In the Know – Your future begins now!

In the Know – Your future begins now!

In The Know What's new?

Early preparation is key if your child is thinking about going to university! So, with this week’s fun and informative activities, your child will get to immerse themselves in university life while also receiving all the support and advice they need to reach their university aspirations.

UCL It’s All Academic Festival 2019
UCL is one of the leading universities in the world. They are running a free interactive festival packed full of talks, panel discussions, screenings, performances, workshops, interactive stands, exhibitions and tours. This will give young people the chance to go behind the scenes at UCL, quiz leading academics and get hands-on with some of their most exciting researchers. The festival will be taking place on Saturday 5th October from 10am to 4pm at UCL. Find out more here

US-UK Fulbright Commission – Study in the USA Seminar
The US-UK Fulbright Commission together with EducationUSA is running an informative seminar about studying in the USA. This free event will help young people and their parents to learn more about the undergraduate admissions process, admissions exams, how to choose the right institution, and scholarship opportunities. The seminar will be taking place on Tuesday 8th October from 5pm to 7pm at the University of Notre Dame. Find out more here

Royal Holloway Personal Statement Workshop
Royal Holloway, University of London is running a free personal statement workshop for young people in Year 12 and 13. A professional from their Student Recruitment and Admissions team will guide attendees through writing a perfect personal statement, revealing exactly what admissions tutors are looking for when reading an application. The day will also include a Campus Tour led by their student ambassador team. This workshop will be taking place on Wednesday 23rd October from 11am to 3pm at Royal Holloway. Find out more 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.

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.

In the Know – Take your learning outdoors!

In the Know – Take your learning outdoors!

In The Know What's new?

With July being National Picnic Month, it is the perfect opportunity for young people to head outdoors! There are also many outdoor events and activities that will have them learning something new or getting involved in something exciting and fun. Here are a few outdoor activities to get them started.

Holland Park Ecology Centre
Holland Park Ecology Centre in Kensington offers an on-going programme of free informative talks and walks on environment and wildlife topics, open days in the wildlife area, and workshops. They also offer conservation volunteering events every third Saturday of the month, with the next volunteering event taking place on Saturday 20th July. These events give your child the opportunity to get closer to nature, learn new skills, and build their CV. Find out more here

Chelsea Physic Garden
Tucked away beside the Thames, Chelsea Physic Garden is the oldest botanic garden in London and houses around 5,000 different medicinal, herbal, edible, and useful plants. They run a range of activities for young people that will have them learning new things from paper-making to forensic biology, while also enjoying the great outdoors. Tickets for young people cost £6.50 and you can find out more here

Better Takes Action Boat Tour
On Sunday 14th of July, KEEN Footwear and Plastic Whale will be running a unique volunteer event where young people aged 11-18 will be involved in cleaning up the Regent’s Canal on kayaks. This fun volunteer opportunity will get your child closer to nature, involved in making a difference, and it will be a credit to their CV. They will also have a chance to meet inspiring environmentalists and learn more about nature conservation. Find out more 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.

How To Keep Your Scholar Interested In Their Tutoring Sessions

How To Keep Your Scholar Interested In Their Tutoring Sessions

Volunteers What's new?

Being a tutor can be one of the most satisfying and fulfilling roles a person can take on. The opportunity to get to help and guide a young person to improve academically and seeing their progress from the hours you put in during tutoring is worth the time and effort invested.

However, tutoring can sometimes be challenging when trying to keep the momentum and enthusiasm going from the first session to the last session with a scholar. But, there are a few things you can do as a tutor to avoid this or in some cases get out of this slump. Here are a few ways to keep your scholar interested in their tutoring sessions.

Understanding your Scholar
One of the best ways to avoid the disinterest of a scholar is to understand them from the get-go, including what works best for them in terms of grasping concepts and how they relate to you. A constructive way to go about this is to make sure that they are comfortable enough to be able to discuss any potential issues that may or may not arise in the time that you are tutoring them. To do this, you need to create a safe space for your sessions. In creating this safe space, it is also important to establish boundaries with your scholar regarding respect for your role and understanding that there are also rules to ensure that you can do your best as their tutor.

Mutual Feedback
Another avenue to explore is having regular feedback sessions with your scholar. These can focus on one of two aspects. The first aspect is where you ask them how they are finding the tutoring sessions with you and if you are engaging them enough and relaying your knowledge well enough that they are able to comprehend everything. This can be done after your session or you can get them to fill out a questionnaire you’ve prepared via email correspondence. This will let you know where you stand as a tutor and whether the way in which you approach the sessions is working.

The second aspect is where you give them feedback on their progress and the areas you feel they should work on outside of the tutoring sessions. How you approach this feedback session is very important and this is where understanding your scholar also plays in. Some scholars are sensitive to constructive criticism, which can be due to a lack of confidence. So it is important that you give them feedback in the friendliest way possible. It’s also important to reward and praise any progress made. If they feel that you as a tutor don’t see or acknowledge the strides that they are making, it can cause a nonchalant approach towards future sessions and work assigned to them.

Switch Gears
During your time as their tutor, it would be good to implement different approaches to each session in order to keep boredom and disinterest at bay. Incorporating fun but effective elements to the sessions such as interactive games or quizzes can create new ways of learning topics. As long as they do not distract from the learning, these activities foster a positive environment for your scholar to flourish and learn.

When it comes to the structure of the sessions, it is good to be consistent but it’s also important to make sure it’s interactive and inviting. If they enjoy the session, it makes the task at hand easier to approach and the learning more effective. Other elements that you can look into are visual elements such as pictures, GIFs and memes that are related to the topic. You can also use short videos and other activities that stimulate the brain. This will ensure that your scholar leaves your tutoring sessions feeling enlightened and energised.

The Scholar becomes the Master
“But I’m the tutor!” Yes, you most certainly are. This role reversal simply means that you designate the last few minutes to let your scholar teach you what you have taught them in that session. This helps the scholar revise what they have learnt and it also helps you to determine how they are grasping and handling the content you are teaching them. It doesn’t have to be the entire session’s work, but key components of the session that you want to make sure they have understood.

This can also be a spur-of-the-moment test to help them develop their ability to think on their feet and build their confidence in the subject. It also pushes them to revise their work more so that they are not caught off guard in future sessions. This exercise is also beneficial to you as the tutor as you get to observe how effective your tutoring has been and how to improve on it. It fosters growth for both you and your scholar.

Have Patience
Having patience when tutoring a scholar is one of the most important necessities. Some scholars require more time to grasp concepts than others, so you need to be patient with them. Having patience also allows you to take a step back and be more understanding and accommodating of your scholar and it sets the tone between the two of you. It will show them that you are happy to help them and it will encourage them when they are struggling. Patience also goes a long way for many scholars and it is a contributing factor to how your scholar participates and adjusts to your tutoring over the course of the programme.

Tutoring is a rewarding experience that positively impacts you and your scholar in more ways than one. If you feel like you would like to help in making a difference in the lives of young people, then you definitely should volunteer to be a GT Scholars tutor.

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. Our after-school tutoring, mentoring and enrichment programme is designed to help young people aged 11-18 achieve their academic and career aspirations. Visit our website if you’d like to know more about the GT Scholars Programme and how you can make a significant difference in young people’s lives.

In the Know – Bring the fun back into learning!

In the Know – Bring the fun back into learning!

In The Know What's new?

We hope you had a great half-term break? In the spirit of getting back into the groove of things, this week we’re bringing the fun back into learning! With this week’s activities, your child will discover what they love about the subjects they take. Use these activities to reignite your child’s passion for school and remind them that education has a fun side!

Raspberry Coding Jam
The Pi Jam presents an exciting day of coding workshops, interesting talks and fun activities at their All London Raspberry event. This event is ideal for young people aged 11-16 who want to learn more about technology, programming and coding. This free event will cover Python, machine learning and Microbit as well as Scratch and programming activities. This event filled with coding fun will be on Saturday 8th June at The Microsoft Reactor London. Register your interest here.

The Saturday Club Summer Show!
This free event celebrates pushing the boundaries of creative education! The National Saturday Club Summer Show will be an exhibition of the research work of their 13-16 year old members. Their work will cover a wide range of subjects such as Fashion, Business, Science and Engineering. This is a great way to inspire your child to get excited and develop a passion for their school subjects. The event will take place from Saturday 8th June at Somerset House. Find out more here.

Rise of the Machines!
Be sure to take your child down to the Barbican Center for a day filled with activities to get your child thinking about technology that goes beyond their mobile phone! This event is free for 11-14 year olds and will include engaging, interactive activities such as driving a virtual sports car and creating images with a big screen robot that mimics your gestures. Find out more about this exciting event 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.

In the Know – Innovation, Imagination and Fun!

In the Know – Innovation, Imagination and Fun!

In The Know Parents What's new?

Learning nowadays can be so much fun for young people! They are able to navigate through complex subjects and problems, all whilst enjoying the experience of innovation and teamwork. This week we bring you three skill-building activities for young people to enjoy!

Code Green!
As part of the Winter Lights Festival at Canary Wharf, young people can put their coding skills to the test by participating in Code Green. They will take on the challenge of turning the world green by making environmental decisions in a collaborative coding game. This free, drop-in event will be on Saturday 26th January between 10am-10pm. To find out more, click here.

Master the Masterclass!
For the first time, Tate Modern will be giving the public free access to their Saturday Masterclass. Led by Scale Rule, young people will get the chance to learn about artworks relating to graphic design, architecture and engineering. Thereafter they will work together to create their own masterpieces! The classes will be held on both Saturday 26th January and Saturday 2nd February from 12pm to 6pm. To find out more, click here.

Skill building Saturdays!
Did you know that Wellcome Collection runs free monthly workshops for young people aged 14-19? Their Saturday Studio events give young people a chance to learn about animation, photography and digital journalism in a practical setting. These studios are led by creative experts and help young people use their creativity and imagination to develop new skills. To find out more, click 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.

In the Know – Create and collaborate!

In the Know – Create and collaborate!

In The Know Parents What's new?

Did you know that LinkedIn has identified creativity and collaboration as two of the most sought-after soft skills by companies? Young people can benefit from learning these skills from a young age, so this week we bring you three activities which are centred around creativity, collaboration and careers!

Get Creative!
The Design Museum runs the Young Creatives programme for young people aged 14-19 years old. They have monthly meetings where young people work together as a team on design-based projects. They will get to take part in 2D and 3D design, join in workshops with designers and members of the museum team, and gain career insights. To find out more about how you can join, click here.

Learn about Careers!
Kidzania’s career fair will be taking place on Wednesday 23rd January and Thursday 24th January. Young people aged between 10 and 14 can participate in a series of workshops which encourage them to work as a team and develop their communication and problem-solving skills. They get to do all this whilst learning about different careers! Find out more here.

Vlog like a pro!
Young people have the chance to participate in MediaTrust’s Vlogging training on Monday 28th January. This free workshop, taking place at Google Academy London, is suitable for young people aged 16 and above. Lessons for the day include video editing, presentation skills and confidence building. Book your tickets 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.

In the Know – Volunteer opportunities to build new skills!

In the Know – Volunteer opportunities to build new skills!

In The Know Parents What's new?

Building new skills is important for all young people. It allows them to explore interesting fields, learn more about their strengths and it look greats on their CV. It is also important for young people to volunteer as it leaves a lasting good impression on their character and personal development. Here are a few opportunities that will allow your child to both volunteer and build new skills.

Youth Advisory Board Member
The Independent Academic Research Studies (IARS) International Institute is offering young people from the age of 15 to be a part of their youth advisory board. The IARS is an international network that deals with youth, equality and justice matters. The youth advisory board drives the organisation and assures their standards are kept up. Members attend board meetings, organise events and partake in training and research. Skills that are developed include problem-solving, communication, dedication, pro-activeness and confidence. Applications close on the 30th of April and you can find out more here.

Volunteer Interpretation Programme
The Dulwich Picture Gallery is offering a volunteer programme to young people between the ages of 14-21. Volunteers will get to work with their curators to research and explore new ways of talking about their collection and to develop and produce new programmes and activities, including public tours, events and exhibitions. Several skills will be developed including creativity and design skills, event management, communication, independence and problem-solving. Applications will be accepted until the 14th of June. Find out more here.

Visitor Experience Volunteer
The Postal Museum is looking for young volunteers from the age of 16 to join their visitor experience team. This museum showcases the fascinating story of Britain’s postal heritage in an engaging, educational and fun way. Volunteers will be involved in welcoming and interacting with visitors, promoting services and events, and other activities. They will learn problem-solving, communication, confidence and teamwork skills. Applications close on the 18th of April and you can find out more here.

The GT Scholars Programme is an after-school programme that focuses on social mobility, growth mindset and helping young people to achieve their aspirations. The programme includes tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-16. If you would like to know more, please contact us here.