Meet one of our Volunteer Mentors – Sophie Germain

Meet one of our Volunteer Mentors – Sophie Germain

Private tuition Private tutors Volunteers What's new?

Who are the volunteer mentors of GT Scholars? Every once in a while we conduct an interview with one of our amazing volunteers so we can introduce them to you and share the good work they have been doing. Our volunteers form a crucial part of GT Scholars and their charitable deeds never goes unnoticed. We spoke to the lovely Sophie Germain to find out her views on social mobility and what she enjoys most about volunteering with GT Scholars.

Could you tell us about what led you to volunteering as a mentor with GT Scholars??
I try to explore a different area each year and I felt that volunteering with teenagers is one of the demographics I have not worked with before. I wanted to do something that was accessible to a lot of people and that was not limited to only a certain area you live in, the school you go to etc.

What are some of your opinions about social mobility?
In London, a perceived good area and a not so good area can be found in a commutable distance from one another. There are a lot of things to see and do and a lot is available for free. Perhaps in smaller towns, this mix is harder to find. Also once you’ve passed the stage of institutional education and you’ve started your career you are less likely to be type-casted based on where you went to school and it’s more about your experience. I went to a state school and some of my friends were in private schools but both groups have ended up in equivalent positions. Sometimes if you have a plan and you are dedicated to it, it is easier to achieve a particular goal if you have access to the correct information and the right people around you. However, there are certain historical and cultural issues that are still at play today that puts up barriers for some people. For example, an issue like the gender pay gap review due to male dominated boardrooms and industries. Balancing this will take a long time and to do it in a way that is fairer.

How did you come to this conclusion?
London has quite a high diversity level and when I was growing up it was common for children to socialise with other children who have a very different background to their own. In regards to gender, changes in attitude need to come from men and women. Including better grounds for the way children are raised and not pigeonholing them based on aspects such as gender. It also requires being open-minded in recruiting positions to not focus on gender, race, economic background, social circles etc.

What would you tell someone who is considering volunteering with GT Scholars?
It is a well-operated volunteer programme so I would recommend people to get involved. You get the chance to share new ideas and methods of learning with a young person who can benefit from it. It is nice to hear the dreams of a young person and help them to access the tools that they need to achieve them.

What do you enjoy the most about being a volunteer at GT Scholars? Well, it is early days for me because I have only done two terms so far. I would like to get more involved in the open days. But I would say that I enjoyed giving my mentees a positive outlook on what can be achieved. For some people, teenage years can be quite difficult to go through. I tell my mentees about the different perspective of other people and prepare them to have the skills to deal with other people’s opinions and encourage them to be focused.

What is your message or advice to young people of today?

I would suggest that they try as many new things as they can whilst they are young. This helps to build up experience, meet different people and get familiar with what they like and dislike. I would also advise not to become overburdened with things and take the time to learn what brings them inner peace, as I think it is an important part of getting to know oneself. Don’t be overly judgemental and learn how to maintain a healthy balanced lifestyle.

As a Kingston University graduate, I can apply the skills that I’ve learned and I can also share the passion of what the core company is. I study philosophy in my spare time and enjoy staying fit.

Sophie enjoys her professional career as it falls in her line of interest and previous studies. She works for AEG Europe as an analyst in the live sports and music industry. Her company offers a Giving Back Day to employees for volunteering.

GT Scholars is a social enterprise that provides tutoring, mentoring and enrichment to young people from a range of backgrounds. To find out more about our volunteering opportunities, please get in touch with us.

Think you don’t need maths tutoring? Think again!

Think you don’t need maths tutoring? Think again!

Growth mindset Post 16 Private tuition University What's new? Young people

Imagine for a moment that you are sitting in a restaurant. A waiter walks over to your table to take your order, “One double cheeseburger, a medium chips and a regular coke, please”, the waiter jots down the order and reads it back to you, you nod, satisfied and he walks off. As you sit there waiting for your food, the restaurant starts to fill up, a family of four take the table to your left. A young couple is guided to a table directly in front of you. There is a group of ladies; celebrating a bachelorette party, fourteen in total guided to a collection of tables lined up in the centre of the room.

More people come and a few leave as you sit there an hour later and still no food. You notice that the young couple, sitting opposite from you, is staring lovingly into each other’s eyes over two orders of delicious looking ribs and mashed potatoes. You look at the table with the bachelorette and her posse, where one of the ladies is making a toast as the others enjoy an array of starters.

You look to the family of four, study their frowns, their “plateless” table and think to yourself at least you are not alone; they too, are victims of this appalling service. At least that is until your waiter arrives at their table, their orders on a tray. Fuming now, you wait until they are served and then call your waiter over to your table. “What in the world is going on, where is my food?” you demand. The waiter looks at you as if you are crazy, absolutely bonkers, “What are you talking about sir, the chef is starting on your order as we speak?”

“Starting, he is only starting!” You shout, shocked by the complete disregard for you, the casual dismissiveness of your waiter’s answer and the outright injustice of it all. “I’ve been here for over an hour, most of the people you have served came after me, I was first and yet they get their food before me…” “So what?” your waiter says, cutting you off mid-sentence. Of course, you can’t believe what he just said; you are at a loss for words. Your waiter looks toward three of his colleagues approaching, trays overloaded with soft drinks, ten double cheeseburgers and eighteen medium packets of chips

Your waiter smiles, “Here comes your order sir,” he tells you. “This is not my order,” you say as the three waiters carrying the trays begin to offload on your table. “What do you mean sir?” Your waiter seems genuinely surprised, “Did you not order, double cheeseburgers, medium chips and cokes.” “I ordered one double cheeseburger, one medium chips and one regular coke, not this mess.”  You are yelling now, beyond boiling point. “But sir, what difference does it make, whether we serve you first or last, two cheeseburgers or ten?” Your waiter asks sincerely, “Are you not the one who said, you do not need math?” You just sit there, unable to speak. “Oh yes, and this meal will cost you two hundred and thirty-seven thousand pounds. Now is that going to be cash or card?”

Ok, I admit that this is a bit extreme, or is it? Shakuntala Devi once wrote: “Without mathematics, there’s nothing you can do. Everything around you is mathematics. Everything around you is numbers.”

I want you to ask yourself, what do you want for your future? Do you hope to own a house someday, own a car? Well, those come with payments like taxes, mortgage, and insurance and you will need math to calculate those or risk paying too much, two hundred and thirty-seven thousand pounds for a cheeseburger as an example.

How about your career of choice? Math is needed for almost every single profession in the world. If you want to be a biologist, archaeologist, an attorney or work as a cashier at Tesco, it is without a doubt that numbers will be part and parcel of the job. Basically, you will never be able to live without math so accept it and try to make learning math fun.

A friend once told me, “I want to be a photographer, what do I need to know about calculus or trigonometry?” Well, that is quite simple actually, a photographer will need to calculate the depth of field, determine the correct film speed, shutter speed, aperture, and exposure, and so much more.

Do you like playing video games, Playstation, Xbox, Wii, and others? Do you have a few killer ideas that you just know will make great games? If so, guess what? Math is a necessity. Aspiring video game programmers will need to study trigonometry, physics, and calculus.

As a boy, I had dreams of becoming an astronaut, “to go where no man has gone before.” If that’s you, then consider this, astronauts use maths in order to make precise mathematical calculations, from how the spacecraft leaves Earth’s atmosphere to how the astronauts pilot the craft. So no math, no Captain Kirk.

Math is a necessity and when considering the uses and benefits thereof there are a number of reasons to learn math:

  • Develop your “lifelong learning” skills:  Asking others for help, looking stuff up, learning to deeply focus on tasks, being organized, etc.
  • Develop your work ethic:  Not making excuses, not blaming others, not being lazy, being on time, not giving up so easily, etc.  This is more important for “success” than raw IQ. There is no shortcut.
  • Get better at learning complicated things.  You are less afraid of complex ideas and classes.
  • Develop pride & confidence in your ability to understand complicated things.  This is not fake self-esteem, but one that is earned.
  • Certain careers in science, health, technology, and engineering require serious Math skills.

Studies suggest that intelligent & motivated people are generally more interesting and happier. Your frontal lobe is not done developing until the age of  25-27. The more things you can learn before reaching that age, the more things you can learn over your lifetime. A survey concluded that 20% to 40% of college freshmen take remedial courses.  Do you want to retake high school courses in college, or do you want to take real college classes?

If you need assistance with Maths or English, sign up for GT Scholars flagship programme, GT Scholars Academic  Programme. This programme not only has tutoring in Maths or English, but also provides skill-building, enrichment and mentoring.  Keep a lookout for our enrichment days and our skill-building workshops by signing up to our newsletter.

Meet one of our volunteer Maths tutors – Janet Cheney

Meet one of our volunteer Maths tutors – Janet Cheney

Private tuition Private tutors Volunteers What's new?

Our volunteers are truly exceptional people that are passionate about making a difference in education and doing their part in improving social mobility. We would like you to get to know who they are and what they do at GT Scholars, so every few weeks we conduct an interview with one of them. Here is the most recent interview with one of our volunteer tutors, Janet Cheney.

  1. Why did you decide to volunteer your time with GT Scholars?
    I have been tutoring for about 5 years and I am currently in the process of partly relocating from London to South Devon. This will restrict my regular 1-to-1 tutoring sessions in London. I was pleased when I discovered the online volunteer tutoring opportunity at GT Scholars. Tutoring has become very expensive and I loved the idea of combining my love for teaching maths and physics and helping students from low-income backgrounds.
  2. Tell me a little bit about you and what got you to where you are today?
    I completed my BSc (First Class Hons) in Mathematics and Astrophysics and also did my PhD in Astronomy at Queen Mary College, University of London.

    I spent most of my professional career operating at senior level. I have 15 years experience working in key management roles.  In particular, I was IT project manager for BT’s London Code Change Project which involved changing all the telephone numbers in London due to a shortage of codes.

    After 15 Years working on a senior management level, I decided upon an early retirement to spend more time with my family. This was when I began to volunteer my time tutoring within various non-profit organisations.
  3. How important has support been in getting you to where you are today?
    When I was growing up there was not a lot of role models for women. My family was very supportive and I was privileged enough to have had role models within my family. My school was also very supportive.  I was the first in my family to have gone to university.  I’ve always appreciated that I was able to have done so as I was not oblivious to the fact that not all young people were as privileged as I was. I think my dream to study astronomy has motivated me in working hard at maths and physics as I knew knowledge of these subjects were necessary to reach my goal. I am glad I can share my knowledge and help other young people with similar dreams.
  4. Why do you think tutoring is valuable to young people?
    I believe it is the individual attention a young person receives when he has a tutor. Mathematics is an important subject because it can open a lot of opportunities. Often teachers can’t reach all the students’ needs at an individual level as not all the students need help in the same areas. I think a tutor fills that gap. Tutoring can also be a great help for exam preparations and spending that extra quality time with the student on subject areas that they have difficulty with.  I also think that a tutor can be useful when it comes to discussing time management when taking an exam. Especially in mathematics, there are often ways to find faster methods to solve problems.
  5. What part of the volunteering process have you found the most fulfilling?
    I think the most fulfilling part of the volunteering process is to bear witness to the improvement of a young person who really struggled with a  subject. As the tutor, you knew first hand where the difficult areas were and how much the student has improved.

Janet is a good listener with great subject knowledge. She believes that this is what helps her to be a better tutor: ‘If you have a good understanding of who your student is, you will have a better idea of how to approach tutoring that student.’ Janet spends her spare time studying butterflies using catch and release methods as she has a true passion for science and nature.

GT Scholars is a social enterprise that provides tutoring, mentoring and enrichment to young people from a range of backgrounds. To find out more about our volunteering opportunities, please get in touch with us

In the Know – Half Term Enrichment Ideas

In the Know – Half Term Enrichment Ideas

In The Know Private tuition What's new?

We have found some fun activities for your child to get wrapped up in. Now is the perfect time to learn something new and what better time to do it than during this half term!  You should definitely consider letting your child join in on the fun, which these awesome events have to offer. Who said learning can’t be fun?

Dr Johnson’s House
For an interesting and rather offbeat outing, go and visit Dr Johnson’s House, this is also the place where he compiled the very first comprehensive English dictionary. Join in for an evening of fun and games. Your child can also explore the rooms after dark searching for hidden objects, match up words to their definitions and learn about 18th century medicine. Find out more about this event here. Tickets are £6 and £2.50 for children.

Banknotes and Bullion
On the 27th of October 2017 catch a tube on the Bank line and head off to the Bank of England Museum. Give lifting a real 13kg gold bar a try and get the load down on the history of bank notes. Your child will also get to hear about the scary urban legend of a ghost nun that haunts the Bank of England. If you feel brave then don’t miss out on wandering about the museum after-hours. Find out more about this event here.

National Maritime Museum
A visit to the National Maritime Museum on October 30th, 2017 is a must! The Museum has been taken over by ghosts and ghouls with a space twist. From ghost hunts to alien oceans and a makeshift Seastar science station, your child is guaranteed to have fun. There will be prizes to be won for the most out of this world costume. Read more about this event here.

The GT Scholars programme is always on the lookout for fun-filled educational activities for your child. Look out for more details on our upcoming workshops on our website and social media pages. You can also contact us or give us a call on 02088168066 to find out more about our brilliant mentoring programme.

An Interview With Our Founder, Temi Kamson

Our Impact Our story Private tuition What's new?

If you ever wondered about the story behind GT Scholars and how it was founded, then watch this interview with our founder, Temi Kamson.

Temi has a Masters in Civil Engineering from the University of Nottingham and a PGCE in Mathematics Education from the University of Cambridge. Having worked in state and independent schools, she set up the GT Scholars Programme with the goal of helping ambitious young people achieve their full potential, regardless of their socio-economic background. In this video, she also talks about her personal experience with the education system, why scholars enrol in our programme, what scholars will gain from the programme, and what makes our scholars successful.

If you prefer you can read the full interview below:

Why did you start GT Scholars?

I started GT Scholars based on my own personal experience of growing up in South London. I grew up in a single parent home, grew up in council housing and went through the state school system. I remember one of my teachers from primary school, Miss Bickersteth, telling me ‘’Temi, you can be anything you want to be.’’ That statement was so powerful that it stayed with me for the rest of my life, it is still with me today. There were so many times that I wanted to give up but I was really fortunate enough, especially towards the end of my school years to have right opportunities come along at the right time, and that really helped me. It really supported me in those final years when I was thinking about university but not thinking I was good enough. I was really lucky, I went off to university, I studied engineering but later on, I decided to retrain and become a teacher in the hopes that I could give back and make a difference in someone else’s life.

It was while I was teaching, working with young people, that I really wanted to inspire them and raise their aspirations. What I realised while I was teaching was quite profound. Many of the young people that I worked with were already really ambitious. They wanted to do well; they wanted to get good grades at the end of school. But many of them they just didn’t feel confident, they didn’t feel that they had the ability within them. These beliefs were so deeply ingrained that many of them thought that even if they did their very best; the best they would ever be able to achieve was a C-grade. Some of them felt that they did not have the right background and that certain opportunities were only available for the privileged few. After some time, I realised that young people needed more than just good teachers. They needed people to support them in terms of seeing the opportunities available to them and supporting them to make the most of these opportunities.

Why do young people join GT Scholars?

So at the moment in England, only about 1 in 3 young people from low-income homes, are able to leave school with 5 GCSE’s or above and this is, of course, actually quite disheartening.  There are many young people who would love to achieve better grades by the end of school, access top universities get into competitive careers but often what happens is that they genuinely have no idea how to do this. The saddest part is that many of them are so full of self-doubt that they don’t even believe that they are capable of achieving this.

What do young people gain from GT Scholars?

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. We run after-school courses, workshops and programmes for young people, particularly young people from low-income homes. Our goal is to give them the support they need so they can achieve their academic and career potential. Scholars on our programme receive academic support through tutoring. They also receive coaching or mentoring from undergraduates, graduates and professionals from top universities and leading organisations. Our scholars also get to take part in enrichment activities such as visits to the city, visits to universities and the aim of that is to help them understand the opportunities that are available to them. We also run skill building days, again, with the aim to help them and support them so they know how to make the most of these opportunities.

What makes your scholars successful?

Over the past few years, we’ve had support from organisations such as Charities Aid Foundation, School For Social Entrepreneurs and The Young Foundation. Our scholars that have been on the program have been able to move an average of 2 grade points in a year and we’ve even had some of our scholars move from a predicted D grade to achieving A-grade within a year of being on the programme. We are really proud of that.  What makes GT Scholars successful is the genuine belief that our tutors and mentors have in our scholars. They invest their time and energy supporting our scholars and building positive relationships with them. This, in turn, helps our scholars believe in themselves and that helps them realise their strengths and ultimately helps them improve their grades and career prospects. I know I wouldn’t be here today if not for the role models that supported me and believed in me when I was growing up. So if there is anything I have learned over the past through years it is that anyone can make a difference. An hour a week may seem so small, but those few hours could have such a positive influence on a young person’s life.

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise that provides tutoring, mentoring and enrichment that is designed to help young people aged 11-16 achieve their academic and career aspirations. Contact us if you would like to know more about the GT Scholars Programme and how you can join.

In The Know: Back to school with the big bang!

In The Know: Back to school with the big bang!

In The Know Private tuition What's new?

Summer is almost over and the new term is almost here. Going back to school can be an exciting or anxious time for young students given the shenanigans they would have been up to over summer. To help them get back their academic groove, here are some exciting activities they can participate in:

Young Geographer of the Year 2017: The Royal Geographic Society designed this competition to be a learning process to facilitate the exploration of processes, people and connections that define certain places. Students are encouraged to explore their favourite place, which can be a local football stadium, museum or holiday destination, through poster designs (KS2, KS3 and KS4) or a 1500 word essay (KS5). The competition has four categories and entries are accepted from all young people up to 18 years age.The deadline for all entries is 13 October. For more information, click here.

The Big Bang Competition: The Big Bang Fair runs this competition to showcase STEM projects created by young people between the ages of 11 and 18 years of age. It’s open to UK residents that are in full-time education. Projects must be completed before 30 October 2017 to be eligible and entries can be submitted online or at Big Bang Near Me Fairs. For more information, click here.

Young Writers Competition: Young Writers has a competition where aspiring young writers can participate by penning a 250 word or less ghost story. The all year competition is open to all young people that are 18 years of age or under and there are 2 categories for entry. To find out more about this opportunity, click here.

If your child is aged 11-16 and you’re interested in joining the tutoring, mentoring and enrichment programme, we’ve still got a few spaces left for young people that want to join GT Scholars this coming term. If you’re interested, you’ll need to register your interest here or give us a call on 02088168066

Should luck play a part in your child’s academic success?

Should luck play a part in your child’s academic success?

Growth mindset Parents Private tuition Private tutors What's new?

Luck is an attractive idea, as it means believing that your success was brought about by chance rather than through your own actions.

The problem with chance is that it is a misunderstood force that cannot be controlled or predicted. No one can tell or choose when you will be blessed with good luck or when you will be harmed by bad luck, and so it makes it a very unreliable factor.

On the other hand, choosing to rely on your own actions gives you control over the outcome and your future. Thus, if you decide to put in the hard work yourself and to persevere towards a goal, the outcome is more than likely to be successful.

Your child’s academic success is very important. It unlocks the potential of your child by providing the right knowledge and tools to achieve a certain goal or career path. Thus, a well nurtured and successful schooling career ensures a bright and prosperous future. Since academic success is of such great importance, it becomes clear that the last thing a parent should do is leave it to chance. So, here are a few ways that you can overrule luck and take control of and predict your child’s academic success:

  • Personally, monitor your child’s progress: It is important for you to personally keep track of your child’s academic success. A child in the UK spends only about 22% of their week in school. This means that more than three-quarters of their week is being spent at home with you. This shows that you have a far greater influence on your children than their teachers, and you should take an active role in their education, beyond just going to parent-teacher meetings and school functions. Set aside a specific time, daily or weekly, to ask them about their academics and how they are doing in school to keep yourself updated and involved. You can also check on their current school work and assignments regularly so that you can find out whether they are struggling with any subject or topic.
  • Support their aspirations and goals: Your child needs to have aspirations, dreams, goals and plans, whether they are academic or extracurricular. You should regularly ask them about these aspirations so that you can support and advise them. You can support them by making sure that they are doing what they need to do in order to achieve these goals, or you can provide them with extra help or classes. For example, if they want to be a scientist when they grow up, make sure that they are taking the appropriate science subjects in school, enrol them in scientific extracurricular clubs or activities, and provide them with access to helpful books and resources. You can also enlist the help of a mentor who has experience in the field that your child is aspiring to be part of, who will be able to provide educated advice and wise counsel so that they can make their dream a reality.
  • Support them if or when they fail: It is very likely that your child will not succeed in everything that they do in or out of school. Failure, after all, is always going to be part of life and your child should be taught that failure is not the end of the world. Therefore, as a parent, you need to make sure that you are supportive and understanding when your child fails. If you are too hard on them, it will develop a fear of failure which will discourage them from trying new things. Richard Branson, the famous founder of the Virgin Group, believes that the people that are generally considered more fortunate or luckier than others are usually also the ones that are prepared to take the greatest risks and to not be afraid of trying something new.
  • Praise them for every effort they make: Research done by Dr Carol Dweck, a leading researcher in the field of motivation and a Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, has shown that sometimes parents can negatively affect their child’s academic development by focusing too much on achievement, and not on the effort made to reach the goal. This will lead to a fixed mindset, where they will believe that they cannot improve their intelligence, character or creativity no matter the effort they make. On the other hand, if you praise them for the effort they put into reaching a goal, it forms a growth mindset, where they firmly believe that extra effort can make them more intelligent, and they will not be afraid of any challenge.
  • Nurture and encourage a good work ethic: It is important to teach your child about the importance of hard work and independent learning. This prevents slacking in school, and they will independently choose to succeed academically. You must make sure that they are doing their homework and assignments properly and on time. You can do this by keeping a record of their homework activity, removing distractions such as technology and social media if need be, and helping them to come up with a daily schedule so that they can manage their time effectively.
  • Enlist a tutor if needed: If you find that your child is struggling with a certain subject or falling behind in school, and it is beyond your expertise or help, it is best to provide them with a professional tutor. The tutor would able to provide knowledgeable assistance with the specific subject or problem since they are well-educated in their respective field. They will also provide personalized care for your child’s academic needs, using a uniquely tailored approach to help your child achieve success. Furthermore, since you are paying them directly, you can closely monitor if the tutor is making a significant positive difference in your child’s academic career or not.

As you can see, your child’s academic success should not just be left up to the teacher, and it definitely should not be left up to luck. You as a parent can really make a meaningful difference. By taking an active role and providing consistent help, your child will feel supported and able to succeed.

GT Scholars really believes in going beyond luck and putting in the hard work to achieve academic success. Our tutors and mentors are professional and well-informed in their respective study fields, and can provide the perfect assistance to your child’s academic needs. If you want to make sure that your child is set up for academic success, you should contact us for more information. We offer private tuition in Maths, Science and English and a mentorship programme. Register your interest here or give us a call on 02088168066.

In The Know: Are you nurturing a young Picasso?

In The Know: Are you nurturing a young Picasso?

Growth mindset In The Know Private tuition What's new?

Young artists usually find themselves without any channels to showcase their work or developing talent. Below, we have listed some programmes that cater for young artists and gives them a chance to further develop their skills.

Society of Wildlife Artists: This bursary awards up to £750 to successful applicants aged 16 and over to help develop their skills. Artists are urged to develop their skills by running special projects, proposing expeditions or getting help with their studies. Some previous award recipients have gone on to join the SWLA which has given them the opportunity to influence future projects that the charity engages in. For more information, click here.

Look and Learn Art: This monthly competition is open to all children from all over the world below the age of 18 and all submitted artwork must be an original idea or creation of the credited artist. Entries are accepted every month and are limited to one entry per child for each monthly competition. All art from children is posted in a permanent online gallery and winners receive personalised certificates and cash prizes. The theme for this month’s competition is Laughter and the closing date for the month’s entries is 7th July. For more information, click here.

National Open Art Competition: An art competition open to both young people and adults. To qualify entrants must live in the UK or Republic of Ireland and entries may comprise Paintings; Drawings; Original Prints (excluding children); Photography; Digitally produced artworks, Wall Hung Installations, Collage, miniatures (excluding children) and Moving Image. To enter the main competition young people must be 15 years of age by 1 September 2017 and to enter the Children’s competition, they must be 14 years of age or younger by 1st September. For the 15 years and over segment, artists can submit 4 entries and those aged 14 or less can submit up to 3 entries. For more information, click here.

If your child is aged 11-16 and you’re interested in joining the tutoring, mentoring and enrichment programme, we’ve still got a few spaces left for young people that want to join GT Scholars next term. If you’re interested, you’ll need to register your interest here or give us a call on 02088168066

In The Know: Gain Essential Leadership Skills!

In The Know: Gain Essential Leadership Skills!

Growth mindset In The Know Private tuition What's new?

This week’s newsletter is all about building leadership skills. Although the unemployment rate for youths between the ages of 16 to 24 is falling, research shows having education and relevant leadership skills, improves the chances of getting employed. With this in mind, we have listed some ways for young people to build their CVs and gain relevant work experience.

The Amos Bursary, Beyond Outstanding Student Leadership Conference 2017: This conference will discuss how a winning attitude can inspire, motivate and change your life. Attendees must be young men and women between the ages of 17 and 23. The conference presentations, guest speakers and panel discussions are designed to provide information, tools and techniques which can be used for personal growth and development. The conference will be held on the 15th of July and attendance is free. For more information, read here.

Industrial Cadets: Is a programme designed to give young people between the ages of 11-19 an insight into industry by connecting them with employers. This accredited experience will help you build your skills and knowledge through mentoring and structured activities. Activities include hands-on team challenges, site visits, presentations, interactive workshops and project work. For more information, read here.

Mentoring Programme with Young Engineer for Britain: This is open to all young people between the ages of 16 and 18. To qualify, you need to have a great STEM based idea, which can be school or exam coursework or an idea developed at home. Mentoring services are provided by scientists and engineers from the National Physical Laboratory in London. Applications to this competition open on the 10th of July and close on the 7th of October. For more information, read here.

The GT Scholars programme is an after-school programme for young people aged 11-16. Our goal is to help young people achieve excellent grades, especially in STEM fields. If you’d like to know more, register your interest in the programme, and we will be in touch: www.gtscholars.org/register-your-interest

7 Personal Qualities of a Good Tutor

7 Personal Qualities of a Good Tutor

Private tuition Private tutors Volunteer roles Volunteers What's new?

Tutors have risen in popularity over the past few years due to a growing need for personalised learning and the noticeable benefits of one-on-one teaching. According to a report done by a social mobility charity, Sutton Trust, the number of 11 to 16-year-olds in England and Wales who receive extra tuition rose from 18% in 2005 to 25% in 2016. In London, the figure is even higher at 42%. They also noted that this private tuition mostly benefitted students from high-income backgrounds, widening the gap between students from different backgrounds.

Many parents want to ensure that their child does not fall behind, while students want to have a tutor that can support them with the subject knowledge, guide them through the challenging topics, and ultimately help them finish the year with a grade that they can be proud of.

Additionally, it is evident that a  good quality tutor can be the difference between passing or failing at GCSE level, which can have a huge consequence on the student’s future. Therefore, a tutor needs to be good at what they do if they want to make a positive and lasting impact on a young person’s life.

Tutoring is not just about having the subject knowledge. One-on-one tutoring requires a certain amount of patience, adaptability and tenacity. Thus, it takes a special combination of personal qualities to be someone who can help a child to improve academically. So if you want to make sure that you have what it takes to be a good tutor, here are seven personal qualities that you should aim to improve:

  • Patience: Every student is different, and not all of them will grasp a concept easily or learn quickly. It is also most likely that the student that really needs tutoring is a student that is struggling. Thus, tutors need to be very patient. Since schools have larger classes, everyone is more or less taught at the same pace. On the other hand, tutors need to teach slowly and at a pace that the student is comfortable with – it is the main point of one-on-one tutoring. Tutors must not rush through course work or get visibly impatient with a student that is struggling. This will discourage the student from learning.

 

  • Expertise: A tutor needs to have a good understanding of the subject knowledge, but also needs to have the skills to teach it. They must be confident in their knowledge of the subject and be able to explain concepts easily. Good teaching skill is being able to take the subject knowledge and explaining it in such a way that the student understands it. This will include knowing where to start, being able to pace the work correctly, always checking that the child understands, being interactive, and simplifying difficult topics if need be. 

 

  • Adaptability: Tutors must be able to adapt themselves to every student that they work with. Since there is no universal formula, your approach must depend on the student’s individual need and the particular difficulties he or she experiences. Throughout the sessions, the tutor will have to keep track of the student’s progress and determine if you need to change your plan or approach if it is not working.

 

  • Energy: The student must be kept attentive to make sure that they are absorbing everything that they are being taught. This will need for the tutor to be energetic and enthusiastic. Tutoring sessions should not just be like classes at school. Tutors should be interactive, and make the coursework interesting to inspire active interest in the student so that they can do well and overcome the discouragement by school and his or her bad grades. Being energetic also motivates the student to aspire to do better.

 

  • Openness: Tutors need to be active listeners and demonstrate a level of openness that makes them approachable and accessible. Listening to the needs of the child will also help you to better understand the student’s situation so that you can come up with an effective plan. The tutor’s active involvement and openness will offer comforting support for a student in trouble and will make the student feel valued. Tutors can demonstrate openness by being visibly dedicated to making a difference in the student’s academics.

 

  • Maturity: Tutors need to display maturity to make them a good role model to their student and to make them trustworthy to the parents of the student. Parents will not trust their children with you if you are impolite, cannot pay attention, or talk about inappropriate things. It is important to note that maturity has nothing to do with your age, and everything to do with how you carry yourself. You cannot carry yourself around your student like they are your friend, no matter how easygoing and open the tutoring is.

 

  • Passion: Great tutors are passionate about the subject they teach and about making a difference in the student’s academic life. You need to love what you teach and show this passion by always being interested and eager. You want your students to feel that their success is important to you and that what you are teaching them is important. Passion should also be the main motivation for you to become a tutor, not money or experience.

Tutoring is important for a student’s academic development and success in their future. As you can see, tutors need to have a combination of the above good qualities to ensure that they are making an effective difference. The student is the focus and point of tutoring, and their needs to be met well.

The GT Scholars tutoring programme is designed to support young people with improving attainment in English, Maths and Science. Our volunteer tutors ensure that tutoring sessions are personalised and tailored to each student and that we give young people the support, skills and strategies that they need to achieve their ambitions. Contact us for more information about how to become a tutor with us and make a difference in a student’s life.