In the Know – Take charge of your career!

In the Know – Take charge of your career!

In The Know What's new?

It’s never too early for young people to start planning for their future! With a wide range of career opportunities available, it is also helpful for them to get some guidance on how to go about choosing a career. This week’s activities aim to do just that with events and programmes that will give you and your child the necessary tools to help them make the best career choices.

GT Scholars Careers Day 2019
Our 4th annual Careers Day is happening on Saturday 16th March 2019 at Goldsmiths, University of London. This highly anticipated free workshop aims to address the questions that arise when young people are considering their career options through a panel of young professionals from a range of careers in Law, Medicine, Engineering, and Technology. To book your ticket, click here.

GT Scholars Parent and Pupil Information Session
On Saturday 23rd March 2019 we will be hosting two information sessions for pupils and parents. The sessions will be an opportunity for you and your child to find out more about the Bright Ambitions and Head Start Programmes. The sessions will also include strategies and techniques on how you can improve your child’s grades. To book your place, click here.

Applications for Bright Ambitions are now Open!
Our Bright Ambitions programme is for ambitious young people aged between 13-16 who want to gain leadership skills, improve their grades, get mentoring support and get into top universities. The programme offers 1-to-1 tutoring and mentoring sessions as well as enrichment workshops throughout the school term. The application deadline is Tuesday 26th March 2019. Find out how to apply here.

LSE CHOICE
The London School of Economics CHOICE programme gives talented young people from London state schools and colleges the tools they need to get into highly selective universities. Students in Year 12 or 13 can apply for a free place in one of 5 subject streams: Economics, Government and politics, History, Mathematics or Sociology. Applications close on Sunday 10th March at 11.59pm! 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.

What is an Enhanced DBS and why do our Volunteer Tutors and Mentors need this?

What is an Enhanced DBS and why do our Volunteer Tutors and Mentors need this?

Volunteers What's new?

Volunteering as a tutor or mentor for young people is a great way to give back to your community, to help young people that require assistance, and to be an inspirational role model.

At GT Scholars we aspire to recruit the best volunteers to tutor and mentor young people. They need to have the right skills, a positive outlook, and the ability to communicate effectively. It is also our responsibility to ensure that all our volunteers have undergone safeguarding training and have completed an Enhanced DBS check. This is to ensure the safety of our scholars.

With the DBS check, we ensure that no unsuitable person will engage with any of the scholars on our programmes. To help you understand more about this DBS check and how the process works, we have answered a few important questions.

What does DBS stand for?
DBS stands for Disclosure and Barring Service. It is merging of the CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) and the ISA (Independent Safeguarding Authority) to carry out the same purpose of both organisations under one body.

What is the purpose of a DBS check?
This certificate has been put in place by the government to ensure that unsuitable people do not work with individuals that are vulnerable such as children and young people. It is essential for the safety of all vulnerable groups of people.

Who needs to have a DBS check?
Every job will differ on the type of DBS check they will require from an individual, but any person who wishes to work with children and vulnerable adults will need an enhanced DBS certificate. This is to ensure the safety of these groups.

What are the 3 types of DBS checks?

  • Basic Disclosure – this is more of a criminal record check that may be required for applying for a visa or personal licence
  • Standard DBS – a check that will show all convictions, warnings or cautions on a person’s record and is usually required when applying for a job
  • Enhanced DBS – similar to the standard but this can include any relevant information by the police and this check is required when working with children and vulnerable groups.

How can you get a DBS check?
You can either apply for one directly from the DBS via an online application or you can apply via a responsible organisation that is registered with the DBS.

How much does DBS check cost?
A standard DBS will cost around £30 and an Enhanced DBS around £50. For volunteers, the Enhanced DBS will cost around £10.

What do you need in order to do a DBS check?
A person needs to attach at least 3 documents to their application for a DBS check – one document from Group 1 and two documents from either Group 1, Group 2a or Group 2b.

Group 1 is for primary identity documents such as:

  • Passport
  • Biometric Residence Permit
  • Current Driving Licence
  • Birth Certificate
  • Adoption Certificate

Group 2a is for trusted government documents such as:

  • Current Driving Licence (countries outside the EU excluding Isle of Man and the Channel Islands)
  • Current driving licence paper version – if issued before 1998
  • Birth Certificate
  • Marriage / Civil Partnership Certificate
  • HM Forces ID Card
  • Firearm Licence

Group 2b is  for financial and social history documents such as:

  • Mortgage statement
  • Financial statements
  • P45 or P60 statements
  • Council Tax Statement
  • Bank or Building society statements
  • Credit card statement
  • Utility bill (not mobile phone bill)
  • Benefit statements such as pension or child benefit
  • Entitlement documents given by a government agency/council
  • Sponsorship letter from future employer – for applicants residing outside the UK during application
  • EU national ID card
  • Cards with PASS accreditation logo – UK, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands
  • Letter from headteacher or college principal – for 16-19-year-old UK citizens in full-time education (exceptional circumstances)
  • Work permit or visa

How often do we need to renew our DBS?
The DBS certificate expires after 3 years, then it will need to be renewed. There is also the option of the DBS Update System that costs approximately £13 per year and will renew the certificate every year from the date of issue.

We hope that after reading this you would understand the need for a DBS check when you volunteer with us. We aspire to create a safe environment for all our scholars and to offer them the best tutors and mentors without any compromise.

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.

5 Quick and Easy Ways to Volunteer with Us

5 Quick and Easy Ways to Volunteer with Us

Volunteers What's new?

Volunteering with young people is a great way to give back to your community and to help those that require assistance in either their academic studies or personal wellbeing. At GT Scholars, we focus on helping young people to achieve their aspirations. We do this with assistance from selfless volunteers who sacrifice their time to help young people through tutoring and mentoring.

However, there are more ways that one can volunteer apart from tutoring and mentoring. Here are five quick and easy ways that you could make a difference with us.

Be a Volunteer Ambassador:
Are you a vibrant and outgoing person who would like to assist GT Scholars in reaching more people? Are you a graduate or professional with experience in public relations, marketing, business management or fundraising? Then you can volunteer as a GT Scholars Ambassador which involves being a liaison for us with your company or university.
You could help to bring in more volunteers, sponsorships, internships for young people, or even arrange to give the young people a career day experience at your workplace. Volunteer ambassadors are crucial in bridging the gap between GT Scholars and different areas of work and education, and they really help our organisation to grow and thrive.

Be a Volunteer Videographer/Photographer:
If you’re a skilled videographer or photographer, then you too can make a difference by volunteering your time and expertise. We are always having events and workshops that require a talented individual to capture the best moments. Your work will then be used on our website and in our newsletter which will be a great addition to your experience and portfolio.
So if you are passionate about what you do and want to help, this would be a great opportunity to show your support for a great cause.

Be a Volunteer at one of our workshops or events:
If you do not have the time to dedicate to tutoring or mentoring, but you would still like to help whenever you are free, then you should think about being a volunteer at our events or workshops. We run various enrichment events and skill-building workshops for young people that usually take place on Saturdays. We also run parent and pupil information sessions that usually take place on weekday evenings for schools across London.
Event volunteers help to ensure that the event, workshop or information session runs smoothly and that the attendees have a fantastic time. You can also choose to volunteer your time for the whole event or even just a few hours, so this volunteer role is flexible yet still impactful.

Be a guest speaker at our event:
Some of our enrichment events include a panel of speakers that will enlighten young people on a specific topic. For example, during our annual Careers Day, we have a panel of speakers from different professional backgrounds to inform attendees about their career and the different paths young people can take to reach career goals.
Volunteer speakers help to share their stories, the challenges they faced, the skills they had to learn etc. This would be a great way for you to inspire young people to achieve their aspirations, build their confidence, and understand their strengths. You will also motivate them to work harder and never give up.

Invite us to be a guest speaker at your event:
We are always looking for ways to share our vision with others and to widen our reach. So if you host events for undergraduates, graduates or professionals at your place of work or university, we would be delighted to be invited to speak and share our experiences and raise awareness for young people who need help to reach their aspirations.
You will be able to give us the opportunity to reach a much larger audience that could assist us in helping more young people to achieve their purpose while giving you the opportunity to diversify your events and show your support for a great cause.

If any of these volunteer opportunities sound interesting to you, please feel free to contact us and we will get you started. GT Scholars is dedicated to helping young people to achieve their aspirations and we would not be able to do this without an amazing team of volunteers.

In the Know – Think about your mindfulness!

In the Know – Think about your mindfulness!

In The Know Parents What's new?

Mindfulness is a useful tool that young people can use to build self-confidence and stay motivated. It can also be used to maintain their emotional wellbeing, deal with stress, and help them to reach their personal goals. This week we bring you three activities to introduce mindfulness techniques to young people.

An Introduction to Mindfulness
Are you curious about what mindfulness involves and whether it is a practice that would work for your child? Join Bromley Mindfulness at their Introduction to Mindfulness workshop on Monday 25th February from 7pm to 8.30pm at Bell House in Dulwich. The workshop is designed to teach young people the practical skills that will support their personal development. Tickets are £10 with free places available. Find out more here.

Calm
Calm is a free app that offers basic mindfulness practices to people of all ages, including a week-long beginners’ series that shows you how to practice cultivating awareness and how to train your mind to bounce back when it switches into autopilot mode. Other free sessions include 7 Days of Sleep and Calming Anxiety. The app is available for both Apple and Android devices.

Practical Mindfulness
Virgin recognised how practising mindfulness is a key tool in keeping issues such as stress, insomnia and anxiety at bay. In order to address the rising importance of mindfulness, they held an awareness week about this important topic. They provided a wealth of resources on mindfulness tools that young people can use to improve their day-to-day living. 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.

5 Discussion Topics for Volunteer Mentors to Include in Their Mentoring Sessions

5 Discussion Topics for Volunteer Mentors to Include in Their Mentoring Sessions

Volunteers What's new?

As a mentor, you want to help build your mentee’s self-confidence and help them to be more positive and goal-orientated, while also making sure that they are well-adjusted to the world around them. But how will you go about doing this during your mentoring sessions?

The easiest way to achieve this is to make sure you pay attention to your discussion points during each mentoring session. Discussion points help you to get to know your mentee better so that you can advise them and help them to come up with the right strategies to reach their goals. Here are five discussion points that will help get you started.

Ask them about their interests and hobbies
A great way to get to know your mentee would be to discuss their interests and hobbies. Finding out what they like to do in their spare time can help you find a common ground to gain their trust. It is also good to start with this to help your mentee to feel more relaxed and open. Everyone has at least one hobby that they love to do, so this will most certainly get them talking. From this, you will be able to expand the discussion.
For example, if reading is their hobby, you can discuss some of the books they’ve read and why they enjoyed some titles more than others. If it is music, you can discuss some of the artists they prefer listening to and why they may be more drawn to those artists. This can help you to understand more about them as a person.
It would also be useful for you to do some research on their hobbies and interests so that you can relate to them and encourage them to tell you more about themselves.

Find out what their favourite subject at school is
Finding out their favourite subject will help you to further identify with your mentee. It will help you to understand what they are good at since most people tend to like a subject that they excel in. From this, you can develop an understanding of the way they think. If they like maths, then you will know that their mind is more analytical and numerical, or if they like art, then you will know that their mind is more creative, and so on.
You can then find use this understanding to delve into other topics such as career goals.

Ask them about their strengths
Beyond their interests and favourite subjects, you can also directly ask them about their strengths. This can include an aspect of their personality that they may be proud of or a soft skill that they may have. For example, your mentee may feel that their strength is their patience or that they can communicate very well. If your mentee shares these personal attributes, it means that they are becoming more comfortable with sharing a more personal side of themselves with you – this is a big step in the mentoring process.
Sometimes they may not be aware of their personal strengths. This will be the perfect opportunity to tell them about a positive trait that you have noticed in them. It is always good to show your mentee the positive qualities that they possess to build up their self-confidence.

Talk about their career goals
One of the main aims of the mentoring programme is to help young people to reach their career aspirations. So it is always a good idea to discuss what your mentee would like to do after school and which career path they want to take.
Usually, they will have an idea of what they would like to do after school. In this case, you can help by shedding more light on the career they have chosen to follow, including providing a detailed explanation of what is required of them and what the actual job entails. This can include practical tips such as what they need to study in school, which university should they go to, should they do an apprenticeship etc.
Sometimes a young person may not know what career path they would like to pursue. In this case, you can help by looking at their interests and their favourite subjects in school. From this, you should be able to come up with a list of careers paths that your mentee might be inclined to. You can then discuss each career path in detail while encouraging them to decide for themselves.

Ask them where they see themselves in 5 or 10 years from now
Discussing their future will encourage them to raise their aspirations and work towards their goals. This can also perfectly tie up everything you may have gone through with the first four discussion points.
If you know their future goals, you can also help to set them up on the right path to achieve them. For example, if your mentee wants to study at Oxbridge, you can assist them by explaining the application process or helping them to write the best personal statement.

These discussion points are a great start to your mentoring sessions. However, every mentee is different and they may have different needs or may want to discuss different topics. You should always keep your mentee’s interests as the priority, while still maintaining control of the direction of your mentoring sessions. This will make your mentoring sessions both impactful and insightful.

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.

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An Interview with a Parent: “I find that the GT Scholars approach supports the parents and the child as well”

Our Impact Parent Spotlight What's new?

As part of the scholar spotlight series, we interviewed a parent of one of the scholars on the Bright Ambitions programme. Please listen to the audio clip above for the full interview. You can also find the transcript below. 

How did you find out about GT Scholars?
We found out about GT Scholars because we were looking for originally a tutoring programme for my daughter. We saw GT Scholars advertised, I asked around, no one had heard about it and on a day trip to Croydon, we saw some signs and some posters. It looked fabulous. I went to contact the Head of the programme, had a long discussion about it, just to discover their ethos and their mindset about tutoring and enhancing children’s capabilities, and I really liked the programme. We went for an interview, it was a nice interview and not only did they interview us, we interviewed them actually and we were quite pleased and that is how we started. And that was about 4 years ago we have come up to.

Why did you choose GT Scholars over any other programmes that you could have gone for?
I looked around quite widely and I decided to go with GT Scholars for a few main reasons.  Firstly I like the ethos. It has a holistic approach to developing a child, not just focused on the academic grades, just building confidence and resilience. And also, I was quite concerned about the mental challenges and the mental aspects of learning today. The way GT Scholars approach learning and developing is quite a nice approach and it’s an approach I really welcomed.

What difference have you seen in your daughter after she joined the programme?
The impact of the programme I’ve seen on my child is that prior to the programme, I think stress was beginning to manifest itself in just delivering grades, grades, grades, and obviously I as a parent was trying to tell my child that it’s just not about the grades even though the grades are really important, it’s about developing everything. Obviously, the children of today don’t really want to listen to just the parents only.

During the programme, basically, you just hear the same messages that each parent is trying to instil in their child coming from a variety of different voices. So you have the tutor saying the same thing, you have the mentor, you the enrichment, they say the same thing and actually slowly but surely, it started to sink in.

How it manifested itself or the impact it gave on my child was that I could see confidence building. Slowly but surely she was actually replaying the same messages that she was hearing from all of these various areas back to me. Her grades were improving, slowly but surely she was looking forward to her sessions, where I at the beginning definitely saw fear but now it was, it was sort of excitement. And she looked forward to the enrichment days because I always went with her, I hung around outside, I attended some enrichment days. And towards the end, she was hoping, actually, that I didn’t sit in with her. That was also a positive sign.

What has your experience been with the organisation as a whole?
So I feel as a parent I also get support from the GT Scholars programme. There’s the official feedback sessions you have at the end of the term, which you can, a member of the GT Scholars will phone you and have a discussion with you or you can write your feedback in. I think that’s really worthwhile and that just gives you the sort of official line to see whether your child is progressing.

In between that, you also have administrative help from the GT Scholars team, actually probably every fortnight I hear from a member of the GT Scholars team, who will ask you how the program is going, is there anything you need to do, what are you looking for, have your goals been achieved or have they been met, would you like to attend the next term, again what your goals, so I feel that it’s more of a family, again, a holistic approach to developing my child which I am really supportive of. I wouldn’t like to attend a tutoring programme where they just took my money and said right we’ve given you, we’ve taught your child academically, thank you very much, get on with it. I find that the GT Scholars approach supports the parents and the child as well.

What would you say to a parent thinking of signing up for a GT Scholars programme?
To a parent who is thinking of signing up to GT Scholars, I would say, please just do it. It’s really beneficial. The mentoring, tutoring, the support you get is second to none and you’re not going to get that anywhere else. I have researched extensively. It helps your child‘s development at any stage. Near exams, you can focus on the exams itself. Pre-exams you can just help develop your child. It’s beneficial, you have nothing to lose really by joining GT Scholars programme.

Do you have any final thoughts that you would like to include?
I’ve looked into tutoring, all of the aspects of tutoring, tutoring itself is really expensive, mentoring is expensive, enrichment days, are for me, extortionately expensive. GT Scholars is a much more cost-effective way of developing your child and that’s why I would thoroughly recommend 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.

The True Cost of Private Tutoring, Mentoring, and Enrichment: How we are able to reduce this cost

The True Cost of Private Tutoring, Mentoring, and Enrichment: How we are able to reduce this cost

Parents What's new?

Why does tutoring, mentoring and enrichment matter? 
Research from the Education Endowment Foundation shows that private tutoring can accelerate learning by up to 5 months within a year. Mentoring and enrichment add further value as it is able to provide young people with the right strategies and tools to reach their career aspirations and personal development goals.

What are the barriers? 
However, many young people from low-income homes are not able to access these valuable services due to financial constraints. The reality is that high-quality private tutoring, mentoring, and enrichment programmes are simply not affordable. This means that young people from low-income homes are not able to achieve the same as their peers from higher-income homes. The Education Policy Institute reported that just 1 in 10 pupils from low-income homes in England were able to achieve top grades in GCSE Maths in 2018, with similar results for English.

How much does this cost?
In London, the average costs of these programmes per term are:

  • Tutoring for 12 hours x £40/hour = £480
  • Mentoring for 6 hours x £60/hour = £360
  • Enrichment for 3 days x £120/day = £360
  • Residential enrichment for 5 days x £200/day = £1,000
  • Coding workshops for 1 day = £190

This means that if you want to access a full programme of academic and mentoring support which includes private tutoring, mentoring and enrichment, it will cost you £1,200 per term! This, of course, is far too expensive for most parents.

How are we tackling this? 
GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise, so our goal is to provide high-quality private tutoring, mentoring and enrichment programmes that ensure that ambitious young people have the support they need to achieve their full potential in life, regardless of their background.

We do this by working with DBS checked volunteer tutors and mentors who are dedicated to helping young people to achieve their aspirations.

Our goal is to ensure that ambitious young people from all backgrounds can access our high-quality learning and development programmes and this we charge means-tested fees which range from £9-£26 per hour.

Our means-tested fee model
By using a means-tested fee model, parents from low-income homes can enrol their child in one of our programmes at a substantially reduced cost. And for parents from relatively middle-income homes, paying full fees, the cost of the programme is still considerably less than what they would pay elsewhere.

Making a difference
We’re passionate about social mobility and we know that even at a reduced cost, some parents will simply not be able to afford this due to huge financial constraints. This is why we provide a limited number of free places for young people on Free School Meals. This is all done through our existing funding from previous terms but also thanks to funding from a range of organisations who are also passionate about improving social mobility for young people from low-income homes.

The GT Scholars Programme is a not-for-profit social enterprise that tackles educational inequality and improves social mobility by helping young people aged 11-18 gain access to selective universities and competitive careers. Our tutoring, mentoring and enrichment programmes are designed to give young people the support, skills and strategies they need to achieve their ambitions. Contact us to find out more.

In the Know – Explore your career options!

In the Know – Explore your career options!

In The Know What's new?

There are so many new career options emerging every year. However, young people are often not aware of the many pathways they can pursue after they are done with school. It is essential for them to assess their skills and find a career they are passionate about. This week we have three opportunities for young people to gain an insight into different careers.

GT Scholars Career Insight Programme
As part of the launch to the new GT Scholars Career Insight Programme which will begin in August, we will be offering young people a chance to attend a career workshop on Thursday 21st February at the EY offices in Canary Wharf. During this free workshop, young people aged 14-17 will have the chance to hear from professionals in a range of careers and understand the different paths that they took to achieve their career aspirations. To book your ticket, click here

Want a career in Aviation?
The Heathrow Jobs and Careers Fair 2019 will be taking place on Thursday 28th February. This free event will allow young people to meet with over 80 airport-based employers, educational institutions, volunteering organisations and apprenticeship programmes. They will be able to get the latest information about vacancies, placements and training available at the airport. To find out more, click here

Find your Opportunity!
The Festival of Opportunities will be running over the February half term. Suitable for young people aged 12-18, this series of events helps young people explore their potential, develop their skills and find out about great careers. Featured in this year’s festival are visits to Sky Media Studios and University of West London. 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.