Why We Need More Personalised Learning At School

Why We Need More Personalised Learning At School

Educational inequality Improving academic attainment Narrowing the gap Parents What's new?

The concept of personalised learning is centred on providing a more tailored education programme for each learner. It starts by examining and understanding each learner’s needs and then it looks to provide the necessary and challenging educational opportunities to assist them in their learning and overall development. 

In more practical terms, personalised learning is based on the belief that all young people have the right to receive support and challenges that are tailored to meet their individual needs, abilities and interests. For this concept to prosper it needs commitment from the pupil, responsiveness from teachers and engagement from their parents or carers 

How does current learning at schools take place?
In most schools, pupils are taught the curriculum in a classroom setting where there is one teacher engaging with a number of pupils at the same time. On average, there are about 20 pupils in each classroom in the UK. In this classroom setting, the teacher shares the same information with the whole class and the class is then assessed on that information in the form of tests, assignments, group work, engagement and eventually exams. 

The above method has been and continues to be the current functioning method in most schools. However, this learning method can be problematic for many pupils for a number of reasons. These include:

  • Some pupils may be over-talkative or disruptive which makes it difficult for other learners to concentrate and to engage with the teacher and other pupils
  • Some pupils may be intimidated to speak in front of their peers which hinders their participation during the lesson
  • Some pupils may not be able to understand the way the teacher presents the information as everyone learns differently or may be afraid to ask the teacher for help
  • The teacher has to hold the attention of the entire classroom which can be difficult and this can lower the amount of teaching time

Personalised learning at schools is the solution to most, if not all, of these challenges as each learner would have individual attention and supervision from a teacher and which will allow them to easily learn and understand topics.

Benefits of personalised learning

  • Increased engagement from pupil – This method of learning ensures that each pupil engages for longer which means they will spend more time learning and taking in the information being taught to them. Their engagement can also be further ignited by the pupil taking an active role in choosing their learning methods such as choosing the font and colours that they want to use, choosing the specific subject topics they want to study and the manner in which they wish to study. 
  • Increased motivation – Increased engagement results in increased motivation for the learner to choose a learning path that best suits them, making them much more invested in their studies. This is an important factor because unmotivated learners are known to be disruptive in class and missing important information which results in overall poor performance. Motivated learners, on the other hand, are known to focus and perform better in class.
  • Less time wasted – Teachers only have a specific amount of time to teach each subject topic, while pupils learn and take in information at different rates. Personalised learning can make the most use out of the pupil’s time by either getting straight to the point during a lesson or allowing more time for a teacher to go over any topics that a pupil struggles with. This method allows for teachers to assess the educational needs of a pupil before the course even begins, so as to avoid the traditional way of reading large chunks of information they may already be familiar with before they can begin with the course.
  • Better understanding and better results – A personalised learning system encourages pupils to share their individual concerns and ask for assistance on topics they may not understand without feeling intimidated by other pupils. This will strengthen their ability to handle any tasks the teacher gives to them to do which guarantees better results from the learner. In addition, pupils will complete tasks not just because they have to pass but because they actually understand the information and instructions provided.
  • Learning on your own time – The personalised learning method is much more flexible which allows pupils to take their learning wherever they go. This allows pupils to be in a comfortable environment when learning and it enables them to focus, learn for a longer time and absorb more learning material than they would in a traditional classroom setting.
  • The school also wins – The impact of personalised learning in schools is that of improved academic results, a superior learning culture and more efficient allocation of teaching resources. 

Although personalised learning is the most effective way to learn at schools, it needs more financial support and resources to be able to be implemented at all schools. It can also be difficult to ensure that schools meet their targets in terms of time management and ensuring that all pupils are taught all the information in their curriculum by the end of each year.

However, personalised learning methods can still be implemented through after-school programmes such as private and one-to-one tutoring. GT Scholars runs after-school programmes that include one-to-one tutoring in Maths or English for young people between the ages of 11 to 16. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.

The True Cost of Private Tutoring, Mentoring, and Enrichment: How we are able to reduce this cost

The True Cost of Private Tutoring, Mentoring, and Enrichment: How we are able to reduce this cost

Educational inequality Exams & Revision Improving academic attainment Parents What's new?

Why does tutoring, mentoring and enrichment matter? 
Research from the Education Endowment Foundation shows that private tutoring can accelerate learning by up to 5 months within a year. Mentoring and enrichment add further value as it is able to provide young people with the right strategies and tools to reach their career aspirations and personal development goals.

What are the barriers? 
However, many young people from low-income homes are not able to access these valuable services due to financial constraints. The reality is that high-quality private tutoring, mentoring, and enrichment programmes are simply not affordable. This means that young people from low-income homes are not able to achieve the same as their peers from higher-income homes. The Education Policy Institute reported that just 1 in 10 pupils from low-income homes in England were able to achieve top grades in GCSE Maths in 2018, with similar results for English.

How much does this cost?
In London, the average costs of these programmes per term are:

  • Tutoring for 12 hours x £40/hour = £480
  • Mentoring for 6 hours x £60/hour = £360
  • Enrichment for 3 days x £120/day = £360
  • Residential enrichment for 5 days x £200/day = £1,000
  • Coding workshops for 1 day = £190

This means that if you want to access a full programme of academic and mentoring support which includes private tutoring, mentoring and enrichment, it will cost you £1,200 per term! This, of course, is far too expensive for most parents.

How are we tackling this? 
GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise, so our goal is to provide high-quality private tutoring, mentoring and enrichment programmes that ensure that ambitious young people have the support they need to achieve their full potential in life, regardless of their background.

We do this by working with DBS checked volunteer tutors and mentors who are dedicated to helping young people to achieve their aspirations.

Our goal is to ensure that ambitious young people from all backgrounds can access our high-quality learning and development programmes and this we charge means-tested fees which range from £9-£26 per hour.

Our means-tested fee model
By using a means-tested fee model, parents from low-income homes can enrol their child in one of our programmes at a substantially reduced cost. And for parents from relatively middle-income homes, paying full fees, the cost of the programme is still considerably less than what they would pay elsewhere.

Making a difference
We’re passionate about social mobility and we know that even at a reduced cost, some parents will simply not be able to afford this due to huge financial constraints. This is why we provide a limited number of free places for young people on Free School Meals. This is all done through our existing funding from previous terms but also thanks to funding from a range of organisations who are also passionate about improving social mobility for young people from low-income homes.

The GT Scholars Programme is a not-for-profit social enterprise that tackles educational inequality and improves social mobility by helping young people aged 11-18 gain access to selective universities and competitive careers. Our tutoring, mentoring and enrichment programmes are designed to give young people the support, skills and strategies they need to achieve their ambitions. Contact us to find out more.

 

Why equality in education and private tutoring is a realistic and worthwhile pursuit

Why equality in education and private tutoring is a realistic and worthwhile pursuit

Educational inequality Improving academic attainment Narrowing the gap Social mobility Volunteers What's new?

Imagine a world where every student is able to reach their full academic potential,  it would be an incredibly amazing world. A good education is one of the most important keys to achieve success in life. A population that is educated is needed for a prosperous nation.  Education develops foundation skills such as reading, writing and numeracy, which are essential for further learning. Ideally, all students all over the world should be learning in small classes, under the direction of dedicated, skilled and motivated teachers.  But the reality of the world is quite different.

Even the most democratic countries in the world do not provide equal education. The unfortunate truth is that money gives a student access to a  better-quality education. Students from financially stable and secure backgrounds have access to top-notch schools with state of the art laboratories, libraries and technology. Students from a disadvantaged background are left at the mercy of state schools. Even the very best state school cannot compete with the lowest ranking private school. State school classrooms are more often than not overcrowded and manned by overburdened, overwhelmed and stressed educators who must deal with bureaucracy and poor teaching environments. Even the brightest and most motivated students battle to achieve their full potential in these circumstances.  In many of these situations, students who need extra support are likely to fail and eventually drop out of school. The future is bleak for these kids who will either end up doing lowly paid, menial jobs or worst- case scenario, end up in a life of crime with the cycle continuing when they have their own children one day.

The negative impact educational inequality has does not stop at the students. It sets off a chain reaction of events.

Inflated costs to society
Failure to provide equal access to educational opportunities imposes inflated costs on society. A poorly educated population limits a country’s capability to produce, grow and innovate. It damages social cohesion and enforces additional costs on public budgets to deal with the consequences such as higher spending on public health and social support and greater criminality. The study found that students who have enriching school experiences will be more likely to pursue further education and successfully transition into the labour market.

Increases National Interest
Giving more students access to better education can increase national interest.  Students that receive quality education gain better reasoning intelligence and learn to form their own conclusions from facts that they are given. Educated people work towards the common good of the country and understands the importance thereof and works towards protecting the national interest.

‘’The children of today are the future of tomorrow’’
With more and more children gaining access to better schooling they also become well-cultured.  Good schooling can motivate and provide for higher quality education. If someone can learn to be a good student, they will learn to be good citizens one day. Imagine if we could measure the loss we’ve endured as the human race due to exceptionally talented students who could not reach their full potential because of educational inequality. What could they have possibly invented or contributed to society?

A nation that works together
It is possible to improve educational equality as a nation. Everyone can contribute to making equal education for all a reality. Governments can manage school choice to avoid segregation and increased inequities. They could also develop an incentive system to make disadvantaged students attracted to high-quality schools. Governments can also find a way to improve the access that disadvantaged families’ have to information about schools and give them the necessary support to help them make informed choices. To ensure equity and quality, the government can also promise  access to quality, early-childhood education.  The main focus should be to recruit and support good teachers. Teacher education is vital to ensure that teachers receive the requisite skills and knowledge to do their best. Creating mentoring programmes for novice teachers and developing supportive working environment will help retain good teachers.

It is not only up to the government to promote educational equality. It is just as much the communities responsibility to uplift the youth to ensure a better future awaits them. Communities members should become more involved in mentoring the children in their community. Local business, community and political leaders can play a key role in providing recreational and tutorial support to encourage learners to study rather than to become involved in anti-social activities.  They can also give financial support to improve school facilities.

Teachers also play an important role in promoting educational equality.  A good teacher can be a great influence on a student. A teacher can inspire, educate and motivate learners to give their best. However disadvantaged schools are not fertile grounds to bring out the best in a teacher. It is therefore important for teachers in these schools to come together with government support, to create a platform to motivate and help each other give their best.

Early intervention from a young age is needed to prevent educational equality gaps from widening. Whilst achieving educational equality may elude some governments, there are some organizations and social enterprises which have picked up the baton to close the gaps in educational inequality.  Society, therefore, has a moral obligation to make sure that all children receive equal access to education to give them the vital skills needed to become contributing adults in society. Educational equality ensures that all learners irrespective of their race, religion, gender and socio-economic standing have access to the same learning resources and educational opportunities.

GT scholars provides high-quality individualised tuition by tutors who are passionate about academic success. They match students with mentors who can assist them to set and achieve academic, career and personal development goals. They also run enrichment programmes to help build confidence and make students aware of the academic and career opportunities available to them. These programmes are provided at a low price or free of charge to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. The aim of these programmes is to address educational inequality by giving children, particularly those from lower-income households, the strategies, skills and support required to achieve their academic and career goals. To find out more about GT Scholars, register your interest here or give us a call on 020 881 68066.

7 Gifts and Talents You May Not Realise Your Child Has

7 Gifts and Talents You May Not Realise Your Child Has

Growth mindset Improving academic attainment Private tutoring What's new?

Sometimes we get so focused on the measurements of talent and success – high grades, participation in sports, winning competitions – that we can forget our children already possess a number of natural gifts and talents that will help them succeed in life and the world of work.

GT Scholars works with young people to help them achieve their potential, and this also means identifying the talents children already have and helping them to realise how gifted they are.

So, what are some of the natural gifts and talents of young children that you as a parent can nurture now to support their future success in the world of work and life in general?

1. Adaptability

In an ever changing and fast paced world, adaptability is a vital talent for children to have and develop. It doesn’t necessarily have to be about dealing with adversity, but helping them to develop a good understanding that things change, sometimes unexpectedly, and it’s important to continue working to their best ability regardless.

2. Perseverance

Sometimes things don’t go as we plan, and it’s important not to let these things stop us from achieving our goals. Children have a tendency to bounce back quickly from setbacks, and this is a really positive natural gift of theirs. Continuing to teach children to embrace their setbacks as opportunities to grow and develop helps them build the mindset of perseverance to get on in life and work.

3. Honesty

Children are naturally honest and open with how they engage with the world, and at some point they start to lose this – possibly due to a fear of failure or letting people important to them down. Keep encouraging your children to be honest in proactive ways will help them to build the positive communication skills around their efforts and abilities that employers look for.

4. Enthusiasm

Someone who can talk positively about themselves, why they want to do something and who gets excited about doing new things and taking on new challenges always stands out from the crowd. Children are naturally enthusiastic about most things, so keep encouraging this, especially when it comes to embracing new situations.

5. Inquisitive

Taking an interest, asking questions, and having positive opinions all fall under this umbrella – and is another natural gift most children have! By encouraging children to be inquisitive, it also helps them build their communication skills and confidence around idea sharing – all things employers love!

6. Teamwork

Children like engaging with each other, learning about each other and supporting each other. Team work is something that comes pretty naturally to children and is easy to encourage – through team projects, team sports or just nurturing their natural urge to work with their fellow peers.

7. Entrepreneurship

Children have innate creativity and ideas that they love to work on – through play, or other creative pursuits. Believe it or not this can easily develop into entrepreneurial skills, and encouraging them to pursue their ideas and asking them questions (think ‘why’, ‘what’ and ‘how’ questions to help develop their thinking) will help this gift bloom.

 

This list is not exhaustive, and I’m sure the more you engage with your children, the more you’ll start to recognise the talents and gifts they already have, and that you can encourage them to keep developing.

The GT Scholars programme aims to help young people develop an intrinsic motivation for learning. We teach young people how to become better learners so that they can attain excellent grades across all subjects.

Why not subscribe to ‘In the know’? This is our weekly newsletter for parents. You’ll get updates on events and academic and career opportunities for 11-16 year olds. Click here to subscribe: www.gtscholars.org/contact-us

 

Are students becoming too reliant on private tutors?

Are students becoming too reliant on private tutors?

Growth mindset Improving academic attainment Narrowing the gap Parents Private tutoring What's new?

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.