Update #9 - 23rd November


Hi Everyone,

I hope you have all had a great week. Can you believe we are already half way through this half term and the rest of it will fly by with all of the build up to Christmas in school?!

Only 1 week until the real countdown for Christmas starts (in our house at least!) and I am aware that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are upon us so I will try and be brief with this update so you can deepen your relationship with Amazon and get your Christmas shopping started!!

App News

Some of you have picked up on an issue with the app over the last couple of weeks. This is not you and not really us but Apple who have decided that the code used in our app (along with countless others) is now out of date and so will not be supported by the App store. We are looking into a fix but in the meantime, feel free to still rate your day and comment on WhatsApp (with your RD, the whole team don’t need to know!) and we’ll let you know as an when there is a solution. Not very h-app-y about it and thanks for bearing with us!!!

So, what’s been going on this week?

Catherine’s News

It’s been another busy week with a day at Loreto College on Monday helping with the MMI interviews there. It was great to see Amir looking so dapper and professional! Then it’s been more interviews for potential new Yipiyap teammates for this year and also starting planning and organising the Christmas Inductions and meals. I am really looking forward to getting the recruitment packs out to schools next week and getting my diary booked up with presentations and school visits to search for more brilliant tutors for 2019!

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!

Anne’s News

I tag-teamed with Catherine this week at the Loreto College MMI interviews - I was doing a role play (Olivier-nominated performances by all accounts!) where I was an 11 year old finding out from my parent that I hadn’t got into the secondary school I wanted. It’s the first time I’ve done this and lots of students did really well but there were the obligatory shockers - one student told me I’d fallen down on my History and I could resit my GCSE next year, one was smiling all the way through while I was in tears(!) and one simply couldn’t tell me at all! Hopefully those little wrinkles will be ironed out before they do the real thing!

Regional News

Norwich, Peterborough and Derby

The news is that there are no new members of the team this week but, given how much we’ve grown recently, that’s not really surprising! Everyone doing well and running a really tight ship - well done all my NPD-ers!


Hi everyone! It's been a brilliant week with plenty going on (as usual in the world of Yipiyap!). We had a request for support at Flixton Girls' and so Emma J has now started a full time placement there, meaning she is now on Team Manchester. We're really happy to have you and it'll be great to see you at the future social events, Emma! I also had my first visit to Broadoak this week and it was great to see Ed finally in his placement after first talking to him about Yipiyap many, many months ago at a careers event. The support meetings haven't stopped this half term and I had a great meeting at a school in Wythenshawe, just minutes away from two schools we are already supporting. Fingers crossed! Finally, I ended with week with a day at Altrincham College but it wasn't like any other school visit as I was joined by a fellow RD! Richard was interested to see how our intervention sessions work in practise and so who better to shadow than senior tutor George?!


Denbighshire and Cheshire

Back out on the road again this week, just in time for this rainy weather! Firstly off to Rhyl to learn more about funding potential for next year, and then stopping by in Llangollen to catch up with Amber. Today I’ve been visiting a bit closer to home at Priestley College. I’m already looking forward to a recruitment presentation there soon, so it’ll be great to be supporting the college with tutors in the future. Finally, please ensure you get your timesheets in today - this ran like clockwork last month so more of the same please!

Flintshire and Wrexham

I’ve managed to get in visits to most tutors this week, spending time at Hawarden and Ysgol Treffynnon. I’ve really enjoyed meeting with the Heads of Faculty for the first time this week and getting their feedback on how tutors are doing and once again they have been really positive about your contributions. I’ve been interviewing potential new tutors in Wrexham over at Yale college – great to hear the Yipiyap name spreading around the region. I’ve also been trying to spread awareness of our support in Primary schools in the region.

London, Yorkshire and The Humber

Start this week off with a welcome to a new member of the team in Hull - and our first Senior Tutor! Welcome, Fiona - you'll be a great help to me and the other tutors in WHA as the year progresses and we're delighted to have you back, as are school! Just a note that the app isn't working at the moment so if the team is wanting to feed anything back to me each day do please get in touch directly - we're working to fix the app as soon as we can! Also a great big shout out to Cameron who has started a new place over the last few weeks - he's doing such a great job there and we're very proud. Shout out also to Krishan also who's done a great job arranging to make up days that he's missed - always makes my job easier when tutors are so organised!

Wall of Happy

This week Richard starts us off with his special mentions

The highlight of my week has been getting some really positive feedback about Katie who has become a rock at Ysgol Treffynnon – as part of a small team who are all brand new this year Katie’s presence has brought some much needed consistency for students. Also a shout-out to Teres who messaged me to say her train hadn’t turned up and she was going to be late but nevertheless she went above and beyond and found a way to get in on time – I really appreciated that as did school.

Next to Jess

A huge thanks to Ruwaydah for already getting started with planning for the charity challenge. We'll discuss this more as a team in the future but it's good to know we already have some planning going on!

As mentioned earlier, I had my first trip to observe Ed at Broadoak. He did a brilliant job and you'd have no idea that he started a half term later than most!

Lastly, wishing George a very Happy Birthday for tomorrow! Have a lovely day.


Now over to Anne

Some fab feedback this week for Alice from both her schools with ‘eager’ ‘willing’ and ‘outstanding’ all featuring in the feedback - great stuff Alice!

Also, some lovely messages from Carla letting me know how the groups were getting sorted out in her school, Millie, who ran a cover lesson for one of the maths dept and Hafsah who pulled out all the stops to get onto SIMS in school, skilfully turning a no into a yes.

Finally, Congratulaions to Hannah who has had her Masters Graduation today - hope it was a wonderful day for you Hannah!!


Now to Joss

Wall of happy this week has to go to Gaurav who's started so well in his new placement that requests for further support are coming in. He's been an outstanding member of the team from day 1 despite a disrupted start changing around placements. Now he's only gone and got himself an interview at King's to do Dentistry to top off a great week! Well done and good luck!


And, finally to Alan

I had a great time checking in with Amber at Dinas Brân. Mark was very positive about what a help you’ve been to the department and I know Lina really values your weekly check-ins. Looking forward to you starting your intervention work! Also a big thanks from Halyna and me for your perseverance with our technical issue these past few weeks - I’m really pleased it’s finally paid off!

Pedagogy Corner

Continuing the theme of feedback again this week with the second of three posts which go into more detail. Here are another three things to think about when feeding back to students.

4. Questions

We’ve looked at questioning before but a reminder that with regards to feedback, asking a question is a good way to engage learners in conversations about their work. While answering questions, learners often reflect on the process of their work, which brings their comprehension into a deeper level. Questions can serve many purposes when providing feedback. They can be used to clarify the learners’ thinking (e.g., “What did you mean by…”), to make the learning process more transparent (e.g., “Why did you...”), to inspire students to think about their work in a different way (e.g., “Have you considered looking at the topic from this perspective?”), to expand the learner's’ knowledge or skills (e.g., “Have you considered exploring...”), and to encourage learners to make changes to their work (e.g., “Have you thought about trying…”).

5. Providing next steps

Providing next steps is a way to let learners know what else they can do to improve their work and, looking ahead, to acquire greater knowledge and hone their skills. Some schools have adapted this strategy to become a fixed part of their marking policy, requiring teachers to suggest written next steps combined with an expectation that students complete their next steps (sometimes in a different coloured pen). Detailed written next steps can be time consuming so bullet-pointed or verbal next steps may be more efficient such as in English “Choose quotations to back up every point carefully and make sure it really matches the point you are making” or in maths you could ask a student to do a similar question to one they had got wrong, or to do a question that extends knowledge they have demonstrated they are secure with.

6. Providing guidance

Providing guidance is a way to scaffold student learning. This can be done by offering a suggestion, sharing advice, or providing insights that encourage students to reach just beyond what they think they are capable of doing. When providing guidance, it’s best to start with “I” (e.g., “I suggest”). Starting with “you” (e.g., “You should”) often tends to make learners feel defensive and they are less likely to respond. An example may be something like: "If you do decide to go with this story plan, I would suggest that you are careful to add descriptions to your work and not just focus on action and plot. You could also plan in advance where you intend to include dialogue so it doesn’t dominate your writing".

Top Tips for Keeping Calm

Life is hectic, full on and can often feel quite overwhelming, especially at times like Christmas. Here are a few simple yet really effective tips for keeping calm which I really hope might be useful for you.

1. Open your mouth

Our jaw is where we often carry stress, which radiates to our head and neck. To loosen the tension, open your mouth wide for half a minute or so, breathing naturally through your nose, then allow your mouth to gently close.

2. Work your face

To relax tight muscles in your neck and calm the mind, turn the head to look over one shoulder and tilt the head gently back. Hold for 30 seconds, breathing in and out through your nose. Repeat on the other side.

3. Create a personal mantra

We love our mantras at Yipiyap! Create your personal mantra to be inspiring and motivating to you so that when you hit a stressful moment it shifts you back into a positive frame of mind and springs you back to sanity. It needs to be a positive, powerful and affirmative statement.

4. Listen up and zone out

There’s nothing like a beautiful piece of music to promote a sense of calim. A study at Oxford University found slow music with a 10 second repetitive cycle is relaxing as it syncs with blood pressure rhythm. Try the slower parts of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony or Verdi’s arias.

5. Use an app

I know Jess has mentioned this before, and it’s great advice. With guided meditations as short as three minutes apps such as Headspace and Buddhify are perfect for giving you a helping hand when you are feeling overwhelmed. Retreat to your bedroom, close the door and reset your mind……..

REMINDER - Absence Requests

Just a reminder to you all that if you need time off for any reason you need to have this absence approved by your Regional Director.

Christmas Refresher Induction and Christmas Meal - THURSDAY 20th DECEMBER

You will all now be aware of the date for the Christmas Refresher Induction and Chrismtas Meal, namely Thursday 20th December. The Refresher Induction is mandatory so we are looking forward to see everyone there. We will be sending out some documents closer to the time for you to read beforehand. The meal is not mandatory but obviously we would love it if you could all come along and have some festive teamtime. We will confirm final details in next week’s update.

Cameron’s Top Tunes

It’s a massive thanks to DJ Cameron for this week’s top tunes! What a playlist! If this does not get you rocking nothing will, this solid wall of rock buffered gently by the haunting riff of Chris Isaaks ‘Wicked Game’. Magic! Thanks very much for sharing Cameron.

Here’s the link, happy rocking everyone!!!

Educating Yorkshire and Educating Us!!!

And finally, I am going to finish this week with a clip from ‘Educating Yorkshire’. This TV series was really compulsive viewing so many of you may have already seen this but I think it’s well worth another look now you are educators yourselves!! This clip really demonstrates the influence a teacher can have on his/ her students and more importantly it illustrates what can be achieved with a 'Can Do Attitude' which, of course, is the cornerstone of Yipiyap.

Being a Yipiyap tutor is challenging, there is no doubt about it, but this video is really inspirational and will drive home the importance of what each and everyone of you are doing everyday in school.

I watched the clip and cried. It was extremely moving and inspiring. I would urge you all to have a look.

Have a fab weekend and week ahead everyone!


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