In the Know – Learn new skills this Summer!

In the Know – Learn new skills this Summer!

In The Know What's new?

The Summer holidays are a perfect opportunity for young people to learn new skills. This will not only expand their knowledge and keep their minds active, but it will also expose them to new career fields and interests that could help them reach their aspirations. Here are a few upcoming skill-building opportunities that your child could be interested in.

Architecture Summer School: Making Happy Places
Making Happy Places is a five-day free summer school where young people will learn about architecture and the environment and gain practical skills in drawing, model making and portfolio making. Young people between the ages of 15-18 will learn how the built environment and architecture has a direct impact on their lives, while also learning more about the opportunities in this career field. The summer school will take place from Monday 12th August to Friday 16th August. Find out more here

Pen to Print: Creative Writing Workshop
Pen to Print and Barking Library is running a free creative writing workshop for young people between the ages of 11-14. Children’s author, Sara Grant, will help young people to create stories and inspire and encourage them to develop their creative writing skills. The workshop is taking place on Wednesday 14th August from 2pm. Find out more here

CoderDojo @ Brandon Library
CoderDojo is running a free coding workshop for young people between the ages of 11-17 at Brandon Library in Southwark. This workshop will help young people to learn to code in a fun and creative environment, and they are not required to have any previous coding experience. The workshop will be taking place on Saturday 3rd August from 12pm. Find out more here

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. We run after-school and weekend programmes that help young people achieve their academic and career aspirations. Our programmes include tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-18. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.

In the Know – Bring the fun back into learning!

In the Know – Bring the fun back into learning!

In The Know What's new?

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

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

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

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

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. We run after-school and weekend programmes that help young people achieve their academic and career aspirations. Our programmes include tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-18. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.

In the Know – Step into Your Future!

In the Know – Step into Your Future!

In The Know What's new?

There are so many career choices available to young people that at times it can feel overwhelming when trying to decide on one. This week’s fun and informative activities are all aimed at giving your child the support they need to make decisions about their future. Read on to find out how to get your child inspired for the future!

Project Accelerate!
On Wednesday 29th May, Project Accelerate is back! From 10:30am to 4pm at RioTinto, which is a large multinational corporation that works in 35 countries across six continents. On Wednesday, we’ll be hosting free workshops for young people (aged 13-16). This workshop will be aimed at helping your child build some of the skills they’ll need to access future work experience and opportunities available to them. Tickets are available and will be released via the waiting list on eventbrite.

A Fashionable Future?
If you know a budding fashion guru aged between 14 – 18 then make sure they don’t miss out on the Creative Careers & Skills MDX Fashion Show! This event on Friday 31st May is ideal for young people interested in a career in the fashion or textiles industries. They’ll be able to gain insight into professional portfolio design and have access to mentoring advice from Middlesex University tutors and students at this free fashion show! Book your tickets here.

Coding Fundamentals
If your child has been trying to figure out how they can get into coding then Vision Redbridge’s coding event presents the perfect opportunity. On Thursday 13th June they will be hosting an interactive coding session for beginners so that your 13-15 year olds can develop basic coding skills. The session which is £2 will include an introduction to fundamental coding languages such as Micro:bits, HTML and Python. Get your ticket here.

GT Scholars is a Non-profit organisation that provides young people with skills, strategies and support to achieve their aspirations. Visit our blog page for more insightful articles on ways you can support your child’s educational journey or find out more information on our tutoring programme and how to apply.

Communication tips for volunteer tutors and mentors

Communication tips for volunteer tutors and mentors

Volunteers What's new?

Good communication is usually taken for granted in environments where adults work together since there is the assumption that everyone has the necessary communication skills to interact with people on a daily basis. However, when engaging with young people, one needs to pay close attention to good communication as it is an essential part of ensuring successful outcomes for them.

Good communication is central to working with young people as it fosters trust, and trust is necessary for building and maintaining relationships with them. This will allow them to reach their full potential as they will feel supported because they trust that you have their best interests at heart. So understanding what good communication involves is essential when working with young people.

Good communication is an active process
This entails being responsive and engaging when working with young people. More specifically, good communication requires active listening. Active listening is responding to cues while restating and drawing out the meaning of what the person is saying, combined with the expression of warmth, empathy and acceptance. Being responsive and making an effort to understand what the young person is communicating results in the young person becoming more confident as they feel that their thoughts and feelings have value.

Good communication does not just refer to the words we use
Good communication also refers to how we say things as the tone in which something is said can sometimes communicate more to a young person than the words that were used. There are also several forms of communication such as visual communication, body language, and sign language. The responsibility lies with the volunteer to identify which form of communication the young person is most receptive to. This will ensure that they understand the tasks they are given.
It is also important to note that the young person’s preferred form of communication may be influenced by personal factors such as culture or language. It is key that volunteers take the young person’s context into consideration when identifying the best form of communication for them, and be able to adapt communication styles as necessary.

Good communication involves being non-judgemental and approachable
It is important to be aware of how our attitude can affect young people. One should be supportive and reaffirming when communicating so that the young person does not feel judged and become closed-off or difficult to communicate with. When a young person feels comfortable, they are more likely to express themselves. In order to create an environment where the young person can openly communicate, a volunteer can use open questions. Open questions are a great communication tool as they encourage the young person to open up since they do not require definitive yes or no answers. Open questions encourage the young person to discuss their answer instead of giving one worded answers, and this helps develop good communication. You can learn more about open questions here.

Consider what stage of development the young person is in
To be able to develop communication styles and work strategies that encourage the young person’s participation, it is necessary to be aware of the needs of the young person. For example, if a young person is at risk of under-achievement, it is important to use language that does not intimidate the learner or make it seem that it is impossible for them to achieve their academic goals.
Conversely, if the young person has been working well and their levels of understanding are improving, the volunteer must communicate with them in a way that reflects that they recognise the improvements that the young person is making. This encourages good communication and helps develop the young person’s confidence when engaging with their work, as they will be able to recognise that they are making improvements and that they are capable.

Be aware of the barriers to good communication
There may be barriers to good communication which often discourages the young person from wanting to communicate. Firstly, ordering a young person to do something discourages communication. This is because young people do not like feeling as though they have no choice in the decisions involving them. A better way would be to discuss options with the young person or explain why they need to do something. This allows them to feel like their opinion matters and develops their self-confidence, which can foster good communication in the long term.
Another barrier to good communication is speaking with a threatening tone. An example of this would be saying something like: “If you keep doing this, you will fail the year” or “You better do this or else that will happen”. Communicating this way is negative and very discouraging for the young person which decreases their confidence in their abilities. So it is important to remember to use reaffirming and encouraging language that motivates the young person to keep working hard.

Your communication skills can influence how the young person will continue to communicate going into their future. Good communication with young people can help develop their self-confidence, which goes a long way in developing a positive attitude. So it is important for the volunteer to always be aware of how they communicate with young people by adopting and adapting the appropriate communication style for each young person they work with.

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.

7 Reasons Why State School Pupils are Still Not Getting into High-Income Careers

7 Reasons Why State School Pupils are Still Not Getting into High-Income Careers

What's new?

There is still an increasing trend of educational inequality that affects young talent attempting to enter into the job market. A recent study from the Social Mobility Commission concluded that young people from more advantaged socio-economic backgrounds, including those who’ve attended private school, are more likely to be in top jobs. 

What is the root cause of the increase in this trend and what can society do to prevent us from slipping back into an age of educational oppression?  

Here are a few reasons as to why privately-educated pupils are getting the benefit of the doubt when going head to head with a state-schooled pupil:

  1. Untimely graduation – Few state school pupils who make it to college complete their studies on time. Pupils from low-income backgrounds may have access to grants for tuition, but they still have to make provision for living expenses. Many pupils cannot afford to study and work part-time and they end up being forced to seek full-time employment. Of course, there is the argument that working and learning at the same time can result in better education and stronger career prospects and future options, especially when working in jobs related to subjects studied, however, working too much can reduce completion rates for low-income and first-generation college pupils. A spokesperson for The National Union of Teachers said their report “gives a sombre warning to Government that unless investment and the correct interventions are in place, the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers will continue”.
  2. Career threshold – Most employers have strict recruitment procedures that ensure all aspects of a new job application is covered. When considering job applications from new candidates, they look at educational background including the school attended, academic attainment and the university attended. What they fail to realise is the fact that ticking these boxes is not an accurate prediction of the applicant’s strength. A more adept way to interview would be to focus on non-academic factors such as articulacy, assertiveness and other important soft skills. Employers that access a wider pool of diverse talent will provide real benefits for employees and the business alike.
  3. Not enough equivalent experience – When employers refer to equivalent experience in a job posting, they could be referring to experience as a substitute for not having the educational requirements or they could be referring to unpaid experience, such as volunteer work or an internship. Most state pupils are obviously not able to meet this requirement due to time or financial constraints that prevent them from taking on volunteer work or unpaid internships.
  4. Incorrect business destination and intent – Many employers have the incorrect focal point when it comes to success. Their considerations lean more towards prioritisation of tasks and general commerce when they should rather be paying more attention to what individuals can attribute to their overall financial growth. Employers should be looking to employ people who are going to complement the community that they are trying to build. The graduates who clearly articulate their interests, goals and aspirations are often overlooked because of their lower percentage performance in university or due to a lack of educational prestige.
  5. Restricted personal development –  Young people from advantaged backgrounds are more likely to be extroverts and have substantially higher economic aspirations since private schools have the resources to work on personal development. On the other hand, state schools don’t focus on personal development enough, and their pupils are not able to develop self-confidence or high career aspirations.
  6. Budget deficits – With the entire world moving into a technology-based environment, it is becoming clear that tech-savvy thinking is one of the things that employers are looking for. Unfortunately, state schools are lacking behind in this area, especially when it comes to the use of tech devices in class. Pupils cannot afford their own devices and unless there is some sort of independent funding along the way, the schools are also not able to provide this for all pupils.  This suppresses the learning potential of the pupils and they will not be able to develop the necessary skills to keep up with the changing working world.
  7. Educator challenges –  State schools employ a disproportionate share of teachers, relative to the number of pupils they educate, with class sizes being far too high for one teacher to handle. This creates many challenges for individual educators such as learner performance and disciplinary problems. Learner performance is affected there is less time for the educator to give individual attention. Learners attention is also affected as classrooms tend to be more noisy and disruptive during lessons. Furthermore, the educator’s time management is affected as they do not have the time to attend to test papers and assignments with as much detail, so they often overlook vital areas where improvement may be needed.

Even though pupils are facing these challenges based on inequality and the lack of adaptability by many employers, they should not be discouraged.  Young people entering the job market should assess what they can offer and why they can be an asset to their potential employer. They should include their best qualities in a personal cover letter when applying and focus on their unique credentials and skills.

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. We run after-school and weekend programmes that help young people achieve their academic and career aspirations. Our programmes include tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-18. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.

In the Know – Confidence is Key!

In the Know – Confidence is Key!

In The Know Parents What's new?

The Prince’s Trust Macquarie Youth Index report for 2018 revealed that 54% of all young people believe their lack of self-confidence holds them back. Luckily, there are many activities in which young people can build self-confidence and pursue their aspirations. This week we bring you three such activities.

Be an A-lister!
Young A-Listers is the UK’s first part-time self-empowerment drama school. Founded by Samuell Benta, the school works with young people aged 9 to 17 years old and aims to raise young people’s awareness about their personal strengths. They will also learn new skills and build their confidence. There is a free class available on Tuesday 5th February, and you can find out more here.

The Best Youth!
Featured within The Best You Expo, a two-day event exploring life-changing movements and inspirational immersion, The Best Youth is an event that gathers young people passionate about living better lives, creating a better world, and gaining greater mindfulness and confidence. This free event runs on Friday 15th February and Saturday 16th February. To find out more, click here

Develop your skills!
The Photographer’s Gallery runs an ongoing programme of talks, events and workshops for 14-24-year-olds. This programme aims to build young people’s confidence in pursuing a career in photography and design. This Saturday (2nd February) they have a workshop on book and magazine design. The workshop costs £30 and there are free bursary places available. To find out more, click here.

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. We run after-school and weekend programmes that help young people achieve their academic and career aspirations. Our programmes include tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-18. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.

In the Know – Innovation, Imagination and Fun!

In the Know – Innovation, Imagination and Fun!

In The Know Parents What's new?

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

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

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

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

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. We run after-school and weekend programmes that help young people achieve their academic and career aspirations. Our programmes include tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-18. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.

In the Know – Create and collaborate!

In the Know – Create and collaborate!

In The Know Parents What's new?

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

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

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

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

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. We run after-school and weekend programmes that help young people achieve their academic and career aspirations. Our programmes include tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-18. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.

In the Know – Summer volunteer opportunities!

In the Know – Summer volunteer opportunities!

In The Know Parents What's new?

Volunteering for a local cause or charity provides useful skills to young people, while also increasing their social responsibility and community involvement. Volunteer experience can also be used to build their CV. Here are three interesting volunteering opportunities that your child can get involved in this summer.

Reading Mentor
Westminster Libraries are looking for volunteer reading mentors from the age of 14 to help deliver their Summer Reading Challenge. This is a national reading initiative which encourages children to read for fun over the summer holidays. Volunteers will help with talking to children about the books they have been reading, encouraging them to share their views and ideas, preparing for events and promotions and assisting with administration. You will need to fill in an online application by the 19th of July and you can find out more here.

Youth Panel Member
The Horniman Museum and Gardens in Forest Hill is looking for young people aged 14 to 19 who want to get their voice heard or gain experience in producing and marketing youth events. The panel meets regularly to plan exciting events and help the museum become more youth-friendly. Panel members will also work with artists and do lots of other behind-the-scenes things. You will need to apply by the 5th of July and you can find out more here.

Youth Worker
Highgate & Holloway Woodcraft Folk are looking for enthusiastic volunteers from the age of 16 to get involved in games and outdoor activities, organise arts and crafts, and facilitate interesting discussions with the children they work with. Skills that you will develop include creativity, resilience, teamwork, communication and confidence. Applications close on the 14th of July and you can find out more here.

GT Scholars offers after-school programmes that focus on social mobility, growth mindset and helping young people to achieve their aspirations. Our programmes include tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-16. If you would like to know more, please contact us here.

In the Know – Volunteer opportunities to build new skills!

In the Know – Volunteer opportunities to build new skills!

In The Know Parents What's new?

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

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

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

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

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