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Update #18 - 26th January

Weekly Update #18!

Hi there,

I hope you have all had a fantastic week! Only 5 days of January left (hey, it’s almost summer!!!) and it’s almost D Day for Skipiyap entries! On the downside, only 5 days left of Anne’s JJOTD which has definitely brought a smile to our faces and cheered us up on the gloomiest of mornings over the past few weeks- thanks Anne! The mornings are getting lighter as are the evenings so I’m hoping to hear the patter of tutor feet getting training for the 10ks too! Did you know that by doing just 21 minutes of exercise a day (150 minutes a week) you will increase your life expectancy by more than 3 years? Go for it!

So, what’s been going on this week?

Catherine's News

Well, I had my very first interview for 2018/2019 this week c/o Derby High School Sixth Form (my, does this poor girl have some big boots to fill!!)! It does not seem a year ago since I was presenting to many of you at your schools! Then there’s been lots of current year recruitment going on and we will have some new team members joining us across the regions in the coming weeks! Anne and I have been meeting potential new franchisees which is very exciting and I’ve been getting my teeth into our annual H&S review! Never a dull day at Yipiyap HQ!

My weekly reminder that if you know of anyone who may be taking a gap year after their A levels this summer who would make a great tutor remember there is a £50 finder’s fee if you recommend them and they work successfully for us!

Anne's News

Well Catherine isn’t the only one to have her first interview of the new year this week – I had my first on my power trip to Norwich (see below) so it’s great to be off the blocks with recruitment!  It’s also been a busy week overseeing several new starts across the region and my thanks go to all your RDs who are doing a fantastic job of starting up this in-year support. Schools who want support now are usually so keen to help their exam groups that every week counts and this speedy onboarding is not easy but they make it look it!!

Regional Directors' News


This week has been a whirlwind. I had a day out of the office on Tuesday to go and be a tutor for the day - a day well spent indeed! I travelled to Warrington to provide support in a centre for students that were not allowed in the normal school environment. During the day I helped with Science, Maths and Art which I think was probably even more enjoyable for me than the students. It definitely inspired me to revisit my creative roots! I also had a number of interviews over the past few days and we may have some new tutors joining Team Manchester. Watch this space.


Norwich, Peterborough and Derby

I made a flying visit (quite literally!) to Norwich this week meeting the Head of Humaira’s school, Wymondham College, and popping into the UTC to see Alice and Tia over break where we watched the inspiring Skipiyap videos from last year!  It was great to see you both and, Humaira, you were there in spirit!  Whilst in Norwich I presented to a Primary Cluster who are really interested in working with us going forward so loads and loads of good things happening in Norfolk!


London, Reading and Leicester

Another fantastic week this week with new and old tutors continuing to impress in all placements - excellent work, guys! Had the pleasure of going in to UTC Reading to see Nilam in action for the first time since the start of the year. Really great to see how well you're bedded in there and the relationships you've built with some tricky students. Very impressed. Also going to be observing Ramsha on Friday this week and very excited to see how well she is getting on since I last observed her - all reviews have been rave since then! Getting to the time of year now that applications for next year's tutors are coming in - I'm sure a lot of you remember the time when Yipiyap was just a twinkle in your eye! Couldn't be prouder of the team we've put together this year and all these new applications just go to show how lucky we are to be doing what we're doing!


Cheshire and North Wales

Another busy week gone, and it's still only January! A couple of projects have been finished this week and we've got our first Yipiyap newsletters out to schools, sixth forms and colleges all over the country - hoping for plenty of interest built up from these as it's an entirely new platform for us. Also interviewing new candidates for a couple of roles in the region so fingers crossed for even more new team members joining us shortly! I'm looking ahead to get the next round of visits in soon so do keep an eye out - if there's any feedback you'd like to give to schools, as always let me know.


Yorkshire and the Humber

Hi everyone, my week has been challenging to say the least after managing without a laptop for half of it although in almighty Yipiyap fashion I managed to dig in there and find a way around the problem! I’ve received the go ahead on another couple of tutor roles in Hull this week which is fabulous with lots more interviews taking place in South Yorkshire! Don’t forget about the finder’s fee of £50 and pass on details to anyone who is interested and may be suitable for one of our roles! 

Wall of Happy

First to Anne

WOH this week goes to Tia and Heidi.  Heidi responded immediately to my request to help with recruitment in Peterborough for Sep ’18 so I know that’s pretty much sorted (!) and Tia showed the world’s best attitude on Tuesday when she texted me to let me know she was still ok to go into school the next day if I wanted her to despite having been in A&E until the early hours with a family member.  Of course, it was better for Tia not to go in in the circumstances but Tia’s sense of responsibility to the students and to Yipiyap was just wonderful.

Finally, I’m so pleased with attendance level right across the board.  Keep warm and well everyone - you’re doing brilliantly.


Next, it's Alan's turn

Big news from Jack this week, as he has passed his recent interview at Cambridge - really well done! I think it's safe to say that taking this gap year to reapply was definitely the right decision, so enjoy the rest of it worry-free! Also a mention to Nikki who has got off to a very successful start to her new placement in Flintshire - I'm sure it's unusual being back in your former school but all the better to settle in and meet staff, both new and old! Finally, of course, fingers crossed for Karima's JET interview today - best of luck!


Now to Jess

Another mention to Mo this week because he is just blowing me away with his proactive attitude towards the YCC! He's created a PowerPoint to advertise our fundraising in school so I'll be sending this out to you all soon. Remember - you need permission before using this anywhere!

Well done to Issy for staying behind to help at the Year 10 Parents Evening at Glossopdale. I'm sure they really appreciated having you there to help and discuss their students’ progress.


Next to Carrie

Thank you to almost all of you this week for getting your timesheets in on time without me having to chase - this really helps us out and of course ensures you get paid! A big well done to Lauren who volunteered to take part in the WHA Badminton tournament, really embracing team spirit! A really big mention has to be given to Julia for the glowing feedback we’ve had from her school, Farnley Academy in Leeds, and last but not least to our three newest team members, Jasmine, Derian & Emma - the wonderful trio of ladies that have joined Zach in the Sheffield area - you’ve all done amazing! Thank you and well done!!


And finally, Joss

All sorts of bits and bobs for wall of happy this week - firstly the observations (see above!) but also it was great to hear from Cynthia how productive she'd been on an off-timetable day at Elutec due to an Ofsted inspection - shows a great attitude! Also great to check in with Riya and find out her recently extended timetable is going really well! Finally (this happened last week but after I'd written my weekly update!) the RD meeting last Friday. Thought we had a great atmosphere going and put some really productive work in as a team - had a great time!

What's on…. in Manchester?

For all of you lucky people not taking part in Dry January, it's Manchester Beer and Cider Festival this weekend!

So it looks like I will be avoiding the city centre at all costs this weekend!! If you want to read my experiences during Dry Jan then take a look at my JustGiving page below:


Tension is rising as are the number of highly trained, fully psyched skippers all going for gold! It’s all to skip for!!!All late entries welcome!!! Click here to join the fun:

First Aid Course- Saturday 24th March

Another notice about our First Aid Course on 24th March. We do need a minimum of 10 tutors to attend otherwise we are unable to hold this great course. All potential attendees must register their interest by MONDAY 19th FEBRUARY latest.  Please respond using the button below.

Chris Evans' '500 Words' Writing Competition

I'm not sure if any of you have heard of the BBC 500 Words Competition. Most of you will not have slid down the slippery slope of listening to BBC Radio 2 quite yet so I will enlighten you. Well, each year BBC Radio 2’s Breakfast Show with Chris Evans runs this incredibly inspirational competition '500 Words' to encourage youngsters to put pen to paper and write a story (of 500 words!). As Yipiyap tutors, you will all have a real grasp of how important it is to engage children in this sort of way and 500 Words is making it a trendy and cool thing to do.

Each year, they ask for suitably qualified individuals to come forward to judge the competition. For the last two years, the 500 words team have agreed to allow Yipiyap tutors to judge competition too. In the first year one of our English tutors really wanted to take part and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience and last year one of our Maths/ Science tutors took part and really benefited from having this distinction on her CV- something quite out of the box amongst your peer group.

Whilst they are keen to have you on board again this year, if you want to be a part of this inspirational competition you will need to take the step of applying online and use either myself or Anne as your referee. The application process is now open but closes on 22nd February. Last year the places went very quickly so if you are interested go to the BBC 2 website at the following link as soon as possible:

Good luck if you are interested and I would be grateful if you could let me know if you have applied.

12 ways to make a work day a ‘work it’ day!

Are you making the most of your work day? Knowing the best times to eat, exercise or indulge can give your brain and body a wellbeing boost! You don’t have to fit all 12 in each day though!!!

  1. 06:00: Wake up with the birds- Hummingbirds go to bed between 10-11pm and wake between 6-7am. 80% of us are Hummingbirds!!!
  2. 06:30: Do some meditation- Meditate first thing and you will have a fresh clear mind which will help you focus more. Feeling more calm and productive will mean the experience of work is not so hectic.
  3. 07:00: Go for a run- Running on an empty stomach in the morning helps you burn 20% more fat and exposure to light first thing in the day can help lower your BMI.
  4. 07:30: Eat a healthy breakfast- if you eat a breakfast of 350 calories within 2 hours of waking you are less likely to experience blood sugar crashes meaning you don’t crave sugary treats later in the day. Try a bowl of porridge with berries.
  5. 08:00: Walk to work or get off the bus a stop earlier and walk the rest of the way-- Active commuters are better able to concentrate.
  6. 11:00: Have a coffee- Levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) peak between 8am and 9am so you are already alert at that time so don’t need a coffee then. Save the coffee for when your cortisol levels are beginning to drop mid-morning (break time!).
  7. 12:00: Take a lunch hour- experts say you should try and eat lunch 4.5 hours after breakfast if possible.
  8. 14:00: Have a power nap (obviously on your days off and not in work!!)- Taking a nap can work as a performance enhancer. Afterwards, your brain can recall memories more easily and you are twice as likely to solve a challenging problem. Aim for 10-15 minutes rest. Any longer you will fall into a deeper sleep and will wake up with brain fog!
  9. 15:00: Hold a meeting- 3pm is the best time to hold a meeting, especially on a Tuesday as most people tend to be available (how do they know this?!) and have time to properly prepared beforehand. Worst time… 9am Monday!
  10. 17:00: Brainstorm ideas- Sounds bizarre but you are more creative when you are tired at the end of a working day. An exhausted brain is more likely to ‘wander off’ and find innovative ideas.
  11. 18:00: Enjoy a workout- Hit the gym after work. We tend to perform high intensity exercise better later in the day, while strength and flexibility are greatest late afternoon. If you leave it until 8 or 9pm you won’t be at your energetic best!!!
  12. 22:30: Go to bed- We sleep in cycles that are around 90 minutes long and the average sleeper goes through four or five sleep cycles per night. If you wake up at 6am you can work backwards to find your ideal time to go to sleep. Don’t forget to allow some extra time for falling asleep too.

 This week it's Adam's Tutor Top 10

Drum roll… this week it’s Adam’s turn to deliver the entertainment and he has done it in style!!! There are some mighty tunes here and I challenge anyone not to get their disco legs on for these!!!

Have a great weekend all and see you all next week!


I will bring positivity into school by greeting everyone with a smile.

I will be proactive, looking for ways to help teachers and students and asking for help if I need it.

I’m a role model and will show children how to conduct themselves.

I will be professional at all times, respect staff and value the responsibilities I am given.

There will be times when I make mistakes but I will never stop learning!
— The Yipiyap Mantra