Update #18 - 1st February

Hi there,


So, how are you all coping??? Tough isn’t it? How did we manage before Anne’s Joke of the Day to get us going each morning? Well, I’ve tried to persuade her but she’s adamant that she is reserving this treat for the month of January and now it’s February, and let’s be honest, almost summer, we just have to learn to live without this daily dose of humour once again!! But for anyone who is really craving some quality entertainment we do have a solution! By next week we will have all of the entries in for Skipiyap and YipiArt and will be posting them all on Twitter for everyone to see. From the entries we have had so far, this is definitely not something you will want to miss! Also, read on for our exciting BBC 500 words opportunity!!!

So, what’s been going on this week?

Catherine’s News

Highlight for me this week was just the incredible enthusiasm of our Skipiyappers and YipiyArters! The entries have been coming in and just making us all very proud in the office! It is just brilliant to see you all embracing opportunities that are available to you whether it be as part of Yipiyap or otherwise in your year out.



It has also been a mad one with lots of new applicant interviews as well as a rather unexpected snow day in the middle which caused a ripple of excitement in our household when the chaos on the roads made it impossible to get my daughter to school. She was completely made up!

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

Following on from my comments last week, the Support Brochure for the year ahead is now complete (hurray!) so it will be great to use this from now on. Now I can get stuck into individual factsheets on PP, LAC, AP and Resits so we can tailor what we send to anyone who asks what we do! Also I have a review of all our DANCOP support coming up in a couple of weeks so thanks in advance to all tutors who will be helping pull together the information for that!

Regional News

Norwich, Peterborough and Derby

I was sorry to panic the team on Wednesday morning with my early message to take extreme care out in the road in the arctic conditions. I soon received photographic evidence that Derby, Peterborough and Norwich had only the slightest dustings of snow whilst Manchester ground to a complete standstill! Thanks to everyone for getting in as normal and I’m glad that none of you were disrupted on Friday either!


What a week! It feels like I should split it into ‘before snowmageddon’ and ‘after snowmageddon’. On Monday I popped over to visit Emma and Jake at Flixton Girls’, who are still keen for extra support so if you’ve been hiding your gap year friends away from me please send them over!! I had my first session of back to back interviews at Loreto College on Monday and as a result I now have a very gravelly voice. Wednesday was a strange day that consisted of a cancelled recruitment presentation and me having to turn back mid-journey because the roads were not being kind to me. Luckily my recruitment campaign wasn’t halted for too long and I was over at Manchester Grammar the following day.

Denbighshire and Cheshire

Well February is off to a very snowy start, and I want to remind everyone please to take care when travelling to and from school especially at this time of the year. Build in extra time, and don't rush. This week I've had a Q/A session with some Y13 students, and I'm looking forward to going back for an enrichment day in a couple of weeks. Alongside this, we're putting together our next list of contacts for our upcoming newsletters, and looking at ways of making our application processes that much smoother. We're also looking to update our induction process, and Joss has got some really good ideas for improving our next September induction days. Very packed week to say the least.

Flintshire and Wrexham

This week I’ve spent some time starting to research alternative types of support that are available to schools who would like to bring Yipiyap tutors onboard. This has involved talking to funding administrators and preparing bids on behalf of schools. So it’s been a different kind of work this week, but it will hopefully prove beneficial in the long term in extending the provision we offer in the region. I’ve also been working with our new tutor Harry who is starting at the end of this week – he is now well inducted into the Yipiyap way of doing things and can’t wait to get started. I’ve interviewed another potential new tutor in Holywell and fortunately the interview was scheduled perfectly between two large dumps of snow so I could get in and out without too many problems. Meanwhile I have a presentation at Hawarden High School Sixth Form to look forward to so have been getting ready for this – given that Katie, Teres and Harry all came from here I’m hoping I can find more tutors of their calibre again for next year.

London, Yorkshire and The Humber

As the week passes we must mourn the end of Anne’s January Joke of the Day! Gone but not forgotten! Here’s to next January, eh?

Pleased this week to have arranged two new starts in Yorkshire – one at Winifred Holtby (surprise!) and another in Bradford. The team keeps growing and I look forward to introducing you all shortly! Visiting Y&H in the coming weeks so hoping to see at least some of you while I’m there – stay tuned! I’ve had some great feedback for Sally from DCA, too – really well done, Sally, you’ve responded to a turbulent start to the year really well!

I also just wanted to say a massive well done to everyone for getting through January – it really is the toughest part of the year. Didn’t want to jinx it before time was up but CONGRATS you’re all superstars!

Wall of Happy

This week Jess starts us off with her special mentions

My first mention has to go to the people that have offered entries for Skipiyap, YipiArt or both! I won’t mention names yet but it’s been lovely receiving them.

I also have to mention Elena this week. She called me at 7am on Wednesday asking if school was closed because of the snow. I said I doubt it because I would usually expect the snow to be worse for school closures, but how wrong I was!

Next to Anne

Skipiyap entries brought tears to my eyes this week - luckily they were of laughter with all to be revealed next week! Maddie and Millie, you know who you are.

Also, Carla sent a message letting me know how happy she had been to support some students who had really needed someone to talk to after an incident in school - I’m sure they really appreciated your calm nature in that moment and felt a lot better afterwards, Carla.

A shout out for Humayra who was a scribing for one of the students at the UTC this week and was chased down the corridor by a teacher afterwards thanking her for helping him achieve the best Business Studies work he’d ever submitted!

Finally Faye who got a full complement of 1:1s in her GCSE support sessions at College this week - you’re doing so brilliantly to get them giving up their own time to work with you, Faye, and they wouldn’t do it if they didn’t feel it was really helping them.

Now over to Joss

Wall of happy this week – delighted with Niall. Not only is he now waiting on his finder’s fee for introducing us to the wonderful Micah, but he’s decided to take on some voluntary after school work at WHA – staying behind to support students in their revision classes. Every year there’s a tutor who does something like this – goes above and beyond and makes us all proud to be Yipiyappers! Well done, Niall!

Now to Alan

A really nice start for my newest tutor Francescsa. You've got the ball rolling very quickly and it's great that school have had some positive feedback for you. Also really pleased that you're taking on this new placement with the individual learner. My other tutors April and Lois are looking after a similar arrangement with students outside of school, so you're in great company for this sort of placement. Always ask if you're unsure of anything!


And, finally to Richard

My wall of happy this week relates to bringing more potential schools and sixth forms on board from a recruitment perspective. I’ve had encouraging responses from a couple more places which I hope to visit in the near future, St Richard Gwyn & Ellesmere College. Just need to firm up some dates in the diary now so I can go and spread the word!

How to Stop Your Thoughts Snowballing

I read this article this week and it really resonated with me (and not just because of the snow!!!) so I thought I would share it with you!

You know how it goes, you start with a worry and before you know it you’re overcome with giant uncomfortable thoughts. We’ve all been there! Maybe you have to have a difficult conversation with someone and you wind yourself up for days with all the possible outcomes (most of these will be terrible!). What if the conversation turns out to be easier than you imagined (and it usually does!). You will have wasted all your time and energy on nothing.

Small anxieties can lead us downwards into another layer of even bigger ones such as ‘I feel bad and I’m going to feel this awful for the rest of my life’. No, you are not, you are going to learn to manage your mind.

We like to describe what’s happening to your thoughts as a snowball rolling down a hill, growing and growing as it collects more snow.

The first step to stopping this is simply to notice when an uncomfortable thought arises. Take a breath and see if you can create a bit of space between your thoughts.

Ask yourself: is this thought a fact or is it my interpretation? Where does it come from? Is it an old story I often tell myself, for example, I can’t do something.

As you watch and observe your thoughts, bring yourself back to being in the present in the situation as it stands, as opposed to what your thoughts have created.

You will have stopped the snowball.

I am definitely going to try and do this the next time I have a worry!

Life is full of challenges but if anyone does have a worry that is affecting them, please remember we are always here to listen (in strictest confidence, of course) and it does not need to be work related. If you don’t feel you can speak to your Regional Director, Anne and I are always here for you.

And a little something for us to all think about in February from Jess..

Jess always brings really positive ideas to the table and today she sent me this brilliant Friendly February chart (attached). I love the idea of a plan for the month and a positive plan is even better. I challenge you all to follow this throughout Februry! I will open my friendly account now by telling you all you mean the world to us, your students and your schools (and you really do!)!!! Now, our it’s turn!!

Friendly February.jpeg

Pedagogy Corner

You know things are going well when you start to get requests! Thanks to Niall who rightly requested an input for the Scientists this week.

With this in mind then, here is a very specific input for Science tutors called ‘Best Evidence Science Teaching’. This is a live project which is being developed and updated throughout 2018-19 for Biology, Chemistry and Physics, largely aimed at teaching 11-14 year olds.

There are masses of teaching and learning resources produced on a topic-by-topic basis, based on careful consideration of the best available research evidence. The resources are intended to contain;

  • sequenced learning steps

  • diagnostic questions that provide evidence of learning and highlight common misunderstandings

  • response activities that promote purposeful follow up

This link will take you to subject maps and resources. You can also sign up for updates.

Happy Science-ing!!

Fiona and George’s Top 20 Tunes

This week it’s our brilliant Yorkshire and Humberside tutors again at the decks this week, with Fiona and George picking their top tracks. I remember Fiona in her first TT10 2 years ago struggling to pick 10 and this time it was no different by all accounts. She has come up again with some real winners. As for George’s selection, you are going to have to trust George on this one as I have never heard of any of these songs and for once am lost for words! Makes me feel ancient!!!

Here’s your link to George and Fiona’s music nirvana! Thanks so much both for indulging us with your choices!

Skipiyap and YipiArt

We have extended the deadlines for both Skipiyap and YipiArt until next Wednesday to ensure everyone can get their entries in. We have just been so impressed with the thought and effort that have gone into everything! It is going to be an impossible task to chose a winner in either competition!!!

YipiArt winner 1503 (L Da Vinci- Science tutor, Florence)

YipiArt winner 1503 (L Da Vinci- Science tutor, Florence)

The BBC 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 the BBC runs this incredibly inspirational competition '500 Words' to encourage youngsters to put pen to paper and write a story (of 500 words obviously!). 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 three years, the 500 words team have a number of Yipiyap tutors help judge the competition. All of our tutors who have taken part have thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience and really benefit from having this distinction on their CVs- something quite out of the box amongst your peer group. Last year our wonderful Peterborough Senior tutor Humayra was a judge and won tickets to Hampton Court Palace for the 500 Words final but couldn’t go because of an exam!! This year Humayra!!!

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 super-efficient so if anyone else would like to join Humayra then just ensure you apply as soon as possible (there is not a deadline on the website but places fill up quickly so I would recommend you enter this week) at the following link:

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