if you want to get a job with the highest paying companies. There are some of the more glamorous apprenticeships that will pay £400 per week but most apprenticeships will pay about £200 per week. You only need to take a look online at the apprenticeships on offer for you to fully understand what is available.
  • Doing an apprenticeship means I’ll never have to study again. Unfortunately, this is not true. Most apprenticeships will require some form of assessment or examination as part of the apprenticeship. And of course, even after your apprenticeship your career may still require you to take regular exams or build qualifications if you want to move up the career ladder. Instead of thinking about how to get out of exams, why not look for a way to get better at doing them?
  • Apprenticeships are for people that didn’t get good grades or don’t like studying. Doing an apprenticeship or studying for a degree is something that requires a lot of thought. The decision shouldn’t be based purely on your grades. The real question should be – what are you passionate about? What would you like to do with your life? If the career you want requires a degree – then you’ll need to get good grades, go to a top university and get your degree! If the career you want doesn’t require necessarily a degree eg Accounting, IT or Management – then you’ll need to get good grades and go and work for the best company that you can find that will support you to achieve your career aspirations. If the career you want requires you to go to a specialist Art/Fashion/Music/Dance college – then you’ll need to get good grades so that you can get into the specialist college.
  • I’ve been predicted low grades. I probably won’t get good GCSEs and I’ll have no choice but to do an apprenticeship. Predictions at school based on a range of factors. Even as a teacher I remember being baffled by what the computer spurred out as the predicted grades for my students. The problem is that many students then rest on their laurels believing that there’s just no hope and they’re only as good as the prediction. My view on this is work hard. Don’t give up because your predictions aren’t that great. I’ve met bright students who gave up on themselves at the most important point in their lives and I’ve always wondered what would happen if they put in just a little more effort to get better grades.

If you’re not sure about what you want to do then you should probably take some time out to get work experience in a field that you are interested in before embarking on an apprenticeship or signing up to a degree.

Do your research into universities and the types of degrees that you could study. Meet people that are currently on an apprenticeship and ask them about their experience. You may also want to look into apprenticeship-degrees where you work full time while gaining a degree through your employer and graduating debt free! Just remember that no matter which path you choose – you’ll probably still need to work hard and get good grades by the end of school.

How we provide affordable private tutoring for children from low income homes

How we provide affordable private tutoring for children from low income homes

Improving attainment Narrowing the gap Private tuition What's new? Young people

Research from Sutton Trust’s shows that 42% of students in London have paid for private tutoring at some point in their academic careers. In addition to this, privately educated pupils are more than twice as likely to have received tutoring at some point in their academic lives compared to state educated pupils.

Research from the Education Endowment Foundation shows that tutoring can accelerate learning by up to 5 months within a year.  So why aren’t more young people from lower income homes making use of tutors? The reality is that high quality tutoring is simply not affordable. The average rate for tutoring in London about £30 per hour.

When we launched GT Scholars one of the first things we noticed was that there were more online search enquiries for private tuition from families from higher income homes than those from lower income homes. This was initially surprising as we couldn’t understand why we weren’t getting many more enquiries from families from low income homes.

Despite our relatively low costs and our offer of free places, the programme seemed to attract more people from higher income homes.It took us a while for us to see that many of our target market – parents of young people from lower income homes – were not looking for private home tutoring.

Their families were less likely to look for a tutor because tutoring can be expensive and from a parent’s point of view, particularly parents with a relatively low income – private tutoring was seen as risky especially if you don’t have the money or the right network to help you find or afford the right tutor.

When we discussed the search for a private tutor – many explained that they had stopped looking for a tutor because they believed there was no such thing as affordable private tutoring. It’s hard to justify paying a private tutor £40 per hour if you only earn £10/hour. We realised that many parents from lower income homes often saw private tutoring is a luxury that they just could not afford.

On the other hand, parents from wealthier homes, even those that that were already paying for private schools, saw private tutoring an essential part of learning that they cannot afford to miss out on.

Most people would agree that young people from low income homes should be able to access additional support through after-school tutoring – if they need it.

Over the past few years, we have found that that the best way to reach young people from low income homes is to reach them directly through their schools and offer free or low cost workshops and courses for parents to access additional support.

This gives parents a chance to meet us in person and understand some of the benefits of the programme and access support through our short courses and workshops when needed. We also encourage parents to sign up to our weekly newsletter ‘In the know’ which gives parents an idea of activities and opportunities that are available to their child.

There is no denying that private tutoring is here to stay. It’s a booming industry and becoming a way of life for many people especially those from higher income homes. The only way to make this fair is to offer some form of means-tested tuition including some free places – and this is the story of GT Scholars.

The GT Scholars programme is a not-for-profit after-school tutoring, mentoring and enrichment programme open to pupils in your school in Years 7 to 11. Pupils on the programme receive support from volunteer tutors from some of the top universities in London and volunteer mentors from top companies and organisations in London.

Parents pay means tested fees based on total household income and private tutoring fees range from £9 to £26. We use all 100% of our profits to ensure that 1 in 7 places are entirely free of charge to pupils from the lowest income groups. Our goal is to increase this to offer 1 in 3 free places by 2020.

The programme is entirely free of charge for schools to participate and we ensure that free places only go to young people from low income homes that have a genuine need for the programme.

If you work in a school in London and would like to know more about how the GT Scholars programme can benefit pupils in your school, contact us using the following link: www.gtscholars.org/contact-us

A Recap of our Careers day 2017: Work experience, Role models and Gamification

Our Impact Our story What's new? Work experience Young people

I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone that attended our annual careers day on Saturday 18th March 2017. We had a brilliant turnout and an inspirational panel. I believe that everyone gained something on the day and the feedback from parents and young people showed that it was a learning experience for everyone.

I’ve written this blog entry for anyone who would like a recap of the day or anyone who missed parts of the day. There was so much to gain but here are some of the most important messages that I gained from the day.

  • Get some work experience to help you decide:

    There were quite a few young people that didn’t feel sure of what they wanted to do as a future career and it would be quite hard for any 13 year old to know what they want to do with the rest of their lives and this is very rare. You may need to start by doing a lot of research on the type of careers that you might enjoy, how much money is good enough for you and what type of life you would live if you choose this career. The only way to know for sure is to gain some work experience or do an internship as this will get you as close as possible to the role that you are thinking of. Remember that work experience is just a ‘snapshot’ of the actual role so try to get as much work experience as you can of different roles or even the same role. Observe the people working in the role that you aspire to, ask questions and use this to help you narrow down your choices.                                                                                                                                     

  • Studying doesn’t have to be boring – You can make it fun:

    Exams and studying are two things that are unavoidable in pretty much every profession. Getting good grades in your academic and professional exams will create more possibilities and options for your future. One member of the panel mentioned that she had worked so hard to get into Cambridge only to discover that the studying didn’t end after University, she was expected to do professional exams within her profession. Likewise, another member of the panel, who didn’t go to university, still had to do professional exams to move forward in his current career. Everyone on the panel agreed that when you enjoy what you’re doing, it becomes easier and a lot less stressful. The panel also gave some examples of how to ‘gamify’ your learning and everyone agreed that this was probably the best way to approach your studies – make it fun.                                                                                                                                                               

  • Your talents aren’t limited:

    A huge misconception at school is that only a few people are gifted but this is entirely untrue. Human beings were not designed to fit into a box. We are multi-faceted and multi-talented. This means that you are an engineer and an artist, you can still get to work in IT and run businesses, you can be a teacher and a social entrepreneur, an investment banker and neuroscientist, a project manager that loves sports and is also an author, you can be a lawyer that writes and volunteers, a tech recruiter that has coached a women’s basketball team. You don’t have to do it all at the same time but you already have so many gifts and there are so many possibilities for your future.

     

  • Support from your parents can make a huge difference:

    It was interesting to hear how parents had had such a huge influence on the panel. Most people on the panel felt that their parents were their role models and this shows how much our children pick up from us. I was particularly moved by the member of the panel that explained how he failed his A-levels (more than once) and how this had a negative impact on his confidence, his relationship with his parents, his self-esteem and his motivation in life. It was also interesting to hear how his dad had to change his approach in order to build a better relationship with him. The person that failed his A-levels is now extremely successful for his age but this wouldn’t have happened if his parents hadn’t taken time to rethink their approach and support him in the right way. We all want our children to be happy and successful. Sometimes this means that we have to be the first to change if we want to see a change in them.

  • Never ever give up on yourself

    Tenacity and resilience are essential if you want to succeed. A couple of people on the panel spoke about being rejected for some time or dropping out of university or constantly being compared to their sibling before they finally got their first ‘break’ and everything picked up from there. I mentioned that when I feel like giving up I think of some of the most successful people and how they had to just keep going even after receiving their 100th rejection. Walt Disney was fired from one of his first jobs – he was told that he lacked imagination! JK Rowling spent five years writing Harry Potter books, she earned next to nothing during those years only for her to finish writing and be rejected by over 12 publishers! Tenacity and ‘bounce-back-ability’ are two things that you will need if you want to navigate through any career. Rejections are inevitable but whatever happens in life, whichever path you choose – Never ever ever give up on yourself.

     

  • Add value and the money will follow:

    Most people on the panel agreed that there were so many careers to choose from and it wasn’t necessarily a case of picking one career and then doing this for the rest of your life. What matters most was adding value in anything that you do and constantly thinking – what can I do to make a difference? What can I give? What skills, talents, gifts, strengths have I got? What will I enjoy? There were lots of examples of people on the panel that were working in roles that they hadn’t imagined when they were younger or creating technology that didn’t exist when they were at school. Ultimately, your communication, problem solving, team working, leadership skills and creativity are the most important skills. You may find yourself working in different countries, careers and industries but these are the things that would follow you for the rest of your life.

     

  • There is no point in being a starving artist:

    This wasn’t mentioned on Saturday but I thought it was important to add this as a final note. On Saturday, we had someone ask which jobs can help you make good money and the general response was that it depends on what you see as a good amount of money and also when it comes to your career – ‘It’s not all about the money’. Having said this, you still need to find a balance between how much you want to make and the career you choose. You may find a career that you love but you may have to stop because you aren’t being paid your worth. You may have to make a decision of not earning enough money in the first stage of your career with the goal of earning a lot more in the future eg. a career in music, acting, business, writing, sports or entertainment. The other problem is that some careers are hard to break into and this means that may not earn enough while you pursue your ‘art’ or ‘calling’. So my take on this is to talk to other people in that industry, make sure you get good grades at school as this will give you more options in the future, get a degree or another qualification, get as much experience as possible, be outstanding at what you do, think both short and long term and have a backup career plan. It’s not all about the money but it would be wrong for anyone to tell you to pursue your dreams without being realistic about your earnings.

Once again I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone that joined us at our annual careers day. Don’t forget to subscribe to ‘In the know’ our Friday newsletter for parents, where you can stay up to date on work experience opportunities, summer schemes, top-tier apprenticeships and university scholarships for your child. Also, If you enjoyed reading this post, why not forward it to someone else?

Find out how we are able to provide free private tutoring to young people from low income homes

Find out how we are able to provide free private tutoring to young people from low income homes

Narrowing the gap Social mobility University Volunteers What's new?

Research from Sutton Trust’s shows that 42% of students in London have paid for private tutoring at some point in their academic careers. In addition to this, privately educated pupils are more than twice as likely to have received tutoring at some point in their academic lives compared to state educated pupils.

Research from the Education Endowment Foundation shows that tutoring can accelerate learning by up to 5 months within a year.  So why aren’t more young people from lower income homes making use of tutors? The reality is that high quality tutoring is simply not affordable. The average rate for tutoring in London about £30 per hour.

When we launched GT Scholars one of the first things we noticed was that there were more online search enquiries for private tuition from families from higher income homes than those from lower income homes. This was initially surprising as we couldn’t understand why we weren’t getting many more enquiries from families from low income homes.

Despite our relatively low costs and our offer of free places, the programme seemed to attract more people from higher income homes.It took us a while for us to see that many of our target market – parents of young people from lower income homes – were not looking for private home tutoring.

Their families were less likely to look for a tutor because tutoring can be expensive and from a parent’s point of view, particularly parents with a relatively low income – private tutoring was seen as risky especially if you don’t have the money or the right network to help you find or afford the right tutor.

When we discussed the search for a private tutor – many explained that they had stopped looking for a tutor because they believed there was no such thing as affordable private tutoring. It’s hard to justify paying a private tutor £40 per hour if you only earn £10/hour. We realised that many parents from lower income homes often saw private tutoring as a luxury that they just could not afford.

On the other hand, parents from wealthier homes, even those that that were already paying for private schools, saw private tutoring an essential part of learning that they cannot afford to miss out on.

Most people would agree that young people from low income homes should be able to access additional support through after-school tutoring – if they need it.

Over the past few years, we have found that that the best way to reach young people from low income homes is to reach them directly through their schools and offer free or low cost workshops and courses for parents to access additional support.

This gives parents a chance to meet us in person and understand some of the benefits of the programme and access support through our short courses and workshops when needed. We also encourage parents to sign up to our weekly newsletter ‘In the know’ which gives parents an idea of activities and opportunities that are available to their child.

There is no denying that private tutoring is here to stay. It’s a booming industry and becoming a way of life for many people especially those from higher income homes. The only way to make this fair is to offer some form of means-tested tuition including some free places – and this is the story of GT Scholars.

The GT Scholars programme is a not-for-profit after-school tutoring, mentoring and enrichment programme open to pupils in your school in Years 7 to 11. Pupils on the programme receive support from volunteer tutors from some of the top universities in London and volunteer mentors from top companies and organisations in London.

Parents pay means tested fees based on total household income and private tutoring fees range from £9 to £26. We use all 100% of our profits to ensure that at least 1 in 7 places are entirely free of charge to pupils from the lowest income groups. The majority of our pupils are from low income homes with household income under £25,000. We are currently using our social enterprise to provide 1 free place for every 6 paying pupils. Our goal is to be able to offer 1 in 3 free places by 2020.

The programme is entirely free of charge for schools to participate and we ensure that free places only go to young people from low income homes that have a genuine need for the programme.

If you work in a school in London and would like to know more about how the GT Scholars programme can benefit pupils in your school, contact us using the following link: www.gtscholars.org/contact-us

Do Apprenticeships Perpetuate a Two-Tier System?

Do Apprenticeships Perpetuate a Two-Tier System?

Narrowing the gap Research Social mobility University

A report has shown that doubts over the value of a university degree means that 4 out of 5 parents would prefer their child to pursue a form of apprenticeship over a university education. But GT Scholars wonders if it is this attitude towards higher-education that has helped strengthen the UK’s two-tier education system?

Raised university fees and the scrapping of the bursary will most likely have a negatively impact social mobility

With parental pressure towards vocational training, as well as fears over taking out large student loans, it’s no surprise that official figures suggest that poor teenagers are almost half as likely to go on to university than richer classmates. It’s likely that this means many gifted and talented children from less wealthy families are put off applying to university because of their socio-economic situation.

This is in stark contrast to parents from wealthier families who aren’t just more encouraging towards their children’s higher-education ambitions, but they are more likely to spend money on private tuition to help them gain access to the best colleges and universities. These parents have often taken on student debt themselves, have positive experiences of university and understand the value of a degree.

Graduates have traditionally earned more than their non-graduate peers

Scepticism over the value of a degree isn’t uncommon, but a recent study revealed that the majority of graduates are more likely to be in work and earn more than non-graduates. It also found that ten years after finishing university, graduates earned an average of over 25% more than non-graduates of the same age.

Although financial worries are a reality that aren’t going to disappear, nobody should feel like they don’t have access to higher-education because of their socio-economic background. It’s this unfortunate attitude that has helped to create a two-tier education system with students from poorer families less likely to pursue degrees – but the rise of degree-apprenticeships could help change this.

Degree-apprenticeships may be the solution

Degree apprenticeships allow students to do paid work at an accredited company, but also study for a management-related degree alongside it. Many high-profile firms across the UK, including M&S, Nestle, Rolls-Royce and Barclays, have signed up for the government backed scheme.

A student doing a degree-apprenticeship with Nestle spoke glowingly about the opportunity, “I find it incredible that at 21, compared to my friends who did go to uni, I’ll have not only a degree but also a professional status.”

Another student that made the decision to take up a degree apprenticeship because she was worried about getting into debt, saying “It was a worrying thought that I would be paying that off for the rest of my working life…The apprenticeship sounded a better option.”

With Government pledging to create 3 million degree-apprenticeships by 2020, this could be the change that sees working-class students have equal access to higher-education and finally puts an end to two-tier education.

At GT Scholars we believe that everybody should have access to the education that they want, no matter their background. That’s why we charge means-tested fees, to ensure that young people from lower income homes can access our programmes. To find out more about how we support young people through our courses, workshops and programmes, register your interest by visiting www.gtscholars.org/register-your-interest

Busting 4 Common Concerns About Private Tuition

Busting 4 Common Concerns About Private Tuition

Growth mindset Narrowing the gap Parents Private tuition Private tutors Social mobility What's new? Young people

Parents are becoming increasingly concerned widespread cuts to our education system, so it’s no surprise that reports are showing that more children than ever are using private tutors.

Headteachers have warned that this boom in private tuition isn’t just causing the market to spiral out of control, but could negatively children. But at GT Scholars we wondered how relevant their concerns are:

  1.     Private Tuition is Extending the Gap Between Rich and Poor Children

Previously a private tutor was considered something that purely for affluent middle-class families, but the recent explosion in after-school tuition is actual down to families with a more modest income.

Growing fears that gifted and talented children are not being challenged at school mean that parents on low incomes and ethnic minority families are making significant sacrifices so that their children have access to private tuition.

If anything the use of private tutors could give underprivileged children a better chance to gain equal footing. There have now been calls for means-tested assistance for tuition as this could prove beneficial to everyone involved.

  1.    Private Tuition Can Actually Harm Children’s Confidence

Many headteachers have come out against private tuition by insisting that extra studying, particularly using a home tutor, can actually put a dent in a child’s confidence as well as put increased pressure on them.

But it would seem that students, particularly those with a growth mindset, actually find that time spent with a private tutor has actually increased their confidence – with many going on to achieve higher grades than they were predicted.

  1.    Tutoring Cost Are Starting to Spiral Out of Control

Many headteachers are claiming that because home tuition is an unregulated industry the prices will skyrocket as demand the service increases.

It’s true that prices at more high-end tutoring services such as Holland Park Tuition have risen to as much as £58 an hour, but most private tutors are more affordable.

The Good School Guide advises that the average cost of a private tutor per hour was £40, with some private tutors starting their prices at just £15 per hour.

  1.   State Schools Are Perfectly Able to Offer Extra Tuition

Some headteachers are concerned that some private tutors could be taking advantage of parents that are concerned for their children’s education.

They’re particularly worried that less-affluent families are spending money they don’t have, when most schools have access to a “pupil premium” that can be used to help fund extra one-to-one tuition for deprived pupils.

However, parents have found it difficult to arrange this extra tuition and many headteachers have admitted that schools cannot always give children the individually tailored help that they need. Overall it would seem that while headteachers’ fears aren’t entirely unfounded, worries that the private-tuition industry has spiralled out of control may be premature.

The GT Scholars programme works with young people from a range of backgrounds helping them gain excellent grades at school, get into top universities and enter competitive careers.

We charge means-tested fees to ensure that young people from lower income homes can access our programmes. To find out more about how we support young people through our courses, workshops and programmes, visit www.gtscholars.org.

Seven ways to improve yourself academically

Seven ways to improve yourself academically

Growth mindset Improving attainment Private tuition Private tutors Resources Social mobility What's new? Young people

Many students will find themselves underachieving academically at some point. Studying for a qualification or degree was never meant to be easy. If you’re looking to improve yourself academically then below are seven ways, which might help.

  1. Positive attitude

Poor results can trigger a number of things. From depression to feeling defeated, it can be hard to look on the bright side. Adopting a positive mental attitude beats most challenges in life. Going into that exam for example, with a can-do attitude will go a long way to achieving the results you want.

  1. Where are you falling short?

Take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Address those areas where you’re struggling and set out a plan on how you can improve. Look at your grades over the last few months and try to find patterns. Do you have one subject that is always a problem? You may already have an idea yourself, but by writing things down you’ll be able to see more clearly.

  1. Ask questions

Never be afraid to ask questions if there is something you don’t understand. Asking questions is something we’re all taught to do at a young age. Teachers and parents are there to help you, and their assistance shouldn’t be overlooked or ignored if you need clarification on something.

  1. Improve your writing skills

Not everyone possesses proficient writing skills, and some may struggle with the ability to construct sentences. It can be frustrating if you know what you want to say but are unable to get it onto paper. Understanding what makes up a good essay-writing technique will do wonders. Techniques such as writing a great opening paragraph, grammar and proofreading are all important skills to have.

  1. Don’t procrastinate

This is a problem for most people, not just students. Sometimes it can be hard to focus on a particular task if there are too many distractions. By procrastinating you’re only delaying the inevitable, the work is still going to be there waiting. A good way to beat procrastination is to set yourself small goals. When these goals are achieved reward yourself.

  1. Time management

At the start of the academic year you’re going to know when assignments need to be handed in or when the exams are. Plan your time efficiently and whatever you do don’t leave everything until the last minute. The best way to address time management is to create work calendar. This should list dates and times of exams, etc. You can also use it to break down revision times for each subject. Make sure to plan in time for yourself.

  1. Private tuition

Finally there is the option of private tuition or after-school tuition. If you still find yourself struggling, then a private tutor may be able to help you improve your grades for a difficult subject. A little bit of extra tuition might just be what you need to give you that final push towards the end goal.

If you would like to register for the GT scholars programme you can do so here.

 

Are students becoming too reliant on private tutors?

Are students becoming too reliant on private tutors?

Growth mindset Improving attainment Private tuition Private tutors What's new? Young people

There are many reasons why hiring a private tutor might seem like a good idea for your children.

If they’re genuinely struggling in a subject then they can provide them with the support and guidance they need to improve results. Below are five reasons why things parents can do to ensure that their children do not become too reliant on private tutors.

1. Build your child’s confidence

As a parent, hiring a private tutor can send a message to your child that they’re unable to excel by themselves. This could dent their confidence especially if the tutor doesn’t work in a style that builds their confidence. Children build confidence by finding out ways to solve the problem on their own. You can still help them by pointing them in the direction of useful resources and finding a tutoring programme that supports them to do this.

2. Help your child become an independent learner

This might include creating study guides or notes on where to find certain reference materials. In order to become successful at university level for example, students need to develop their own level of independence and be able to think for themselves. A good private tutor should be able to help prioritize your child’s time and work in a manner that helps him or her fully understand how to work independently.

3. Help your child take accountability

Part of being a student is taking accountability for your actions. With a private tutor helping your child any successful marks could be interpreted the wrong way. This will make them feel that the good marks are a direct result of the help, which you paid for. Equally, if the results are poor then they’re likely to be under the illusion that the tutor didn’t educate them well enough to be able to pass.

4. Help your child develop time management skills

Time management is a life skill, which is crucial for success. Children must understand about proper planning and how to stay focused. By teaching your children proper time management, they’ll have more time to make educated decisions about their learning. It will also help them to reduce stress.

5. Motivate your child to succeed

A lot of pressure is placed on children to do well and achieve success. In order for them to cope with the workload they need to be motivated. Setting goals can be a great way to motivate them and help them to excel in their chosen subjects.

GT Scholars is a social enterprise that provides courses, workshops and a year ­round programme for young people aged 11-­16. We provide them with the skills and strategies they need to achieve their aspirations. One of our core goals is to help our students become independent learners. If you’re interested in private tuition or interested in one our courses, then get in touch with us here.

Why run free enrichment events for young people from low income homes?

Why run free enrichment events for young people from low income homes?

Our story

Every so often people will ask us why we run free events. Why put so much effort, time and funding into our events? Why offer free food?! The information we share at our events is truly invaluable. So why not charge parents for these events?!

And my answer is because when I was younger some of the free events that I went to were the events that ended up changing my life. I’m not sure I would have gone to these events if they weren’t free.

I grew up in a single parent household with a mum that worked extremely hard to make sure that my brother and I were relatively comfortable. I never felt that we lacked anything but I definitely wish we’d spent more time together as a family.

One thing I do recall was that I was quite ambitious. I wanted to do well but there was so much self-doubt. I remember being so confused during my A-levels. There wasn’t anyone to talk to about careers or university and even when you did talk about it – the advice wasn’t particularly helpful. I got really overwhelmed the amount of work I had to do and by my second year of A-levels, I had pretty much given up on myself.

A poster changed my life

I remember walking down the hall in my school when I was about 17 and seeing a poster for a residential course for girls interested in Engineering. It was a one-week residential and it was free. I liked the idea of going away for a week and learning about engineering. It was a career that I had considered but didn’t know much about.  So I got the details and convinced my mum to book me on the course.

The one week residential literally changed my life. The course didn’t teach me Maths or English or Science. It gave me courage, confidence and self-belief. The course opened me up to the possibility of what my life could be.

I remember coming back from the one-week residential finally realising that maybe it wasn’t too late for me – I could still do this.  I didn’t have much time left to the exams and I’d hardly done any revision all year but I worked my socks off and managed to get decent A-levels.

I ended up going to the University of Nottingham to study Civil Engineering. I then did a Masters in Engineering and even got sponsored by an engineering company in my final year. It was a brilliant experience and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

After working as an engineer, I eventually changed careers and did a PGCE in Mathematics Education at the University of Cambridge…but I always wondered what would have happened if I hadn’t noticed that poster on the wall? What would have happened if the poster had said £350? Would I have mentioned it to my mum?

We run our events free of charge and we provide bursaries because we want all young people to be able to have access our events and our year-round programme, regardless of their household income.

Talent exists everywhere – in state schools, independent schools, low income homes and higer income homes. The most important thing to us is that every young person or parent that wants to join the programme or come to one of our events can choose to do so based on their willingness rather than their financial situation.

To find out more about our programmes, visit www.gtscholars.org/our-courses

 

What would happen if your child embraced a growth mindset?

What would happen if your child embraced a growth mindset?

Growth mindset What's new?

Dr Carol Dweck is a Stanford professor and one of the world’s leading researchers on motivation. Her research on growth mindsets and fixed mindsets has had a profound impact on The GT Scholars Programme and what we do as an organisation. So what is a growth mindset and a fixed mindset?

Having a fixed mindset means that you believe that your abilities and your talent is fixed and innate.

People with a fixed minset believe that you were either born smart, average or not-so-smart. They often believe that genius amounts of talent must be natural and can’t be developed. They believe that some people are simply not good at Maths and that you’re either gifted in learning foreign languages or you’re just no good at it.

Unfortunately, far too many adults have a fixed mindset when tackling problems and too many children grow up with a fixed mindset especially in schools where setting and streaming is the norm.

For students in the middle set in Science it is easy to believe that they are just ‘average’ in science and they will never move on to study science at university and they will never be a scientist because they were simply not born wih the gift of smartness – at least not in Science.

Having a growth mindset means that you approach problems and challenges with a totally different attitude.

A growth mindset means that you believe that most challenges or problems can be solved with the right approach. You understand that your abilities are not fixed and you can learn how to solve the problem or challenge. You also understand that the process of learning may involve some form of failure.

Children with a growth mindset are more patient with themselves. They understand that when you’re learning to walk, you will probably fall down at some point but this doesn’t mean that you will never learn to walk. Likewise when learning a musical instrument or trying to get an A* in science, they appreciate that they will have to overcome some challenges before reaching the ultimate goal of success.

Young people with a growth mindset understand that their intelligence is not fixed. They understand that you can always learn and improve, they push through failure to reach their success and this is why they are less likely to give up on themselves.

Research has shown that children that children that embrace a growth mindset put more effort into their work. They have greater resilience, they have greater self-discipline and they naturally develop higher academic aspirations.

In addition to this, years of research has shown that children that fully adopt a growth mindset show significant improvements in their academic attainment simply by understanding that their intelligence is not fixed.

So back to the question – What would happen if your child adopted a growth mindset?

To find out more about GT Scholars and how we help young people adopt a growth mindset approach, meet with us at one of our information sessions or taster enrichment events open to parents and young people living in London boroughs.