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Update #23 - 9th March

Weekly Update #23!

Hi there,

Well, at the start of the week I really thought I was going to be able to kick off the update with a bit of a ‘Spring is finally here and the sun is shining’ kind of slant but given the snow yesterday I’ll give this topic a body swerve! The coats and thermals have however been shed at Yipiyap HQ but sadly Jess and I have been the only ones to benefit from the balmy temperatures with Anne, Halyna and Alan out of the office.

So, what’s been going on this week?


Catherine's News

This week I am awarding myself some space on the Big Wall of Happy for everyone who has made this week a good one. With Anne, Halyna and Carrie on leave, I was approaching this week with some trepidation. So:

Firstly, it’s a massive thanks to Anne and Carrie’s teams who have without issue or a days absence just got on with their roles and have been a dream to work with. Carrie will be on leave until 19th March so please ensure that you continue to communicate directly with Anne and I, as you have done this week, on all matters. Thank you!

Secondly, to Jess, Alan and Joss who have been brilliant at picking up work at a moments notice and really showing a fabulous team spirit and can do attitude.

Finally to Anne, who despite being 6,793 miles away (yes, I checked!), 7 hours ahead and engaged in a full on global business forum has never stopped checking her emails and making sure everything at Yipiyap is ticking over. I dread to think what her phone bill will be!!! Does anything get in her way when it comes to Yipiyap? Nope!

Thanks to you all!

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


On the week we celebrated International Women's Day, it was just me and Catherine in the office and we did a great job holding fort if I do say so myself. It's been all systems go in Manchester as we've had extra requests for alternative provision at Stretford Grammar, Saturday support at Oasis Academy and Whit holiday support at Broadoak. It just goes to show how much your time and effort is appreciated.


London, Reading and Leicester

This week has been a great one for me! I've got two new tutors coming on board next week to support Patrick's great work at South Bank UTC in the run up to exams. Excited to introduce them to the team soon. I've also had a fantastic observation with Cynthia (finally) at Elutec - she's settled in so well, she's so professional and sure-handed with the students - passing great knowledge along as well as building really strong relationships. Couldn't be more pleased to have seen how well she's getting on there and the Assistant Principal was moved to attend a meeting I was presenting at and giving a glowing endorsement of Cynthia and Yipiyap alike - again mentioning that Cynthia's never been late or missed a day of tutoring - so dedicated, energetic and always looking to improve. Fantastic! So proud of my team this week.


Cheshire and North Wales

Onward with support this week and I'll be using this campaign as a perfect opportunity to get back into schools for my next round of visits - as soon as I'm able to drive again! In the meantime, I've been readying a new social media campaign for schools and sixth forms, and also untangling the web of information that is local council/authority school records so that we can put it to use when the franchisees join us this year. This should allow for a much more comprehensive approach than we've had in the past so I'm keen to get this off the ground this side of Easter!

Wall of Happy

First to Alan

A "welcome back" to Milly this week after her trip away - a unique and inspiring experience from what I've heard and I'm looking forward to reading your post for the tutor blog! If anyone else would like to write for the tutor blog about things you've done during your year out, either let me know or you can send them through to Joss directly! Also a shoutout to Adam who has been stepping up his work with the Year 11s at Dinas Bran, most notably helping one of the students progress through two grades ahead of exam season - keep it up!


Next to Jess

Firstly, I'd like to say a huge thank you to Farzana and Haris for agreeing to give up their Saturday morning to help the GCSE students at Oasis Academy. They're going to love having you there to help!

Also, thank you to Lorin and Matt for also agreeing to do extra support. As later starters I'd just like to take the time to say how well you've settled and how much you've impressed us with your dedication.


And finally, Joss

I'm happy about loads of things this week - I've been attending meetings and interviews all over the place and everything feels like it's really moving forward. I've had an amazing week of attendance and communication from everyone and hey - the cold weather has passed and the sun is shining! Highlight certainly was observing Cynthia and hearing the AP's endorsement of her!

Fake it 'til you make it!

This week, I found a brilliant article about the importance of confidence and self belief. During the interview process at yipiyap, almost everyone mentions a desire to develop their confidence during their gap year. It’s a key skill to have in life (that’s right, it is a skill!) and this article is incredibly relevant to every single one of you, including everyone at yipiyap HQ too!


When you’re in need of a confidence boost, there are ways to channel your inner warrior. It’s that magic ingredient that gets most human endeavours off the ground. With it you can shoot for the stars. Without it, opportunities can fizzle out faster than damp fireworks. “We tend to doubt ourselves more and underestimate our own abilities,” believes leadership expert Margie Warrell, who says that confidence breeds more confidence. “It’s a snowball effect: if you’re confident enough to walk into a room and introduce yourself, for instance, you’ll learn things from it and get feedback that affirms you. Then you can try something bigger next time.” (Remind anyone of their first day in the staff room?)


How to BUILD confidence

There’s a host of things we can do to build confidence. Firstly, we need to learn to “doubt the doubt”, as Warrell puts it. And – crucially – not let it dictate our decisions. “No one is immune from fear of failure,” says Warrell. “It’s part and parcel of being human. It’s what we do next that matters.”


Building confidence requires us to step out of our comfort zone, even when we might fail. “Becoming confident means doing the very thing we wish we were confident enough to do,” says Warrell.  DO IT.


How to FEEL confident

You’ve set yourself a goal. Perhaps you’ve agreed to do a presentation at work, and you can already feel the beads of perspiration gathering. Remember, action begets confidence – actions of confidence come first, feelings of confidence come second. So practise, practise, practise. “If you want to become a confident public speaker, you have to practise,” says Dr Russ Harris. The idea is that eventually we achieve “flow”, when our skills align perfectly with the task at hand and we’re in the confidence zone.


Fear can be a great source of energy and motivation – just ask any top-level athlete or performer. The trick is to not get hooked on that inner voice telling you that you’re bound to make a fool of yourself. A mindfulness trick can help you overcome your emotions in the moment. “Let negative thoughts float by,” says Dr Harris. “Think of them as leaves floating on a river. Instead, focus your full attention on the task.”


How to RADIATE confidence

Our body language, speech and even our clothes can all radiate confidence – or the opposite. Rehearsing will help you control the power dynamic and hold your own. “The idea is that you see yourself in action and you’re aware of how your posture and facial expressions change as you speak.”  Stand tall and take up space. Research has shown that confidence is non-verbally displayed through height and space, so keep your posture straight, your shoulders back and your head held high.


I hope you find this useful!

 This week it's Liam's Tutor Top 10

This week it’s Liam’s turn to share his top 10 fav tunes. Jess and I were having a good look at the playlist and Jess observed the following:

In recent news there has been a report showing a major lack of representation by women in the music industry, evidenced by the image below. The line up on the left includes both male and female artists, while the image on the right is female only. 

Fitting in to the theme of International Women's Day, Liam’s playlist includes some of the most talented female musicians out there and some respectable male artists too of course. I'm not sure if this was a deliberate theme to Liam's playlist, but we love it!

Thanks for sharing some fab tunes here Liam!


Time to wrap things up for the week but before I sign off, don’t forget it’s Mother’s Day on Sunday. I hope you have all got your cards at the ready (if you want to get fed for the rest of the year!!!).

Have a great weekend!


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