Great Ideas For One-to-One Tutoring Sessions

Great Ideas For One-to-One Tutoring Sessions

Volunteers What's new?

Tutoring should be a fulfilling experience for your scholar and for yourself. It should not be something that will be dreaded by your scholar and it should be something that is different from how your scholar learns at school.

With that being said, there can sometimes be a tug-of-war between trying to keep the tutoring sessions serious to complete the task at hand and making the sessions enjoyable. Creating a balance between the two is key, and once you are able to achieve that, you will find yourself looking forward to the tutoring sessions with your scholar and they will run more smoothly and effectively. 

One thing to keep in mind is to maintain your structure in terms of the content you intend to teach and the goals you have for those sessions, but be flexible in how you deliver the content and also how you interact with your scholar. Here are a few ideas you can use to keep your tutoring sessions energetic and effective.

Use icebreakers
Your first one-to-one tutoring session can be nerve-wracking for both you and your scholar. One of the ways to combat this feeling is to create or implement session icebreakers. This is a good way to get both of you comfortable and a good way to get to know a bit more about each other beyond the formalities of tutor and scholar. These icebreakers can simply be a 5-minute discussion about general topics outside of the planned content. These discussions can also help you to find the best ways to make the sessions most effective for your scholar.

Personalise your sessions
It is one thing to tutor someone, and another to tutor them effectively and produce the best results. It is important to find out more about your scholar and what they are looking to get out of your sessions and also what they want to personally achieve at school and beyond. Once you can establish a general outline for the first few sessions, you can personalise the sessions in a way which works well for both you and your scholar. 

Be supportive
Providing your scholar with support during each of your one-to-one sessions can greatly improve the way in which you interact with one another and it helps to boost their confidence. You need to be encouraging and to show them that the tutoring sessions are a safe space for them to be open about the areas or topics they struggle in. This will allow them to feel more comfortable and confident in how they approach the content you are tutoring, as well as establishing a respectful and comfortable relationship with you as their tutor. 

Encourage independent thinking
Tutoring is also important for encouraging your scholar to think independently. The idea behind this is to foster a growth mindset within your scholar so that they are able to tackle tasks independently and build their self-confidence. One way to do this is to help them to stand on their own feet and to think beyond the assistance you provide. During your tutoring sessions, you can create a short quiz or other mentally stimulating techniques that will help your scholar to build confidence in the subject and to not be dependent on your teachings alone. This will shift their perspective on how they approach topics, and it will promote their ability to think critically.

Engage your scholar
Another way to make your one-to-one tutoring sessions more productive and fun for both you and your scholar is to keep them engaged. During the session, you can get your scholar to actively participate by asking questions as the session progresses. If you only wait to ask questions at the end, you might lose their attention during the session. Keeping them engaged also creates room for them to ask any questions they may have regarding a particular topic and it allows them to better understand the topics being presented. 

Switch gears
Rather than sticking to the conventional methods of tutoring, you should use different methods to relay the information to your scholar. There are tons of learning tools available for you to use such as online videos, presentations, and other content. Introducing different learning tools makes the sessions less monotonous and more engaging, and it creates different ways for your scholar to learn and retain information. You can also get your scholar to participate by getting them to create short presentations to go over the content and pose any questions they may have for you at the end of their presentation. Furthermore, you can also incorporate the use of funny gifs or memes to get a particular point across. Just as long as it does not take away from the effectiveness of your tuition and their ability to learn, you should always explore new ways to teach your scholar.

Get their feedback
It takes two to tango, and feedback should not only be for you to give but also for you to receive from your scholar. Allow them to express and share their thoughts through feedback sessions, and be open to any constructive criticism. This feedback can then be used to learn how best to work with and for each other through your sessions.

For many scholars, learning can seem like such a task. However, your tutoring sessions should shed a different light on learning and stimulate their desire to learn. So don’t be afraid to try something new in your sessions and give you and your scholar something to always look forward to.

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.

Can Volunteer Tutoring Boost Your CV?

Can Volunteer Tutoring Boost Your CV?

Volunteers What's new?

When it comes to volunteer tutoring, it is often thought that only those on the receiving end of the volunteering service are being benefited. However, there are many short-term and long-term benefits that volunteer tutors receive when they choose to take on this role. One of these benefits is how this volunteer tutor role can boost your CV.

When a potential employer is going through your CV, they will always assess what extracurricular work you have done. When they see that you have previously taken on the role of a volunteer tutor, it reveals a few things about your character and the kind of person they would be bringing on board to work for them.

It shows initiative
Taking on the initiative to be a volunteer tutor is a great way to get your foot in the door to the working world. Potential employers will see that you are not primarily driven by money and that you are willing to put in work when it is needed without being prompted to do so. It shows that the betterment of others is something you take into consideration and that you are also able to think beyond yourself. It also shows that you are proactive and willing to go the extra mile.

More exposure for you
By becoming a volunteer tutor you create more opportunities for yourself to be seen. It makes your CV more captivating to potential employers and gives them an insight into how you spend your time outside of university or work and an overlook of your skills and capabilities. The opportunity to be a volunteer tutor also puts you in an environment you may not usually be exposed to, and in doing so, it allows you to meet other undergraduates and professionals who may be able to pass your CV to other people. This creates a platform for you to network with different peers your age who may also be volunteer tutors, as well as potential organisations you may want to work with in the future. Taking on the role of a volunteer tutor can also expose you to different potential career paths that you can look into.

Improved skills and experience
In as much as you are helping someone else improve their skills through your volunteer tutoring, you are also improving your skills and experience in the process. You have to find ways to be able to relate to the scholars you teach and find ways to relay the information you know to them. This improves with every tutoring session you have and helps to sharpen your communication, leadership, interpersonal, and performance skills. Being a volunteer tutor also helps with improving your thinking skills and personal development. In doing this, it gives you the right skills and experience for the workplace and under different conditions and environments.

Time management
Becoming a volunteer tutor requires you to have good time management in order to balance your academic career and personal time as well as being a tutor. It shows potential employers your organisational skills and how well you are able to manage the demands of studying and tutoring while working under pressure in some instances. Employers like to see that their potential employees have good time management skills and are able to allocate their time accordingly and prioritise different tasks effectively. Taking on the role of a volunteer tutor is also a good way to utilise spare time and learning how to manage that.

Preparation for the future
Being a volunteer tutor helps to prepare you for working environments and other future roles you may look into pursuing. Even though you have the free will to undertake your tutoring sessions in times that work well for both you and your scholar, you still work under a specific structure and you must still meet the required hours as well as produce certain results with regards to your scholar. You also have to maintain a standard of integrity and abide by the rules that govern the volunteers within that organisation. This shows potential employers that you have the ability to follow instructions and how well you are able to fulfil designated tasks and work independently.

It shows that you are reliable
Becoming a volunteer tutor is one thing, but doing the job that is required of you is another. When taking on the role, you have to ensure that you will be able to fully apply yourself to the role. This is an aspect that potential employers look at – how reliable you are and how well do you perform in your role? The more reliable you prove to be, the higher your chances of growing professionally are and the more people trust you to do things that require greater responsibility.

An opportunity for personal enrichment
Lastly, being a volunteer tutor creates room for your own personal enrichment. It helps you discover strengths or interests you may not have known that you had, and it provides you with a different perspective on how you can approach your career and personal life. There are always lessons to be learnt and growth to be experienced when you open your mind to new possibilities. You also learn some of the things that work and don’t work for you and also leave having acquired some self-enhancement through the whole experience.

If you would like to boost your CV and become a volunteer tutor, let us know! GT Scholars runs an after-school tutoring programme that is designed to help young people aged 11-18 achieve their academic aspirations. We aim to tackle educational inequality and improve social mobility by helping young people gain access to the most selective universities and the most competitive careers. Visit our website to find out how you can become a tutor today.

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.

The Importance Of Tutoring For Your Child

The Importance Of Tutoring For Your Child

What's new?

Accessing university or an apprenticeship has become a very competitive process. This means that young people will need to stand out from the crowd, which means going over and beyond just getting good grades. 

To make their CV stand out, they need to have widespread experience, from sporting activities to music lessons, to work experience and volunteer programmes. With this, they also need to ensure that they find some down time to relax and develop strong friendships. 

They are now often kept busy with so many extracurricular activities that keeping track of their school work can become increasingly difficult, especially since they only spend a limited time at school. So how can they cope with their school load and be able to keep up with the rest of the class or even become the top achievers of their class?

This is even more important when we factor our own busy lives into the equation. You have a busy lifestyle of your own, so you may not have adequate time or knowledge on the subject to assist your child. You will need someone who can help your child with all their learning needs.

A tutor can be a valuable asset to ensure that your child gets the best professional assistance for their school work. As a tutor, their only job is to ensure that your child gets the attention they deserve for all their learning needs. Here are some reasons why it is so important to have this extra-curricular learning.

One-to-one interaction
Sometimes classes are so full that a child can get lost in the crowd. Generally, the teacher goes at a pace that accommodates the average of the class. But what if your child is just behind the average and has a difficult time catching up, or what if they cannot grasp an area of the subject that most of the class understands. The teacher may pause to explain but then they will have to go on. Large classes can also cause distractions which is not conducive for learning. 

On the other hand, tutoring can be one-to-one. The tutor will be wholly focused on your child’s individual needs and will tailor the lessons specifically for your child. They will also be able to spend more time on more difficult concepts to ensure that your child understands. 

Working at their pace
Each student learns and grasps concepts at a different pace. Some learn faster while others can be slower. This does not mean that the slower student is unable to understand the subject being taught but it merely means that they require more attention in a certain area. Tutoring can help your child to learn at a pace that is comfortable for them. Since it is tailored to their pace, they will also feel more relaxed and they will not feel anxious or stressed that they may be left behind. This is conducive to better learning. The tutor can also ensure that your child is able to fully understand a section and can even go over that section again until your child is ready to move on to a new section.

Balancing strengths and weaknesses
Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, and this also applies to subject areas. Some areas or subjects may seem easy to some students, while others may seem more difficult. This is because we all think and process information differently. With tutoring, your child can make it clear what they need more help in and what they don’t need extra help in. This will give them more time to focus on addressing and understanding difficult topics. 

This can also be applied to whole subjects. For example, some students may find a specific subject such as maths difficult to grasp. Other students may find maths easy, but then they may struggle with languages. With tutoring, you can find someone to help your child with specific subjects so that they can spend more time on getting better at that subject.

Homework and revision for tests
In a class setting, the teacher will allocate a certain amount of time for revision but some students may require more time than others. This is a great area for a tutor to assist in. They can set mock papers and quizzes for the student to go over. The tutor will also be able to give the student useful tips on how to go about completing their tests or examinations that a teacher may not always have the time to discuss. Students that complete more mock tests in preparation for their exams have a greater chance of understanding a problem or question in their final exams or tests.

We all want the best for our children, to see them succeed and to be happy. If they are able to get their good grades and do all of their extracurricular activities, they will definitely be able to reach their academic and career aspirations.

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.

10 Tried and Tested Study Methods

10 Tried and Tested Study Methods

What's new?

For some young people, studying can seem like such a daunting and impossible task. However, the good news is that studying can be easily done if you figure out ways to study that work for you. When it comes to studying, there is no one conventional way to study, and what may work for someone else may not work for you.

Here are some useful study methods that you can explore to help you get the most out of your study sessions.

Know yourself
Before getting into a study routine or practice, it is good to understand and know how you operate with regards to studying and what things work best for you as an individual. You can do a short S.W.O.T (strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis of yourself and your academic career and from there determine how best to proceed with applying certain study methods to suit you.

Create a productive environment
Where you study is just as important as how you study. Finding a productive place to study really does make a world of difference between a progressive study session and one where you are wasting your time. It is always helpful to filter out things that can distract you like TV, your cellphone, areas where there is too much noise etc. Find a study spot in places like your school library, a quiet room at home, an empty classroom after school, a quiet cafe or a quiet area in your schoolyard. However, don’t limit yourself to one study space. A change of scenery once a while will also keep your mind refreshed and energized.

Create a study schedule
This might seem like added work but this is another useful approach to studying. Having a pre-planned study schedule helps your mind to be better prepared to study and creates a routine that you can adjust to. Consistency is key, and setting aside a specific time to study is very important. The hours that you choose to allocate to studying depend on you as a person and how long your concentration can keep up.

Set goals for your study session
Write down the topics or sections you wish to cover during each study session, and in doing so, you can monitor your progress and learn to manage your time effectively. This becomes very effective when taking your tests or exams, as you are better prepared with allocating time to certain questions and not panicking about whether the time given in your tests or exams is enough. It is also helpful for you to know the subjects and topics you are strong in and those that you need to work on so that you can decide how much time you will spend working either one.

Take short breaks
Do not overwork yourself and allow yourself to take much needed short breaks. When you do feel you are repeating certain information and there is no progression, take a 10-15 minute break and give yourself some time to regroup and rest your brain. Remember, it is about productivity and maximising on the studying. Rushing to complete your studying without retaining any of the information is pointless. Work hard, but also work smart.

Take practice tests
Most schools do make past test and exam papers available. Use these to practice and apply the knowledge you have retained from your study sessions. You can either take a past test/exam paper after every study session or take one at the end of the week to also gauge how well you are able to remember all the work you have covered in the last week. You can also ask your teachers to make mock tests/exams if they are able to and this will give you good practice and a good general idea of what to expect in the final test/exam paper that will be set.

Get into a study group
Study groups are very useful as they provide several benefits that studying alone may not. For one, you and your fellow study peers can each designate set topics and subjects to cover and when you reconvene to discuss, you are able to share and cover more information collectively and have open discussions about subjects and topics you may not understand. Study groups also help with regulating your study sessions and incentivising you to do the work allocated to you because you are accountable to not only yourself but to your peers as well. Another benefit is that these particular group sessions help with teaching you how to work together in a group context.

Make study notes
This may or may not seem obvious but some students think reading the material once or twice over is sufficient enough. However, taking notes and phrasing them in ways that are easier for you to remember is an effective way to not forget what you have read. You can make your own small study flashcards which you write on and can carry with you. When you have a moment and feel you want to refresh your mind and you’re not in your usual study space, you can take them out and go over the content you wrote. Flashcards are convenient because you don’t have to flip through pages to find what you want. You can highlight the topics on the cards and make the cards as fun and easy to read as you want. You can even put some of them up in your room for the subjects and topics that you need to constantly go over.

Revise your work
Getting yourself to study is only part of making yourself more effective and familiar with your subjects and topics. You also need to revise the work continually in order to maintain your momentum as well as progress with retaining the information and improving overall. There are different ways you can do this. You can go over the work you have covered out loud in the comfort of your room or get a family member or friend to listen to you while you go over what you remember. You can also get them to ask you questions and with some of the content, you can record or get an audiobook and listen to it. What is important is making sure that you revise and go over your work often.

Have confidence in yourself
You have probably heard the popular phrase “nothing will work unless you do,” and this is definitely worth remembering. Have the confidence to believe in yourself in order to get the best out of what you are applying your mind to. Some study sessions may seem like a drag or difficult but always remember that you can do anything you apply yourself to, it is just a matter of trying and asking for help when you need it. You got this!

If you do find that you are not sure how to get started with a study schedule or how to approach studying as a whole, GT Scholars offers programmes that will definitely help you gain the confidence to approach studying, as well as tutors to help you make the most out of your study sessions. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.

In the Know – Tools for Tech Success!

In the Know – Tools for Tech Success!

In The Know What's new?

This week’s activities offer some fun ways for your child to delve into the world of technology. With young people being the most active users of information and communication technology, having the right skills and being able to utilise technology is increasingly important. These activities offer ideal opportunities for your child to gain and improve their tech skills.

Calling all girls into coding!
Girls Into Coding is hosting this exciting event for girls aged 11 – 14 to inspire and encourage girls to get involved in tech. This free event will take place on Sunday 28th April at the Microsoft Reactor in London. It will include 3 interactive workshops that your girls can choose from such as building their own Robot or Micro Pet! Find out more here.

Tech with a twist!
Taking place at Somerset House on Sunday 28th April, this workshop will explore the application of coding to the natural world. This participatory workshop, run by artists Kasia Molga and Scanner, will allow young people to discover how digital technology connects to the soil and learn about natural living technology such as earthworms. This tech event with a twist is free and ideal for young people aged 14-18. Find out more here.

Khan Academy!
Khan Academy is an interactive online tool that teaches coding fundamentals using JavaScript and ProcessingJS. Your child can learn how to create animation, games, and drawings through programming. They’ll also learn how to make web pages using HTML and CSS. This website with its simple to use interface is ideal for 14 – 18 year olds. Go here to get started on your coding journey.

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 Get The Most Out Of Going To University

How To Get The Most Out Of Going To University

What's new?

University education opens the doors to a bigger, better and opportunity-filled world for its graduates. According to the UN, not only are university graduates better paid in the workplace but compared to high school graduates, they have longer life spans, better access to health care, better dietary and health practices and increased economic stability and security.

Most of us have expectations of what university is like based on what we see in movies and TV shows. But actually, the incredible thing about university is that it can be anything you want it to be!

It can be a creative outlet for artistic expression or a hub for intellectual debate. It can a place for you to discover your strengths and abilities or to discover something completely new about yourself. It can be a place to meet new people from all around the world, and a place to have plenty of fun while also studying something you are actually passionate about.

With this being said, there is also no doubt that transitioning from a high school graduate to a university student can be a little daunting, especially if you are uncertain of what to expect. To help you make a smoother transition from school to university and to help you get the most of your university experience, we have listed 8 useful tips below.

Choose your university courses carefully
Consider your interests as well as which courses would be best for your career choice. Avoid choosing courses because they appear to be an easy option as you may not like or be able to engage with the content. Moreover, avoid choosing courses just because a friend is doing it – you will definitely meet new people and make new friends in every course you do. Take your time doing your research about various courses and ask for advice from academic counsellors to make well-informed choices.

Be the master of your fate and the captain of your ship
Your first few weeks at university will be a little daunting as you juggle various assignments and keep up with numerous classes. One way to overcome this is to view university as a great big ocean with endless wonderful possibilities. You have the chance to try different academic programmes, learn from experts and the best minds in your field, and explore your academic passions. Think of yourself as the captain of a ship navigating through these waters. This means you need to be in charge and take control of this journey or else you run the risk of being swept away by heavy storms. You can do this by keeping track of your deadlines, attending classes and tutorials regularly, and taking a proactive role in your studies. This will make university a calm sea to navigate.

Immerse yourself in student life
University is usually one of the only times in your life where you will have the chance to move out of your comfort zone, try new things, be exposed to new opportunities, and connect with people of diverse educational and cultural backgrounds. Don’t be afraid to push your comfort zone and be open to the many social and networking opportunities that are available for you to get involved in. If you are not sure how to get involved in campus life, get in touch with your university’s student council. Student councils often lead various student associations, societies, and initiatives like sporting clubs, cultural societies, debate teams etc.

Always prioritise your studies
Whilst it may be easy to get distracted by the social and fun aspects of university life, it is very important to remember why you are there. At the end of your undergraduate career, you will need to graduate with a degree, and with good grades as well. It is therefore important to maintain a balance between having fun and studying. Do not risk an assignment deadline or studying for an exam to attend a party or a social event. The wonderful thing about university life is that there are always social events throughout the year, so study first and have fun later.

Attend extracurricular lectures and seminars
Most universities invite guest speakers and lecturers who are subject-matter experts and leaders in their respective fields. These guest lectures are usually freely available and are unique opportunities to learn something new in your field or in a completely different field and to meet some really interesting and innovative people who will be a great source of inspiration. These events will also be a great opportunity for networking.

Make use of university resources
Universities offer their students various resources to help them excel in their studies including well-equipped libraries, study rooms, free internet access, state-of-the-art sporting facilities and so much more.  Find out what your university has to offer and instead of spending your own money on expensive services outside the university, you can utilise the excellent free resources your university provides for you.

Be open to new opportunities
Most universities offer opportunities for students to apply for bursaries, university exchange programmes or to earn money whilst studying.  Find out about these opportunities and don’t be afraid to apply to be a part of them. These opportunities are great for preparing you for the working world and exposing you to new cultures and ways of thinking.

Ask for help
Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Universities offer a plethora of health and wellness resources on campus to help students who feel overwhelmed, homesick, stressed or who are just simply in need of a friendly ear. Your mental and emotional health is as important as your physical wellbeing, so reach out to people you trust or your university’s student health services for guidance.

As a final word of advice, don’t forget to enjoy your journey through university.  The movies and TV shows got one thing right about university- they are usually some of the best years of your life!

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.

Nature vs Nurture: Are gifts and talents down to a child’s natural ability or can they be nurtured?

Nature vs Nurture: Are gifts and talents down to a child’s natural ability or can they be nurtured?

What's new?

Young people discover their gifts and passions as they grow. As they discover their abilities, should parents take an active role to nurture these abilities, or should it just be left to nature?

In this context, nature is defined as the innate disposition of someone or the inherent attributes of a person – simply put, it is what makes up the person. Nurture, on the other hand, means to actively care for or develop someone so that they certain skills or abilities.

Each child has natural abilities that may depend on biology, genetics or the environment they grow up in. Abilities that depend on biology and genetics are usually to do with physical attributes – for example, for a child to excel in basketball, it would be easier if they are tall. It is not impossible if they are short, but it is far easier.

Natural abilities are part of what a child is made of and may play a role in their personal identity. They usually manifest themselves in the early stages of a child’s life. However, these natural abilities are usually just seeds waiting to grow, and as with any other seed, they need to be nurtured and nourished to grow and develop into a plant.

Hence, as your child grows, you can play an active role in nurturing their natural abilities to grow into fully-fledged abilities and talents. You can make sure that they are exposed to the right environment and experiences, that they are receiving enough resources and support from someone that can help them such as a teacher or coach, and that they are guided in the right direction.

You can also help your child to explore and discover their natural abilities by being observant of what they excel in, providing opportunities for them to explore various things from creative to academic, and getting them help from a guidance counsellor or insight workshop if need be.

How you can nurture your child’s gifts and talents
Like anything in life, a gift cannot grow on its own, it requires deliberate and intentionally guided steps to develop it to its maximum potential. However, when nurturing a child’s gifts, it’s important to listen to their needs as well. Here a few helpful points when helping them to discover and develop their natural abilities.

  • Give them time to discover their natural abilities by themselves. Generally, children like to explore, and they do this better without a parent’s preconceived ideas of where they would like their children to go in life. Give them time to do what they are interested in without being directly involved but just being there to observe and guide them
  • Provide them with resources and opportunities that will help not only unlock their gift but further develop it. Resources could include a musical instrument of their interest or identifying opportunities where the child can showcase their gift in front of an audience, even if it is just family members or at school. This can also help to build up their confidence. You can also play an active role in helping them practise their talents, for example, if your child’s talents lie in playing chess, you can buy them a chess board to practice with and you can play with them to develop their skills. If you don’t have the skills, you could also get someone else to play with them which will develop a healthy competitive element in them
  • Be their biggest supporter. They may not always feel inspired to do what they love, especially if they fail to perform at their best, so it is up to you to encourage them. They need to be taught that sometimes it’s okay to fail, it doesn’t mean they are bad, it just means that they learn from their mistakes and improve on that. As a parent, it means the world to your child when they know you support them. Whether you know much about their gift or not, let your child know you are there for them
  • Enlist the help of someone with more knowledge regarding their gift to guide them. Professional help goes a long way especially if your child wants to make a living out of their gift. Finding a coach or teacher to provide specialised support/guidance is important as it helps to identify the child’s strengths and areas that still need improvement so they can perform at their optimum.

In conclusion, one would say that, for a child to fully realise their potential in any area of their interest, both natural abilities and the nurturing of these will play an integral part. It’s only when the gift has been identified that one can help further develop the talent by providing the right environment and ensuring the child gets the necessary support. This support can either be in terms of the supply of resources/tools or emotional support.

GT Scholars offers many opportunities for young people to discover and develop their gifts and talents. 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.

Education is the Wisest Investment that any Parent can Make in their Child

Education is the Wisest Investment that any Parent can Make in their Child

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Knowledge is power, and education is the key to success. We have all heard these mantras repeated throughout our lives – and now we understand the crucial importance of providing our children with the best education to prepare them for life and set them up on a successful career path.

With the costs of educational programmes and university soaring, it has also been said that saving for your child’s education is as important as saving for your retirement. Why is education so significant?

Well, education teaches a person how to earn their daily bread and butter while also making people better informed about their responsibilities. It also makes people open to changing environments from an early age, and it teaches them to creatively approach problems and to think innovatively.

Let’s explore how investing in your child’s education is the best investment you will make.

Professional success
A report published by the University of Birmingham states that around 80% of their alumni are placed in employment within six months from graduation. Good education and professional success are intertwined, and statistically, it is shown that placements of undergraduates and post-graduates into employment are increasingly successful with quality higher education.  

Furthermore, quality education has a direct impact on earning potential, pay progression, career possibilities and career progression. When reviewing employment data from various institutions, one can conclude that education influences a person’s professional success – with higher earning potential and faster and wider career progression.

Statistical data retrieved from the Labour Force Survey from September 2001 to August 2002, shows that generally if you have a higher education qualification level you are more likely to receive higher earnings. Across all ages, graduates earn on average 49.4% more than those with highest reported qualifications as GCSE, A-level or equivalent – and more than double in comparison to those with no qualifications.

Social wellbeing
While schooling systems are the primary institutions for acquiring knowledge and skills, it can also be said that these systems educate young people on the crucial social skills they need to attain a good quality of life. Education and good social skills are directly linked, as quality schooling ensures that children are well-adjusted, that they are able to form productive and trusting relationships and they perform well academically.

Moreover, schooling systems provide a supportive environment to students and aid them in having a better sense of self-awareness and awareness of their larger social environments. In turn, the various social skills attained during school also help young people to achieve success later in life.

Health
Proper education and the attainment of various skills through education are also linked to positive health outcomes in our modern healthcare environment. For example, people benefit from being able to comprehend their personal health needs, reading and/or following instructions and communicating effectively with their health care providers.

Since the impact of education can be linked to earning potential, it can also be linked to the attainment of proper healthcare. Furthermore, studies have shown that adults with higher levels of education are less likely to engage in unhealthy habits and generally engage in healthier behaviours relating to diet and exercise.

Finally, individuals who have not received good quality of education are less able to adapt to long-term stress (e.g. occupational stress, unemployment etc.), which in turn can lead to chronic illness. Exposure to set educational systems which consist of deadlines and responsibilities can help individuals to develop the necessary mental capabilities required to deal with stress and problem-solving.

Personal development
While many people value the attainment of higher education levels quite significantly, it is also important to value the less tangible benefits of quality education. Education significantly affects personal growth which will influence your relationships and success later in life. By acquiring new information, you are enriching your brain with new ways of thinking.

Young people greatly reap the benefits of education as it forms the basis of healthy learning habits which provides them with the necessary tools to navigate the next stage in their life. By asking questions and putting information into context, the knowledge we obtain through educational institutions broadens our horizon which is crucial for personal development.

Self-confidence is another facet of education we are able to identify with. Knowledge can be seen as a lifelong forte, and quality education can boost your confidence through various means such as improved societal standing and the ability to communicate your ideas more eloquently.

Conclusively, we can say that quality education is of utmost importance for various reasons; whether it is for professional success, higher income, greater social skills, overall health or personal development. Therefore, investing in your child through proper schooling, private tutoring and higher education is the best decision you can ever make, and at the very least, it will set your child on the path to a good quality of life.

We at the GT Scholars Programme believe that all children can achieve their educational goals. As a not-for-profit social enterprise, we aim to provide high impact courses, workshops and programmes to young people between the ages of 11-18, regardless of their household income. Contact us to find out more.

Are young people growing addicted to technology?

Are young people growing addicted to technology?

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We live in the information age. Every answer you need is a click away and most children know this by age five. In fact, most children have handled a smartphone by the age of two. It is often thought of as cute, as an indication of how smart they are that they can navigate technology so young; but is this leading to a generation of technology addicts?

Oxford University reported in 2017 that the perception that kids are becoming addicted to technology is untrue. Their study found that despite increased screen time, children are spending their other time doing a variety of other activities. Whether this is true for all children though is unknown.

Education Technology reported on a national pupil survey conducted by education technology association, Naace and Catshills Learning Partnerships, which revealed that 60% of four to five-year-olds are using tablets to get online. They may be using it to access their favourite shows online, but, that is a large percentage of young kids with access to unfiltered content. However, with the current trend of using technology in schools every day in the form of interactive boards, learning videos and online teaching; how do we gauge the effects technology has on our children?

Listed below are the potentially harmful effects of children being addicted to technology and some practical points to help parents avoid possible addiction.

Lack of social interaction
Being constantly exposed to technology can lead to children losing their social skills. They are so used to interacting via gaming platforms or social media that speaking face to face becomes an unusual situation. Younger kids may even seek technology as an escape from physically playing outdoors with other kids. Later on in life, this may lead to them having difficulty with communicating well with others. This will increase the risk of problems at school, in university and ultimately hinder their progress into the working world where interaction is often key.

Decreased emotional intelligence
With a decrease in physical interaction from excessive technology use, children’s ability to navigate emotions is also affected. They do not understand how to gauge emotional changes in others and often lack empathy. This is largely due to the fact that they are often so engrossed in a device that they fail to observe changes in people and their surroundings.

Impatience
Constantly having the power of the internet at your fingertips often results in children not understanding the concept of patience. As they are used to everything being a Google search away, they cannot grasp the concept of research and summarising. Also, parents of toddlers often struggle with their kids not being able to watch their cartoons on television due to advertisement breaks.  A smart TV can stream endless videos on YouTube. This leads to an “I can’t wait, I want it now” mentality.

Online personas and insecurity
According to Public Health England, extended screen use correlates to emotional distress, anxiety and depression in young people. Teens in particular, struggle with insecurity due to social media. At this age, they are extremely sensitive to what others think of them. With it being so easy for others to comment on a picture or status, teenagers also suffer greatly when it comes to cyber-bullying. On the flip side to insecurity, social media also sometimes leads to vanity and the upkeep of an online persona. The pressures of this can endanger a sensitive young person’s mental health.

Security risk
Young people are very impressionable and naïve. It is how they are meant to be before life experiences shape their character and opinions. However, with the introduction of technology, they can be easily manipulated by negative peer groups or online predators unknowingly. Privacy of accounts and devices are often ignored. In fact, most children can easily be traced via their social accounts or a mobile device when the location is enabled.

Decreased physical activity and obesity
With more time being spent on technology, there is less time being spent on physical and outdoor activities. Young people would often prefer spending time indoors on their phones or playing video games than going outside or playing sport. This leads to an increased risk of childhood obesity, even more so when paired with the high-sugar diet most young people have these days.

So, what can you as a parent do to avoid technology addiction if you notice any of these behaviours in your child?

“Become one with the matrix”
Make sure that you know how to handle the devices you have and your child is exposed to and that you know how your child is utilising technology. If you keep up with technology, it will be easier to navigate your child’s experience of it. Devices used at school are often restricted with regards to which sites are accessible so you can do the same at home.

“Moderation is key”
Technology cannot be avoided, so instead of fearing technology, introduce your child to it in small quantities. Do not allow them to become dependent on it, but rather encourage its usage to build skills. It can also be used for fun, but only for an allocated time period.

“With great power, comes great responsibility”
As parents, you need to teach your child from an early age to use technology responsibly. From being responsible with how much time is spent using technology to how to be safe online, it is important for you to discuss the best methods for managing technology use with your child. It is also important for you to be the example in your household and to also manage your own time spent on technology so that they can see how technology is used responsibly.

Technology is not to be feared, it just needs to be understood. The sooner that we realise this and are able to identify the pros and cons involved, the sooner we can use it to the best of our ability. We at GT Scholars promote the responsible use of technology in our tutoring sessions. In addition to this, we also teach young people these pros and cons so that they are able to identify and rectify their technology usage if needed. Contact us to find out more.