Could a fixed mindset be preventing your child from learning?

Could a fixed mindset be preventing your child from learning?

Growth mindset Parents Private tutoring What's new?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why equality in education and private tutoring is a realistic and worthwhile pursuit

Why equality in education and private tutoring is a realistic and worthwhile pursuit

Educational inequality Improving academic attainment Narrowing the gap Social mobility Volunteers What's new?

Imagine a world where every student is able to reach their full academic potential,  it would be an incredibly amazing world. A good education is one of the most important keys to achieve success in life. A population that is educated is needed for a prosperous nation.  Education develops foundation skills such as reading, writing and numeracy, which are essential for further learning. Ideally, all students all over the world should be learning in small classes, under the direction of dedicated, skilled and motivated teachers.  But the reality of the world is quite different.

Even the most democratic countries in the world do not provide equal education. The unfortunate truth is that money gives a student access to a  better-quality education. Students from financially stable and secure backgrounds have access to top-notch schools with state of the art laboratories, libraries and technology. Students from a disadvantaged background are left at the mercy of state schools. Even the very best state school cannot compete with the lowest ranking private school. State school classrooms are more often than not overcrowded and manned by overburdened, overwhelmed and stressed educators who must deal with bureaucracy and poor teaching environments. Even the brightest and most motivated students battle to achieve their full potential in these circumstances.  In many of these situations, students who need extra support are likely to fail and eventually drop out of school. The future is bleak for these kids who will either end up doing lowly paid, menial jobs or worst- case scenario, end up in a life of crime with the cycle continuing when they have their own children one day.

The negative impact educational inequality has does not stop at the students. It sets off a chain reaction of events.

Inflated costs to society
Failure to provide equal access to educational opportunities imposes inflated costs on society. A poorly educated population limits a country’s capability to produce, grow and innovate. It damages social cohesion and enforces additional costs on public budgets to deal with the consequences such as higher spending on public health and social support and greater criminality. The study found that students who have enriching school experiences will be more likely to pursue further education and successfully transition into the labour market.

Increases National Interest
Giving more students access to better education can increase national interest.  Students that receive quality education gain better reasoning intelligence and learn to form their own conclusions from facts that they are given. Educated people work towards the common good of the country and understands the importance thereof and works towards protecting the national interest.

‘’The children of today are the future of tomorrow’’
With more and more children gaining access to better schooling they also become well-cultured.  Good schooling can motivate and provide for higher quality education. If someone can learn to be a good student, they will learn to be good citizens one day. Imagine if we could measure the loss we’ve endured as the human race due to exceptionally talented students who could not reach their full potential because of educational inequality. What could they have possibly invented or contributed to society?

A nation that works together
It is possible to improve educational equality as a nation. Everyone can contribute to making equal education for all a reality. Governments can manage school choice to avoid segregation and increased inequities. They could also develop an incentive system to make disadvantaged students attracted to high-quality schools. Governments can also find a way to improve the access that disadvantaged families’ have to information about schools and give them the necessary support to help them make informed choices. To ensure equity and quality, the government can also promise  access to quality, early-childhood education.  The main focus should be to recruit and support good teachers. Teacher education is vital to ensure that teachers receive the requisite skills and knowledge to do their best. Creating mentoring programmes for novice teachers and developing supportive working environment will help retain good teachers.

It is not only up to the government to promote educational equality. It is just as much the communities responsibility to uplift the youth to ensure a better future awaits them. Communities members should become more involved in mentoring the children in their community. Local business, community and political leaders can play a key role in providing recreational and tutorial support to encourage learners to study rather than to become involved in anti-social activities.  They can also give financial support to improve school facilities.

Teachers also play an important role in promoting educational equality.  A good teacher can be a great influence on a student. A teacher can inspire, educate and motivate learners to give their best. However disadvantaged schools are not fertile grounds to bring out the best in a teacher. It is therefore important for teachers in these schools to come together with government support, to create a platform to motivate and help each other give their best.

Early intervention from a young age is needed to prevent educational equality gaps from widening. Whilst achieving educational equality may elude some governments, there are some organizations and social enterprises which have picked up the baton to close the gaps in educational inequality.  Society, therefore, has a moral obligation to make sure that all children receive equal access to education to give them the vital skills needed to become contributing adults in society. Educational equality ensures that all learners irrespective of their race, religion, gender and socio-economic standing have access to the same learning resources and educational opportunities.

GT scholars provides high-quality individualised tuition by tutors who are passionate about academic success. They match students with mentors who can assist them to set and achieve academic, career and personal development goals. They also run enrichment programmes to help build confidence and make students aware of the academic and career opportunities available to them. These programmes are provided at a low price or free of charge to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. The aim of these programmes is to address educational inequality by giving children, particularly those from lower-income households, the strategies, skills and support required to achieve their academic and career goals. To find out more about GT Scholars, register your interest here or give us a call on 020 881 68066.

7 Benefits of One-to-one Online Tutoring

7 Benefits of One-to-one Online Tutoring

Volunteers

It is a known fact that students perform better when receiving one to one tutoring.  Online tutoring is growing in popularity, and with reason. It can be just as effective as traditional tutoring. Here are 7 benefits of one-to-one tutoring, to name a few. It is very important to remember that within a classroom environment students may often shy away from asking a question to gain clarity on a topic. The student might be afraid of what his peers might think or perhaps the student is an introvert and does not want to speak up in front of his peers.

1.  It makes distance irrelevant
Due to the flexibility of online private learning, logistics are irrelevant as both the student and tutor have the option of scheduling and learning from anywhere, as long as they have an internet connection. Students have the added benefit of being able to study when it best suits them. This gives them the ability to have time to study and still be able to partake in hobbies, sports and other extracurricular activities. Students spend most of their day in a formal learning environment and with after-school tutoring they might not feel up for entering another formal learning space. With online tutoring, they can still receive after-school support but they are in charge of the location.  It can be somewhere informal and most importantly, where they feel comfortable.

2. Individual attention
Just as with traditional tutoring, one-to-one online tutoring is also able to provide the student with that much needed individual attention. One-to-one tutoring session builds confidence and helps the student be less intimidated by exams. It is a great way to give your child extra support with material that he finds challenging, whether it is in Maths, English or Science. Every young person has a different learning style. Taking this into account an online tutor can tailor lessons to adapt to the students learning style and pace. Students receiving individual attention can drive the conversation, and control the question that they want to ask. An online tutoring session creates a stress-free environment where the student experiences minimum fear of failure.

3.  Tutor availability
Online tutoring opens a world of tutors that hold academic degrees and have experience in a professional field. Online tutors are passionate about sharing their knowledge with students, in return making the students excited to learn more about the subject and passionate about learning in general. Communication technologies available today makes it easier for online tutors to connect with their students, and offer students many different ways of communicating with those who impart knowledge that a normal classroom would not. With online tutoring, a student can contact their tutor by sending a quick email or text via an instant messaging application if they require clarification regarding certain class material or assignments. With face-to-face tutoring, the student has to wait for the next face-to-face tutoring session before getting help with questions.

4.  Better grades
One-to-one online tutoring is effective in helping young people improve their grades as it makes them more motivated and engaged, discussing problems and trying to figure out the answers for themselves. Online tutors also have the opportunity to reinforce lessons and creating an effective learning environment. This results in students being equipped with the tools to succeed in their exams and having the tools to succeed at school, university and beyond. Online tutoring increases the student’s sense of responsibility as they cannot copy someone else’s work or rely on the ideas of their peers. This makes them take on a more serious approach when it comes to fully mastering the materials.

5.  Private tutoring provides additional information
Online one-to-one tutoring not only provides the student with the opportunity to address the things they need help with, but it also gives them the opportunity to lead the conversation topic to match their interests. They are given tasks and materials which are different from the material given at school and can also choose their own additional reading lists if they wanted to. This often helps a student to perceive the topic from a different point of view making them understand the topic better. A gifted child, for instance, can be stimulated by the private lessons they received as they would go beyond a normal classroom syllabus.Online tutoring can go beyond improving a child’s marks in school and can help them set and achieve life goals. This can result from having tutors and mentors who provide the tools to set and achieve said goals.

6.  Regular feedback on Academic Progress
An online tutor can provide parents with regular feedback on their child’s progress and address any areas of concern. Some online tutoring companies provide parents and carers with weekly or monthly reports on their child’s progress. This eases the concerns some parents may have of their child’s progress and also helps them to evaluate the effectiveness of the online tuition.

7. Online one-to-one tutoring is cost effective
Private tuition can be costly and not everyone can afford a traditional tutor. Online tutoring makes equality teaching available to more students. For a much lower fee, every student can gain access to quality online tutoring.

 Given the information we now have regarding private online lessons, it’ almost seems as a matter of necessity to have children enrolled in such programmes for them to better succeed in an ever-changing world that requires constant learning. Online learning can be a powerful tool that parents should opt for if their child is in need of help.

The GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise that tackles educational inequality and improves social mobility. We run an after-school tutoring programme that aims to help young people between the ages of 11-16.  Our programme also includes mentoring and enrichment activities with the aim to help young people prepare for their exams, improve their grades and gain access to the most selective universities and competitive careers. To stay up to date and find out more about our courses and workshops, subscribe to our newsletter.

 

More schools and tutors are teaching mindfulness techniques – here’s why!

More schools and tutors are teaching mindfulness techniques – here’s why!

Parents Volunteer mentors What's new?

Mindfulness does not immediately spring to mind when you think of the types of activities your children should be engaged in while at school. Be that as it may, there are many benefits to introducing mindfulness into the classroom, but are we really aware of the benefits it could have for your child and thus the urgent need for such a skill to form part of your child’s life?

There has been an increase in the number of young people being diagnosed with a mental health disorder. The most recent survey by the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that one in ten children aged between five and 16 years old has been clinically diagnosed with a mental disorder. So, in light of these facts, what can parents do to improve the situation? Can mindfulness in schools perhaps help young people be overall happier and more well-adjusted?  We took a closer look at what mindfulness really is and what the benefits it holds for our young people.

The meaning of mindfulness
From the business world to the political realm and now the school environment; the practice of mindfulness is slowly creeping its way into every aspect of our lives and with good reason.  Mindfulness is a pretty straightforward concept. It is about being fully aware of what is happening around you, of what is happening to you; your thoughts, feelings and emotions and being aware of the space you are moving through.  For many this might be difficult to achieve at first, like anything in life, practice makes perfect. We live in a fast-paced world,  where we find ourselves jumping from one task to the next, rushing through life without a moment to spare to consider the effects on our well-being. Although children may not have to worry about paying bills, work appraisals and the tax man; they are thrown into their own unique age-related whirlpool of family life, school and social life.

Mindfulness in the classroom
We know that schools are not just a place where children gain the necessary academic skills to succeed in life but also where they gain social skills and learn to deal with difficult situations. We know that as adults, those who succeed are not only those who gained academic knowledge but those who gained vital character traits such as self-awareness, self-esteem and regulation of their emotions. Although research into the effectiveness of teaching mindfulness to school children may be in its infancy, there is a consensus among researchers that there are many benefits to the practice. It is our hope that over the coming years, as more research and success stories are published that more schools are willing to come on board with mindfulness programmes and allow children to reap these benefits, affording them the opportunity to become more successful and well-rounded adults. Mindfulness is not yet available in all classrooms but you could implement it at home should you choose to do so as there is a considerable amount of resources available online.

During mindfulness exercises in classrooms, kids are asked to sit comfortably on the floor or at their desks. Then they are asked to close their eyes, place their hands gently on their laps and breathe. To really focus on breathing in and out and any sensations they may have in their bodies. If their minds wander they are encouraged to gently notice where it wanders to and then bring it back to their breathing and their bodies. The aim is to relax their bodies and minds. After the session is complete young people may share to discuss how they felt during the session if they wish to do so.

The benefits of mindfulness in the classroom

It is believed that there are a lot of benefits young people can gain from practising mindfulness regularly.

  • Increased Attention: Studies have shown that young people who were taught mindfulness have increased levels of concentration and were able to pay attention for a longer period of time in the classroom. This, in turn, allows children to learn better and to retain the knowledge they have learnt.  It teaches young people to regain there focus quickly if their minds were to wonder, allowing them to be more in control of the focus of their mind.
  • A reprieve from Stress: Many children are dealing with an array of stress from both school and at home. Evidence has shown that mindfulness can help provide a reprieve from stress factors by allowing children the time to relax, be calm and unwind.
  • Self-awareness: Mindfulness by definition is about self-awareness. Young people that practice mindfulness is more connected and aware of their own thought processes and reactions to the external world thus allowing them to regulate their emotions and behaviour both inside and outside of school.  Young people can also be more aware of their behavioural patterns and improve on negative habitual behaviours. It is a time to disconnect from rigid routines and technology and to connect to themselves.
  • Resilience: Mindfulness can help children become more resilient through coming to view the concerns or stresses they have more objectively by reducing the amount of personal blame or fault they place on themselves due to life’s everyday stress factors.
  • Compassion: By practising mindfulness young people are made more aware of their own thoughts and emotions. They develop a better understanding of other people’s experience and feelings.
  • Overall mental health improvement: With clinical diagnoses’ of mental health issues on the rise it is an ever-present worry for parents concerning their children. The practice of mindfulness in schools has shown to reduce anxiety symptoms, reduce depression and reduce fatigue in children.  

It seems that there is not a lot of reasons to shy away from practising mindfulness. With more and more benefits of practising mindfulness being discovered all the time. Studies have shown a lot of positive outcomes for practising mindfulness.

If your child is between ages 11-16 and you’re interested in helping them achieve better grades and a great sense of well-being by getting them involved in our tutoring, mentoring and enrichment programme please visit our GT Scholars website for more information.

Meet one of our volunteer Maths tutors – Janet

Meet one of our volunteer Maths tutors – Janet

Volunteer spotlight Volunteers What's new?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Young People and Entrepreneurship

Young People and Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship Parents What's new?

The importance of entrepreneurship in the economy cannot be stressed enough. It also goes hand in hand with innovation, which will be non-existent if not for entrepreneurship.  The benefit of having a generation that stands for the alleviation of bigotry, oppression and inequality, comes with the responsibility of being more accommodating and progressive as a society. This means that as a society we should be mentoring young people and informing them of all the available study and career options, so they can make an informed decision. Living in a world driven by technology, young people can access information on demand and reach a huge audience if they had the need to. Entrepreneurship is a viable career option for young people to consider.

Entrepreneurship Boosts the Local Economy
Economic development is powered by entrepreneurship.  A weak economy can be improved by encouraging entrepreneurship. It is also a great aid to lower the unemployment rate and allows income to be circulated within communities, in turn, empowering those communities. It has a positive effect on the development of communities and changes the social structure of a community. A stronger economy will enable more people to become homeowners, improve the quality education young people receive. The overall quality of living standards will also improve. Furthermore, entrepreneurship can provide services and products that were not accessible in the past, creating wealth for the community as well as themselves.

Teaching entrepreneurial skills to young people
Entrepreneurship as a subject is the perfect balance between problem solving, creative thinking and business studies. The world is in need of graduates who are open-minded in approaching problems and who can come up with innovative solutions. Most importantly they must be able to take charge when it comes to putting their ideas into action.   Most schools focus on traditional career choices when informing children of the various options. Entrepreneurship should in fact also be seen as a popular career choice, just like being a doctor, lawyer, teachers and architects.   

Nurturing entrepreneurial traits
Great problem-solving skills is one trait that no entrepreneur can go without. Teaching young people entrepreneurship will develop their problem-solving skills. They learn to identify problems, discussing it and then try to come up with solutions. They learn to consider whether their solution will be viable by weighing up the pros and cons of the situation, but most importantly it teaches young people to make decisions and be proactive about them. You can develop your child’s problem-solving skills by creating mock examples of typical client vs supplier problems and discussing possible solutions and consequences.

Determination 
Another must have entrepreneurial trait is determination.  This is one of the key factors that make an entrepreneur successful.  More often than not, entrepreneurs are faced with a lot of setbacks.  Success comes from not giving up hope when setback after setback is experienced. Young people will learn that hard work will eventually pay off and it will also teach them not to take the easy way out when they find something difficult, but rather persevere and put in extra effort to be successful. A great way to help your child be more determined is to set challenging but reachable goals and act as a mentor that encourages them to reach their goals.

Managerial skills are important
Allow your child to become involved in organising fun days and events within the community.  This will create an opportunity to work alongside group leaders, be present at team meetings and gain valuable managerial skills. By becoming involved in such an event, young people can also learn how to manage responsibility and possibly delegate. Most importantly assisting at events will give young people perspective on their strengths and also their weaknesses helping them to identify the areas they can improve on. It will also introduce the idea of making an income by the means of sales.

Money Smart
Being smart about your finances is another important entrepreneurial trait that can be taught to young people. It would be ideal if every learner can learn how to manage money. Learning basic accounting and bookkeeping skills is beneficial for learners because it can be beneficial to them not only in their future entrepreneurial endeavours but they can also manage their own personal finances better. Apart from accounting in school, young people can be motivated to save part of their allowance.  Assist your child in creating a budget that makes provision for saving. A challenge to double his savings can also be introduced, for example, buying stock and selling it at a profit.

The importance of good language use
Many entrepreneurs have mastered the art of good language use. How a potential sale is approached and handled can either make or break the deal. The way we address a certain problem or deal with a difficult customer can influence your business reputation in a positive or negative way. It is not only important to be aware of what we say to people but also how we say it. Teaching young people to communicate with people who are different in age and cultural backgrounds will help learners be more effective in their communities and may contribute to career and business success in the future. This skill is also important for assertiveness and being an effective leader. 

To be an entrepreneur one must also be a leader.  You can motivate and inspire your child to become a good leader by being a role model.  There are also various fun team activities that young people can participate in. This will also teach them the value of teamwork and give them the opportunity to rise as a leader and deal with possible conflict that might arise.

The GT Scholars Programme is a not-for-profit social enterprise that tackles educational inequality and improves social mobility by helping young people aged 11-16 gain access to the most selective universities and the most competitive careers. Our tutoring, mentoring and enrichment programme is designed to give young people the support, skills and strategies they need to achieve their ambitions. Sign up to our newsletter to stay up to date with events and oppertunities specially focused on young people.

 

7 Reasons Why Every Young Person Needs A Mentor

7 Reasons Why Every Young Person Needs A Mentor

Parents Volunteer mentors What's new? Young Leaders

A mentor can have an extremely positive influence on a young person’s life, however, the effectiveness of mentoring is often overlooked. A mentor is someone who the mentee can depend on, someone that acts as an active listener, tuned into the unique needs of a mentee. With the right mentor, a young person can gain professional socialisation skills and receive personal support to facilitate long-lasting success.

Here are 7 reasons why every young person needs a mentor:

  • Every young person has potential: We have all heard the saying: ‘In every caterpillar, there is a butterfly waiting to spread its wings, flourish and soar to greatness.’ Much like a butterfly, in every young person exists greatness waiting to be unleashed. Mentors can serve as a source of guidance and support to help young people reach this greatness by assisting a young person in goal setting and providing motivation.

  • Mentoring is relational: It is believed that young people are very dependent on relationships to develop their ideas and perceptions of the world. This is mostly influenced by their interaction with social media, peers and adults. Young people can often feel isolated and disconnected from adults. This can result in a young person’s perceptions and opinions being influenced by misinformation obtained from peers and social media. Mentors can challenge and correct these perceptions and opinions from a more mature perspective and bring about an inquisitiveness, passion and a more informed opinion within a young person through dialogue and active engagement. The relationship between a mentor and a mentee can help build trust and illustrate the dynamics of positive relationships. 
  • All young people are unique and different: “Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will go through its life feeling like it is not smart”. This quote is worth remembering as young people can sometimes feel pressured to fit into the same mould and can be expected to conform to limited ideas of success and greatness introduced to them through social media and peers. Since mentoring is such a unique process, it helps each young person to realise their own unique abilities, talents and strengths. It is important for each young person to realise the unique ways in which they can contribute to society around them. A mentor can help show a young person that if they are a ‘fish’ they may not be able to climb trees, but they could certainly swim! 
  • Informal education: Throughout a young person’s formal education they are taught a variety of subjects and skills, but they are rarely taught about themselves as individuals. Learning about oneself can be thought of as lifelong informal education that often has no curriculum or duration. However, it is imperative that young people start getting to know themselves before heading out into the world as adults. Knowing yourself helps you to make well-informed decisions later in life such as career choices, social or relationship choices and educational choices. The unique process of mentoring gives a young person the personal space to discover things about themselves which they can use later on to make these important decisions. A mentor can also act as a valuable sounding board since they have the advantage of experience, and they can help steer a young person in making profound discoveries about themselves. 
  • Challenge thinking: Sometimes young people can be overly accepting of certain ideas about the world around them without challenging these ideas and forming their own opinions – such as what kind of future is attainable for them in terms of education and career options. We live in a world where young people are inundated with what the ‘ideal future’ is, but rarely are they encouraged to self-reflect and challenge what motivates and inspires them personally. A mentor can challenge a young person’s aspirations and ideas so that they may be better understood. 
  • Accountability: A mentor can act as a great sense of accountability for a young person to reach their goals and their true potential. Young people may be accountable to a parent for their household chores, or a teacher for their homework but who makes them accountable for their life goals? This is where a mentor comes in. They can set weekly goals for a young person to ensure that they are reaching those goals or working towards those goals. They can also help their mentee stay on track with their ambitions through providing the unique tools they may need to reach those ambitions. Accountability is also a vital life skill for a young person to learn as it fosters responsibility and independence. When a young person is accountable they learn to take responsibility for their own growth.

  • Staying grounded while dreaming big: It’s good to dream big! But sometimes a young person’s ambitions can be rooted in fantasy, and from time to time they can lack the ability to recognize the reality of a situation. A mentor can help in grounding a young person and guiding them practically through some of the realistic challenges they may face on their way to achieving their greatness and goals. A mentor helps to bridge the gap between how a young person may see the way forward and what is realistically the best way forward.

Whilst it’s true that many of the benefits of a mentor can to some extent be fulfilled by a parent or sibling, it may be important to a young person that their mentor is from outside of their immediate family. In our experience, most young people derive greater benefits from mentorship when paired with a non-parent mentor, and that they thrive within this unique and valuable relationship.

If your child is between ages 11-16 and you are interested in our mentoring programme, please contact us for more information. We also have great tutoring as well as enrichment programmes available.

Become a GT Scholars Ambassador

Become a GT Scholars Ambassador

Other Volunteer Roles

We are looking for skilled professionals who can use their professional experience to support our growth as a charity within the education sector.  Someone who is passionate about improving social mobility for young people from low-income homes will feel right at home at GT Scholars.

Who are GT Scholars Ambassadors?
Ambassadors are volunteer undergraduates, graduates and professionals that are naturally enterprising and want to use their particular skill set to raise the profile of GT Scholars and support in the growth and development of GT Scholars as a social enterprise.  By becoming an Ambassador, you’ll be committing to becoming our go-to person within your organisation or university: a vital contact for GT Scholars and a bridge between us and your colleagues.

What do GT Scholars Ambassadors do?
The ambassador role would suit someone that is part of existing networks at their university, corporate place of work or in the business world.  They help us gain access to:

  • Volunteers; this could be by promoting volunteer roles to their network or connecting GT Scholars to existing networks of graduates and undergraduates.
  • Low cost or free space that we can use for volunteer training and socials which take place on weekday evenings or space for scholar enrichment events which usually take place on weekends.
  • Corporate sponsorship or funding; this could be financial support or access to volunteers and or space for events.
  • Teacher networks; connecting us to school SLT, headteachers, academy trust leaders and teacher networks.
  • Parent networks and youth networks so that we can reach and impact more young people and parents through our programmes

Your role may also involve:

  • Providing advice and practical support to the founder and the team
  • Assisting with developing our recruitment, marketing, fundraising and public relations strategy
  • Promoting GT Scholars to your existing networks and championing the social mobility agenda
  • Speaking at external events to help attract more volunteers to the programme
  • Providing innovative solutions to raise the profile and the reach of GT Scholars
  • Representing GT Scholars on a top-level both online and offline.

What qualities does an ambassador have?
We’re looking for ambassadors who are:

  • Proactive, passionate and committed to tackling educational inequality
  • Educated to a minimum of degree level
  • Be committed to the organisation’s vision and aims
  • Enjoy working with a diverse team

How much time does an ambassador have to commit to?
You will need to be available for approximately 3-4 hours per month. This is a flexible volunteering role. Being an ambassador means joining our online group of ambassadors, connecting GT Scholars to your existing network and representing GT Scholars at internal and external events.

Any other information about the role:
This role does not involve working directly with young people. However, we will still need to conduct reference checks.
 Professionals who have a genuine passion for social mobility and educational equality can get in touch with us by calling 0208 8168066 or completing the online contact form.

 

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.

 

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

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 represents who you are and will be responsible for deciding whether a potential interview is on the horizon.

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 quickly rejected.

This can make creating a CV to be a daunting task. Applicants usually endlessly ponder questions such as “How could I make my CV or personal statement stand out from the crowd?” or “How could I prevent my CV from being overlooked and not being 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. Information provided must be to the point and quick to read. 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.

2. Make use of a professional resource:

GT Scholars is an excellent example of an organisation assisting young scholars through mentorships and workshops. Outstanding guidance for putting a good CV together is essential if you are unsure what to do. You could also gain significant helpful experience when entering the professional world.

3. Adapt your CV to the role:

Try and stray from a generic CV. This does not mean you must write a new CV for every position you want to apply for. Add a few details to your CV to be more prominent to a recruiter. This applies even more to a personal statement, as you want to ensure that the most suitable qualities stand out. Read our blog here on extra-curricular activities that will boost your CV.

4. The importance of the first three 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. IApplyingthe same principle when writing bullet points in your CV makes sense 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 will have lost their meaning to the recruiter as they most probably read many CVs and personal statements with 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 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:

An unspoken rule is 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. Use bold, italics and underlined words but be careful not to go overboard. Never make your font size below 10 points.

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 recruiter’s attention, and they will be able to find your job application more accessible.

11. Trim the excess:

Do not waste time and space listing every achievement or position you have ever had. The recruiter will only be interested in reading information relevant to the work 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 related to the job specifications or relevant industry. Ensure you search and add keywords to your statement or CV.

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

GT Scholars can provide you with an experienced mentor to help you write your CV and personal statement and apply for a new job or university acceptance. Feel free to contact us to find out what other opportunities and events we host for young people.