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.

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.

7 Benefits of One-to-one Online Tutoring

7 Benefits of One-to-one Online Tutoring

In The Know

It is a known fact that students perform better when receiving one to one tutoring.  Online tutoring is growing in popularity, and with reason. It can be just as effective as traditional tutoring. Here are 7 benefits of one-to-one tutoring, to name a few. It is very important to remember that within a classroom environment students may often shy away from asking a question to gain clarity on a topic. The student might be afraid of what his peers might think or perhaps the student is an introvert and does not want to speak up in front of his peers.

1.  It makes distance irrelevant
Due to the flexibility of online private learning, logistics are irrelevant as both the student and tutor have the option of scheduling and learning from anywhere, as long as they have an internet connection. Students have the added benefit of being able to study when it best suits them. This gives them the ability to have time to study and still be able to partake in hobbies, sports and other extracurricular activities. Students spend most of their day in a formal learning environment and with after-school tutoring they might not feel up for entering another formal learning space. With online tutoring, they can still receive after-school support but they are in charge of the location.  It can be somewhere informal and most importantly, where they feel comfortable.

2. Individual attention
Just as with traditional tutoring, one-to-one online tutoring is also able to provide the student with that much needed individual attention. One-to-one tutoring session builds confidence and helps the student be less intimidated by exams. It is a great way to give your child extra support with material that he finds challenging, whether it is in Maths, English or Science. Every young person has a different learning style. Taking this into account an online tutor can tailor lessons to adapt to the students learning style and pace. Students receiving individual attention can drive the conversation, and control the question that they want to ask. An online tutoring session creates a stress-free environment where the student experiences minimum fear of failure.

3.  Tutor availability
Online tutoring opens a world of tutors that hold academic degrees and have experience in a professional field. Online tutors are passionate about sharing their knowledge with students, in return making the students excited to learn more about the subject and passionate about learning in general. Communication technologies available today makes it easier for online tutors to connect with their students, and offer students many different ways of communicating with those who impart knowledge that a normal classroom would not. With online tutoring, a student can contact their tutor by sending a quick email or text via an instant messaging application if they require clarification regarding certain class material or assignments. With face-to-face tutoring, the student has to wait for the next face-to-face tutoring session before getting help with questions.

4.  Better grades
One-to-one online tutoring is effective in helping young people improve their grades as it makes them more motivated and engaged, discussing problems and trying to figure out the answers for themselves. Online tutors also have the opportunity to reinforce lessons and creating an effective learning environment. This results in students being equipped with the tools to succeed in their exams and having the tools to succeed at school, university and beyond. Online tutoring increases the student’s sense of responsibility as they cannot copy someone else’s work or rely on the ideas of their peers. This makes them take on a more serious approach when it comes to fully mastering the materials.

5.  Private tutoring provides additional information
Online one-to-one tutoring not only provides the student with the opportunity to address the things they need help with, but it also gives them the opportunity to lead the conversation topic to match their interests. They are given tasks and materials which are different from the material given at school and can also choose their own additional reading lists if they wanted to. This often helps a student to perceive the topic from a different point of view making them understand the topic better. A gifted child, for instance, can be stimulated by the private lessons they received as they would go beyond a normal classroom syllabus.Online tutoring can go beyond improving a child’s marks in school and can help them set and achieve life goals. This can result from having tutors and mentors who provide the tools to set and achieve said goals.

6.  Regular feedback on Academic Progress
An online tutor can provide parents with regular feedback on their child’s progress and address any areas of concern. Some online tutoring companies provide parents and carers with weekly or monthly reports on their child’s progress. This eases the concerns some parents may have of their child’s progress and also helps them to evaluate the effectiveness of the online tuition.

7. Online one-to-one tutoring is cost effective
Private tuition can be costly and not everyone can afford a traditional tutor. Online tutoring makes equality teaching available to more students. For a much lower fee, every student can gain access to quality online tutoring.

 Given the information we now have regarding private online lessons, it’ almost seems as a matter of necessity to have children enrolled in such programmes for them to better succeed in an ever-changing world that requires constant learning. Online learning can be a powerful tool that parents should opt for if their child is in need of help.

The GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise that tackles educational inequality and improves social mobility. We run an after-school tutoring programme that aims to help young people between the ages of 11-16.  Our programme also includes mentoring and enrichment activities with the aim to help young people prepare for their exams, improve their grades and gain access to the most selective universities and competitive careers. To stay up to date and find out more about our courses and workshops, subscribe to our newsletter.

 

Meet one of our volunteer English tutors – Roberta Wiafe

Meet one of our volunteer English tutors – Roberta Wiafe

Private tutors Volunteers Young people

Every now and then we interview one of our remarkable GT Scholars volunteers to find out who the person behind the volunteer is. Without our dedicated volunteers, our mission would not have been able to make the impact that it has.  We had a chat with one of our tutors about volunteering, who she is and her message to young people of today is. Here is what she had to say:

  1. How did you first get involved in volunteering with GT Scholars?
    I first learned of GT Scholars on the Team London website when I was looking for an opportunity to offer my time volunteering. Since I really enjoyed English as a subject at school and liked plays I thought that being a Volunteer Online Tutor would be the best fit for me. Upon visiting the GT Scholars website and reading more about their cause, I decided that I really wanted to be part of their mission.
  2. Why are you supporting GT Scholars as opposed to other groups working to improve social mobility?
    The reason why I like being part of the GT Scholars volunteer team is that I enjoy being able to work with a wide demographic range of students in terms of their abilities and backgrounds.
  3. What might surprise your friends/family other volunteers to know about you?
    I think most my friends and family would be surprised if they knew that I am a theatre critic in my spare time.
  4. How has volunteering changed you as a person and what have you learned from your time volunteering?
    I think during my time volunteering I have learned how to utilise different methods of explaining concepts to people. When approaching a new topic it’s often the case that I and my student have to go over subject matter a number of times to reinforce the ideas. To ensure that the ideas really stay with him and that he understands the concepts from a range of difficult angles, I have to really think about different ways of presenting the information. This has helped me to think more innovatively and to really listen to my student so that I can tailor my approach in a way that’s most helpful to him. And these are both skills that I can apply to my everyday life.
  5. Is there anyone in particular you could tell me about who has influenced your decision to start volunteering in general?
    When I was a student, about 16 years old,  I was involved with the Social Mobility Foundation. At the time they ran a program which made it possible for me to be matched with a mentor and I also received an opportunity to take up an internship at parliament.  Because I’ve had the privilege of support and guidance as a young person, I feel that I want to ‘’pay it forward’’ and give that same opportunity back to someone else.

Roberta is truly inspiring and serves for interesting conversation. When asked what her message to young people of today is, she said: ‘’ Work hard and do your best. If you do those things you will get where you want to be. Take time to celebrate, when you achieve something, celebrate your success. Lastly always be proud of yourself and enjoy the journey.’’ That is definitely words of wisdom to live by! Roberta holds an MSc in International Public Policy from the University College London and a BA Hons degree in History and Politics from the University of Sussex.

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.

More schools and tutors are teaching mindfulness techniques – here’s why!

More schools and tutors are teaching mindfulness techniques – here’s why!

What's new?

Mindfulness does not immediately spring to mind when you think of the types of activities your children should be engaged in while at school. Be that as it may, there are many benefits to introducing mindfulness into the classroom, but are we really aware of the benefits it could have for your child and thus the urgent need for such a skill to form part of your child’s life?

There has been an increase in the number of young people being diagnosed with a mental health disorder. The most recent survey by the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that one in ten children aged between five and 16 years old has been clinically diagnosed with a mental disorder. So, in light of these facts, what can parents do to improve the situation? Can mindfulness in schools perhaps help young people be overall happier and more well-adjusted?  We took a closer look at what mindfulness really is and what the benefits it holds for our young people.

The meaning of mindfulness
From the business world to the political realm and now the school environment; the practice of mindfulness is slowly creeping its way into every aspect of our lives and with good reason.  Mindfulness is a pretty straightforward concept. It is about being fully aware of what is happening around you, of what is happening to you; your thoughts, feelings and emotions and being aware of the space you are moving through.  For many this might be difficult to achieve at first, like anything in life, practice makes perfect. We live in a fast-paced world,  where we find ourselves jumping from one task to the next, rushing through life without a moment to spare to consider the effects on our well-being. Although children may not have to worry about paying bills, work appraisals and the tax man; they are thrown into their own unique age-related whirlpool of family life, school and social life.

Mindfulness in the classroom
We know that schools are not just a place where children gain the necessary academic skills to succeed in life but also where they gain social skills and learn to deal with difficult situations. We know that as adults, those who succeed are not only those who gained academic knowledge but those who gained vital character traits such as self-awareness, self-esteem and regulation of their emotions. Although research into the effectiveness of teaching mindfulness to school children may be in its infancy, there is a consensus among researchers that there are many benefits to the practice. It is our hope that over the coming years, as more research and success stories are published that more schools are willing to come on board with mindfulness programmes and allow children to reap these benefits, affording them the opportunity to become more successful and well-rounded adults. Mindfulness is not yet available in all classrooms but you could implement it at home should you choose to do so as there is a considerable amount of resources available online.

During mindfulness exercises in classrooms, kids are asked to sit comfortably on the floor or at their desks. Then they are asked to close their eyes, place their hands gently on their laps and breathe. To really focus on breathing in and out and any sensations they may have in their bodies. If their minds wander they are encouraged to gently notice where it wanders to and then bring it back to their breathing and their bodies. The aim is to relax their bodies and minds. After the session is complete young people may share to discuss how they felt during the session if they wish to do so.

The benefits of mindfulness in the classroom

It is believed that there are a lot of benefits young people can gain from practising mindfulness regularly.

  • Increased Attention: Studies have shown that young people who were taught mindfulness have increased levels of concentration and were able to pay attention for a longer period of time in the classroom. This, in turn, allows children to learn better and to retain the knowledge they have learnt.  It teaches young people to regain there focus quickly if their minds were to wonder, allowing them to be more in control of the focus of their mind.
  • A reprieve from Stress: Many children are dealing with an array of stress from both school and at home. Evidence has shown that mindfulness can help provide a reprieve from stress factors by allowing children the time to relax, be calm and unwind.
  • Self-awareness: Mindfulness by definition is about self-awareness. Young people that practice mindfulness is more connected and aware of their own thought processes and reactions to the external world thus allowing them to regulate their emotions and behaviour both inside and outside of school.  Young people can also be more aware of their behavioural patterns and improve on negative habitual behaviours. It is a time to disconnect from rigid routines and technology and to connect to themselves.
  • Resilience: Mindfulness can help children become more resilient through coming to view the concerns or stresses they have more objectively by reducing the amount of personal blame or fault they place on themselves due to life’s everyday stress factors.
  • Compassion: By practising mindfulness young people are made more aware of their own thoughts and emotions. They develop a better understanding of other people’s experience and feelings.
  • Overall mental health improvement: With clinical diagnoses’ of mental health issues on the rise it is an ever-present worry for parents concerning their children. The practice of mindfulness in schools has shown to reduce anxiety symptoms, reduce depression and reduce fatigue in children.  

It seems that there is not a lot of reasons to shy away from practising mindfulness. With more and more benefits of practising mindfulness being discovered all the time. Studies have shown a lot of positive outcomes for practising mindfulness.

If your child is between ages 11-16 and you’re interested in helping them achieve better grades and a great sense of well-being by getting them involved in our tutoring, mentoring and enrichment programme please visit our GT Scholars website for more information.

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

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

In The Know Parents What's new?

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

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

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

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

The GT Scholars Programme is an after-school programme that focuses on social mobility, growth mindset and helping young people to achieve their aspirations. The programme includes tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-16. Registration for the January programme is now open. You can register online by following this link.

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

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

In The Know Parents What's new?

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

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

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

GoThinkBig
This online digital hub provides the inside scoop on exciting opportunities. They will help with finding exclusive jobs, internships, work placements and skill days; connecting to experts such entrepreneurs, tech startups and recruitment agencies; and learning about new gaps in the job market and careers and businesses that celebrate creativity, innovation and the digital economy. Find out more here.

The GT Scholars Programme is an after-school programme that focuses on social mobility, growth mindset and helping young people to achieve their aspirations. The programme includes tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-16. Registration for the January programme is now open. You can register online by following this linkYou can also sign up for our weekly newsletter here.

In The Know – Engineering to the rescue!

In The Know – Engineering to the rescue!

In The Know Parents What's new?

This week we focus on opportunities within the engineering sector. With important issues such as the environment and energy resources hanging in the scale, knowledge of engineering is important for mankind to make calculated decisions to protect our future! Here are a few interesting events and activities for students interested in engineering:

National Engineering Competition for Girls
Calling on girls in the UK between the ages of 11 and 18 to put their thinking caps on and enter this exciting competition. This competition offers the winner £500 plus an extra £500 for their school.  Contestants must identify and find a solution for one of the major challenges of the 21st century.  There is no entry fee and entries can be done individually or as a team of up to six.  The competition is now open and closes on 15th December 2017. Find out more here.

The Ultimate STEM Challenge 2017/18
The challenge has been designed to be inspirational and build confidence and teamwork skills. The theme is My Sustainable Future with three challenges to choose from.  Students, between the age of 11-14, must create a Powerpoint or Youtube video to showcase their work and must be submitted by a teacher by 12 January 2018. Have a look here for more information on the challenge, the prizes up for grabs and top tips on creating a winning entry.

University Technical College Open Mornings
This is a great event for students in Year 9 or Year 11 who would like to take on an extra curriculum as their next project in their educational journey. The University’s open evenings are held every Thursday for the duration of November and are free. Students also have the opportunity to find out about South Bank Engineering UTC’s unique offer and stand a chance to win one of a number of Tablets on offer. You can find out more about these evenings here.

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.

 

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.

 

We need private tutors to teach children that failure is a part of learning

We need private tutors to teach children that failure is a part of learning

Growth mindset What's new?

Firstly, let’s understand this: to learn we must fail. Yes, that’s right. Failure provides us with opportunities to learn and an opportunity to reflect. Like Thomas Edison once said: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that it won’t work.” Every attempt is a lesson to learn.

Many of us are constantly held back by the fear of failure. But how do we ensure that our children adapt the mindset of, “you won’t succeed unless you try’’? How do we ensure that they experience true freedom through embracing failure?

First and foremost you need to show empathy. We need to empathise with our child when we see that they are in distress. If you only say things like “It is okay, you will do better next time”, it can make your child feel as if their feelings of frustration and disappointment are being brushed off. This can escalate the feeling of distress they are already feeling. Rather try and level with your child. Try saying “I can see that you are really disappointed by this and I know you are really hoping to do better.”

Explain to them that failure is inevitable and happens to everyone. Tell your child about a time when you failed and how you dealt with it but most importantly remember to tell them what you learned from your failure and how you came out better on the other side of it. Make your child understand that things do not always go according to plan and if they don’t, that it is 100% okay.

See your child’s failures as an opportunity to teach acceptance and an opportunity to develop their problem solving skills. It is a great idea to spend time with your child and try to come up with an action plan together on what to do to have a better chance at success next time around. Try exploring areas such as different teaching techniques or perhaps entertaining the idea of making use of a tutor. According to Dr Mintzer, a clinical psychologist at the Child Mind Institute, it is a balance of acceptance and change and about accepting that the situation is what it is and building frustration tolerance while at the same time asking if you can change something in the future or how to learn from it.

Children need to be taught that when we do fail, we cannot do much about it in the heat of the moment, sometimes we need to accept the outcome and move on. Many of us are constantly held back by the fear of failure. The unseen hazards of social media are often overlooked, for example, if a girl’s friend tells her that she will not be able to go to the movies with her tomorrow night but afterwards she sees her friend posting a picture with someone else at the movies on Instagram, her feelings will be hurt.  These instances are where we need to teach our child that calling the friend and screaming at them because she is angry and feels she failed at a friendship will make matters worse. We need to teach them that there is an option to ignore the situation and not engage in confrontation. This might not make her feel better and this is where you as a parent need to give guidance and empathy to help your child deal with the disappointment.

Our children should learn not to have a too high regard for others opinions. We are too scared about what teachers, tutors, parents and friends would think about us if we fail.  We are too concerned about what society will say if things don’t go as planned. Worrying about other people’s opinions will prevent you from reaching your goals and dreams. Teach your child that in life, one sometimes will get into a situation where you might have to make an unpopular decision to achieve success. If you are constantly worried what other people think it will prevent you from making the right decision

Be an example to your child by striving to constantly grow and move forward. Should we fail, we have to look at it as a lesson to learn, adjust the route, adapt to changes and try again, but now with better knowledge. If appropriate, discuss your failure with your child and share your story on how you dealt with it. We have all heard the stories of failure, Einstein was classified by his teachers as “mentally slow” and Walt Disney was fired from one of his first jobs due to “lack of creativity”. Don’t be afraid to fail, dare to take risks, fail again, try again and reach your full potential.

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise that provides a range of courses and workshops. Our growth mindset course focuses on helping young people and parents have a full understanding of growth mindset and how to apply this in their everyday lives. Find out more about our courses and workshops here.