Please enable javascript in your browser to view this site!

Update #22 - 2nd March

Weekly Update #22!

Hi there,



Holy moley, what a week it has been! The Beast from the East meets Storm Emma and everything in between. Thanks to all of you for soldiering on, braving the elements and getting to school wherever possible! It is supposed to be warming up slightly over the weekend but just keep safe (if you are out and about) and warm. We can all recommend thermals and multiple layers as modelled by us all here at YY HQ!

Talking about a Yipiyap Can Do Attitude it’s a ‘get better soon’ for our Alan! Alan had a nasty fall on Tuesday and unfortunately broke his elbow. Not deterred, he has just got on with some really difficult IT matters through the week to support all of the RDs, Anne and myself as well as finding ways to manage all of his day to day tasks as RD.  Anne and I really just want to acknowledge and thank Alan all of this commitment, despite his injury, to the team and the business.

So, what’s been going on this week?


Catherine's News

I have spent this week, amongst lots of other things, T-ing up interviews with new candidates for next year in NPD and getting up to speed with all of the recruitment in all the other areas in anticipation of lots of 2nd interviews coming my way in the next few weeks/ months! 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, took part in a zoom meeting with some of Anne’s team – great to catch up with Alice, Tereza and Niamh!

My usual reminder about the £50 finder’s fee if you recommend a friend and they work successfully for us until July! Lots of schools are looking to pick up last minute support for the build up to exams so if any if your friends have come back from travelling, for example, and need something to do until July, please send them through!

Regional Directors' News


What a disruptive week it's been! The snow is very pretty to look at but I'll be happy to see the back of it. Not only can my car not cope with it, but neither can my slippy shoes! I've very nearly fallen over a good few times. Luckily, before the weather took a turn, I travelled to Oldham to conduct interviews at OSFC. It's always lovely going back to college to interview because I get to speak to staff about how great you're all doing! I especially loved my trip to Altrincham Grammar School for Boys because I interviewed a very good applicant and I was given some jelly babies. They're a good bunch!


Norwich, Peterborough and Derby

I don’t know if anyone’s noticed but it’s been a little chilly this week in NPD.  My particular low point was Thursday when only 3 of my team a) had a school open and b) could get there in under 3 hours!  Well done all my guys for making the most of a week which was really a write-off, hope you’ve got the next 8 weeks of sessions all planned and ready to go!


London, Reading and Leicester

The first thing to say is a massive congratulations to all of my tutors for getting in with absolutely no complaints all week despite the horrible weather. I haven't heard a peep out of anyone even though half the team have a really long journey to their schools. It's the same attitude that impressed me in the dark mornings in January and it has impressed me again now. Exemplary work! I've continued to receive fantastic feedback from schools as we start to send out order requests for continuing support into next year. You're all doing so well I have no doubt that your schools will want more next year - they'll be big shoes to fill, though!

Also thanks to everyone for their ideas for our charity challenge this half term. We'll be having a team meeting soon to discuss so keep the ideas coming and get ready to get stuck in!


Cheshire and North Wales

A very unusual week for me after quite the literal misstep on Monday. I hope everyone has been keeping safe on your commutes to and from school this week, whether driving or taking public transport. Support drives are now kicking off for Yipiyap and we're reaching out to all of our schools (past and present) to offer our support again from September. This is round two for me having done it last year, but the whole approach feels a lot fuller with our use of social media, newsletters and the website - and of course the new franchise platform. Alongside this, I've been prepping interviews with a couple of applicants who I'm hoping will be joining us in the coming weeks. So lots going on for both this year and next!


Yorkshire and the Humber

Hello everyone, I hope you’ve all had a great week despite the disruption caused by the adverse weather! Layla and I have very much enjoyed building our snowman in the garden and having snowball fights...hopefully you’ve all done the same! It’s been another busy week here with getting ready for next year with regard to support and recruitment which will remain the focus for the rest of the school year now, along with looking after all of you of course! Wrap up warm and take care this weekend! 

Wall of Happy

First to Anne


Best moment of the week was when we tried a group Zoom meeting because everyone was at home rather than in school!!  As Catherine said it was like ‘Celebrity Squares’ which I have a photo of for those of us under 35! 

Also, my team have been absolutely brilliant communicating about the closures due to snow so great stuff and hope we don’t have to keep it up much longer!

Finally, as it’s been World Book Day this week, here are some pics of the little Morrises from yesteryear to get us in the mood!

 Morris No.1- The Sorting Hat

Morris No.1- The Sorting Hat

 Morris No.2- The Five of Spades painting the rose bush, Alice In Wonderland

Morris No.2- The Five of Spades painting the rose bush, Alice In Wonderland

 Morris No 3- Milly Molly Mandy

Morris No 3- Milly Molly Mandy

 Ellerby No. 1 A Cat

Ellerby No. 1 A Cat

 Birkett No.1- Hermione Granger, Harry Potter

Birkett No.1- Hermione Granger, Harry Potter

 And Heidi in P’boro, being a cow just because she loved them!

And Heidi in P’boro, being a cow just because she loved them!


Next, it's Alan's turn

A quick thank you to everyone for keeping on top of school closures and letting me know of any delays to your journeys of a morning - it's to be expected with weather like this but it's always vital to know who is and isn't in school each day.


Now to Jess

It's always great to receive feedback from staff that have gone out of their way to get in touch. This week I received some great feedback about Sam from Jill at Kingsway:

Firstly I just want to give you some feedback with regard to Sam . He is an invaluable support to Staff and students and is working incredibly hard with both year 9 and 11 student. We are so impressed with his attitude and abilities and  just want to pass this on to you.

Also, I just wanted to thank everyone for letting me know about any snow days. Please make sure these are on your timesheet!


Next to Carrie

I need to say a huge well done to all of you for your efforts in getting into school during this adverse weather which I know has been no easy feat for some of you so thank you and really well done, this shows a real can do attitude (of course we absolutely understand for those of you who it just simply wasn’t possible / safe). Also, I want to say a really big well done to Joe Spence whose hit the ground running in his role with us, delivering his first intervention session on day 1 in the role and receiving fantastic feedback ever since, huge well done Joe! Again, another big well done to our trail blazers; Abbey, Derian & Jasmine supporting in South Yorkshire Colleges and being so patient with us getting this project off the ground! Well done all! 


And finally, Joss

Wall of happy this week goes to Nilam who has moved over to a new timetable of one-to-one and one-to-two interventions for the remainder of the year. The Vice Principal at the school went out of his way to send over some feedback from the teacher of one of Nilam's students and it was great - they're very pleased with her work. Enough to warm the heart on the last day of winter!

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!

 This week it's Saul's Tutor Top 10

This week it’s Saul’s who kindly shares his 10 favorite pieces of music. It’s a wonderful change of tempo with 10 brilliant classical pieces on his list! It’s always great to try new things and I know unless you play an instrument you may not necessarily be familiar with this genre so it’s definitely worth a listen. I find it really relaxing to listen to and it’s obviously a passion for Saul. Enjoy!


Thanks for catching up with everything here at Yipiyap! Keep warm and safe and have a great weekend and week ahead!


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