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.

It is never too early to introduce your child to personal development and mentoring

It is never too early to introduce your child to personal development and mentoring

Growth mindset Parents What's new? Young people

It is never too early to introduce your child to personal development

Most psychologists will agree that temperament and environment influence the development of a person’s personality the most. It is also said that developing your mind is the most important goal, as everything you do in life is affected by your mind and how it operates. This being said it is crucial for a young person to understand the importance of personal development and achieving their potential.

The importance of personal development
Personal development is an important lifelong process and an exciting journey everyone must embark on and is associated with self-awareness. The importance of personal development must be communicated to children from a very early age on and be introduced to them as an active priority. The earlier personal development is set in motion, the better the chances are of a child achieving success in adulthood. Personal development is a good way for people to assess their skills and qualities, consider what their aims in life are and set goals in order to realise and maximise their full potential.  It is a very effective way to identify strengths and how to address and improve on weaknesses. It also covers activities that improve awareness and identity, develops talents and potential, builds human capital and facilitates employability. Furthermore, it can enhance a person’s quality of life and contribute to the realisation of dreams and aspirations.

Introducing your child to personal development
Throughout a child’s development, there are many different skills learned. Starting from as early as birth through to adulthood. The general age ranges are grouped from 0-3 years, 3-7 years, 7-12 years and 12-19 years. In general, a child’s development progresses from head to toe, from inner to outer, simple to complex and general to specific. A child’s development can be measured through social, emotional, intellectual, physical and language milestones.

Social and emotional development forms part of how your child manages emotions, how they learn to express themselves and manage positive and negative experiences and relationships. You can help your child by giving praise for achievement, allow them to socialise with other children and adults. Another great way to improve your child’s social and emotional development is by  providing opportunities for them to learn how to share by letting them take turns playing with a certain toy or game, let them learn to share in decision making, make time to listen to their thoughts, opinions and concerns and most importantly providing them with opportunities to take responsibility. As a parent or carer showing warmth and affection and also giving your child the chance to express how they feel can make them feel safe, secure and valued and this will improve their self-confidence. When a new situation arises it is always a great idea to give them the necessary time and space to adjust to the change.

Intellectual Development focuses on learning and attention span. This points to how we understand and process information, our reasoning skills, our memory and logical thinking. Language development and cognitive development are the two main areas of intellectual development. Language development allows us to process our thoughts and understand the thoughts of others and cognitive development is all about using our minds and structuring our thinking to understand what is happening around us. It is important to take time to talk about what your child sees, hears and experience as this can assist in his intellectual development. Motivate your child to be inquisitive about understanding how machinery and computers work. Ask and answer questions and entertain your child’s ideas and suggestions. If you do not know the answer to certain questions, spend time researching topics together. Dare your child to be innovative.

Language development in your child can be addressed by discussing books, pictures, objects and sounds. You can even ask your child to recall something from the past or ask them about how their day was and how they solved problems they were faced with . Young people who have decided to go to university or college, as well as those learning a new trade, will continuously improve their language skills thus improving their chances of employment. Always remember that it is your responsibility as a parent, carer or teacher to nurture and encourage the different skills necessary, especially in the early development years of a child. Thereafter young people, with the support and guidance from parents or carers, are responsible to uphold their desire for further development and success.

Physical development starts from infancy and continues well into a child’s late adolescent years. Physical development focuses on both gross and fine motor skills, which involves gaining control over the body. Coordination and muscle movement plays a big role. Physical development reaches its peak during our childhood years making this an extremely critical time for neurological brain development as well as coordination. As physical development continues children gain self-confidence which in turn has a positive effect on social as well as emotional development. There is no doubt that physical development is vital to lead a healthy life. Encourage your child to be active and motivate them to join a sports team or go on hiking trails as a family.  Young people can learn important skills and values like honesty, teamwork, respect, discipline and fair play. By joining a team or participating in competitions young people can learn how to approach and deal with competition. How to process victory as well as failure.

At GT Scholars we understand the skills required and provide impact courses, enrichment days and skill-building workshops to assist in your child’s personal development. Our programme gives young people the strategies and skills they need to achieve their aspirations. Young people enrolled in our programme will benefit from improved grades, increased confidence, motivation and raised aspirations. Visit our website for more information on the GT Scholars Programme. You can also sign up to our newsletter and be kept up to date on our enrichment days and skill building workshops.

 

7 ways you or a private tutor can reignite your child’s love for learning

7 ways you or a private tutor can reignite your child’s love for learning

Growth mindset Parents What's new? Young people

Learning is an important activity which is necessary to keep our brains healthy and active. We begin to learn from the moment we are born and continue to do so throughout our adult and geriatric years. Learning forms the basis of how we interact with others, how we deal with situations and how we view the world. How we learn and how we process information also differs from person to person, and therefore it may sometimes be challenging to find ways to impart knowledge.

During the foundation years, infants and toddlers learn by touching and feeling as they explore the world around them. Their young minds can be kept stimulated through activities such as finger painting, singing, using building blocks and through visual means such as animated shows. As children get older, the ways in which they learn evolves and where a toddler would easily be entertained by wax crayons and colouring books, pre-teens and teens may not be as receptive to this. Here are 7 ways to reignite your child’s love for learning:

Work together
Children’s ability to focus on their studies may improve if a parent or guardian sits next to them while they are doing homework. Although the intention is not to help them with homework directly, but rather to create a shared workspace that will help to keep each other focused. Having a shared workspace is also a great way to spend more quality time together. Another plus point of having a shared workspace is that you will be nearby for any questions your child may have and it will shows that you are interested and invested in their learning. Your child will be reassured that you are supportive and always open to questions.

Design an exciting workspace
The environment in which one works is conducive to how well you can focus or how much you are distracted. It is important to consider creating a communal workspace for yourself and your child by decorating it with images and things you both like. Try something different like using yoga balls as seating. Make it a team effort and involve your child in creating an exciting workspace.  A good workspace will maximize learning potential. Make sure that the workspace is well lit, clutter free and visually stimulating.

Office hours
When your child needs your help with homework, you can set up “office hours” – just like your university professors did. Your child can then schedule a time to ask questions or ask for your help with homework during your “open hours.” This lets you help your child without actually doing the work yourself and will encourage them to be independant and willing to solve the answers first before coming to you. This will build your child’s confidence and also allow them to become more in control of their learning, by becoming resourceful and only seeking guidance unlike having you do the work for them.

Get creative
Creativity is a sure-fire way to keep the spark for learning alive. Have your child tell you all about the things he or she has learned and let your child quiz you afterwards or ask them to explain certain topics to you and build a conversation around it. Your attentiveness will show your child that you are interested in their learning, and that is a great assurance for young people to know that they always have your support. Also, not only is this a way for you to learn something new, but it is also a fun way to bond and create some memorable laughs with your child.

Make it a group effort
Start a study group where young people get to invite classmates to read, write and do math equations together. If your child is old enough to handle organizing and delegating, let your child take on a leadership role. This is effective in also assisting your child in gaining organisational skills. This new found responsibility is sure to leave your child feeling confident in their abilities and leadership skills. You can support your child by making a workspace available for the study sessions. You can even offer to see to refreshments and any other resources needed to make the study group a success.

Engage the senses
We are all sensory beings, and it comes as no surprise that stimulating your child’s sense of touch, sight and smell can be beneficial and help them to focus. A stress ball or fidget spinner placed nearby the workspace can assist in stimulating the senses and therefore, help your child to focus. Playing some white noise can also assist to break the deafening silence in the room, which can tend to be distracting to your child. Allow your child sensory experiences to facilitate their learning, but be cautious of things that may be a distraction.

Healthy snacking
Good nutrition is of utmost importance in ensuring that your child can remain focused and have all the vitamins essential to function at school. Provide your child with healthy, balanced snacks and use snack time as a way to engage with your child and instil learning. Parent and child baking sessions are a great bonding experience, and things such as the basics of food hygiene and healthy eating habits can be incorporated into this.

Your child’s education, whether in the classroom or outside of the classroom, is a shared responsibility between a parent or guardian and a teacher. It is therefore important to make an effort to be involved in their learning, as well as to give them space to learn independently.  Pressure and stress to perform well in their studies can often hinder a young person’s ability to focus. By making learning fun concentration and learning can definitely improve.

The GT Scholars Programme is an after school programme that includes high impact courses, workshops and programmes to give young people between the age of 11-16 the strategies and skills they need to achieve their aspirations. Visit the website to find out more about their enrichment days and skill-building workshops.

 

 

 

7 ways you can make your school a better place

7 ways you can make your school a better place

What's new? Young Leaders Young people

We spend a great part of our lives in school and we all have our views on what would make our school a better place. There are many ways ranging from knowledgeable and highly motivated teachers who understand their subjects to state of the art equipment in laboratories. But, it is no doubt that making a school environment a better place for learners is a shared responsibility between different players such as teachers, parents and learners.

Actively striving to improve shortcomings within your school environment will create a pleasant atmosphere that stems from happier students which will, in turn, increase the productivity in students alike and eventually have a positive influence on grades.

Be inspired by these 7 steps that will help you to play your part in creating a positive and friendly environment for everyone in your school.

  1. Say NO to bullying: Bullying has become a very serious matter amongst schools around the world. The effect on a person who has fallen victim to bullying can be severe ranging from anger issues, depression, stress and suicidal tendencies. When you are a witness to another student being bullied, you must speak up and make your teacher aware of the situation.  It is not an easy thing to do as you might feel that you will be next in line to receive punishment, but always remember that you can report such a situation anonymously and your teacher will respect your wishes to remain unknown.  
  2. Be positive and friendly towards others: Students can often create a negative atmosphere through complaining about lunch meals being bad, a subject that is too difficult or a certain teacher making life difficult for them. This thought pattern can easily influence the views of students around the person complaining and dampen their spirits. Try to lift morale by offering solutions to complaints of fellow students or try to install a sense of humour on the subject to lighten the matter up. Laughter instantly lifts a bad situation and creates a light atmosphere. Nobody can learn when they are stuck in a negative mindset.
  3. Be your brother’s keeper:  If you notice a fellow student who may be struggling one way or the other, for instance, struggling in a social environment or in a particular subject, approach them and offer your help and support. If every student in the school took on this mindset it will spread a sense of belonging among your peers. If you are unable to reach out to them despite your best efforts and there is still no change in their behaviour, try to speak to one of the teachers and alert them to this in case there is more to the situation.
  4. Take care of the school property:  We all benefit from a clean and presentable school environment and would like to feel proud of their school.  Be an example to your fellow students and always respect and take care of your school facilities. Report any vandalism and try to organise school events where the whole school participates in picking up litter or removing graffiti. This is a great way to make everyone think twice before taking part in vandalising activities or littering of the school grounds. Everybody should be contributing towards a clean school environment.
  5. Participate in school activities: Volunteer to take part in various school activities such as drama, sports and any other activity. It helps to keep the team spirit alive in your school. As you volunteer for such activities, encourage other students to join as well spreading the idea of volunteerism. When you do this, not only will you be assisting other students, you will be helping teachers to perform their duties more effectively.
  6. Recognize that no one is beneath you: Not only must you show respect to your peers and teachers, you must also acknowledge and respect the other workers in the schools such as the groundsmen, cleaners and tea ladies, as everyone connected to the school work together to make education possible. Always offer a lending hand and never brush off an opportunity to learn, or think that certain school activities are only meant for less privileged students. Your hunger to learn will be contagious.
  7. Run for student government:  If you can win a position as a student representative you can really make a difference. It will allow you to create strategies and plans to improve different aspects of the school. You can engage in fundraising activities to improve school facilities or start new clubs to promote a positive environment in the school. This is your chance to make an impact. Being part of a student government also looks good on a university or college application.

In conclusion, please remember that improving a school environment often means improving the atmosphere between students, teachers and school administrators.  Change does not happen overnight but if you actively engage in some of these tips listed above, and also convince fellow students to take on the mindset, situations can be improved. Remember, you are a part of the team and you need to play your part.   

 

GT Scholars strives in providing mentoring, tutoring and enrichment to children from diverse backgrounds. Feel free to contact us to share your views or to register to our programmes. Our tutors and mentors are professional and well informed in their respective study fields, and can provide the perfect assistance to your academic needs.  We offer private tuition in Maths, Science and English as well as a Mentorship programme. Register your interest here or give us a call on 020 881 68066.

7 Ways you or a Maths tutor can boost your child’s skills in Mathematics

7 Ways you or a Maths tutor can boost your child’s skills in Mathematics

Parents Young people

Mathematics is one skill you cannot go without in life. It is the basis of all things and it forms part of our everyday lives. From buying a bus ticket, scheduling appointments, telling the time or driving from one city to another, all these actions, and then some, require maths. The better we become in maths, the more we can achieve. According to the Math Worksheets Centre, almost every good position in the business world requires some form of maths.

It is very easy for a child to develop a phobia for maths. This could be due to a number of facts. Maybe it is because maths, in general, is regarded as a difficult subject and the child has made the assumption that this is true. Therefore they do not engage in a growth mindset when they think of maths. It could also be due to a teacher’s attitude towards the subject and how they present it. Whatever the reason may be, the general viewpoint of how your child looks at maths can be morphed into a positive one. Let’s look at 7 ways you can boost your child’s skills in mathematics:

  1. Understanding the Basics:  Maths is learned by following a learning order.  All functions and concepts of maths are related to each other and in order to understand the more complex concepts, a good understanding of the basic concepts is important. Maths is like one big puzzle and all the pieces fits in together in the end.  Parents can help their child feel more confident in the basics of addition, subtraction, division and multiplication. This will prepare them for the next advanced levels of maths. Confidence is key!
  2. Ask for help:  Children should always be rest assured that it is okay to ask for help and they should be encouraged to seek help when they feel that they have reached a dead end. Sometimes students get frustrated by a math problem and this can make them feel despondent, but perhaps if they had access to a tutor who could help and give that extra bit of guidance, it could make a world of difference. Sometimes a child only needs a bit of extra attention and explanation on a certain topic. Knowing they have a tutor on hand will make them more eager to communicate as to which areas they are having difficulties with. GT scholars have maths tutors to assist your child in maths as well as any other subject that he might need guidance on.  Try to recognise when your child is getting frustrated and reach out in either acting as a tutor yourself or if time is of the essence an actual tutor will be the best option.

  3. Practice, Practice, Practice!: ‘’Practice makes Perfect’’.  Maths is seen by many as a language on its own and just like learning a new language, practice is an important factor in being successful in maths. Set time aside to practice mathematical skills with your child. For some students learning maths can be a slow-moving experience, teach them to embrace the ‘’A-Ha!’’ moments as this will ignite enthusiasm and energy for learning maths.

  4. Find gadgets and games that encourage Mathematical thinking:   It has been proven that learning mathematics can be more effective if games and activities are used as learning aids. Math puzzles, riddles and even math inspired cellphone apps are a great way to make learning maths fun. Use these methods to improve and help them relate maths to real life situation. Simple games like Uno, Chess or Checkers serve to highlight mathematical concepts. The possibilities are endless and you can use things that are easily accessible like a home calendar, a wall clock, measuring cups and even a ruler.  These are all mathematical tools. Incorporating the fun factor into your child’s maths learning experience cultivates a growth mindset and boosts their development of a clear concept of mathematics.

  5. Maths in real life:  Make them aware of the relevance of maths in everyday life.  Challenge them to recognise and solve real-life maths problems while you’re out together.  Allow them to sum up the total cost of items while out shopping, calculate change or even how many of a particular item will be needed to last through the month.  Your child will show more interest in mastering mathematical concepts if they realise the value thereof.

  6. Learn the vocabulary of mathematics: Learning the vocabulary of maths is the doorway to understanding more advanced concepts and getting used to mathematics in general. It is always a good idea to check if they know the definition of new terms. If your child cannot define the terms, help them by using examples and make them solve simple problems to demonstrate how the term is used.

  7. Guide them on how to tackle their math homework: The goal of math homework is to reinforce the skills learned in class. Get them into a habit of studying the textbook and worksheet examples first before starting on the assignment. Redo some examples first, making sure that they understand the lesson, before starting the assignment.

 

 

 

 

As a parent, strive to make your child realise the beauty of maths and how to embrace it. We need to make them understand that the better one’s abilities are in maths, the more successful one can be. On top of it all, mathematics also offers rational thinking habits to make life easier.  Our children should learn to use maths as a helpful tool in daily activities and problems.

It is always a great idea to engage with initiatives such as GT Scholars as a method to utilise resources to enhance your child’s academic career.  GT Scholars is an accelerated learning programme aimed at achieving 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 would like to ensure 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 as well as a Mentorship programme.   Register your interest here or give us a call on 020 881 68066.

 

10 Websites young people can use to learn anything online

10 Websites young people can use to learn anything online

Learning Resources What's new? Young people

Knowledge is power! Learning new things can change your life for the better. It will give your self-esteem a boost and it will also affect the way you do things on a day to day basis. On top of that, you will experience personal growth.

Being in a constant flow of learning new things ensures that we are current and up to date with our ever-changing, fast-paced environment. It makes us open to new, exciting opportunities and will kick start a personal growth journey filled with endless possibilities. As long as we can learn, the sky’s the limit! If we do not learn new things we stagnate and eventually we will start moving backwards.

Because there is absolutely nothing to lose, except your comfort zone, there should be no reason why you should not visit one of these awesome websites to embark on your new journey!

  1.  CodeAcademy  – The demand for people who have coding skills are on the rise. This is not only true for developers, programming is on the way of playing bigger roles in everyday career paths. With coding added to your list of skills, you can definitely pursue a more rewarding career. Codecademy offers free coding classes covering 12 different programming languages, which include, Python, Java, PHP, JavaScript, Ruby, SQL, and Sass, to name a few.
  2. PhotographyCourse.net – A picture is worth a thousand words. It will be worth your while to have photography added to your skills list. It is a powerful tool which allows us to share and to communicate to those around us.  This website offers free online photography courses. You can enrol in comprehensive photography lessons that cover various topics, such as Photographic Lenses, How to Use Your Camera, Light and the Photographer, and Digital Cameras.

  3. Adobe Photoshop CC – The Complete Beginners Guide – Photo editing is just as important as the actual photo shoot.  Editing defines the mood of the photograph and enhances the overall message that a photo is supposed to deliver. Up your skills with this free course by Adobe Know How. Having photo editing skills can open many doors.

  4. Channel 9 Web Development – If you are interested in a career in web design, go check out  Channel 9 Web Development. This website offers a course for beginners wanting to learn web design.  The course is presented online in a series of 21 videos of 30 minutes long in length. You will only be able to move on to the next lesson if you can master the basics of the lesson before.  At the end of the course, you should be able to create a very good website.

  5. Yousician –  Yousician is an interactive music service that allows you to learn and play a musical instrument.  The website supports the guitar, piano, ukulele and bass.  The site offers easy step by step tutorials and proves exercises based on your performance level.  Starting a band has never been easier.

  6. Developing Android Apps Android Fundamentals – Google and Udacity have teamed up to launch a free crash course in Android development. This course covers theory as well as practice to teach you how to build great apps in a jiffy. The course has step-by-step instructions to teach you how to build a cloud-connected Android app. You will also learn the best practices of mobile development, mainly focussing on Android development.

  7. DuDuolingo – Knowing an additional language can open a world of job opportunities and at the same time establish meaningful connections and be the start of possible cross-cultural friendships. Whether you want to learn a new language from scratch or just want to brush up on your French skills, this site is ideal.

  8. Blender – Animation is everywhere, whether it is in a movie, a TV commercial or business presentation. It will be definitely worth your while to master this skill. Blender is a 3D animation software that can be used to create amazing 3D images and animate them. The best of all is that the software is free and so are the courses. So if you are interested in a career in animation, be sure to check out this site.

  9. Alison.com’s Sketchup course – Do you want to become the next most sought after architect? Get a headstart with yet another awesome program that is completely free to download. The good news is that some architect firms actually recognises Sketchup as a valid 2D plan drawing tool. A free course, plus a free software! Isn’t that cool?

  10. Music Technology Foundations by EDX – All features and materials may not be available as this is the free version of the course. EdX keeps courses open for enrollment after the end to allow learners to explore content and continue learning. The course offers history, theory and practice of music technology, Sound, audio, MIDI, effects and sequencing. It also entails hands-on practice with music-making using contemporary digital tools

So, what are you waiting for? Information has never been this easily accessible We need to grasp every opportunity to learn with both hands. The world (or should I say web) is definitely your oyster!  There are numerous free and low-cost websites and apps available on the Internet.  The list above is only but to name a few. It is also worth to mention that Youtube also offers thousands of video tutorials on a wide variety of topics.  To find out about more great opportunities and events for young people, feel free to sign up to our newsletter.

The GT Scholars programme wants to help young people aged 11-16 to achieve excellent grades and reach their future goals. If you’re interested, you’ll need to register your interest or give us a call on 020 881 68066.

 

12 Things You Can Do to Breathe More Life into Your CV or Personal Statement

12 Things You Can Do to Breathe More Life into Your CV or Personal Statement

University What's new? Young people

The saying goes: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” That is why a great CV or personal statement is extremely important. It is a representation of who you are and will be responsible for the initial decision of whether a potential interview is on the horizon or not.

An employer often has to search through hundreds of CVs to find the best candidate for the post that needs to be filled. Often an employer is pressed for time, so a CV that does not impress at first glance could be easily rejected.

This can make creating a CV to be a daunting task. Applicants usually find themselves endlessly pondering over questions such as “How could I make my CV or personal statement stand out from the crowd?” or “How could I prevent my CV being overlooked and not be added to the pile of unsuccessful applications?’’

To answer some of these questions, here are 12 things that you can do to breathe more life into your CV or personal statement:

  1. Make it readable and pay attention to the layout: First and foremost, you want to make your CV readable. This will make it easy for your potential employer or the dean of admissions to find information and navigate to different sections of your CV.  Information provided must be to the point and quick to read.
  2. Make use of a professional resource: GT Scholars is an excellent example of an organisation assisting young scholars through mentorships and workshops. Great guidance for putting a good CV together is essential if you are not too sure of what to do. You could also gain great experience that will be really useful when entering the professional world.
  3. Adapt your CV to the role: Try and stray from a generic CV. This does not mean that you have to write a new CV for every position you want to apply for. Simply adapt a few details on your CV to be more prominent to a specific recruiter. This applies even more to a personal statement as you want to make sure that the qualities that are most suitable stand out.
  4. The importance of the first 3 words: In writing, it is believed that the first three words and the last three words in a written piece are what people remember most. It makes sense to apply the same principle when writing bullet points in your CV because employers do not read the whole document word for word.
  5. Pay attention to buzzwords: Try to avoid words that have been overused. These words have lost their charm and most of the time it will have lost its meaning to the recruiter as they most probably read many CVs and personal statements that have the same word choice. Check out this post on LinkedIn for the buzzwords to avoid in 2017.
  6. Let who you are shine through: Your personal statement should reflect clues about your personality. More often than not an employer will interview a potential candidate because he might have read something that interested him other than your professional achievements and experience. This can be anything from a sport, a book, or a volunteer activity that could be of mutual interest.
  7. Be aware of the CV length: There is an unspoken rule that a CV should never exceed 2-3 pages. Try to keep your CV short, but also not too short. Having a CV with 4 or more pages can result in important information not being read.
  8. Pay attention to font and size: Always pay attention to the font and size of your CV and personal statement. Ensure that it has the same font and size throughout the document. Never make your font size below 10 points. Use bold, italics and underline words but be careful not to go overboard with this.
  9. Good presentation goes a long way: There is more to presentation than having the perfect layout, length and font size. A dash of colour or a well-placed border can make your CV stand out from the rest and might be as good as a breath of fresh air, giving the recruiter something appealing to look at for a change.
  10. Name your file: Rename your CV file for each position you apply for via email or online. You can rename the file using your name and job title followed by ‘CV’. It will draw the attention of the recruiter and he/she will be able to find your job application easier.
  11. Trim the excess: Do not waste time and space on listing every achievement or position you have ever had. The recruiter will only be interested in reading information relevant to the position that needs to be filled.
  12. Keywords are very important: It should come as no surprise that in today’s day and age your CV might be read by a software programme before it is even submitted to a human. These programs are designed to look for words and phrases that relate to the job specifications or to the relevant industry. Ensure you do the necessary research and add keywords to your personal statement or CV.

You might feel that landing an interview will take forever, but by making use of these steps, you can definitely improve your chances. We hope that you find these tips helpful and that it will boost your confidence when sending your CV.

GT Scholars can provide you with an experienced mentor to help you start the journey of writing your CV and personal statement as well as applying for a new job or university acceptance.  To find out what other opportunities and events we host for young people, feel free to contact us.

Growth Mindset: The one thing you or a private tutor should be teaching your child

Growth Mindset: The one thing you or a private tutor should be teaching your child

Growth mindset What's new? Young people

Dr Carol Dweck said it best: “If parents want to give their children a gift, the best thing they can do is to teach their children to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy the effort, and keep on learning.” The Psychology Professor from Stanford University presented and popularised this philosophy in 2007 through her book, Mindset. It is here where she explains her very profound, yet simple idea – the differentiation between two mindsets namely a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.

Mindsets shape the way in which we perceive our abilities and it also impacts how we view the world around us. With a fixed mindset, a person believes that their core personality, talents, skills and overall intelligence are fixed traits. In a fixed-mindset world, you are either perceived as smart or simple-minded. On the other hand, a person with a growth mindset believes that skills and talents can be developed through consistent effort and persistence. Essentially, this mindset lends itself to the idea that there are no smart or simple-minded people but rather those that have or have not unlocked their intellectual potential. This mindset allows you to be more receptive to learning and improving through hard work.

As a parent, you don’t only want your child to be successful, but you want them to have the know-how on handling setbacks when they occur. Their journey to success should be a fulfilling and a satisfying one. This will only be possible if your child takes on a growth mindset. There are a few ways that this can be done. Let’s look at some practices you can adopt today:

Growth Mindset Role Model – Take charge of the language you use in reference to yourself. As a parent, you must remember that developing a growth mindset within your child starts with you, so start showing your child your excitement for challenges and how mistakes can be regarded as a learning opportunity. Share instances in your life journey where you have encountered success, failure and challenges.

Brain Knowledge – Showing your child how the brain works, has a positive effect on how they view learning. Teach them that the brain is a muscle that will grow bigger and stronger through continuous hard work, perseverance and practice. They will learn that it is adaptable and that it can change and grow depending on how we use it. Equipping your child with the knowledge that the brain has extraordinary ability to change and evolve based on our experiences illustrates that we have a lot of potential to develop into much more than we ever believed. GT Scholars has an interesting article on Study Habits which is an interesting read on this topic.

Embracing Mistakes – Your child needs to know that making mistakes is a natural part of a learning journey. This approach facilitates in building self-confidence in the mere act of trying anything. Your child will be less anxious about whether he is going to make a mistake. Another great method is to have daily learning discussions with your child, whether it is in the car, during dinner or at bedtime. Ask questions like what they learned that day or what mistakes they made and what they learned from it.

Power of “YET” – It is important to have an ear-on-the-ground approach when it comes to monitoring your child’s language. This will give you an indication of whether they are thinking with a growth or fixed mindset.  Teach your child not to focus on their shortcomings but rather on the next step to their achievement. Look out for words such as “I can’t”; “ I don’t” and “I won’t”.  As soon as your parental radar picks up on this, complete it by saying ‘yet’. Try to introduce story books where the character learns to do something he did not think he could do or where he learned from mistakes.

Use these 4 tips and start nurturing a growth mindset in your child today. It will allow them to go through life knowing that they are in control of their own ability and that they can always improve by learning. Hard work and persistence does pay off but the underlying secret to success is to obtain and maintain a growth mindset.

Get started by looking into GT Scholars programmes that support your child into reaching their full potential here! The GT Scholars programme wants to help young people aged 11-16 to achieve excellent grades and reach their future goals.

7 Ways to Prepare For an Interview

7 Ways to Prepare For an Interview

University What's new? Young people

There are many times in life when you will find yourself needing to prepare for an interview. It could be your sixth form college interview, university interview or a job interview. So being able to prepare yourself for an interview is a useful and important skill to always have.

Interviews are notoriously difficult to prepare for. Some organisations and companies are kind enough to tell you exactly how or what to prepare, but most places will not do this for you. The whole point of the interview is for them to see how you think, how you apply your skills and talents, or how you react to a situation or scenario. They want to make sure that you will be an asset and a good fit for their college, university or company.

Your aim for the interview is to convince the recruiters that you have the skills, knowledge and experience for the job, while also showing them that you fit the organisation’s culture and work ethic. Here are seven useful ways that you can prepare yourself to reach this aim: 

Do your own research about the college, university or company: The recruiters need to know that you are actually interested in their organisation and not just using them for your own gain. They might ask you direct questions about their organisation or they might ask you more indirect questions. You need to do enough research about the organisation beforehand to make sure you can answer their questions well. Visit the organisation’s website to make sure that you understand what they do, their background and mission statement, and their courses or products that they offer. You can also get more perspective about the organisation by reading up about them in news or trade publications.

Compare your skills and qualifications to the entrance, course or job requirements: Fully analyse the entrance requirements or job description and outline the knowledge, skills or abilities that they list. Make sure that you are suitable for the organisation and that your qualifications match or better what they are seeking. If they list a particular skill, they may want you to demonstrate if you know how to do it, so you should ensure that you have the skill and that you are well-practised in it.

Prepare responses to commonly asked questions: Most interviews have a set list of questions that they are sure to ask, such as what are your strengths and weaknesses, what are your academic or career goals etc. You should prepare your responses to questions like these beforehand so that you can answer them easily. You should also understand that there are different ways to ask the same question, for example, they could ask you about your qualities that are useful to their organisation instead asking about your strengths. Both of these questions can be answered in almost the same way so make sure that you can identify that.

Plan what you are going to wear: Your appearance is your first impression and so you should make sure that they do not rule you out before you even get a chance to tell them about you. It is best to dress smartly in neutral colours, with your clothes clean and ironed and hair combed and out of your face. Be sure that your overall appearance is neat and clean.

Prepare what you need to take to the interview: It is advisable that you plan what you need to take to the interview so that you look prepared. Some organisations will tell you what they want you to bring to the interview, but if not then you should just take the following: at least one copy of your transcripts or CV on quality paper, a notepad or professional binder and pen, a list of references, information you might need to complete an application, and a portfolio with samples of your work if relevant.

Understand and pay attention to nonverbal communication: Nonverbal communication speaks volumes and has a huge influence on your impression and therefore your interview. As soon as you walk into the building, make sure that you are mindful of your nonverbal communication, even in the waiting room. Show that you are confident, but do not appear arrogant. Smile, establish eye contact and use a firm handshake. Sit with good posture and be aware of nervous movements such as tapping your foot. Maintain good eye contact while answering questions – do not look around too much as this will make you seem inattentive. Be aware of your facial expressions and reactions, and try to keep negative reactions internalised. At the same time, do not appear too fake or rigid. Be comfortable and self-assured.

Prepare questions that you can ask them at the end of the interview: Interviews usually end with an opportunity for you to ask questions or clarify any queries. Using your prior research, you can come up with a list of questions that are insightful. Be strategic with questioning and ask questions about information not discussed in the interview or found on the organisation’s website. For example, what do they consider the most important criteria for success in this job, or how will your performance be evaluated, or what is the next step in the hiring process.
This will both impress them and provide you with useful information.

The interview process may seem daunting and difficult, but as you can see, with the proper preparation and prior knowledge, you will be able to succeed in displaying your best qualities for any potential sixth form college, university or employer.

GT Scholars is a social enterprise that provides tutoring, mentoring and enrichment to young people from a range of backgrounds. To find out how we can provide you with a knowledgeable mentor or insightful course to help you prepare for interviews, get in touch with us.

Meet one of our volunteer mentors – Jason

Meet one of our volunteer mentors – Jason

Other Volunteer Roles Volunteers What's new? Young people

Our volunteers are amazing people that are passionate about making a difference in education. We would like you to get to know who they are and what they do at GT Scholars, so every few weeks we conduct an interview with one of them. Here is the most recent interview with one of our volunteer mentors, Jason Luu.

Why did you decide to volunteer with GT Scholars?
I decided to volunteer with GT Scholars to make a difference in my local community. Having already done some work to help other communities in different countries, I came to the realisation that I should also be contributing to my local community. I also recognised that providing support to people when they are still young can make a significant difference, as this is something that I was not fortunate enough to have when I was younger. If I had the opportunity to be mentored when I was a teenager, I can only imagine how much more I could have achieved by now or how many disasters I could have avoided.

Tell me a little bit about you and what got you to where you are today?
I was born in London, my parents were refugees from another country. This had a huge impact on me and my upbringing. When I was younger, I was embarrassed by my heritage because it was so foreign to western culture. But as I got older and matured, I embraced my background and decided to stand up and stand out rather than follow the crowd. I more took control of my life and did not live according to other people’s expectations. This has become a big factor in getting me to where I am today. It turns out that my own expectations for myself were wildly beyond other people’s expectations of me.

I also have role models who I can look up to and inspire me. Some of them are alive today and some are historical figures. Having these role models allow me to draw energy, ideas and behaviours from. If anyone reading this doesn’t have a role model, then you better start looking.

Why do you think mentoring is valuable to young people?
Traditionally, mentoring is something that has been reserved for older, professional and sometimes even wealthy people. Many of the most powerful leaders in our society have or had mentors. So why can’t the rest of us have access to this resource?

Many young people today from my local community have parents who are very busy working or studying, and their friends are usually in the same boat as them. Thus, having a mentor who has the right experience would really help with some of the things that they struggle with, and would help to develop smarter behaviours and habits. This additional guidance and development can really help a young person to be successful in all that they do. I really believe that if I had a mentor when I was younger, I would not have had to experience so many difficulties in my life. I would have been able to get where I am today sooner or even be more successful sooner. It is the aim of all good mentors is to guide their mentee to reach their full potential.

What part of the volunteering process have you found the most fulfilling?
Seeing students and their parents working together, and it provides extra support to traditional parenting.

What do you think is the most important skill to have as a volunteer mentor?
I think showing a genuine interest in someone else’s future and actually caring about their happiness is an important skill. It is not just about making sure that they are successful, but also about helping to define what true happiness means to them and their family.

Jason briefly attended university before deciding to drop out and start his professional life earlier. He now works in the headquarters of the Department of Health, holding CEOs, directors and major leaders in healthcare and education accountable to the taxpayer as a Senior Contract Manager. He has spent the last 3 years dedicated to promoting equality and fighting social injustice at his place of work and at home in his local community.

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