Friends of GT Scholars – Are you available to help out at one of our events?

Friends of GT Scholars – Are you available to help out at one of our events?

Friends of GT Scholars Volunteers

I hope you’ve had a great week so far and you’re looking forward to the weekend? Did you know that this evening will be the rise of the first super moon of the year? It’s when the moon is at the closest point to earth in its orbit. For science enthusiasts, this is great news… for everyone else, they’re probably wondering why on earth this matters! Either way, the super moon is said to be a beautiful sight!

 

Could you volunteer at one of our upcoming events?
The first couple of workshops for the Inspiring Future Leaders programme will take place on Thursday the 20th and Friday the 21st of February at Google Academy from 10:30am to 4:00pm. We’re looking for event volunteers to help on any of these days. As an event volunteer, you’ll get to meet and interact with the young people and also work closely with the workshop facilitators.  Please let me know if you’re able to help and I’ll fill you in on some more details about these workshops.

Would you like to help us reach more volunteers?
In today’s technology-driven world, you can instantly connect with colleagues, friends and family. This makes reaching out to volunteers and young people easy, connecting people who can help with young people who need help! It would be great if you could help us reach more volunteers by telling a friend or colleague about us. You can refer them to our contact page, or you can get in touch with us and we’ll send you some material that you can forward to them.

Equality in education is still worth fighting for!
Recent figures from the Department of Education showed that pupils from a low-income background are falling further behind their wealthier peers in GCSE Achievement. A recent news article by MSN News UK reported that the gap between disadvantaged and advantaged students has widened, with 27.5% of disadvantaged pupils that were entered for all of the EBacc last year, compared with 44.5% of all other students. In 2018 the gap was 26.4% versus 42.8%. Follow this link to our blog to find out why we still believe that equality in education and private tutoring is still a realistic and worthwhile pursuit. 

 

Have a great weekend!

Friends of GT Scholars – Could you volunteer for 1 hour a month?

Friends of GT Scholars – Could you volunteer for 1 hour a month?

Friends of GT Scholars Volunteers

We hope you had a good week and looking forward to the weekend? We sure are! It might be a gloomy day outside but that does not mean we should let our mood follow suit! Why not warm up someone’s heart with a smile? I often beam a smile at a stranger and more often than not I get one back. Smiling is definitely contagious! So go out there and share your smile with the people around you, it will definitely brighten up their day! But please do it after reading this weeks newsletter 🙂

Can you volunteer as a mentor for 1 hour a month?
The Inspiring Future Leaders Programme will run from February until July 2020. We are looking for volunteer mentors to be paired up with boys between the ages of 12-14 that are at risk of permanent exclusion. Mentors will need to commit to 1 hour a month for 6 months and also be available to support at 1 of the 10 enrichment or skill-building days. There will be a training day for all volunteer mentors to prepare them for the mentoring sessions. Please let me know if you’d like to get involved and I’ll get in touch.

Work experience opportunities!
We’ve received quite a few enquiries from parents about work experience for young people. We would like to help by connecting GT Scholars alumni with work experience opportunities and help them build their CV and develop their skills. The right work experience opportunity can have a life-changing effect on a young person and can set them on course to a great start and future! Please get in touch if you know of any work experience opportunities within your company or network and I’ll give you a call for a quick chat!

Fancy writing an article for our blog?
If you enjoy writing and would like to contribute to our blog page, we would like to hear from you! Our blog focuses on education, personal development, growth mindset, and other related content for parents, scholars, and schools. Established bloggers are also welcome to include a link to their own site when writing a post for our blog. Please tell us what you would like to write about by completing this application form. You can also find more information on our blogging guidelines here.

 

Have a great weekend!

Spotlight on one of our young scholars – Ladan

Spotlight on one of our young scholars – Ladan

Scholar spotlight What's new? Young people

Please tell us a bit about yourself
I’m fifteen and am in Year 10. I love subjects like history as I’ve always enjoyed learning about interesting events such as The Cold War since I was little. I also enjoy learning science, especially experiments.

What does being on the programme mean to you?
I see being on the programme as a really lucky opportunity to be able to develop myself as a whole, not just as a student but as someone with a more flexible mindset that can approach most tasks with an open mind.

How has GT Scholars helped you to improve yourself?
They’ve helped me think more about my future and how I can strive to improve what’s really important to me such as my academics or way of thinking. I’ve seen a great improvement in maths and I’ve moved up from foundation grade to higher grade and also reached my target grade. With mentoring, I’ve grown a lot and I’m more confident than before and my mentor has helped me to choose subjects that align with my interests.

What were your tutor and mentor like? How did this help?
My tutor Janet has helped me improve significantly in maths which honestly, is a subject that I’ve struggled with but now I enjoy the subject and am improving greatly. My mentor Sulina was really kind and I managed to learn about her career and more about the vast educational opportunities in London. For example, I used to be reluctant about IB because of all the stigma around it but as I learnt more about it I think I am more open to applying to IB next year.

Have your grades changed since being on the programme? Did you improve in any of the subjects at school?
My grades have really improved in Maths, classwork comes more easily to me now, so my teacher often gives me more challenging tasks and it’s lead to me achieving higher grades in a subject I was once not doing so well in.

What was the best thing that your tutor taught you?
My tutor helped me learn more effective time management skills. She helped me put into place more concrete methods in my exams, like the mark a minute technique that really helped me, especially since I practised it during our sessions and in homework.

How will you apply what you have learnt during the programme to your future?
My dislike for maths has honestly gone down and I genuinely enjoy the subject sometimes, so I think the likelihood that I may choose economics as an A-Level has increased.

An interview with one of our volunteer online tutors – Arash Khosravi

An interview with one of our volunteer online tutors – Arash Khosravi

Online volunteering Volunteer spotlight Volunteers What's new?

Tell me a little bit about you and what got you to where you are today?
I went through school and after that, I did Economics at A-level and then studied Economics full time at UCL. During my time at UCL, I was the president of the UCL branch of the charity Team Up. After graduation, I was offered a job at the Bank of England where I worked as a Data Analyst.

What made you decide to become a volunteer tutor?
I really feel like I want to give back to society and give back to people that are in a less fortunate position than I am, through no fault of their own, and help them achieve their full potential. I did some informal tutoring a few years ago and I got really good feedback. That made me think and I then decided to take my strengths and use them to help people that really need the support. Since volunteering at UCL, I was trying to find other opportunities to volunteer that could fit in with my work schedule. I find that tutoring is a really good option and that I can make a real difference in a young person’s life.

What did you enjoy most about tutoring your scholar?
What I enjoyed most was really seeing the development of my scholar throughout the 12 week term. I think the highlight for me was in week 4 when I logged into Skype for our session and my scholar said: ‘’Sir, sir you know the thing we’ve done with the area of the square? I tried it in class and my teacher said I got the question right!” She was really chuffed about it and that was great to hear. I think engaging with the scholar and building a good relationship is what I’ve enjoyed most. I was very lucky to be matched with someone who is really engaged and ready to learn.

What challenges have you helped your scholar to face?
What I found at the beginning of this term in my scholar was the fact that she was doubting herself. I think the challenge was to reinforce the knowledge she already had and building her confidence. In the beginning, I would ask a question and she would attempt to solve 60% of the question but wouldn’t have the confidence to work through the remaining 40%. She would then say she did not know how to do it. I focussed on building her confidence and to say to herself, I do know how to do it and I won’t give up. It’s really great to see how much her maths has developed and improved.

What goals have you helped your scholar to achieve?
I think a good example of one of our goals would be the mock test my scholar had coming up. A week before the mock test we did two tutoring sessions so I could help her prepare for the test. After the test, she came back and said that a lot of the work we revised did come up in the test and she really felt confident answering them. We also set up goals for some of the topics she felt a bit weaker in and although she was struggling with it earlier on in the term she was able to tackle them after a few week’s sessions.

Why do you think tutoring is valuable to young people?
Because I feel that students at school have a wide range of abilities and are at different levels. I don’t think that the modern skill system can factor that in with a class of 30 students, with different abilities and learning styles. Some young people need additional support and a lot of them don’t have the opportunity to get 1-to-1 support and can fall behind. I think tutoring can help fill that gap between school and home. Free tutoring is great to bridge the gap between young people who can afford private tutoring and those who cant.

Do you have a message for young people?
I would say they should keep working, keep trying and keep persevering with whatever they want to do in life. There’s no one path to get you where you want to go. Be who you are and don’t try to be anyone else. And with that mindset try things and really persevere. Like with the GT Scholar Programme, even if you don’t get the results initially, keep trying and pushing forward and towards where you want to go.

How important has support been in getting you to where you are today?
My dad is a maths lecturer, I could not get away from maths as a young person (laughs). Until about GCSE I was rubbish at maths, I used to get 40%. I think it was because I wanted to get away from maths because my dad will always be talking about it. At that age, I did not realise the importance of it. Until my dad sat me down and got me to engage and focus and made me realise the importance of it. In terms of other subjects, I did not have formal tutors but had support from my peers and family that helped me a lot.

What have you gained from volunteering with GT Scholars?
I feel like I gained a lot of confidence. I was a bit nervous before my first session because I see it as a real responsibility and duty to help a young person on their journey with mathematics. I really wanted to do a good job and make an impact on my scholar’s life. Having my scholar come back by the fourth session saying how she benefited from our sessions had really boosted my confidence. I think there are a lot of children out there that don’t see their own potential and it’s really opened my eyes to that. I have also gained a great relationship with my scholar and we even joke around during sessions sometimes.

Would you recommend becoming a tutor with GT Scholars?
Definitely. I think the whole process is really good and I gained a lot from the experience. For a tutor to be able to come in and really feel the positive impact made with a scholar and really seeing the journey you’re both going through during the 12 weeks is just amazing. The programme is really great for those scholars who are at average or just below, to give them that extra boost they need. Volunteering as a tutor is a nice way to start volunteering, whether it’s your first time or if you’re an experienced volunteer. I definitely recommend it in terms of it being a great way to volunteer and help young people.

7 Ways you or an online tutor can boost your child’s literacy, vocabulary and oracy at any age

7 Ways you or an online tutor can boost your child’s literacy, vocabulary and oracy at any age

Growth mindset Parents What's new?

Language and communication skills are considered to be the fundamental building blocks for how we, as social beings, convey our thoughts, feelings and ideas. For children, the very first exposure to language development starts at home by imitating the language used by parents and utilising this development to further attain additional language skills in primary and secondary schooling and onwards.

According to an Employer Skills Survey conducted by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, 91 000 employers identified skills most lacking among employment applicants are either directly or indirectly related to oral communication. We can, therefore, state that language development is of crucial importance to a child’s later success in life. There are various methods that parents, teachers and tutors can implement that can potentially improve young people’s language skills and their overall confidence.

Encourage writing
Trying to motivate young people to write can sometimes be a challenging task.  Providing young people with frequent opportunities to write has proven to be an effective way to improve written language skills.  Encouraging young people to write in a journal or diary is a great idea. Younger children still developing basic writing skills can have writing incorporated into everyday tasks. This can include writing birthday cards, postcards during holidays or grocery lists, they are all great introductions to writing. Another fun way to encourage young people to write is to let them participate in local poetry or writing contests or volunteer their writing skills at local publications or non-profit organisations.

Variety is key
With the information age in full swing, it goes without saying that there is a great demand for our attention. Twenty four hour news cycles, social media platforms, electronic devices and all the click-bait entertainment value that comes along with it are all demanding of our attention. It is consequently paramount to incorporate variety into the methods we use to teach our children pivotal language skills to ensure optimal stimulation and entertainment while they are learning. Don’t be afraid to try something different. Instead of selecting their reading material, take children to the school or community library and encourage them to choose their own materials to take home. Families can start their own ‘book club’ by setting aside one evening per week to discuss various books or publications together as a family. Young people can also practice reading out loud as it can boost confidence in their language and oracy skills.  Try to make learning fun by hosting ‘game nights’ playing games such as Scrabble or Upwords.

Debate and engage
When defining good language skills, one would assume that this encompasses the entire spectrum of these skills in generic form from listening, speaking, reading to writing. Over the years, however, there has been the sense that speaking and listening skills have taken the backseat in comparison to reading and writing skills in the standard educational systems.  The very same survey conducted by UK Commission for Employment and Skills detailing the lack of applicants with good oral communication skills identified that these applicants did not have the ability to manage one’s own feelings and the feelings of others, persuade and influence others and to make speeches or presentations. We must then, certainly, invest dearly into the development of young people’s spoken communication skills. Don’t underestimate the power of the debate. When speaking to young people, avoid the yes-no questions and leave them open-ended to encourage fluency and grammar skills. Question their answers and debate the topic! Remember to take on the role of the talker as this is a crucial part of improving children’s speaking skills. Make sure you always provide good speech for children to listen to as they will use this as the basis for their development.

Books, books, books
When acquiring any new skill, practice does make perfect. Books and related reading materials are the backbone of teaching and improving young people’s literacy and overall vocabulary.  Providing constant access to books and reading material will ultimately help them spend their time on something constructive, better their language skills and ipso facto provide them with the necessary skills to succeed in a professional world as adults.  Parents and tutors with a love for reading can set an excellent example and can encourage young people to do the same.   Do a little bit of research to find out what most young people enjoy reading. It can make it easier to connect and engage with your child. Set aside some time at home or in class to discuss what kind of books young people read for pleasure, don’t limit the discussions to school textbooks or course texts solely. Don’t underestimate the paperback – it is not set in stone that electronic reading devices are the preferred reading method in today’s society. Always provide children access to paper books.

Be the role model
Parents, teachers and tutors serve as the first subjects of imitation for children. We provide them with their first exposure to language usage, social skills, ethics and cultural norms. We cannot expect our youth to automatically attain the required language and communication skills if we do not set the example for them to follow and learn from.  Let your child see that you love reading and when they see you reading frequently they will follow your example. Share what it means to be a passionate reader by discussing your all-time favourite books and characters with them. Discuss books and topics and when young people see their peers being open-minded towards other opinions and new point of views they will feel more encouraged to behave in the same manner.

Give incentives
It is always important to reward young people for their efforts. Even as adults we feel more valued in a professional environment when we know that our work is appreciated. Rewarding and encouraging your child’s development will instil motivation for them to continue learning. They can be rewarded for writing well. Something as simple as encouragement stickers or certificates can go a long way.  Another way to reward them is to type out their written work, they will truly enjoy seeing their writing in a professional document format. You can also reward reading by taking them to do special activities related to the book they’ve finished reading. This will make their efforts feel valued and encourage them to read more.

Invest in tuition programmes
Sometimes we do need a little extra help,  don’t stray from asking for it!  There are many ways to ensure young people receive effective language schooling. There are many possibilities out there to consider like tutoring, short courses and mentoring programmes. Investing in one of these platforms gives our young people the optimal teachings they need for overall literacy and oracy and ultimately put them on the right path to personal growth and success.

The GT Scholars Programme is a not-for-profit social enterprise that offers various programmes and workshops to provide young people between the ages of 11 to 16 with the necessary skills to set them on a successful career path, improve grades and enrich their mentoring experiences. Sign up here and look out for our enrichment days and skill-building workshops.

 

A recap of our Career Day 2018: Finding Your Passion

A recap of our Career Day 2018: Finding Your Passion

What's new? Young Leaders

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise that provides tutoring, mentoring and enrichment events for young people aged 11-18.

As part of our Academic Programme and Awards Programme, scholars have the opportunity to attend our a range of enrichment events for young people including visits to universities, visits to the city and career days for young people.

Saturday 24th of March 2018 marked the date for our Annual Career Day. The theme of the day was Finding Your Passion and the day was a huge success.

The panel consisted out of talented professionals from various backgrounds and served for an in-depth overview of various career-focused topics.

With a turnout of over 70 young people and parents, the atmosphere was lively and we had some interesting questions that were submitted to the panel. GT Scholars would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who attended our annual career day.

The day was very informative and insightful, with plenty of light shed on important questions. The day returned plenty of positive feedback from the young people, who found the event extremely useful and enjoyed learning about different career paths and options. We had speakers from a range of career backgrounds including a project manager at Lloyds Banking Group, an investment banker at Goldman Sachs, a Senior Contract Manager at NHS England and senior software engineer and technologist with over 10 years experience in the tech industry.

We’ve put together a short summary of the discussions that took place on the day and the key messages from the day.

  1. Work experience can help you discover your passion:  Not all young people find deciding on a career, to be an easy decision to make, especially at the age of 13 years old. Young people might find it hard to establish what their strengths and weaknesses are. They might struggle with knowing what they are good at and which field will be best suited for them. We all dream of a career that we can flourish in, excelling in doing what we are good at, something we have a passion for.  Often we set ourselves to believe that we would enjoy a certain task or activity, but when we measure our perception against the practical experience, things don’t always turn out the way we’ve made our minds up to be. The only way to discover your passion and whether it can be a viable career option is to gain some work experience, accept an internship or to talk to someone in a similar field. Young people can gain ‘’behind the scenes’’ information on a particular career that they are interested in.
  2. Embrace your talents, they are limitless: Having a growth mindset is the key to unlocking your potential and talents. A lot of young people have the perceived idea that there is an elite group of people who are destined to be successful and talented and that they do not particularly fit into that group.  That could not be farther from the truth! One of the questions asked by a young person at Career Day was, which career choice would be better: Embarking on a career journey on becoming a barrister or being a Youtube entrepreneur? The panel responded with:’’ You can be both.’’ Young people should not limit themselves, with the right mindset and dedication you can become anything you want to be, and most importantly you do not have to label yourself to fit into a specific category. You can still be a barrister with a Youtube channel and a profitable E-commerce business on top of that! There is no rule that says you need to limit yourself to only one profession. Young people should be free, creative and fearless. Approaching life with a can-do attitude.
  3. Studying Online: There was also a lot of interests and questions about the option of studying online. The discussion touch on a number of online courses available, some even free. While an online course does not carry the same credibility as a degree, they are still very useful and informative. It is a great inexpensive way to brush up on some skills or learn new skills. Not all courses are accredited so it is always a good idea to inquire about that before enrolling or paying for a course or paying for a certificate.
    • Udemy is a great online source if you are looking to enrol in an online course. Udemy courses are not recognised by employers as a qualification but it is still worth adding your completion of the course on your CV. It can show a potential employer that you are self-invested and eager to learn.
    • Coursera and EdX is another great online learning platform. With free online courses and members from the world’s most leading universities, edX offers a verified certificate that confirms your course completion. Another great thing about edX is that you can build up credits that you can put towards your university or college application for professional development.
    • For more websites for online learning, read one of our other blog entries: 10 Websites young people can use to learn anything online.
  4. How to filter through choices: First and foremost it is important to remember that a career does not necessarily have to be a lifetime commitment. There are many career choices available and when imagining yourself being in a certain career field, young people should rather be asking how they can add value to their day to day life and the daily responsibilities that would be assigned to them. Young people should be asking themselves questions such as: What strengths and skills do I have? How can I utilise this to make a difference in my own life as well as others? Another important question young people need to ask themselves is: What will I enjoy doing? As parents we can develop our children’s communication, problem-solving, team working, leadership skills and creativity as these are the skills directly involved in making a career choice or business venture a success.

It was great to see how the young people who attended the event were supported by their parents. All parents who’ve attended our career day gained more perspective on the career and study options available to young people and learned how they as parents could provide the necessary support to young people needing to make these important life decisions.

We’d also like to say a huge thank you to the organisations that supported us to make this day happen: Amazon Foundation, Blackrock Foundation and Goldsmiths University – for giving young people and their parents the opportunity to attend our event and receive impartial information about different careers, apprenticeships, and university. Without the continuing support of our sponsors, enrichment activities such as our annual career day would not be possible.

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity that helps young people from a range of backgrounds get better grades at school and get into top universities and competitive careers. If you would like to find out more information about GT Scholars and their after school one-to-one private tutoring and mentoring session, register your interest. Please feel free to subscribe to our newsletter and get notified of future events, workshops and opportunities for young people aged 11-16.

It is never too early to introduce your child to personal development and mentoring

It is never too early to introduce your child to personal development and mentoring

Growth mindset Parents What's new? Young people

It is never too early to introduce your child to personal development

Most psychologists will agree that temperament and environment influence the development of a person’s personality the most. It is also said that developing your mind is the most important goal, as everything you do in life is affected by your mind and how it operates. This being said it is crucial for a young person to understand the importance of personal development and achieving their potential.

The importance of personal development
Personal development is an important lifelong process and an exciting journey everyone must embark on and is associated with self-awareness. The importance of personal development must be communicated to children from a very early age on and be introduced to them as an active priority. The earlier personal development is set in motion, the better the chances are of a child achieving success in adulthood. Personal development is a good way for people to assess their skills and qualities, consider what their aims in life are and set goals in order to realise and maximise their full potential.  It is a very effective way to identify strengths and how to address and improve on weaknesses. It also covers activities that improve awareness and identity, develops talents and potential, builds human capital and facilitates employability. Furthermore, it can enhance a person’s quality of life and contribute to the realisation of dreams and aspirations.

Introducing your child to personal development
Throughout a child’s development, there are many different skills learned. Starting from as early as birth through to adulthood. The general age ranges are grouped from 0-3 years, 3-7 years, 7-12 years and 12-19 years. In general, a child’s development progresses from head to toe, from inner to outer, simple to complex and general to specific. A child’s development can be measured through social, emotional, intellectual, physical and language milestones.

Social and emotional development forms part of how your child manages emotions, how they learn to express themselves and manage positive and negative experiences and relationships. You can help your child by giving praise for achievement, allow them to socialise with other children and adults. Another great way to improve your child’s social and emotional development is by  providing opportunities for them to learn how to share by letting them take turns playing with a certain toy or game, let them learn to share in decision making, make time to listen to their thoughts, opinions and concerns and most importantly providing them with opportunities to take responsibility. As a parent or carer showing warmth and affection and also giving your child the chance to express how they feel can make them feel safe, secure and valued and this will improve their self-confidence. When a new situation arises it is always a great idea to give them the necessary time and space to adjust to the change.

Intellectual Development focuses on learning and attention span. This points to how we understand and process information, our reasoning skills, our memory and logical thinking. Language development and cognitive development are the two main areas of intellectual development. Language development allows us to process our thoughts and understand the thoughts of others and cognitive development is all about using our minds and structuring our thinking to understand what is happening around us. It is important to take time to talk about what your child sees, hears and experience as this can assist in his intellectual development. Motivate your child to be inquisitive about understanding how machinery and computers work. Ask and answer questions and entertain your child’s ideas and suggestions. If you do not know the answer to certain questions, spend time researching topics together. Dare your child to be innovative.

Language development in your child can be addressed by discussing books, pictures, objects and sounds. You can even ask your child to recall something from the past or ask them about how their day was and how they solved problems they were faced with . Young people who have decided to go to university or college, as well as those learning a new trade, will continuously improve their language skills thus improving their chances of employment. Always remember that it is your responsibility as a parent, carer or teacher to nurture and encourage the different skills necessary, especially in the early development years of a child. Thereafter young people, with the support and guidance from parents or carers, are responsible to uphold their desire for further development and success.

Physical development starts from infancy and continues well into a child’s late adolescent years. Physical development focuses on both gross and fine motor skills, which involves gaining control over the body. Coordination and muscle movement plays a big role. Physical development reaches its peak during our childhood years making this an extremely critical time for neurological brain development as well as coordination. As physical development continues children gain self-confidence which in turn has a positive effect on social as well as emotional development. There is no doubt that physical development is vital to lead a healthy life. Encourage your child to be active and motivate them to join a sports team or go on hiking trails as a family.  Young people can learn important skills and values like honesty, teamwork, respect, discipline and fair play. By joining a team or participating in competitions young people can learn how to approach and deal with competition. How to process victory as well as failure.

At GT Scholars we understand the skills required and provide impact courses, enrichment days and skill-building workshops to assist in your child’s personal development. Our programme gives young people the strategies and skills they need to achieve their aspirations. Young people enrolled in our programme will benefit from improved grades, increased confidence, motivation and raised aspirations. Visit our website for more information on the GT Scholars Programme. You can also sign up to our newsletter and be kept up to date on our enrichment days and skill building workshops.

 

In the Know – Scholarship opportunities for young people!

In the Know – Scholarship opportunities for young people!

In The Know Parents What's new?

Scholarships are important for two obvious reasons – the financial assistance it provides for students wanting to study and the benefit of being part of a programme that recognises your academic success. But, scholarships can provide many other benefits, including work experience programmes, post-university work placement, travel bursaries and extracurricular merit. Here are three great scholarship opportunities for young people to apply for this term.

BeArt-Presets Scholarship
BeArt-Presets is a group of passionate photographers and designers specializing in photography. They want to help a student to attain their educational goals and reach their full potential by offering them a £3600 scholarship. This scholarship is for any student applying for any degree at any accredited university in the UK. In order to apply, you will need to fill out the online application form and submit a short essay explaining how the scholarship will impact your life. Applications close on the 1st of April 2018.

Bird & Bird Bursary Scheme
Bird & Bird is an international law firm that seeks to address the financial hurdle that often deters bright people from attending university. Their bursary scheme offers aspirational law students a £7500 award paid in instalments over three years, a mentoring scheme with their current trainee solicitors to give support and career guidance, and a place on their summer vacation scheme which will take place at the end of the second year at university. Applications close on the 31st of May 2018 and you can find more information here.

(ISC)² Undergraduate Scholarship
This scholarship offered by the Center for Cyber Safety and Education aims to ease some of the educational financial burden of aspiring information security professionals. It offers students wanting to study a degree in IT specialising in information or cyber security up to £3600. They can be studying full-time or part-time at any accredited university. Applications close on the 15th of March 2018 and you can find more information 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

Volunteers

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.

 

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

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

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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.