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 – Master studying for your exams!

In the Know – Master studying for your exams!

In The Know Parents What's new?

Exams may seem challenging or difficult, but if scholars adopt the right mindset and equip themselves with the right tools, strategies and techniques, they would be able to breeze through exams and achieve the grades that they want. Here are some resources that scholars can use to study for their exams.

Gojimo
This popular revision app offers free content that covers GCSE, A level, IB, iGCSE, Common Entrance and more. You pick your subject and your exam board, then you take part in quizzes to test your knowledge. At the end of a quiz, you’re told how many you got right, how long you took and you can review your errors. You’re also given detailed explanations, so if you go wrong, you can work out why. The app will also track your progress over time so you can identify your best and worst topics for revision. Get the app here.

Ready, Set, Go: Acing Your Exams!
We are hosting a workshop on Saturday the 27th of January to help young people conquer exams by improving study, time management, and mindset techniques. They will also learn from experts and study skill professionals that will show them how to manage their time effectively, how to create a study plan and how to prioritise. The event is from 10am to 4pm at Goldsmiths University in New Cross. Please contact us if you have not booked a ticket yet and you would like your child to attend.

Maths Made Easy
This great website provides a host of exceptional free revision resources for KS1 all the way up to A Level in Maths, English and Science. It includes revision questions, past papers and mock exams, and their answer sheets. You can also search for resources by topic if you want to work on a specific area in a subject. Take a look for yourself 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 – Discover the joy of mathematics!

In the Know – Discover the joy of mathematics!

In The Know Parents What's new?

If you want to develop your child’s interest in maths, then take a look at these fun opportunities. They are great ways for your child to discover the joy of maths, while also strengthening their skills so that they can ace their next maths exam!

The Alan Turing Cryptography Competition
Named after the famous code-breaker, mathematician and founding father of computer science, this competition is aimed at secondary school pupils who like solving ciphers and breaking codes. The competition follows two young cipher sleuths as they get caught up in a cryptographic adventure. Every week or two a new chapter of the story is released, each with a fiendish code to crack using maths and wit. Registration opens today, and you can find out more here.

Mathematics: The Winton Gallery
The Science Museum is hosting a bold and thought-provoking gallery that examines the fundamental role mathematicians and their tools and ideas have played in building the world we live in. These stories span 400 years of human ingenuity from the Renaissance to the present day, with objects ranging from intriguing hand-held mathematical instruments to a 1929 experimental aircraft. Entrance is free and you can find out more here.

Cool-Math
Cool-Math is a website that offers fun maths games for young people – best suited for 9 to 14-year-olds. There are many different topics, from fractions to angles, so you are bound to find a game to help you with any maths problem. All games and activities are reviewed by teachers to ensure real educational value and every game has a free printable worksheet version to enhance learning and improve maths skills. Check it out for yourself 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. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter here.

Life is not fair and other messages parents and private tutors need to start telling their kids

Life is not fair and other messages parents and private tutors need to start telling their kids

What's new?

As parents we love our kids and we want to protect them from some of the harsh realities of this life and the disappointment that goes along with it. But, an overprotective parenting style can have some negative effects in the long run and may leave our children unprepared for the real world.

According to Julie Lythcott-Haims, author of How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success, parents have the very best of intentions, but when they over help, they deprive their children of the chance to learn the important things in life. Here are a few basic fundamental principles to teach our children that life is not always all that fair.

Hard work pays off:  Teaching children the importance of determination and hard work is essential. Especially in this era where we are continually exposed to convenient and easy ways of doing things, such as information that is easily accessible on the internet or microwave-ready meals.  Parents must make more of an effort to ensure that they can still raise independent beings who are able to go out in the world and fend for themselves. You can do this by praising their effort more than their achievement or put them in difficult but achievable situations. Children need to understand that when an effort is being made to achieve a goal, great benefits can be reaped. Furthermore, teaching children self-perseverance is extremely important for their social and emotional development.

Teach them to take responsibility for their own actions:  As a parent, you often have to administer penalties to your child even though they may feel equally daunting to you. Through this they will learn an important life lesson – there are consequences to every action. You can demonstrate this by connecting the action and consequence using real-life examples. For example, because you did not go to bed early last night you am tired today and can’t focus, or because you spent your money carelessly you can no longer afford the new laptop you had your eye on. Forcing responsibility onto children has never been proven to be effective, so children need to be taught life skills and responsibility will naturally follow. If children do not have responsibilities they might feel entitled and start adopting the-world-owes-me-something mindset.

Learn the importance of education: Children need to know the importance of obtaining education and how a good education can be their ticket to their desired life aspirations. They need to grasp that good grades are necessary for college acceptance and that their grades are a reflection of who they are to the admissions board. They need to understand that not working hard in school will result in poor grades which will then, in turn, result in only being qualified for low paying jobs.

Failure is part of life: Teach children that life is full of challenges, and that some of these challenges often result in failure. It is important that your child learns how to deal with failure and process the emotions that come with it. Failure can also be a part of learning as it teaches perseverance and appreciation for achievements. Remember parents set the example so be careful how you act in front of your child when you deal with failure, whether you scream at the sky or laugh, this will be the example your child sees.

Independence is invaluable: It is always a great idea to encourage independence. An easy way to do this is by giving children guided choices and respecting their choices, such as letting them decide on a family activity on a Sunday. You can also involve your children in making plans or coming up with solutions, such as working out a quicker route to school or setting up a chore roster. Learning simple life skills, for example, doing the laundry, working with money, or planning grocery shopping will be a great skill to have in the long run. Children must be able to look after themselves mentally and physically.

The list above is not all of the tips that you as the parent may consider to prepare your child for the realities of life out there, but they most definitely will be helpful in the initial steps of preparation.

Get started by looking into GT Scholars programmes that support your child in reaching their full potential. The GT Scholars programme helps young people aged 11-16 to achieve excellent grades and reach their future goals. Contact us to find out more.

 

In the Know – Investing in your future!

In the Know – Investing in your future!

In The Know Parents What's new?

We don’t often talk to young people about financial matters, but it is important for them to understand things like trading and investing, compound interest and budgeting. This week we’ve put together some activities that can help spark your child’s interest in the world of finance.

Student Investor Challenge 2017/18
Be part of the exciting world of trading! The Student Investor Challenge is designed for teams consisting of four students between the ages of 14-19. There are some really awesome prizes up for grabs to winning teams. Teachers may register teams online until midnight on the 17th of November. Find out more about the challenge here.

My Kinda Future
On the My Kinda Future website, students are able to build an interactive CV, interact with potential employers and be introduced to many opportunities in the corporate world. There are online challenges, skill games, quizzes and tests that can be completed and will allow your child to learn more about their strengths and skills. Your child will also be able to speak to inspirational employers and see what skills they are looking for.

The Financial Game
This free app is available on Android and iPhone platforms and is a great introduction to financial concepts. By playing the Financial Game, your child will add a better understanding of the world of finance. This free app will help students learn and understand financial terms used in the business world.

The GT Scholars Programme is an after-school programme that focuses on social mobility, growth mindset and helping young people achieve their aspirations. The programme includes tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-16. Contact us to find out more.

 

Meet one of our Volunteer tutors – Arunita

Meet one of our Volunteer tutors – Arunita

Private tutors Volunteer interviews Volunteer roles Volunteers What's new?

Our volunteers are amazing people that are passionate about making a difference in education. We would like you to get to know who they are and what they do at GT Scholars, so every few weeks we conduct an interview with one of them. Here is the most recent interview with one of our volunteer tutors, Arunita Roy

    1. Why did you decide to volunteer your time with GT Scholars?
      I really enjoy helping people and working with students. I worked in university with different students, helping student services as a student financial consultant and also founding an entrepreneurship student society. I like to interact and engage with students from different backgrounds, and I also love teaching and being a role model to young people. I wanted to continue this and widen participation, so when I met Temi, the founder of GT Scholars, and heard more about the programme, it really interested me and I decided to get involved. 
    2. Tell me a little bit about yourself and what got you to where you are today?
      I am currently studying at King’s College London, finishing my final year in Computer Science with Management. I am interested in science, technology and languages, and I enjoy learning new things. I am a motivated person and I like to be involved and take part in many different things. I like to find new things to do and gain new experiences in different opportunities or programmes. Even in high school, I was always eager to get involved with student life such as being a student representative and making sure that my voice and my fellow students’ voices were heard. Now I enjoy helping students with their university journey and beyond, and I am interested in working with companies and programmes to help make more opportunities for students to improve their experience and academics, especially in science and entrepreneurship.

      I am not really motivated by one person or role model, but rather, I am inspired by the hard work that people put in. When I see someone, such as a student struggling with a particular topic, pushing themselves to reach their maximum potential, it really drives me to do more to reach my maximum potential. I also believe that having a good academic background helps you to have a more positive outlook on life, which is great motivation to do better and study further.
    3. How important has support been in getting you to where you are today?
      I did not have the same amount of access to resources and opportunities that students have today. I did have a few really pivotal teachers and lecturers that helped me to excel. I am also inspired by my parents who are both university-educated, and they really motivate, inspire and guide me.
      Even though students of today are a lot luckier than I was with regards to access to and the number of available resources, I do think they have other things to contend with such as intense competition and many distractions that can be impediments to success. This is why support is still very important to motivate them to take advantage of all the opportunities available to them and to encourage them when they struggle.

 

  • What have you gained from volunteering with GT Scholars?
    I really love volunteering. The mere fact that I can help students makes me happy. I also enjoy seeing their progress over time and watching how their confidence grows in topics or subjects from when we first started with the sessions. I am proud when they do really well and their grades improve, and happy when they are enjoying and become interested in what I teach. I have also gained interesting new perspectives on topics from working with them.

 

 

  • What do you think is the most important skill to have to be a volunteer tutor?
    Patience is very important, but also being able to understand the topic from the student’s point of view is an important skill to have. You can’t look at the topic with your in-depth knowledge as the only perspective. I present the topic from the student’s perspective by relating topics to real life examples or explain it to them in a way that makes sense to them.

 

Arunita Roy is a hardworking and creative individual who is enthusiastic and motivated with a keen interest in learning new skills. She has strong technical skills with a passion for business. She is involved in many volunteering opportunities, and helping young people is one of her main focuses. She also enjoys being involved in many extracurricular activities and was the winner of the King’s College London Business Club Apprentice Challenge where she and her team were able to show initiative in providing solutions to real industrial business challenges.

GT Scholars is a social enterprise that provides tutoring, mentoring and enrichment to young people from a range of backgrounds. To find out more about our volunteering opportunities, please get in touch with us.

An Interview With Our Founder, Temi Kamson

Our Impact Our story Private tuition What's new?

If you ever wondered about the story behind GT Scholars and how it was founded, then watch this interview with our founder, Temi Kamson.

Temi has a Masters in Civil Engineering from the University of Nottingham and a PGCE in Mathematics Education from the University of Cambridge. Having worked in state and independent schools, she set up the GT Scholars Programme with the goal of helping ambitious young people achieve their full potential, regardless of their socio-economic background. In this video, she also talks about her personal experience with the education system, why scholars enrol in our programme, what scholars will gain from the programme, and what makes our scholars successful.

If you prefer you can read the full interview below:

Why did you start GT Scholars?

I started GT Scholars based on my own personal experience of growing up in South London. I grew up in a single parent home, grew up in council housing and went through the state school system. I remember one of my teachers from primary school, Miss Bickersteth, telling me ‘’Temi, you can be anything you want to be.’’ That statement was so powerful that it stayed with me for the rest of my life, it is still with me today. There were so many times that I wanted to give up but I was really fortunate enough, especially towards the end of my school years to have right opportunities come along at the right time, and that really helped me. It really supported me in those final years when I was thinking about university but not thinking I was good enough. I was really lucky, I went off to university, I studied engineering but later on, I decided to retrain and become a teacher in the hopes that I could give back and make a difference in someone else’s life.

It was while I was teaching, working with young people, that I really wanted to inspire them and raise their aspirations. What I realised while I was teaching was quite profound. Many of the young people that I worked with were already really ambitious. They wanted to do well; they wanted to get good grades at the end of school. But many of them they just didn’t feel confident, they didn’t feel that they had the ability within them. These beliefs were so deeply ingrained that many of them thought that even if they did their very best; the best they would ever be able to achieve was a C-grade. Some of them felt that they did not have the right background and that certain opportunities were only available for the privileged few. After some time, I realised that young people needed more than just good teachers. They needed people to support them in terms of seeing the opportunities available to them and supporting them to make the most of these opportunities.

Why do young people join GT Scholars?

So at the moment in England, only about 1 in 3 young people from low-income homes, are able to leave school with 5 GCSE’s or above and this is, of course, actually quite disheartening.  There are many young people who would love to achieve better grades by the end of school, access top universities get into competitive careers but often what happens is that they genuinely have no idea how to do this. The saddest part is that many of them are so full of self-doubt that they don’t even believe that they are capable of achieving this.

What do young people gain from GT Scholars?

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. We run after-school courses, workshops and programmes for young people, particularly young people from low-income homes. Our goal is to give them the support they need so they can achieve their academic and career potential. Scholars on our programme receive academic support through tutoring. They also receive coaching or mentoring from undergraduates, graduates and professionals from top universities and leading organisations. Our scholars also get to take part in enrichment activities such as visits to the city, visits to universities and the aim of that is to help them understand the opportunities that are available to them. We also run skill building days, again, with the aim to help them and support them so they know how to make the most of these opportunities.

What makes your scholars successful?

Over the past few years, we’ve had support from organisations such as Charities Aid Foundation, School For Social Entrepreneurs and The Young Foundation. Our scholars that have been on the program have been able to move an average of 2 grade points in a year and we’ve even had some of our scholars move from a predicted D grade to achieving A-grade within a year of being on the programme. We are really proud of that.  What makes GT Scholars successful is the genuine belief that our tutors and mentors have in our scholars. They invest their time and energy supporting our scholars and building positive relationships with them. This, in turn, helps our scholars believe in themselves and that helps them realise their strengths and ultimately helps them improve their grades and career prospects. I know I wouldn’t be here today if not for the role models that supported me and believed in me when I was growing up. So if there is anything I have learned over the past through years it is that anyone can make a difference. An hour a week may seem so small, but those few hours could have such a positive influence on a young person’s life.

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise that provides tutoring, mentoring and enrichment that is designed to help young people aged 11-16 achieve their academic and career aspirations. Contact us if you would like to know more about the GT Scholars Programme and how you can join.

Meet one of our volunteer mentors – Jason

Meet one of our volunteer mentors – Jason

Volunteer interviews Volunteer roles Volunteers What's new? Young people

Our volunteers are amazing people that are passionate about making a difference in education. We would like you to get to know who they are and what they do at GT Scholars, so every few weeks we conduct an interview with one of them. Here is the most recent interview with one of our volunteer mentors, Jason Luu.

Why did you decide to volunteer with GT Scholars?
I decided to volunteer with GT Scholars to make a difference in my local community. Having already done some work to help other communities in different countries, I came to the realisation that I should also be contributing to my local community. I also recognised that providing support to people when they are still young can make a significant difference, as this is something that I was not fortunate enough to have when I was younger. If I had the opportunity to be mentored when I was a teenager, I can only imagine how much more I could have achieved by now or how many disasters I could have avoided.

Tell me a little bit about you and what got you to where you are today?
I was born in London, my parents were refugees from another country. This had a huge impact on me and my upbringing. When I was younger, I was embarrassed by my heritage because it was so foreign to western culture. But as I got older and matured, I embraced my background and decided to stand up and stand out rather than follow the crowd. I more took control of my life and did not live according to other people’s expectations. This has become a big factor in getting me to where I am today. It turns out that my own expectations for myself were wildly beyond other people’s expectations of me.

I also have role models who I can look up to and inspire me. Some of them are alive today and some are historical figures. Having these role models allow me to draw energy, ideas and behaviours from. If anyone reading this doesn’t have a role model, then you better start looking.

Why do you think mentoring is valuable to young people?
Traditionally, mentoring is something that has been reserved for older, professional and sometimes even wealthy people. Many of the most powerful leaders in our society have or had mentors. So why can’t the rest of us have access to this resource?

Many young people today from my local community have parents who are very busy working or studying, and their friends are usually in the same boat as them. Thus, having a mentor who has the right experience would really help with some of the things that they struggle with, and would help to develop smarter behaviours and habits. This additional guidance and development can really help a young person to be successful in all that they do. I really believe that if I had a mentor when I was younger, I would not have had to experience so many difficulties in my life. I would have been able to get where I am today sooner or even be more successful sooner. It is the aim of all good mentors is to guide their mentee to reach their full potential.

What part of the volunteering process have you found the most fulfilling?
Seeing students and their parents working together, and it provides extra support to traditional parenting.

What do you think is the most important skill to have as a volunteer mentor?
I think showing a genuine interest in someone else’s future and actually caring about their happiness is an important skill. It is not just about making sure that they are successful, but also about helping to define what true happiness means to them and their family.

Jason briefly attended university before deciding to drop out and start his professional life earlier. He now works in the headquarters of the Department of Health, holding CEOs, directors and major leaders in healthcare and education accountable to the taxpayer as a Senior Contract Manager. He has spent the last 3 years dedicated to promoting equality and fighting social injustice at his place of work and at home in his local community.

GT Scholars is a social enterprise that provides tutoring, mentoring and enrichment to young people from a range of backgrounds. To find out more about our volunteering opportunities, please get in touch with us. 

7 Ways You or a Tutor can Prepare Your Child for Oxbridge

7 Ways You or a Tutor can Prepare Your Child for Oxbridge

Parents University What's new?

The University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge (collectively known as Oxbridge) are two of the most prestigious universities not only in the UK but in the world. They have a long history, rich in heritage and tradition, that goes back at least nine centuries. They are globally recognised as being places of focus for learning, culture, and for intellectual debate.

It comes as no surprise that with such high esteem, both the universities are highly sought after by new students from all over the world. It’s extremely competitive to get into Oxbridge. In fact, in 2016 more than 19 000 people applied for the 3 200 undergraduate places at Oxford.

These figures are certainly daunting for students who wish to apply to these universities. It is clear that only the best of the best make the cut, so prospective students need to make sure that they really stand out from the immense crowd of applicants.

Children who aspire to study at Oxbridge will often need extra support from their parents, and that is not just about the funding. So here are seven ways that parents can prepare their bright children for a place at these elite universities.

  • Start preparation early: To study at Oxbridge, it is not just the early bird that catches the worm, but the early prepared bird. Dr Samina Khan, head of student admissions at Oxford, believes that children should start preparing for Oxbridge at the age of 11, and not just when they reach the sixth form. Children need ample time to develop and master their passion for subjects, which will help give them an advantage over others during interviews and applications. Thus, parents should make sure that their aspiring children start preparation early.
  • Provide additional resources: To stand out, prospective students need to show true mastery of and passion for the subject that relates to their desired degree programme. To develop this mastery, students should go over and beyond their high school curriculum. Their parents can support them by funding their specific extracurricular activities, providing them with books and research resources, and allowing them to do voluntary or even paid work. For example, if a student wants to study medicine at Oxbridge, the parent can fund extra science classes, provide them with books and supplies that will increase their skills, and allow them to volunteer at hospitals and other health facilities.
  • Inform them of their choices: It is important that children are not just prepared for Oxbridge, but also prepared for the journey to Oxbridge. Children need to know what they need to achieve and how much work they will need to be put in for them to realise their aspiration. By informing children well in advance of the responsibilities of choosing Oxbridge, parents can avoid building too much of pressure on them during preparation. Pressure on any person has damaging effects, but pressure on children to achieve something has lasting negative effects on their young minds and their future. It is also important to know the difference between informing and discouraging children, as you do not want to discourage a child from having an aspiration.
  • Take a tour of the university: Parents can encourage an interest in Oxbridge by visiting the institutions with their children. As Dr Khan said, children are growing up in an age of Harry Potter, where the traditions and historical appeal of Hogwarts are appreciated and desired. Unlike Hogwarts, Oxford and Cambridge are real places of learning, but they still have the charm and beauty of tradition and magical gothic architecture. Visiting would create a desire that will encourage children to earnestly put their minds to get a place. Follow the link for more information on visiting and tour times for Oxford or Cambridge.
  • Do your own research: The application process is difficult and lengthy. There are forms to fill and documents to get and interviews to prepare for – it is a daunting task for a child. Parents have more experience with filling out forms and doing interviews, so they should find out what they need and start collecting documents well in advance so as to decrease the load on their child. Parents should also do research on funding, scholarships, accommodation and other matters well in advance to prepare accordingly.
  • Get them a mentor: Parents do not know everything. Perhaps they did not go to Oxbridge or they did not go to university at all, so they do not know how to advise their aspiring children. Thus, getting a mentor for their children would do wonders by providing them with all the necessary skills and knowledge. The mentor could be an Oxbridge alumnus or even educated in the field of interest, and could help them with the application process, with resources of interest, or even just some good direction and confidence boosting.
  • Enroll them in a course or workshop: With 19 000 undergraduate applicants, it would make sense that many prospective students are seeking help when applying to Oxbridge. Thus, there are many courses and workshops available that provide valuable assistance such as developing an outstanding personal statement and how to prepare for interviews. These courses and workshops can also provide important insider information and bursary opportunities.

Parents provide a vital support system when their children are applying to any university. This support system becomes even more important when applying to Oxbridge due to the high amount of applicants, which creates a considerable amount of pressure on children. As you can see, there are several ways parents can make an Oxbridge education possible for their child, which can almost guarantee them to have a bright and prosperous future.

GT Scholars knows the importance of preparing students for Oxbridge and wants to be a helpful part of the journey. We provide a one-day course on how to get into Oxbridge which includes working with Oxbridge graduates, admissions professionals and interview professionals that will show your child how to develop an outstanding personal statement and how to choose a degree course for their chosen career. They will also support your child with preparing for interviews and give advice on A-level subjects and grades required for specific universities and specific courses.

Find out more about the course here. We also provide an excellent mentorship programme which employs a variety of well-educated and knowledgeable mentors that will give your child the edge over any other Oxbridge applicant. You can find out more about the mentorship programme here.