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

Events What's new?

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!

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

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.

 

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.

7 Reasons Why Every Young Person Needs A Mentor

7 Reasons Why Every Young Person Needs A Mentor

Mentoring What's new?

A mentor can have an extremely positive influence on a young person’s life, however, the effectiveness of mentoring is often overlooked. A mentor is someone who the mentee can depend on, someone that acts as an active listener, tuned into the unique needs of a mentee. With the right mentor, a young person can gain professional socialisation skills and receive personal support to facilitate long-lasting success.

Here are 7 reasons why every young person needs a mentor:

  • Every young person has potential: We have all heard the saying: ‘In every caterpillar, there is a butterfly waiting to spread its wings, flourish and soar to greatness.’ Much like a butterfly, in every young person exists greatness waiting to be unleashed. Mentors can serve as a source of guidance and support to help young people reach this greatness by assisting a young person in goal setting and providing motivation.

  • Mentoring is relational: It is believed that young people are very dependent on relationships to develop their ideas and perceptions of the world. This is mostly influenced by their interaction with social media, peers and adults. Young people can often feel isolated and disconnected from adults. This can result in a young person’s perceptions and opinions being influenced by misinformation obtained from peers and social media. Mentors can challenge and correct these perceptions and opinions from a more mature perspective and bring about an inquisitiveness, passion and a more informed opinion within a young person through dialogue and active engagement. The relationship between a mentor and a mentee can help build trust and illustrate the dynamics of positive relationships. 
  • All young people are unique and different: “Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will go through its life feeling like it is not smart”. This quote is worth remembering as young people can sometimes feel pressured to fit into the same mould and can be expected to conform to limited ideas of success and greatness introduced to them through social media and peers. Since mentoring is such a unique process, it helps each young person to realise their own unique abilities, talents and strengths. It is important for each young person to realise the unique ways in which they can contribute to society around them. A mentor can help show a young person that if they are a ‘fish’ they may not be able to climb trees, but they could certainly swim! 
  • Informal education: Throughout a young person’s formal education they are taught a variety of subjects and skills, but they are rarely taught about themselves as individuals. Learning about oneself can be thought of as lifelong informal education that often has no curriculum or duration. However, it is imperative that young people start getting to know themselves before heading out into the world as adults. Knowing yourself helps you to make well-informed decisions later in life such as career choices, social or relationship choices and educational choices. The unique process of mentoring gives a young person the personal space to discover things about themselves which they can use later on to make these important decisions. A mentor can also act as a valuable sounding board since they have the advantage of experience, and they can help steer a young person in making profound discoveries about themselves. 
  • Challenge thinking: Sometimes young people can be overly accepting of certain ideas about the world around them without challenging these ideas and forming their own opinions – such as what kind of future is attainable for them in terms of education and career options. We live in a world where young people are inundated with what the ‘ideal future’ is, but rarely are they encouraged to self-reflect and challenge what motivates and inspires them personally. A mentor can challenge a young person’s aspirations and ideas so that they may be better understood. 
  • Accountability: A mentor can act as a great sense of accountability for a young person to reach their goals and their true potential. Young people may be accountable to a parent for their household chores, or a teacher for their homework but who makes them accountable for their life goals? This is where a mentor comes in. They can set weekly goals for a young person to ensure that they are reaching those goals or working towards those goals. They can also help their mentee stay on track with their ambitions through providing the unique tools they may need to reach those ambitions. Accountability is also a vital life skill for a young person to learn as it fosters responsibility and independence. When a young person is accountable they learn to take responsibility for their own growth.

  • Staying grounded while dreaming big: It’s good to dream big! But sometimes a young person’s ambitions can be rooted in fantasy, and from time to time they can lack the ability to recognize the reality of a situation. A mentor can help in grounding a young person and guiding them practically through some of the realistic challenges they may face on their way to achieving their greatness and goals. A mentor helps to bridge the gap between how a young person may see the way forward and what is realistically the best way forward.

Whilst it’s true that many of the benefits of a mentor can to some extent be fulfilled by a parent or sibling, it may be important to a young person that their mentor is from outside of their immediate family. In our experience, most young people derive greater benefits from mentorship when paired with a non-parent mentor, and that they thrive within this unique and valuable relationship.

If your child is between ages 11-16 and you are interested in our mentoring programme, please contact us for more information. We also have great tutoring as well as enrichment programmes available.

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.

7 Traits of parents with successful children

7 Traits of parents with successful children

Growth mindset Parents What's new?

There is no set manual to follow when it comes to raising successful children but psychological research has narrowed down a few factors that will most likely result in success. It comes as no surprise that a majority of the responsibility lies with the parents. Although, it is not entirely up to the parents, there are a few things parents with successful children have in common. Let’s look at 7 traits of parents with successful children.

Make them do Chores: Making children do chores from a young age will teach your child that hard work pays off. Most importantly, chores also imprint a sense of responsibility on a child.  Always ensure the chores are age appropriate and that they do receive some type of praise or remuneration for it. Chores can range from picking up toys and putting it back inside the box, washing dishes, mowing the lawn or walking the dog.

Give them pocket money: Give children pocket money, whether it is in a form of payment for chores they have completed or an allowance they get on a weekly or monthly basis. It will teach them the value of money and also how to work with their money.  It is important, however, not to give them more money when they run out of their own. This will defeat the purpose. They also need to learn the importance of saving, even if it is saving for a fancy bicycle or a new gaming centre they would like to have. You can sit down with them and work out a weekly budget, teaching them how to set out money for spending and money for saving.

Teach them to not be afraid of failure: “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure” – Colin Powell. You want your kids to develop a growth mindset. You want them to view failure, which is inevitable, as a chance to learn and grow – not as a dead end. They need to learn to keep at it and not give up on the first try.

Let them learn to be tolerant:  Being tolerant to different types of people with different personalities is a very important trait to have. It is just wrong if a person looks down on another. Your child should learn to be the Good Samaritan. This will result in great respect from their peers. In addition, children should also learn the principle of putting themselves in other people’s shoes first before judging. That way they can understand why certain things happen and how to deal with these situations when they arise. For example, you can introduce this by explaining why a school bully might be acting out in a certain way.

Encourage entrepreneurship:  Based on research by Bill Murphy Jr., a renowned entrepreneur, the majority of today’s entrepreneurs were encouraged to act like entrepreneurs at an early age. These included personally observing an entrepreneur while growing up and being constantly challenged by their parents to come up with ways that they think they can make money. You can help your child by setting up a lemonade stand in the front yard to sell to the neighbourhood and taking part in school market days.

Praise them for hard work:  The way we praise our children has an effect on how they view their success. When they earn a high score on a math test or win a sports trophy, it is important to praise them for their hard work and perseverance, not just telling them that their success was a direct result of them being smart or talented. Although we want to compliment our children, we also want them to know that although they have a natural talent, hard work is always required and that it always pays off. This will nurture a growth mindset.  If we do not praise them in this way, their confidence can suffer a knock when they try and don’t succeed at first.

Remember to be their role model:  From the day they are born our children look up to us as their parents. We are the first example of trust, love, empathy and respect they will have in this world. How we deal with failure and how we celebrate success is constantly being observed by our children.  You need to set examples of the type of person you would like your child to be. The “do as I say, not as I do” method is not one that often succeeds. You want your child to trust you and strive to be like you, not to obey you out of fear of being punished for not following the rules. It is likely that the moment you are not around, they might just do the exact opposite of what they were told.  They need to want to follow the rules. They need to want to succeed because you succeeded.

Raising a successful child is a conversation that many of us parents have engaged in before and one that can carry on for an infinite amount of time. We hope you found this topic insightful.

GT Scholars strives in providing mentoring, tutoring and enrichment to children from diverse backgrounds. Feel free to contact us to find out how GT scholars can help your child reach even higher heights.