In The Know – Book your Coding Workshops PLUS a Freebie for Coding Week!

In The Know – Book your Coding Workshops PLUS a Freebie for Coding Week!

In The Know What's new? Young people

This week is European Coding week and we’ll be celebrating throughout this month with tech related blog posts, a free resource for you to download and further celebrations later this month with a series of half-term coding workshops at Google Academy London!

Free Download – 20 Free Coding Resources!
Did you know that you can teach yourself how to code? We’ve put together some amazing websites that young people can use to teach themselves how to code! These websites and online platforms are easy to use and they are free to access. From solving fun storyline problems using coding to animation & art themed challenges, this is a fantastic download for young people interested in coding. Follow this link for your free download!

#DayofCode – Wednesday 23rd October & Thursday 24th October
We’ve managed to secure three dates to run coding workshops at Google Academy! As many parents have requested, #DayofCode will be open to boys and girls aged 12-16 (Years 8 to 11). The workshops will give each young person a chance to develop their coding skills and build an exciting mobile app game in just one day! The workshop content is repeated so you only need to book your child for one day! All tickets will be released in phases via eventbrite: www.gtscholars.eventbrite.com

#GirlMeetsCode – Tuesday 22nd October 2019
All the stats show that there are fewer women in Tech and numbers have declined since the 90s! We know that girls can be a force for good in the world and many technology companies are actively seeking women to make a change in the technology world. For this reason, we’re running a special day coding workshop just for girls! Similar to #DayofCode, this workshop will not require any previous coding experience as you’ll be guided through the day by our facilitators and volunteers. To join in with the girls go to: www.gtscholars.eventbrite.com

 

5 Things You Need To Consider Before Signing Up For Private Tutoring

5 Things You Need To Consider Before Signing Up For Private Tutoring

What's new?

A study commissioned by the Global Industry Analysts Incorporation (GIA) detailed how the global private tutoring market is projected to surpass $102.8 billion in a few years time. According to the GIA, the private tutoring market has experienced exponential growth in recent years, which has been driven by the failure of standard education systems to cater to the unique needs of students. This is in conjunction with the desire by parents to provide the best possible education for their children in an increasingly competitive global economy. 

Globally, Asia is at the forefront of the private tutoring boom with at least 90% of the market share. Private tutors in these countries have become top earners with some South Korean private tutors supposedly earning £3.3million per annum, which is nearly as much as an average NBA player. 

In the UK, the private tuition sector is now worth an estimated £2billion with many parents and carers paying for children as young as four to receive additional tuition in a variety of subjects. Parents and carers are realising that a bit of extra help could be instrumental in helping their child to reach their academic and career aspirations. 

With this boom in private tutoring, we are also seeing this industry change and develop. In the past, tutoring was geared towards helping children who were falling behind in particular subjects, but now the industry has evolved and expanded to help any pupil through difficult courses and to also give them an edge over their peers in terms of applications to selective schools and colleges. With this being said, the growth of the private tutoring industry calls to the forefront some important issues to consider, which you should also take into account before signing up your child to a private tutoring programme.

Private tutoring has embraced technology
Private tutoring is not limited to in-person long and drawn out lessons anymore. Technology has now made it possible for new and innovative private tutoring methods to develop such as online one-to-one tutoring. This makes it easier for pupils to access a skilled tutor while also being in the comfort of their own home or tailored learning environment. Online tools such as video chat platforms and instant messaging services work hand-in-hand with edtech tools such as online whiteboards and animations to create a fully-fledged virtual learning experience. Online tutoring makes private tutoring more accessible, easier to set up and easier to maintain for both the parent and the tutor. 

Private tutoring can narrow the gap in attainment
Pupils from wealthier homes are able to attend exclusive private schools that offer them a wealth of resources and opportunities to better their learning. Unfortunately, most pupils from state schools are not able to access these resources due to the limited budget given to state schools. This has created a large gap in attainment between young people from low-income homes and their wealthier peers, which has far-reaching consequences on their aspirations and career paths. Private tutoring is able to narrow this gap in attainment as it is can give young people from state schools the chance to access more learning resources and opportunities to improve and maintain their grades. Many private tutoring programmes have been quite expensive, which has limited their use to young people from wealthier homes, however, the increase in the private tutoring industry has made it more competitive. This competition means that there are now more affordable quality private tutoring programmes that can make private tutoring accessible to all.

Private tutoring is largely unregulated
One downside to the private tutoring industry is that it still largely unregulated compared to the education system. The exponential growth of this market can attract tutors who are just in it for the money, which is not something you want in a tutor. However, this can be avoided if parents make sure to carefully check the credentials and experience of the private tutor. This can also be made easier through private tutoring organisations that only enlist the best tutors and conduct rigorous background, reference and safeguarding checks as well as interviews and skill assessments. These organisations also make their track record publicly available, so it is important that parents look into the impact they make and any reviews and testimonials from past parents and pupils.

Private tutoring offers a tailored learning experience
It is important to note that private tutoring does not just offer the same learning experience that pupils receive at their school. Each pupil learns differently, whether they prefer learning that is visually stimulating or learning that is more interactive. Private tutoring is able to offer a learning experience that is individually tailored to these specific needs. Pupils need to make sure that they take full advantage of this by making their needs and learning objectives clear to their private tutor. Parents can also assist with this by sitting down with private tutors in the beginning and laying down specific goals their child wants to achieve and by keeping track of their child’s progress throughout the tutoring programme to ensure that these goals are being met.

Private tutoring goes hand-in-hand with other programmes
It’s important to note that private tutoring can only help your child with specific academic goals. They may also learn other important soft skills such as time management and independent learning, but there’s many other skills and knowledge they will need to meet their career aspirations. This is why it is important to enrol your child in other after-school and extracurricular programmes to ensure that your child has a balanced learning experience. This can in the form of mentoring or coaching, skill-building, or various other programmes. These programmes work hand-in-hand with private tutoring, providing your child with a multi-strategy approach to reaching their aspirations and personal development goals.

GT Scholars offers a private tutoring programme that aims to help your child reach their academic aspirations. This programme is affordable, efficient and effective, offering your child a way to accelerate their learning. We also offer mentoring, enrichment and skill-building programmes that work hand-in-hand with private tutoring to give your child all the necessary skills, strategies and knowledge that they will need to achieve their academic, personal development and career goals. All of our tutors, mentors and workshop facilitators undergo rigorous assessments and background checks to ensure that we provide the best learning experience for your child. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.

10 Of The Best Online Learning Resources

10 Of The Best Online Learning Resources

What's new?

As parents, we all feel the need to ensure that our children are growing and developing and that we’re doing all that we can to facilitate a stimulating environment for their young minds. But carving out time in our own daily grind for homework, maths revision and science projects can be tough, not to mention also finding time to keep them entertained!

That’s where online learning and education resources can lend a helping hand. Online learning resources give young people a fresh perspective on the topics they learn at school and they also offer a new way of learning. High-quality, online learning environments can also help young people develop key problem-solving, critical thinking, and creative thinking skills using a platform that is fun, engaging and motivating. 

But with so many online learning resources and websites out there, where does one begin? Well, we’ve rounded up 10 great sites which promise to keep the young people entertained AND learning for hours on end. These sites ensure that your young ones learn something new in a safe, online environment that also makes learning fun and interactive.

FunBrain
One visit to FunBrain and you’ll want to bookmark it right away! This site’s educational games are designed to build on skills that young people are already working on in school. It’s aimed at young people aged three to 13 years old, and it offers interactive games in numeracy, literacy and science which make developing maths and reading skills fun. With interactive games like Math Baseball and Grammar Gorilla, this site is free to use and also has online educational books and comics which can be read on the go. Visit this great website here: https://www.funbrain.com/  

Science Bob
Let your child geek out on this informative site. It’s the go-to spot for all things science, with experiments to try, research tips and a weekly Q&A section. On Science Bob, young people can watch science-related videos, print out directions to more than 25 experiments, and find links to other useful websites about space, earth science, and more. The site’s experiments and research are perfect for piquing the interest of young science fans. Science Bob is also a great website for parents and kids to look at together, and the kid-safe science videos offer interesting edutainment for after-school entertainment. Take a look at this fun website here: https://sciencebob.com/ 

Kids Know It
The Kids Know It Network provides free and fun educational content for young people, including educational movies, games, and fun activities, in addition to tons of information on a wide variety of subjects. Learn about animals, chemistry, spelling, geography, astronomy, and read fun facts about everything from bats to bones! Kids can also find homework help in a number of subjects including astronomy, biology, geography, geology, history, maths, and spelling. Each subject area includes games and activities to keep students involved. When it’s time for just fun, students can also head over to the game section to play games which are not found in other sections of the site. Visit Kids Know It here: https://kidsknowit.com/

CoolMath
Launched by a maths teacher, this online amusement park of maths offers online games that help young people with addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, decimals, money and much more. They can check out algebraic property definitions, learn multiplication tricks, or test out the online graphing calculator. The site is geared toward ages 13 and up, but they also have a sister site called CoolMath4Kids which is appropriate for ages three to 12. It’s truly a one-stop maths experience and also has a helpful section for parents and teachers. Visit this website here: http://www.coolmath.com/ 

BBC Bitesize
The BBC’s Bitesize website covers all subject areas of the curriculum, ranging from primary school level up to GCSE exams. It’s free to use and includes a host of resources such as useful animations, revision flashcards and interactive sections to help your child learn and revise their school work. Bitesize also has lots of fun educational games that promote learning in maths, science and literacy. Young people love learning through these interactive games and can easily navigate their way through the site independently. Check out their website here: https://www.bbc.com/education  

NASA Kids’ Club
Calling all space buffs! Blast off into learning with this galactic page where young aspiring astronauts can do puzzles and games and learn all about the famous space program. There is information for children of all ages, with footage from Mars and the International Space Station, interviews with astronauts and news on the latest launches. There are also games and craft activities for younger children. Young people can also check in on current space missions, play games in a clubhouse, join an asteroid naming contest, and view exclusive NASA photographs. Visit their website here: https://www.nasa.gov/kidsclub/text/index.html 

Make Me A Genius
Make Me A Genius is filled with entertaining videos that cover a variety of subject topics that can help your child learn more about their favourite subjects. Topics include physics for kids, photosynthesis, the nervous system, solar system and electricity. All of the videos are child-friendly and will keep your child interested from start to finish. Take a look at their website here: http://www.makemegenius.com/ 

National Geographic Kids
The world-famous environmental network, National Geographic, hosts over 100 fun, engaging, and interactive science, action, adventure, geography, quiz, and puzzle games for young people. They can spend hours engaged in learning in their five major sections which include animals, videos, activities, games, and stories. Other sections include word games, brainteasers, geography games, action games, interactive games, puzzles and quizzes, a video gallery, some very interesting science stories, and activities that can be done online and at home. Visit their website here: https://www.natgeokids.com/   

BrainPOP
This site offers heaps of educational games and videos on subjects like maths, science, art and history. Full access to the site requires a subscription, but there’s also plenty of free content to explore. The team at BrainPOP sifts through hundreds of online games by various publishers and selects only the ones of the highest quality – only the best games make it onto the site. Their animations also bring learning concepts to life and all with the help of a plucky learning bot and his friends! Visit the BrainPOP website here: https://www.brainpop.com/ 

Oxford Owl
This website is best for expert advice, educational resources and free eBooks to support children’s learning. With over 250 free ebooks from the reputable Oxford University Press, this site helps young people to learn reading and maths. They also have heaps of tips and advice for parents who want to expand their child’s learning. Visit this great website here: https://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/ 

While online educational and learning resources can go far in creating a fun learning environment and hours of entertainment, sometimes students need a little more extra attention, care and guidance. Among the many options to consider, many busy parents often opt for tutoring, short courses and mentoring programmes. Investing in one of these learning avenues can give students the opportunity to nurture their talents, improve on their weaknesses and develop confidence in themselves and their abilities.

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise that offers various programmes and workshops to provide young people between the ages of 11 to 18 with the necessary skills to set them on a successful career path, improve their grades and enrich their learning experiences. Contact us to find out more about our programmes, workshops and courses.

Why We Need More Personalised Learning At School

Why We Need More Personalised Learning At School

What's new?

The concept of personalised learning is centred on providing a more tailored education programme for each learner. It starts by examining and understanding each learner’s needs and then it looks to provide the necessary and challenging educational opportunities to assist them in their learning and overall development. 

In more practical terms, personalised learning is based on the belief that all young people have the right to receive support and challenges that are tailored to meet their individual needs, abilities and interests. For this concept to prosper it needs commitment from the pupil, responsiveness from teachers and engagement from their parents or carers 

How does current learning at schools take place?
In most schools, pupils are taught the curriculum in a classroom setting where there is one teacher engaging with a number of pupils at the same time. On average, there are about 20 pupils in each classroom in the UK. In this classroom setting, the teacher shares the same information with the whole class and the class is then assessed on that information in the form of tests, assignments, group work, engagement and eventually exams. 

The above method has been and continues to be the current functioning method in most schools. However, this learning method can be problematic for many pupils for a number of reasons. These include:

  • Some pupils may be over-talkative or disruptive which makes it difficult for other learners to concentrate and to engage with the teacher and other pupils
  • Some pupils may be intimidated to speak in front of their peers which hinders their participation during the lesson
  • Some pupils may not be able to understand the way the teacher presents the information as everyone learns differently or may be afraid to ask the teacher for help
  • The teacher has to hold the attention of the entire classroom which can be difficult and this can lower the amount of teaching time

Personalised learning at schools is the solution to most, if not all, of these challenges as each learner would have individual attention and supervision from a teacher and which will allow them to easily learn and understand topics.

Benefits of personalised learning

  • Increased engagement from pupil – This method of learning ensures that each pupil engages for longer which means they will spend more time learning and taking in the information being taught to them. Their engagement can also be further ignited by the pupil taking an active role in choosing their learning methods such as choosing the font and colours that they want to use, choosing the specific subject topics they want to study and the manner in which they wish to study. 
  • Increased motivation – Increased engagement results in increased motivation for the learner to choose a learning path that best suits them, making them much more invested in their studies. This is an important factor because unmotivated learners are known to be disruptive in class and missing important information which results in overall poor performance. Motivated learners, on the other hand, are known to focus and perform better in class.
  • Less time wasted – Teachers only have a specific amount of time to teach each subject topic, while pupils learn and take in information at different rates. Personalised learning can make the most use out of the pupil’s time by either getting straight to the point during a lesson or allowing more time for a teacher to go over any topics that a pupil struggles with. This method allows for teachers to assess the educational needs of a pupil before the course even begins, so as to avoid the traditional way of reading large chunks of information they may already be familiar with before they can begin with the course.
  • Better understanding and better results – A personalised learning system encourages pupils to share their individual concerns and ask for assistance on topics they may not understand without feeling intimidated by other pupils. This will strengthen their ability to handle any tasks the teacher gives to them to do which guarantees better results from the learner. In addition, pupils will complete tasks not just because they have to pass but because they actually understand the information and instructions provided.
  • Learning on your own time – The personalised learning method is much more flexible which allows pupils to take their learning wherever they go. This allows pupils to be in a comfortable environment when learning and it enables them to focus, learn for a longer time and absorb more learning material than they would in a traditional classroom setting.
  • The school also wins – The impact of personalised learning in schools is that of improved academic results, a superior learning culture and more efficient allocation of teaching resources. 

Although personalised learning is the most effective way to learn at schools, it needs more financial support and resources to be able to be implemented at all schools. It can also be difficult to ensure that schools meet their targets in terms of time management and ensuring that all pupils are taught all the information in their curriculum by the end of each year.

However, personalised learning methods can still be implemented through after-school programmes such as private and one-to-one tutoring. GT Scholars runs after-school programmes that include one-to-one tutoring in Maths or English for young people between the ages of 11 to 16. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.

How The Combination Of Private Tutoring and Mentoring Can Help Your Child

How The Combination Of Private Tutoring and Mentoring Can Help Your Child

What's new?

Young people can have a lot on their plate when it comes to setting up their future. They need to ensure that they meet their academic goals while also preparing for their future and career path.

That’s why both private tutoring and mentoring is important for your child. This combination of private tutoring and mentoring is a multi-strategy approach that can help them to be successful in their present and in their future. Private tutoring can help them with reaching their academic goals and improving their attainment, while mentoring can help them with their personal development and reaching their career aspirations.

Let’s go into more detail about the specific benefits of each activity and then the holistic benefit of the combined approach.

Private tutoring
Private tutoring refers to one-to-one tutoring with a tutor who is an expert in a specific subject field. These tutors are usually undergraduates or graduates in their field of expertise and they can help your child to understand difficult topics in the subject field. They can also offer valuable advice when it comes to tackling school work, assignments, tests and exams in the specific subject and in other subjects. This can help your child to improve their grades and overall attainment.

Private tutoring sessions are set up in a more regulated format to ensure that all the necessary topics are sufficiently covered and that your child is confident with each new topic they learn at school. Each session is planned in advance by the tutor in collaboration with the student and the parent, with specific goals set in place for each session and for the tutoring relationship overall.

At the end of each session and at the end of the tutoring relationship, the tutor should assess the student to ensure that they understand each topic that was covered and to monitor the student’s progress.

Together with being an expert in their subject field, the private tutor needs to have the necessary skills to be a good tutor. These skills include interpersonal skills such as being a good listener so that they can determine what topics the student struggles. Another important skill is being able to teach – the tutor needs to effectively communicate their subject knowledge to their student so that they can understand it well and they need to make sure that they monitor the student’s progress so that they know that the student is comfortable with one topic before moving onto the next. 

A good tutor should also be creative and flexible in their teaching methods. Private tutoring needs to go beyond the usual lessons received at school by tailoring the sessions for the individual student. Each student learns differently, so it is important that the tutor takes this into account. Creativity also allows the tutor to offer creative solutions to the student so that the can understand how to solve complex problems and also tackle their test and exam questions independently.

Mentoring
Mentoring refers to one-to-one discussion with a mentor who is usually a professional or expert in their career field. The mentoring sessions aim to guide your child with a variety of issues. This can be issues they face at school, at home or beyond and the mentor will offer them advice and solutions to tackle these issues.

The advice will also help them to develop personal development skills such as interpersonal and time management skills and to develop solid strategies to reach their career goals. This can include advice on finding the best career path, colleges, universities, and alternative options.

In contrast to tutoring sessions, mentoring sessions are not as structured. Most mentoring sessions are open discussions facilitated by the mentor where the student is made to feel comfortable to voice their concerns and issues. There is still a sense of structure to ensure that the mentoring relationship has a goal to progress towards, but the most valuable part of mentoring is that the student feels heard and attended to. 

Progress is less tangible compared to tutoring as there are no grades and scores that can be improved. However, the mentor can still assess the student’s progress to ensure that they remember the strategies and tools that were covered during the sessions.

A good mentor needs to have valuable experience and knowledge that they can use to provide trustworthy and reliable advice. This can be experience related to their career but it can also extend to life experience and any challenges that the mentor was able to overcome to reach their own goals. They need to be open to share their skills, knowledge and even past mistakes if need be to show their student how they can approach their problems.

A good mentor also needs to be emotionally intelligent so that they can set up a mentoring relationship that suits the personality and needs of their student. They need to be good listeners so that they are able to determine what the student needs. Sometimes this will mean waiting and just listening to the student, instead of trying to offer advice.

They also need to have a positive attitude and have a positive outlook on life. They need to be encouraging and ensure that the student feels emboldened and motivated to reach their personal development and career goals. The mentor will usually be a sort of role model to the student, so it’s also important that they understand and be responsible with the influence they have on their student and that they lead by example.

Benefits of the combined approach
The specific benefits of private tutoring and mentoring listed above can interact with one another to create even more benefits when they are done during the same time period. The benefits and skills of each are not limited to one or the other, but they actually can go hand in hand.

For example, personal development skills such as time management and leadership that is covered during mentoring can be used to help your child reach their academic goals at school. Similarly, the structure of tutoring can teach your child valuable personal development skills such as independent learning and coming up with creative solutions to a range of different problems. 

GT Scholars offers various programmes that combine the private tutoring and one-on-one mentoring to help your child reach their academic and career aspirations. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses for young people aged 11-18.

5 Tips To Help You Prepare For Your First Tutoring Session

5 Tips To Help You Prepare For Your First Tutoring Session

What's new?

So you’ve signed up for one-to-one tutoring on one of our programmes? But what are the next steps to help you prepare for your first tutoring session and what do you need to think about before the first session?

The most important thing to remember is that the first tutoring session is the best chance for you to get to know your tutor and set up your tutoring process. This can be instrumental in making your time on our tutoring programme successful for you.  If you come prepared to this first session, it will be easier for your tutor to help you reach your goals and help you to improve your grades. 

Another thing to remember is that there is no assessment or test to study for. Our tutors are more interested in helping you improve your grades and overall attainment – there is no harsh judgement if you are not doing as well as you expected in your subject. 

With that being said, there are a few things that you can do to prepare for your first tutoring session.

Think about your goals
Firstly you should think about your academic goals. These can be short term or long term goals that you want to achieve at school and beyond. You should ask yourself questions such as: What GCSE results are you aiming for? What subjects are you interested in for A-levels? Are you planning on going to university? Do you have a career path in mind? At the same time, you don’t need to worry too much if you don’t have the answers to all these questions just yet – that is perfectly normal. Part of the benefit of tutoring is helping you to clarify some of these questions and discover your strengths and skills that you are best at.

Think about your current challenges
Challenges are different to goals in that they are more specific things that you seek to overcome through the one-to-one tutoring programme. This can be challenges you may have with specific topics or subjects areas or challenges with the way you study or complete your work at school. It’s important to be honest with yourself and your tutor so that they can help you properly. Remember, they are not there to judge you, they are there to help you overcome any challenges you face and to help you improve your grades and attainment. It will also be good if you can expand on any reasons you think are behind these challenges you face. For example, if you are struggling with studying, one of the reasons could be time management. This will enable your tutor to give you more specific advice and tips to help you overcome your challenges.

Think about what you want to gain from the programme
Beyond understanding your goals and challenges, you should also understand what you want to gain overall from being a part of the tutoring programme. Do you want to learn more about yourself and your strengths? Or perhaps you just want help with tackling upcoming exams and assessments? It’s important to list these things so that your tutor can keep track of this so that by the end of the programme, you would have gained what you wanted. This also goes hand-in-hand with your priorities so that your tutor can understand you better and help you to benefit as much as possible from the programme.

Think about the practical things
To help you reach your goals and overcome your challenges during the tutoring programme, we need to make sure that the process is as efficient as possible. This will ensure that all your needs are met by the end of the programme and that you are ready to tackle your goals and challenges. To ensure efficiency, you should make sure that you list the practical things that will make tutoring easier for you. Some examples of practical things include preferences for sessions on weekday evenings or on weekends, preferences for visual learning or textual learning and even preferences for Skype or Google Hangouts. Remember, one-to-one tutoring is tailored for your individual needs, so make sure that you make it clear what works best for you so that your tutor is able to help you as effectively as possible.

Think about any questions you may have
Tutoring is aimed at helping you to achieve your academic goals, but you can also ask your tutor for guidance when it comes to meeting other goals such as personal development and career goals. For example, if you want to follow a certain career path, you need to know which subjects will you need to do in school and at college, how well you need to do to get into university for that career, or what are the alternative options if that path does not work out. So it would be best if you have some questions noted that you want to ask, as this will help your tutor help you with good and sound advice and guidance.

If you use these tips to prepare for your first session and you are willing and open to learning and growing, we are confident that you will see the results that you are looking for by the end of the programme

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. We run after-school and weekend programmes that help young people achieve their academic and career aspirations. Our programmes include tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-18. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.

Why Entrepreneurship Needs To Be Included In The Curriculum

Why Entrepreneurship Needs To Be Included In The Curriculum

What's new?

There are so many entrepreneurs in the world that offer a wealth of inspiration to young people. From Richard Branson to Bill Gates to Oprah Winfrey, the success stories of entrepreneurs can be inspiring and motivating, which can help young people to achieve their goals.

Beyond inspiration, learning about entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship offers valuable skill-building opportunities and life lessons. Here are just a few of the many reasons why entrepreneurship should be included in the curriculum.

Confidence
Taking a business idea and turning it into a profitable enterprise takes far more than just hard work. Entrepreneurs have to believe in their idea so that they can convince others that it will work and also keep themselves motivated. If an entrepreneur does not believe in their own idea, no one else will either. This self-belief takes a whole lot of confidence and self-motivation. Entrepreneurship can instil confidence in young people, teaching them how to be self-reliant, resilient and motivated. Confidence will also prepare them for any challenges they may face and also keep them going when things change such as moving from school to university.

Passion
Paired with confidence, passion is one of the most important traits an entrepreneur must possess. A business leader’s passion can convince top employees to join a company or convince investors to invest in their business. Passion is also important when convincing clients to try a product or service. Entrepreneurship offers a dynamic and interactive way to engage students, cultivate their interests, and open potential academic or career paths that they might not have known about or considered before. Lessons in entrepreneurship can expose them to a variety of topics, sparking their interest and helping them discover and develop their passions and future aspirations.

Resourcefulness
Entrepreneurs continually seek ways to improve their products, services, and businesses, even in the face of significant challenges such as budget constraints, time crunches, and small teams. In these situations, they have to use their resourcefulness and quick thinking to ensure success. Entrepreneurship can be used as a tool to teach young people how to use the resources they have at their disposal to make an idea or plan work. Lessons in entrepreneurship can also be individually tailored to help young people to use fewer resources, develop new resources or think out of the box to solve a business challenge. Resourcefulness will teach young people to think fast, come up with innovative solutions to problems, and to be resilient. 

Social Skills
From networking to nurturing relationships with customers or investors, entrepreneurs need social skills to help accelerate the development of their company. Social skills will help young people with their interpersonal relations, social interactions and leadership skills. This will always be valuable since interacting with people is something they will always encounter at university or in the workplace. Having good social skills also means that you will be a better leader which will help you to be more successful.

Teamwork
Entrepreneurship teaches young people about the value of collaboration and teamwork and how important it is to work with others to reach a specific goal. In every stage of life, from school to university to the workplace, young people will have to work with other people, so it is important for them to start building their teamwork skills as soon as possible. This will make them more effective in teams which can also make them stand out as leaders and thought leaders.  

Financial Education
Entrepreneurship is a useful tool that can be used to educate young people about important financial topics. These topics will give them the necessary skills to become successful adults. Some topics that can be taught through entrepreneurship include budgeting and saving, how to avoid or handle debt, and understanding taxes and insurance. This will equip young people with the skills and knowledge that will need to deal with various things in their daily life – from student loans to life insurance. 

As you can see, including entrepreneurship in the school curriculum offers an impactful way to teach young people many important skills that they will use for the rest of their lives. 

Entrepreneurship activities can also be found in after-school programmes such as the GT Scholars Dragon’s Den Challenge. This annual workshop takes place during Global Entrepreneurship Week and is based on the world-famous TV show. This gives young people a taste of what it takes to be an entrepreneur, and it involves them coming up with a business idea in a specific amount of time and pitching it to a judging panel. This will provide them with hands-on experience in entrepreneurship while teaching them simple business principles, teamwork, presentation skills, and effective time management.

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. We run after-school and weekend programmes that help young people achieve their academic and career aspirations. Our programmes include tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-18. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.

What Education Should Look Like In The 21st Century

What Education Should Look Like In The 21st Century

What's new?

Education is a constantly changing system that needs to adjust to the way current generations think while also embracing new information and new technologies. Gone are the days of text-heavy textbooks and outdated subjects, education is already moving forward to embrace and develop new methods to help young people learn effectively.

With this being said, there are still many ways that the education system can still improve and innovate. Here is what education should look like in the 21st century.

Embracing Edtech
Technology has taken over every aspect of our daily lives, which has made young people more reliant on technology. This means that if education embraced technology, it would make young people more susceptible to learning.

There are many innovative ways that education and technology have combined to produce powerful edtech tools and learning methods. Edtech is able to stimulate and improve learning in the following ways:

  • Visualisation
    It’s easier to understand abstract concepts or topics when it’s visualised. Tech tools like apps, interactive diagrams, and 3D visuals make it easier for young people to grasp and memorise new topics. Colours and patterns also stimulate the brain and help young people to think creatively and critically.
  • Interactivity
    Using interactive tools allows young people to take charge of their learning and be more energised and motivated to learn. Using mobile games and apps makes learning fun, but still challenging. Other interactive tools can give students individual challenges, guide and support the learner when needed and allow learning by doing which promotes active learning.
  • Analytics
    Grading exams, papers, and presentations can take a lot of time and there’s always a risk of subjectivity due to human nature. Using technology allows automation to make grading and evaluation simple and fair. Analytical tools also help the learner to follow and reflect on their own learning progress through self-evaluation and peer-evaluation.
  • Portability
    Technology makes learning on the go far easier. The vast worldwide web offers thousands of online tools, resources and information that can be accessed on various mobile devices. This makes it easier for young people to complete homework and assignments, learn new skills, and keep track of their learning. Virtual classrooms and labs also offer remote learning possibilities and for young people to attend classes and complete tasks from the comfort of their own home.
  • Collaboration
    Online, cloud-based and social apps and tools offer various ways for young people to take part in creative and collaborative activities that can help them with assignments and projects. Online collaboration is also useful for teachers and parents to communicate with one another to effectively monitor a student’s learning and academic progress.
  • Accessibility
    Online apps and tools make learning easier for young people with learning difficulties or special needs. For example, young people with visual impairments can access information through audiobooks and podcasts or young people with special educational needs can be taught through the use of interactive and visual tools. 

Focusing on Careers
Choosing a career path is a very important step for pupils and school leavers. This will greatly impact the choices they make and their future, making this decision a very important one. Education needs to include a greater focus on helping young people choose the career path that is right for them and their goals. Many young people today end up changing career paths down the line, which can set them back on their course to achieve their goals. 

In a survey conducted by the London Business School, it was determined that 47% of the 1,000 individuals surveyed wanted to change their careers, with younger people aged 18-24 and 24-34 most likely to want a career change. According to this survey, one of the main reasons for them wanting a career change was job satisfaction. 

One of the best ways to counteract this is to help young people to ensure they find a career that they are passionate about through career guidance in schools, career counselling and strength testing. This can also be combined with building soft skills that will help them in the workplace, such as leadership, teamwork, presentation skills, interpersonal skills and digital skills. In addition, programmes that help young people to get into the university or career field of their choice should also be included in school so that everyone has access to these valuable resources.

Personal Development and Mindfulness
There has been a greater focus on mental health and wellbeing of young people in recent times. This is due to the greater awareness of mental health issues that can affect young people and due to improved scientific research in human behaviour and psychology. 

The effects of mental health issues can greatly hinder a young person’s progress in school and also in their personal development. Education should include a greater focus on holistic wellbeing to help young people counteract mental health issues and deal with negativity. This can include peer counselling, behaviour management and strategies to deal with cyberbullying. Moreover, young people can be taught how to deal with stress, social anxiety and other issues that may affect them in some way. There should also be a more significant integration of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in schools to ensure that these services and easily accessible to all young people.

To conclude, there needs to be a sustainable plan set in place across all stages of education, from early childhood to schools, to universities. This plan should include supporting young people with the challenges they face in their current stage while also preparing them for future stages. In addition, education should not be something that is only taken care of by schools – other stakeholders, including parents, organisations and companies, should also be more responsible for the education of young people to ensure that they feel supported every step of the way. 

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. We run after-school and weekend programmes that help young people achieve their academic and career aspirations. Our programmes include tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-18. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.

An interview with one of our volunteer online tutors – Arash Khosravi

An interview with one of our volunteer online tutors – Arash Khosravi

Volunteer interviews Volunteers What's new?

Tell me a little bit about you and what got you to where you are today?
I went through school and after that, I did Economics at A-level and then studied Economics full time at UCL. During my time at UCL, I was the president of the UCL branch of the charity Team Up. After graduation, I was offered a job at the Bank of England where I worked as a Data Analyst.

What made you decide to become a volunteer tutor?
I really feel like I want to give back to society and give back to people that are in a less fortunate position than I am, through no fault of their own, and help them achieve their full potential. I did some informal tutoring a few years ago and I got really good feedback. That made me think and I then decided to take my strengths and use them to help people that really need the support. Since volunteering at UCL, I was trying to find other opportunities to volunteer that could fit in with my work schedule. I find that tutoring is a really good option and that I can make a real difference in a young person’s life.

What did you enjoy most about tutoring your scholar?
What I enjoyed most was really seeing the development of my scholar throughout the 12 week term. I think the highlight for me was in week 4 when I logged into Skype for our session and my scholar said: ‘’Sir, sir you know the thing we’ve done with the area of the square? I tried it in class and my teacher said I got the question right!” She was really chuffed about it and that was great to hear. I think engaging with the scholar and building a good relationship is what I’ve enjoyed most. I was very lucky to be matched with someone who is really engaged and ready to learn.

What challenges have you helped your scholar to face?
What I found at the beginning of this term in my scholar was the fact that she was doubting herself. I think the challenge was to reinforce the knowledge she already had and building her confidence. In the beginning, I would ask a question and she would attempt to solve 60% of the question but wouldn’t have the confidence to work through the remaining 40%. She would then say she did not know how to do it. I focussed on building her confidence and to say to herself, I do know how to do it and I won’t give up. It’s really great to see how much her maths has developed and improved.

What goals have you helped your scholar to achieve?
I think a good example of one of our goals would be the mock test my scholar had coming up. A week before the mock test we did two tutoring sessions so I could help her prepare for the test. After the test, she came back and said that a lot of the work we revised did come up in the test and she really felt confident answering them. We also set up goals for some of the topics she felt a bit weaker in and although she was struggling with it earlier on in the term she was able to tackle them after a few week’s sessions.

Why do you think tutoring is valuable to young people?
Because I feel that students at school have a wide range of abilities and are at different levels. I don’t think that the modern skill system can factor that in with a class of 30 students, with different abilities and learning styles. Some young people need additional support and a lot of them don’t have the opportunity to get 1-to-1 support and can fall behind. I think tutoring can help fill that gap between school and home. Free tutoring is great to bridge the gap between young people who can afford private tutoring and those who cant.

Do you have a message for young people?
I would say they should keep working, keep trying and keep persevering with whatever they want to do in life. There’s no one path to get you where you want to go. Be who you are and don’t try to be anyone else. And with that mindset try things and really persevere. Like with the GT Scholar Programme, even if you don’t get it results initially, keep trying and pushing forward and towards where you want to go.

How important has support been in getting you to where you are today?
My dad is a maths lecturer, I could not get away from maths as a young person (laughs). Until about GCSE I was rubbish at maths, I used to get 40%. I think it was because I wanted to get away from maths because my dad will always be talking about it. At that age, I did not realise the importance of it. Until my dad sat me down and got me to engage and focus and made me realise the importance of it. In terms of other subjects, I did not have formal tutors but had support from my peers and family that helped me a lot.

What have you gained from volunteering with GT Scholars?
I feel like I gained a lot of confidence. I was a bit nervous before my first session because I see it as a real responsibility and duty to help a young person on their journey with mathematics. I really wanted to do a good job and make an impact on my scholar’s life. Having my scholar come back by the fourth session saying how she benefited from our sessions had really boosted my confidence. I think there are a lot of children out there that don’t see their own potential and it’s really opened my eyes to that. I have also gained a great relationship with my scholar and we even joke around during sessions sometimes.

Would you recommend becoming a tutor with GT Scholars?
Definitely. I think the whole process is really good and I gained a lot from the experience. For a tutor to be able to come in and really feel the positive impact made with a scholar and really seeing the journey you’re both going through during the 12 weeks is just amazing. The programme is really great for those scholars who are at average or just below, to give them that extra boost they need. Volunteering as a tutor is a nice way to start volunteering, whether it’s your first time or if you’re an experienced volunteer. I definitely recommend it in terms of it being a great way to volunteer and help young people.

What Parents Need To Know About State Boarding Schools In England

What Parents Need To Know About State Boarding Schools In England

What's new?

With state-of-the-art facilities, highly-qualified teachers and a wide range of extracurricular activities, boarding schools in England are among the most prestigious and sought-after in the world. In addition, young people who attended boarding schools frequently go on to study at top-ranked universities.

However, boarding schools can be really expensive. Fees vary widely from school to school, but the average boarding fees per term for pupils at boarding schools across the prep, senior and sixth-form age groups in 2016 was £10,317. This makes it really difficult for young people from low-income homes to access a boarding school education. 

But there is good news! In England, there are at least 38 state-funded boarding schools that offer the full boarding school experience at a fraction of the cost. Normally, these schools will offer tuition for free, and parents will just need to pay for boarding, which can be as little as £4,000 a term. This means that young people from various socio-economic backgrounds are able to attend a boarding school if they wish. Here are a few reasons why parents need to know about state boarding schools in England.

Stability
A boarding school offers your child a stable environment that is conducive to learning. Many young people who travel to and from school struggle with focusing at school, understanding difficult topics, and getting homework and assignments done. A boarding school works around such challenges by providing ongoing, often individual, support and attention that can ensure that your child feels completely supported in their learning. This makes it easier for them to reach their academic and attainment goals.

Path to university
The learning environment and highly-qualified staff at boarding schools make it easier for young people to reach their attainment goals so that they can get into university. However, it extends beyond their attainment as boarding schools also offer specialised university support for their students that will help them with the application process and securing their place in the university of their choice. As a result, boarding schools often have high numbers of pupils who go on to attend top universities across the country. 

Personal development
Boarding schools directly and indirectly promote the personal development of your child. A recent survey from The Association of British Boarding Schools revealed that 70% of students believe boarding school has helped them develop self-discipline, maturity, and independence, as well as valuable critical-thinking skills. Being away from home gives them the space to develop their independence and responsibility, which makes it easier for them to adjust when they leave school. They can also develop other valuable soft skills such as time management, leadership and self-confidence, which will help them in their future.

Social development
Living in away from home with like-minded, highly motivated individuals with similar goals and ambitions, young people will be able to form strong connections with classmates from different backgrounds all over the world and establish friendships that last long after they leave school. This is important for developing their interpersonal skills which makes them into well-rounded and self-confident individuals. Interpersonal skills are valuable in the workplace and in social settings and it makes them more personable, easygoing and it boosts their self-esteem. 

Extracurricular activities
Boarding schools in England offer a wide range of extracurricular activities and opportunities. With hundreds of clubs and activities, boarding schools offer much more compared to local schools, from various sporting disciplines to cultural pursuits like music and art. Being exposed to this diverse range of extracurricular options encourages students to try things they never would have before, helping them to develop their range of interests and grow into more well-rounded individuals. This diversifies their experience and skills, which makes their CV stand out when applying to university or for a job.

As you can see, boarding schools offer a wealth of benefits for young people and with state boarding schools, many more young people are able to access these benefits. There are also a variety of options for different age groups and either mixed or single-gender schools. So if you would like your child to attend a boarding school, find out more about state boarding schools in England here

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. We run after-school and weekend programmes that help young people achieve their academic and career aspirations. Our programmes include tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-18. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.