In the Know – Think about your mindfulness!

In the Know – Think about your mindfulness!

In The Know Parents What's new?

Mindfulness is an essential aspect of ensuring that young people develop into well-rounded adults that are capable of coping with whatever life throws at them. According to the NHS, 1 in 8 young people in the UK have mental health issues, so it is clear that the emotional wellbeing of young people is equally as important as their physical health.

An Introduction to Mindfulness
Are you curious about what mindfulness involves and whether it is a practice that would work for your child? Join Bromley Mindfulness at their Introduction to Mindfulness workshop on Monday 25th February from 7pm to 8.30pm at Bell House in Dulwich. The workshop is designed to teach young people the practical skills that will support their personal development. Tickets are £10 with free places available. Find out more here.

Calm
Calm is a free app that offers basic mindfulness practices to people of all ages, including a week-long beginners’ series that shows you how to practice cultivating awareness and how to train your mind to bounce back when it switches into autopilot mode. Other free sessions include 7 Days of Sleep and Calming Anxiety. The app is available for both Apple and Android devices.

The Mental Health Foundation
Most young people who experience a mental health issue have not had the necessary interventions at an early enough age. The Mental Health Foundation is a great resource for finding professional interventions and learning about symptoms and organisations that address mental health issues. This helps parents and young people to understand mental health issues better. You can visit their website 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.

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An Interview with a Parent

Our Impact What's new?

As part of the scholar spotlight series, we interviewed a parent of one of the scholars on our Bright Ambitions programme. Please listen to the audio clip above for the full interview. You can also find the transcript below. 

How did you find out about GT Scholars?
We found out about GT Scholars because we were looking for originally a tutoring programme for my daughter. We saw GT Scholars advertised, I asked around, no one had heard about it and on a day trip to Croydon, we saw some signs and some posters. It looked fabulous. I went to contact the Head of the programme, had a long discussion about it, just to discover their ethos and their mindset about tutoring and enhancing children’s capabilities, and I really liked the programme. We went for an interview, it was a nice interview and not only did they interview us, we interviewed them actually and we were quite pleased and that is how we started. And that was about 4 years ago we have come up to.

Why did you choose GT Scholars over any other programmes that you could have gone for?
I looked around quite widely and I decided to go with GT Scholars for a few main reasons.  Firstly I like the ethos. It has a holistic approach to developing a child, not just focused on the academic grades, just building confidence and resilience. And also, I was quite concerned about the mental challenges and the mental aspects of learning today. The way GT Scholars approach learning and developing is quite a nice approach and it’s an approach I really welcomed.

What difference have you seen in your daughter after she joined the programme?
The impact of the programme I’ve seen on my child is that prior to the programme, I think stress was beginning to manifest itself in just delivering grades, grades, grades, and obviously I as a parent was trying to tell my child that it’s just not about the grades even though the grades are really important, it’s about developing everything. Obviously, the children of today don’t really want to listen to just the parents only.

During the programme, basically, you just hear the same messages that each parent is trying to instil in their child coming from a variety of different voices. So you have the tutor saying the same thing, you have the mentor, you the enrichment, they say the same thing and actually slowly but surely, it started to sink in.

How it manifested itself or the impact it gave on my child was that I could see confidence building. Slowly but surely she was actually replaying the same messages that she was hearing from all of these various areas back to me. Her grades were improving, slowly but surely she was looking forward to her sessions, where I at the beginning definitely saw fear but now it was, it was sort of excitement. And she looked forward to the enrichment days because I always went with her, I hung around outside, I attended some enrichment days. And towards the end, she was hoping, actually, that I didn’t sit in with her. That was also a positive sign.

What has your experience been with the organisation as a whole?
So I feel as a parent I also get support from the GT Scholars programme. There’s the official feedback sessions you have at the end of the term, which you can, a member of the GT Scholars will phone you and have a discussion with you or you can write your feedback in. I think that’s really worthwhile and that just gives you the sort of official line to see whether your child is progressing.

In between that, you also have administrative help from the GT Scholars team, actually probably every fortnight I hear from a member of the GT Scholars team, who will ask you how the program is going, is there anything you need to do, what are you looking for, have your goals been achieved or have they been met, would you like to attend the next term, again what your goals, so I feel that it’s more of a family, again, a holistic approach to developing my child which I am really supportive of. I wouldn’t like to attend a tutoring programme where they just took my money and said right we’ve given you, we’ve taught your child academically, thank you very much, get on with it. I find that the GT Scholars approach supports the parents and the child as well.

What would you say to a parent thinking of signing up for a GT Scholars programme?
To a parent who is thinking of signing up to GT Scholars, I would say, please just do it. It’s really beneficial. The mentoring, tutoring, the support you get is second to none and you’re not going to get that anywhere else. I have researched extensively. It helps your child‘s development at any stage. Near exams, you can focus on the exams itself. Pre-exams you can just help develop your child. It’s beneficial, you have nothing to lose really by joining GT Scholars programme.

Do you have any final thoughts that you would like to include?
I’ve looked into tutoring, all of the aspects of tutoring, tutoring itself is really expensive, mentoring is expensive, enrichment days, are for me, extortionately expensive. GT Scholars is a much more cost-effective way of developing your child and that’s why I would thoroughly recommend the programme.

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 – Explore your career options!

In the Know – Explore your career options!

In The Know What's new?

There are so many new career options emerging every year. However, young people are often not aware of the many pathways they can pursue after they are done with school. It is essential for them to assess their skills and find a career they are passionate about. This week we have three opportunities for young people to gain an insight into different careers.

GT Scholars Career Insight Programme
As part of the launch to the new GT Scholars Career Insight Programme which will begin in August, we will be offering young people a chance to attend a career workshop on Thursday 21st February at the EY offices in Canary Wharf. During this free workshop, young people aged 14-17 will have the chance to hear from professionals in a range of careers and understand the different paths that they took to achieve their career aspirations. To book your ticket, click here

Want a career in Aviation?
The Heathrow Jobs and Careers Fair 2019 will be taking place on Thursday 28th February. This free event will allow young people to meet with over 80 airport-based employers, educational institutions, volunteering organisations and apprenticeship programmes. They will be able to get the latest information about vacancies, placements and training available at the airport. To find out more, click here

Find your Opportunity!
The Festival of Opportunities will be running over the February half term. Suitable for young people aged 12-18, this series of events helps young people explore their potential, develop their skills and find out about great careers. Featured in this year’s festival are visits to Sky Media Studios and University of West London. 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.

7 Practical Tips For Online Tutoring

7 Practical Tips For Online Tutoring

Volunteers What's new?

In a world dominated by technology, online tutoring has become a convenient and reliable solution for young people seeking a tutoring programme. 

Although mostly similar to the classic method of in-person tutoring, there are a few differences that both the tutor and the student need to adapt to. This will ensure that they are able to reach their academic goals and get the most out of the tutoring programme.

Here are a few tips that tutors can use to make online tutoring work best:

  1. Set up the perfect learning environment
    Since the tutoring will be done online, most of the ‘human feel’ can be lost. However, this can be overcome by creating a more natural and relaxed environment for your student to feel welcome and not feel like they are alone in a room. Doing simple things such as asking the student to get a cup of tea or a glass of water can make them feel more at ease.
    You should also ensure that you have chosen a quiet and private place to do your tutoring so that you are not disturbed or bothered by loud noises. This helps you to remain focused and make the student feel like they are your first priority. Any distractions can cause your student to be unfocused, so you can also ask your student to put away their mobile phone so they are not tempted to check their messages or play games. Remember, young people will follow your lead so you should remove all distractions from your side as well.
  1. Be well organised
    To make sure that your time is used efficiently, ensure that you have structured the lesson well by making a lesson plan that is well organised. You should focus on reaching specific goals, while also allowing sufficient time for interaction and for the lesson to digress a little as you want it to feel more relaxed and not too rigid. However, if you find that the lesson is digressing too much, gently steer the conversation back to the problem at hand. You should also ensure that you have additional material in case you have a fast learner or if tutoring went by swiftly.
    On the technical side, ensure that your laptop or computer is fully charged and that there is no lag or delay with your internet connection. No one wants to be tutored if they have to keep waiting for the screen to stop buffering. If there is a technical glitch, ensure you have already established a back plan so that you and your student are aware of what to do should you be disconnected.
  1. Be easygoing and open while still maintaining professionalism
    The best way for a student to feel relaxed and at ease is to be open and easygoing, while still maintaining a level of professionalism. Finding the right balance can be hard, but with time, you’ll find it easier. You can use ice-breakers to make things lighter. You can also mix in a bit about your personal life in the conversation, but you don’t need to reveal too much about it. For example, it is fine to share some of your hobbies but it is not appropriate for you to share your dating plans. You should also keep conversations age-appropriate and avoid letting your personal problems from affecting your lesson as young people can sense when you are not in the right space of mind.
  1. Encourage discussion and interaction
    Always ensure that you set aside sufficient time for discussion and feedback. You can even allow for a few minutes of downtime by doing something that can allow them to refocus. It can be difficult to monitor their engagement during online tutoring so ensure that you make use of props, charts, or objects to help keep the student engaged. You can also find something that will allow you to connect with your student, such as music or making reference to movies or to a hobby that they may be interested in.
    You should also set realistic expectations, as each child has unique learning capabilities and will learn at their own pace. Do not rush through each lesson but rather be patient and remain focused. It will also be useful to develop an understanding of the kind of student you are tutoring. Some can be very direct and will give you a lot of feedback, while others can be more reserved and prefer that you do most of the talking.
  1. Set objectives and specific targets
    When planning your lesson, you should also set objectives and targets that you can use to measure your progress. Try to be slightly ahead of your targets so that if you fall behind a little, you will be able to easily catch up on your lessons. You should also ensure that you do not rush through your curriculum and that you adjust your lesson plan depending on the speed at which your student is learning. This means that your lesson plan has to be tailored to suit each student to ensure that you cover all sections of the subject that you are tutoring. You do not want to be rushing the last section if you did not plan correctly.
  1.  Prepare tests and quizzes
    The best way to measure your student’s progress and ensure if they have understood your tutoring is to set tests, quizzes, and assignments. Setting tests can help train the student to utilise their time well for their real exams. It can also help to specifically see where your student is excelling or falling behind. Tests can be scheduled ones so that your student can prepare for your test but it is also beneficial to set a spot test or two to ensure that your student is able to understand the work rather than just memorise it. Assignments help to allow the child to work independently and figure the work out on their own.
    Don’t set too long assignments or tests as this can deter them from doing the work since they already have homework from school. If they do fail the test, do not get upset or angry. Rather be supportive and encouraging as students thrive better in a positive environment. Use words like, “Let’s see where WE went wrong” or “Let’s see how WE can find another way to arrive at the correct answer.” Always be optimistic.
  1. Know your student and make tutoring fun
    Part of making online tutoring a success is to make sure you fully understand your student and what their needs are and how much can they retain before they become disengaged or uninterested. It is also important to keep tutoring fun so that the student is excited to learn and does not feel anxious or stressed for the tutoring session. Everyone retains much more when they are having a good time, so make sure to keep sessions exciting.

With these tips, you should be able to make your online tutoring sessions productive, impactful and useful so that your student can reach their academic goals.

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 – Ace your exams!

In the Know – Ace your exams!

In The Know Parents What's new?

It’s that time of year when young people start worrying about their upcoming exams. However, studying for exams does not have to strike fear into their minds! This week we bring you three great ways that will help to get their brains into gear for exams!

Ready, Set, Go: Acing Your Exams!
GT Scholars will be hosting our popular Ready, Set, Go: Acing Your Exams! workshop that aims to help young people conquer their exams. This free workshop is suitable for young people aged 12-16 and helps them by improving study skills, time management, and mindset techniques. It also helps young people navigate the stress and demands of exams. To book your ticket, click here.

Gojimo
Have you heard of Gojimo? It’s a free app that helps young people aged 13-18 with their homework and exam revision. Not only do young people gain access to quizzes, practice questions and study tips, but they can also learn about future careers, universities, apprenticeships and so much more! To find out more about Gojimo and the subjects covered, click here.

Seneca Learning
Seneca Learning is an online platform which encourages young people to study by using humour in the form of GIFs and memes. The site’s algorithm works to identify questions that young people struggle with and uses alternative formats that help them to better understand and answer correctly. Young people can join a class or revise on their own. 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.

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 – New Year, New Hobbies!

In the Know – New Year, New Hobbies!

In The Know Parents What's new?

Happy New Year! A new year is a great time to start taking up new hobbies or exploring new interests. You never know where they may lead, it just might be the first step to something bigger! This week we bring you three activities for young people to enjoy.

Be an Entrepreneur!
Ultra education provides weekly entrepreneur clubs at The Granville for young people aged 7-18 years old. This free event teaches young people entrepreneurship whilst building their confidence, communication skills and financial literacy. It’s an excellent step for young people to learn about how to do what they love and get paid for it. To find out more, click here.

For the Science Fans
The EasyCodingClub has a fun Lego Robotics Coding and STEM workshop every week at various locations around London. This free workshop is suitable for young people aged 6-12 years old and is designed to nurture young minds to develop an interest in coding and building robots. They will be able to learn key science and engineering practices and apply maths in a fun engaging way. To find out more, click here.

Be Creative with Manga
The V&A is hosting a Create! Manga workshop for 13-15-year olds on Saturday 26th January. Young people will be able to gather inspiration from the V&A’s Japan gallery and get to create their very own Manga characters. Tickets to this workshop cost £20 and you will need to book in advance to secure a place. 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.