Update #17 - 25th January

Hi there,

I hope you have all had a fantastic week! Only 6 days of January left (hey, it’s almost summer!!!) and it’s almost D Day for Skipiyap and YipiArt entries! Come on folks, get those entries in!!! On the downside, only 4 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 again 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, apart from having the lurgy this week I had my very first interview for 2019/2020 c/o Wymondham High School Sixth Form and also I presented at Bradford Grammar- wow, what a school! I am SO hoping to get another Sally and Gaurav from there!!! I am also speaking to a number of our current tutors and our senior tutors about the prospect of staying on with us beyond July. We would love you to and if any of you are still thinking about it and would like just an informal chat about the prospect, please just let me know.

Thanks also for all of the really positive feedback we received about the little Brexit snippet last week. Really glad you enjoyed it and found it useful.

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

It has been a very long-standing job on my to-do list to update the information we provide to schools about Yipiyap support: how it works and how they can get involved. We work in so many different ways and have reams of brilliant testimonials, great data and interesting case studies from our schools, that deciding what to attempt to fit onto a sheet of A3 folded to A4 has been a real challenge (especially as you can all see how busy SLT are so we have to make it as easy as possible to understand our unique concept!) However, after a week dominated by emails to and from our artwork designer, we are nearly there so hopefully it will soon be off the to-do list for another 3 years or so!

Regional News

Norwich, Peterborough and Derby

I had a very welcome break from brochure design in the form of a visit to Derby to see Millie in school. Her contribution to the Maths department was really highly valued and they only had good things to say about how Millie was getting on - apparently doing Maths problems for fun in your breaks causes a regular stir, Millie! It’s also been lovely to hear Mo and Louie’s experiences of their first couple of weeks – really pleased you’re settling in so well!



Another busy week in Manchester, with the main focus being on recruitment for 2019/2020 and getting Francesca set up and ready to start her new placement! I had my first recruitment presentation of the year at a new sixth form so that was very exciting. It’s always nice to meet staff that completely understand that the Yipiyap experience is completely unique and a huge benefit for their students. I also had a lovely time going along to meet the student that Francesca will be helping in the run up to the GCSE exams. Alan and I were fighting over who would be Francesca’s RD now that she crosses over both regions, but unfortunately Alan won this one!

Denbighshire and Cheshire

Another week down and it has been a week focused on September preparation. More info has been sent out to colleges, and I'm looking forward to my next presentation next week. We're also preparing our 2019 newsletters ready to send out, both to schools we're hoping to support and colleges we're hoping to recruit from. On the support side, I've been spending time looking at a couple of procurement bids with the aim of getting on a number of schools' radars for future support. It's a long process but one that will get easier over time.

Flintshire and Wrexham

It’s been a quiet week for me as I recovered from some surgery so most of what has been going on from my point of view has been home-based – checking in with some of the schools I visited recently and making sure background admin is taken care of. Most importantly of all though it’s pay day today – I’m sure you’ll find like most people that January seems quite long if you blew all your money over the festive period! Looking forward to a rest over the weekend and back to normality next week.

London, Yorkshire and The Humber

Couldn’t be more chuffed with the team this week. I know I bang on about it every week but the communication, can-do attitude and professionalism that my group is showing is the best I’ve ever had. So easy to work with and full of proactive, solution-oriented people! A dream! Shout out to James this week for getting in to do a great job despite feeling a bit under the weather (made of stern stuff!) and to Krish for getting in to make up missed days from December

Finally, all my joy is compounded by the J-anne-uary Joke of the Day which seems to be a roaring success this year (not that it ever isn’t!) Love hearing from Anne that my tutors have got in touch to laugh, groan and suggest their own additions – what a witty bunch we all are.

Wall of Happy

This week Richard starts us off with his special mentions

I was really pleased to hear this week about how Rebecca is catching up a few hours by spending time working with a group of Y10 students after school in Ysgol Bryn Alyn. That thing about working with the same of group students over a period has great impact as you build relationships and I know that your department will be really grateful for this extra support.

Next to Jess

Firstly, there’s been a few interviews taking place this week and it’s always lovely to hear how confident tutors feel afterwards. Well done especially to Adam and Amir this week for battling the interviewers. Whilst we’re on the topic of university applications, I wanted to say a huge congratulations to Fozia for her offer from Huddersfield university. I met someone that used to work there recently and she was lovely and really helpful so that’s a positive sign!

My absolute highlight of the week was the photograph on the YipiArt poster. It clearly inspired my team as now I have five tutors entering the competition! I’ve also decided to use it as an excuse to be creative so watch this space…

Not Yipiyap related, but I’m off to see Strictly Come Dancing live this weekend and I’m super excited. No doubt I’ll be jiving into Flixton Girls’ for my visit on Monday so Jake and Emma you’ve been warned!

Now over to Anne

First mention goes to Milie and Hafsa, both of whom pulled out the stops to get some Impact Reports to me at short notice for my visit to Derby. They were great, so massive thank you both for this.

Then I have to include a note about Lois and April – both in Alan’s team. Some of the information that I’ve requested for our new information brochure (have a I mentioned that we’re putting together a new brochure?!) came from BCA and was data evidencing the impact that they are making. I’d asked school to provide the sort of data they would like to see themselves if they didn’t know anything about Yipiyap and thanks to Lois and April they sent something that fits the bill perfectly for both Maths and English. Brilliant to see!

Finally to Mo and Humayra for their regular and cheery comments on the app. I love seeing these pop up each day!

Now to Joss

Wall of Happy this week was definitely my visit to SRS to see Adilah. Was really impressed by her manner, her positivity and her constant smile! The kids all really like her and you can see that they trust her and are happy to receive the support she can provide. This relationship doesn’t come easy so it’s an absolute credit to her hard work. Speaking to teachers, they all commented on her professionalism and proactivity without me even asking about it, so that speaks for itself! Really well done – thoroughly enjoyed my day!


And, finally to Alan

This week goes to Adam, having been incredibly generous with his time in school over the last few weeks. Your extra clubs and sessions after school are really appreciated, especially given that you're taking the initiative to get involved. It's particularly impactful when you're in such a small school as well, so keep it up!

Pedagogy Corner

Given that last week’s corner was specific to English, there is something for the Maths tutors this week.

‘Tick or Trash’ is an activity which gets students to think about maths and make decisions – perfect for testing understanding. With the questions placed in the middle column, they’ve then been answered by two characters, one of which is correct and one which is wrong. Pupils must decide for each question whose answer to tick and whose to trash. These are ideal for quick starters, plenary or a topic review. Also don’t miss the great opportunity to engage pupils in spotting and describing the mistake or discussing common misconceptions.

An example based on factorising is below. There are loads of these out there ready-made – search for ‘Tick or Trash’ along with the topic you are working on and I bet you’ll find what you’re after.

Question: 12x + 28
Bob’s answer: 2(6x + 14)
Fred’s answer: 4(3x + 7)

Question: x3 + xyz
Bob’s answer: x(x2 + yz)
Fred’s answer: x(x + yz)

Question: 15x2 + 25x
Bob’s answer: 5(3x2 + 5x)
Fred’s answer: 5x(3x + 5)

Question: x2 + 9x
Bob’s answer: (x + 3)(x + 3)
Fred’s answer: x(x + 9)

Question: 22x - 33
Bob’s answer: 11(2x - 3)
Fred’s answer: 11(2x + 3)

Question: x2 – 9
Bob’s answer: (x + 3)(x – 3)
Fred’s answer: x(x – 3)

Question: x2 – 5x -14
Bob’s answer: (x – 7)(x + 2)
Fred’s answer: (x + 7)(x – 2)

Question: x2 + 5x - 14
Bob’s answer: (x – 7)(x + 2)
Fred’s answer: (x + 7)(x – 2)

Eloise and Niall’s Top 20 Tunes

Drum roll… this week it’s Eloise and Niall’s turn to deliver the entertainment and they have done it in style!!! Both found it hard to get this down to their top 10 and Niall kindly reigned in the edginess for his choices (so Yipiyap can handle them!).

There are some mighty tunes here and I challenge anyone not to get their dancing legs on for these!!!

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

This week I’m exploring the world of wellness, and most specifically wellness at work. I want you to ask yourselves ‘are you making the most of your working day?’ Knowing the best times to eat, exercise or indulge can give your brain and body a real wellbeing boost! You don’t have to fit all 12 in each day though but have a go with those suggestions you can fit into your day and see the improvements!!!

  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.

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