As part of the scholar spotlight series, we interviewed a parent of one of the scholars on our Bright Ambitions programme. Please listen to the audio clip above for the full interview. You can also find the transcript below.
How did you find out about GT Scholars?
We found out about GT Scholars because we were looking for originally a tutoring programme for my daughter. We saw GT Scholars advertised, I asked around, no one had heard about it and on a day trip to Croydon, we saw some signs and some posters. It looked fabulous. I went to contact the Head of the programme, had a long discussion about it, just to discover their ethos and their mindset about tutoring and enhancing children’s capabilities, and I really liked the programme. We went for an interview, it was a nice interview and not only did they interview us, we interviewed them actually and we were quite pleased and that is how we started. And that was about 4 years ago we have come up to.
Why did you choose GT Scholars over any other programmes that you could have gone for?
I looked around quite widely and I decided to go with GT Scholars for a few main reasons. Firstly I like the ethos. It has a holistic approach to developing a child, not just focused on the academic grades, just building confidence and resilience. And also, I was quite concerned about the mental challenges and the mental aspects of learning today. The way GT Scholars approach learning and developing is quite a nice approach and it’s an approach I really welcomed.
What difference have you seen in your daughter after she joined the programme?
The impact of the programme I’ve seen on my child is that prior to the programme, I think stress was beginning to manifest itself in just delivering grades, grades, grades, and obviously I as a parent was trying to tell my child that it’s just not about the grades even though the grades are really important, it’s about developing everything. Obviously, the children of today don’t really want to listen to just the parents only.
During the programme, basically, you just hear the same messages that each parent is trying to instil in their child coming from a variety of different voices. So you have the tutor saying the same thing, you have the mentor, you the enrichment, they say the same thing and actually slowly but surely, it started to sink in.
How it manifested itself or the impact it gave on my child was that I could see confidence building. Slowly but surely she was actually replaying the same messages that she was hearing from all of these various areas back to me. Her grades were improving, slowly but surely she was looking forward to her sessions, where I at the beginning definitely saw fear but now it was, it was sort of excitement. And she looked forward to the enrichment days because I always went with her, I hung around outside, I attended some enrichment days. And towards the end, she was hoping, actually, that I didn’t sit in with her. That was also a positive sign.
What has your experience been with the organisation as a whole?
So I feel as a parent I also get support from the GT Scholars programme. There’s the official feedback sessions you have at the end of the term, which you can, a member of the GT Scholars will phone you and have a discussion with you or you can write your feedback in. I think that’s really worthwhile and that just gives you the sort of official line to see whether your child is progressing.
In between that, you also have administrative help from the GT Scholars team, actually probably every fortnight I hear from a member of the GT Scholars team, who will ask you how the program is going, is there anything you need to do, what are you looking for, have your goals been achieved or have they been met, would you like to attend the next term, again what your goals, so I feel that it’s more of a family, again, a holistic approach to developing my child which I am really supportive of. I wouldn’t like to attend a tutoring programme where they just took my money and said right we’ve given you, we’ve taught your child academically, thank you very much, get on with it. I find that the GT Scholars approach supports the parents and the child as well.
What would you say to a parent thinking of signing up for a GT Scholars programme?
To a parent who is thinking of signing up to GT Scholars, I would say, please just do it. It’s really beneficial. The mentoring, tutoring, the support you get is second to none and you’re not going to get that anywhere else. I have researched extensively. It helps your child‘s development at any stage. Near exams, you can focus on the exams itself. Pre-exams you can just help develop your child. It’s beneficial, you have nothing to lose really by joining GT Scholars programme.
Do you have any final thoughts that you would like to include?
I’ve looked into tutoring, all of the aspects of tutoring, tutoring itself is really expensive, mentoring is expensive, enrichment days, are for me, extortionately expensive. GT Scholars is a much more cost-effective way of developing your child and that’s why I would thoroughly recommend the programme.
GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. We run after-school and weekend programmes that help young people achieve their academic and career aspirations. Our programmes include tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-18. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.