Update #19 - 8th February


Hi there,

How are you all? Really well I hope! One more week to go before half term and the promise of 9 consecutive lies in!!! Hurrah!! You have got through by far the toughest half term of the year and from now on while the pressure is on at school to help your students through the coming months, particularly those with exams, the weather is getting better, the nights are lighter and spring is just around the corner.

So, what’s been going on this week?

Catherine’s News

Well, it was a tricky start to the week having spent most of Sunday in hospital after a nasty bout of food poisoning but not deterred I ploughed on with Zoom interviews from home for the first part of the week, then had our brilliant monthly RD meeting and rounded the week off with a trip to North Wales to interview more lovely potential tutors for next year.

The most exciting part of the week has obviously been the culmination of our Sjipiyap and YipiArt competitions with the extended closing date being on Wednesday of this week. Please read on for all of the results!!!

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

I had a brilliant trip to Leeds this week where I was privileged to present at the Senior Leaders’ Briefing. It is always really enlightening to hear in depth and in such an open forum the issues affecting school leaders and to understand their concerns and ideas from Disciplined Inquiry to new Ofsted inspections – ideas for which which we’ll try to incorporate in our support going forward!

Regional News

Norwich, Peterborough and Derby

I don't tend to get too caught up in all the interviewing at this time of year so it's always a treat to do a couple to keep my hand in...I did my first one of 2019 for a Leeds candidate this week which has warmed me up nicely for my first Derby applicant on Thursday. Looking forward to my 7am Costa stop on the M6 already!



It’s been a hectic week of interviewing for me. Two full days at Oldham Sixth Form College followed by a morning at Ashton Sixth Form College. I’ve met lots of exciting potential future tutors but we’re a long way off yet! I’ve also had yet another support request so schools are still keeping me very busy (not complaining!) There’s lots of exciting stuff going on at the moment and I’m looking forward to booking in some school visits after half term.


Denbighshire and Cheshire

It's a great feeling to get a big project off your list, but this week I had two tasks finished. Finally one of our more comprehensive data protection registers is complete, and I've also finished some automation to help with onboarding new tutors. Should save a lot of time especially with all the interviews coming up! We also had our monthly RD meeting featuring Monty the Monkey cake (though I understand Nancy the Narwhal was also in contention) and some new ideas for the month ahead. Everything seems to be getting more efficient by the week in the run up to September.

Flintshire and Wrexham

This week I’ve been mainly working with the Flintshire schools. It was great to meet some students from Hawarden High School which has been a popular recruiting ground for Yipiyap previously. Although it was only a small number on this occasion I’ll be going back next week to speak to the whole Sixth form which will be great. We also formally welcome Harry to the team this week who is picking up two days a week in Ysgol Bryn Alyn and two days a week in Hawarden High School.

London, Yorkshire and The Humber

Great week this week – always a pleasure to be up in Manchester visiting the rest of the team. Shame not to see Jess (get well soon!) but otherwise a really productive meeting.

Everyone’s done really well again battling the twin February challenges of weather and seasonal colds. So easy to work with people who communicate so well and so quickly! Well done all. Also another shout out to James who continues to send me his little updates – that along with his Skipiyap entry mean he’s front of mind this week – can’t stop hearing that woman screaming “yeaaahhhh!!” as the bell-ringing-rope-skipping dream becomes a reality. Also had a lot of fun checking out the Yipiy-art entries while I’m in the office – what a talented bunch you are!

Wall of Happy

This week Anne starts us off with her special mentions

This week my wall of happy goes to Mo and Humayra for exemplary use of the app! Really great to read your comments every day.

Also to Niamh who got some lovely feedback from Da Vinci in relation to her DANCOP work recently - doing an amazing job with those groups as always, Niamh.

Finally everyone from NPD who entered either of our January competitions - Maddie, Millie, Claudia and Hannah, it was great to see your entries and Ahkin, I'm so sorry that the massive canvas you created for your parents was too big to send in the end but I loved your enthusiasm for it all!

Next to Joss

Wall of happy this week I wanted to shout out to a really short chat I had with Olivia. It was so positive it really made my week! She’d given so much thought to how she was helped during her MFL orals at school and is hoping to give some time after school to provide that same support to students at WHA when she can. She’s also considering a senior tutor position and hoping to develop her own tuition company next year. So much exciting, positive stuff packed into a few short messages – thanks and well done – excited to see what comes next!


Now over to Alan

Some continued positive feedback this past couple of weeks for Elliot at Prestatyn. You may be a former student there but you're definitely viewed as part of the staff team and that should mean even more when coming from people who used to teach you! I'm excited to stop by in the next couple of weeks (Gavin is finding a date right now) but I'm glad this has been a consistently strong placement for you so far. Keep it up!


Now to Richard

My wall of happy this week goes to Harry who has made a really positive start in both of his schools. It was especially nice to see the warmth with which he was welcomed back to his old school when I visited him last week, although apparently I’d confused the maths team who were trying to wrack their brains as to who Harrison was – definitely Harry from now on! I’m also really looking forward to seeing the Yipiart enries.


And, finally to Jess

Congratulations Maryam for being offered an interview to study Dentistry. It feels like forever ago that we first discussed your university plans and I’m so happy to see you’re on your way to reaching your goal.

Also, thanks Elena for always keeping me updated and letting me know when she’s faced a challenge. I always really enjoy talking things over with people and hopefully you found my advice useful.

Drum roll please…


Yipiyap is proud to announce the winners of its Skipiyap and YipiArt competitions 2019!

We have all been delighted that so many of you have in true Yipiyap fashion embraced the January challenges and given them your all. Once again you have provided your unique spin on what was asked of you and we have been really humbled by the imagination, creativity and effort you have put in.


The winner of the most skips is Kiran in Manchester with an incredible 180!! Watching your video it’s so impressive to see how you hardly move off the spot for the whole 60s and how you do not collapse at the end of it we don’t quite know!! However it was incredibly close with Millie in Derby also completing an amazing 175 skips (and a Beatles soundtrack that added to the experience!) so we have decided to have joint winners! Well done to you both.

The winner of the most creative video is Maddie in Derby and if you do nothing else this weekend I urge you to watch Maddie’s video which is absolutely outstanding in both creativity and execution – all 62 skips of it. Feel free to help it go viral!

Our winners will receive £50 each and there is a runners-up prize of £25 for James in Hull whose team effort with the bell-rope (4 skips!) was also fabulous.


The first year of YipiyArt has really unleashed the creative juices of our tutors and we have had some fantastic entries. The theme was ‘Inspriation’ and it was extremely difficult for our independent adjudicator to choose the winners but eventually we are pleased to announce that they are:

1st prize of £100 : Elle in Manchester for Express Yourself. This collage was felt to capture the spirit of inspiration in it’s light bulb central theme and nods to all sorts of things that inspire Elle. It also has something of a Yipiyap feel to it in its colours and layout which made it stand out. Well done, Elle.

2nd prize of £50 : Maryam in Manchester for her artwork inspired by her A-Level subjects. This is a very personal design which captures Mayram’s interests and style in a highly creative way.

Runners up prizes of £25 go to Hannah in Derby whose crocheted Yipiyap bird has been adorning the office since it alighted with us last week and Claudia, also in Derby, whose beautiful Mehndi Secrets portrait showcases a range of artistic methods.

You can see all of the entries on Twitter!!! Take a look at twitter.com/yipiyap

Our Peterborough tutor Humayra’s BBC 500 word review

Radio 2 are currently on the hunt for voluntary judges to come and mark for them in this year’s short story-writing competition ‘500 Words’ and as a Yipiyap tutor that means you can qualify too (regardless of which subject you specialise in)!

500 words is the world’s biggest short story writing competition for children of 5 - 13 years of age and they get thousands of entries submitted each year. All entrant’s works are marked by volunteer judges from across the UK so that the stories can be filtered into the final - which I believe is to be held in Windsor castle this year alongside superstar celebrities, authors and illustrators!

It was only this time last year that I went through the quick and easy sign up process of details and reference (which Yipiyap are more than happy to provide by the way) and was set up as a competition judge. The stories started filtering in 2 months later.

I read a plethora of fantastic stories conjured from children’s imaginations of ‘rockets’, ‘Mother Nature’ and a ‘secret elf’ and it brought a smile to my face to be reminded of the innocence and lightheartedness of childhood. I also happened to win tickets to go watch the finals live at Hampton Court Palace in last year’s judges prize draw!

After a year of it shining on my CV, and telling colleagues of this extra curricular I’d been involved in, I’ve not only been invited to return to judge but I’m even planning on getting my younger siblings to have a little fun and submit a story too, because why not??

Pedagogy Corner

After three weeks of subject specific posts this week is back to a more generic strategy which is focused on the language you use with students which promotes a growth mindset.

In practice this is trying to encourage students (and ourselves) to put away the inner critic and to have a positive attitude. Here are some key tips;

  1. Make sure that your emphasis is on the effort made by a student and use language that rewards effort.

  2. Encourage students to make mistakes – it means they are having a go and it is more likely to prompt genuine discussions about learning than if they just get everything right all of the time. I used to tell students if they always get everything right they aren’t learning anything!

  3. In English lessons, examine characters in the texts you are studying and discuss if they show a growth mindset.

The following are examples of sentences using growth mindset language;

  • I believe I can get better

  • I am not good at this…..yet

  • Mistakes can help me learn

  • I need to keep trying for a little longer

If you are interested in learning more about growth mindset, look up the work of Carol Dweck who discovered this idea. Her website is https://mindsetonline.com.

Kiran and Ore’s Top 20 Tunes


Well it’s Kiran and Ore’s turn this week to bring music to our ears and boy are they smashing it?! Can it get any better than this??? Beyonce, Ariana, The Greatest Showman tracks and Sia!!! If these tunes don’t get your toes tapping then nothing will! Thanks for sharing these with us!!!

Here’s your link to Kiran and Ore’s music heaven!

Yipiyap Runs for Magic Breakfast


It’s that time of the year again- the nights are getting lighter, the flowers are in bud and amongst the many glorious sounds heralding springtime can be heard the gentle thud of a Yipiyap tutor’s feet pounding the streets in training! Yes, once again we hope you will run with us to raise awareness of Magic Breakfast, a charity very close to Yipiyap’s heart!

Magic Breakfast is a national charity that provides free, healthy breakfasts to over 16,000 children who would otherwise go without every school day. The charity provides provisions to over 400 schools and supports these schools to set up and run brilliant breakfast clubs in the most deprived communities across the country. Magic Breakfast believes that no child should miss out on their education due to hunger. The statistics around this are really shocking and you can see this for yourselves on their website: www.magicbreakfast.com.

Magic Breakfast is a charity that Yipiyap has sponsored since donating the first £500 profit made by the business five years ago and we now raise money through the Yipiyap Charity Challenge. Having had the opportunity to visit one of the Breakfast clubs ourselves we were able to see just how much the children benefit from the impact of Magic Breakfast, not only giving them the right fuel to start their school day successfully but also giving them a happy, positive start each morning.

It is for the fourth year running we are inviting you, our inspirational tutors (and ‘the management!’) to put countless hours of training in (well, hum, possibly... !) and will get up extra early on race day to proudly wear our Magic Breakfast t-shirts and run around the British countryside to raise awareness of this brilliant charity.

This year each region will be taking on its own 10k challenge on various dates at the start of term 3.

We would love to raise as much awareness as possible and as much money as we can through this run for Magic Breakfast. If you feel moved by this charity’s good work we would love you to join us!

We are not going to pressurise anyone into doing this, it’s entirely up to you. If it is something you would like to do, please can you let your RD know by Monday 4th March.

Just to give you a bit of a starting point with it all, I attach a little training guide that will hopefully be useful to you. You can download that below.

Happy weekend all!


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