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Update #24 - 16th March

Weekly Update #24!

Hi there,


So, how have you all been this week? Full of the joys of spring I hope!

It was around this time last year that I interviewed many of you for your positions with us here at Yipiyap and what really struck me was just how clear your hopes and goals were for the coming year- you all had a real purpose. You may have even set these goals out in your planners! Given that we are now half way through the second term, I thought it might be worth reminding you to take a look at those goals and evaluate how you are getting on.  Many of you had ‘improving communication skills’ and ‘gaining confidence’ as your priorities and I just wonder how you would evaluate yourselves now. Hearing about the recent successes at University interviews, it’s very clear to us that you have all nailed those skills. But just check those lists and see what else is on them. You have plenty of time to tick all the boxes and walk away from this year feeling that you have accomplished everything you set out to achieve and more! Here are 5 steps to help you achieve your purpose:

  • Dare to dream – and dream big
  • Know your talents and strengths
  • Examine your needs and values
  • Decide what your goal is
  • Create and plan and make it happen

So, as S-Club 7 would say… reach for the stars!

So, what’s been going on this week?


Catherine's News

Well, it’s been another week of ‘everything’ at Yipiyap. This is why I love my job, I start the week with a list of things to do, by 9.10am on Monday that list is pretty much rewritten! No week is ever the same, no minute is ever empty and I am never bored! The highlight this week was definitely my trip to Peterborough where, alongside presenting at a careers talk and meeting with some new schools down there, I had the chance to catch up with Humayra and Maaria!  It was great to hear all of the stories about school and to catch up on their plans for next year! A massive thanks to Humayra for accompanying me to the presentation (on her day off from Yipiyap!) and delivering a brilliant account of life as a Yipiyap tutor and what it has done for her. She was a brilliant ambassador for us! A huge ‘thank you’ Humayra!

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!


Anne's News

As my team know I spent much of last week in a Global Leadership Conference called The Edge and so I just wanted to share just some of the topics under discussion and if anyone wants to know more about any of them just let me know.  There were talks around how to be an innovative disruptor (as we are at Yipiyap every day!) how to overcome stereotypes in business, advanced decision making – 80% of  people think they are better-than-average drivers, how do you make good decisions when you’re biased? – right through to more diverse subjects – how to grow your brain in 3 months and what death teaches us.  There were 2800 delegates from everywhere you can think of so it was an incredible event.  Thanks so much to the rest of the team for making it possible for me to be there.

Regional Directors' News


When I first started this role I wasn't expecting to be spending afternoons hopping and doing egg and spoon races. However, on Wednesday we had the pleasure of being invited to Altrincham Grammar School for Boys to take part in a fundraiser for Prevent Breast Cancer. It was lots of fun to work as a team and I even invited my friend Alex, a previous Yipiyap tutor, to take part! More on this on the WoH. I also had a lovely time this week at a Careers Fair at Cheadle Hulme School. Gave me a chance to tell everyone about my team and why gap years are great and I'll take it every time!


Norwich, Peterborough and Derby

Just a short one for me this week.  This time last year I had 6 days per week of support confirmed for September across my 3 NPD regions - this year I have 34 days per week confirmed and the promise of several more requests to come over the next few weeks.  All due to my phenomenal team and the way they deliver day in and day out.  Can’t say better than that!


London, Reading and Leicester

It's all go go go here this week with absolutely everything going on for tutors new and old - we keep on keeping on! So excited to be welcoming two new tutors to this year's team next week joining Patrick and Ramsha at South Bank UTC. Also really proud of the fact that three of our schools have already come forward to confirm their continued support into next year. That's just the highest endorsement of the hard work that you're all doing at the moment so well done. I also wanted to give a special shout out to Daniel this week for communicating with me really well and helping me get to the bottom of the timetabling issues we've had. As I said to him on the phone, these kind of issues can be awkward, but because Daniel's performed at such a high level so far this term I'm really confident it will get sorted out quickly - thanks, Daniel, and well done!


Cheshire and North Wales

Another week into the campaign for September and it feels like only yesterday that I was chasing and receiving requests for support from the schools you're all in now. Hoping for many continuing schools and with any luck, a few new ones in the Cheshire West and Flintshire areas. Having had really successful placements in a bunch of schools this year, I'm really confident they'll be invested in renewing support with us in September, but I've no doubt they'll wish they could have the same tutors again - and for Ysgol Dinas Bran, that may be the case! Alongside the chasing of support, I'm queuing some new interview sessions at colleges as I intend to be back in the office and on the road next week - excited to meet some new faces and potential tutors for September! Finally, while it is timesheet week, a quick reminder to please get them across as soon as possible! I won't have as much time this weekend to chase people so please take a few minutes to get them in today - thank you!


Yorkshire and the Humber

Well, we could not have a little something for team Y&H a second week running could we?!!! It was great to hear from a few of the tutors this week! Obviously in Carrie’s absence Anne and I have been looking after her team and I have to say it’s been a real treat! I have really appreciated hearing your positive news and how much you are enjoying your placements! Your little family is about to grow even bigger as we have two new tutors joining the Y&H team! The most imminent being James who will be starting at Rise Academy on Monday! Welcome and good luck James.

Wall of Happy

First to Anne

The best moment of the week Team Yipiyap finishing the charity event for Paint Altrincham Pink as explained by Jess above!  If you’re ever asked to hop the length of a football pitch - think very carefully before saying yes!!  It was all in a good cause however and seeing my son in a tutu with his mum in front of his whole year group was really very special.

From my team this week, it was great that Humayra and Maaria came out in P’boro to meet Catherine during her visit and Humayra, you did a fabulous job supporting Catherine at her presentation.  Also thanks to Rebecca for offering to write a blog for the website and well done to Humaira for deciding on UCL as her destination next year.   Well done all!


Next, it's Alan's turn

With calls going out to schools this week, it's always nice to check in with staff contacts to see how you're all getting on. Highlights from this week are Wilmslow and Prestatyn high schools, who have both been big supporters of Yipiyap this year and this has been due in no small part to our tutors there; Cameron, Milly and Jack. One of the most positive comments I've had from schools has been around the idea of proactivity, and Prestatyn's deputy head has picked up on this consistently with Cameron and Milly - a really valuable trait and always recognised in school! As for Jack; as if 5 days per week weren't enough, school have been requesting additional hours over Easter for Jack to assist learners in preparing for their exams. Really positive that school value your work so much, and an equally positive attitude to take them on! Lastly, congratulations to Henry for his successful start at Ysgol Treffynnon. His orientation days are over and will be beginning tuition in full next week, but a great start nonetheless!


Now to Jess

Firstly, a huge thank you to Sam and Faris for coming along on Wednesday and getting inolved with the fundraiser. It was great to see you being welcomed back by your old teachers!

Also a huge thank you to Fajar, Sarwana and Ansab for making arrangements with school to make up hours missed due to absence. They'll really appreciate a helping hand during the run up to exams.

A massive congratulations to Phoebe who has two offers in the bag for Medicine from Newcastle and Queen Mary’s! Amazing achievement Phoebe! Nice decision to have to make!!

Happy St Patrick's Day for Saturday!


Next to Catherine

Well, we will start this weeks the Wall of Happy for Yorkshire and Humberside with Saul. Saul is going to Buckingham Palace in May to receive his Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award!! Well done Saul, brilliant achievement and a trip to the Palace to boot!! It’s thanks also to Saul for sending over some excellent resources for the Maths resource library- much appreciated Saul!

It is a collective Wall of Happy too all the Y&H tutors who have shown a brilliant Can Do Attitude over the last 2 weeks in Carrie’s absence and have just got on with all of their roles professionally and positively. Hats off to you all and many thanks!


And finally, Joss

Wall  of happy this week has to be the evidence of impact I got given by Patrick's two schools regarding English support at the UTCs. We've had great feedback all year of course but actually seeing his impact quantified there in black and white feels amazing. Fantastic work, Patrick and keep it up!!!

Emotional Literacy

OK, did you know your generation is being called ‘Generation Me’, also known as Generation Narcissus, the most inward-looking generation yet? Don’t blame me, this is what the US academic Dr Sara Konrath’s has called you! I was reading an article this week about this and apparently you are the generation that even when you are all together you’re not interacting. So what’s so wrong with that, I hear you cry?! I love my phone / my iPad / my laptop….. Well, apparently what’s wrong with it is Generation Me’s huge “empathy deficit”. Apparently you are scientifically proven to be the most “self-centred, competitive, confident and individualistic generation in recent history" (again, not me!). Dr Konrath’s report concludes that teen empathy levels are shrinking faster than an Antarctic iceberg. Indeed, the study shows that American college students display 40% less empathy than those born 30 years previously. (I am intrigued as to how they measured this- I have some rather unscientific image in my brain of a big old ‘empath-o-meter’ pinging furiously like a frantic alarm clock!). But apart from my mental wanderings, this clearly doesn’t bode well if you do lack empathy because basically it means you are so self- centred you can’t join in, leaving the world with a band of unhelpful, solitary outsiders.

So, what can be done about this? A forward-thinking headmaster and dad of two, Andrew Halls, is doing something about it — he is going to teach empathy lessons at his Wimbledon private school, King’s College and he is calling for other schools to do the same. Halls says that alongside excessive screen time, lack of empathy could also be down to increasing divorce rates, creating a reluctance in some children to show emotion.

So what does he suggest to combat the empathy gap? First, he says, reduce screen time (obviously!), second read more books because books talk about feelings. Thirdly, do more things together with family and friends, and finally he strongly recommends you join a team!


Hall says “Technology has cut the threads between us… we need to engage in life beyond the screen’. I could not agree more! I literally have to wrestle the iPad out of my daughter’s hands which become herculean in strength in that particular battle!

I, for one, don’t actually think this empathy gap is the sole preserve of your generation. I feel that as a consequence of all the demands and the pace of today’s world we are all afflicted to some extent by this inward obsession. So, what am I going to do about it? Well, I am going to aim to do one kind thing (for someone else- not me!) everyday! I want to see the gauge of that empath-o-meter ping off that scale at least 7 days a week and do my bit to make sure that at the very least my daughter knows there are other people in this world apart from her and her mates on the i-pad!

 This week it's Lauren's Tutor Top 10

This week it’s Lauren’s turn to share her top 10 fav songs. This is a really eclectic mix with some dancefloor fillers and then some classics to relax to. Something for everyone in this playlist!!!

Thanks for the music Lauren!


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