12 Tips for Volunteer Tutors joining one of our online tutoring programmes

12 Tips for Volunteer Tutors joining one of our online tutoring programmes

Online volunteering Private tutoring Volunteer tutors Volunteers

Volunteering as an online tutor with GT Scholars can be a great and rewarding experience for both the tutor and the tutee. Whether you are an experienced online tutor with GT Scholars or just getting started, we’ve put together some great tips to ensure your tutoring sessions kick off smoothly. These tips will help you make your sessions impactful, and allow you to build a great relationship with your tutee and their parents:

Contact the parent within 48hrs 

The first thing you’ll need to do when receiving the contact details for your tutee is to contact the tutee’s parents within 48hours to introduce yourself and to set up the first tutoring session. Try not to delay the introduction call, because the programme is time sensitive and the sooner you set up your first session the better. Your first session will be your planning session and you’ll get a chance to discuss academic goals and expectations with your tutee’s parents. During this meeting, parents will also share some key information about their child which will be useful throughout the tutoring process.

Schedule regular sessions

When scheduling your tutoring sessions, consider keeping your sessions on the same weekday and at the same time in order to create a routine, ultimately deciding on dates and times that works best for you and your tutee. You will have 10 sessions throughout the term. If you can’t make a weekly session or your tutee has notified you in advance that they won’t be available, then sessions can be made up for by having 2 sessions the week prior, after that week or extend the next two sessions by 30min to to make up for the missed session. Try to keep your sessions regular and consistent to set a good structure with some flexibility.  

Always have video interaction

Amongst the most important parts of building a relationship with someone is being able to see them. You will be meeting with your tutee for the first time and putting a face to a name can help you establish a connection and also translate tone over the phone. Video calls also help by keeping the sessions fun and interactive. There are many benefits to video interaction such as teaching complex or visual subjects like Maths. Video sessions will create a great platform where it will be easier to have feedback and assist your tutee.

Never arrange tutoring sessions directly with your tutee

When making arrangements for sessions, remember to always contact the parents and never arrange sessions with the tutee directly. You could set up a 3-way WhatsApp group for you, the parent and the tutee, so that communication is clear and everybody is on board with the arrangement and schedule. If the parent insists on contacting their child directly, please notify us and we can talk to the parent about this.

Use the start of term assessment material to guide your sessions

At the start of the term, your tutee will receive a start of term assessment. You’ll receive the same assessment including the mark scheme for this assessment to review your tutee’s work. Ideally, your tutee should complete the start of term assessment before your first tutoring session, so you have a good starting point to work from but you can also complete the assessment together during your first session and assign some questions as homework to review at your next tutoring session. In your first online tutoring session, ask the tutee questions about their learning style, and see if you can adapt your session to match their needs.  

Try to be consistent with your tutoring schedule 

Keeping your sessions regular and consistent will help to build a structure for both you and your tutee. Try to always stick to the schedule but also keep in mind that being flexible in how you approach your role as a volunteer tutor may be the key to a smooth working relationship.  Be mindful of the fact that students come from many different backgrounds and cultures, so you would want to avoid making assumptions or generalizations about students and their experiences. 

Know when to make up for missed sessions 

Any sessions that were cancelled from your side should be made up. If your tutee can’t make a session and has notified you in advance, the session can be rescheduled. Any last minute cancellations by the parent i.e on the previous day or the day will count as a missed session. If a tutee does not show up for a session, it will also count as a missed session.  Please let us know as soon as possible if the tutee continues to miss sessions or postpone sessions. We have an 80% attendance policy and ideally, sessions should not run over the end of term date. 

Use the resources section

After the initial start of term assessment, you’ll have a good starting point to create the ultimate tutoring plan. Take note of your tutee’s learning style and also ask your tutee if there is anything specific that he/she is struggling with and would like your help with. Knowing what your tutee’s needs are will really help you in planning your sessions and make them impactful. You can make use of the resource section and the Learning Directory to keep your sessions interesting and engaging.

Be prepared

Before you start your sessions you may want to take some time to read through the tutor handbook. This handbook provides all the information you’ll need to guide you through the tutoring process and if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us at any time. 

Complete your progress planner after each session

Throughout the term and after each session you can use the Pupil Progress Planner to make notes that can be used to refer back to. Please keep track of the date and times of the sessions, the number of sessions, and if there were any missed sessions. You will also be able to use these notes at a later stage in order to give proper feedback and track the progress that was made throughout the term.

End of term report 

The end term report will enable us to monitor the effectiveness of the tutoring programme. Aim to identify the tutee’s key strengths and areas that they will need extra help with. Your feedback will be valuable to your tutee and the parents and it will give them a birds eye view of what progress was made and what areas need to be focussed on. Keep in mind that your feedback will be important to your tutee and will also be a source of encouragement to the tutee.

Remember, we are here to help you 

We have a fantastic support team who is on standby to help you if you experience any problems or need assistance during the term. Our programme manager will be in touch with you during the duration of the term, to check in with you and to make sure your sessions are running smoothly. But please do get in touch if there’s anything you’d like to discuss with us in between the check-in calls.

An interview with one of our scholars Priscilla

An interview with one of our scholars Priscilla

Online volunteering Post 16 Private tutoring Scholar spotlight What's new? Young people

Please tell me a little bit more about yourself?
My name is Priscilla, I’m 16 years old. I like swimming and I was part of a competitive swimming team for two years. I have a passion for swimming and therefore, I decided to take a rookie life-guard course so that I can apply for a part-time role as a life-guard with an indoor swimming facility. My favorite subjects is English & History and in the future I would like to become a lawyer.

Why did you decide on law?
My parents work in the NHS, so when I was younger, I wanted to become a doctor. I then realised that I wasn’t that good in science, but that I had a keen interest and passion for English. I love debating and I love talking and speaking out, so law was just something that caught my attention. I also love reading & investigating which forms part of the law sector. I’m definitely looking into attending one of the Russell Group Universities. My dream is to go to Harvard, Oxford or Cambridge – any one of the top universities would be great to get into.

Why did you decide to join GT Scholars?
My mum did some research and came across GT Scholars. She told me about it and we went to a workshop, I found it interesting and it met my needs. For me having online tutoring sessions was also easier. The whole programme seemed interesting and it was also cheaper than the tuition that we were paying for at the time.

When you decided to join GT Scholars, did you have any special goals that you wanted to achieve? 
Yes, so when I first started I focused on Maths because my Maths grades were really low. I wanted to pay extra attention to Maths and I wanted to be able to at least get an A grade for Maths at GCSE level. I feel like I managed to achieve my goal in the mock exam earlier this year. I didn’t have a chance to write my GCSE Maths exam because of the GCSE’s that was cancelled, but in the mock exam, I have really improved. I ended up getting a grade 7, which is all because of GT Scholars and my maths tutor.

Your second term with GT Scholars you decided on focusing on English instead of Maths; how did that go?
My tutor Michael really helped me a lot and he made me think about the questions and answering them in a different way, which really ended up helping me during my exam. Because I really enjoy English, it was very nice to talk to someone who is also passionate about English to help develop my reading skills. I started off with a grade 6 and I ended up getting a grade 8 in English.

What positive impact did the programme have on you? 
The programme really helped me with setting up my study time. Before joining the programme I would procrastinate when it came to working. I  found that I didn’t really have an interest in doing work, but because of GT Scholars and getting homework regularly, I had that one hour a week to focus, so it was really good in terms of keeping up with my studies.

What was your favorite part of the programme?
My favorite part of the programme was the enrichment and skill building days that I got to go to. The Dragon’s Den was my favorite workshop. I got to meet new people and learn new skills, so it was definitely my favorite part of the programme.

Did you learn anything new about yourself while being on the GT Scholars programme?
I learned without a push from the tutors always supporting and checking in with me, I wouldn’t really be studying as much as I would’ve before joining the GT Scholars Programme. I feel like when I have someone by my side always encouraging me and checking up on me, it works out better for me.

And now that you are moving on to A levels –  will you be applying things that you have learned during the programme to your future studies? And what will that be?
Yes, less procrastination. I’m definitely going to make a revision timetable. I’ll also revise any work that I’ll do on a daily basis. Coming back home and reviewing the work and making flashcards so that I know that at the end of the term I don’t have to be stressed out, because I have my flashcards already prepared and ready to start my revision studies.

Do you have any advice for a young person that is considering to join the GT Scholars programmes?
My advice to them would be to have an open mind and to have a growth mindset because the programme is online. The environment will be different and it might be easy to get distracted, but if you approach it with an open mind and be willing to build a good relationship with your tutor, it will really help with the learning process. Then also remember that if you ever get stuck contact your tutor because they’re always willing to help.

What was the most helpful thing that your tutor taught you or helped you with?
I had two different relationships with my tutors because the subjects were completely different. Martin was my maths tutor and he was very understanding because he recently did his GCSE’s, and he could easily relate to me and explain things to me in a clear way. The one thing that I learned from Martin, was to not have an “I can’t do it” mindset. He really pushed me, even if I didn’t know how to approach a question he would always push me to be able to answer the question myself because he knew that I could do it. Michael was my English tutor and he had a lot of experience within the schools and education systems. He taught me to be confident with my answers and taught me to always read my answers back to myself, even when I think that I’m finished,  there is always something to add or improve on what I’ve written. He definitely taught me about self-confidence and using my imagination in creative writing.

Your tutors helped you develop a growth mindset and having self-confidence – When approaching a challenge do you approach it with a growth mindset and self-confidence?
Yes, and not only on an academic level but also in my day to day life. When I was swimming, I felt that I wanted to give up and I would remind myself that I can do it. Nowadays there are a lot of things I would do when before I wouldn’t have imagined that I could do it. When approaching something new I feel I can do it if I just put my mind to it. I also combine a growth mindset with self-confidence which my English tutor has taught me.

Is there anything you would like to say to your tutors that supported you on the programme?
I would just like to thank them for everything that they did because it is clearly evident that the programme made a positive impact on my Maths and English grades. I managed to go up two grades in both subjects which is what I wanted to achieve, and I would like to thank them for their time and dedication. They were really supportive, really nice, friendly people and from the first session, I felt like I clicked with them. So I would like to thank them for everything they have done for me!

One-to-one Online Tutoring is growing in popularity – and it’s showing no signs of slowing down

One-to-one Online Tutoring is growing in popularity – and it’s showing no signs of slowing down

Parents Private tutoring Research What's new?

In recent years, the demand for private tutoring has grown at a phenomenal rate. The many challenges facing the traditional education system have deemed a proactive approach from stakeholders outside the system. According to an article in The Guardian regarding an increase in the number of children receiving private tuition,  almost a quarter of students in the United Kingdom received some form of private tutoring in 2016. This is a sharp increase from the 2005 statistic of only nine percent. Mathematics and English rank as the most requested subjects for private tutoring followed by the Sciences. These facts prove without a doubt that private tutoring is here to stay and for good reason.  

The average teacher-to-pupil ratio in the public schooling sector is roughly 1:16. In the global context this seems reasonable, but when taking into consideration that each child is unique in their learning style, it becomes less desirable. Many parents are coming to the realisation that more is needed to supplement their child’s understanding of the concepts learnt in the classrooms. Possible reasons for this include:

Enrichment
Many parents recognize that their child is capable of achieving goals and understanding concepts far above the expected level of education that forms part of the school curriculum. Every parent wants their child to reach their full potential. Private tutoring is one way to equip young people to reach their full potential. It allows for learning to occur at the pace and preference of the student while taking into consideration the students individual strengths and weaknesses. For students who are particularly gifted, it is better to challenge their appetite for education through private tuition. This can aid the personal growth of a student and place them at an advantage for higher learning opportunities.

Preparation for exams
A recent study concluded that around 38% of students reported having received private tutoring for the GCSE exam, while around 18% of students reported that they have found it necessary to receive private tutoring for the grammar school entrance exams.  Schools are expected to teach content but the responsibility of exam preparation falls primarily on the shoulders of the student. Preparing for exams is a daunting task on its own. Students have to deal with stress, time pressure and expectations from parents and schools alike. It is also a time where a formidable understanding of the examinable content needs to be solidified. The necessity for private tutoring becomes apparent in terms of providing much-needed support to students. It allows students to ask questions, revise content and attempt examination questions with the assistance of a reliable tutor who has a firm grasp of the content and the manner in which it is examined. A private tutor can provide educational support such as exam technique or study tips and much needed reassurance during this usually stressful time.

Remedial
In most cases, students require more time to fully grapple with and understand a concept. A private tutoring session can give a student additional time to engage with the content in a meaningful way. Again, the pace, strengths and weaknesses of the student can be more appropriately catered for by a private tutor. A private tutor can be a useful resource for motivating and challenging a struggling student to accomplish goals in a personalised environment.

Everyone is different
Students are all individuals, especially when it comes to their learning methods. There is a range of learning techniques that are ignored by the traditional schooling system in order to make learning mainstream. This means that the majority of students are missing out on the opportunity to reach their full academic potential. Private tutoring places your child at the centre of the learning process. Your child becomes more than just a statistic for the School Board, but rather the recipient of a valuable education process that can propel them towards a successful future.  Private tutoring has the potential to improve a student’s performance for this particular reason.

Benefit for parents
Private tutoring can also be a great help to busy parents with demanding schedules. The responsibility of assisting your child with homework and preparation for assessments can be managed by the private tutor. This is an advantage for your child as a tutor is better qualified to provide a conducive and productive learning environment. It also relieves some of the demands placed on a parent’s timetable allowing for more family quality time.

Monitoring progress
The traditional schooling system provides limited progress reports that are often not detailed enough to adequately monitor a student’s educational and personal development. Private tutors can provide continuous analysis of the progress of a student. This allows parents to mitigate not just educational problems that might arise, but also behavioural and personal issues that a student may be facing.  This also places parents in the best position to participate in the growth of their child.

Personal growth
Private tutoring can boost young people’s marks which can, in turn, increase a student’s self-confidence. This can also create a lifelong love and appreciation for education, rather than a disdain for it. Personal responsibility is also heavily emphasized during the private tutoring experience. Through the help of a private tutor, a student is able to recognise the value of being dedicated to one’s work. The benefits of which are higher test scores. This can be the springboard for personal motivation and growth.

If you believe, like Benjamin Franklin did, that “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest”, then private tutoring is a worthwhile investment for any student. Private tuition is increasing in popularity, not because parents see value in tutoring, but rather that they see value in their child. It is in the interest of ensuring that their children extract the fullest potential from their educational journey that has seen a sharp incline in private tutoring nationwide.

GT Scholars is a non-profit organisation that believes that education goes beyond the classroom. If this article has inspired you to join the growing number of parents that are choosing private tutoring, then register your interest the GT Scholars programme. The programme offers tutoring in Mathematics and English and will give young people aged 11-16 the best opportunity for educational success.

 

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

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

Growth mindset Post 16 Private tutoring 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.

Ways you or a tutor can help your child excel without being pushy

Ways you or a tutor can help your child excel without being pushy

Parents Private tutoring What's new?

As parents, carers and teachers, we all know and understand that children have different mindsets, learning abilities and motivation levels which we need to consider and support when it comes to education. It is very important that we do this without demanding too much of them. Nowadays it is thought that 5 good GCSE’s are required to give your child access to a good university, and providing your child an edge is considered by many as the answer.

Most parents will admit that they have been pushy at some point or another. Some might confess that despite their best efforts they’ve seen no change in their child’s behaviour or attitude towards a certain matter.  Being pushy generally leads to negative attitudes, rebellion and puts the child under enormous pressure and lowers self-esteem. Demanding extra hours of study when a child is tired or pushing for extra study time over weekends are both examples of being over demanding. Another example is insisting that homework is done on a Friday afternoon, especially after your child had a long and challenging week at school.  A rested brain will be able to take in more information, whereas an over-tired brain will not be able to take in any more information due to information overload.

Parenting does not come with a textbook, especially considering no two children are ever the same. Parents must often rely on trial and error to establish which methods are the most effective when it comes to communicating effectively with their children.  

We have a few ideas that you might want to consider if you would like to give your child a bit of extra motivation to excel in whatever they take on.

 

Knowing your child’s intelligence:
Dr Howard Gardner, a professor of education at Harvard University, developed a theory called ‘Multiple Intelligence”.  His theory suggests that there are 9 different types of intelligence that accounts for a broader range of human potential.  Perhaps knowing your child’s type of intelligence will help you distinguish from which angle to approach your child. According to his theory, the intelligence categories are:

  • Verbal-linguistic intelligence – someone who has good verbal skills
  • Logical-mathematical intelligence – someone who can think abstractly and conceptually
  • Spatial-visual intelligence – someone who can think in images and visualise accurately
  • Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence  – someone who can control their body movements
  • Musical intelligence – someone who can compose and produce rhythm, pitch and timber
  • Interpersonal intelligence – someone who detects and responds appropriately to the moods of others
  • Intrapersonal – someone who is self-aware and who is connected with their inner feelings
  • Naturalist intelligence – someone who is able to recognize objects in nature and categorize them
  • Existential intelligence – someone who takes on deep questions about the existence of mankind.

Become more involved
In order to excel, a support system is needed.  The first person in line is you as a parent. Set aside a time each day or week and talk to your child about what tests or exams are coming up and if there are any subjects they feel they will need to pay extra attention to. Support homework and exams by drawing up tests or asking questions.  Try to be more involved with projects and functions. Provide the items necessary to get the homework done.  Your role is to provide support and guidance. Teach, coach, mentor! Stay away from telling them what to do.  Instead,  allow your child to show and explain what needs to be done, with you acknowledging and or making suggestions for improvement.

The importance of reading
Reading is the key to lifelong learning. A love for reading should be introduced to your child from a young age. Reading can be a fun activity. Do research on books that match your child’s interest and suggest them to your child. Another great method is to also read the book and make it a topic of conversation and express your opinions on characters and happenings in the book. Allow your child to suggest a  couple of books as well. This way you also set a good example and showing your child that reading can be fun. Reading will definitely improve their general knowledge and can also inspire them or spark a new idea.

Your attitude towards education.
Children are influenced by the opinions of that of their parents. Therefore, if you have a positive attitude towards education, your child is most likely to adopt that mindset too. If you regard a good education as important so will your child. Showing a positive interest can spark enthusiasm and lead them to the very important understanding that learning can be enjoyable and rewarding and in the end, well worth the efforts. Motivate them by giving them tips on how you used to study and how well it worked for you. Always have a ‘can do’ attitude when discussing subjects and exam related topics with your child.

Create a balance
It is very important to create and encourage a balance of active learning such as sports, music visits museums and socialises with friends as well as quiet learning such as reading and homework. Your child should not feel as if they have no time to socialise and have fun. They need to be able to distinguish between when it is time to relax and when the time has come to work.  Exam time can be a very challenging and stressful time for your child. Make sure your child is coping with the pressure. Sit down with your child and plan the preparation time for the exam together. This way you can ensure your child has a study guideline and that he won’t feel alone and pressurised and had ample time to prepare for exams.

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to improve social mobility and help young people between the ages of 11-16 reach their dreams and aspirations.Sign up to our newsletter to stay up to date with our workshops, enrichment activities and our after-school tutoring programs and find out how GT Scholars can help your child excel in their school work and prepare for the GCSE exams.

Could a fixed mindset be preventing your child from learning?

Could a fixed mindset be preventing your child from learning?

Growth mindset Parents Private tutoring What's new?

Parents have a direct impact on their child’s mindset, and the same can be said of a carer or teacher, even they can potentially influence a child’s mindset. Children observe their parents’ actions and language and use that to set the bar on what is expected of them. You can manifest a growth mindset in your child by being aware of your daily interactions. Always be aware of how you praise them. Talk to them about how the brain works and how it learns. It is also important to teach them how to deal with failure and transforming mistakes into learning opportunities.

Mental and emotional development
A study investigated the influence a parent’s emotional investment had on a child’s emotional susceptivity and competence. The results concluded that the parent’s emotional involvement does affect the emotional competence and regulation of a child. Much has been said of the relationship between a child and their parent, but a child’s learning capacity does not solely rest with their parents. Teachers, guardians, role models, and even coaches may play a huge role in a child’s learning potential and their ability to fulfil it.

Failure mindset
One of the basic mindsets that may pass on and influence children, is their view of failure, or “failure mindset”. Mindset scholar Carol Dweck and Kyla Haimovitz did a study on ‘’failure mindset and found that a parent who viewed failure as debilitating, was concerned about their child’s abilities. Therefore they focused on whether or not they were successful instead of helping them to learn from their failure. As a parent, your belief about failure can also predict your child’s mindset regarding intelligence. A parent’s perspective on failure has huge implications on how they perceive failures. Difficulties that their children may face and these behavioural differences may affect their children’s view on intelligence and ability. Encouraging parents to adopt a failure is enhancing perceptive, could make a big difference to their children, allowing them to develop a growth mindset about intelligence.

Become more invested
There’s no doubt that one of the most prevalent learning tools available to a child or young person is their parents, guardian or teacher. Without knowing they pass multiple actions and reactions, emotions and mindsets. To ensure that the right attributes and mindsets are passed on to our child we can make an active decision to be more invested. Make time to truly invest emotionally in your child and their development. One effective way to do this is to join a group that share the same focus, as it can remove some of the isolation that may come with the journey of being a parent. It can also help to keep you more involved in your child’s life. Sharing experiences and solutions may also offer a new perspective on the development of a child.

Be an example
Children normally look at their parents and use them as an example on how to act and react to situations, especially on an emotional level. An emotion that can easily be passed on to your child is a positive attitude. This does certainly not mean ignoring the negative, but rather choosing to focus on the possibility of a positive outcome. Someone who is a positive thinker acknowledges a situation and approaches it productively. Positive thinking stems from a neutral situation such as starting a new job, a new school, meeting a new teacher or making new friends, in which the positive thinker chooses to focus on the positive aspect of the situation and aims to make more of it. The best way to foster positive thinking onto your child is to be a role model. The more optimistic a parent is, the better a child can understand the principle and implement it into their own life. Be expressive about it. When in a neutral situation such as the changing to a new school, engage with your child, ask what there is to look forward to? If they reflect a negative attitude, help them re-align it, with aid and advice. Reassure them that the worry they feel is only going to worsen things and that they should rather be open-minded and embrace the change and see it as an adventure with new opportunities and a chance to make new friends. By taking on this approach you will aid them in forming a positive attitude from the situation.

Acknowledge negative situations
Having a positive attitude does not make you oblivious to the negative. Acknowledge the downside but emphasize how dwelling on the negative points will not help the situation. If your child has a broken arm you must show empathy and acknowledge the pain with reassuring statements like “I know your arm is in pain and it’s making you feel upset” but always remember to also offer an alternative to negative attitude as well. You can suggest that you can draw some awesome pictures on his cast and get his friends to do the same. The earlier you teach your child the principle of positive thinking, the more equipped they can become in applying it when they are faced with a negative situation and they are on their own.
Remember that although parents do play a vital part in the development of a child, they are not the single variable that may dictate a child’s learning potential. The environment, peers and teachers contribute almost just as much. The building blocks, however, does start at home and parents can definitely provide a solid foundation that can form the basis of a child’s mindset.

Programs such as the GT scholars programme offers an enriched environment, promoting growth and learning, with high impact courses, workshops and programmes are designed to give young people aged 11-16 the strategies and skills they need to achieve their aspirations. If you would like to keep up to date with the latest enrichment activities and workshops in and around London, sign up to our newsletter.

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 tutoring 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.

7 Personal Qualities of a Good Tutor

7 Personal Qualities of a Good Tutor

Other Volunteer Roles Private tutoring Volunteer tutors 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.

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

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

Corporate Social Responsibility Narrowing the gap Our story Private tutoring 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 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

8 things you need to consider when choosing a tutoring programme

8 things you need to consider when choosing a tutoring programme

Growth mindset Parents Private tutoring What's new?

 

Research from the Sutton Trust shows that 42% of pupils in London aged 11-16, have had private tutoring at some point in their academic careers. This shows that private tutoring is popular with many families but what are the things to look out for when choosing a tutoring programme? How do you choose between group tutoring or one-to-one tutoring? How do you know if it’s time to get a tutor?

In this blog, we’ve put together a list of things to consider when choosing a tutoring programme:

Discuss tutoring with your child:

As with most things, it’s always helpful to have an open conversation with your child to discuss the benefits of tutoring and determine if he or she needs it. Some pupils will be more proactive and ask their parent for a tutor. Other pupils may feel that it is a waste of time because they are just not good at or will never be good at the subject. Tutoring is extremely beneficial to pupils that struggle with a fixed mindset ie. pupils that feel that they cannot improve in a subject. It is therefore worth discussing this in detail with your child so that he or she understands that they can improve and a tutor could make a huge difference if they are open to the idea of improving. If your child is particularly reluctant about going out to a group tutoring session, you can always propose a home tutor or online tutor which is more discreet.

Group tutoring or one-to-one tuition

Both options are widely available but you need to consider what would fit better to your child’s needs. In general, group sessions will mean working with a group of pupils that are at the same or a similar stage to your child. Pupils may find it useful to work with a group where there is some healthy competition and a group where pupils support each other’s progress. One-to-one tuition is more orientated to children that need more focused sessions. With one-to-one tutoring sessions, children are more likely to speak up to their tutor if they don’t understand a topic. The tutoring content will also most likely be determined by the tutor’s ongoing assessment of your child’s progress.

Take an initial assessment

It is very important for the tutor to know where to start and decide if there is any basic concept that might not be very clear, as they need to have a strong foundation of knowledge in order for their knowledge to progress. Your school may provide an end of year report for your child to show their overall progress for the year. A copy should be passed on to your tutor so that he or she can use this knowledge to get started with tutoring. Your tutor will most likely still need to conduct an initial assessment and work directly with your child for a few weeks in order to gain an idea of learning gaps and areas of weakness that need to be addressed through tutoring.

Get Involved

It’s easy to assume that a tutor can solve all academic problems but progress is usually a join effort from the parent, pupil and the tutors. The first few weeks of tutoring may be tough on your child as he or she is being challenged in new ways. As always, you should encourage your child to keep trying and embrace the challenge. As a parent, you also need to be involved in the tutoring progress. This can be as simple as contacting the tutor to schedule or book tutoring sessions at a time that works for you and your child, meeting with your child’s tutor after tutoring sessions to discuss your child’s progress and ensuring that your child completes any homework provided by the tutor.

Security checks

Always make use of a programme that keeps Disclosure and Barring service (DBS checks) up to date. DBS refers to the new agency created out of a merger between the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and The Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA). It checks the police and other databases to ensure there are no markers suggesting that a tutor is not suitable to work with young people. There is no harm in asking your child’s tutor for a copy of their DBS certificate. They should be able to show this to you before you get started with tutoring sessions.

Terms and conditions

If you’re unsure about any aspects of a tutoring programme – ask questions. Always make sure you understand how the system works ie. the details of tuition, suitable times, flexibility and tutor availability, policies for cancellations, how payments works and any payment options you have. It’s important that you respect your tutor’s time and you maintain clear communications with your tutor. Most tutoring programmes will have very clear guidance on cancellations. The GT Scholars tutoring programme and many other tutoring programmes and agencies require parents to give 24 hours notice for tutoring sessions and if your child turns up more than 20 minutes late to a session, the pupil will forfeit that session.

Time it right

When selecting a tutoring programme, you will need to consider the most suitable day or time to attend the tutoring session. Most pupils will need a short break from school before starting lessons but for some pupils it is better to have the tuition lesson right after school as they are already in “learning mode”. Talk to your child to find out what works best for him or her. It’s also important not to start the sessions late in the evening as your child will probably be exhausted from school, sports, homework and any other extra-curricular activities. If your child has existing commitments with sports or clubs, you may have to make a decision to start the tutoring programme at the end of the season or commitment period. There is no point in overloading your child with extra-curricular activities and tutoring – especially if this could lead to adverse affects on his or her learning.

Cost

Tutoring in London can range from £20 to £60 per hour. With such a wide range in prices, it can be hard to know which tutoring programme or tutoring agency represents good value for money. You will also need to consider the cost of any books or resources. Ultimately, the value of tutoring is determined by the grades that your child can achieve and the boost in confidence, knowledge and skills gained from the tutor. If you are thinking about going to a tutoring centre then you may want to factor in the cost of transport and the time that you would need to invest in the tutoring sessions. If you would rather have a tutor come to your home then they may charge a higher rate to cover their transport cost. If you’re looking into online tutoring you will need to have a reliable PC or laptop as well as reliable internet connection.

The GT Scholars Programme is an after-school programme that focuses on growth mindset. The programme includes tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-16. To find out more about the GT Scholars Programme, register your interest here: www.gtscholars.org/register-your-interest