Rhys Rawlings takes the Volunteer Spotlight!

Rhys Rawlings takes the Volunteer Spotlight!

Volunteer spotlight Volunteers What's new?

At GT Scholars, we have a great team of volunteer tutors and mentors that are passionate about helping young people learn, grow, and achieve their goals in life. We have regular spotlight interviews with our volunteers where they share a bit more about themselves and why they chose to volunteer. Have a look at our most recent spotlight interview with volunteer Rhys Rawlings.

Why did you decide to volunteer with GT Scholars?
I’ve done some volunteer tutoring before and have been teaching for three years. In March I was stuck at home and saw the news. A lot of the kids were bored, and I didn’t know what I was going to do with my learning or exams, and so I thought, I’m going to have to do something about that. So I just naively went on to social media, and I said, “I’ve got a Physics degree, and I’ll do some Maths tutoring for free”, first come first serve. My reach wasn’t very good with my 2 followers and that sort of thing on Twitter. I thought to myself, there has got to be a business or charity or something out there that is doing this work, finding the kids who are struggling. That’s when I found you guys, and I went on your website and I loved it!

There was one thing on the website that stood out for me, and that was it. I read that GT Scholars believes that all young people have their own unique set of gifts, talents and strengths and that all young people can achieve anything they thought. That is exactly what I believe, and so I filled in the contact form and started the application process. Now I’m a tutor with GT Scholars, and it’s been great! It was great that we have the same beliefs, and I also thought it would be nice to give back by sharing my skills with young people.

Tell us a little bit more about yourself, and what got you to where you are today?
I am a full-time tutor, training to be a teacher, and I’m doing that with my degree in Physics and my A*s in Maths and Physics, A levels and GCSE. I got here through grinding hard work, but couldn’t have done it without the help and support from teachers who were willing to go the extra mile. With tutoring, I have an opportunity to do the same for someone else because it helped me. I also believe that everyone can get there through hard work.

Did you have a mentor or tutor before, and did you find it useful?
Yes, I had an English tutor and I was fine with Maths, but really struggled with English. I actually got a D in my English GCSE when I was 16. I was in tears on results day, because I had an English tutor, but then in November, 4 months later, I got my C and it was great! The tutoring was actually perfect, having one-on-one lessons, tailor-made, just for me. My English tutor brought me up to where I needed to be, and I’ve used his teachings as well in my tutorials because it made me feel great and it was really helpful to get me exactly where I needed to be.

What would you say you gained from having a tutor?
I gained insight on how to be a good tutor. I also learned a lot about who I am and my strengths as a tutor. My tutor taught me good learning ethic, so now when I teach, I can do the same thing because I know it works.

How important has support been in getting you to where you are today?
It’s been absolutely important to me, and I couldn’t have done anything without the support. I needed support to get my qualifications, to go to university, to get jobs and to ultimately be in a place where I can do volunteering work as well. So it was absolutely and incredibly important to me because it is important to have an education. Kids need to have an education, you can’t do anything without an education.

Why do you think tutoring is valuable to young people today?
I think that in life you have to find something to do and you can’t just do nothing. Usually, and for most people, that’s a job. To do and get a job you need to be educated, even if something you don’t think it’s needed. You will still need problem-solving skills, numeracy skills and literacy skills. Teachers and tutors provide a toolkit to problem-solving and the knowledge to go out into the world to make a life for yourself, so it’s extremely important even if a young person might not understand it at first.

What have you gained from volunteering with GT Scholars?
What I gained from tutoring for GT Scholars was exactly what I was looking for when I first started tutoring during the lockdown period. I was looking for children who were struggling the most and to be able to help them from the bottom up as far as I could help them. GT Scholars helped me to achieve that. So what I’ve gained is being able to help those who need it the most and know that my time is being spent as absolutely productive as possible by helping those in need. It makes me feel good, and I wouldn’t be able to do that without GT Scholars.

What part of the volunteering process have you found was the most fulfilling?
The look on my tutee, Bruno’s face when he understands how to answer the question or understand a mathematical theory. In my sessions with Bruno, I would ask him how his week was and what they did in Maths. And he would say what they did in Maths, but then I would see the look on his face and that he didn’t get it, and that’s not a nice look. So we would spend time to make sure that it does make sense to him. And to see the look on his face that shows a bit more of the world makes sense to him, nothing beats that. I love it. When I see that, that’s what I find fulfilling.

What do you think is the most important skill that a volunteer or a tutor should have?
I would say the most important skill to have is adapting to the tutee’s needs. I like working one to one with young people more than having 30 kids in a classroom because it allows you to give the young person your full attention and work out exactly what support they need. I think that it is also important to be well-rounded, well-adapted and to be able to change according to the tutee’s needs.

What message do you have for other tutors out there, tutors that want to give their time or want to join GT Scholars?
I find that tutoring is a big responsibility because a tutee will come to you and in most cases say that their teachers aren’t able to push them enough. This is not the teacher’s fault because it can sometimes be hard for them having a class of 30 kids. They’re coming to you and you’re meant to be the person who picks them up. It’s meant to be the teacher, and then it’s you. It rests on your shoulders, and that’s a big responsibility to have, but if you have a good reason why you’re doing it, you’ll be able to do it. You’ll be able to bear that responsibility and be useful. So my advice to other tutors out there would be to figure out why you’re doing it and make sure it’s meaningful to you because that will help you deal with the workload.

In The Know: Great virtual opportunities to kick off 2021!

In The Know: Great virtual opportunities to kick off 2021!

In The Know Parents What's new?

Happy New Year! It’s the start of a new term, and with the recent school closures and yet another lockdown, we’re hoping we can provide as much support as possible to parents and their children when it comes to learning from home. This week, I’d like to share a few online opportunities with you that can help your child get online tutoring support, as well as fun educational activities that you can engage with during lockdown.

Bright Ambitions – Deadline extended!
With the recent news of school closures, we want to allow more parents to apply to the Bright Ambitions online tutoring programme. The programme includes 12 hours of online tutoring, 6 hours of online mentoring, and 2 new online courses, as well as access to our library of online courses. By joining this programme, your child can improve their grades and develop new skills. Young people aged 13-16 living in England are welcome to apply. Applications will close on Friday 15th of January 2021, so please register your interest before then.

Learn about the new world of AI!
Crash Course offers an online Artificial Intelligence course for young people aged 13 and up. The course includes high-quality free videos that will teach your child about the world of AI. The course content is very entertaining and designed to relate to young people, allowing them to work through the course material at their own pace. For more information, click here.

Join Teen Trivia Tuesday!
Sedgwick Library is hosting an online trivia night for young people aged 13-18. This event will allow your child to brush up on their general knowledge and have some fun competing with young people around the world in a safe online environment. Teen Trivia Tuesday will take place on Tuesday, 26th of January from 8pm to 8:45pm on Google Meet. You can register your attendance here. 

 

In The Know: Christmas is nearly here!

In The Know: Christmas is nearly here!

In The Know Parents What's new?

The Christmas break is here, and we hope that you’re looking forward to spending some quality time with your family! To help you kick off your festive season, we’ve included some fun activities for the whole family to enjoy! With the new year and term not too far away, I also want to remind you that applications to enrol in our online tutoring programme, Bright Ambitions, will close today. Please read on for more information.

Bright Ambitions – Applications close Today!
Be sure not to miss out on this amazing opportunity that will help your child improve their grades. The new term of the Bright Ambitions Programme runs from January to March, and is open to young people aged 13-16, and includes a combination of 12 hours of online tutoring, 6 hours of online mentoring, 2 new online leadership courses as well as unlimited access to our online learning & mentorship hub. Applications close today, 18th December 2020. If you would still like your child to join the programme, please follow this link to register your interest.

Get Crafty This Christmas!
Want to start the holiday break with a fun family activity? Why not join this holiday-themed arts and crafts workshop by Prep Academy. The workshop is free to join, and during the session, you will learn how to make classic Christmas decorations and special hand-made gifts for your family and loved ones to enjoy. The workshop takes place on Saturday 19 December 2020 at 7 pm, and you can get your tickets here.

Join an Online Family Cook-a-long!
This Christmas Cygnini Crafts has created a foodie treat cook-along for young people of all ages to nurture their inner chef and get their innovative minds working during the festive season! In the sessions, your child will learn how to make sweet treats that can be given as a thoughtful gift, or for just having around as a sweet treat for the whole family to enjoy! The sessions cost £6 and will be held on Monday 21 December 2020. To book your spot, click here.

Christmas & New Year Office Closure
Just a reminder that today is our last day at the office and we will be closed from Monday 21st December to Friday 1st January and our first day back at the office will be on Monday 4th January 2021. If you would like to get in touch with us before we close, please email us or give us a quick call.

In the Know : Get a head start in 2021 with Bright Ambitions!

In the Know : Get a head start in 2021 with Bright Ambitions!

In The Know Parents What's new?

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The Christmas break is almost here! As we look forward to a new year with new opportunities we would like to share a few online programmes and events with you. These opportunities will help give your child a head start going into 2021 and help them gain confidence in school and their personal lives. Read on to find out more.

Bright Ambitions – Don’t miss the deadline!
This online tutoring programme is for talented young people aged 14-16 living in England. The programme runs from January to March and includes a combination of 12 hours of online tutoring, 6 hours of online mentoring, and two new online courses. The programme aims to improve your child’s grades, build their confidence, raise their aspirations, and equip them with the skills and strategies needed to succeed at school and beyond. Applications close Friday 18th December, and there is still time for you to register your interest.

Learn more about Girls4engineering
Renishaw Outreach education is hosting a live virtual event on Wednesday 16 December 2020, to give young girls aged 16 and up, the opportunity to find out more about a career in Engineering. The one-hour session will include live talks from women engineers covering a range of topics affecting young girls wanting to get into Engineering and an interactive live Q & A session. The event is free to attend, and you can book your ticket here.

Manage your Digital Reputation!
Most young people make their first impressions online. Digilearning will take young people 13 and up through six great tips on how to manage their digital reputation. In this session, your child will learn how to manage their tagged photos, blog posts, and social networking interactions, and learn how they are perceived by others online and offline. It’s free to attend and takes place on Monday 14 December 2020. To book your tickets, click here.

 

 

In the Know : Learn strategies to help your child succeed!

In the Know : Learn strategies to help your child succeed!

In The Know Parents What's new?

How are you? I hope well?

It’s almost surreal that we are already in December! This month we’ll be hosting a free parent webinar where you can learn key strategies to help your child succeed in school and beyond, and you can also learn more about the GT Scholars Bright Ambitions programme, which is currently accepting applications. Read on to find out more about opportunities that will help you and your child get ready and geared up for 2021.

Sign up for this Free Parent Webinar!
This Expert-led Webinar will go live next Thursday 10th December at 4 pm. In this webinar, you will be equipped with strategies to help your teen stay motivated and focused, and learn how to help your teen develop a growth mindset. This will also be an excellent opportunity for you to find out more about the Bright Ambitions programme if you’re considering enrolling your child in this online tutoring programme. You can register your attendance for this information-packed webinar here.

Bright Ambitions Programme: Application deadline extended!
There are only two weeks to go until applications close for our Bright Ambitions Programme. If your child is between the ages of 13-16 and is looking for an opportunity to increase their grades by an average of 2-points and gain valuable leadership skills, then this programme could be perfect for them! The programme is open to young people across England, and offers tutoring, mentoring and online courses. If you’re ready to take the first step, register your interest.

Discover how the brain really works!
Bright Minds is hosting online sessions, where each lesson explores a different area of the brain and its associated themes. The sessions have a mixture of games, fun activities, guided mindfulness practice and valuable tools that they can use at home. It’s open to young people aged 9-12 and costs £8. The next session takes place on Saturday 5 December 2020, and you can book here.

In The Know: Bright Ambitions Programme – Applications are now open!

In The Know: Bright Ambitions Programme – Applications are now open!

In The Know Parents What's new?

How are you? I hope well? It’s hard to believe that this week is almost at its end and that December is only a few days away! With this week’s newsletter, I’d like to share a few opportunities with you that focus on helping young people reach their academic goals, teaching them about careers and giving them an opportunity to develop their creative thinking skills. Read on to find out more.

Bright Ambitions Programme – Applications are now open!
If your child is between the ages of 13-16, and would like to get excellent grades at school, improve their leadership skills, and get into top-tier universities or apprenticeships, then you should look into the Bright Ambitions Programme by GT Scholars. This programme will give your child access to 1-to-1 online tutoring and mentoring sessions, and access to great online courses! Please note that applications will close on Monday 14th December, so be sure to register your interest early by clicking here.

Visit the Virtual Future Heroes Expo!
The 2020 Virtual Future Heroes career expo, will display a wide range of different career options available within the health and social care sectors. Through a week-long series of webinars, this expo aims to help young people bridge the gap between what they enjoy doing, and what they could potentially do as a career. The event is free to join and will take place on Monday 7th December 2020. Young people aged 13 and up can ask their school to register for the event here.

Become Creative with Digital Superpower
In this free workshop, young people will learn how to get creative and use the creativity within their minds. This workshop is interactive and engaging, building healthy foundations from which students can further develop their creative skills. The workshop will create a lively and fun atmosphere in which to learn through activities, participation, and discussion. It’s open to young people from the age of 13. To register your attendance, click here.

In The Know : Get a head start on your child’s future!

In The Know : Get a head start on your child’s future!

In The Know Parents What's new?

We’re halfway through the first term, and I hope your term has been off to a great start so far? This week we’d like to share a few great opportunities with you that will help your child develop new skills, improve their grades, and prepare them for the future. Read on to find out more about these opportunities, including two great programmes by GT Scholars!

Join the Global Teenprenuer Q&A session!
Global Teenpreneur is a new programme from GT Scholars. This is a new online digital and entrepreneurship programme for business-savvy teens aged 13-17. If you would like to know more about the programme, you can join the Q&A session on Saturday 14th November from 3-4 pm. To join click here.

Applications open once again! – Bright Ambitions Programme
The Bright Ambitions Online Tutoring programme by GT Scholars is back for another term, and applications will open soon! The programme is for young people aged between 13-16, and offers 10 one-to-one online tutoring in Maths or English, 3 online mentoring sessions, and 3 online skill-building and enrichment workshops. To register your interest click here.

Make Your Mark!
Young people aged 11-18 across the UK can have their say and begin their democratic journey by voting on the policies they want to introduce or change. The most voted for issues will be debated by Members of Youth Parliament who will then campaign to influence the UK Parliament ensuring that the views of young people are heard. You have until 30 November 2020 to cast your vote.

Build Our Futures – Children & Young People’s Virtual Summit
The summit is dedicated to celebrating young people where they can share their thoughts and ideas on the local issues that affect them. This will help inform and develop services that affect young people with this year raising bigger issues than ever before. The online event will take place on Saturday 28 November 2020 and is open to young people aged 8-18. To attend the summit click here.

In The Know: Exciting STEM activities for Young People

In The Know: Exciting STEM activities for Young People

In The Know Parents What's new?

We hope you had a good half-term break, and that you are ready and powered up to take on the new term! This week we have lined up 3 exciting activities for young people who are thinking about a career in STEM. These activities are fun, engaging, and stimulating and will get their innovative minds flowing. Read on to find out more.

#Day of Code
GT Scholars is hosting a free 2-day online workshop that will introduce young people, aged 11-16, to the world of coding. This event is made possible by the Meet and Code 2020 initiative, sponsored by SAP. Each young person will have the opportunity to design and develop their own mobile app! No previous experience is required as each young person will receive support from our facilitators and volunteers. The online workshop will run over 2 Saturdays, 14th and 21st November 2020, with the second day being a continuation of the first. You can book your tickets here.

Saturday STEM Spectacular
This online event will showcase many exciting STEM-based activities for the whole family. There will be 5 exciting sessions which include, an amazing lab tour that takes in plastic waste, exploration of the human body, and some experiments linked to diving and airplanes. The session also includes a panel discussion where they will look at what we can learn from the natural world. The event will take place Saturday 21st November and is free to attend. To register click here.

Festival of Geology: The Discovery Room
The Geologists Association is hosting a Virtual Festival on Saturday 7 November 2020. You will be able to virtually explore museums, attend a virtual field trip or tour, discover shops, and geology groups. There are also many exciting geology-themed activities for young people to try out. This year’s exciting Discovery Room will include a fascinating mix of Rockwatch activities, live Earth science-themed workshops, downloads, and more! It’s a family-friendly event that’s free to attend. You can book your ticket here

In The Know: Learn new skills online this Autumn!

In The Know: Learn new skills online this Autumn!

In The Know Parents What's new?

Can you believe we’re almost in November and that the Autumn break is almost coming to an end? If you’re looking for exciting online opportunities for your child to get involved with, have a look at this week’s newsletter. We’ve lined up 3 great online events that will help your child learn a new skill and have fun while doing it! Read on to learn more!

Day of Code goes online!
This November, GT Scholars will be running one of their popular workshops, Day of Code. The workshop will run over two days and will introduce young people aged 12-16 to the world of coding! The workshop will focus on a range of digital topics within creative coding, and your child will learn how to create their own mobile app! The free workshop will take place online on the 14th and the 21st of November. You can book your tickets here.

TechFest Activity Weekend Goes Digital
Techfest is hosting an online activity weekend on Saturday 14 November 2020. The event is open to young people of all ages who would like to get a head start on their STEM careers. It’s two days filled with content from some amazing STEM sources as well as competitions with some amazing prizes. The event is free and tickets can be booked here.

Create a Radio Drama
The Mentoring Lab has created an 11-week online course where young people will work together to develop a 3-part radio drama, where their voice-overs can be recorded in a professional recording studio. The sessions will focus on scriptwriting, storytelling, and acting techniques, and give your child the opportunity to work in a team. It’s free to join and the first session starts on Wednesday 4 November 2020. To join click here.

 

In the know : Half term activities for Autumn

In the know : Half term activities for Autumn

In The Know Parents What's new?

Can you believe we’re almost halfway through the term? Winter is slowly creeping in, and we’re sure that you’re already looking for some fun opportunities for your child to get involved with this half term. Read on to find out more information on exciting online activities that are available during half term.

Baking In Space – Bake to the Future!
Space champion, Dr. Niamh Shaw and Great British Bake Off finalist, Andrew Smyth, will be taking families on a journey from Earth to the Moon and back, with demos and bakes directly to your kitchens. The event will explore our planet in lockdown, how we have learned to adapt, and the parallels between living in space and living during COVID. It’s a free event for the whole family to enjoy and will take place on Wednesday 11 November 2020. To book your space click here.

Become a coding genius!
If your child is looking to become the next coding genius then the Swansea Science festival is a great opportunity for them to start. They can join online and have the opportunity to get great tips and trades on how to code and have an opportunity to enter a competition where they can win their very own Raspberry Pi Kit! The free workshop is on Saturday, 24 October 2020, and is open to young people between the ages of 7-14. To book your ticket click here.

Virtually Meet the Animals at Edinburgh Zoo
You and your family will be able to explore Edinburgh Zoo and meet some of the amazing animals there! The online tour will allow you to visit animals from around the world. You’ll go behind the scenes to discover more about the zoo, the animals, and the conservation work and will also have the chance to ask your questions. This event will be interactive, relaxed, and free to attend. It takes place on Wednesday, 28 October 2020, and tickets can be booked here.