7 Ways you or an online tutor can boost your child’s literacy, vocabulary and oracy at any age

7 Ways you or an online tutor can boost your child’s literacy, vocabulary and oracy at any age

Growth mindset Parents What's new?

Language and communication skills are considered to be the fundamental building blocks for how we, as social beings, convey our thoughts, feelings and ideas. For children, the very first exposure to language development starts at home by imitating the language used by parents and utilising this development to further attain additional language skills in primary and secondary schooling and onwards.

According to an Employer Skills Survey conducted by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, 91 000 employers identified skills most lacking among employment applicants are either directly or indirectly related to oral communication. We can, therefore, state that language development is of crucial importance to a child’s later success in life. There are various methods that parents, teachers and tutors can implement that can potentially improve young people’s language skills and their overall confidence.

Encourage writing
Trying to motivate young people to write can sometimes be a challenging task.  Providing young people with frequent opportunities to write has proven to be an effective way to improve written language skills.  Encouraging young people to write in a journal or diary is a great idea. Younger children still developing basic writing skills can have writing incorporated into everyday tasks. This can include writing birthday cards, postcards during holidays or grocery lists, they are all great introductions to writing. Another fun way to encourage young people to write is to let them participate in local poetry or writing contests or volunteer their writing skills at local publications or non-profit organisations.

Variety is key
With the information age in full swing, it goes without saying that there is a great demand for our attention. Twenty four hour news cycles, social media platforms, electronic devices and all the click-bait entertainment value that comes along with it are all demanding of our attention. It is consequently paramount to incorporate variety into the methods we use to teach our children pivotal language skills to ensure optimal stimulation and entertainment while they are learning. Don’t be afraid to try something different. Instead of selecting their reading material, take children to the school or community library and encourage them to choose their own materials to take home. Families can start their own ‘book club’ by setting aside one evening per week to discuss various books or publications together as a family. Young people can also practice reading out loud as it can boost confidence in their language and oracy skills.  Try to make learning fun by hosting ‘game nights’ playing games such as Scrabble or Upwords.

Debate and engage
When defining good language skills, one would assume that this encompasses the entire spectrum of these skills in generic form from listening, speaking, reading to writing. Over the years, however, there has been the sense that speaking and listening skills have taken the backseat in comparison to reading and writing skills in the standard educational systems.  The very same survey conducted by UK Commission for Employment and Skills detailing the lack of applicants with good oral communication skills identified that these applicants did not have the ability to manage one’s own feelings and the feelings of others, persuade and influence others and to make speeches or presentations. We must then, certainly, invest dearly into the development of young people’s spoken communication skills. Don’t underestimate the power of the debate. When speaking to young people, avoid the yes-no questions and leave them open-ended to encourage fluency and grammar skills. Question their answers and debate the topic! Remember to take on the role of the talker as this is a crucial part of improving children’s speaking skills. Make sure you always provide good speech for children to listen to as they will use this as the basis for their development.

Books, books, books
When acquiring any new skill, practice does make perfect. Books and related reading materials are the backbone of teaching and improving young people’s literacy and overall vocabulary.  Providing constant access to books and reading material will ultimately help them spend their time on something constructive, better their language skills and ipso facto provide them with the necessary skills to succeed in a professional world as adults.  Parents and tutors with a love for reading can set an excellent example and can encourage young people to do the same.   Do a little bit of research to find out what most young people enjoy reading. It can make it easier to connect and engage with your child. Set aside some time at home or in class to discuss what kind of books young people read for pleasure, don’t limit the discussions to school textbooks or course texts solely. Don’t underestimate the paperback – it is not set in stone that electronic reading devices are the preferred reading method in today’s society. Always provide children access to paper books.

Be the role model
Parents, teachers and tutors serve as the first subjects of imitation for children. We provide them with their first exposure to language usage, social skills, ethics and cultural norms. We cannot expect our youth to automatically attain the required language and communication skills if we do not set the example for them to follow and learn from.  Let your child see that you love reading and when they see you reading frequently they will follow your example. Share what it means to be a passionate reader by discussing your all-time favourite books and characters with them. Discuss books and topics and when young people see their peers being open-minded towards other opinions and new point of views they will feel more encouraged to behave in the same manner.

Give incentives
It is always important to reward young people for their efforts. Even as adults we feel more valued in a professional environment when we know that our work is appreciated. Rewarding and encouraging your child’s development will instil motivation for them to continue learning. They can be rewarded for writing well. Something as simple as encouragement stickers or certificates can go a long way.  Another way to reward them is to type out their written work, they will truly enjoy seeing their writing in a professional document format. You can also reward reading by taking them to do special activities related to the book they’ve finished reading. This will make their efforts feel valued and encourage them to read more.

Invest in tuition programmes
Sometimes we do need a little extra help,  don’t stray from asking for it!  There are many ways to ensure young people receive effective language schooling. There are many possibilities out there to consider like tutoring, short courses and mentoring programmes. Investing in one of these platforms gives our young people the optimal teachings they need for overall literacy and oracy and ultimately put them on the right path to personal growth and success.

The GT Scholars Programme is a not-for-profit social enterprise that offers various programmes and workshops to provide young people between the ages of 11 to 16 with the necessary skills to set them on a successful career path, improve grades and enrich their mentoring experiences. Sign up here and look out for our enrichment days and skill-building workshops.

 

In the Know – Spring STEM activities!

In the Know – Spring STEM activities!

In The Know Parents What's new?

With the season of Spring officially beginning, we are sure that your child is eager to put their winter jackets away and step into the warm sunshine (when it does eventually return). While they wait for the sun to show up, here are some upcoming events and fun activities for them to learn more about the fascinating world of science, technology, engineering and maths.

Imperial Festival 2018
The annual Imperial Festival returns on the 28th-29th April at the South Kensington Campus of Imperial College London. This free event is open to all ages and offers a showcase of technological marvels to celebrate the Year of Engineering, a hands-on zone for families, and talks from world-leading thinkers and innovators. There will also be a chance to go behind-the-scenes and explore the latest research and innovations from Imperial College London through interactive demonstrations, workshops and live experiments. Find out more here.

Young Astronomers Workshop
The Planetarium & Astronomy Centre of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich offers free weekend workshops for young aspiring astronomers. Running from the 1st of April to the 30th of June, these workshops will allow your child to learn about space science and exploration, and also learn more about careers in astronomy from the team of Observatory Explainers. Find out more here.

The Deep Time Walk
The Deep Time Walk is a ground-breaking new project, which enables anyone, anywhere to experience a walking audio history of the living Earth. As you walk across 4.6km of deep time (representing 4.6bn years of Earth’s big history), you witness the formation of our planet and its self-sustaining nature and you experience long geological processes and self-regulating patterns that have produced our current conditions. The app is available for both Apple and Android devices. You can also 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.

A recap of our Career Day 2018: Finding Your Passion

A recap of our Career Day 2018: Finding Your Passion

Events What's new?

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise that provides tutoring, mentoring and enrichment events for young people aged 11-18.

As part of our Academic Programme and Awards Programme, scholars have the opportunity to attend our a range of enrichment events for young people including visits to universities, visits to the city and career days for young people.

Saturday 24th of March 2018 marked the date for our Annual Career Day. The theme of the day was Finding Your Passion and the day was a huge success.

The panel consisted out of talented professionals from various backgrounds and served for an in-depth overview of various career-focused topics.

With a turnout of over 70 young people and parents, the atmosphere was lively and we had some interesting questions that were submitted to the panel. GT Scholars would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who attended our annual career day.

The day was very informative and insightful, with plenty of light shed on important questions. The day returned plenty of positive feedback from the young people, who found the event extremely useful and enjoyed learning about different career paths and options. We had speakers from a range of career backgrounds including a project manager at Lloyds Banking Group, an investment banker at Goldman Sachs, a Senior Contract Manager at NHS England and senior software engineer and technologist with over 10 years experience in the tech industry.

We’ve put together a short summary of the discussions that took place on the day and the key messages from the day.

  1. Work experience can help you discover your passion:  Not all young people find deciding on a career, to be an easy decision to make, especially at the age of 13 years old. Young people might find it hard to establish what their strengths and weaknesses are. They might struggle with knowing what they are good at and which field will be best suited for them. We all dream of a career that we can flourish in, excelling in doing what we are good at, something we have a passion for.  Often we set ourselves to believe that we would enjoy a certain task or activity, but when we measure our perception against the practical experience, things don’t always turn out the way we’ve made our minds up to be. The only way to discover your passion and whether it can be a viable career option is to gain some work experience, accept an internship or to talk to someone in a similar field. Young people can gain ‘’behind the scenes’’ information on a particular career that they are interested in.
  2. Embrace your talents, they are limitless: Having a growth mindset is the key to unlocking your potential and talents. A lot of young people have the perceived idea that there is an elite group of people who are destined to be successful and talented and that they do not particularly fit into that group.  That could not be farther from the truth! One of the questions asked by a young person at Career Day was, which career choice would be better: Embarking on a career journey on becoming a barrister or being a Youtube entrepreneur? The panel responded with:’’ You can be both.’’ Young people should not limit themselves, with the right mindset and dedication you can become anything you want to be, and most importantly you do not have to label yourself to fit into a specific category. You can still be a barrister with a Youtube channel and a profitable E-commerce business on top of that! There is no rule that says you need to limit yourself to only one profession. Young people should be free, creative and fearless. Approaching life with a can-do attitude.
  3. Studying Online: There was also a lot of interests and questions about the option of studying online. The discussion touch on a number of online courses available, some even free. While an online course does not carry the same credibility as a degree, they are still very useful and informative. It is a great inexpensive way to brush up on some skills or learn new skills. Not all courses are accredited so it is always a good idea to inquire about that before enrolling or paying for a course or paying for a certificate.
    • Udemy is a great online source if you are looking to enrol in an online course. Udemy courses are not recognised by employers as a qualification but it is still worth adding your completion of the course on your CV. It can show a potential employer that you are self-invested and eager to learn.
    • Coursera and EdX is another great online learning platform. With free online courses and members from the world’s most leading universities, edX offers a verified certificate that confirms your course completion. Another great thing about edX is that you can build up credits that you can put towards your university or college application for professional development.
    • For more websites for online learning, read one of our other blog entries: 10 Websites young people can use to learn anything online.
  4. How to filter through choices: First and foremost it is important to remember that a career does not necessarily have to be a lifetime commitment. There are many career choices available and when imagining yourself being in a certain career field, young people should rather be asking how they can add value to their day to day life and the daily responsibilities that would be assigned to them. Young people should be asking themselves questions such as: What strengths and skills do I have? How can I utilise this to make a difference in my own life as well as others? Another important question young people need to ask themselves is: What will I enjoy doing? As parents we can develop our children’s communication, problem-solving, team working, leadership skills and creativity as these are the skills directly involved in making a career choice or business venture a success.

It was great to see how the young people who attended the event were supported by their parents. All parents who’ve attended our career day gained more perspective on the career and study options available to young people and learned how they as parents could provide the necessary support to young people needing to make these important life decisions.

We’d also like to say a huge thank you to the organisations that supported us to make this day happen: Amazon Foundation, Blackrock Foundation and Goldsmiths University – for giving young people and their parents the opportunity to attend our event and receive impartial information about different careers, apprenticeships, and university. Without the continuing support of our sponsors, enrichment activities such as our annual career day would not be possible.

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity that helps young people from a range of backgrounds get better grades at school and get into top universities and competitive careers. If you would like to find out more information about GT Scholars and their after school one-to-one private tutoring and mentoring session, register your interest. Please feel free to subscribe to our newsletter and get notified of future events, workshops and opportunities for young people aged 11-16.

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

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

Growth mindset Parents What's new? Young people

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

In the Know – STEM opportunities in 2018!

In the Know – STEM opportunities in 2018!

In The Know Parents What's new?

There are many people who have an aptitude for working in science, technology, engineering and maths disciplines, and are naturally drawn to jobs in these fields. If your child is interested in working in a STEM field, here are some great work experience opportunities to allow them to explore their options, discover their strengths, and get a firsthand look into their chosen field.

Leonardo Work Experience Programmes
Leonardo is one of the biggest suppliers of equipment to the UK defence sector. Their engineering work experience programmes offer a range of activities for students and an invaluable insight into the varied career options that can be explored from studying STEM-related subjects. In their week-long programme, they want to challenge perceptions about the working environment, demonstrate how working as a team to meet a challenge can be fun, and help young people discover their potential. Applications for 2018 are currently open and you can find out more here.

Generating Genius – Junior Genius
Junior Genius is a range of activities for students with a passion for STEM. The programme will help your child to learn more about the subjects they love and how STEM applies to real-world situations, and it includes support with your child’s school learning with subject-specific activities designed to help them excel in their GCSE’s. There are also opportunities to visit universities and businesses so that your child can find out more about what a future in STEM could offer them. Applications are open now and you can find out more here.

Bentley Work Experience
For over 90 years, Bentley has created some of the most luxurious and powerful cars in the world. They offer a work experience programme to give 14-19-year old students a taste of what it’s like to work at Bentley. If your child is unsure about what sort of career they want, their inclusive programme is a great way to get a snapshot of what your child might do in their Engineering, Manufacturing and Commercial departments. 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. Registration for the January programme is now open. You can register online by following this link.

Could your mindset be preventing your child from learning?

Could your mindset be preventing your child from learning?

What's new?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Narrowing the gap Social mobility What's new?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the Know – Teamwork is the name of the game!

In the Know – Teamwork is the name of the game!

In The Know Parents What's new?

Young people need to learn how to work in teams as it is almost certain that they will work alongside others, whether it’s for a school project, a group assignment in university, or in their future career. Teamwork also teaches young people vital interpersonal and social skills. Other than sport, here are three other opportunities in which young people can build their teamwork skills.

The Army Cadet Force
The ACF welcomes boys and girls aged 12 and over to their programme where they encourage young people to learn more, do more and try more. Some of the benefits include getting to take part in loads of exciting and challenging activities such as fieldcraft, adventurous training, first aid, music, sports, and plenty of teamwork. Cadets will also learn a wide range of transferable skills through the Army Proficiency programme. Find out more about this programme and the closest ACF group to you here.

St John Ambulance Cadets
Young people aged 10–17 can join one of the St John Ambulance Cadet units, which operate throughout England. These are a great way for young people to take part in volunteer work and learn valuable life skills such as teamwork. The full and interactive programme includes learning first aid skills, volunteering within your community by providing first aid cover at public events, and having the opportunity to compete in international competitions. If you are interested, you can find out more here.

Royal Air Force Air Cadets
The RAF Air Cadets is community-based and open to anyone aged between 12 (Year 8) and 17. Membership is exciting, rewarding and above all fun, with activities such as flying, gliding, target shooting, adventure training, sports, camps, drill, academic studies and meeting lots of like-minded people who will become your team-mates and friends. You’ll also have the opportunity to be selected for the International Air Cadet Exchange programme, or develop your potential on the Air Cadet Leadership Course. 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. Registration for the January programme is now open. You can register online by following this link.

In the Know – Work experience opportunities to make your CV stand out!

In the Know – Work experience opportunities to make your CV stand out!

In The Know Parents What's new?

There many reasons why work experience is important for young people. It increases the chance of finding a great job after school or university, it allows young people to explore all their options and discover their strengths, and it gives young people a firsthand look into their chosen field. Check out some great resources for work experience below:

Barclays LifeSkills
This free online resource aims to inspire young people to get the skills that they need for a better future. With LifeSkills, you can build a job-hunting toolbox, identify your skills and strengths, gain valuable real-world experience offered by businesses, and get inspired on how you can be your best self with courses and webinars. Find out more and how to sign up here.

The Prince’s Trust
This organisation believes that every young person should have the chance to embrace exciting opportunities. They have several free programmes to help young people to get a job by gaining experience, skills, training and confidence. Their Get Into programme works with companies to help give young people the opportunity to gain work experience. They also offer a personal development programme, development awards and online support. Find out more here.

GoThinkBig
This online digital hub provides the inside scoop on exciting opportunities. They will help with finding exclusive jobs, internships, work placements and skill days; connecting to experts such entrepreneurs, tech startups and recruitment agencies; and learning about new gaps in the job market and careers and businesses that celebrate creativity, innovation and the digital economy. 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. Registration for the January programme is now open. You can register online by following this linkYou can also sign up for our weekly newsletter here.

7 Reasons Why Every Young Person Needs A Mentor

7 Reasons Why Every Young Person Needs A Mentor

Mentoring What's new?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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