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Update #1 - 15th September

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.  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 to, our Regional Directors’ News section where they flag up regional progress and affairs, our Wall of Happy for us all to post on when we have something great to shout about and also our Tutor Buddy Top 20 Spotify Mix, the 20 favorite 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?

Recruitment News

It was great to meet you all last week at the Induction Days. It was even better to meet you all in person rather than via Skype! Thank you everyone who took the time to write and say how much they enjoyed them- much appreciated! I hope you have seen your photos on Twitter and Facebook- remember to follow us as we do post lots of things on there! I really 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 Induction Days last week, more potential tutors have been coming through and so I have been busy with many more 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!

Obviously, if you know of anyone who may be taking a gap year after their A levels this summer who would make a great tutor please remember there is a £50 finders fee if you recommend them and they come on board and work successfully for us!

School News

It’s been such a great week!  The first week is always full of nerves, excitement, travel arrangements, feedback and sorting out the niggles and it’s so fantastic to be back in the swing with what is clearly our best cohort yet!  Well done everyone on making such a brilliant impression – where you’re going into schools that know us there can be big boots to fill and when you’re in a new school there can often be quite a lot of uncertainty about the whole thing.  Use your RDs if you have anything that needs sorting - that’s what we’re all here for.  You’ve all coped really well and as I always say in this WU – 1 down, only 37 to go!!!!


Peterborough, Derby and Norwich

It’s the very first week of yipiyap tutor support in Norwich, Peterborough and Derby so a landmark week for these regions!  The team have absolutely risen to the occasion and made a brilliant impression and we’ve had lovely feedback about everyone.  Now that the first week is over I can really get going building the contacts in those areas so that the long-term placements can be firmed up.  This is a really exciting part of my job and I can’t wait to speak to lots of new schools next week!


Manchester News

First week done! Well done everyone - I'm really impressed with how easily you've settled into your roles. I know a few of you were nervous before starting and you have really overcome those nerves and I'm very proud of you. We've had so much positive feedback from staff already and everyone is pleased with the support so far! I'm looking forward to planning visits to all of you in the next few weeks. We also welcome a new tutor this week! Fajar will be working with students at St Antony's providing support for their students with special educational needs. I can't wait for you to meet everyone at our first social! Please keep reading so you can check out the super stars of the week on the WoH.


North Wales and Cheshire News

And we're off! This week has been a long time coming and I'm really proud to say it's been smooth sailing for the most part. After meeting you all at the induction days and giving you information on each of your placements, I'd been looking forward to having you in school and meeting the staff/students you'll be supporting over the year. This is all about first impressions and getting it right for you is just as important as getting it right for schools - if you ever have concerns or questions, you know how to reach me. The app has also got off to a big start so thank you all for signing up and actively rating your days - the comments have been fun to read through! My focus for the coming weeks is finding new schools for tutors who are waiting for placements - they're out there and I'm confident they'll be eager to work with the talent joining our team this year.


London and Leicester News

Well... Where to start? What a week! Enormous congratulations to all of my tutors. Everyone has received really excellent feedback from school and has started off on the right foot regarding communications. I don't mean that to be a throw-away comment - sincerely - you've all been great! Naturally, we've had the odd hiccup here and there, but everything has gone remarkably well overall, and we've even got our new tutor, Ramsha, on board already!

Cartloads of new applicants coming in to keep you all on your toes (hopefully two more team members by the end of next week!), and a few new schools approaching for tuition so there may be some new positions for my guys in the near future whilst we iron out everyone's timetables. Fingers crossed!

In short - a massive well done to team London, Leicester and Reading (we need to work on the name) you're all great and I'm very proud!


Yorkshire and the Humber News

What a fantastic start we've had with everyone settling into their new roles nicely this week. We've had a few little things to iron out but with great communication have sorted everything quickly and easily so thank you! It can be a little daunting in a new role and yet you've all grabbed the bull by the horns and really got stuck in with some fantastic feedback coming from schools so a very well done to all of you. I look forward to seeing you in or around school on my visits next week.

Wall of Happy

Anne starts us off with her special mentions!

First, a huge well done to Alice and Tia on their mammoth journey back to Norwich after induction.  When most tutors were cosied up in their pyjamas last Thursday, drinking cocoa and watching Eastenders, Team NPD were still very much with T & A, keeping them going with ideas for how to pass the time (sadly they didn’t do the flash mob we suggested!) until they finally made it home at around 10pm.  Well done both of you!!

Shout out for Niamh who not only wrote a glowing review of the Induction Days for us to have on the website but also, for other tutors who are interested, has shared the link to a sign language course she will be doing.  Sign language is a really worthwhile and unusual string to have to your bow and I’m sure many of you will look into it.  If you want to get involved, let me know and we can set up a little group to learn together. It’s also the biggest discount on any product I think I’ve ever seen so why not check it out!

Finally, well done to Maaria for her patience this week and help in getting the Peterborough contacts lined up - can’t wait for you and Heidi to get going on Monday!


Next to Alan

This first week has to be shared - you've all given your best on your first impressions, and have made it to school on time repeatedly despite the bad weather. We'll be collecting initial feedback from school over the next couple of weeks as you get settled, and I've already had some positive comments from staff. One, from staff at Smithills School, has praised Alex for his friendliness and organisation this week - you've clearly thrown yourself into conversations with staff and this confidence will no doubt carry over to your work with students too, well done!


Now over to Carrie

The first week’s Wall Of Happy is a tough one as you really have all been awesome however, I'm extremely pleased to have chosen Saul Phillipson. Saul has blown me away with his can do attitude, changing personal plans at short notice to go into school, having three different school starts in the same week and traveling a 17 mile journey to one, involving a bike and bus ride and STILL arriving early. Feedback from school is that that Saul is smart, professional and could easily be mistaken for a young teacher - Well done Saul. Also, we can't forget about Joshua Maestro Tornberg who celebrated his birthday this week so HAPPY BIRTHDAY Josh!


Now to Joss

Although everyone has been fantastic this week, I wanted to mention two specific things. First - well done to Vithusha who's finally got her A-Level Art grade! An admin error meant she received a B on results day (not likely!!) and she's been battling until yesterday when she received word it had gone up to its rightful A*! Justice! Well done, Vithusha.

Secondly, I wanted to mention a conversation with Patrick. I'd called him to ask which of his schools he would prefer to spend his extra day in as he has a space in his timetable. I'd called him completely expecting him to base the decision on his considerable travel times or even the one he'd liked best. I was gobsmacked when, completely unselfishly, he got out the school's timetables and informed me which school he thought would need him most, why they'd need him and when they could use him best! To be thinking this way after just a day in each school is really remarkable and shows a fantastic attitude. Eyes on the prize. Well done Patrick!


And finally to Jess, last but definitely not least!

Well done to Rajat for being very 'can-do' and getting everything organised between the induction days and Tuesday this week! It was a really quick turn around and we're really thankful for your help with this.

Thank you to Haris for letting me know in advance about his UKCAT towards the end of September. It was clear he was listening to my talk at the induction day! Please do make sure you let me know if you have a UKCAT or BMAT coming up.

Also, well done Charna for kindly helping the Geography department create a wall display at North Chadderton. It'll be nice to show off your artistic side!

And finally a big thank you to all of the tutors who have been active on the yipi-app. I really do love reading everyone’s comments so please make sure you add something along with your rating - even if it's just 'Today went well.' It's a really quick and easy way of letting me know if you've had any issues so make sure you use it please!

Formal school feedback

Now that the first week is over we want to share with you our feedback process so please find below 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.


Reflective diaries

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!

Maaria and Humayra’s Top 20 Tunes

It’s a big thanks to our amazing Peterborough tutors Maaria and Humayra 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 Maaria’s 10 first then Humayra’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!



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