Update #11 - 7th December

Hi All,

I hope you’ve all had a fab week. There’s lots to report on this week, from this week’s news to January fun, so without further ado let’s get going!!!!

So, what’s been going on this week?

Catherine’s News

It has been an early Christmas for me here in the office with all the recruitment packs arriving and being sorted expertly by Ruwaydah ready to be posted as a little Christmas treat to all of the schools. They look amazing!

I am also getting really excited about seeing all of the Y&H team for the Refresher Induction. I don’t have a team of my own so it’s very kind of Joss to let me take over that part of his patch for the fun bit. Thanks to you all for coming back with your confirmations, orders and everything else I have been chasing you about!

I have also been getting some fun things planned for you all to look forward to in January - more details of that later!

Finally, it was brilliant as always to see all the RDs, Halyna and Anne yesterday at the RD meeting but even better than usual because they were all wearing their lovely Christmas jumpers/ socks!

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’m really conscious of how long the WU is getting these days – I love reading all the contributions each week and hope you do too! Well done to Catherine and all the team for all their hard work each week and to you of course for giving us plenty to write about!

Also, a little update on the app – we originally thought that, essentially, a whole rewrite would be required but it now seems that there is a fix which would take around 3-4 weeks and not be such a huge job – hurray! Hopefully up and running again in January so we’ll keep you posted. Thanks for bearing with us!

Finally an update from those who’ve been wondering how Hamilton was after all the hype – Answer: Phenomenol!!! The audience engagement was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before, well worth the wait and if you ever get the chance, do not throw away your shot at going!! Totally brilliant!

Regional News

Norwich, Peterborough and Derby

Really solid week from the team this week – it’s such a long term and you’re all doing incredibly well to keep that stamina going, especially my DANCOP team and all those registers! This group has delivered sessions impacting on an incredible 1215 pupils THIS MONTH ALONE! Brilliant work and real commitment to making this support the success it is. We’ve started looking at writing Impact Reports as well and had the first ones through from Faye which were great so well done Faye for getting the ball rolling!



Another great week from the Manchester team. I had a wonderful visit to MEA earlier this week to catch up with Elena and we had a bit of a debrief about the Impact Reports. It was also nice to talk about her goals and the big Durham vs Manchester debate – good luck deciding! I ended the week with a visit to Reddish Vale to check how the extra days of support are settling down. The key contact in school had also recently changed so it was great to meet with her and hear from someone else just how well the support is going so far. Well done to Lewis and Ore for their hard work there! And finally, I had to mention the Christmas RD meeting on Thursday. The dress code was ‘Christmas’ and we went all out. There were Christmas jumpers and Christmas pudding pie socks a-plenty!


Denbighshire and Cheshire

Getting into the festivities this week, and of course the highlight was the Yipiyap meeting - Christmas jumpers and secret Santa galore! Throughout the week I've been sending out some more feedback forms to school ahead of the end of term. In the office, getting the desktop sped up for Halyna was particularly rewarding after months of being frustratingly unresponsive, and preparing our systems for the next cohort of applicants (yes, already!) has been on my plate this week too. All in the hopes of having a quieter break over Christmas before the ramp up to interviews from January.

Flintshire and Wrexham

This week has been about starting to turn attention towards recruiting the next cohort of Yipiyap tutors for 2019-20. The new packs are ready to go and look fantastic so I’ve been contacting schools and colleges to book in dates for after Christmas to go and spread the word about Yipiyap. We also heard about another forthcoming inspection in one of the Yipiyap schools next week so I’ve been working with school on how we can best support them during the visit.

London, Yorkshire and The Humber

I can’t believe it’s nearly Christmas!? Where does the time go? We’ve got our meeting and training booked in for the 20th now – I’ve spoken to you all about it already but will be in touch again to arrange final details with London tutors. Y&H tutors in Catherine’s capable hands!

It seems like it’s been University week this week with so many tutors off for big (scary) interviews! Thanks for those of you who got in touch to let me know how they went – all good news so far so I hope that extends to those who didn’t get in touch. You all deserve places wherever you’re applying to fingers crossed!!

We had our RD meeting and Christmas meal this week, too! What a treat! Always a horrific Christmas jumper or two in sight and the first festive event of the winter can’t but put you in a good mood! Well done to everyone for another great week of communication and organisation as well as work with the students. So proud of my team!

Wall of Happy

This week Anne starts us off with her special mentions

As I mentioned last week it’s wonderful for have Humayra back on the team and she made a great start in GPUTC this week. Enjoy your niece’s birthday this weekend as well, Humayra (although I have been in a hall full of 2 year olds eating cake and ‘good luck’ may be more appropriate!)

Also, I was really impressed with the way Niamh has written this week about various individuals she has been helping in her own time – it seems you stay behind nearly every night after school to help someone or other, Niamh, and this is such a fantastic example to the students you’re supporting!

Finally some fabulous feedback about Balraj – literally, the feedback was “fabulous!” Great work, Balraj!

Next to Joss

Wall of happy this week I’ll reserve for Adilah and James. Adilah’s started so well in her new position and I’ve finally got some feedback from school and arranged an observation for the coming weeks. The feedback was so positive I really couldn’t have asked for more. The word “amazing” was used! This is not an easy job and to be so solid so early is a credit to you.

James, too has been outstanding these last few weeks – I received feedback from his supervisor and it was overwhelmingly positive. The word “love” was used! They’ve been down staff at the Link and James has had to up his responsibilities and workload to account for this. He’s done so admirably and it’s not gone unnoticed by school. Well done James!

Now over to Alan

This week I'm highlighting Adam - something very much said in passing but my recent check in with school was made all the more positive because of it. To hear you're one of the "warmest characters, always smiling to everyone" is definitely not a surprise to me but nevertheless it's a great show of how much people pick up on day-to-day. I'm coming into school just before Christmas and will have a special delivery for you from Dinas Bran!

Now to Richard

Tempting as it is to say that the highlight of my week has been learning about section 2 clause 3.1b of the risk assessment, I’ve been told that I’m not allowed to include this! However I must once again recognise the support given to me by Halyna on all aspects of the administration sides of things. She’s super-calm and has known all the tricks and solutions to any problems I have bumped into which I have massively appreciated during my first few months with Yipiyap so a big thank-you from me!!

And, finally to Jess

A general shout out to the people who have been completing Impact Reports recently. Some of you have specifically been asked, while others proactively started and completed theirs! They’ve all been excellent and I’ve really enjoyed reading through them.

Thanks Elle for being really proactive and making up some time missed earlier this week. It’s great when tutors come to you with a Plan Of Action (one of my favourite phrases as a person that loves organisation!).

Lastly, a huge thanks to Ruwaydah for making up our Recruitment Packs this year. As mentioned above, I absolutely love organising things and usually I’m the go-to person for making up the packs but this year the role was handed over and I could carry on working hard on all of my other tasks. The student definitely became the master!

January Fun!

As I mentioned at the start of the update, plans are afoot for some January fun. Here’s what we have in store for you all….

Anne’s Joke of the Day

OK, you were promised/ warned about this way back at the inductions in September and now it’s nearly here!! Anne’s January Joke of the Day - back for its 3rd year with the guarantee to make us all laugh, smile and cringe in equal measure. Cheesiness is the order of the day so be warned! No matter how dark and miserable those January days may be, this cheerful/ slightly bonkers ray of light is guaranteed to brighten up your day!!

OK Barack, stop! Anne’s joke about the pirate wasn’t  THAT  funny!!!

OK Barack, stop! Anne’s joke about the pirate wasn’t THAT funny!!!


Skipiyap Challenge 2019

Next, we have our Skipiyap Challenge once again this year and we would love you to get involved!!!

The challenge runs through January and the aim is to either skip as many skips with a rope as you can in one minute flat or create a funny / quirky video of you skipping. To enable us to officially count/ judge the competition you need send me a video so we can adjudicate. You can do this via your phone. The prize for the most skips in one minute is £50 and the prize for the best video is also £50. I attach the brilliant winning video from last year so you can see what it’s all about! This challenge will run right the way through January so plenty of time to get your entries in and winners will be announced at the end of January!

We have skipping ropes for anyone who would like to take part and does not have one of their own so if you are interested please just let your Regional Director know and they will provide you with a rope.

Before you get going there are some Health and Safetly steps you need to be aware of but when you register your interest we will advise you of these.

So, happy skipping everyone! Good luck and we can't wait to see just how skippiyappy you can be!!!


Our Inagural YipiyArt Competition

Now we know not everyone has a burning desire to skip but we do know that lots of you mentioned at interview that you like to draw/ paint/ create. We have some really bare walls in our office and so we thought we would launch our very first YipiyArt art competition to give you budding artists a challenge and exhibit your masterpieces!

Much the same as Skipiyap this challenge runs through January and we invite you to produce a picture in whatever medium you choose. The topic is quite simply ‘inspiration’. The prize for the best work will be £100 with a runner’s up prize of £50. An independent panel of judges will choose the winners to ensure fairplay. This challenge will run right the way through January so plenty of time to get your entries in and winners will again be announced at the end of January!

Top Tips for Success

This week it’s all about that all important positive introduction, especially in light of all the interviews that are coming through at the moment (but this is also super relevant for just everyday life!) A positive first introduction is really what sets the tone for the rest of any interview. As you have such a brief amount of time at interview to make a good impression, if you scupper your initial greeting, you have to work harder to get back in the good books throughout the interview. So, take the stress off! Get that initial introduction spot on to make sure you make an impressive start. It’s really not hard.

  1. Take a deep breath before you go in and compose yourself (you are brilliant so just remember that!),

  2. Make and maintain good eye contact with your interviewer

  3. Introduce yourself confidently ‘Hello. I’m Catherine’ in clear voice.


  5. And now the clincher, A GOOD FIRM HANDSHAKE. No pinkie tickling or bone crushing techniques, somewhere in between please.

I want you all to practice this with your parents, friends, family dog whoever you can find over and over again before your interviews so this becomes second nature. It will make you feel confident to know you have made such a great impression to start and ticked the first box with!

Then, at the end of the interview, shake hands again (that good firm handshake you have mastered) and say ‘Thank you’. So easy to forget this bit as you flee from the scene but it just reinforces a positive and confident message to wrap up the interview.

These are just such basic skills and easy to learn but it is amazing how many professionals don’t have a grasp on them and it really stands out.

Pedagogy Corner

Given that mock examination season will be upon lots of students I thought a little bit about exam prep. would be useful this week. You’ll know from your own recent experiences that there are loads of ways to revise and what works for one won’t work for all but here are a few ideas you could share with the students you work with;

  1. Create a Revision Timetable
    Talk to your students about when they are planning to revise your subject and what they are planning to focus on.

  2. Practice, Practice, Practice
    I keep coming back to this but encouraging students to use past papers and mark schemes gives them brilliant exam preparation.

  3. Variety is the spice of life!
    Encourage students to mix things up using different types of resources; from podcasts, websites and watching documentaries through to more traditional revision guides and written exercises. Different techniques may also be better suited to different subjects.

  4. Use mind maps, flash cards and post-it notes
    Mind maps are great for connecting ideas and summarising topics in a visual way. Flash cards are great for summarising notes and testing yourself or a friend. Post-it notes are brilliant for tagging key revision points or for highlighting questions/topics that need to be revisited.

  5. Look after yourself
    You know how important physical and mental well-being is to perform at your best during exams so do have conversations with students about the importance of looking after themselves e.g. sleeping and eating well, having scheduled breaks, taking exercise…

Gaurav and Sally’s Top 20 Tunes

Completely flummoxed this week! Haven’t heard of any of these at all (expect the one Little Mix track!) so you are going to have to place your trust in the hands of Sally and Gaurav! Thanks to you both for sharing!! Enjoy everyone!

Refresher Induction and Christmas Meal Details

You will all know by now when and where your Refresher Induction and Christmas Meal will be held on Thursday 20th December and I hope you are looking forward to both! I will be sending an email round to you all the week before with a little light reading in anticipation so please look out for this!

Here are all of the times and venues for each region.


Induction Time and Location

4.30pm at Yipiyap HQ, 20 Railway Street, Altrincham, WA14 2RE

Christmas Meal Time and Location

6pm at Frankie and Benny’s, Altrincham

Yorkshire and Humberside

Induction Time and Location

2pm at Wyke College, Bricknell Avenue, Hull, HU5 4NT

Christmas Meal Time and Location

4pm at Ask Restraunt, Princes Dock Street, Hull, HU1 2LP

North Wales and Cheshire

Induction Time and Location

4.30pm at Hawarden High School, The Highway, Hawarden, CH5 3DN

Christmas Meal Time and Location

6.30pm at Frankie and Benny’s, Unit 21, Broughton Retail Park, Chester, CH4 0DE


Induction Time and Location

12.30pm at South Bank UTC, 56 Broxton Road, Brixton, London, SW2 1QS

Christmas Meal Time and Location

3pm Pizza Brixton, 105 Brixton Hill, SW2 1AA


Tia will be confirming arrangements shortly

Peterborough and Derby

Induction Time and Location

4.30pm at the Stuart Hotel, 119 London Rd, Derby, DE1 2QR

Christmas Meal Time and Location

6.30pm Pizza Express, Level 3, West Mall, Intu Shopping Centre, Derby DE1 2PP

Here’s to an amazing week ahead all!


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