How are you all? I hope you have all had a great week and you are all keeping well. It is around this time that we do start to see the effects of those winter bugs starting to creep around. Halyna has been the first victim here with a lousy cold this week!
It is possible to get through winter without catching every bug doing the rounds. The most effective way of avoiding these bugs (other than by hibernation!) is by helping your body to defend itself against germs.
Here are few simple changes to your lifestyle that will give your body a good chance to stay healthy.
1. Rest up
If you are sleep deprived, your body isn’t as able to fight off germs, so you are more likely to get sick. Allow yourself at least seven hours of sleep each night. This will give your body a chance to rest and repair itself.
2. Eat a rainbow
Enjoy fruits and vegetables of all colours as a way to pack in the most nutrients possible. Getting vitamin C from your citrus fruit is great to protect you from the common cold. Leafy greens are another less well-known way to get vitamin C. While a multivitamin is a good idea, you can get most of what you need from the foods that you eat – so be sure to fill your plate with fresh fruits and vegetables.
3. Get some fresh air
Even when it’s cold and grey, getting outdoors to be active is going to help clear your head, reduce stress and improve fitness levels. This will get your immune system fighting fit. Really great if you could also just slip your trainers on and perhaps go for a little run! It would definitely be my wall of happy to know you are!!! Send me an action picture- make my day!
4. Keep an eye on your drinks
Drink as much water as you can. Remember alcohol can weaken your body’s defences and leave it open to illness so just be mindful if you are feeling a bit under the weather and have a big night out planned.
5. Keep your hands clean
Your hands touch germs every day and these can easily spread disease, particularly in class if someone has been there with snotty tissues on your desk. Wash your hands regularly, especially in school. You might want to invest in some hand sanitiser for when you can’t leave the room.
6. Consider a flu jab
A cold is bad enough, but getting the flu can really take its toll. It used to be the realm of the old and asthmatic but flu jabs are now available for all from most chemists.
So, what’s been going on this week?
Well, it has been busy week for me kicking off last Saturday of course with our Mock Interview event. It was great to see all of the tutors who put themselves forward for this practice do so well, coping with the really difficult challenges thrown at them. All of the interviewers were extremely impressed, as were we! I really hope you all found it useful. Your Regional Directors are all happy to pick up with you on the feedback.
After the interviews, my highlights have been processing all of the interviewers’ feedback and presenting on Wednesday and Thursday to Year 13s in North Wales. It was brilliant to see Elliott on Wednesday at Prestatyn High. I had parked a little precariously on the road by the school and while I was getting my bag out of the boot I had noticed a very important looking man striding towards me. Thinking I was going to be rollocked for my parking by a teacher from the school I just turned to carry on getting my bag out but lo and behold, the next thing I heard was ‘ Hiya Catherine, it is you isn’t it? and there was Elliott. I was very relieved not to have a telling off and just delighted to have the chance of a catch up and hear how much Elliott is enjoying his placement. It was fab to hear from the Head just how impressed everyone is with Elliott’s support, the fact he is throwing himself into school life and how he is an amazing role model. Mr Vernon was however concerned about the state of Elliott’s knees which are getting shredded every Friday on the astro turf football pitch in the staff 5 aside! Ouch!!! Apart from that however Elliott, brilliant work!
Next week I am looking forward to helping with the mock MMIs at Loreto College. It will be interesting to measure their candidates against our team.
My weekly reminder that if you know of anyone who has already finished their A levels or may be taking a gap year after their A levels next summer who would make a great tutor remember there is a £50 finder’s fee if you recommend them and they work successfully for us!
Firstly to say a massive thank you to Catherine and all of the team for making the MMIs such a brilliant and worthwhile event for all those who took part. It’s a huge undertaking to deliver the event to such a high standard so thanks to all who gave up their precious weekend to be here.
Impact Reports: It will soon be the time of year when tutors will be asked to write Impact Reports about the students they have been working with. I’m attaching a proforma of the Report for you to see and you can access this in the Tutor Resources section of the website. The idea is that we can give good quality feedback to school using a consistent format and usually tutors really enjoy this reflective part of the role (having read so many report comments from their own teachers over the years!) We’ll usually offer to write the reports in the week before Christmas when school is in festive mode but liaise with your RD about this as all Impact Reports must be reviewed by your RD before passing to school. RD’s are there to help with this as well as everything else!
Norwich, Peterborough and Derby
We are delighted to welcome YET ANOTHER new member to the NPD team so it’s a very warm welcome to Alissia whose DBS came through in record time for her to start in school this week. It was lovely to have a brief visit to Derby to meet Alissia and also catch up with Alice over lunch at her school. It must have been a VERY busy day at Merrill as there was half a chocolate cake still up for grabs in the staffroom at 12.30. A very committed team they are and Alice fits right in!
I've now started my second official round of visits so I've got some new CDs in the car to keep me entertained on all of my journeys (I'm favouring a lot of Prince at the moment!). I visited Oldham on Monday and had the pleasure of watching Nifemi in the classroom. I always love observing lessons and getting involved - makes me want to take another gap year! I also had a pretty hectic visit to MHA on Wednesday, but it was worth it because we managed to have a really productive meeting and find even more students for Jake to support in class. Lastly, Anne and I were invited to attend a meeting at a new school in Flixton to discuss the possibility of introducing a Yipiyap tutor. Lots of positive things going on with Team Manchester at the moment!
Denbighshire and Cheshire
Started off this week with a visit to see Emma at Archbishop Beck - great to check in and finally meet the deputy head there! Pushing on with some of the local primary schools. Also getting a couple of references together for some alumni and getting some North Wales trips in the diary for the next week or two. Hoping for a support breakthrough so watch this space!
Flintshire and Wrexham
Interviews and inspections have been the key theme this week. As well as the MMI interviews which took place at Yipiyap HQ on Saturday I went over to support a similar process at Coleg Cambria, Yale on Wednesday. Although there was less by way of sewing buttons whilst answering difficult questions, nevertheless the Yale candidates were equally trepidatious and found the experience very challenging. I took on the role of an aloof, slightly disinterested interviewer who had one question and candidates had 5 minutes to respond to it but once they stopped talking there were no prompts – it led to some very long awkward silences! Equally challenging was the visit of Estyn (the Welsh equivalent of Ofsted) to Ysgol Bryn Alyn – Rebecca and Teres both adopted the fantastic approach of staying calm, not being phased by it, recognising it for what it is and being flexible to support school however possible. School will have really appreciated your support.
London, Yorkshire and The Humber
Another fantastic week - shouldn't get used to saying that but it does seem to be the order of the day most weeks! We've got new placements starting up for Millie, Adilah, Cameron and Gaurav with some news to come in Leeds and Sheffield soon (hopefully!) so all ticking along nicely in London and Yorkshire. I've had time to do some research this week into the educational theory and techniques behind Yipiyap - trying to understand the science of why it works so well! It's been a really informative, exciting and eye-opening experience and I can't wait to share the findings with everyone in due course. On top of all of this excitement we've got new people coming on in various places and have opportunities going particularly in Hull and Bradford - if you know anyone who might be interested then GET YOURSELF THAT FINDER'S FEE!!
Wall of Happy
This week Alan starts us off with his special mentions
This week I’m highlighting April for the wall of happy. Having already picked up extra days, adding to your hours even more shows just how integrated you’ve become with staff, both within school and at the stadium. Lesley has been really pleased with you and I’m looking forward to checking in with her in the next couple of weeks.
Next to Richard
The highlight of my week has been seeing and chatting to some of the other tutors from around the country who came for MMI interviews at Yipiyap HQ on Saturday. It’s really interesting to hear about the different contexts that people are working in and the different approaches that schools are taking. What struck me most was the entirely positive response from everyone I spoke to about their experiences – lots of learning is taking place both for students and tutors which is exactly what being a Yipiyap tutor is about!
Now over to Jess
First of all a shout of to our Saddleworth tutors, Fozia and Nifemi. When I met with Charlotte she mentioned that Fozia had been helping prepare a report to track the impact her intervention sessions are having. I love hearing about tutors going above and beyond in school - well done! As mentioned, I observed Nifemi in the classroom and a teacher came up to me to say how impressed she was that he got stuck in straight away.
Well done to the tutors that have let me know about their interviews. Kiran and Adam attended our mock MMIs recently and they've now got a chance to use their skills in the real thing. We have everything crossed for you!
Now to Anne
First mention goes to Balraj – I had some really lovely feedback about how things are going at UTCN and it’s great to know you’re getting stuck in. Also to Ruwaydah who has a little baby cousin born TODAY! Go round and get cuddling this weekend, Ruwaydah!
Finally, a wonderful but completely surreal moment speaking with Claudia yesterday. We were chatting about school and Claudia was telling me how the children were doing a project on the solar system. A minute or two later I asked her what she got for her birthday last weekend and she said ‘A tattoo…of the solar system’!!! If any other tutors feel so inspired by their work in school that they get it tattooed across their torso, please let me know! Still waiting for the first tutor to get a Yipiyap bird tattoo…
And, finally to Joss
Wall of happy this week undoubtedly was the Mock MMIs on Saturday. Not only was it great to see Tom (who came bearing good news!) but also loads of tutors from other areas who I've not seen since Induction! The atmosphere was great and the sadist in me really enjoyed seeing how nervous everyone was before going in! It felt like a really productive day all round and I'm sure everyone in attendance will take something away from it. Really well done and thanks to Catherine for such a great experience
After a general overview relating to feedback last week the next few posts will go into slightly more detail. This week here are three things to think about when feeding back to students.
Appreciation is the key to opening the “feedback door.” Thanking students for submitting their work acknowledges and validates their time spent learning something new. Appreciation comments do not have to be drawn out to have a positive impact. They can be as simple as “thank you for sharing this awesome (idea/question/thought) with us.“ Receiving a positive, appreciative comment at the outset, students are more likely to feel respected and engage with any additional feedback you provide.
Sayback involves restating what learners said (active listening) or wrote. It shows learners that you read their work or solutions or listened carefully to their response and lets them know that they are on the right track. Often, the best way to start a sayback comment is with an “I agree” or some other appreciative statement. For example, “I agree that one of the ways this problems differs from the last is that you can’t factorise it so we need to find a different approach. Good spot.”
Links to resources
Sharing a link to a resource extends learning beyond the course content and introduces learners to new information, ideas, perspectives, and digital tools. A good example of this would be getting students to read blog posts about texts they are learning or getting them to engage with mark schemes, not as a tool for finding answers but for getting them to think about how examiners are asked to award marks. This is a really powerful tool in the run up to GCSE examinations and many are available online (NB examination boards usually release them one year after the exam session so that schools are able to use the most recent papers as mock examinations).
IMPORTANT NOTICE - ACCIDENTS AT WORK, SAFETY AT SCHOOL, SCHOOL TRIPS. PLEASE READ!
Just a couple of Health and Safety notices you need to be aware of here.
Firstly, tutors need to make sure you let your Regional Director know if you have an accident at work, not just reporting it to school.
Secondly, if school ask you to go on a trip, help with an event or provide in support in any way other than tutoring, please ensure that you tell you Regional Director before you take part. It is absolutely necessary for us to know about any activities you are involved in at school to ensure that you are safe while at school. Appropriate risk assessments have been carried out to assess any risks that you may be exposed to and we need to check thatthat steps have been taken to minimize such risks and we can only ensure this happens if we know what you are involved in so please always let us know.
Top Tips for Successful Support… SMILE!
This is Joss’ favorite tip (along with never saying ‘no’ to a cup of tea!). It is amazing how disarming a smile can be, whether it be to a busy teacher or to a difficult student. It was amazing how the interviewers on Saturday generally had more positive feedback when smiling had been noted on the feedback forms. People will be more inclined to speak to you because you will look friendly and approachable and your positive demeanour will be appreciated by everyone around you so keep smiling!!!
Tom’s Top 10 Tunes
This week it’s Tom, our Sheffield tutor and MMI survivor’s turn to delight us with his musical choices and delighted you will be. It is just a brilliant selection of songs to get your toes tapping! There’s something for everyone here- from recent chart smashes to all time classics just for good measure! A real treat- thanks for sharing these with us Tom!!!
Here’s the link, enjoy everyone!!!
On that musical note, I wish you all the very best for the weekend and the week ahead!