GLA Tutors Blog

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The Power of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Children with ADHD and Dyslexia

Enhancing Mindfulness, Boosting Self-Esteem, and Creating Positive Outcomes and Why the State System is Perhaps Not the Best Place for that to Happen. 

Over summer, a client in Year One was becoming painfully aware of the widening gap between him and his peers at school. The transition into Year 2 was becoming very problematic and lessons all but broke down. After two months of failing to get through to him, I was about to throw in the towel ...

Thursday 30th November 2023


All I could think about was the amount of money his parents were spending on me, and I felt that it was wasted because I had exhausted just about every tool I had in my kit. That is, every tool that eight years in the state education system had taught me. The sad thing is, for the previous year we had built up such a great relationship and made such progress and that all just ground to a halt. 

My frustration began to show. 

But then, I could see that my frustration was also having a negative impact on him. Aware of how easily he reacted to my energy, I decided to sit back and observe, without judgement, as he balanced precariously perched on the back of a chair eating the syrup from a tin of fruit with a fork. He did this for a good 15 fifteen minutes or more before I took it off him and let him go.

The voice of my late brother, Paul, filled my head: “don’t give up on him. Everyone else will give up on him. Everyone gave up on me, but you won’t.” My brother had ADHD and Dyslexia and we were children of the 80’s and 90’s. He was sent away to my grandparents in Wales after the divorce because my single mother couldn’t cope; and after being thrown out of several schools, he was finally placed in a ‘naughty boys’ school’ he had to be driven by taxi over an hour to get to. That’s what we called them back then.

Back when we knew nothing.

Paul ended up in prison where he finally found a way to learn and came out a changed man with a love for nature and Arboriculture – and all the qualifications to go with it. It was so great to see who he had become when he came out of prison and set himself up in business as an arborist. He would talk at great length about every tree we passed with a glint in his eye. The one I remembered as children before the world, a world that had no time to understand him, snuffed it out. Paul died when he was just 36 after being out of prison for only a year. A tragic accident at work where was he pulled out of a tree.

Paul’s story is everything.

I, remembered, as I sat observing my client, that I knew nothing. My eight years in the state education system, despite all its window dressing about ‘inclusion’ had taught me nothing. It teaches us nothing other than ‘pack em in’ ‘bums on seats’ - stick the SEND kids in the corner with a TA.

But then, after years of austerity and diverting money back to the Cayman Islands, they sacked all the TA’s. Like dominoes teachers are lining up to be signed off by doctors on mental health grounds and quitting the profession in their droves. In my final year of teaching, I had no TA. It was my first year without one. I had 32 children and half of them had SEND or could not speak English. A quarter of them had an EHCP. One child was quite literally swinging from the lampshades.

Another child haunted my nightmares - where they followed me around all needy and desperate, looking up at me as I tried, with impunity to quite literally hold the whole world together as it was falling apart around me.

I realised, without support, I knew nothing. Without my TA, I could not breath. Feeling like a failure, I asked my doctor to sign me off.

More than drowning, I felt like I was failing. I was failing these children. Either I was, or the bankrupt state system was. Either way, it was time to go. I’ll never forget that haunting look of the child in my nightmares.

So how does any of this relate to the title of the blog? 

People’s journeys to what they know are everything. I wasn’t about to give up on my chosen path or on the children that I knew I was having a positive impact on. Even if it is apparent that the schools are. That’s why I set up GLA Tutors and that is why I set it up with the intention of creating the Jade and Paul Scholarship Fund. Jade was Paul’s daughter and she also died just a couple of years after Paul at age 14. She also had ADHD and Dyslexia and she also felt that the school had ‘checked out on her.’ She was already taking herself out of school because the trauma of being in there was more than she could bare.

While watching my client eating liquid with a fork for 15 minutes perched on the back of his chair, and hearing my brothers voice, I had to ask myself: “have I really tried everything?!? Have I really come to the end of all possibilities or were there things I still did not know?”

Of course, you don’t know what you don’t know; and there is always something that you have yet to discover.

I told his mum that coercing him into reading and writing was having an increasingly damaging impact on his mental health. It was time for a break and then a new approach. Right now, he needed to focus on that painful transition into Year 2 and he was going to need every bit of emotional support to get him through that.

This boy was exceptionally bright and highly self-aware and reflective. A lot of children with ADHD and Dyslexia usually are. He has a high level of emotional intelligence and because of that, we needed to understand him better to meet him where he is and not where we wanted him to be.

That’s when I went away and came across this site:

I spent weeks lost ‘down the rabbit hole’ in the multiple pages of this site; and every other word was like learning something for the first time. I was finally beginning to truly understand my client, my brother, my niece, my sister, and every other ‘tricky’ child I ever had in my classes. Like climbing inside their minds, I began to accept some base absolute truths.

The one truth that sticks out the most is this one – ‘neurodiverse people will never be neurotypical’.

Let that sink in for a moment.

This was a very hard truth to accept when you are conditioned by a system with one way of learning and one curriculum that is designed for the ‘ARE’ child, and with one way to deliver it - one teacher talking to one particular child: that homogeneous group of 30 that have no time to think about what a growing minority might be feeling.

In that respect, the state system hasn’t changed that much since Victorian times.

It still assumes that all children will be moulded into that one particular type of ‘ARE’ child. This is self-evident by the simple fact that all children will eventually sit the same exam.

Despite their differences, they will be made to sit exams that are designed in a way that guarantees the failure of, and instils that feeling of failure in, all children that are neurodiverse. It fails to recognise or even celebrate the huge number of extremely creative and successful people in the world economy that are neurodiverse. People like Richard Branson and Albert Einstein - who need no introductions, Sir Richard Rogers - a renowned architect, Chris Packham – a respected naturalist, John Elder Robinson – an author and respected voice of the Autistic Community. This is not to mention the likes of Cher, Picasso, Emma Watson, Tom Cruise, and Michael Phelps. The list of those who have become experts in their field is endless and many of them did not get to where they are because of what they got in school.

That’s the biggest irony of all: most of these children, who will fail by design, are some of the brightest and most intelligent children of all. But, with that collective mantra that I hear daily from teachers in schools – “they are very low, they can’t access the Foundation Subjects” – nothing is changed or adapted significantly enough for those children to access, or show what they do know about, those subjects; and they know a great deal, often they know more than the teacher.

That’s incredibly frustrating for these children.

When you look at it closely enough, there are no writing objectives in any of those Foundation Subjects or in Science or Maths. Yet, schools are more about evidence gathering for OFSTED and getting children to pass that one, ‘catch-all’ exam than teaching in any meaningful way.

When you can see that reading and writing is a barrier to learning, it should no longer be a barrier to learning, but it remains so. Despite our marvellous leaps in modern technology and all that knowledge that we have at our fingertips about neurodiversity, we rely too much on the pen to keep OFSTED at bay.

For its obsession with evidence gathering, the system has not been brave enough to remove that barrier for these children and is unlikely to do so any time soon.

The mere suggestion, or even thought, of having to read or write can act as a trigger for these children, who will do everything they can to avoid that feeling of incompetence and failure. That’s where impulsivity, something they cannot control, takes over and displays in unwanted behaviour. This only gets worse as the torture of a system that is not designed for them tries to force them to become neurotypical on its own terms and in its own time frame. It is perhaps one of the biggest traumatic experiences that that these children will face – and it will be drawn out for sixteen years.

Neurodiverse minds do not beat to ‘everyone else’s’ drum.

Where they [schools] fail, they write the children off and often blame the parents for lack of structure at home. But, meanwhile, no one is addressing the elephant in the room: the phenomenon of the rapid increase in the number of neurodiverse children.

What future does the state system have if it cannot / will not adapt its Victorian structures and ethos in any truly impacting or significant way?

My client (and my brother) taught me this: If I really cared about him and wanted to help him, then I had to accept that I knew nothing. I had to unlearn everything that I thought I knew as a teacher and begin to step inside the mind of the student and meet them where they are, not force them to come to me. This required patience, acceptance, and great deal of understanding.

And it might take some time.

Time is something schools do not allow its teachers.

I already knew about growth mindset and mindfulness and practiced it a lot with my children, but Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) – in any meaningful way – was something I was yet to try.

I began my journey with CBT after having read an article titled ‘The Secrets of the ADHD Brain: why we think, act, and feel the way we do’ by WILLIAM DODSON, M.D. from the editors of ADDitude. Ultimately, the article rephrased an important question in my mind. Instead of asking ‘why are you behaving like this? I considered ‘why might they be feeling the way they do? Do they even understand why they feel that way?’

Cognitive behavioural therapy is a type of psychotherapy that helps people identify and change their thoughts and behaviours. It is a short-term, focused approach to therapy that can be used to treat a wide range of neurodiverse and mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

How does CBT work?

CBT is based on the idea that our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours are all interconnected. When we have negative thoughts, it can lead to negative emotions and behaviours. CBT helps us to identify and challenge our negative thoughts, so that we can change our emotions and behaviours for the better.

CBT therapists typically work with their clients to develop a treatment plan that is tailored to their specific needs. This plan may include a variety of different techniques, such as:

  Cognitive restructuring: This technique involves identifying and challenging negative thoughts and beliefs. For example, if you have the thought "I'm a failure," your therapist might help you to identify the evidence for and against this thought, and to develop more realistic and helpful thoughts.

  Exposure therapy: This technique involves gradually exposing yourself to feared situations or objects. For example, if you have anxiety about public speaking, your therapist might help you to start by giving a short presentation to a small group of people, and then gradually work your way up to giving longer presentations to larger groups.

  Behavioural activation: This technique involves increasing your participation in activities that you enjoy and that are meaningful to you. For example, if you are feeling depressed, your therapist might help you to set goals for increasing your social activities, hobbies, or exercise.

Benefits of CBT

CBT is a highly effective form of therapy that has been shown to be helpful for a wide range of mental health conditions. Some of the benefits of CBT include:

  It is short-term. CBT is typically a short-term therapy, with most people seeing results within a few months.

  It is focused. CBT therapists focus on helping clients to identify and change the specific thoughts, feelings, and behaviours that are causing them problems.

  It is skills-based. CBT teaches clients skills that they can use to manage their own mental health and prevent problems from recurring in the future.

Who can benefit from CBT?

CBT can be helpful for people of all ages who are struggling with a variety of mental health conditions. Some of the specific conditions that CBT can be used to treat include:

  Anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder


  Eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa

  Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

  Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

  Bipolar disorder

  Chronic pain


  ADHD and Dyslexia

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that can be helpful for children with ADHD. It is a short-term, focused approach to therapy that can help children to identify and change their thoughts and behaviours that could have a lasting impact on them.

CBT can be used to treat a variety of symptoms of ADHD, including:

  Inattention: CBT can help children to learn how to pay attention better and to focus on tasks.

  Impulsivity: CBT can help children to learn how to think before they act and to control their impulses.

  Hyperactivity: CBT can help children to learn how to manage their energy levels and to be calmer.

What might an inclusive classroom look like for a neurodiverse child?

CBT requires a wholesale shift in culture, both at home and in school. People don’t just need to be preaching it, they ought to be practicing it themselves. ‘Cognitive restructuring’ can be delivered in group sessions or even in a whole class approach where children are regularly invited to identify and challenge negative thoughts and beliefs. For example, if a child has the thought "I'm stupid," their teacher, parent or carer might help them to identify the evidence for and against this thought, and to develop more realistic and helpful thoughts.

Sharing the different perspectives that other children have can be instrumental in helping children rationalise and challenge their negative thoughts. They might also gauge that others are not thinking quite so negatively about them as they do about themselves.

Children will also learn empathy: an important skill that should be taught as early as possible.

A whole class approach to ‘behavioural activation’ might look like the teacher finding times during the cumbersome timetable to take more breaks and engage in activities that a child enjoys and that are meaningful to them – something that the whole class would benefit from. For example, if a child is displaying signs of ‘checking out’ the teacher might change direction or drop in some movement breaks, dance routines, songs etc. because, even if some children don’t often display it, we all know that no one can stay focused for too long without zoning out.

Breaking down the timetable in to smaller, more manageable chunks, is not a bad thing for anyone, but sitting to attention for up to an hour and forty minutes at a time is good for no one.

Parents are just as lost in all of this as teachers so ’parent training’ might mean taking a good hard look at that ‘teacher, parent partnership’ or acknowledging the lack of it. Teachers and parents need training in skills that they can use to help their children manage their ADHD. For example, helping children to manage their expectations and avoid over reaction to sudden changes, learning how to set clear expectations, provide positive reinforcement, and re-channel the energy of unwanted behaviours and, more importantly helping children to reflect on their thoughts, behaviours, and choice as often as possible.

Here is a list of CBT activities that may help:

  Thought logging: This activity helps children to identify and track their thoughts. To do this, have the child write down their thoughts in a journal or on a piece of paper. They can then identify any negative thoughts and work on challenging them. For example, if a child has the thought "I'm going to fail this test," they can challenge this thought by saying "I've studied hard for this test and I'm confident that I can do well."

  Positive self-talk: This activity helps children to develop more positive thoughts about themselves. To do this, have the child practice saying positive things to themselves, such as "I'm smart," "I'm capable," and "I'm a good friend." You can also help the child to identify their strengths and accomplishments, and to focus on these things when they are feeling negative.

  Goal setting: This activity helps children to set and achieve goals. To do this, have the child set small, achievable goals for themselves. When they achieve a goal, help them to celebrate their success. This will help them to build confidence and motivation.

  Problem-solving: This activity helps children to develop problem-solving skills. To do this, present the child with a problem and have them come up with different solutions. You can also help the child to break down large problems into smaller, more manageable steps.

  Relaxation techniques: This activity helps children to relax and manage their stress levels. There are many different relaxation techniques that children can learn, such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and visualization.

You can adapt these activities to make them appropriate for your child's age and developmental level. It is also important to make sure that the activities are fun and engaging for your child.

Here are some additional tips for using CBT to create a more inclusive classroom and home life:

  Keep the activities short and focused. Children with ADHD have short attention spans, so it is important to keep the activities brief.

  Use visual aids. Children with ADHD often learn better visually, so try to use visual aids such as pictures, charts, and diagrams in your activities.

  Make the activities fun and engaging. Children with ADHD are more likely to stick with activities that they enjoy.

  Be patient and supportive. It may take some time for children with ADHD to learn and implement CBT skills. Be patient and supportive and offer praise and encouragement along the way.

So, what did CBT look like for my client in Year 2?

For a month, my clients school allowed me to go into school and support two children, both my clients, with their work in school. One of them had an EHCP – which their parents had obtained themselves – and the other one had not, even though his needs were far greater, and his parents had been fighting tooth and nail to engage his school into getting one. Schools have quotas for the number of EHCP’s they can apply for each year and will avoid doing so for as long as possible. There is a theory that schools receive extra money for an EHCP, but with most schools running in deficit, that money does not exist.

It’s a bit like an IOU that never arrives.

So, the parents paid for me to go into school to support their children.

Because I could see that my client’s sense of failure was impacting on his mental health, causing anxiety and depression, I immediately set about implementing CBT. First, I gave him the space to move about in freely and safely. I never met his impulses with resistance but allowed him to have the time learn how to self-regulate. I have learnt that meeting their impulses with resistance only entrenches that impulse in that moment and the situation heightens.

The less resistance I gave and the more space I gave him, the more it felt like a partnership and the more control he felt that he had, this made him less inclined to impulsivity.

We began to discuss feelings and emotions. I gave him the vocabulary he needed to identify, understand, and express the huge range of emotions he was experiencing. Over a few weeks we recognised that those feeling often change and can be fleeting. We then began to link our thoughts with the feelings and then, in turn, link them to our actions and impulses.

We engaged in a range of activities that might have meant leaving the classroom when he needed to. We made a list of various activities that diverted our attentions and refocused our energies. Activities that also helped with motor skills and eye to hand coordination: or overall coordination. We paid attention to how those activities refocused us.

Eventually, I introduced him to his diary. This was more inspired by how diary writing revolutionised my sister’s life. She never learnt to read or write until she was 12. But the first thing she got into was writing a diary after a teacher suggested she record things about herself and her feelings. In no time at all, she filled up two books.

Now she writes exceptional poetry and song lyrics with a talent for expressive and emotive words.

She began to understand herself and navigate her way through life with a greater sense of control over her own destiny simply because someone gave her the language to communicate effectively. Eventually, this would lead to a top customer’s service role selling luxury cars for BMW, despite her lack of academic qualifications for the role. She became one of BMW’s biggest assets on Park Lane. Until Brexit.

My sister was the first person to give me feedback on this article and she read it in one sitting. Probably because it was something she found relatable. Her first instinct was to point out I made some mistakes and she quipped that ‘I must be smarter than I think’. She is 36 now.

Then, she said she could not actually believe that ‘things haven’t changed at all since the 90’s’.

My sister felt more like my other client – the one I haven’t mentioned – the one that is often overlooked. Sense the irony. Sat at the back of the class and often forgotten because she was quiet and not ‘acting out’ like the other ‘tricky kids’ The ‘H’ in ADHD is not often apparent in girls as it is in boys. They can be quieter and introverted, but their mind is still hyperactive, unable to focus on one thing without support or hold on to a train of thought for very long.

“I just sat there wondering what it would be like to understand the way everyone else understood. I remember this feeling as far back as infant school. Very lonely. I felt I could never understand why they put their hand up and knew the answers when I couldn’t even take in the question. As mad as it sounds, I am 100% still like that today in my job. I am just a master at hiding my lack of understanding now and I can manipulate my way out of situations that make me feel uncomfortable, because I just ‘understand people…”

This is why neurodiverse children become ‘tricky’: they are learning how to avoid uncomfortable situations because they do not understand why they are so different. Why don’t they ‘fit in’. No one has, and no one will, explain to them that they are neurodivergent and, most importantly, explain to them that it is a completely normal thing. Noone will explain to them that they are not stupid. That they just have a different way of learning because a ‘different way of learning’ is not – cannot – be provided for them.

No one will explain to them that the only reason they are in this situation is because it makes adults feel better about themselves for being all ‘inclusive’. Keeping their neurodiversity, a secret from them only confirms and compounds the stigma attached to the condition. Its high time that society grew up a little.

Back to my client.

His peers, his mother, his occupational psychologist, and other helpers began to witness a rapid transformation in his wellbeing, his self-regulation, and his level of participation with the class. This was after just four weeks of CBT and having someone work with him instead of forcing him to conform. He began to engage more with the learning, he began to trust in his ability more and showed less resistance to reading and writing tasks.

We would write, following writing prompts in his diary, things like: ‘Today I feel …’ ‘This morning I felt…’ ‘My feelings changed because … ‘I find … challenging because …’ ‘My goal today is …’ Things I am trying to remember are …’ ‘We would suggest new ideas that would help him overcome those challenges or help him achieve his gaol.

I would record all his responses and the answers that he gave to the work set in class so his voice – this knowledge – was finally being recorded.

In no time, he began to see work appearing in his book. His own words, his own knowledge. Every day, we would look back on what he was capable of and how clever he was. Every time he achieved his goal, he got a sticker in his diary saying: ‘today I achieved my goal’. For first time, he was feeling a sense of achievement and began to have pride in himself.

He looked happier.

He pushed himself for more. Began to read more, write more. He read more books in three weeks than he read in 3 months. We recorded all these achievements in his diary and kept reflecting on it. Gradually his impulses became less and less. We had to leave the classroom less often.

Colouring – perhaps the most underrated skill of all – was his thing.

He was allowed more time to colour in at will. In three months, he went from scribbling all over the page to staying neatly between the lines. Demonstrating a sense of planning, he would carefully select the colours and started making carefully considered choices about how each colour might affect the overall design. The patterns he got became more intricate.

He recognised how the activity refocused his mind, helped with eye to hand coordination and decision making; and, most importantly, improved his overall fine motor skills. This had a direct impact on the quality of his handwriting and ability to use a pair of scissors.

He was in awe when I showed him the progress he had made with handwriting and so wanted to write more.

Eventually, by week four, I would show up to school and he would already have the whole table laid out with all the things we needed to learn. Pencil sharpened, books out, diary ready, and he had already thought about his goals. We went from bartering over reading one page to reading whole books and from writing words to writing a sentence to writing sentences.

Something had changed in him. He was beginning to understand himself and his thoughts and feelings. He was showing more control, more self-regulation. 

In the final two days of my intervention using CBT, he was sitting at his desk for one hour and forty minutes at a time – just like the rest of the class - without any uncontrolled impulses. I recorded reflections he made about his work like:

“I guess mummy is right, if you keep trying, you just keep getting better and better.” He was finally beginning to see this in the outcomes I scaffolded for him.

We had a strategy he loved. It was called ‘my turn’, ‘your turn’. In front of him he has a colouring sheet with lots of differing small things to colour in. Part of a larger picture. When it was his turn, he would colour in an object, then, when it was my turn, he would write a whole sentence. In one uninterrupted hour and forty minute he had written an entire fact file about himself for his literacy lesson in his new style of writing.

He said, ‘I like this strategy, taking turns, it’s great.’ I said, ‘it really works, doesn’t it?’ He thought about that. He thinks about everything. These children do. 

It was then, that the school decided to end the sessions for both children, saying that: ‘It was not working out for their children, nor was it within the ethos of the school.’ This was contrary to all the evidence in the children’s books; the opinion of both parents, who said the interventions had been ‘transformative’ - one parent said that ‘he hasn’t called himself ‘stupid’ in a while, and that is a big win’ - and the evidence observed by the occupational psychologist who said the children were ‘completely different’.

The school reacted too quickly to rumbles from teachers who had made no attempt to reintegrate the children back into class when I departed them each morning, so they were quick to rest the blame of the children’s restlessness on the interventions that they saw as being ‘disruptive’. The same teachers, who grumbled at the mere suggestion that the children might benefit from more certainty or consistency in their timetable. The same teachers who never engaged with or showed any interest in either of the children because they were ‘too difficult’.

Only one member of staff in the school showed any interest in the outcomes that the children were now achieving.

Schools are underfunded, understaffed and under resourced, so it’s hard not to understand why they are like the way they are. Most adults that are still left are pushed to the absolute limit. Working at breaking point. Teaching has become more about damage limitation and firefighting. Everyone is under constant scrutiny and on the defensive: trying to cover up the fact that they are failing. And failing in a big way.

They don’t see outside support for what it is. They see it as more scrutiny. More attacks on the profession from politicians - who are saying they should work harder like the private sector. More attacks from disenchanted parents, from each other. So, the shutters come down when they feel exposed. All this makes for a toxic environment that is hard for even the most robust of us to bare for too long.

My client’s table is at the back of the class, by himself, facing outwards, out of the window with his back to the rest of the class. He has a tray on his table full of odds and sods to occupy him with while his teacher talks at the children from the front of the class for one hour and forty minutes. That’s where he gets sent when no one has time for him.

He cuts a very lonely figure by himself.

The solution for my other client was to send her back to repeat Year One. A solution she detests. She is a lot smarter than they know, certainly way ahead of Year One in Maths, but now she will never believe that for herself.

“I think all those years of looking and studying those other children in my class, trying to understand what made them tick, or stand out, or what made them smart – smarter than me – or trying to study the teacher, how I could get their attention, but in a good way, because liking me meant that I would get the extra help I needed or I could feel better about asking for help… all that made me an exceptional people person and that is how I have got to where I am.”

Every child is different, and every child develops a unique coping system that gets them through the trauma of not understanding, the trauma of being forced through a system that fails to understand them.

I must leave you with this question: ‘Do you honestly believe that the interests of our children with SEND are being met by the mainstream state system? There is a General Election coming up – possibly next year.

Ask yourself and then ask your local MP: Why is no one talking about education?

CBT has been shown to be an effective treatment for ADHD in children. It can help children to improve their attention, reduce their impulsivity, and manage their hyperactivity. CBT can also help children to improve their academic performance, social relationships, and overall quality of life.

If you are interested in trying CBT for your child with ADHD, you should talk to your doctor or mental health professional. They can help you to find a qualified CBT therapist who can work with your child. If you are unsure about how to use CBT activities with your child, you can talk to a qualified CBT therapist. They can help you to develop a treatment plan that is tailored to your child's specific needs.

GLA Tutors has compiled a list of strategies and interventions that parents can try at home: to download the list click here.

How to find a CBT therapist

If you are interested in trying CBT, you can talk to your doctor or mental health professional for a referral. You can also search for CBT therapists online or through professional organizations such as the British Association for Cognitive and Behavioural Therapies (BACBT).

Thursday 30th November 2023

Embracing Gratitude: The Power of Appreciating What You Have

"Gratitude turns what we have into enough." - Anonymous

In a world that constantly bombards us with messages of what we lack, it's easy to fall into the trap of focusing on what we don't have and to look around us and see nothing but the appearance of happiness on every face but not in our own reflection. 

Monday 27th November 2023


In a world that constantly bombards us with messages of what we lack, it's easy to fall into the trap of focusing on what we don't have and to look around us and see nothing but the appearance of happiness on every face but not in our own reflection. However, the key to true happiness and fulfillment lies in appreciating what we already possess. 

It’s the anniversary of my brother’s death; and when looking back at pictures on all those that we have lost, I remembered how sad I was growing up.  I can feel that sadness now. Still. But on reflection, my mind coined this phrase: 

"For a very long time, I defined my life in view of all the things we didn’t have. I learned the lesson of valuing what we had, and who we were, much too late." 

I didn’t know the word ‘gratitude’ back then, but I did appreciate things, only because I often experienced how quickly they could be taken away. 

Why is gratitude so important; and how can it transform our lives?

Often, we tend to overlook the blessings and opportunities that surround us - we forget just how much of a miracle life is. By shifting our perspective, we can begin to see the abundance in our lives and see the wonder in it that alludes us when we are busy lamenting the things we don’t have. 

Few of us take a moment to reflect on what matters. What is around us – a life, limitless experiences, untold opportunities, a lifetime of wonder. The sunrise. The colours in Autumn. The smells of spring. The smile of someone who greets us. Our tenacity to weather every storm. Some, if not most, will have family to speak of - perhaps a loving family, or maybe good health and supportive friends, or a roof over our head. 

These are treasures worth celebrating, as they form the foundation of that ability to make fulfilling decisions - should we choose to make them. True freedom and awakening begins with practicing gratitude for every little thing that is part of the miracle of life. 

And life IS a miracle. 

Gratitude has been scientifically proven to enhance overall well-being and may even be the starting block for improving your mental health. By focusing on what we have, we invite positivity and contentment into our lives. We invite more. Begin a gratitude journal, where you jot down three things you are grateful for each day. This simple practice can foster a mindset of appreciation that helps you to actually see and cherish the small joys that often go unnoticed.

When we constantly yearn for what we lack, we fail to appreciate the uniqueness of who we are and we never understand or experience our true nature and our ability to achieve anything set our mind to. Embrace, forgive and love your imperfections and recognise that they make you who you are. Forgive yourself. And believe that you are more than the sum of your thoughts. 

You are the power to transcend them. Shift your focus from comparing yourself to others and instead, celebrate your own journey and achievements as well as others. Remember, true success only ever lies in authenticity. When you are there - in authenticity- you see others as not that much different from you after all. You begin to see we are all on that same journey of self-actualisation.

We are all trying to ‘get over that rainbow’. Just at different stages of it. No one has it ‘all together’. Not really. 

By appreciating what we have, we create a sense of abundance in our lives. This mindset opens doors to new opportunities and attracts positivity. Instead of lamenting what is missing, focus on the possibilities that exist within your current circumstances.  

In every single challenge ask yourself: “what opportunities is life trying to show me here?” 

That’s how I run my life - and my business. I look to create something out of challenges to be a solver of problems. Don’t be someone who has a problem for every solution. Be the one who creates solutions - even imperfect solutions! Everything can be improved. 

Nurture a mindset of abundance, and watch as the universe responds with even more blessings.

In a world that constantly tells us we need more, it's crucial to break free from the cycle of dissatisfaction and embrace gratitude. 

Get off that train! 

Place value where it really matters … in time. Use that time. Give your time. Make the most of your time. Everything else is just a waste of your most precious gift. As the phrase above reminded me, valuing what we have and who we are is a lesson best learned early on. 

So, let's start appreciating the blessings in our lives, big and small. 

By shifting our focus and cultivating a mindset of gratitude, we can unlock the true happiness and fulfilment of potential that comes from appreciating what we already have. 

Remember, the grass is greener where you water it.

Embark on a  journey of gratitude and watch your life transform for the better.


Monday 27th November 2023

The Royal Observatory Greenwich: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe 

On the 5th of November GLA Students took a trip to visit the Cutty Sark and the Royal Observatory in Greenwich. We arrived by boat departing from the Battersea Power Station. This blog post looks deeper into the significance of the Royal Observatory and its connection to the prime meridian. 

Monday 20th November 2023


Perched atop a hill in Greenwich, London, the Royal Observatory stands as a beacon of scientific discovery and astronomical exploration. Established in 1675 by King Charles II, the observatory has played a pivotal role in advancing our understanding of the cosmos. This essay delves into the significance of the Royal Observatory Greenwich, examining its historical importance, contributions to navigation, and ongoing role in public education and scientific research.

Historical Significance:

The Royal Observatory's roots trace back to the 17th century when King Charles II commissioned its construction. The primary objective was to address the longstanding challenge of accurate navigation at sea. John Flamsteed, the first Astronomer Royal, was appointed to observe and record celestial bodies to aid sailors in determining their longitude at sea. Flamsteed's meticulous observations laid the foundation for the development of accurate nautical almanacs and charts, revolutionizing maritime navigation.

Contributions to Navigation:

The introduction of the marine chronometer by John Harrison, in response to the Observatory's challenge for an accurate timekeeping device, was a landmark achievement. This innovation allowed sailors to precisely calculate their longitude by comparing the local time with the time at the prime meridian, located at the Royal Observatory. The success of Harrison's chronometer marked a turning point in navigation, reducing the risk of shipwrecks and facilitating safer and more efficient global trade routes.

Prime Meridian and Greenwich Mean Time (GMT):

The Royal Observatory is home to the Prime Meridian, the reference line for measuring longitude on Earth. In 1884, the International Meridian Conference established the Greenwich Meridian as the world's prime meridian, solidifying its role as the standard reference point for timekeeping and navigation. Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), calculated at the Royal Observatory, became the global standard for coordinating time zones and synchronizing activities across the world.

Public Education and Astronomy:

Beyond its historical significance, the Royal Observatory continues to serve as an educational hub and a center for promoting public engagement with astronomy. The Peter Harrison Planetarium, located on the Observatory grounds, offers immersive experiences that transport visitors on virtual journeys through the cosmos. The Astronomy Centre provides a platform for interactive exhibits, lectures, and stargazing events, fostering a deep appreciation for the wonders of the universe.

Scientific Research and Innovation:

The Royal Observatory remains at the forefront of astronomical research and innovation. Its telescopes, including the iconic Altazimuth Pavilion, contribute to ongoing scientific investigations. Collaborations with international space agencies and institutions ensure that the Observatory remains a vital player in advancing our understanding of celestial phenomena, from distant galaxies to exoplanets.

GMT: Why Greenwich?

The establishment of Greenwich as the Prime Meridian, the reference line for measuring longitude on Earth, is a result of historical developments, scientific advancements, and international agreement. Here is an overview of how Greenwich became accepted as the Prime Meridian:

1. **Early Efforts and Disagreements:**

   - Before the adoption of a standardized prime meridian, different countries and regions used various reference points for longitude, leading to confusion in navigation and mapmaking.

   - Efforts to establish a prime meridian were made by different astronomers and geographers, but there was no global consensus.

2. **International Meridian Conference (1884):**

   - The need for a standardized prime meridian gained momentum with the expansion of global trade and transportation. The lack of a universally agreed-upon reference meridian became increasingly problematic.

   - In 1884, representatives from 25 nations gathered in Washington, D.C., for the International Meridian Conference. The primary objective was to select a prime meridian that would serve as the standard for mapping and navigation worldwide.

3. **Advocacy for Greenwich:**

   - Sir George Airy, the Astronomer Royal of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, played a significant role in advocating for Greenwich as the prime meridian.

   - The Royal Observatory had been making precise astronomical observations, contributing to the accuracy of nautical almanacs and aiding navigation. The adoption of Greenwich as the prime meridian was seen as a recognition of the Observatory's expertise and contributions.

4. **Reasons for Choosing Greenwich:**

   - The Royal Observatory's work on determining longitude through observations of celestial bodies, led by Astronomer Royal Sir George Airy, was considered highly accurate.

   - The presence of an extensive collection of astronomical instruments and the availability of a reliable timekeeping service, known as Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), further supported the Observatory's candidacy.

5. **Outcome of the Conference:**

   - After deliberations, the delegates at the International Meridian Conference overwhelmingly voted in favor of adopting Greenwich as the prime meridian.

   - The Greenwich Meridian was officially established as the Prime Meridian at the conference, and Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) became the standard for coordinating time worldwide.

6. **International Acceptance:**

   - Following the conference, many countries gradually accepted the Greenwich Meridian as the international standard for longitude. Charts and maps began to feature the Prime Meridian running through Greenwich.

7. **Legacy and Impact:**

   - The decision to adopt Greenwich as the Prime Meridian had a profound and lasting impact on navigation, cartography, and timekeeping. It facilitated global standardization, simplifying navigation and promoting accurate timekeeping across different regions.

In summary, the acceptance of Greenwich as the Prime Meridian was the result of an international diplomatic effort, driven by the need for a standardized reference point for longitude. The Royal Observatory's contributions to astronomy and navigation played a crucial role in the decision, and the legacy of this choice is still evident in today's global mapping and timekeeping standards.

The Royal Observatory Greenwich stands as a living testament to humanity's relentless quest for knowledge and understanding of the cosmos. Its historical significance in navigation, the establishment of global standards for timekeeping, and its ongoing contributions to public education and scientific research make it a beacon of inspiration and discovery. As we gaze into the night sky, the Royal Observatory invites us to explore the mysteries of the universe and appreciate the enduring legacy of those who have peered through its telescopes in the pursuit of knowledge.


Monday 20th November 2023

The Cutty Sark: Sailing Through Time 

On the 5th of November GLA Students took a trip to visit the Cutty Sark and the Royal Observatory in Greenwich. We arrived by boat departing from the Battersea Power Station. This blog post looks deeper into the history of this iconic ship and its record breaking prowess as it truly did rule the waves. 

Monday 20th November 2023


The Cutty Sark, an iconic British clipper ship, stands as a testament to the bygone era of maritime trade and the relentless pursuit of speed on the high seas. Built in 1869 by Scott & Linton in Dumbarton, Scotland, the Cutty Sark played a crucial role in the tea trade between Britain and China during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This essay explores the rich history and enduring importance of the Cutty Sark, shedding light on its construction, notable voyages, and its current status as a maritime museum.

Historical Context:

The mid-19th century marked a period of intense competition in the maritime trade industry, particularly in the transportation of tea from China to Britain. Recognizing the economic benefits of swift and reliable transport, shipbuilders sought to design vessels that combined strength and speed. The Cutty Sark emerged as a result of this fervor for innovation, designed by naval architect Hercules Linton and built with a composite construction of wood and iron.

Construction and Design:

The Cutty Sark boasted a sleek and streamlined design, characterized by a narrow hull, tall masts, and a large sail area. Its hull was constructed with a wooden frame and planks, reinforced with iron ribs, providing both strength and flexibility. This innovative combination allowed the ship to harness the power of the wind efficiently, making it one of the fastest clippers of its time.

Notable Voyages:

The Cutty Sark's most famous voyages were in the tea trade between China and Britain. One of its remarkable achievements was the 1872 journey from Shanghai to London in just 107 days, setting a record for the fastest passage in the annual tea race. This feat solidified the Cutty Sark's reputation as the "Queen of the Tea Clippers." The ship continued to participate in the tea trade for several decades, facing competition from steamships but holding its own due to its exceptional speed.

Importance in Maritime History:

The Cutty Sark represents a pivotal period in maritime history when sailing ships were engaged in fierce competition with emerging steamships. Its success in the tea trade underscored the continued viability of sailing vessels in certain maritime routes. Moreover, the Cutty Sark played a crucial role in connecting distant corners of the world, facilitating global trade, and contributing to the economic development of nations involved in maritime commerce.

Preservation and Museum:

In 1954, the Cutty Sark retired from active service, and efforts were made to preserve this maritime marvel. The ship found its permanent home in Greenwich, London, where it underwent extensive restoration. Today, the Cutty Sark is a prominent museum, allowing visitors to step back in time and experience the life of a 19th-century sailor. The museum showcases the ship's history, its role in trade, and the challenges faced by sailors during long and arduous voyages.

The Cutty Sark found its way to Greenwich, London, as a result of efforts to preserve and showcase this iconic clipper ship as a maritime heritage exhibit. After retiring from active service in 1954, the ship faced an uncertain future. Several options were considered, including the possibility of scrapping the vessel. However, due to its historical significance and unique design, various groups advocated for its preservation.

In 1952, retired sea captain Wilfred Dowman spearheaded a campaign to save the Cutty Sark from being dismantled. The Cutty Sark Preservation Society was formed with the primary goal of preserving the ship for future generations. The campaign garnered widespread public support and raised funds to purchase and restore the ship.

In 1954, the Cutty Sark was moved to a specially constructed dry dock in Greenwich, adjacent to the Royal Naval College. The ship was lifted out of the water to facilitate restoration work, including repairs to the hull and rigging. This dry dock, named the Sammy Ofer Gallery, was designed to allow visitors to walk beneath the ship and get a close-up view of its hull.

The location in Greenwich was chosen for its historical significance and its association with maritime history. Greenwich has long been associated with naval activities, and its maritime heritage is celebrated at the National Maritime Museum, which is nearby. The Cutty Sark, now fully restored, was opened to the public in 1957, allowing visitors to explore the ship and learn about its storied history.

Today, the Cutty Sark is a centerpiece of the Royal Museums Greenwich, drawing visitors from around the world to experience the golden age of sail. The ship's presence in Greenwich not only preserves its legacy but also contributes to the broader maritime heritage of the United Kingdom.

Near Catastrophe

The near-catastrophe that befell the Cutty Sark occurred on May 21, 2007, when the iconic clipper ship was engulfed in flames during a major restoration project at its dry dock in Greenwich, London. The incident sent shockwaves through the maritime and historical preservation communities, as the ship faced the very real threat of complete destruction.

The restoration work, part of a multi-million-pound project to preserve and maintain the Cutty Sark, had been underway for several years. The ship was in the midst of a comprehensive conservation effort, which involved removing the ship's masts, rigging, and other components. A significant portion of the vessel was shrouded in scaffolding and protective covering at the time of the incident.

The fire broke out in the early morning hours, and flames quickly spread across the exposed portions of the ship. Firefighters were dispatched to the scene to battle the intense blaze, which threatened not only the Cutty Sark but also nearby historic structures. The entire world watched in horror as images of the burning ship circulated in the media.

Miraculously, the quick response of the firefighters and the fact that many of the ship's valuable components had been removed for restoration prevented a total loss. The ship's iron framework, which had been exposed due to the ongoing conservation work, likely played a crucial role in limiting the spread of the fire.

The Cutty Sark's close call with destruction highlighted the delicate balance between preservation efforts and the inherent risks involved in working on historic vessels. The incident prompted a renewed commitment to ensuring the safety and security of such treasures during restoration projects. Additionally, it underscored the global significance of the Cutty Sark and the collective responsibility to protect and preserve maritime heritage.

Following the fire, an extensive fundraising campaign was launched to support the restoration of the Cutty Sark. Donations poured in from around the world, demonstrating the ship's enduring importance to people of diverse backgrounds and interests. The subsequent restoration efforts aimed not only to repair the damage caused by the fire but also to enhance the ship's long-term sustainability and resilience.

Ultimately, the Cutty Sark rose from the ashes, reopening to the public on April 25, 2012. The restoration project not only salvaged the ship but also highlighted the resilience of cultural heritage in the face of adversity. The near-catastrophe serves as a reminder of the ongoing challenges in preserving our historical treasures and the collective responsibility to ensure that these symbols of our past endure for future generations.

Why is it important to remember and preserve the cutty sark 

The importance of remembering and preserving the Cutty Sark lies in its unique historical significance, its representation of a bygone era in maritime history, and its role as a tangible and educational artifact for present and future generations. Here are several reasons highlighting the importance of remembering and preserving the Cutty Sark:

1. **Historical Significance:**

   - The Cutty Sark played a pivotal role in the 19th-century maritime trade, specifically in the tea trade between China and Britain. Its record-setting voyages and competition with other clippers marked a crucial period in global maritime history.

   - The ship's design and construction reflect the innovation and technological advancements of the time, showcasing the craftsmanship and engineering expertise of 19th-century shipbuilders.

2. **Cultural Heritage:**

   - The Cutty Sark is a symbol of British maritime heritage and seafaring traditions. It represents the heyday of clipper ships and the spirit of exploration and trade that characterized the Victorian era.

   - By preserving the Cutty Sark, we maintain a connection to our cultural and maritime roots, fostering a sense of identity and pride in our shared history.

3. **Educational Value:**

   - The ship serves as an invaluable educational resource, allowing visitors to learn about navigation, seamanship, and life aboard a 19th-century sailing vessel. It provides a hands-on experience for students and enthusiasts interested in maritime history.

   - Exhibits and guided tours at the Cutty Sark museum offer insights into the challenges faced by sailors, the mechanics of sailing ships, and the historical context of global trade during the ship's active years.

4. **Tourism and Economy:**

   - The Cutty Sark has become a major tourist attraction, drawing visitors to Greenwich and contributing to the local economy. The ship's preservation enhances the appeal of the area as a cultural and historical destination.

   - Revenue generated from tourism supports the ongoing maintenance and conservation efforts, ensuring the long-term sustainability of the Cutty Sark as a heritage site.

5. **Inspiration for Future Generations:**

   - Preserving the Cutty Sark provides inspiration for future generations by showcasing the achievements of the past. It encourages an appreciation for innovation, exploration, and the human spirit of adventure.

   - The ship stands as a living testament to the importance of preserving our historical treasures, fostering a sense of responsibility among future custodians to protect and celebrate their cultural heritage.

In summary, the preservation of the Cutty Sark is crucial for its historical, cultural, educational, economic, and inspirational value. By ensuring the survival of this iconic clipper ship, we safeguard a tangible link to our maritime past and contribute to a richer understanding of the forces that shaped our world.

Monday 20th November 2023

Exploring the Deeper Spiritual Meaning of the Story of Rama & Sita

The Ramayana, an ancient Hindu epic, holds a profound spiritual significance beyond its enthralling storyline. The tale of Rama and Sita is not merely a story of love, devotion, and heroism, but a symbolic representation of deeper truths and spiritual teachings that guide us on our own journey of self-realization. Let us embark on a spiritual exploration of the timeless wisdom embedded in this captivating narrative.

Friday 10th November 2023


The story of Rama and Sita is more than a tale of heroism and love; it encapsulates profound spiritual teachings and insights. It teaches us the importance of recognizing the divine within ourselves, cultivating unwavering devotion, striving for righteousness, and transcending our own inner battles. By reflecting on the spiritual essence of this timeless epic, we can discover profound wisdom to guide us on our own journey towards self-realisation and liberation.

The Divine Incarnation:

Rama, the seventh avatar of Lord Vishnu, represents the manifestation of the divine on Earth. His purpose of incarnating as a human is to restore righteousness (dharma) and uphold the cosmic order. This signifies the eternal divine presence within each of us, which awaits our recognition and alignment with higher virtues. The idea of divine incarnation is thus simiar to the idea of Jesus being either the Son of God or an incarnation of God. 

Sita: The Embodiment of Devotion:

Sita, Rama's beloved consort, symbolises unwavering devotion and purity of heart. Her steadfast loyalty and sacrifice reflect the soul's longing for union with the divine. Sita's unwavering faith in Rama, even during her separation from him, teaches us the importance of surrendering our ego and trusting in the divine plan.

The Battle of Good and Evil:

The epic's central conflict between Rama and Ravana represents the eternal struggle between good and evil within ourselves. Ravana embodies our inner demons, desires, and ego-driven tendencies, while Rama personifies righteousness, virtue, and the ultimate triumph of good over evil. Their battle signifies the constant struggle we face in navigating our own inner conflicts and choosing the path of righteousness.

Lessons in Relationships:

The story of Rama and Sita offers profound insights into the dynamics of relationships. Rama's unwavering commitment to Sita, despite the trials they face, underscores the importance of trust, loyalty, and mutual respect. Their relationship serves as a reminder that true love transcends worldly challenges and remains unbroken through the tests of time.

Self-Realisation and Liberation:

Rama's journey towards self-realisation and enlightenment serves as an inspiration for seekers on the spiritual path. His unwavering adherence to dharma, detachment from worldly desires, and his unwavering focus on his higher purpose exemplify the qualities necessary for self-transformation and liberation from the cycle of birth and death.

Detachment from material possessions: 

The story emphasizes the importance of detachment from materialism. Sita is abducted by Ravana due to his desire for her beauty, which leads to immense suffering for both Rama and Sita. This highlights that excessive attachment to material possessions can lead to negative consequences. Rama's unwavering love and devotion for Sita are showcased throughout the story. This teaches us that genuine love and emotional connections are more valuable than any material possessions. 

Inner strength and character: 

Rama's character is portrayed as virtuous, noble, and honorable. Despite facing numerous challenges, he remains true to his values and demonstrates inner strength. This suggests that material wealth alone does not define a person's worth; rather, it is their character and inner qualities that truly matter.

Importance of righteousness: 

Rama's adherence to dharma (righteousness) is a central theme in the story. This teaches us that material possessions should not compromise our moral values. Pursuing materialistic gains at the cost of ethical principles can lead to undesirable outcomes.

Overcoming temptation: 

The story highlights the struggle against temptation. Materialism often leads to desires and temptations that can distract us from our true purpose and values. Rama's perseverance in overcoming these temptations signifies the importance of self-control and resisting materialistic desires. 

Friday 10th November 2023

Power, Symbolism and Meaning: Unraveling the Lessons Behind Hindu Teachings

Hinduism is one of the world's oldest religions, originating in the Indian subcontinent. It is a complex and diverse spiritual tradition that encompasses a wide range of beliefs, practices, and rituals. Hinduism is characterised by its belief in karma, dharma, and moksha, and the worship of various deities. It emphasises the pursuit of truth, self-realisation, and the ultimate goal of liberation from the cycle of birth and death. It is described as more of a way of life then a religion. 

Friday 10th November 2023


The significance of the Diwali lamps, also known as diyas or divas, holds deep cultural and spiritual meaning in the celebration of Diwali. Here are some key aspects:

Symbol of Light: Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, represents the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil. Lighting diyas during Diwali symbolizes the illumination of knowledge and the victory of righteousness. It is believed that the light of the diyas invites positive energy and dispels darkness from both the outer world and within oneself.

Welcoming deities: Diwali is a time when people invite deities, particularly Goddess Lakshmi, into their homes to bless them with prosperity and good fortune. The lit diyas are used to create a welcoming and auspicious environment to attract the presence of these divine beings.

Rituals and ceremonies: Lighting diyas is an integral part of Diwali rituals. Families and individuals light lamps in and around their homes, temples, and common areas to invoke blessings and ward off negative energies. It is believed that the light from the diyas helps in purifying the surroundings and brings harmony and positivity.

Decorative element: Diwali is a time of celebration and decoration. The diyas add a beautiful and festive touch to homes, creating a warm and inviting ambiance. They are often placed at entrances, windows, balconies, and in courtyards, enhancing the aesthetic appeal of the surroundings.

Unity and togetherness: Diwali is a time when families and communities come together to celebrate. Lighting diyas collectively strengthens the sense of unity and togetherness. It signifies the idea of spreading light and joy, not only within one's own home but also in the community as a whole.

Overall, the significance of the Diwali lamps lies in their representation of light, knowledge, positivity, and the triumph of good over evil. They hold a special place in the hearts and minds of people during Diwali, reminding everyone to embrace the power of light, goodness, and the pursuit of righteousness.

Here is a glossary of key vocabulary that is important to Hindus:

Dharma: The moral and ethical duties and responsibilities that individuals must follow in order to lead a righteous life.

Karma: The law of cause and effect, where one's actions and intentions determine their future consequences and experiences.

Puja: A devotional ritual performed to honor and worship deities, often involving offerings, prayers, and the lighting of lamps or candles.

Moksha: The ultimate goal of Hinduism, which refers to liberation from the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth, and union with the divine consciousness.

Atman: The individual soul or self, believed to be eternal and divine, and part of the ultimate reality known as Brahman.

Brahman: The supreme cosmic power or ultimate reality that encompasses everything and is considered the source of all existence.

Guru: A spiritual teacher or guide who imparts knowledge, wisdom, and guidance on the spiritual path.

Vedas: The oldest sacred scriptures of Hinduism, containing hymns, rituals, and philosophical teachings.

Mantra: Sacred chants or sounds repeated during meditation or religious rituals to focus the mind and connect with the divine.

Yoga: A spiritual and physical discipline aimed at achieving union with the divine through various practices, including postures, breathing exercises, and meditation.

Bhakti: The devotional aspect of Hinduism, emphasizing love, surrender, and devotion to a personal deity.

Temple: A place of worship dedicated to deities, where rituals, prayers, and religious ceremonies are performed.

Aarti: A ritualistic worship ceremony involving the waving of lamps or lights in front of deities, accompanied by devotional songs and prayers.

Sanskrit: The ancient language in which many Hindu scriptures and religious texts are written.

Prasad: Sacred food or offerings that are blessed during religious ceremonies and then distributed to devotees as a form of divine blessing.

These are just a few key terms, but Hinduism is a vast and diverse religion with many more concepts, rituals, and practices that contribute to its rich tapestry.

Friday 10th November 2023

What Inspires Diwali: The Age-Old Epic of Rama and Sita

In the light of Diwali we are reminded of the age-old of the struggle between good and evil and the triumph of light over darkness. The story of Rama and Sita is one of the most beloved Hindu tales. It revolves around the epic Ramayana, an ancient Indian scripture. There are various versions of the Ramayana but the most well-known versions are the Valmiki Ramayana and the Tulsidas Ramayana. Here's a summary of the key points in the story.

Friday 10th November 2023


The Valmiki Ramayana is considered the original and oldest version of the epic. It was written by the sage Valmiki and consists of around 24,000 verses. This version provides a detailed account of Rama's life, including his birth, exile, the abduction of Sita, the war with Ravana, and their eventual return to Ayodhya.

The Tulsidas Ramayana, also known as the Ramcharitmanas, is another prominent version of the Ramayana. It was composed by the poet-saint Tulsidas in the 16th century. This version is written in the form of Awadhi, a dialect of Hindi, making it more accessible to a wider audience. It focuses on the devotion and love between Rama and Sita and has a strong devotional tone.

Apart from these two main versions, there are regional variations and retellings of the Ramayana across different parts of India and Southeast Asia. These adaptations may have different interpretations, emphasis, and cultural influences, but they generally revolve around the core story of Rama and Sita.

It's important to note that while the essential elements of the story remain consistent across versions, there may be variations in specific details, dialogue, and interpretations. These variations have enriched the diverse cultural tapestry surrounding the epic tale of Rama and Sita.

The epic:

Rama, the prince of Ayodhya, was known for his righteousness and virtuous nature. He was married to Sita, a princess who possessed beauty, kindness, and wisdom. However, their peaceful life took a turn when Rama's stepmother, Kaikeyi, manipulated his father, King Dasharatha, into exiling Rama to the forest for fourteen years.

Rama willingly accepted his exile and embarked on a journey into the forest, accompanied by his devoted brother, Lakshmana, and his loyal wife, Sita. The trio faced numerous challenges and encountered various sages and mystical beings during their exile. One of the most significant encounters was with the demon king Ravana, who kidnapped Sita and took her to his kingdom, Lanka.

After Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana settle in the forest, Ravana, the powerful demon king of Lanka, becomes captivated by Sita's beauty. Disguised as a sage, Ravana approaches Sita when Rama and Lakshmana are away. He tricks her into stepping outside their protective circle and swiftly carries her away to his kingdom in Lanka.

When Rama and Lakshmana return and find Sita missing, they are devastated. They embark on a relentless search to find her, seeking the help of various allies they encounter along the way, including the wise monkey king Hanuman.

Hanuman, with his extraordinary abilities, leaps across the ocean and reaches Lanka. He discovers Sita imprisoned in a grove called Ashoka Vatika, surrounded by powerful demonesses who try to intimidate and torment her. Hanuman reveals his true identity to Sita and assures her that Rama will come to rescue her.

Hanuman then sets Lanka ablaze as a symbol of Rama's might and determination. He creates chaos and destruction, catching the attention of Ravana and his forces. Hanuman eventually returns to Rama with news of Sita's location and the strength of Ravana's army.

Upon learning of Sita's whereabouts, Rama gathers an army of various allies, including the monkey warriors and the bear king Sugriva, to launch an attack on Lanka. The battle between Rama's forces and Ravana's army is fierce and legendary.

Rama, armed with his divine bow and arrows, displays his exceptional skills and valor on the battlefield. He confronts and defeats several powerful demons and generals of Ravana's army. In the climactic confrontation, Rama faces Ravana himself, engaging in a fierce duel.

With the blessings of the gods and his unwavering devotion to dharma, Rama ultimately slays Ravana, ending his reign of terror. The battle concludes with Rama's victory and the rescue of Sita.

Rama's battle with Ravana demonstrates his unwavering commitment to righteousness, his courage, and his divine nature. It also symbolizes the triumph of good over evil and the restoration of righteousness and justice.

This epic battle between Rama and Ravana is often celebrated during the festival of Dussehra, which signifies the victory of good over evil. It serves as a reminder of the power of righteousness, devotion, and the ultimate triumph of truth.

However, the challenges were not yet over. To prove Sita's purity and fidelity during her captivity, Rama asked her to undergo the Agni Pariksha, a trial by fire. Sita, with unwavering faith, emerged unharmed from the fire, proving her devotion and loyalty to Rama.

Finally, after fourteen years of exile, Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana returned to Ayodhya. Rama's subjects joyfully celebrated their homecoming, and Rama was crowned as the rightful king. Rama and Sita ruled Ayodhya with love and compassion, setting an example of an ideal royal couple.

The story of Rama and Sita teaches important lessons about loyalty, devotion, righteousness, and the triumph of good over evil. It continues to inspire people and is celebrated during the festival of Diwali, which marks the return of Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana to Ayodhya.

I hope you enjoyed this brief overview of the captivating tale of Rama and Sita!

Friday 10th November 2023

Top Tips to Help Improve English for Speakers of Other Languages

Learning a new language can be both exciting and challenging. For speakers of other languages who are looking to improve their English skills, we've compiled a list of top tips to help you on your language learning journey. Whether you're a beginner or looking to enhance your existing proficiency, these tips will provide you with a solid foundation and boost your confidence in English. 

Tuesday 7th November 2023


English has become the global language of communication, connecting people from different cultures and backgrounds. Whether you're a student, a professional, or a traveler, improving your proficiency in English offers numerous advantages. In this blog, we will explore why developing your English skills is crucial in today's interconnected world.

Enhance Communication:

English is the most widely spoken language worldwide, with over 1.5 billion people speaking it as either a first or second language. By improving your English proficiency, you can communicate effectively with individuals from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. This opens up opportunities for personal and professional growth, fostering better understanding and collaboration.

Global Career Opportunities:

In the global job market, English proficiency is increasingly valued by employers. Many multinational companies require employees to have strong English skills to communicate with international clients, partners, or colleagues. By improving your English, you expand your career prospects, increase your competitiveness, and open doors to better job opportunities and higher salaries.

Access to Higher Education:

English is the language of instruction in many prestigious universities across the globe. If you aspire to study abroad or pursue higher education in an English-speaking country, having a good command of English is essential. It enables you to understand lectures, participate in discussions, conduct research, and write academic papers with ease.

Cultural Exchange and Travel:

English proficiency allows you to fully immerse yourself in different cultures and make the most out of your travel experiences. It enables you to engage in meaningful conversations with locals, navigate through unfamiliar places, and appreciate the richness of various cultures. Moreover, understanding English provides access to a wealth of literature, movies, music, and art, broadening your cultural horizons.

Personal Growth and Confidence:

Improving your English proficiency not only enhances your communication skills but also boosts your self-confidence. As you become more proficient, you will feel more comfortable expressing yourself, sharing your ideas, and engaging in discussions. This increased confidence can have a positive impact on various aspects of your life, from social interactions to public speaking.

Networking Opportunities:

English acts as a common language for networking and building connections globally. Attending conferences, seminars, or workshops, where English is the primary language, allows you to connect with professionals from different fields and expand your network. These connections can lead to collaborations, mentorships, and career advancements.

Access to Information and Resources:

The vast majority of information available on the internet is in English. By improving your English proficiency, you gain access to a wide range of resources, including research papers, news articles, educational materials, and online courses. This empowers you to stay informed, acquire new knowledge, and continue lifelong learning.

In today's interconnected world, the importance of improving your proficiency in English cannot be overstated. Enhancing your communication skills, accessing global career opportunities, pursuing higher education, engaging in cultural exchange, boosting personal growth and confidence, networking, and accessing a wealth of information are just a few of the benefits that come with developing your English skills. Embrace the journey of learning English, and watch as new doors of opportunities open up, allowing you to connect with the world and broaden your horizons.

Whether you're a beginner or looking to enhance your existing proficiency, Here are some tips that will provide you with a solid foundation and boost your confidence in English.

1. Immerse Yourself in English:

One of the most effective ways to learn any language is to immerse yourself in it. Surround yourself with English as much as possible by watching movies, TV shows, or listening to podcasts in English. This exposure to the language will help you familiarize yourself with pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar in a natural context.

2. Practice Speaking Regularly:

Speaking is a crucial aspect of language learning. Find opportunities to practice speaking English on a regular basis. Consider joining language exchange groups, participating in language courses, or even having conversations with native English speakers. Practice will help you gain fluency and increase your confidence in expressing yourself.

3. Expand Your Vocabulary:

Building a strong vocabulary is essential for effective communication. Make it a habit to learn new words and phrases every day. Use flashcards or mobile apps to review and reinforce your learning. Additionally, read English books, newspapers, or online articles to encounter new words in different contexts.

4. Grammar Matters:

While fluency and communication are important, understanding grammar rules is equally crucial. Invest time in learning and reviewing grammar concepts. Online resources, textbooks, or language learning apps can provide you with comprehensive explanations and exercises to practice your grammar skills.

5. Listen Actively:

Listening is an integral part of language learning. Engage in active listening by watching English videos, podcasts, or even songs. Pay attention to pronunciation, intonation, and speech patterns. This practice will not only improve your listening skills but also help you develop a more authentic accent.

6. Write, Write, Write:

Writing is an excellent way to reinforce your language skills. Start by keeping a journal in English, writing short stories, or even maintaining a blog. Practice writing emails, reports, or essays to enhance your writing proficiency. Don't be afraid to make mistakes, as they are an essential part of the learning process.

7. Find a Language Partner:

Connecting with a language partner is an effective way to practice your conversational skills. Find someone who is fluent in English and willing to help you improve. Language partners can provide valuable feedback, correct your mistakes, and engage in meaningful conversations that enhance your language skills.

8. Use English Language Learning Apps and Resources:

Technology has made language learning more accessible than ever. Explore language learning apps like Duolingo, Babbel, or Memrise, which offer interactive lessons, quizzes, and vocabulary-building exercises. Additionally, utilize online resources such as grammar websites, language forums, or YouTube channels dedicated to teaching English.

Learning English as a speaker of another language is a journey that requires dedication and practice. By immersing yourself in the language, practicing speaking, expanding your vocabulary, understanding grammar, actively listening, writing regularly, finding a language partner, and utilizing language learning apps and resources, you will undoubtedly see progress in your English skills. Remember, consistency and perseverance are key to achieving fluency. Embrace the process, enjoy the journey, and watch as your English proficiency grows.

Consistency is key! 

Maintaining consistency in learning English is crucial for retention, progress, fluency, confidence, routine-building, avoiding learning plateaus, retaining motivation, and preparing for real-life situations. By making regular and consistent efforts in your language learning journey, you will see significant improvements and achieve your goals more effectively.

Maintaining consistency when learning English is crucial for several reasons:

Retention and Progress: Consistency allows you to reinforce what you have learned and build upon it gradually. By studying or practicing English regularly, you reinforce vocabulary, grammar, and language structures, making them more ingrained in your memory. This helps to retain knowledge and ensures steady progress in your language skills.

Language Acquisition: Learning a language requires regular exposure and practice. Consistency helps you immerse yourself in the language and develop a natural understanding of its patterns and nuances. By consistently engaging with English, whether through reading, listening, speaking, or writing, you create a learning habit that accelerates your language acquisition process.

Fluency and Confidence: Consistency in practicing English leads to increased fluency and confidence. Regular practice helps you become more comfortable with using the language, enabling you to express yourself more fluidly. The more you practice, the smoother your conversations become, and the more confident you feel when communicating in English.

Building a Routine: Consistency in learning English helps establish a routine, making it easier to integrate language learning into your daily life. By dedicating regular time to study or practice English, you create a habit that becomes ingrained in your daily routine, making it more likely that you will stick to your language learning goals.

Avoiding Learning Plateaus: Without consistency, learners may experience learning plateaus or periods of stagnation. Irregular or sporadic practice makes it difficult to build momentum and progress steadily. Consistency helps you overcome these plateaus by providing regular opportunities to challenge yourself, learn new concepts, and reinforce existing knowledge.

Retaining Motivation: Consistency plays a vital role in maintaining motivation. When you see steady progress and improvement in your English skills, it boosts your confidence and motivates you to continue learning. Consistent practice helps you stay focused on your goals and reminds you of the value of language learning.

Real-life Application: Consistency ensures that you are better prepared for real-life situations where English is required. Whether it's a job interview, a presentation, or a conversation with a native speaker, consistent practice equips you with the necessary language skills and confidence to communicate effectively in various contexts.

So what are you waiting for? Head along to our English for Adults page to see what we have to offer.

Tuesday 7th November 2023

The Gunpowder Plot: A Result of Religious Intolerance

The Gunpowder Plot of 5th November 1605 remains one of the most infamous acts of treason in English history. Led by a group of Catholic conspirators, the plot aimed to assassinate King James I and overthrow the Protestant government. This blog explores how the Gunpowder Plot was primarily a result of religious intolerance, stemming from the deep-rooted religious conflicts and persecution that plagued England during the 16th and early 17th centuries.

Friday 3rd November 2023


Religious Intolerance in England:

To understand the motivations behind the Gunpowder Plot, it is crucial to examine the religious climate of the time. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, England witnessed substantial religious upheaval as the country transitioned from Catholicism to Protestantism. This transition was marked by the Act of Supremacy in 1559, which declared the monarch as the head of the Church of England, severing ties with the Pope. This religious division caused significant strife, with Catholics facing persecution and discrimination.

Persecution of Catholics:

Under Elizabeth's reign, Catholics were subjected to severe penalties and restrictions due to their loyalty to the Pope and their refusal to conform to the newly established Protestant church. Catholic priests were actively hunted down and executed, and Catholics were marginalized politically, economically, and socially.

Recusancy Laws:

To enforce religious conformity, the government introduced Recusancy Laws, which required Catholics to attend Anglican services or face fines, imprisonment, and eviction. These laws aimed at suppressing Catholicism and pushing for religious homogeneity.

Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot:

The Gunpowder Plot can be seen as a direct consequence of the religious persecution faced by Catholics. Led by Robert Catesby, a group of Catholic conspirators, including Guy Fawkes, sought to restore Catholicism to England by eliminating the Protestant monarchy. Frustration, desperation, and a desire to defend their faith pushed these individuals to plot an audacious act of violence.

Religious Motivations:

The conspirators believed that their actions were justified by their religious convictions. They saw themselves as defenders of the Catholic Church and sought to strike a blow against what they perceived as a tyrannical Protestant regime. The plot was a manifestation of the deep resentment and marginalization experienced by Catholics, as well as a desperate attempt to reclaim religious freedom.

The Gunpowder Plot of 5th November 1605 was a direct result of religious intolerance that plagued England during the 16th and early 17th centuries. The persecution and marginalization faced by Catholics under the reigns of Queen Elizabeth I and King James I fueled the conspirators' resentment and desperation. The plot, though ultimately unsuccessful, serves as a stark reminder of the dangerous consequences of religious intolerance and the lengths individuals may go to defend their faith. It also reminds us of the importance of religious tolerance and understanding in creating a harmonious and inclusive society.

Friday 3rd November 2023

Black History Month - Celebrating Literacy

As Black History month is drawing to a close, we look closer at the incredible contributions of Black British authors. Black people have made significant contributions to English literature from its earliest days. From the anonymous authors of African folktales to songwriters and poets to the acclaimed writers of the present day, Black people have shared their unique perspectives and experiences through the written word.

Wednesday 25th October 2023


One of the earliest known works of English literature to be influenced by Black culture is Beowulf, an epic poem written in the 8th century. The poem features a number of Black characters, including the titular Beowulf's companion Wiglaf. In the Middle Ages, Black people continued to contribute to English literature, albeit often in anonymous ways. Many of the medieval ballads and romances that are still popular today were likely written or performed by Black people. During the Renaissance, Black people began to publish their own work in English. One of the most notable early Black English writers was Olaudah Equiano, whose memoir The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano (1789) is considered to be a classic of slave literature.

In the 19th century, Black writers continued to make significant contributions to English literature. Some of the most notable Black writers of this period include Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, and Phillis Wheatley. Douglass's autobiography Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave (1845) is one of the most powerful and moving accounts of slavery ever written. Jacobs's novel Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861) is a fictionalized account of her own experiences as a slave. Wheatley was a poet who was enslaved in Massachusetts. Her work is notable for its beauty and sophistication.

In the 20th century, Black writers continued to make significant contributions to English literature. Some of the most notable Black writers of this period include Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and Richard Wright. Hughes was a poet and novelist who was a leading figure in the Harlem Renaissance. Hurston was a novelist and folklorist who collected and published African American folktales. Wright was a novelist who wrote about the experiences of Black people in America. His novel Native Son (1940) is a powerful and disturbing account of racism and violence.

In the 21st century, Black writers continue to make significant contributions to English literature. Some of the most notable Black writers of this period include Toni Morrison, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Zadie Smith. Morrison is a Nobel Prize-winning novelist whose work explores the African American experience. Adichie is a Nigerian-born novelist whose work explores themes of race, gender, and identity. Smith is a British novelist whose work is known for its intelligence, wit, and social commentary.

These are just a few of the many Black people who have made significant contributions to English literature. Black writers have enriched the English language and culture with their unique perspectives and experiences. Their work is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the full range of human experience. Black writers continue to be at the forefront of English literature today, producing powerful and thought-provoking work that challenges and inspires readers.

British Authors:

Black British authors have made significant contributions to British literature, and their work deserves to be celebrated. Here are some of the most influential Black British authors of all time.

These are just a few of the many talented Black British authors who have made significant contributions to British literature. Whether you're an avid reader or just starting your literary journey, take this month as an opportunity to discover, celebrate, and uplift the diverse voices of Black British authors. Let's honor their invaluable contributions to literature and embrace the stories that expand our horizons.

 Remember, knowledge is power, and through literature, we can foster empathy, understanding, and unity. Let's celebrate Black History Month by amplifying these remarkable voices and embracing the beauty of diversity! This Black History Month, let's take the time to celebrate their work and support their voices. Here are some ways to celebrate Black British authors:

It is also worth clebrating some of the most critically acclaimed black authors from around the world. Here is some recommended literature by esteemed international black authors:



Happy reading!

Wednesday 25th October 2023

Windrush 75

Not so long ago, we released a series of reflective posts that paid tribute to the Windrish Generation to mark 75 years since the Empire Windrush docked at Tilbury. This blog seeks to tie those posts together in one place as part of our spotlight on Black History month. 

Wednesday 25th October 2023

National Windrush Day 2023 22 June marks 75 years since the MV Empire Windrush arrived in the UK, marking a seminal moment in our shared history.

 Celebrations are taking place at projects and events throughout the country to acknowledge and express gratitude and understanding of the Windrush story.

Those early pioneers forged a new path for themselves in an alien land; and changed the shape of the country they adopted forever. Great Britain is in debt to the contribution made by the legendary Windrush Generation. 

In June 1948 the Empire Windrush arrived at Tilbury Docks, Essex carrying hundreds of newly created British Citizens from the Caribbean – just one month before the British Nationality Act 1948 received Royal Assent.

Britain, with its new reforming Labour government, was a country short of workers.

Men and women were needed to rebuild an economy weakened by the war years, especially in those sectors crucial to the reconstruction programme.

These included the production of raw materials as well as food.

In the service sector, both men and women workers were needed to run public transport and to staff the new NHS.

It was this prospect of employment that attracted many of the Windrush passengers to leave the Caribbean.

Now one of the world’s largest street festivals, the roots of the Notting Hill Carnival that took shape in the mid- 1960s was a response to the problematic state of race relations at the time.

The UK's first widespread racial attacks, the Notting Hill race riots had occurred the previous year.

Visionary leaders within the British Caribbean community such as Claudia Jones, known affectionately as the ’mother of the carnival’, launched the opportunity of soothing race relations by promoting the culture and the contributions of the Caribbean Community in London with the slogan "A people's art is the genesis of their freedom."

The Bronze Woman is the UK’s first statue of an African-Caribbean woman, which has since been recognised as an ode to motherhood and the prominence of this ethnic minority.

The statue sits at 10ft high and was installed in the Stockwell Memorial Garden.

It was based on the now famous poem of the same name by Cécile Nobrega who lived in Stockwell until her passing in 2013.

The Bronze Woman poem was written around 50 years ago, celebrating Caribbean women, with lines like ‘find me a place/ in the sun’ and ‘there i will set her/ honoured, free’.

With this poem, Nobrega was able to immortalise not only her own memory and legacy, but the memory of all women.

Cécile was a teacher, poet and playwright, born in Guyana.

She had been an advocate for ‘The Bronze Woman Project’ since 1994.

With her poem echoing themes of freedom and restriction, she believed that women from third world countries and descendents of slave trade victims recieved inadequate recognition for the part they played in society.

The project was launched as a charitable organisation that raised money to enlist the help of Olmec, a charitable subsidiary of a South London housing association.

Cécile won many awards.

In 1969, Cécile emigrated to the UK, where she was active in the National Union of Teachers, and fought against placing misunderstood children of ethnic minorities in Educationally Subnormal schools.

She quickly made a name for herself as a fighter for equality, believing that everyone should have a chance at a normal life, that no one should be born with disadvantages.

She would go on to spend the rest of her life advocating for the appreciation of womanhood.

“The sculpture was ‘a tribute to the diverse communities that make up British society and a symbol of the potential of women everywhere”

— Tanzeem Ahmed, director of Olmec

The year the statue was installed also marked the 60th anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush ship to Britain and the 200th anniversary of the end of the transatlantic slave trade.

“Most people today may not know we came over as British citizens back then.

To have that taken away from some of us is disappointing.

I came here and trained in nursing and midwifery like many Caribbean women and men.

We were optimistic and enthusiastic and worked hard to build the NHS.

“We didn’t think we were making history, we responded to a request to help a Britain battered by the war, and a personal desire to improve our lives.

I didn’t focus on the hardships, or the racism, but in spite of that we built a community, started families and campaigned for a fairer Britain and that’s all we can hope for – especially for the next generations.”

On this momentous occasion of the 75 anniversary of the first ‘New Citizen’ arrivals - GLA Tutors takes a look at the fascinating history of the generation that helped shape Britain’s post-war recovery and created the Britain we know today.

In April and July 1981, there were riots in several cities and towns in England. This was to be a part of a string of race relations riots since the 50s.

The riots mainly involved black English youths clashing with police.

They were caused by tension between black people and the police, especially perceived racist discrimination against black people through increased use of stop-and-search, and were also fuelled by inner city deprivation.

The most serious riots were the April Brixton riots in London, followed in July by the Toxteth riots in Liverpool, the Handsworth riots in Birmingham, the Chapeltown riots in Leeds, and the Moss Side riots in Manchester.

There were also a series of less serious riots in other towns and cities.

In all the four main cases, these areas had large ethnic minority communities, who had largely immigrated from the Commonwealth in the 1950s and 1960s and landed in low paid jobs and suffered racial discrimination from the outset.

All the areas suffered from poor housing (mostly dating from the 19th and early 20th centuries), high unemployment and particular problems with racial tensions.

According to the subsequently commissioned Scarman report the riots were a spontaneous outburst of built-up resentment sparked by particular incidents.

Lord Scarman stated that "complex political, social and economic factors" created a "disposition towards violent protest".

The Scarman report highlighted problems of racial disadvantage and inner-city decline, warning that "urgent action" was needed to prevent racial disadvantage becoming an "endemic, ineradicable disease threatening the very survival of our society"

What the riots show is that improved race relations is not just about tackling racism, but about social justice and improving the quality of life for those that have not enjoyed the same advantages in life as the wealthy.

Onboard there were domestic workers, students and dressmakers, nurses and clerks. There were mechanics and carpenters, tailors, engineers and welders, builders and scholars; some had served in the RAF and navy.

There was also an unknown number of Caribbean-born servicemen and women who had stayed in the UK after fighting as part of the British forces in the first or second world wars.

Many would be bussed to the half light of an underground shelter under Clapham Common in south London. It was dark, a bit damp and cramped, as if they had transferred from a ship to the innards of a submarine. But it was English dry land, and proximity to a labour exchange brimming with postwar work offered the springboard that allowed many to rent rooms and buy homes in nearby Brixton, making it the unofficial black capital of Britain – and Europe.

They didn’t know what lay ahead, and yet they prevailed.

Things moved fast - in 1942 there were thought to be between 8,000 and 10,000 black people in Britain, scattered mainly around the many ports. By 1958, as families grew, relatives left behind in the Caribbean were sent for and others came by sea and air to try their luck, 125,000 had arrived.

There was no employment or discrimination laws. On the buses (until the 1960s, a colour bar pertained on Bristol’s buses), or the trains or at Ford or on the building sites. Not until 1968 did the Race Relations Act render unlawful acts of discrimination in employment, housing and advertising.

What we must see when we look upon this generation is a bright people, smart people, tough people, adaptable people. People who didn’t know what awaited them but largely did what they intended to do when they bought their tickets: made a better life for themselves and those of us who follow.

To help rebuild and reshape a Britain that was calling out for change in the ruins of the total devastation of war.

The sun may have eventually set on the British Empire, but the legacy of it can still be felt in the vast diversity of the country’s inhabitants.

Every nation, every people on earth – every language - are represented here through the communities that grew in vibrancy and strength after WWII.

Inclusiveness, diversity, and opportunity for all, are values gained through a shared experience of recovery and growth and the struggle against racism that London quite often asserts on the rest of the country through legislation.

Of course, it was not all plain sailing: the journey towards equality was a long one; and it is far from over – even in a city like London today.

Racism exists everywhere in the world, and perhaps always will: for people who lack experience and exposure to difference will always be intimidated by it.

‘We’re here because you were there’ is the tittle of a book by Ian Sanjay Patel and it sums up quite squarely the situation with diversity in Britain.

But, as the title suggests, there are those in Britain that still feel the need justify their existence here.

The 1948 British Nationality Act gave 800M people around the Empire British citizenship; and mass migration to Britain began in earnest.

However, after experiencing widespread racism, it would be a long journey to asserting their right to be fully accepted.

In 2021, Leading black artists Thomas J. Price and Veronica Ryan created new sculptures honouring the Windrush generation of citizens who came to the UK from the Caribbean between 1948 and 1971 under the ‘British Nationality Act.’

Price tells The Art Newspaper: “The timing is significant as the recent Black Lives Matter protests have made far more people consciously aware of the power of representation in public statues; I think my Windrush sculpture will be received within this new understanding.”

This year marks 75 years since Windrush Day: when the HMT Empire Windrush ship arrived at Tilbury Docks in Essex with more than 500 newly created citizens on board seeking a new life in Britain at the invitation of the Labour Government of the time.

In 2018, UK residents of the Windrush generation were wrongly detained by the Conservative Government; an estimated 50,000 people subsequently faced deportation if they had never formalised their residency status.

Price used photo archives, observations and computer-modelled 3D scans of Hackney residents to create an amalgam bronze figure which is sited outside Hackney Town Hall.

He says: “Hopefully my fictional character will be recognised as a work that asks questions of what it means to belong to society by making visible those who are often marginalised…

I think it's a powerful statement about existing in a world that tries to force limitations upon your potential.”

The move comes after London Mayor Sadiq Khan launched a new commission to review and improve “the diversity of London’s public landmarks”

On this momentous occasion of the 75 anniversary of the first ‘New Citizen’ arrivals - GLA Tutors takes a look at the fascinating history of the generation that helped shape Britain’s post-war recovery and created the Britain we know today.

Two major public art works honouring the Windrush generation of workers who came to the UK from the Caribbean between 1948 and 1971 have been unveiled in London.

The works—by Basil Watson and Thomas J Price—mark Windrush Day, the 74th anniversary of the arrival of the passenger ship HMT Empire Windrush at Tilbury Dock on 22 June 1948, bringing hundreds of passengers from the Caribbean seeking a new life in the UK.

Watson, who is based in Atlanta, Georgia, was commissioned to create the National Windrush Monument, which now stands at Waterloo Station.

“[The monument] will pay tribute to the dreams, ambition, courage and resilience of the Windrush pioneers who arrived in Britain after the Second World War and the generations that followed over the years,” a department statement says.

Watson’s work shows three smartly dressed figures—a man, woman and child—climbing a mountain of suitcases, hand-in-hand. The artist tells The Art Newspaper that the work takes on extra resonance in the wake of movements such as Black Lives Matter.

“I think it speaks to an integration of cultures and races and so on… [it is about] respect for people's culture, respect for people's ambitions.

It also reflects that we all, basically, have the same aspirations of progress for ourselves or families or communities. It speaks of all of that.” Watson spent part of his childhood in the UK after his parents travelled from Jamaica as part of the Windrush generation.

On this momentous occasion of the 75 anniversary of the first ‘New Citizen’ arrivals - GLA Tutors takes a look at the fascinating history of the generation that helped shape Britain’s post-war recovery and created the Britain we know today.

We hear from the voices of that generation and ask the question: is Britain, now, a society deserving of all the sacrifices made by the generations that preceded it?

On the 28 September the new Fourth Plinth Commission Antelope by Samson Kambalu was unveiled on the Fourth Plinth.

Antelope restages a photograph of Baptist preacher and pan-Africanist John Chilembwe and European missionary John Chorley as a sculpture.

The photograph was taken in 1914 at the opening of Chilembwe’s new church in Nyasaland, now Malawi. Chilembwe has his hat on, defying the colonial rule that forbade Africans from wearing hats in front of white people.

A year later, he led an uprising against colonial rule.

Chilembwe was killed and his church was destroyed by the colonial police.

On the plinth, Chilembwe is larger than life, while Chorley is life-size.

By increasing his scale, the artist elevates Chilembwe and his story, revealing the hidden narratives of underrepresented peoples in the history of the British Empire in Africa, and beyond.

Brixton’s Electric Lane, just off Electric Avenue.

Since the 1980s, Brixton has developed a tradition showcasing some inspiring murals.

The murals portray politics, community and ideas.

Many of Brixton's murals were painted by local artists and funded by Lambeth County Council and the GLC following the Brixton riots in 1981.

The tradition has continued in recent times when the David Bowie mural became something of a shrine following the singer's death in 2016.

Many murals have gone; victims of the inevitable redevelopment of the popular south London 'village'.

The life of local legend Jimmy Rogers has been celebrated with a mural on Electric Lane by street artist Dreph.

Jimmy founded the Brixton Topcats basketball team in the early 1980s and served as coach and mentor for hundreds of young people who passed through the club across three decades.

He was straight talking, with a Liverpudlian accent, a rich baritone voice and a heart of gold.

Dubbed ‘The Bishop of Brixton’, Jimmy was the life and soul of many a Brixton party and a regular at the (now long-gone) bar Mango Landin’.

He died in 2018 following a diagnosis of cancer and is missed by all those lucky enough to have known him.

Celebrating Black British Authors for Black History Month!

In Black History month @global_learners is shining a spotlight on the incredible contributions of Black British authors. Let's embark on a literary journey together, discovering captivating stories that deserve our attention!

First up, let's immerse ourselves in the powerful prose of the incomparable Zadie Smith. Her novels, such as "White Teeth" and "On Beauty," beautifully explore themes of identity, race, and multiculturalism with a touch of humor and extraordinary insight.

Next, let's celebrate the brilliant storytelling of Bernardine Evaristo, the first Black woman to win the Booker Prize. Her masterpiece, "Girl, Woman, Other," takes us on a mesmerizing journey through the lives of twelve diverse and captivating characters, leaving an indelible mark on our hearts.

We cannot forget the enchanting works of Malorie Blackman, a trailblazer in the world of young adult fiction. Her "Noughts & Crosses" series challenges social norms, offering a thought-provoking exploration of race, love, and equality.

And let's not overlook the incredible poetry of Benjamin Zephaniah, whose words possess an extraordinary ability to touch our souls deeply. His eloquent verses beautifully capture the Black British experience with raw emotion and profound wisdom.

Whether you're an avid reader or just starting your literary journey, take this moment as an opportunity to discover, celebrate, and uplift the diverse voices of Black British authors. Let's honor their invaluable contributions to literature and embrace the stories that expand our horizons.

Remember, knowledge is power, and through literature, we can foster empathy, understanding, and unity. Let's celebrate Black History Month by amplifying these remarkable voices and embracing the beauty of diversity!

Dia de los Muertos - or Day of the Dead

The Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, is a colorful and vibrant celebration that takes place annually on November 1st and 2nd in Mexico and other Latin American countries. It is a unique holiday that honors and remembers deceased loved ones, embracing death as a natural part of life. This essay will explore the origins, traditions, and significance of the Day of the Dead.

Wednesday 25th October 2023



The origins of the Day of the Dead can be traced back to ancient indigenous cultures in Mexico, such as the Aztecs, Maya, and Toltecs. These cultures had a rich belief system surrounding death and the afterlife, viewing it as a continuation of life rather than an end. They believed that the souls of the departed would return to visit their families during this time, and they wanted to welcome them with love, joy, and respect.

Today's Meaning:

Today, the Day of the Dead is a blend of indigenous rituals and Catholicism, which was introduced by Spanish colonizers. The holiday coincides with All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day, but it has its own unique customs and practices. It is a time for families to gather and remember their loved ones who have passed away.


One of the most iconic symbols of the Day of the Dead is the calacas and calaveras, or skeletons and skulls. These are not meant to be scary or morbid but rather playful and whimsical representations of death. They are often depicted wearing colorful clothing and engaged in various activities, symbolizing the idea that death is a natural part of life and should be celebrated rather than feared.


Altars, or ofrendas, are an essential part of the Day of the Dead. Families create elaborate altars in their homes or at cemeteries, adorned with marigolds, candles, photographs of the deceased, and their favorite foods and drinks. These altars are meant to honor and welcome the spirits of the departed, providing them with the sustenance and comforts they enjoyed in life. It is believed that the aroma of marigolds and the scent of traditional foods guide the spirits back to the earthly realm.

Throughout the two-day celebration, families visit the gravesites of their loved ones. They clean and decorate the tombstones, often leaving offerings of food, drinks, and personal items. It is a time for reflection, storytelling, and reminiscing about the lives of the departed. Families gather to share meals, play music, dance, and celebrate the memories of their loved ones.


The Day of the Dead is not a somber occasion but rather a joyous and festive celebration of life and death. It is a time to honor and remember those who have passed away, to acknowledge their continued presence in our lives, and to celebrate the rich cultural heritage of Mexico and Latin America. In recent years, the Day of the Dead has gained popularity beyond its traditional borders. It has become recognized and celebrated in various parts of the world, as people appreciate the beauty and significance of this unique holiday.

In Conclusion:

The Day of the Dead is a vibrant and colorful celebration that honors and remembers deceased loved ones. It is a time for families to come together, create altars, visit gravesites, and celebrate the lives of those who have passed away. This holiday embraces death as a natural part of life and encourages us to appreciate and cherish the memories of our loved ones. The Day of the Dead is a testament to the resilience of Mexican and Latin American cultures and their ability to find joy and beauty even in the face of loss and grief.

Connections with Halloween?

The Day of the Dead and Halloween share some similarities but also have distinct differences. While both holidays commemorate the dead, they do so in different ways and hold different cultural significances.

One connection between the Day of the Dead and Halloween is their proximity on the calendar. Halloween, celebrated on October 31st, is followed by the Day of the Dead on November 1st and 2nd. This temporal proximity has led to some overlap in imagery and themes associated with death and the supernatural.


Both holidays also involve the use of costumes. On Halloween, people dress up as various characters, often including spooky or supernatural beings like ghosts, witches, and vampires. Similarly, during the Day of the Dead, people may wear costumes, but they typically dress as calacas or calaveras, the colorful and whimsical skeletons and skulls associated with the holiday.

Sweets and Treats:

Another connection between the two holidays is the presence of sweets and treats. Halloween is known for children going door-to-door, collecting candy from neighbors. Similarly, during the Day of the Dead, families often prepare traditional sweets, such as sugar skulls and pan de muerto (bread of the dead), to offer as offerings to the spirits of the departed.


Despite these connections, Halloween and the Day of the Dead have distinct origins and cultural contexts. Halloween has its roots in Celtic traditions, particularly the ancient festival of Samhain, which marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter. It was believed that on this night, the boundary between the living and the dead was blurred, and spirits could interact with the living. As Christianity spread, the holiday became associated with All Hallows' Eve, a precursor to All Saints' Day.

The Day of the Dead, on the other hand, has indigenous Mexican origins, with influences from Aztec, Maya, and Toltec cultures. It is deeply rooted in the belief systems and rituals of these cultures, which viewed death as a natural part of life and embraced the idea of honoring and remembering the deceased. The holiday has evolved over time, incorporating Catholic traditions brought by Spanish colonizers, but it has retained its distinct cultural identity.

Solemnity & Respect:

Furthermore, the Day of the Dead does caryy with it some more solemn and reflective tones compared to the festive and sometimes spooky nature of Halloween. While Halloween is often associated with scares, pranks, and a general atmosphere of mischief, the Day of the Dead is a time for families to come together, remember their loved ones, and honor their memory through rituals, altars, and visits to gravesites.

Two Distinct Holidays:

While there are connections between the Day of the Dead and Halloween in terms of their proximity on the calendar, the use of costumes, and the presence of sweets, these holidays have distinct origins, cultural contexts, and purposes. Halloween is rooted in Celtic traditions and focuses on supernatural beings and scares, while the Day of the Dead is deeply rooted in indigenous Mexican cultures, emphasizing the celebration and remembrance of deceased loved ones.

Wednesday 25th October 2023

The Enigmatic Origins of Halloween

Halloween, a holiday celebrated on the eve of October 31st, is a festivity that has captivated numerous cultures around the world. It is a time when communities come alive with costumes, decorations, and an undeniable sense of mystery. However, the origins of Halloween are steeped in folklore, ancient traditions, and historical events that have evolved over centuries. Let us embark on a captivating journey to unravel the enigmatic beginnings of this beloved holiday.

Wednesday 25th October 2023


Ancient Celtic Roots:

Halloween traces its roots back to the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain (pronounced "sow-in"), celebrated by the Celts over 2,000 years ago. Samhain marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter, a time when the boundary between the living and the spirit world was believed to be at its thinnest. The Celts believed that on this night, spirits, fairies, and other supernatural beings roamed the earth.

Christian Influence:

With the advent of Christianity, the Celtic festival of Samhain underwent significant transformations. In the 9th century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1st as All Saints' Day, also known as All Hallows' Day. The night before, which retained its pagan traditions, became known as All Hallows' Eve, eventually transforming into Halloween.

Merging Traditions:

As Christianity spread across Europe, many customs and traditions merged with the Celtic festival. One such example is the practice of "souling," where poor individuals would go door-to-door on All Hallows' Eve, singing prayers for the souls of the deceased in exchange for food or money. This tradition bears resemblance to modern-day trick-or-treating.

The Influence of Irish & Scottish Immigrants:

In the 19th century, Irish & Scottish immigrants took Halloween customs to North America, where they blended with other cultural practices. Halloween began to incorporate elements from various European traditions, such as the Scottish tradition of carving turnips or beets to ward off evil spirits. Over time, this transformed into the pumpkin carving tradition we know today.

Modern Halloween:

Halloween as we know it today emerged in the early 20th century, evolving into a community-based holiday focused on festivities, costumes, and the spirit of playfulness. The commercialization of Halloween further popularized the holiday, with the introduction of costumes, parties, haunted houses, and themed decorations.


Halloween, with its origins rooted in ancient Celtic traditions and influenced by various other religious practices and cultural exchanges, has evolved into a holiday celebrated worldwide. It continues to captivate people of all ages, offering a unique opportunity to embrace creativity, imagination, and the thrill of the unknown. As we celebrate this enchanting holiday, let us appreciate the rich tapestry of history that has woven together to create the Halloween we cherish today.

Wednesday 25th October 2023

Early Access to Technology is Crucial for Success

Computing is the study of computers and how they work. It is a broad field that encompasses a wide range of topics, including programming, computer science, and information technology. Computing skills are in high demand across a wide range of industries, and learning computing from an early age can give children a head start in the workforce.

Wednesday 18th October 2023


Here are some of the benefits of learning computing from an early age:

There are many ways to introduce children to computing. Here are a few ideas:

It is important to remember that every child is different and will learn at their own pace. Be patient and supportive, and let your child explore their interests.  Learning computing from an early age can give children a strong foundation for success in the future. By providing them with the opportunity to explore technology and learn about computing concepts, we can help them develop the skills they need to thrive in the digital world. 

However, as with all things in life, moderatrion and balance is key.  Too much of anything is a bad thing, so it's important as parents and guardaians to be mindful of how a child's time and attention is divided up. 

The importance of computing skills in the digital age

Computers and digital devices have become an essential part of our lives. We use them to work, learn, communicate, and entertain ourselves. As a result, computing skills are more important than ever before.  Computing skills are the knowledge and abilities needed to use computers and digital devices effectively. They include basic skills such as using a mouse, keyboard, and web browser, as well as more advanced skills such as programming, data analysis, and cybersecurity.

Computing skills are important for a number of reasons, including:

How to improve your computing skills

There are many ways to improve your computing skills. You can take classes, read books, or watch online tutorials. You can also practice using computers and digital devices in your everyday life.  Here are some tips for improving your computing skills:

The computing skills required in the English National Curriculum are divided into two key stages: key stages 1 and 2 (ages 5-11) and key stages 3 and 4 (ages 11-18). 

In key stages 1 and 2, pupils are expected to develop the following computing skills:

In key stages 3 and 4, pupils are expected to develop the following computing skills:

In addition to the above skills, pupils in key stages 3 and 4 are also expected to develop their computational thinking skills. Computational thinking is the ability to solve problems using a systematic approach. It is a valuable skill for all students to have, regardless of their future career plans.  The English National Curriculum is designed to ensure that all pupils have the opportunity to develop the computing skills they need to succeed in the digital age. By learning these skills, pupils will be well-prepared for the challenges and opportunities of a rapidly changing world.

Let's look deeper into the the GCSE curriculum in computer skills, which covers a wide range of topics:

Computational thinking:

This includes the ability to solve problems using a systematic approach, as well as the ability to break down problems into smaller, more manageable steps. Students learn about the different concepts of computational thinking, such as algorithms, decomposition, abstraction, and pattern recognition. They also learn how to apply computational thinking to solve problems in a variety of domains.

Data representation:

This includes the ability to understand and use different data types, such as numbers, text, and images. Students learn about different data types and how to represent them in a computer system. They also learn about different data structures and how to use them to store and organise data.


This includes the ability to design, write, test, and debug programs using a programming language. Students learn how to design, write, test, and debug programs using a programming language. They also learn about different programming concepts, such as variables, functions, loops, and conditional statements.


This includes the ability to understand and design algorithms, which are step-by-step instructions for solving problems. Students learn about the different types of algorithms and how to design efficient algorithms for solving problems. They also learn about the different ways to analyse the performance of algorithms.

Computer systems:

This includes the ability to understand the different components of a computer system, such as the hardware and software. Students learn about the different components of a computer system, such as the hardware and software. They also learn about the different types of computer systems, such as desktop computers, laptops, and mobile devices.


 This includes the ability to understand and design computer networks, which allow computers to communicate with each other. Students learn about the different types of computer networks and how they work. They also learn about the different protocols that are used to communicate over computer networks.


This includes the ability to understand and apply ethical principles to the use of computers and technology. Students learn about the different ethical issues that are related to the use of computers and technology. They also learn how to apply ethical principles to their own use of computers and technology.

The GCSE curriculum in computer skills is designed to give students a broad understanding of the field of computer science. It also gives students the opportunity to develop their programming skills and learn how to use computers and technology to solve real-world problems.  The GCSE curriculum in computer skills is a challenging but rewarding course of study. It provides students with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in the digital age.

There are many benefits to getting a tutor to teach computing. Here are a few reasons why you might want to consider getting a tutor:

If you are considering getting a tutor to teach computing, there are a few things you should keep in mind.  First, it is important to find a tutor who is qualified and experienced. You should also make sure that the tutor has a teaching style that is compatible with yours. Finally, it is important to set clear goals for your tutoring sessions. Contact us today to find our more about what we offer at GLA Tutors.    

Find out more about our courses here.

Here are some specific examples of how a tutor can help you to learn computing:

Overall, getting a tutor to teach computing can be a great way to improve your understanding of the subject, develop your skills, and prepare for future success.

Computing can be used to enhance learning for children with SEND in a number of ways. Here are a few examples:

Here are some specific examples of how computing can be used to enhance learning for children with SEND:

It is important to note that computing is not a one-size-fits-all solution for children with SEND.  The specific ways in which computing can be used to enhance learning will vary depending on the individual child's needs and abilities.

Here are some tips for using computing to enhance learning for children with SEND:

By following these tips, you can use computing to enhance learning for children with SEND and help them to reach their full potential.

Here is a list of computer software to help children with dyslexia and ADHD:



Focus and attention

Organisation and time management


Behavior management

Social and emotional skills

This is just a small sample of the many computer software programs available to help children with dyslexia and ADHD. When choosing a software program, it is important to consider the child's individual needs and abilities. It is important to try out different programs to see which ones work best for the child.


Computing skills are essential for success in the digital age. By developing your computing skills, you can improve your employability, efficiency, communication, creativity, and information access.

Wednesday 18th October

World Mental Health Day: Taking care of your mind

World Mental Health Day is celebrated on October 10th every year to raise awareness about mental health and to promote mental health education and prevention. This year's theme is "Mental Health for All: Greater Investment – Greater Access."

Wednesday 11th October 2023


Mental health is just as important as physical health, but it is often overlooked or stigmatized. Mental health conditions can affect anyone, regardless of age, race, gender, or socioeconomic status. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, one in four people worldwide will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime.

There are many different types of mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These conditions can cause a wide range of symptoms, such as changes in mood, behaviour, thinking, and sleep.

While there is no cure for many mental health conditions, there are effective treatments available. Treatment may include medication, therapy, or a combination of both. It is important to seek professional help if you are struggling with a mental health condition.

Here are some tips for taking care of your mental health:

Taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health. By following these tips, you can improve your mental well-being and live a happier and healthier life.

Teaching mental health to children

The stigmatisation of mental health is especially true for children. Many people believe that children are too young to understand mental health, but this is not the case. Children can start to learn about mental health at a very young age.

Teaching children about mental health is important for several reasons. First, it helps to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness. When children learn about mental health in a positive way, they are less likely to judge themselves or others who have mental health conditions. Second, teaching children about mental health can help them to identify and understand their own emotions. This can help them to develop coping skills and manage their emotions in a healthy way. Third, teaching children about mental health can help them to be more supportive of others who are struggling.

There are many different ways to teach children about mental health. Here are a few tips:

Here are some specific activities that you can do to teach your child about mental health:

Teaching children about mental health is important for their overall well-being. By following these tips, you can help your child to develop a healthy understanding of mental health and to develop the skills they need to manage their emotions in a healthy way.

Does self-esteem affect mental health?

Yes, self-esteem can have a significant impact on mental health. People with high self-esteem are more likely to be happy and successful in life. They are also more resilient in the face of challenges and setbacks.

On the other hand, people with low self-esteem are more likely to experience mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. They may also be more likely to engage in risky or destructive behaviours, such as substance abuse and self-harm.

Here are some of the ways in which self-esteem can affect mental health:

If you are struggling with low self-esteem, there are a number of things you can do to improve it. Here are a few tips:

Improving your self-esteem takes time and effort, but it's worth it. Self-esteem is important for mental health, relationships, and overall well-being. There will be times when you will believe that you cant change your mindset, but this is not the case. With some refocusing, reprioritising, and physical adjustments, it is possible to train your mind to think and respond differently.

Supporting children with mental health problems

Mental health problems are common among children, affecting about 1 in 5 children and adolescents. They can manifest in a variety of ways, including anxiety, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and conduct disorder.

If you are concerned that your child may have a mental health problem, it is important to talk to your child's doctor. They can assess your child's symptoms and make a diagnosis. If necessary, they can also refer your child to a mental health professional for further evaluation and treatment.

There are many things you can do as a parent to support your child with a mental health problem. Here are a few tips:

Here are some additional tips for supporting children with mental health problems:

Supporting a child with a mental health problem can be challenging, but it is important to remember that you are not alone. There are many resources available to help you and your child. With your support, your child can recover and live a happy and fulfilling life.

Books to help children with low self-esteem

Low self-esteem is a common problem in children. It can be caused by a variety of factors, such as bullying, academic struggles, or family problems. Children with low self-esteem may feel worthless, unloved, or incompetent.

Books can be a great way to help children with low self-esteem. They can provide positive role models, teach coping skills, and show children that they are not alone.

Here are a few books that can help children with low self-esteem (a full list is in the making and will be posted separately:

These are just a few examples of books that can help children with low self-esteem. There are many other great books available. If you are looking for a book to help your child, talk to your librarian or bookseller.

In addition to reading books together, there are other things you can do to help your child with low self-esteem. Here are a few tips:

Building a child's self esteem is the single most important thing you could do as a parent. Children with high self-esteem are more likely to be happy and successful in life.

Games can be a helpful way to support children with poor mental health. They can provide a safe space for children to express themselves, learn coping skills, and build resilience.

Here are a few games that can be helpful for children with poor mental health:

When choosing games for children with poor mental health, it is important to consider the child's individual needs and interests. It is also important to choose games that are age-appropriate and that will not be too frustrating for the child.

Here are some additional tips for using games to support children with poor mental health:

Games can be a powerful tool for supporting children with poor mental health. By choosing the right games and creating a safe and supportive environment, you can help children to learn coping skills, build resilience, and improve their mental health.

Some useful websites:

Wednesday 11th October

A Sound Foundation for Reading and Writing

Phonics is a method of teaching reading and writing that involves teaching children the relationship between letters and sounds. Children learn to identify and blend the sounds of letters together to read words, and to spell words by breaking them down into their individual sounds.

Friday 6th October 2023


Phonics is an important part of teaching reading because it gives children a systematic way to decode words. This means that they can learn to read new words even if they have never seen them before. Phonics is also important for teaching spelling, as it helps children to understand how to sound out words and map those sounds to letters.

There are a number of different ways to teach phonics, but all of them involve teaching children the following:

* The sounds of individual letters

* The sounds of letter combinations (e.g., sh, th, ck) called diagraphs or trigraphs

* Pronunciation of consonant clusters (mp, tr, sk), which is great for speech and language

* How to blend sounds together to read words (blending)

* How to break down words into their individual sounds to spell them (segmenting)

Phonics instruction is typically started in nursery or reception and it continues throughout Key Sage 1. Phonics instruction is typically combined with other methods of teaching reading, such as sight word instruction and fluency practice.

Benefits of phonics instruction

There are a number of benefits to phonics instruction, including:

* Phonics helps children to learn to read and write independently.

* Phonics helps children to become better decoders and spellers.

* Phonics helps children to read new words even if they have never seen them before.

* Phonics helps children to develop a strong foundation in literacy skills.

* Phonics helps children facing speech and language difficulties. 

How to support phonics instruction at home

There are a number of things that parents can do to support phonics instruction at home, such as:

* Talk to your child about the sounds of letters and letter combinations.

* Help your child to blend sounds together to read words.

* Help your child to break down words into their individual sounds to spell them.

* Play phonics games and activities with your child.

* Read to your child regularly and expose them to a variety of books.

If you have any concerns about your child's progress in phonics, please talk to their teacher.

Here are some tips for teaching phonics at home:

* Start by teaching your child the sounds of individual letters. You can use flashcards, picture books, or songs to help them learn.

* Once your child knows the sounds of individual letters, start teaching them the sounds of letter combinations. For example, you can teach them that the letters sh make the sound /sh/ in the word "ship."

* Help your child to blend sounds together to read words. You can start by blending simple words, such as "cat" and "dog." Once your child is comfortable blending simple words, you can start blending more complex words.

* Help your child to break down words into their individual sounds to spell them. You can start by spelling simple words, such as "cat" and "dog." Once your child is comfortable spelling simple words, you can start spelling more complex words.

* Play phonics games and activities with your child. There are many different phonics games and activities available online and in stores. Playing these games and activities can help your child to learn and practice phonics skills in a fun and engaging way.

* Read to your child regularly and expose them to a variety of books. Reading to your child helps them to develop a love of reading and to learn new vocabulary. It also helps them to see how the sounds of letters and letter combinations are used in real words.

If you have any concerns about your child's progress in phonics, please talk to their teacher. They can provide you with additional support and resources. We recommend these websites for some greap phonics resources:

Friday 6th October 2023

What is Dyslexia? 

As well as being ADHD awareness month, October also hosts Dyslexia awareness week from the 2nd to the 8th of October. GLA Tutors investigates the condition of dyslexia and compares it with ADHD. We have some top tips for assisting children with these conditions. Please note that we have opted to substitute the word 'disorder' with 'condition'. 

Wednesday 4th October 2023


Dyslexia: What it is and how to support dyslexic learners.

Dyslexia is a learning condition that can affect reading, writing, and spelling. It is caused by a difference in the way the brain processes language. This difference can affect the way the brain recognizes and decodes letters and words. Dyslexia is not a sign of low intelligence. Dyslexic people can be very intelligent and successful in many areas of life.

People with dyslexia may have difficulty with the following brain functions:

These brain functions are essential for reading and writing. When these functions are impaired, it can make it difficult to learn and succeed in school.

Research has shown that people with dyslexia have different brain structures and functions than people without dyslexia. For example, people with dyslexia may have less gray matter in the areas of the brain that are involved in reading and writing. They may also have different patterns of brain activity when reading and writing.

Despite these differences, people with dyslexia can learn to read and write. With the right support and intervention, many people with dyslexia can succeed in school and in life.

Symptoms of dyslexia

The symptoms of dyslexia can vary from person to person. Some common symptoms include:

Causes of dyslexia

The exact cause of dyslexia is unknown, but it is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Dyslexia can run in families, so if you have a family history of dyslexia, you are more likely to have it yourself. 

Genetic factors: Dyslexia can run in families, so if you have a family history of dyslexia, you are more likely to have it yourself. Studies have identified a number of genes that are associated with dyslexia. These genes are thought to affect the way the brain develops and functions.

Environmental factors: Certain environmental factors may also increase the risk of dyslexia. These factors include:

It is important to note that not all people with dyslexia have a family history of the condition, and not all people with the risk factors listed above will develop dyslexia.

How do genetic and environmental factors interact to cause dyslexia?

It is thought that genetic and environmental factors interact to cause dyslexia. For example, a person with a genetic predisposition to dyslexia may be more likely to develop the condition if they are exposed to certain environmental risk factors, such as premature birth or exposure to lead.

What can be done to prevent dyslexia?

There is no known way to prevent dyslexia. However, early diagnosis and intervention can help children with dyslexia learn to read and write.

Diagnosis and treatment of dyslexia

Dyslexia is usually diagnosed in childhood, but it can also be diagnosed in adults. If you think you or your child may have dyslexia, it is important to see a doctor or psychologist for an evaluation.

There is no cure for dyslexia, but there are many treatments that can help dyslexic learners succeed in school and in life. These treatments may include:

Dyslexia is a learning condition, but it does not have to define you. With the right support, dyslexic learners can succeed in school and in life.

How is dyslexia distinguishable from ADHD?

Dyslexia and ADHD are both similar, but they are different conditions with different causes and symptoms.

Dyslexia is a learning condition that affects the way the brain processes language. It can make it difficult to read, write, and spell. Dyslexia is not a sign of low intelligence. In fact, many people with dyslexia are highly intelligent.

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental difference that affects attention, hyperactivity, and impulse control. People with ADHD may have difficulty paying attention, sitting still, and controlling their impulses. ADHD can also make it difficult to stay organized and manage time.

Similarities between dyslexia and ADHD

Dyslexia and ADHD can have some similar symptoms. For example, both conditions can make it difficult to pay attention, focus, and stay organized. Both conditions can also make it difficult to succeed in school.

Differences between dyslexia and ADHD

The main difference between dyslexia and ADHD is that dyslexia is a learning condition, while ADHD is a neurodevelopmental condition. This means that dyslexia affects the way the brain processes language, while ADHD affects attention, hyperactivity, and impulse control.

Another difference between dyslexia and ADHD is that dyslexia is typically diagnosed in childhood, while ADHD can be diagnosed at any age.

Treatment for dyslexia and ADHD

There is no cure for dyslexia or ADHD, but there are treatments that can help. Treatment for dyslexia may include special education services, tutoring, and technology-assisted instruction. Treatment for ADHD may include medication, therapy, and behaviour modification.

If you think you or your child may have dyslexia or ADHD, it is important to see a doctor or psychologist for an evaluation. They can help you develop a treatment plan that is right for you or your child.

Is it possible for someone to have both ADHD and Dyslexia?

Yes, it is possible for a child to have both dyslexia and ADHD. In fact, it is relatively common. Studies have shown that about 30% of children with dyslexia also have ADHD.

Children with dyslexia and ADHD may have difficulty in school, as both conditions can make it difficult to learn and pay attention. However, with the right support, children with both dyslexia and ADHD can succeed in school and in life.

Here are some tips for supporting a child with dyslexia and ADHD:

There are also many resources available to help parents and teachers support children with dyslexia and ADHD. You can find information and support groups online and in your community.

I highly recommend this website for more information on ADHD: and this one for Dyslexia:

Wednesday 4th October 2023

Strategies to Engage Children with ADHD

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental difference that affects attention, impulse control, and hyperactivity. It is very common in children, and it can have a significant impact on their academic performance, social relationships, and overall well-being.

Friday 29th September 2023


While the exact cause of ADHD is unknown, it is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Brain imaging studies have shown that children with ADHD have differences in the structure and function of certain brain regions, such as the prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex is responsible for executive functions, such as planning, organizing, and controlling impulses.

How does ADHD affect the mind?

ADHD can affect the mind in a number of ways. Some of the most common effects include:

There is no one size-fits-all approach to managing ADHD, but there are a number of strategies that can be helpful for children and their families. Here are a few tips:

In addition 

to these general strategies, there are a number of specific things that parents and teachers can do to help children with ADHD succeed in school. Here are a few tips:

If you are concerned that your child may have ADHD, it is important to talk to their pediatrician. They can assess your child's symptoms and make a diagnosis. They can also provide you with information about treatment options and strategies to help your child manage their ADHD.

Here are some additional tips for parents of children with ADHD:

With the right support and strategies, children with ADHD can thrive.

Writing Ideas for Children with ADHD

There are a number of reasons why an ADHD child might not want to write. For example, writing can be difficult and frustrating for them because it requires sustained attention, focus, and organization, all of which are challenging for children with ADHD. Read more about why children with ADHD may find it hard to write.

Friday 29th September 2023


Writing can also be boring for children with ADHD. Many children with ADHD have short attention spans and find it difficult to sit still for long periods of time. Writing tasks that seem long or tedious can be especially challenging for these children. They may have difficulty with the fine motor skills required for writing. This can make writing a slow and painful process for them, so creating to strengthen hand dexterity is important. 

Children with ADHD may have difficulty with the cognitive skills required for writing. This can include difficulty organizing their thoughts, generating ideas, and using grammar and punctuation correctly. For these reasons, they may not be interested in the topics that they are assigned to write about. If a child is not interested in a topic, they are less likely to be motivated to write about it.

In addition to these general reasons, there may be other specific reasons why an ADHD child might not want to write. For example, a child may have had a negative experience with writing in the past, such as receiving a bad grade on a writing assignment. Or, a child may have other  learning disabilites that makes writing difficult for them, such as dyslexia or dysgraphia.

If you are concerned about your child's reluctance to write, it is important to talk to them about it. Ask them what they find difficult about writing and what you can do to help them. You may also want to talk to their teacher to get their input.

Here are some tips on how to encourage an ADHD child to write:

Here are some additional tips:

If you are concerned about your child's writing skills, talk to their teacher. The teacher can provide you with additional support and resources.

Here are some writing ideas for children with ADHD:

Here are some specific writing prompts that may be appealing to children with ADHD:

When choosing a writing prompt, it's important to consider your child's interests and abilities. If your child is struggling to get started, try brainstorming some ideas together. You can also help your child by providing them with some structure. For example, you could help them create a mind map or outline of their writing project.

The most important thing is to encourage your child to have fun and be creative. Writing should be a positive experience for everyone.

My ADHD Child Refuses to Read. What Can I Do?

Why ADHD children struggle with reading

Children with ADHD often struggle with reading because ADHD can impact a number of cognitive skills that are essential for reading, such as attention, working memory, and processing speed.

Friday 29th September 2023


In addition to these cognitive challenges, children with ADHD may also struggle with reading due to other factors, such as:

What can parents do to help?

There are a number of things that parents can do to help their ADHD children with reading. Here are a few tips:

If you are concerned about your child's reading skills, talk to their teacher. The teacher can assess your child's reading skills and provide you with additional tips and resources.

Here are some additional tips that may be helpful:

Remember, all children learn at their own pace. Be patient and supportive, and continue to offer your child opportunities to read.