In The Know – Book your Coding Workshops PLUS a Freebie for Coding Week!

In The Know – Book your Coding Workshops PLUS a Freebie for Coding Week!

In The Know What's new? Young people

This week is European Coding week and we’ll be celebrating throughout this month with tech related blog posts, a free resource for you to download and further celebrations later this month with a series of half-term coding workshops at Google Academy London!

Free Download – 20 Free Coding Resources!
Did you know that you can teach yourself how to code? We’ve put together some amazing websites that young people can use to teach themselves how to code! These websites and online platforms are easy to use and they are free to access. From solving fun storyline problems using coding to animation & art themed challenges, this is a fantastic download for young people interested in coding. Follow this link for your free download!

#DayofCode – Wednesday 23rd October & Thursday 24th October
We’ve managed to secure three dates to run coding workshops at Google Academy! As many parents have requested, #DayofCode will be open to boys and girls aged 12-16 (Years 8 to 11). The workshops will give each young person a chance to develop their coding skills and build an exciting mobile app game in just one day! The workshop content is repeated so you only need to book your child for one day! All tickets will be released in phases via eventbrite: www.gtscholars.eventbrite.com

#GirlMeetsCode – Tuesday 22nd October 2019
All the stats show that there are fewer women in Tech and numbers have declined since the 90s! We know that girls can be a force for good in the world and many technology companies are actively seeking women to make a change in the technology world. For this reason, we’re running a special day coding workshop just for girls! Similar to #DayofCode, this workshop will not require any previous coding experience as you’ll be guided through the day by our facilitators and volunteers. To join in with the girls go to: www.gtscholars.eventbrite.com

 

In the Know – Get hands-on this October!

In the Know – Get hands-on this October!

In The Know What's new?

Building hands-on, practical skills such as design, photography and drawing, opens a wide world of opportunities for young people. These skills build creativity and critical thinking, allowing young people to become more adept at coming up with creative solutions to any problem they face. Here are a few activities coming up this month that are perfect for developing these practical skills.

Create! Sustainable Design
The V&A Museum is running a sustainable design workshop for young people between the ages of 13 to 15. Led by professionals from award-winning industrial design agency, Morrama, young people will work according to a design brief where they will design sustainable solutions for an object that is interacted with on a daily basis, such as a smartphone. They will also learn more about mood boards, sketching and making models. This workshop is taking place on Saturday 26th October from 11am. Find out more here

Photojournalism Classes
The Photojournalism Hub is running a series of free photojournalism classes for young people between the ages of 14 to 18. Some of the topics covered will include learning how to take a good exposed photograph, planning and structuring a photo story, and street photography. If your child has a passion for telling a story with images, for photography, and for advocating for social change, these classes will be perfect for them. The first class will be taking place on Thursday 10th October from 4pm at The Invention Rooms. Find out more here

Art and Art History Workshop
Drawing Room is running a free workshop exploring how artists and architects throughout history have expressed important concepts such as identity and time. Led by professional artists and educators, this workshop will allow young people to experiment with materials to create a 2D or 3D mixed-media artwork inspired by various artists. Suitable for young people aged 15 to 18, this workshop will be taking place on Saturday 12th October from 10am. Find out more here.

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

In the Know – Your future begins now!

In the Know – Your future begins now!

In The Know What's new?

Early preparation is key if your child is thinking about going to university! So, with this week’s fun and informative activities, your child will get to immerse themselves in university life while also receiving all the support and advice they need to reach their university aspirations.

UCL It’s All Academic Festival 2019
UCL is one of the leading universities in the world. They are running a free interactive festival packed full of talks, panel discussions, screenings, performances, workshops, interactive stands, exhibitions and tours. This will give young people the chance to go behind the scenes at UCL, quiz leading academics and get hands-on with some of their most exciting researchers. The festival will be taking place on Saturday 5th October from 10am to 4pm at UCL. Find out more here

US-UK Fulbright Commission – Study in the USA Seminar
The US-UK Fulbright Commission together with EducationUSA is running an informative seminar about studying in the USA. This free event will help young people and their parents to learn more about the undergraduate admissions process, admissions exams, how to choose the right institution, and scholarship opportunities. The seminar will be taking place on Tuesday 8th October from 5pm to 7pm at the University of Notre Dame. Find out more here

Royal Holloway Personal Statement Workshop
Royal Holloway, University of London is running a free personal statement workshop for young people in Year 12 and 13. A professional from their Student Recruitment and Admissions team will guide attendees through writing a perfect personal statement, revealing exactly what admissions tutors are looking for when reading an application. The day will also include a Campus Tour led by their student ambassador team. This workshop will be taking place on Wednesday 23rd October from 11am to 3pm at Royal Holloway. Find out more here

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

In the Know – Fantastic opportunities for aspiring filmmakers!

In the Know – Fantastic opportunities for aspiring filmmakers!

In The Know What's new?

Filmmaking is a fantastic way for young people to develop their creative skills and express themselves. It also offers the chance to explore many fascinating careers in a wide range of industries, from film and cinema to marketing and advertising to tech design. Here are a few opportunities for young people to learn more about filmmaking and develop new skills.  

Make a Film in a Weekend
Bell House is running a 2-day filmmaking weekend for young people, aged 15-18. From story generation and acting for screen to lighting design and film editing, attendees will get to experience the process of creating a short movie while working collaboratively alongside a professional director. Bursary places are available on request. This workshop is taking place on Saturday 28th September and Sunday 29th September. Find out more here

Emerging Filmmakers Day
As part of the Raindance Film Festival, budding creators aged 16 to 18 are welcome to take part in a free full-day filmmaking workshop. Tailored to give you some practical insight into how to make it in the industry and to further broaden your horizons, the day will include a film screening, Q&A, and skills workshops hosted by top industry professionals. This workshop is taking place on Saturday 28th September from 9.30am at Vue Cinema London – Piccadilly. Find out more here

Directing Commercials Masterclass
SAE Institute London welcomes filmmaker, Tatenda Jamera, who will be hosting a masterclass on directing commercials and the art of storytelling in 30 seconds. Tatenda, who has worked on set with the likes of Mary J Blige, Olly Murs, and Robin Thicke, will talk about his background as a filmmaker, show examples of his work, explain how to do a treatment, and give attendees advice about how to make their own films. This free workshop for young people aged 16 to 18 will be taking place on Tuesday 24th September from 5.30pm. Find out more here

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

7 Effective Skills To Improve Your Employability

7 Effective Skills To Improve Your Employability

What's new?

Obtaining a degree and having a qualification behind your name is no longer enough to guarantee you the job you were dreaming about. In fact, with each year that passes by, the job market becomes increasingly competitive as new graduates from various universities and institutions enter the workforce. 

To sift through the huge amount of graduate applicants, employers now have to look beyond your education history. They also want to ensure that their potential employee possesses all of the necessary and sufficient skills to work for their company and with their team. This means that having good employability skills will increase the prospect of you getting the job that you want while also increasing your self-worth and reputation.

Employers look for a range of skills in each employer, with some skills more suited for specific careers. However there are general skills that most employers will look for, so if you are looking to enhance your employability, consider working on these 7 simple but effective skills:

Technology Skills
The digital age demands good technology and computer skills, no matter which career field you’re in. Basic computer skills are a general requirement in any workforce environment and it increases your efficiency in the workplace which many employers are looking for. Learning these computer skills is also quite a simple task as there are many free online and offline computer literacy and coding courses available today. You can also extend your knowledge of technology and learn new technical skills by subscribing to technical magazines or watching technical videos. This can also give you a useful perspective on various technical insights and innovations that you can apply to your career and personal life.

Communication Skills
In any working environment, you will be working with people, whether in a team or interacting with clients or customers. One of the most important skills to have when it comes to working with people is communication skills. Good communication skills allow you to get your points and ideas across easily and effectively, which makes it easier for your employer, colleagues or clients to understand you. You can easily improve your communication skills by joining public speaking forums such as a debate group or society. Beyond public speaking, you can work on recording and assessing yourself, looking out for things like body language, too many ‘um’s’ or inaudible words or other things you can improve on.

Networking Skills
The art and science of building authentic relationships are very useful to fast track your journey to success. Networking offers both you and the company you work for valuable ways to develop meaningful business relationships that can be leveraged for greater success. It’s often true when they say “it’s not about what you know, but who you know” as networking can open up many doors for you at any stage of your career path. You can develop networking skills by getting involved in charitable organisations, attending career fairs and being part of youth board or committees. You can also research your career field and job market to ensure that you stay on top of your what’s happening in your career field and get insider information about what a certain profession or career field will demand of you.

Teamwork Skills
A majority of your time spent in the workplace will be working with and interacting with your colleagues in a team setting. Even if you work solely on a specific task or as a specific role, you will still interact with other people in the company to effectively complete each project. At the end of the day, a company is basically a team as well, so this is why it is important that you have sufficient teamwork skills. The best way to learn teamwork skills is to join a sports team, dance class or music or choir group. Volunteering also offers many ways to build solid teamwork skills while also building your experience and other skills. 

Organisational Skills
Good organisational skills mould you into becoming more proficient, reliable and punctual, which are all values that any employer would seek out for. Companies need to run properly like a well-oiled machine, so employers will avoid any sense of disorder or unreliability. This is why you need to ensure that you build your organisational skills now so that you will be effective and valued in your workplace. Many young people will find building organisational skills to be challenging, especially if you learn in a more sporadic and spontaneous manner. One way you can counteract this is to make organising and planning fun, for example, you can take the opportunity to plan a trip or an event with your family or friends. This will test and improve your ability to plan and carry out activities effectively.

Self-Motivation
Together with teamwork, an employer also wants to see that you are able to work well independently. Independent working takes self-motivation and the willingness to take initiative, and without this, many tasks cannot be accomplished properly. The best way to improve your self-motivation is to boost your self-confidence. This can be done by taking the opportunity to learn independently and setting personal goals and coming up with strategies to achieve them. You can also learn to take more initiative by getting involved in community service and social activism, which also has the added benefit of exposing you to real-world situations and learning valuable skills.

Adaptability
The only constant thing is change, and this applies to the workplace as well. Being able to adapt to change and being flexible allows you to think quickly on your feet and to work well under pressure. Employers look out for this and they ensure that you are open to change and able to adapt with a positive mindset and a desire to learn. You can learn to be adaptable by exposing yourself to new and fast-changing situations such as working for a voluntary organisation or signing up for work experience programmes. You can also develop your creative skills which will expand your learning and thought processes so that you are able to come up with creative solutions, especially under pressure. 

These employability skills will help you to be successful in any profession while also making building your CV and experience to open up many more doors on the pathway to your dream career. 

GT Scholars runs enrichment and skill-building programmes that help you to develop these and many more employability skills. Our programmes also include tutoring and mentoring for young people aged 11-18. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.

5 Things You Need To Consider Before Signing Up For Private Tutoring

5 Things You Need To Consider Before Signing Up For Private Tutoring

What's new?

A study commissioned by the Global Industry Analysts Incorporation (GIA) detailed how the global private tutoring market is projected to surpass $102.8 billion in a few years time. According to the GIA, the private tutoring market has experienced exponential growth in recent years, which has been driven by the failure of standard education systems to cater to the unique needs of students. This is in conjunction with the desire by parents to provide the best possible education for their children in an increasingly competitive global economy. 

Globally, Asia is at the forefront of the private tutoring boom with at least 90% of the market share. Private tutors in these countries have become top earners with some South Korean private tutors supposedly earning £3.3million per annum, which is nearly as much as an average NBA player. 

In the UK, the private tuition sector is now worth an estimated £2billion with many parents and carers paying for children as young as four to receive additional tuition in a variety of subjects. Parents and carers are realising that a bit of extra help could be instrumental in helping their child to reach their academic and career aspirations. 

With this boom in private tutoring, we are also seeing this industry change and develop. In the past, tutoring was geared towards helping children who were falling behind in particular subjects, but now the industry has evolved and expanded to help any pupil through difficult courses and to also give them an edge over their peers in terms of applications to selective schools and colleges. With this being said, the growth of the private tutoring industry calls to the forefront some important issues to consider, which you should also take into account before signing up your child to a private tutoring programme.

Private tutoring has embraced technology
Private tutoring is not limited to in-person long and drawn out lessons anymore. Technology has now made it possible for new and innovative private tutoring methods to develop such as online one-to-one tutoring. This makes it easier for pupils to access a skilled tutor while also being in the comfort of their own home or tailored learning environment. Online tools such as video chat platforms and instant messaging services work hand-in-hand with edtech tools such as online whiteboards and animations to create a fully-fledged virtual learning experience. Online tutoring makes private tutoring more accessible, easier to set up and easier to maintain for both the parent and the tutor. 

Private tutoring can narrow the gap in attainment
Pupils from wealthier homes are able to attend exclusive private schools that offer them a wealth of resources and opportunities to better their learning. Unfortunately, most pupils from state schools are not able to access these resources due to the limited budget given to state schools. This has created a large gap in attainment between young people from low-income homes and their wealthier peers, which has far-reaching consequences on their aspirations and career paths. Private tutoring is able to narrow this gap in attainment as it is can give young people from state schools the chance to access more learning resources and opportunities to improve and maintain their grades. Many private tutoring programmes have been quite expensive, which has limited their use to young people from wealthier homes, however, the increase in the private tutoring industry has made it more competitive. This competition means that there are now more affordable quality private tutoring programmes that can make private tutoring accessible to all.

Private tutoring is largely unregulated
One downside to the private tutoring industry is that it still largely unregulated compared to the education system. The exponential growth of this market can attract tutors who are just in it for the money, which is not something you want in a tutor. However, this can be avoided if parents make sure to carefully check the credentials and experience of the private tutor. This can also be made easier through private tutoring organisations that only enlist the best tutors and conduct rigorous background, reference and safeguarding checks as well as interviews and skill assessments. These organisations also make their track record publicly available, so it is important that parents look into the impact they make and any reviews and testimonials from past parents and pupils.

Private tutoring offers a tailored learning experience
It is important to note that private tutoring does not just offer the same learning experience that pupils receive at their school. Each pupil learns differently, whether they prefer learning that is visually stimulating or learning that is more interactive. Private tutoring is able to offer a learning experience that is individually tailored to these specific needs. Pupils need to make sure that they take full advantage of this by making their needs and learning objectives clear to their private tutor. Parents can also assist with this by sitting down with private tutors in the beginning and laying down specific goals their child wants to achieve and by keeping track of their child’s progress throughout the tutoring programme to ensure that these goals are being met.

Private tutoring goes hand-in-hand with other programmes
It’s important to note that private tutoring can only help your child with specific academic goals. They may also learn other important soft skills such as time management and independent learning, but there’s many other skills and knowledge they will need to meet their career aspirations. This is why it is important to enrol your child in other after-school and extracurricular programmes to ensure that your child has a balanced learning experience. This can in the form of mentoring or coaching, skill-building, or various other programmes. These programmes work hand-in-hand with private tutoring, providing your child with a multi-strategy approach to reaching their aspirations and personal development goals.

GT Scholars offers a private tutoring programme that aims to help your child reach their academic aspirations. This programme is affordable, efficient and effective, offering your child a way to accelerate their learning. We also offer mentoring, enrichment and skill-building programmes that work hand-in-hand with private tutoring to give your child all the necessary skills, strategies and knowledge that they will need to achieve their academic, personal development and career goals. All of our tutors, mentors and workshop facilitators undergo rigorous assessments and background checks to ensure that we provide the best learning experience for your child. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.

10 Of The Best Online Learning Resources

10 Of The Best Online Learning Resources

What's new?

As parents, we all feel the need to ensure that our children are growing and developing and that we’re doing all that we can to facilitate a stimulating environment for their young minds. But carving out time in our own daily grind for homework, maths revision and science projects can be tough, not to mention also finding time to keep them entertained!

That’s where online learning and education resources can lend a helping hand. Online learning resources give young people a fresh perspective on the topics they learn at school and they also offer a new way of learning. High-quality, online learning environments can also help young people develop key problem-solving, critical thinking, and creative thinking skills using a platform that is fun, engaging and motivating. 

But with so many online learning resources and websites out there, where does one begin? Well, we’ve rounded up 10 great sites which promise to keep the young people entertained AND learning for hours on end. These sites ensure that your young ones learn something new in a safe, online environment that also makes learning fun and interactive.

FunBrain
One visit to FunBrain and you’ll want to bookmark it right away! This site’s educational games are designed to build on skills that young people are already working on in school. It’s aimed at young people aged three to 13 years old, and it offers interactive games in numeracy, literacy and science which make developing maths and reading skills fun. With interactive games like Math Baseball and Grammar Gorilla, this site is free to use and also has online educational books and comics which can be read on the go. Visit this great website here: https://www.funbrain.com/  

Science Bob
Let your child geek out on this informative site. It’s the go-to spot for all things science, with experiments to try, research tips and a weekly Q&A section. On Science Bob, young people can watch science-related videos, print out directions to more than 25 experiments, and find links to other useful websites about space, earth science, and more. The site’s experiments and research are perfect for piquing the interest of young science fans. Science Bob is also a great website for parents and kids to look at together, and the kid-safe science videos offer interesting edutainment for after-school entertainment. Take a look at this fun website here: https://sciencebob.com/ 

Kids Know It
The Kids Know It Network provides free and fun educational content for young people, including educational movies, games, and fun activities, in addition to tons of information on a wide variety of subjects. Learn about animals, chemistry, spelling, geography, astronomy, and read fun facts about everything from bats to bones! Kids can also find homework help in a number of subjects including astronomy, biology, geography, geology, history, maths, and spelling. Each subject area includes games and activities to keep students involved. When it’s time for just fun, students can also head over to the game section to play games which are not found in other sections of the site. Visit Kids Know It here: https://kidsknowit.com/

CoolMath
Launched by a maths teacher, this online amusement park of maths offers online games that help young people with addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, decimals, money and much more. They can check out algebraic property definitions, learn multiplication tricks, or test out the online graphing calculator. The site is geared toward ages 13 and up, but they also have a sister site called CoolMath4Kids which is appropriate for ages three to 12. It’s truly a one-stop maths experience and also has a helpful section for parents and teachers. Visit this website here: http://www.coolmath.com/ 

BBC Bitesize
The BBC’s Bitesize website covers all subject areas of the curriculum, ranging from primary school level up to GCSE exams. It’s free to use and includes a host of resources such as useful animations, revision flashcards and interactive sections to help your child learn and revise their school work. Bitesize also has lots of fun educational games that promote learning in maths, science and literacy. Young people love learning through these interactive games and can easily navigate their way through the site independently. Check out their website here: https://www.bbc.com/education  

NASA Kids’ Club
Calling all space buffs! Blast off into learning with this galactic page where young aspiring astronauts can do puzzles and games and learn all about the famous space program. There is information for children of all ages, with footage from Mars and the International Space Station, interviews with astronauts and news on the latest launches. There are also games and craft activities for younger children. Young people can also check in on current space missions, play games in a clubhouse, join an asteroid naming contest, and view exclusive NASA photographs. Visit their website here: https://www.nasa.gov/kidsclub/text/index.html 

Make Me A Genius
Make Me A Genius is filled with entertaining videos that cover a variety of subject topics that can help your child learn more about their favourite subjects. Topics include physics for kids, photosynthesis, the nervous system, solar system and electricity. All of the videos are child-friendly and will keep your child interested from start to finish. Take a look at their website here: http://www.makemegenius.com/ 

National Geographic Kids
The world-famous environmental network, National Geographic, hosts over 100 fun, engaging, and interactive science, action, adventure, geography, quiz, and puzzle games for young people. They can spend hours engaged in learning in their five major sections which include animals, videos, activities, games, and stories. Other sections include word games, brainteasers, geography games, action games, interactive games, puzzles and quizzes, a video gallery, some very interesting science stories, and activities that can be done online and at home. Visit their website here: https://www.natgeokids.com/   

BrainPOP
This site offers heaps of educational games and videos on subjects like maths, science, art and history. Full access to the site requires a subscription, but there’s also plenty of free content to explore. The team at BrainPOP sifts through hundreds of online games by various publishers and selects only the ones of the highest quality – only the best games make it onto the site. Their animations also bring learning concepts to life and all with the help of a plucky learning bot and his friends! Visit the BrainPOP website here: https://www.brainpop.com/ 

Oxford Owl
This website is best for expert advice, educational resources and free eBooks to support children’s learning. With over 250 free ebooks from the reputable Oxford University Press, this site helps young people to learn reading and maths. They also have heaps of tips and advice for parents who want to expand their child’s learning. Visit this great website here: https://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/ 

While online educational and learning resources can go far in creating a fun learning environment and hours of entertainment, sometimes students need a little more extra attention, care and guidance. Among the many options to consider, many busy parents often opt for tutoring, short courses and mentoring programmes. Investing in one of these learning avenues can give students the opportunity to nurture their talents, improve on their weaknesses and develop confidence in themselves and their abilities.

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise that offers various programmes and workshops to provide young people between the ages of 11 to 18 with the necessary skills to set them on a successful career path, improve their grades and enrich their learning experiences. Contact us to find out more about our programmes, workshops and courses.

An interview with one of our fantastic volunteer mentors – Nileema Patel

An interview with one of our fantastic volunteer mentors – Nileema Patel

Mentoring Volunteer interviews What's new?

Please tell us a bit about yourself
Many years ago, I used to teach primary school students as a volunteer and that was a very rewarding experience. Unfortunately, due to increasing time commitments elsewhere I couldn’t continue along with that. Recently, when things had settled back down, I realised I wanted to do something to help young people again and came across GT Scholars not long after I started looking for opportunities to do so. It’s been really nice to help out through mentoring, which has been completely different, yet just as rewarding, experience when compared to teaching. Outside of volunteering, I work in healthcare and enjoy baking and reading in my spare time.

How did you first hear about GT Scholars?
I came across GT Scholars through an online search engine. I was looking for an opportunity that would allow me to give more to my community, particularly in a way that would help young people. I went on your website and got a good feeling about the mission, which very much aligns with my values. Reading about Temi and her background was really inspiring and it gave me confidence in GT Scholars as a committed and genuine social enterprise. I got in touch through the online application form and it all went from there really.

What goals have you helped your scholar to achieve?
So this term we focused on public speaking a lot; how to feel more confident and assured. We worked on different techniques to apply before a speaking assignment to see what helped and felt most natural. You know, just simple things like practising a lot, practising with different people, trying out tips from the famous Ted Talk on confidence by Amy Cuddy.

A recurring theme during our sessions has also been about career choices, university choices and progressing to sixth-form. These are longer-term goals that are useful to start thinking about early on and I look forward to helping Erica achieve them as we move into the next term.

What qualities does Erica have that makes her a good mentee?
Erica is a wonderful mentee. She’s punctual, listens well and is forthcoming about topics of interest or any issues that she’s worried about. She’s organised as well and very good at managing her time and extracurricular activities. I think all of those skills really make her a good mentee as well as a good student, and I think this will translate very well professionally, too, in whatever area she decides to go into eventually.

Why do you think mentoring is valuable to young people?
I think the most valuable aspect of mentoring is the confidence that a young person might gain from it. Being a young person, particularly in a big city like London, it can be difficult to have self-confidence. You don’t have a lot of experience and everything seems new and sometimes unapproachable, particularly in areas such as applying to university. So I think the support that comes from mentoring can be extremely valuable in terms of validating a young person’s ideas and goals. Practically, mentoring is a great way to highlight opportunities to get involved in.

What challenges did you face while mentoring your scholar?
For me, the first session was probably the most challenging because I did not have a lot of mentoring experience. However, I found that GT Scholars had sheets to prepare mentors which I read beforehand and which were very helpful in giving me an idea of how to build rapport and understand what the priorities of mentoring are.

I also tried to think back to times I have been mentored in the past, informally and formally. I thought about what made my mentors so good and then tried to embody that in my role as a mentor.

What did you enjoy most about volunteering and mentoring?
I really enjoyed getting to know the mentee, as well as her mother. You know Erica, she’s already a very bright, ambitious person, on the lookout for opportunities to support her goals and a little bit of guidance. I enjoy being a sounding board for her, hearing about her goals and being able to guide her as she achieves them. I particularly like that, over the sessions, I am able to see her progress, and get to hear feedback from her and her mother about how our sessions are impacting her social and academic development.

What have you gained from being a volunteer mentor with GT Scholars?
It’s been really nice to be able to pass along some of the things I have learnt along the way to an enthusiastic young person who might be able to benefit from that advice. Building relationships with the team at GT Scholars, my mentee and her mother, has been personally very rewarding and the whole process has a been wonderful way to give back.

 

Why We Need More Personalised Learning At School

Why We Need More Personalised Learning At School

What's new?

The concept of personalised learning is centred on providing a more tailored education programme for each learner. It starts by examining and understanding each learner’s needs and then it looks to provide the necessary and challenging educational opportunities to assist them in their learning and overall development. 

In more practical terms, personalised learning is based on the belief that all young people have the right to receive support and challenges that are tailored to meet their individual needs, abilities and interests. For this concept to prosper it needs commitment from the pupil, responsiveness from teachers and engagement from their parents or carers 

How does current learning at schools take place?
In most schools, pupils are taught the curriculum in a classroom setting where there is one teacher engaging with a number of pupils at the same time. On average, there are about 20 pupils in each classroom in the UK. In this classroom setting, the teacher shares the same information with the whole class and the class is then assessed on that information in the form of tests, assignments, group work, engagement and eventually exams. 

The above method has been and continues to be the current functioning method in most schools. However, this learning method can be problematic for many pupils for a number of reasons. These include:

  • Some pupils may be over-talkative or disruptive which makes it difficult for other learners to concentrate and to engage with the teacher and other pupils
  • Some pupils may be intimidated to speak in front of their peers which hinders their participation during the lesson
  • Some pupils may not be able to understand the way the teacher presents the information as everyone learns differently or may be afraid to ask the teacher for help
  • The teacher has to hold the attention of the entire classroom which can be difficult and this can lower the amount of teaching time

Personalised learning at schools is the solution to most, if not all, of these challenges as each learner would have individual attention and supervision from a teacher and which will allow them to easily learn and understand topics.

Benefits of personalised learning

  • Increased engagement from pupil – This method of learning ensures that each pupil engages for longer which means they will spend more time learning and taking in the information being taught to them. Their engagement can also be further ignited by the pupil taking an active role in choosing their learning methods such as choosing the font and colours that they want to use, choosing the specific subject topics they want to study and the manner in which they wish to study. 
  • Increased motivation – Increased engagement results in increased motivation for the learner to choose a learning path that best suits them, making them much more invested in their studies. This is an important factor because unmotivated learners are known to be disruptive in class and missing important information which results in overall poor performance. Motivated learners, on the other hand, are known to focus and perform better in class.
  • Less time wasted – Teachers only have a specific amount of time to teach each subject topic, while pupils learn and take in information at different rates. Personalised learning can make the most use out of the pupil’s time by either getting straight to the point during a lesson or allowing more time for a teacher to go over any topics that a pupil struggles with. This method allows for teachers to assess the educational needs of a pupil before the course even begins, so as to avoid the traditional way of reading large chunks of information they may already be familiar with before they can begin with the course.
  • Better understanding and better results – A personalised learning system encourages pupils to share their individual concerns and ask for assistance on topics they may not understand without feeling intimidated by other pupils. This will strengthen their ability to handle any tasks the teacher gives to them to do which guarantees better results from the learner. In addition, pupils will complete tasks not just because they have to pass but because they actually understand the information and instructions provided.
  • Learning on your own time – The personalised learning method is much more flexible which allows pupils to take their learning wherever they go. This allows pupils to be in a comfortable environment when learning and it enables them to focus, learn for a longer time and absorb more learning material than they would in a traditional classroom setting.
  • The school also wins – The impact of personalised learning in schools is that of improved academic results, a superior learning culture and more efficient allocation of teaching resources. 

Although personalised learning is the most effective way to learn at schools, it needs more financial support and resources to be able to be implemented at all schools. It can also be difficult to ensure that schools meet their targets in terms of time management and ensuring that all pupils are taught all the information in their curriculum by the end of each year.

However, personalised learning methods can still be implemented through after-school programmes such as private and one-to-one tutoring. GT Scholars runs after-school programmes that include one-to-one tutoring in Maths or English for young people between the ages of 11 to 16. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.

In the Know – STEM events to activate your learning!

In the Know – STEM events to activate your learning!

In The Know What's new?

With the new school year fast approaching, we want to help young people to get their brains into gear through learning new things and developing new skills. This week’s activities will also give them more chances to explore the fascinating world of science and technology and rewarding careers in STEM.

Kano Explorers
Kano Computing is offering young people a chance to try new things and explore what the future might look like. They will be running a two-hour workshop every Thursday at Kano HQ in London where young people will get to explore coding with light, sound, and motion, make art and learn how computers work. These workshops filled with fun, fact-finding, and experimentation are for young people between the ages of 11 to 14. Find out more here.

Exploring Our Solar System
Dr Imogen Gingell, a Royal Society University Research Fellow based at Imperial College London, will be running a workshop on exploring our magnetic solar system. She will introduce past, present and future spacecraft in NASA and ESA’s fleet, and answer questions like: Is there ever sound in space, can a solar flare be dangerous for humans, and why do the Northern Lights happen? Suitable for young people aged 16 to 18, this workshop will be taking place on Wednesday 11th September from 6pm at Westminster Reference Library. Find out more here.

Code Club @ Sutton Central Library
Code Club works with a global community of volunteers, educators, and partners to run free coding clubs where 11 to 13-year-olds can build and share their ideas. Their next interactive coding workshop will about learning how to make animations, websites and games using Scratch, HTML/CSS and Python software. The workshops will take place every Thursday this September from 4pm at Sutton Central Library. Find out more here

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