What makes a successful scholar – After-school tuition and revision classes? – Part 1

What makes a successful scholar – After-school tuition and revision classes? – Part 1

Narrowing the gap

Do revision classes and after-school tuition a successful scholar make? With so many challenges and changes facing the state school education system, it would be too easy to blame it all on poor teaching and poor leadership in schools.

However, there is more to it than meets the eye. A teacher recruitment crisis is causing schools to struggle with teacher recruitment and retention. We have schools struggling with low budgets, and headteachers have warned that their schools are struggling financially (updated March 2016). In addition, we have had so many reforms in the education system over the past few years, yet GCSE grades still need to catch up to the expected levels. 

Thankfully – all hope is not lost.

Many schools now offer after-school tutoring and revision classes to support GCSE students at risk of failing. 

Schools know that private tuition can be highly effective, and they know that not all parents can afford private home tutoring. Many secondary schools now have revision sessions around the clock, including lunchtime Maths tuition sessions, after-school science tuition sessions, English tuition classes during form time and last-minute Easter holiday booster classes for young people that are at risk of not achieving a C-grade.

The problem still persists.

You only have to look at independent schools to see that the state schools are seriously behind in their attainment. The University of Durham recently released a report confirming that students in independent schools, by age 16, were approximately two years ahead of their state school peers in all subjects. It’s unsurprising that 98% of independent school students achieve 5 A*-C grades at GCSE compared to only 51% of state school pupils. Data from the Department for Education 2013.

So what can we learn from independent schools? What are the things that independent schools are doing right that we can teach young people in state schools? Read part two to find out more.

Is private tutoring enough? : What makes a successful scholar (Part 2)

Is private tutoring enough? : What makes a successful scholar (Part 2)

Narrowing the gap

What are the top students doing differently? Are they taking an active role and receiving private tutoring, or are they taking a passive role in their education and simply hoping for better results? 

Independent schools get better results because the teachers are better, classrooms are smaller, or the students are generally more able’, especially in selective schools where students have had to sit an exam before entering the school.

Rather than focusing on what independent schools are doing right and what state schools are doing wrong, we should look at the attitudes and behaviours you would see in any student that aims to get A’s or A* grades. 

Others will say that independent school pupils are more likely to pay thousands of pounds for private tutoring, and parents are more likely to invest additional time in furthering their child’s education through extra-curricula activities and supported homework time, thereby giving them a more competitive advantage when compared to state school pupils.

But more is needed to explain why some state school students still go on to achieve top grades at GCSE or A-level despite having good to a relatively ‘poor’ school. It doesn’t explain why some top school students fail to get good grades.

When you look at many independent or state school pupils that achieve top grades at GCSE or A-level, you will see that they have similar attributes. You can read more about the character traits of a successful student here

Any young person’s success (or even an adult’s), regardless of their background, depends on a combination of self-motivation, strategy and support. These three things are hugely dependent on your environment.

Click here to read more about the self-motivation, strategy and support (part 3)

What makes a successful scholar – A culture of self-motivation, strategy and support (Part 3)

What makes a successful scholar – A culture of self-motivation, strategy and support (Part 3)

Narrowing the gap

Maths tutoring, English tutoring and Science tutoring are becoming more popular in schools. Many schools offer private home tutoring, after-school tutoring, and revision classes. Yet, poor attainment still needs to be improved for many state schools. However, we know that successful independent and state school pupils share common attributes. These behaviours and attitudes are the same attributes we foster in our scholars – Self-motivation, strategy and support.


It is important for all students to be motivated and consistently motivated. Many young people, just like adults, struggle to maintain their motivation. Self-motivation is something that many young people struggle with due to technology constantly providing a stream of distractions. Therefore, at GT Scholars we equip our scholars with the tools they need to stay intrinsically motivated throughout the year.


“Everybody needs somebody” For young people, that somebody could be a friend, a teacher, a parent, a coach or a mentor—someone who believes in you and helps you stay focused and motivated throughout the year. At GT Scholars, we create a support network for our scholars, and we encourage young people to build a support network outside of the programme so that they are always aware of who to turn to when they require help.


There is a lot of talk about young people lacking aspirations, but we know this isn’t true. Most young people have high aspirations but lack the support and strategies to achieve them.

If you lack strategy it can be difficult to remain motivated despite having support from parents. Therefore, having the right strategies is the key to achieving your goals.

The GT Scholars programme was created so that we could help young people realise their strengths and feel motivated to achieve their ambitions. We create a support system for scholars to feel confident about their abilities. We help our scholars set goals every year and devise strategies to realise their aspirations.

Sound like what you’re looking for? Ready to join the next intake? Click here to register your interest in the GT Scholars programme.