Greetings to you all and welcome to the Yipiyap Weekly Update!
This is our weekly chance to let you all know what is happening in the land of Yipiyap so that everyone is in the loop with what’s going on. It is important that you read it as it will often contain key information and reminders and is the main way we exchange news and views. Just as importantly, reading it will ensure that all of you feel part of this great team throughout your time with us. Tutors have often fed back how much they look forward to the regular contact with the Yipiyap community and if you ever want to make a contribution to the update, just let me know.
The general format of the update is a little something about what Anne and I have been up, our Regional Directors’ News section where regional progress and affairs are posted, pedagogy corner hosted by our new Regional Director and very first Yipiyap Franchisee Richard, our Wall of Happy where we get a chance to shout about something great that’s happened and also our Tutor Top 20, the 20 favourite tunes of each buddy couple (10 each obviously!) News about forthcoming events and useful information will also be posted so it is a worthwhile read. There is also our Yipiyap Mantra at the end.
We really hope that this is informative for you all and something that you will enjoy reading each week!
So, what’s been going on this week?
It was great to meet you all last week at the Induction Days, you’re all even better in person rather than on Zoom!!!! It was brilliant to see you immersing yourselves in all matters Yipiyap over the two days and throwing yourself into the self defence course as well! I hope you have seen your photos on Twitter!! Remember to follow us as we do post lots of things on there! I hope that everyone has had a brilliant first week at school and you are enjoying the ride so far. I know you are all going to be fantastic!
Despite having an impressive starting team, as evidenced at our Inductions last week, more potential tutors have been coming through. As such, this week I have been busy with many more first and second interviews this week and I anticipate we will be introducing a number of new starters over the next few weeks to the team so watch this space!
In addition to the interviews, I also had the pleasure of accompanying Richard to Coleg Cambria in Wrexham where we presented to their Maths/ Science cohort before heading off to Hawarden High School, the former school of two of our North Wales tutors (Teres and Katie, that would be you!) and where Rebecca will be supporting students throughout the year!
As Yipiyap’s lead in recruitment I am always on the lookout for new tutors so if you know of anyone who may be taking a gap year after their A levels this year who you think would make a great tutor there is a £50 finder’s fee if you recommend them and they come on board and work successfully for us!
Firstly to echo Catherine’s comments above – it was wonderful to meet you at the Induction Days and start the year off so well. We have all the head shot photos from Barry now so if you need to provide a professional photo for an application or any other reason, let us know and we’ll be happy to send it to you to use. The group shot is up on the website too!
At the start of the year we always have tutors who go into placements that will not be their permanent ones – this is standard for us but I am always impressed by the way tutors in this situation give 100% to the schools they are in. Basically this situation arises because we definitely want to work with you as we know you’ll do the role fantastically well and the best thing in the first few weeks is for you to be gaining experience so that by the time you go into your permanent placement you know exactly what you’re doing.
It’s the mission of all RDs over the first few weeks to work with the schools you’re in to find permanent placements as soon as we can. You’re wonderful ambassadors so we hope you enjoy the first few weeks wherever you are!
Peterborough, Derby and Norwich
I’m nearly DANCOP-ed out after a massive week trying to explain what we do to schools who haven’t asked for our support in Derby. The support is being offered and funded by the curiously named DANCOP (Derby And Nottingham Collaborative Outreach Programme!) and many Heads of Maths act like Christmas has come early when I ring to tell them they’ve got a year’s worth of Maths support effectively FOC. And this is BEFORE they’ve met my team and realise how fab they are! Can’t wait for the feedback and big thanks to all my tutors who are patiently waiting to get started, hopefully everybody will be in next week.
Well, I think this has been the smoothest first week back EVER! Everyone has settled so quickly and the feedback from staff has been incredibly positive.
The week started with a bang as we managed to confirm a full time placement for Jake at Manchester Health Academy. I also visited Loreto College this week (sorry Lewis, I didn't spot your results day photo!) and met with our new key contact for recruitment. He was delighted to hear that so many Loreto students are working with us this year and he can't wait to continue the great relationship. On Friday I had my first school visit of the year at Altrincham College. It was great to see George settling in well and to meet with all of the staff. I'm booking in lots of school visits over the next few weeks so expect to see me soon!
North Wales and Cheshire
And we're off! Thanks to everyone on my team for coming across to last week's induction days and I hope you found them useful. Since then, of course it's been busy getting everyone started (or about to start) in school and picking up any questions you've had. You'll be finding yourselves mostly involved with observations and classroom support to begin with, but timetables are very flexible and your roles will quickly change as the days and weeks pass. Speaking of which, my first round of school visits are coming up next week, so I'll be checking in with Elliot, Amber, Adam and Emma on various days - more visits to come soon after!
Flintshire and Wrexham
It has been the start of a new journey for both me and my new tutors. I have been making new contacts with schools throughout the region whilst my tutors have settled into their placements. I met an old friend followed by an even older former teacher of mine at Coleg Cambria, Wrexham where we Catherine told some potential Yipiyap tutors of the future all about what we do and why they should be considering following the lead of our tutors past and present. I then enjoyed meeting some key staff at Hawarden High School where we are supporting in Maths and English.
London, Yorkshire and The Humber
Hard to sum up this week how great everyone's been! Communication has just been fantastic which is even better because everyone's had so much good news! All placements seem to have got off to a wonderful start. I've spoken to everyone on the team after their first day so really it's just a case of reiterating what I've been saying all week - it's a huge thing to go in for the first time! I remember going in for my first day and being petrified, so a massive well done to everyone who's had their first day so far. Those of you still waiting to get going will get your opportunity next week! In other news there are loads of interviews in the works to add to the great team we have and school visit coming up in the next fortnight - see you all soon!
Wall of Happy
Anne starts us off with her special mentions!
Giddiest first day feedback of the week goes to Carla for her phone call on Wednesday after her first day at Neatherd School. It’s a new school to Yipiyap and Carla’s call on the way home reassured me that they have had a great first impression!
Also, I have to mention the proactiveness of Ahkin who lives in Grantham but will be getting train and bus to Nottingham schools each day. It’s a long journey but he proactively bought season tickets (thoughtfully at the most cost effective rate) so he could do a trial run of the journey before he starts this week. Great stuff, Ahkin!
Finally, your RDs often make me smile and this time it was Jess who announced quite out of the blue that she was really looking forward to completing her timesheet summary this month! All RDs complete a timesheet summary for Halyna so she can run payroll and whilst not a big problem you wouldn’t think it would be the highlight of an RDs week – good to know that Jess can’t wait for 24th Sep to do her first one of the year!
Next to Alan
I'd like to give an overall well done to everyone for such a smooth start this week. Having checked in with each of your schools and yourselves, it's clear that you've all put your best foot forward and hit the ground running. Not a single piece of concern from staff. Particular highlight for me this week was feedback from school on Lois' first couple of days delivering alternative provision support to learners who work best outside a mainstream classroom environment. You've had a great start and will no doubt become an asset in no time - keep it up!
Now over to Joss
Wall of happy this week - was really, really pleased to receive from Cameron a summary of his first day in school. So full of positivity and such a great attitude to those aspects of his placement that weren't quite what he expected them to be - tutoring in different subjects, for example. Anyone else who has a good day please do get in touch to let me know - it really made my week!
Now to Richard
It was lovely to hear the buzz of excitement and enthusiasm after the first day of placements for Rebecca, Katie and Teres. Working in any new role (as I can tell you from current first-hand experience) always brings new challenges and requires us to step out of our comfort zone. However, when you do so and then start to see the rewards you know it is worthwhile, so keep pushing yourself after making a brilliant start!
And finally to Jess, last but definitely not least!
Firstly I'd like to say a well done to George for agreeing to a day of Maths support, despite his main passion being English. It was great to see you on Friday and you're definitely up for the challenge!
Also, I just wanted to thank Lewis and Ore for being very flexible and for making a great start at Reddish on Friday.
A great week for all - well done!
Formal school feedback
Now that the first week is over we want to share with you our feedback process so please find attached the feedback form that we will be asking schools to complete for all tutors towards the end of this month. You will see that it's very basic but we want you to know the areas you will be assessed on so you can keep these in mind.
The assessments are nothing to worry about and, as with everything we do, are just a way for us to find out if you need support with anything so we can help you if so. If you work in more than one school then we will ask all schools to complete this feedback.
You will see in your planners that there is space for reflection each day and at the end of each week. This is good practice for everyone but was included specifically with applicants for Medicine and Dentistry in mind. Our contacts at The Christie have highlighted the importance of keeping a reflective diary that you can refer to at interview so we strongly advise that you make this reflection part of your daily routine so you can talk credibly about it when the time comes.
Yipiyap Lapel Pins
If you are anything like me you will have already put your Yipiyap lapel pin through the washer already. Beware (from experience!), it can really scupper your mum’s washer so just make sure you take it off your shirt/ top each evening and wear your pin with pride whenever you’re in school! Top tip - if you’re just in one school, it can be best to pop it on your lanyard to have it with you when you need it.
This is a new addition to our Weekly Update and is brought to us by Richard, our Regional Director for Wrexham and Flintshire who has joined us after 20 years at the coal face of education, most recently as Head of Sixth Form at Rainhill High School.
For any of you who are wondering what on earth ‘pedagogy’ means it’s the term used to describe the academic discipline that deals with the theory and practice of teaching and how these influence student learning.
This week, Richard is looking at the art of questioning your students. Over to you Richard….
As I said at induction one of the best skills for you to think about is how you use questioning. Here a few tips for you to consider;
When you ask a question is it a closed question (likely to have single short factual answer) or an open-ended question (many possible answers which could be descriptive)
e.g. Maths – Closed question – What is the area of a rectangle that is 6cm long and 4cm wide vs Open question – A shape has an area of 24cm2, what could its dimensions be?
e.g. English – Closed question – Who are the main characters in Of Mice and men vs Open question – Describe the main characters in Of Mice and Men.
Remember that you are a detective so use follow up questions to test understanding and to seek out misconceptions – Why? How do you know? Where is the evidence for that? How did you arrive at that answer? What would happen if we changed (insert whatever you are going to change)?
Be prepared to wait – silence feels slightly odd but give students thinking time and the go back to being a detective – what clues do students have, what is a starting place, how can we develop an idea from there?
We’d love to hear about your successes using different types of questioning and if you want to read some more about good questioning, click below:
Niamh and Millie’s Top 20 Tunes
It’s a big thanks to our amazing Derby tutors Niamh and Millie for providing us all with a great start to our Tutors’ Top Tunes! I have really enjoyed listening to these and I am sure everyone else will too. It’s Niamh’s 10 first then Millie’s! Here’s the link:
We often finish the update with something thought provoking for you to consider...
The Challenge of Living Gratefully
I recently read a brilliant article about the benefits of living gratefully. It is something I have never really thought about but, on reading it, it really made me think. The author of the article had been at a New Year’s Eve Party and had spoken to another woman who was really underwhelmed about the prospect of the year ahead. The author pointed out to the woman that starting the year with that attitude virtually guaranteed her a bad year. Generally, if you take a negative approach, bad stuff is all you’ll find. So, after this encounter the author decided to challenge herself to be more grateful for what she had, trying to appreciate all the good things in her life both personally and professionally for 1 year and to see what, if any effect this had.
Many researchers connect gratitude to higher levels of happiness and lower levels of stress and depression. In one study, gratitude had the highest link to well-being of any personality trait. Grateful people don’t start with better experiences in life but they learn how to re-frame whatever happens to look for the positive. If you wait for events to make you happy, you could be waiting a long time but if you change your perspective you can find good in whatever occurs.
It’s interesting to think that most of us are more likely to say ‘thank you’ to a Barista in a coffee shop than to our parents, siblings and friends. We have so many expectations of our nearest and dearest that they become almost impossible to achieve, whereas all the Barista has to do is make you a coffee you have paid for!
So what did the author do/ achieve? She started by just saying ‘thank you’ to her husband for even what seemed trivial things like repairing a leak, paying the bills and driving on a long journey. This became infectious and soon her husband was thanking her for supper and getting the children to bed, and other things that beforehand they each just took for granted. She started to keep a gratitude journal and would every night write down one thing that made her grateful that day. When she had a bad day, she would reflect on the positives to remind herself of all the good in her life. She would also try and think of gratitude early in the day and she found that this really put her in a positive mindset for what was to come.
This also continued for her at work. Saying thanks to colleagues made work a happier place to be. When you are positive, people like to be around you and will help you succeed.
I think the message this article sends is just how by just by appreciating what we have and being grateful you can really improve your health, happiness and relationships with others. Personally, I think it makes great sense and am really trying to up my gratitude levels!! I challenge you all to a year of gratefulness too (you’ve got your planners to make your notes!) and see what it does for you.
So, THANKS AGAIN for a brilliant week and enjoy your weekend!