Update #21 - 1st March

Hi there,


Holy moley, what a week it has been! Summer is nearly here folks!! We have had positively tropical weather in Altrincham and from what Mr Schafernaker has to say, so have the rest of you. For those of you who are off this week (our lovely North Wales tutors), I hope you have made the most of it!

We have lots of things for you to all get stuck into this half term. There’s our Tutor Choice social event as well as the Yipiyap Charity Challenge week in the last week of half term so it’s going to be a good one!

And, for all of our Welsh tutors, Richard and myself, ‘Dydd Dewi Sant Hapus’ (Happy St David’s Day!)!

So, what’s been going on this week?

Catherine’s News

I have spent this week, amongst lots of other things, interviewing, interviewing and interviewing. I will become an interview bore over the next few weeks/ months so brace yourselves!! I’ve also notably booked the venue for next September’s Induction Days which seems completely mad given it seems like two minutes since we were all there! Also, whizzed over to Hull for a day of interviews yesterday which was fun but packed. Mr Jacobs says ‘hi’ to Olivia and James by the way. He was delighted to hear how well you are both doing!!

The highlight of my week was seeing the amazing YipiArt entried being hung on our office wall. Anne wasted no time at all in making this happen. There are a few more pictures to be displayed and then I will post a picture for you all to admire. They are truly inspirational!

My usual reminder about the £50 finder’s fee if you recommend a friend and they work successfully for us next year! We’re sure lots of you will have friends in the year below so let them know what you’ve been doing and it could be worth your while!!

Anne’s News

So much going on this week I hardly know where to begin! As well as recruitment for next year, this week has seen the first big push for support as well as we approach all our schools to see what they’d like to have next year. For me personally it’s particularly exciting to see what happens with the Derby schools we’ve been working with through DANCOP – will they come back for support for Y7&8 or anyone not from those postcodes?? Time will tell! As you’ve heard, we’ve been hanging pictures, it’s been invoice time and we’re currently being inundated with applications for a new HR role that we’re advertising for – bonkers but brilliant!!

Regional News

Norwich, Peterborough and Derby

I’ve been delighted to arrange two new placements for Louie and Hafsa starting next week. They’ve been incredibly patient while I’ve been setting them up but now we’re good to go! Looking forward to seeing how you both get on!


Welcome back everyone! It felt really quiet last week so it’s been nice getting back into the normal working routine. I started the week with a really productive visit to Flixton Girls’ where we now have three tutors! It was great to sit in on both intervention sessions and in-class support – well done for not crumbling under the pressure Emma, Jake and Rhys! It’s also been another busy week of interviews for me having visited both Xaverian College and Stretford Grammar, so hopefully some more offers will be flying out soon. Finally, I’ve confirmed my first days of support for 2019/2020! I bet you wouldn’t expect requests to come this soon and we probably sound mad when we say recruitment starts in January but it really does happen this early! Fingers crossed this is the start of a long list of schools to support from September onwards.

Denbighshire and Cheshire

Another split week for my team, so with the exception of Adam, Elliot and Amber, welcome back! As if September didn’t feel imminent already, we’ve kicked off our drive for support - this is the first of many weeks of working with schools to get some solid placements for next year. I’ve had several interviews going on and some more queued up for the next couple of weeks. To round it all off, contracts for our next tutors have gone out with a couple in my region! Humble beginnings so there’s still a long way to go.

Flintshire and Wrexham

We’ve been slightly out of sync with the rest of the UK so Wrexham and Flintshire tutors are still enjoying their well-deserved half term break. However I’ve been continuing the recruitment push, getting into a range of settings which included presenting to an 18-24 careers group in Mold and an assembly for the whole sixth form at Ellesmere College. I’ve also been meeting potential tutors in Wrexham and Hawarden and have really enjoyed the discussions during their interviews.

London, Yorkshire and The Humber

Start with Happy Birthdays to Briann, Zak and Olivia this week. Zak and Olivia are both Leap Year babies - what are the chances!? Always destined for greatness, clearly!

Really pleased to see everyone off to another great start after the half term. There's obviously still been a bit of illness going round (my turn this week!) but everyone's coping really well and showing great spirit and resilience pushing through this challenging part of the year. Well done guys and welcome back!

Wall of Happy

This week Joss starts us off with his special mentions

I'm really excited to have one final addition to the Y&H team - Georgia will be joining in Bradford. Been such a great year in that area and looking forward to welcoming her properly next week and organising an opportunity for her to meet everyone!

Next to Alan

No wall of happy last week so I had to carry this over to today’s - a big happy birthday to Elliot! Glad you got this week out of school to celebrate so make the most of it! Also a nice finish for Emma this week at Archbishop Beck. It’s clear from your last couple of days that you’ve built up a lot of friendships with staff and they’ll be sad to see you go. It’s not been a standard placement so well done for putting all your effort into it.


Now over to Richard

Given that my tutors are not in school this week instead the wall of happy is derived from the potential future tutors I’ve been interviewing who have been describing their journeys and aspirations. Listening to their stories reminded me of the vast number of inspiring stories and journeys our current tutors from all around the country have had to date and how inspiring a team you are to work with.

Now to Jess

As mentioned earlier, I went to Flixton Girls’ earlier this week so I just wanted to mention Emma, Jake and our newest recruit Rhys. Staff said that you’ve all settled really well and we made a really productive plan going forward so I’m excited to hear more on my next visit.

It's always great to receive positive feedback, but even better when it’s completely out of the blue. I had an email from Mark at Broadoak this week and the comment says it all: Ed kindly volunteered one of his sessions for a visitor to sit in on today. He was excellent as usual – pleasant, polite and professional. A credit to Yipiyap!

Great work Ed!

And, finally to Anne

Double birthdays in NPD as well so very pleased to wish Faye and Alice a Happy Birthday on the same day (today!)

This is from a little while ago but it is a thank you to Faye for trialling and recommending a website for Maths resources that I was recommended when in Derby recently. The site is: https://www.cimt.org.uk/projects/mepres/allgcse/allgcse.htm

It doesn’t look the most hopeful when you go on but halfway down this page there are loads of online support materials which Faye says are really good.. Check it out!

Finally, Niamh made me laugh with the antics of her driving lessons – having worked together for 18 months I cannot imagine Niamh getting stressed with anything but apparently the crazy driving of other Derby road-users really gets her riled. You show them how it should be done, Niamh!

5 Tricks to Help You Make a Brilliant Speech

I thought I would share this incredibly useful article I found on public speaking. I am not a natural public speaker so I’m always on the look out for any tips to improve and I am aware that many of you are also keen to improve your presentation skills over this year. I am sure this is coming on leaps and bounds just by way of what you are doing on a daily basis but I thought I would share what the article had to say incase you find it as useful as I did!

  1. Practice out loud
    It may feel awkward but that’s exactly why you should practice speaking out loud. You’ll get used to the sound of your own voice, learn where to pause and what words to emphasise and it will all begin to feel normal.

  2. Find your confident stance
    Revert to this pose whenever you feel your confidence waning: place your feet hip-width apart, root your feet to the floor, open up your chest and lift up your head. It gives the illusion of confidence and makes you feel authoritative.

  3. Be yourself
    The most engaging speakers have one thing in common: authenticity. Anyone can reel off facts or point at graphs, but audiences are made up of people and people connect with stories. Your personal story might be something small or it could be huge, like something you have overcome in your life, but it will really be an insight into who you are.

  4. The 10-minute rule
    It is thought that the longest an audience can concentrate for is 18 minutes. You should try to recapture their attention before it dwindles so aim for the 10 minute mark. At that point, do something different- ask questions, get them to move around in their seats or play a video. Alternatively structure your speech into three ten minute sections keeping each one under 10 minutes.

  5. Belly breathing to control your voice
    The key to speaking at a good pace (not too fast!) and at a natural pitch is belly breathing. When we sit or stand, out habit is to breathe up in the chest, but you can retrain yourself with this exercise.

  • Fill your entire lung capacity, breathing into both your belly and chest. Imagine your inhalation is like filling a glass with eater, beginning from the lowest part of the belly and filling to the top of the chest. Once you have taken this very big breath in, let it out on a big sigh of relief

  • Return to your regular breathing, noticing the rise and fall of the belly with your breath.

  • It’s easiest to practice belly breathing when lying down. Take two minutes before you go to sleep and when you wake up, with your hands on your belly and your chest. Soon you’ll notice yourself breathing this way more naturally.

And if all this doesn’t work for you, you can always just revert to the old classic of imagining everyone you are talking to naked!


Pedagogy Corner

We all know the phrase that times flies when you’re having fun (which is perhaps why holidays never seem long enough) and in lessons this idea has lots of relevance too.

A practical application of this would be to think about the pace of your sessions – never an easy thing to do but it’s important to find the balance between giving students enough time to think or to work on a problem without it being too long so that things start to drag. Here are the first few points to think about relating to pace which I will continue next week.

  1. Create a sense of urgency with students that you want them to complete tasks efficiently but don’t move on so quickly that they don’t understand, get left behind or frequently fail to complete work.

  2. Give students thinking time when you have asked them a question, especially if it is challenging – slowly count to 5 and don’t feel you have to fill what can sometimes feel like an uncomfortable silence. It’s good for students to have a chance to think and slowing things down can sometimes lead to better progress.

  3. Make the goals of your session clear so that students have a sense of purpose. You could frame the start of the session saying ‘By the end of this session I want us to have achieved ….. or we should be able to answer the following question …….’

  4. Have smooth transitions between activities – there should never be dead time for students where they have nothing to do so plan well in advance when you want to move on and have whatever resources are needed to hand.

For those of you interested in Psychology or education theory you may want to read up about the ‘State of Flow’ which relates back to ‘time flies when you’re having fun’. Here is a link to an interesting article about this subject - http://positivepsychology.org.uk/living-in-flow/

Lucy’s Top 10 Tunes

This week it’s Lucy our amazing Derbyshire tutor who has kindly shared her 10 favourite tunes with us all and if there isn’t something here is this eclectic mix that you like then you must be completely bonkers! Who doesn’t love a bit of Whitney?!! Thanks Lucy for sharing them with us and happy listening everyone!!!

Thanks for catching up with everything here at Yipiyap! Enjoy the weekend 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