Please enable javascript in your browser to view this site!

Update #13 - 15th December

Weekly Update #13!

Hello everyone!


Excitement is at fever pitch in the Birkett house and that’s just me, never mind my 9 year old daughter! For many of you, today is your last day at school but for the most of us it’s next week and that’s the end of your first term with yipiyap- the longest term of them all! You have all done so brilliantly and we really hope you have enjoyed the ride so far!

Please make sure you check your school’s website to ensure you know your first day back (not that we want to think about that just now) and if you have any doubt, please double check with your RDs!!! I hope you all have a lovely last day/ few days in school and don’t forget the FESTIVE HUG WARNING!

*****Reminder - Timesheets are due in today*****

So, what’s been going on this week?

Catherine's News

It’s been another exciting week at Yipiyap! A trip to the House of Lords with Joss to meet all of the UTC Principals and a Regional Directors’ Meeting- can life get any better? It was amazing to hear all of the positive feedback about all of our UTC tutors. You are clearly making an incredible impression with your hard work!

My weekly reminder that if you know of anyone who has already finished their A levels or may be taking a gap year after their A levels next 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 some of my team have actually finished now and completed their first term with us – everyone else will do so next week.  It’s been a fantastic performance across the board so far and I just want to say a big thank you to everyone for all your hard work.

One thing you need to be aware of is that next term takes on quite a different feel – there isn’t the excitement of Christmas ahead, the weather doesn’t always raise the spirits and the stress level in school rises as exams seem to loom larger and larger.  We do all we can, particularly  in January and February, to make sure that you are supported in your roles and that the January Blues don’t hit too hard.  We’re always here so please don’t let little niggles grow into big ones and don’t feel you have to solve every problem on your own.  Also remember to keep well – exercise and healthy eating are often part of the January routine so look after yourselves and the days will soon get longer and warmer!

Regional Directors' News


I don't know about you guys but I'm glad to see the back of the snow. My car comes with a feature that most don't - it gets frosty on the INSIDE! Imagine walking past and seeing someone scraping the inside of the car, it's very embarrassing. Rajat and Delwar were lucky enough to have their birthday early this week so I hope you both enjoyed your day. Thanks to both for the lovely response to the cards I sent out. It was also lovely to spend Thursday with the rest of the yipiyap management team at our Christmas meeting and we followed it with a lovely meal and secret santa. It got me very excited for the induction next week!


Norwich, Peterborough and Derby

Well in a week when Niamh took a tumble in the snow, Rebecca had a catch up with some of her own primary school teachers at the school visit to the panto and Humayra used stationery to fix her car (yes really!) we have braved the icy blasts and given a warm fuzzy NPD welcome to Connie and Tereza - our newest tutors in Norwich and Derby respectively. Both will be starting their placements in the New Year and we’re really looking forward to you joining the team (just in time for my favourite month - January - you’ve got the January Joke of the Day coming up very soon!!!) Also, I'm so pleased that Maaria received confirmation that her placement at GP UTC will now continue for the rest of the year - well done Maaria for making yourself indispensable!


London, Reading and Leicester

Great week this week - really looking forward to induction next Wednesday and then a well-earned Christmas break for all! Have to stress again the fantastic effort I'm getting from all of my tutors. So proud of my team - they're all as steady as a rock, great communicators and full of good ideas and enthusiasm. As the mocks have been rolling in and messing up everyone's timetables it's been so great to see how people have used the time to prep and help out in other ways - special shout out to Nilam who's been running fantastic revision sessions and resource generation with students at UTC Reading. She sent me over pictures of the ultra-bright coloured and really clear mind maps and practice questions she's made with the students - very impressed! Also very glad to have had another RD meet in Manchester this week to discuss some of the hot topics and plans for the new year. Always great to see everyone and get a little break from the Big Smoke!


Cheshire and North Wales

On the road this week and it's been great checking in with you all! Even since my last visits, you've all shown a lot more confidence in your roles and you've well and truly taken ownership of your placements in school. This has been very evident from some staff comments, but more on that later! This week has certainly had split focuses; both on my current team and making sure things are running smoothly for you all, and on the newest additions joining us, one of whom is Fabiana. She applied to us some time ago and will be starting her placement fully in the new year. It's great to have you on board with us, so welcome to the team!


Yorkshire and the Humber

Hi everyone, here we are in the final week before Christmas - how very exciting! I’ve been galavanting around the region again this week to get some more roles in place in Sheffield and also a lovely Christmassy get together at yipiyap HQ where we discussed initiatives to help you all even more in the new year along with eating mince pies & Chocolate - it’s Christmas after all!!

Wall of Happy

In poll position this week, it's Joss

Wall of happy this week reserved for one of my own experiences - a really weird and wonderful Monday evening with Catherine at the House of Lords at an education trust's networking event. Great to see the principals of so many schools we work with (or want to work with!) and to hear how universally positive they are about the individuals we have working with them as well as the project in general. Really makes me feel proud and glad to be part of the mighty Yipiyap!


Followed by Alan

Also, some of the comments stood out from the visits this week but I have to highlight Callan's and Milly's. Callan first; this week's visit to Rhyl really demonstrated how integral you are within the department. Particularly with yours being a small school, it's great to see you are able to work closely with staff and give your own feedback to them on students' progress and taking an active role in how the department is run - keep it up! As for Milly, it was something of a surprise to find out from the deputy headteacher that you've been helping out with the school's production of Blood Brothers! This of course goes above and beyond your role in school, and has really impressed both the English and Drama departments with your enthusiasm for the work you're doing. I'm so pleased to hear even just these first few months have made you want to pursue a career in education - with everything I heard this week from staff, it sounds like it would be a great fit!


On Alan's heels, it's Anne

First mention this week goes to Alice who, when Connie was asked into UTCN for orientation at short notice, jumped at the chance to go in on a day when she’s not usually there to welcome Connie and chat about her Yipiyap experience so far - a gesture which was incredibly thoughtful and highly appreciated. Niamh had the world’s cutest note (shared via WhatsApp) from two of the girls in her class who wrote a newspaper article about how she was their favourite teacher ever!! It was really heartwarming and bodes well for Niamh’s career in Primary Education! Finally, a big well done to Hannah - feedback from your first couple of days was brilliant and school can’t wait for you to start in the New Year. Really looking forward to seeing all the team next week in Peterborough as the NPD roadshow comes to town and good luck to team P’boro for your bake sale on Monday!!!


Then it's Carrie

I can’t start this week’s wall of happy without wishing Emily a massive HAPPY BIRTHDAY for Monday! I hope you’ve had a fabulous birthday week! A big well done goes to Saul after I received fantastic feedback from his school Hull Trinity House who tell me he’s doing an amazing job there - WELL DONE Saul! I also want to say a great big thank you to everyone in the team for your cooperation in regard to the Christmas meal, I have almost everyone’s meal choices back now so we’re all set to go, I can’t wait to see you all next week and share some festive cheer! Have a great weekend all!!!


Rounding us off is Jess

It's been a great week for Delwar! Tracy at Oasis passed on this lovely feedback from the Head of Physics:

Mr Hussain has a lovely manner with the student he was working with. Wasn’t sure who to tell but wanted to say a positive since I had one.

Well done to Faris for his interview on Wednesday at Imperial. I really hope it went well! Keeping with the theme of interviews, a huge congrats to Phoebe for receiving an invitiation to interview at Newcastle. I loved how excited you sounded in your email and I'm really happy for you.

What's On

… in Cheshire and North Wales

This weekend sees Chester's first annual Christmas Food & Drink Festival. Running from 12:00 - 21:00 on Saturday and Sunday this weekend (16th and 17th) the festival is completely free to enter and features plenty of food (including vegan), live acoustic performances and of course Santa's grotto! It will be held at The Carriage Shed right next to the Chester train station.

Christmas Event

Next Tutor Event- Christmas Refresher Induction  and Christmas Meal

Just to remind you our Christmas Refresher Inductions and Christmas Meals will be held next Wednesday 20th December.


1. one positive experience from your time in school this term you would like to share with your team

2. one challenge that you have faced in school this term, again, that you would like to share with your team


Don’t forget to request your skipiyap ropes from your Regional Directors at the Christmas Refresher Inductions!

Sania and Delwar’s Tutor Top 20

This week it is a brilliant collaborative playlist from our resident DJs Sania and Delwar. This was given much joint consideration in Tuesday at school and I am sure you will be intrigued with the eclectic selection they have come up with- everything from the rousing Champions League Theme tune to the seven kingdoms from the Game of Thrones! Magic stuff!

Thanks both for the music and also spotifying it for me! Fantastic service!

Here’s the link:


Have a very Christmassy final week in school in 2017!


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