Update #5 - 12th October

Hi all,

Sorry for the delay in getting the Weekly Update to you all this week! Wind affecting our Wifi here at Chez Birkett!!

I hope you have all had a great week at school. Only 1 week to go until half term for most of you but please check term dates with your Regional Directors and school if you are uncertain!

So, what’s been going on this week?

Catherine’s News

This week for me has been head down (or as far as it will go!) and focusing on the recruitment strategy for next year. I am getting very excited about the prospect of engaging lots of new schools to work with. I also presented at Ysgol Brynhyfryd in Denbigh (Rebecca and Georgia’s old stamping ground) which was great. I never tire of talking about what we do and they were a lovely cohort to present to. Fingers crossed we will have more Rebecca and Georgias!!! I am looking forward to a field trip to Derby on Monday to catch up with some of our Derby tutors and back to North Wales next Tuesday to speak to more schools. Can’t wait!

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 finders fee if you recommend them and they work successfully for us!

Anne’s News

To coincide with Mental Health Awareness Day I am delighted to present the Yipiyap Mental Health at Work Plan – please find this attached to your email. As you become more and more established in your placements it is really key that you look after your wellbeing so do read the plan and additional information to make sure you stay tip-top throughout the year. As always, if we can help you with anything, just let us know!



Please do not forget to book your place for the mock interviews. As you know this year we are running both MMI style and general interview practice. The medics have been very enthusiastic with their take up and there are still places for the general interviews which we’d really encourage all tutors to book in for.

We all have many interviews throughout our working lives and you can never be too good. We have incredible interviewers who will really put you through your paces so don’t miss out on this escellent opportunity to improve your interview technique.

Regional News

Norwich, Peterborough and Derby

It’s the time of year when everyone is really becoming established in their placements - except Alice who just started her second placement today! Thanks to Alice for all your patience and it’s been great that you’ve had so much time at your other school to get to know each other really well! We have two more new tutors starting in Derby really soon so really looking forward to more great team members for NPD. Off to Norfolk next week – can’t wait!



Yes, you guessed it - more school visits! I've almost been to every school now with just Newman and Crompton House coming up before the end of this half term. I've really enjoyed seeing you all and getting a chance to speak to you in much more detail than our usual weekly check in. In between my road trip across Manchester I somehow managed to fit in two interviews this week too. Fingers crossed we'll be expanding the Manchester team very soon. Hearing everyone in the office talking about their bowling trips this week has made me super excited for ours!


Denbighshire and Cheshire

This week has come and gone by so quickly! The first whispers of recruitment (yes, for next year!) are coming through and I've got a few college visits coming up to talk about how best to reach as many Y13s as possible - first up is my visit to Winstanley College. Also a big thank you for everyone who came to our bowling social last night - I was impressed with Lois' double strike though that might have something to do with your practice from the day before! It was great to see you all there and to meet up with Richard's team too - hopefully again at the next social!

Flintshire and Wrexham

Everybody seems well settled into their schools now and the positive feedback coming in from schools is great. Hawarden High is a key school for us as we have tutors who were there as students themselves and in addition we also provide support this year. I had the pleasure of attending the opening of their smart new 6th form centre this week and managed to catch up with some key staff who spoke positively about our tutors and were singing your praises to the Chief Education officer for Flintshire! I’m looking forward to getting into schools over the next couple of weeks to pay one more visit this half term to each of the tutors and to make sure plans are in place for after half term, which in Wrexham & Flintshire seems to be a week later than lots of other places.

London, Yorkshire and The Humber

Been really pleased this week with team communication. It's that time when everyone's getting a bit of the flu going round and having absences for exams/appointments etc. Everyone's attitude in terms of getting in despite adversity and organising/communicating to mitigate any impact for school is just great. It's exactly what we've wanted from you all and you've got it in one! Phenomenal stuff. Also Leeds' bowling night this week (London to come soon!) so really excited to see the pictures come in of you all having a great time! It's well deserved from absolutely everyone there so well done and special shout-out to Gaurav for getting across from Bradford - what a shlep!!

Wall of Happy

This week Richard starts us off with his special mentions

I would like to echo some of the comments which others have made previously about the Spirit of Manchester Awards last week which was a fantastic evening, full of inspirational stories and wonderful people. It was lovely to see Yipiyap being held in such high esteem and for the work of everybody in the team to be recognised. I also had a great evening bowling with our tutors at Cheshire Oaks on Thursday.

Next to Jess

My first mention goes to Lucy this week. I visited her on Wednesday and she did a great job supporting in class, but the highlight for me was Lucy attempting to make the perfect coffee for me when she doesn't drink it! The coffee to milk ratio is always a tricky one to nail so thank you for a great attempt. Lovely to see you completely settled in the maths office too!

It was also lovely to see Elena at MEA on Monday. She casually dropped into conversation that she's volunteered to come into school early every day to help support a student that she otherwise wouldn't have time to see. The dedication to her role is really impressive so a huge well done!!

Message to Team Manchester: PLEASE RATE YOUR DAY ON THE APP!


Now over to Anne

First a mention for Faye who battled into work despite a very croaky voice on Wednesday..it’s really good to hear that you are building up your ‘client’ base at CCN, Faye, and I’m sure there will soon be many more students knocking on your door!

Secondly to Maddie who is really on it with her DACNOP registers and had some lovely feedback from Murray Park this week - well done Maddie! And Hafsah for proactively offering to make up a couple of days missed through illness - this is so much appreciated by Noel Baker, Hafsah, and I’m pleased you’re feeling much better!

Lastly to Hannah and Tia for taking on the responsibility of organising the bowling trips and to all team members who came along - thanks for making it a great night all round!


Now to Alan

This week goes to Lois who has thrown herself in to some additional tuition sessions at Beamont these past couple of weeks, including extra revision sessions on Saturday! That's a great level of committment to the role and completely beyond your contract. I hope you really enjoy these sessions and I'll look forward to hearing how you get on!


And, finally to Joss

Wall of happy this week is a bitter sweet one - I had to be away from my desk on Wednesday for a funeral and it was just so nice to see how well everyone was able to give me the space to do that and Anne and Catherine picking up the slack (as if they didn't have enough to do!!) Team did really well in contacting them for any emergencies and everything else was left for me to pick up on Thursday. Thanks everyone at YY for being such a supportive and hard-working community!

Pedagogy Corner

As most tutors will soon be well into their work extracting students I thought it would be useful this week to give some pointers with regards to planning your sessions.

  • Make sure you know your students. By that I don’t just mean who they are (although that will obviously help!) but try to get some information in advance about what their strengths and weaknesses in your subject are, how they tend to work in lessons and whether they have any special learning needs (SEN).

  • Find out whether you are covering a topic/skill for the first time or whether a student should have some pre-existing knowledge.

  • Have a clear idea of what objective(s) you want to cover in a session. Be realistic and don’t try to cover too much only in a superficial way. It’s better to get under the skin of something and get students to develop a deep understanding as it is more likely they will be able to recall what you have worked on.

  • Try to plan in advance how long you think an activity/task will take to cover so you know if you are on track in your session – be flexible with timing if you need to be but try not to let things drag on.

  • Focus on learning by asking three key questions. What do students need to learn? How will you know they are there? How will you get them there?

  • Keep a brief record of what you have done before and after a lesson so you know where you are up to. If you’ve got 10 different students/groups to work with it is easy to lose track of who has done what.

If you are looking for resources I would recommend you sign up to TES.

It is free to register and is the place to go to for teacher shared resources. Most are free although recently some resources have started to become paid for ones.

Happy planning!!

Bowling Night Roundup!

Well, It was ‘Throw It Thursday’ across the land last night with the teams in Norwich, North Wales, Cheshire, Leeds, Sheffield and Bradford all out on the lanes. The Derby team are out tonight and Manchester and London will all be joining in the fun next week so more photos to come!!!

Here are a few snaps that have come my way….


World Mental Health Awareness Day


It’s thanks to Jess for this important contribution! It ties in nicely with launch of our own Yipiyap Mental Heath at Work Plan (attached).

World Mental Health Awareness Day was held on Wednesday 10th October this year. If your social media feeds were anything like mine, it was quite hard to ignore the fact that this day meant so much to so many people. It is a really important day and something we feel strongly about here at Yipiyap. 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health issue each year, now that statistic really hits home when realise we have a yipiyap team of 60+. We consider it our duty to support you (and each other) throughout your gap year and this is why our code of conduct states that tutors will be supported and encouraged to perform to their full potential. Sometimes you just need someone to talk to and we want you to know that we are always here, no matter how big or small you consider an issue.

The charity https://www.mind.org.uk/ aim to raise awareness of mental health and it provides support to people that are experiencing mental health issues. The website has a brilliant section called 'tips for everyday living' where you can click on options such as stress, loneliness etc and it gives brilliant advice. I especially liked the section on mindfulness as we try and practise this every day in the office! If I've had a stressful call or meeting, I will take a few minutes to myself and refocus my energy into the positive work we are doing. This can be as simple as walking away from my phone/laptop and taking a moment to make a cup of tea. If you find yourself overwhelmed, take a minute at break or lunch time to go for a walk and take some deep breaths. If you're a fan of hot drinks you could also try my cup of tea technique. Remember, you are having a positive impact each day and you shouldn't let anything bring you down!

One thing I feel really helpful with anxiety and stress is meditation. I recently discovered an app called 'Headspace' and this gives short lessons on breathing techniques to help focus and settle your thoughts. I do each three minute session before bed and I really find this useful for getting a good night’s rest, something I always struggled with. If you remember back to our induction day I discussed wellbeing and keeping healthy over the year. Eating well, exercising and getting a good night’s rest are all vital for your physical and mental wellbeing so remember to look after yourselves.


If you have not done so already, can I ask everyone who has any resits to let their Regional Director know by next Friday latest please?

Briann’s Top 10 Tunes

It is a huge ‘thank you’ to Briann our amazing London tutor for this weeks Tutor Top 10! I have been assured that all of these songs are brilliant by the more ‘hip’ members of the team in HQ. I can definitely vouch for one song (guess which one!!). So, thanks a million Briann and hope you all enjoy them!

Have fantastic weekend and enjoy the week ahead folks!



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