Croydon youth get an educational boost from GT Scholars

Croydon youth get an educational boost from GT Scholars

Our story Parents Private tutoring What's new?

In case you haven’t heard already, GT Scholars has recently received funding to continue it’s programme in the London borough of Croydon.

The programme will be running during the academic year from September to July. It will include private tutoring sessions, group activities and enrichment activities for all participants. Courses and workshops include everything from developing an exceptional CV, building a growth mindset, excelling in written exams and even how to get into Oxbridge.

The rise of private tutoring

More families than ever before are looking for private tutors to help their children realise their potential. A study by social mobility charity, the Sutton Trust, found that 44% of pupils in the capital had some form of private tutoring, or home tuition in the last year alone – up from a mere 35% in 2005. 62% of parents hoping to send their child to a grammar school have hired tutors to assist with the 11-plus exam, and the entire home tutoring industry in the UK is worth an astonishing £6bn.

The benefits of private tutoring are clear. Many children don’t thrive in the traditional classroom environment, where teachers have to develop lessons that will engage thirty unique individuals. The one-to-one time that children spend with private tutors can help empower them in exciting ways, taking their education to new heights and helping them to exceed all of their academic targets.

Lower-income families miss out on private tuition

But unfortunately, many families cannot afford to pay for private tutors to come and support their children on a one-to-one basis. A single hour of private tutoring in the capital can cost as much as £50.00 – a figure which is simply out of reach for many families in London. Indeed, the Sutton Trust’s research also found that children from families in the top 20% of earners are four times more likely to have a tutor than those from lower-income backgrounds.

This inequality affects disadvantaged young people throughout their lives, limiting their prospects considerably. Both Oxford and Cambridge University came under fire earlier this year, with research showing that those from lower-income backgrounds or deprived postcodes were accepted in far smaller numbers than those from desirable schools or affluent areas.

The GT Scholars approach

The GT Scholars Programme wants to help level the playing field in Croydon’s education system, by offering a high-impact, accelerated learning programme for young people between the ages of 11 and 16.

The course will give these young people the resources, skills and guidance they need to achieve their goals and realise their full potential – and best of all, as a social enterprise, GT Scholars is committed to using profits from their paid courses to provide free or discounted support to Croydon pupils from lower-income families. This approach will help improve the educational prospects of all young people throughout the area, rather than a small group.

The programme is designed with children in mind – and that means children at all levels of the academic spectrum. GT Scholars is not just for child geniuses or those who are really struggling – it’s for all ambitious young people who want to improve their life prospects through education.

Interested in finding out more about the GT Scholars Programme? Explore the website GT Scholars, or sign up for our weekly newsletter today!

Need private tutoring support for your child? – Read this first!

Need private tutoring support for your child? – Read this first!

Parents Private tutoring What's new?

Many parents contact us to request after-school homework support, one-off private tutoring sessions, private home tutoring and last minute revision classes for the days leading up to their child’s GCSE exams. Unfortunately, this is not something that we offer.

Our tutoring programme is online and is carried out on a one-to-one basis. We believe that long term tutoring programme is much more effective than last minute preparation for exams. We provide a limited number of free places every year and charge means-tested fees with the goal of making it affordable to all families that we work with.

We’ve written a guide on where you can go for support if you are not able to join the GT Scholars Programme.

  1. Ask for support from your school:

This might seem really obvious but it’s important that you are aware of the support that is available from your school before looking for external support.

Many teachers run drop-in classes at lunchtime and after-school so it may be worth asking your child to take the time to attend these sessions with their teachers in school rather than hiring a tutor. Work collaboratively with your child’s teachers to set targets for your child and find out what needs to be done at home and recommended resources that you can use at home in order to meet these targets.

Most schools run revision sessions during half-term holidays so sign up to these sessions instead of paying for external revision sessions.

There are also lots of low cost or free learning websites where students can go through a process of self-study to improve their grades. Many schools have already signed up and paid for these sites such as www.mymaths.co.uk so make the most of this.

  1. Check if you qualify for free tutoring support

We aim to make the GT Scholars programme as affordable as possible for young people from a range of backgrounds, we charge means-tested fees for this but we have a limited number of scholars that we can work with each year.

If you’re looking for free tutoring, you may be able to get this through your school or through tutoring organisations such as The Access Project and IntoUniversity. Other organisations such as TutorFair charge students for tutoring and use profits to provide free tutoring to young people from the lowest income homes.

Please be aware that due to limited funding, most not-for-profit organisations will only provide free tutoring to young people living in a particular borough or attending a specific type of school.

If you are looking for a condensed revision course, crash-course tutoring or last minute tutoring then you may want to look at Justin Craig or use websites such as Tutor Hunt or Tutor Pages to find a local tutor.

  1. Search for after-school clubs and organisations:

When children’s grades are not where we want them to be – it’s easy to think that the solution is to start tutoring. However, you may find that taking up extra-curricular activities may be just as effective as private tutoring.

Your child’s school or your local borough will probably already offer homework clubs, sports clubs, science clubs, coding clubs, film clubs, debate clubs, entrepreneurship and math clubs. These clubs may be able to boost your child’s grades and very few young people recognise the importance of this. All you need to do is sign-up and get started.

  1. Look into enrichment opportunities for your child

If you’ve looked into all options and you feel that your child needs more than just tutoring, then there are a range of organisations that may be able to provide this to you.

In addition to the GT Scholars programme, we offer a range of courses and workshops which take place in the evenings, at weekends and during half-term in London.

Organisations such as Sutton Trust and Social Mobility Foundation are not tutoring organisations but may also be able to provide you with support for getting into a top university or competitive career.

There are also holiday and weekend revision courses and pre-university courses that can help your child prepare for exams or help your child prepare to get into top universities or specific careers such as the Girls in Engineering programme.

Or the Interview preparation days with Oxbridge Applications:

https://www.oxbridgeapplications.com/courses/interview-preparation-days/

  1. Sign up to our mailing list

Remember that you can still sign up to our mailing list if you’d like to know about opportunities for your child throughout the year. We actively look for interesting events and activities that are of interest to parents on our list.

We do our best to include organisations and events that are free or relatively affordable to young people from low or middle-income homes. We’ll also keep you updated on our courses and workshops that are open to all young people through the year.

GT Scholars is a not for profit social enterprise in London. We run courses, workshops and programmes that help young people achieve excellent grades at school, get into top universities and enter competitive careers.

Our flagship programme is The GT Scholars Programme which includes tutoring, mentoring and enrichment for young people aged 11-16. To register your interest in the programme, click here: www.gtscholars.org/register-your-interest

 

Will Private Tuition benefit my Child?

Will Private Tuition benefit my Child?

Growth mindset Private tutoring What's new?

When it comes to private tuition, there’s no “one size fits all’ or blanket consensus that it will definitely benefit every child. It comes down the individual child, their goals and how private tuition might help them achieve these.

Private tuition can be a great way to support your child if they are struggling with a certain subject, need some one-to-one support to improve their study skills overall, or have a big exam coming up (perhaps an entrance exam or GCSE/A-Level that will qualify them for further studies). Private tuition can also help stretch and challenge a child in an area where they might already be excelling that can’t be provided in their mainstream school.

It’s worth considering the reason behind seeking private tuition to start with – is it longer term support you and your child are seeking, or short term to help them with an exam? Some private tuition takes place in centres, in small groups or one-to-one sessions, and other tutors provide the option of coming to your home. Also consider the approach of tuition, tutors will adopt different methods and a good tutor will have a few they use depending on the child and their preferred way of learning. Talking to your child about how they enjoy learning and what they feel is the best way for them to engage with learning is a great starting point.

Having worked in a private tuition centre, I can say it’s also really important to speak with your child before you commit them to additional tuition and make sure they’re included in the decision. Private tuition for a child who isn’t engaged or feeling pushed into something they don’t want to do won’t be beneficial for them. I’ve seen private tuition work best when the child is motivated by why they’re there and it’s wonderful to see their confidence grow through the sessions.

It’s also worth noting the wonderful social aspect of tuition centres. For many young children, feeling behind in their work or grades is a real confidence knock, especially if they feel they’re the only one who’s behind in their class. Being around other children who feel the same as them can be a real confidence boost in itself, and help them get over that feeling ‘it’s just me’. I’ve seen young children build a really supportive and encouraging atmosphere, which is wonderful to see.

Will Private Tuition benefit my child?

It might be worth looking into private tuition if:

  • Their grades or work is lower than expected and they aren’t feeling supported in school
  • They want support in building their confidence to pass an important exam
  • Your child wants to focus on a particular subject area – either to boost their confidence or stretch their abilities
  • They may have had some time out of school and need support catching up

Many tuition centres offer open days and trial sessions so your child can get a feel for the tutors and the centre before you commit to a full paid programme. It also gives you the chance to ask any questions and find out a bit more about what’s on offer. A good centre or tutor will tailor their delivery to your child and their goals, so it’s worth taking your time over this important decision and exploring all the options.

The GT Scholars Programme is not just a tutoring programme – it combines tutoring sessions with mentoring sessions, enrichment days and skill-building days.  The aim of all of these is to help young people gain the skills, the strategies and support they need to get top grades, get into top universities or enter competitive careers.  To find out more, click here: https://gtscholars.org/courses/the-gt-scholars-programme/

 

 

What makes the GT Scholars Programme different from other education organisations?

What makes the GT Scholars Programme different from other education organisations?

Narrowing the gap Parents Private tutoring Social mobility What's new?

You probably already know that the GT Scholars Programme is a not-for-profit organisation within the education sector but did you know that there are hundreds of other not-for-profit organisations in the education sector in England? 

When the GT Scholars programme was launched, we knew straight away that we wanted to offer something that was different from other education organisations. We wanted to a lasting impact on young people, particularly those that would be overlooked by current education charity funding models. So what makes us different?

1. We’re here to support each child’s individual progress and personal ambitions

Most education charities will only work with young people that are low attainers ie. students that are at risk of failing their GCSEs. Others will only work with students that are high attainers with the aim of helping them get into the best careers and universities. But what would happen if we stopped classifying and labelling children as low, middle and high attainers? What if we stopped selecting children based on their attainment and started selecting them based on ambition? What if you weren’t held back by school targets and minimum progress measurements? What if you could just teach a child to achieve his or her best?  It may seem quite radical but giving young people a sense of ownership is exactly how and why the GT Scholars programme works. We still conduct assessments on a regular basis but instead of focusing on past attainment and hard targets, we focus on goals and ambitions.

2. We let young people take ownership of their future

Throughout the year our scholars set up their own projects based on the things that they care about. This  gives young people the opportunity to develop their skills and abilities and develops confidence in our scholars. We give young people a sense of freedom that means that we don’t have to keep limiting a child’s attainment based on the expected progress for that particular term instead we ask them what they would like to achieve and we support them in doing so.

3. We provide more than just tutoring

One of the biggest costs for any programme is the number of contact hours that can be provided. Due to limited funding, most not-for-profit tutoring programmes can only provide a limited amount of tutoring support per pupil. The typical programme will offer 12-15 hours of support in one term. We know that tutoring on it’s own is nowhere near as effective as combining tutoring, mentoring and enrichment. Scholars on the GT Scholars Programme receive a minimum of 25 hours of support per term. This includes 10 hours of one-to-one tutoring and a minimum of 15 hours of enrichment and skill-building support.  

4. You don’t need to be referred by your school to join our programmes

Most education programmes will only support young people from the lowest income homes that live in very specific postcodes in priority areas eg. Hackney and Tower Hamlets. This means that families within these areas and schools in these areas have a huge advantage of gaining external support for their students. But what happens if you don’t live in a priority postcode or you don’t attend the right school? Too many young people miss out on support because they don’t attend the right school, have the right grades, live in the right postcode and this is why our programmes are open to any young person living in London.

5. Our couses, workshops and events are open to all

We know that not every young person will get on the scholars programme. It’s not the best fit for every child, not every child needs support and we would never have the capacity to work with every child. For some young people, a day or a week or support is enough to make that difference. Our courses, workshops and programmes have been created to make sure that any young person can join in, regardless of their postcode, household income, the school they attend or their current attainment.

6. Our mixed funding model makes our courses, workshops and programmes affordable

We are different from most programmes because we charge means-tested fees. We believe that this is a good thing as it means that we do not have huge restrictions on the number of scholars that can join the programme. It also means that we don’t have to wait for grants in order to run the programme. The true cost of the GT Scholars programme is £2100 per year – this is simply not affordable for most parents. Our mixed funding model means that we charge approximately £240 to £480 per pupil for each 12-week term and this is considerably less than the amount that it costs to run the programme and a lot less than the cost a private tutoring company or the typical enrichment programmes that are only affordable for young people from wealthier families.

7. Our tutors and mentors genuinely believe in making a difference

When the GT Scholars programme started, we knew that had to work with tutors that shared the same values as we did. We initially believed that paid tutors would be the most committed tutors. However, we soon realised that we needed more than just committed tutors – we needed tutors and and mentors that cared about our scholars and were personally invested in making a difference. Our courses, workshops and programmes are designed by volunteers that are passionate about potential. We now work with volunteer tutors and mentors that take time out of their week to ensure that scholars get the most from the programme. In exchange, we provide our tutors and mentors with support for their role, we listen to their ideas and suggestions and we provide a rewarding and enjoyable experience.

The GT Scholars programme is an after school tutoring, mentoring and enrichment programme for ambitious young people aged 11-16. To find out more about the GT Scholars programme, get in touch with us online.

 

 

Busting 4 Common Concerns About Private Tuition

Busting 4 Common Concerns About Private Tuition

Growth mindset Narrowing the gap Parents Private tutoring Social mobility What's new?

Parents are becoming increasingly concerned widespread cuts to our education system, so it’s no surprise that reports are showing that more children than ever are using private tutors.

Headteachers have warned that this boom in private tuition isn’t just causing the market to spiral out of control, but could negatively children. But at GT Scholars we wondered how relevant their concerns are:

  1.     Private Tuition is Extending the Gap Between Rich and Poor Children

Previously a private tutor was considered something that purely for affluent middle-class families, but the recent explosion in after-school tuition is actual down to families with a more modest income.

Growing fears that gifted and talented children are not being challenged at school mean that parents on low incomes and ethnic minority families are making significant sacrifices so that their children have access to private tuition.

If anything the use of private tutors could give underprivileged children a better chance to gain equal footing. There have now been calls for means-tested assistance for tuition as this could prove beneficial to everyone involved.

  1.    Private Tuition Can Actually Harm Children’s Confidence

Many headteachers have come out against private tuition by insisting that extra studying, particularly using a home tutor, can actually put a dent in a child’s confidence as well as put increased pressure on them.

But it would seem that students, particularly those with a growth mindset, actually find that time spent with a private tutor has actually increased their confidence – with many going on to achieve higher grades than they were predicted.

  1.    Tutoring Cost Are Starting to Spiral Out of Control

Many headteachers are claiming that because home tuition is an unregulated industry the prices will skyrocket as demand the service increases.

It’s true that prices at more high-end tutoring services such as Holland Park Tuition have risen to as much as £58 an hour, but most private tutors are more affordable.

The Good School Guide advises that the average cost of a private tutor per hour was £40, with some private tutors starting their prices at just £15 per hour.

  1.   State Schools Are Perfectly Able to Offer Extra Tuition

Some headteachers are concerned that some private tutors could be taking advantage of parents that are concerned for their children’s education.

They’re particularly worried that less-affluent families are spending money they don’t have, when most schools have access to a “pupil premium” that can be used to help fund extra one-to-one tuition for deprived pupils.

However, parents have found it difficult to arrange this extra tuition and many headteachers have admitted that schools cannot always give children the individually tailored help that they need. Overall it would seem that while headteachers’ fears aren’t entirely unfounded, worries that the private-tuition industry has spiralled out of control may be premature.

The GT Scholars programme works with young people from a range of backgrounds helping them gain excellent grades at school, get into top universities and enter competitive careers.

We charge means-tested fees to ensure that young people from lower income homes can access our programmes. To find out more about how we support young people through our courses, workshops and programmes, visit www.gtscholars.org.

Parents: How to Secure Your Child’s Future in an Unpredictable World

Parents: How to Secure Your Child’s Future in an Unpredictable World

Growth mindset Parents Private tutoring Social mobility What's new?

Last month the British public voted to leave the EU. Whether you are for or against the UK’s break away from the union, it’s safe to say that the future of the young generation is relatively less stable now than it was before the EU referendum. Fears for the economy are seen to be impacting an education system that has already seen its fair share of changes this year. Add to this just how much technology has changed the job market over the past twenty years with the rise of location-independent workforces and quicker communications, and it’s clear that the best way to secure your child’s future is to prepare them for an unpredictable world.

So how can you tutor preparation in your child? The best way is to raise them with skills that can benefit their attitude towards their future, rather than their knowledge about it. Knowledge is important but motivation is key.

5 Skills for Young People to Help Secure Their Future

  1. A Growth Mindset

Fostering a growth mindset in your child will reduce their fears that some students are just naturally more gifted and talented than them, and encourage them to overcome unpredictable obstacles rather than let them hold them back.

Not only does a growth mindset help students overcome failing a test or experiencing drastic structural changes to a school system. It will also encourage persistence when the time comes to find a job.

  1. Digital skills

Being computer literate is as important today as being able to read and write was in the 20th century. Even professions that appear to rely on manual labour will have digital administration systems, and at the very least applying for work and managing your banking requires a certain level of experience online.

To prepare your child even more, free online coding classes are available as well as a number of other free online courses.

See more: The world of free online education.

  1. An entrepreneurial mindset

In some ways, many of the qualities of an entrepreneurial mindset work alongside a growth mindset; qualities such as learning from failure, persistence and a thirst for learning. But fostering entrepreneurial thinking in your child will also set them on a path of goal setting, learning how to find and use resources to meet those goals, and the independence to stand behind their entrepreneurial intentions with conviction.

  1. Curiosity

Here at GT Scholars we don’t believe that curiosity killed the cat. We believe that a child’s conscious effort to find out more about topics that interest them will set them up for a successful future in which they can learn independently of school systems, private tuition and parental guidance.

Encourage your child to ask questions, travel and experience different cultures, learn new languages and try different hobbies because their curiosity in any of these areas will show them a world outside their own. Preparing for an unpredictable world can be helped significantly by showing your child that the world won’t just change in the future, but is already a melting pot of differences from country to country.

  1. Workplace Agility

Alongside the ever-changing nature of the workplace environment is the growing need for employees who can manage various task areas, rather than just specialising in one. Your child’s success in an advertising role may, in the future, require them to also wear the design hat, write copy, and conduct outreach to digital media outside of traditional news and magazines such as online blogs, Instagram influencers and musicians.

Developing workplace agility, in essence the ability to switch between various jobs and job roles rather than remaining in one company department for 20 years will help them build another skill to prepare them for success in an unpredictable world.

We hope this is helpful to any parent that is worried about the future of their child in an unpredictable world, especially after the recent EU referendum. The GT Scholars programme is an after-school programme for ambitious young people that would like to achieve top grades at school, get into top universities and enter competitive careers. But we also believe in character education, and promote this by teaching perseverance, resilience, confidence and self motivation to prepare students for a successful future no matter what happens.

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7 Gifts and Talents You May Not Realise Your Child Has

7 Gifts and Talents You May Not Realise Your Child Has

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

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

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

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

1. Adaptability

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

2. Perseverance

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

3. Honesty

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

4. Enthusiasm

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

5. Inquisitive

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

6. Teamwork

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

7. Entrepreneurship

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

 

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

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

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

 

Are students becoming too reliant on private tutors?

Are students becoming too reliant on private tutors?

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

There are many reasons why hiring a private tutor might seem like a good idea for your children.

If they’re genuinely struggling in a subject then they can provide them with the support and guidance they need to improve results. Below are five reasons why things parents can do to ensure that their children do not become too reliant on private tutors.

1. Build your child’s confidence

As a parent, hiring a private tutor can send a message to your child that they’re unable to excel by themselves. This could dent their confidence especially if the tutor doesn’t work in a style that builds their confidence. Children build confidence by finding out ways to solve the problem on their own. You can still help them by pointing them in the direction of useful resources and finding a tutoring programme that supports them to do this.

2. Help your child become an independent learner

This might include creating study guides or notes on where to find certain reference materials. In order to become successful at university level for example, students need to develop their own level of independence and be able to think for themselves. A good private tutor should be able to help prioritize your child’s time and work in a manner that helps him or her fully understand how to work independently.

3. Help your child take accountability

Part of being a student is taking accountability for your actions. With a private tutor helping your child any successful marks could be interpreted the wrong way. This will make them feel that the good marks are a direct result of the help, which you paid for. Equally, if the results are poor then they’re likely to be under the illusion that the tutor didn’t educate them well enough to be able to pass.

4. Help your child develop time management skills

Time management is a life skill, which is crucial for success. Children must understand about proper planning and how to stay focused. By teaching your children proper time management, they’ll have more time to make educated decisions about their learning. It will also help them to reduce stress.

5. Motivate your child to succeed

A lot of pressure is placed on children to do well and achieve success. In order for them to cope with the workload they need to be motivated. Setting goals can be a great way to motivate them and help them to excel in their chosen subjects.

GT Scholars is a social enterprise that provides courses, workshops and a year ­round programme for young people aged 11-­16. We provide them with the skills and strategies they need to achieve their aspirations. One of our core goals is to help our students become independent learners. If you’re interested in private tuition or interested in one our courses, then get in touch with us here.