Blog of Knowledge

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It’s Time to Reflect on 2018…

By Team TOK


We made sure we saw out 2017 in style as we celebrated the milestone of working with over 1 million young people across Scotland. We had big plans for 2018 but this achievement meant energy was up, ambition was high and we were super excited to grab on to Scotland’s Year of Young People with two hands and run as fast as we could!

At Tree of Knowledge, we are passionate about the world of education. With young people at the centre of all we do, we always aim to make as big a difference as we possibly can. Whether we are working in Primary or Secondary schools, with pupils or staff, we are huge advocates for leading your best life and inspiring positive change.


Mind the Gap!


In 2018, we introduced Mind the Gap!. Designed to take the learner through 4 – 6 interventions the programme is designed to help support schools in closing the attainment gap in Scottish Education. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive with young people feeding back that they have loved developing their presentation, communication and self-regulation skills, as well as learning other key transferable skills for school and in the workplace. Mind the Gap! is designed to have a long-lasting impact, increasing their personal ambition, helping to develop and sustain a Growth Mindset.

We have two versions of this exciting programme, one aimed at the senior phase (S4-S6) with a real focus on building confidence in their abilities, helping to set the bar for leadership in their school and taking ownership of their own learning. The junior phase programme has a focus on P7 pupils, supporting them in becoming more self-aware and regulated in their learning.

TOK Residential


Throughout 2018 our residential programme has continued to grow from strength to strength.

Launching 6 years ago, an estimation of 500 young people from across Scotland have now joined us on the Isle of Arran for “a truly life-changing experience”.

We all know young people are extraordinary but to witness the groups first-hand, fully immersing themselves in the experience, embracing all that we throw at them and then leaving the island with new friendships and great memories they have all epitomized the meaning of a Growth Mindset. We absolutely love seeing the journey from start to finish and it has been a pleasure to see so many young people flourishing.

Up until recently, we have only taken secondary pupils to Arran but 2018 saw the very first group of Primary 7 pupils in Scotland making the trip. The keen youngsters had an action-packed four days full of fun! Click here to see just how much fun they had! Headteachers from St. Thomas’, Our Lady’s and St. Columba’s primary schools jumped at the chance to take part in and have described it as a brilliant experience for the pupils involved.

We were delighted a selection of the P7 pupils were able to join us at the Scottish Learning Festival as part of our Inspirational Leadership Conference, sharing their island adventure with everyone who attended.

TOK Wellbeing


2018 has seen the introduction of TOK Wellbeing. Using the Warwick Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (NHS accredited) our resident Psychologist and Analyst have measured and evaluated the mental wellbeing of pupils, teachers and parents across 17 schools. This has been a hugely insightful and rewarding process and we are really excited to continue this rewarding work with more schools in 2019!

Fire Up Scotland


In partnership with SEC, our very own Managing Director, Gavin Oattes launched the largest inspirational event for young people ever to be held in Scotland.

In September Fire Up Scotland welcomed almost 10,000 young people from 155 schools to the Hydro in Glasgow for a truly mind-blowing event, the likes of which has never been attempted before.

Gavin successfully created an event that was different, unique and edgy. It simply didn’t conform to the stereotype of an educational conference for young people.

The enormous event was offered to Scottish schools for free and hosted an incredible line up of truly inspirational figures from across different industries. From rock stars to entrepreneurs and survivors to mind readers, Fire Up Scotland has truly touched the hearts and imaginations of thousands.



My son has gone through years of not believing he was a success at school. Last night, after Fire Up Scotland, he was a different guy. He spoke for hours about the success of “people like him”! Thank you Gavin, a difference was made yesterday… It mattered.

– Parent



It has been a hugely rewarding year for our Gav as he’s only gone and found himself a bestselling author of not one, but TWO books! SHINE was released earlier this year and will help you rediscover your happiness, energy and purpose. The reviews for SHINE have been phenomenal and we couldn’t be more proud! …That was until Diary of a Brilliant Kid: Top Secret Guide to Awesomeness hit the shelves. It’s full of fun, interactivity, all things silly and at the time of writing this, it’s sitting proudly on the bestsellers list. Well done Gav!


Click here to view Diary of a Brilliant Kid: Top Secret Guide to Awesomeness on Amazon.

Click here to view SHINE: Rediscovering Your Energy, Happiness & Purpose on Amazon.



In a nutshell, 2018 has been an epic year for Tree of Knowledge and we couldn’t have done what

we’ve done without you. We’d like to say a huge thank you to every school and business that we’ve

worked with this year, and thank you to you, dear reader, for reading this post.

2018 was officially Year of the Young People here in Scotland. At TOK every year is Year of Young People and we truly believe that with all the right help and support, they hold the answers to creating positive futures for all. We look forward to partnering with more schools and continuing to inspire the world for years to come.

2018 – it’s been a blast. Here’s to an AWESOME 2019!


Related Content:

We Planted More Than 1,000 Trees to Say Thank You!

Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone… Isle of Arran Style by Speaker, Ross Bain

Feeling All Fired Up! 

Our First EVER Primary Residential Programme

Visit our website to learn more about all our courses



Would you like to feature on our blog in the New Year as a Guest Blogger? Click here!