Update #12 - 14th December

***Reminder - Timesheets are due in today***


Hello everyone! ONLY 10 SLEEPS TO GO!!!!! Excitement is at fever pitch in the Birkett house and that’s just me, never mind my 10 year old daughter! For many of you, today is your last day at school but for the most of us it’s next week and that’s the end of your first term with Yipiyap- the longest term of them all! You have all done so brilliantly and we really hope you have enjoyed the ride so far!

Please make sure you check your school’s website to ensure you know your first day back (not that we want to think about that just now) and if you have any doubt, please double check with your RD!!! I hope you all have a lovely last day/ few days in school and don’t forget - FESTIVE HUG WARNING! Steer clear of any potential situiations which would put you in breach of our Code of Conduct or Relationship Policy.

***Special notice***

Also, a special noice to all tutors who work with LAC pupils. Whilst we really hope all students enjoy the run up to the festive season, please be mindful that this time can be very difficult for young people whose family lives are far from stable and who may find the general merriment quite isolating and upsetting. These holidays may not be something they look forward to as you might expect so if you become aware of any students who are struggling, please do let your RD know and they will be able to help.

So, what’s been going on this week?

Catherine’s News

Altrincham Post Office 10am Thursday 13th December!!!

Altrincham Post Office 10am Thursday 13th December!!!

It was a sore start to the week for me with a broken tooth- won’t be eating mint imperials again anytime soon! But not deterred, I have been busy booking in presentations in schools across the country for the start of the New Year. I think I am going to need a tardis to get me around the place!

A very satisfying experience taking all of the lovely big brown envelopes with our recruitment packs down to the Post Office. The Post Office counter man’s face was quite a picture at the sight of 150 envelopes that all had to be weighed and stamped!! It must have been a break from Christmas cards though!!!

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 so APP-y!!! (Sorry my team but you were warned!) Thanks to the technical wizardry of our App designers, the app now seems to be fully functional again so please do go back to rating your day. If you have any issues with logging in/passwords let us know but my team have been rating away so do keep in touch with all the latest about the Christmas fun in school next week.

Regional News

Norwich, Peterborough and Derby

I had a fabulous visit to Derby this week, managing to see all 4 tutors at West Park - Simren, Hafsa, Robyne and Alissia - and observing 3 lessons while I was there. Hafsa did some really useful work with children 1:1 on ratios and percentages which the teachers really appreciated as a support in their classes and Simren’s session on the poem The Poison Tree was a real treat (I loved it and the Y9s also got a lot out of it!) We are hoping to have another new team member joining the Derby team before too long so, again, watch this space, NPD-ers!



This week has felt really busy and productive so I am very much looking forward to a weekend cosied up watching Strictly! There’s been a bit of everything; school visits, interviews, sending out recruitment packs, conversations about support… It’s all go for Team Manchester. My highlights of the week were my school visits of course. It’s always great to get out and about to see the wonderful support in action. First I headed over to Flixton to visit Emma and it was actually our first official meeting since she joined the team a few weeks ago, but somehow it felt like she’d been on my team since the beginning! I also went over to Saddleworth later that week to catch up with Fozia and Nifemi who have been consistently great this term. We discussed a plan of action (fans of last week’s update will remember how much I love planning!) for making up some days in lieu and also potentially increasing Nifemi’s days. Lots of positives and things to look forward to!


Denbighshire and Cheshire

Another week down and my list of projects is slowly shrinking ahead of Christmas! Coming off the back of an RD meeting is always good for new ideas, and this week I've been creating a redesign for our recruitment presentation. Having updated the recruitment packs for next year, it's only fitting to do the same with the presentation we take into schools. A couple of new blog posts have also hit the website, and if you want to write your own, let us know. We've also got our newest health & safety documents completed; each as captivating as the last, but nonetheless something we need to be on top of. Finally, I've been getting my head stuck into some procurement/bidding platform that Anne has introduced to me. It could be a great avenue for new support long term, but does require work to create a plan.

Flintshire and Wrexham

It’s been a busy week in North Wales. As well as seeing Teres in action doing a great job with some Y8 students and likewise Rebecca with some Y9 students over at Bryn Alyn. I spent a large part of a day working with Katie at Treffynnon during their Estyn inspection. I really enjoyed doing some team-teaching with Katie who is an absolute natural. Finally I managed to catch Georgia quickly during a break between lessons when I visited Hawarden High. I’ve also been into lots of sixth forms and colleges, especially in Flintshire, and talked to various careers services to continue the recruitment work for next year.

London, Yorkshire and The Humber

Just a week left to go before Christmas – where does the time go!?

Really looking forward to seeing everyone next week – sorry to the Y&H team that I can’t be there this time but you’ll have the pleasure of Catherine’s company instead! Congrats to everyone who’s had interviews this week – so far all feedback has been good so I hope that’s the case for everyone. You all deserve your places so very best of luck! Had good news for Sally, Cameron and Snezana this week who will all be starting new placements in January and filling up their timetables. Thanks to Snezana for spotting that I’d double-booked her on the 20th and getting me to fix it! At least someone’s switched on!

Thanks also to everyone who’s sent me SIRs (or got in touch to ask about them!) – I know this came out of the blue for a lot of you and has been confusing but don’t worry, we’ll help you through it when we need you!

Finally, can’t go without mentioning the great RDM and Christmas meal last week. Such a great atmosphere and so much fun! Thanks guys!

Wall of Happy

This week Anne starts us off with her special mentions

There has been so much happy this week that I hardly know where to start and am going to take the unusual step of bullet-pointing so you can see them more easily!

  • Maddie got an offer for Accounting and Finance at Newscastle, her first choice uni for next year. Congratulations, Maddie!

  • Alice had a 5/5 day with her groups at CODA. One class refused to move on after P1 and demanded to stay with her for P2 as well!

  • Niamh went along to contribute to her school’s Parents’ Evening – an uplifting but heart-wrenching experience to see some students come along without their parents. Fantastic of you to be there, Niamh.

  • The app is back up and running – thanks, Carla, for helping me test it out!

  • Jake’s blog went up on the website. So good of you to share your story and Yipiyap experience - I loved reading it and the ‘before and after’ pics are the best!

  • Went to see the legend that is Sir Paul McCartney play live in Liverpool. Still buzzing!

  • Ahkin has already asked for and committed to the 10k run that we take part in in the Spring. Maybe some training through intense skipping (wearing fancy dress and filmed for 60s?) would help??!!

  • Faye had 4 sets of great teacher comments on her Impact Reports – everybody gaining confidence and enjoying Maths GCSE resit work more! Great stuff!

  • Finally our RDs never cease to amaze me and Joss presented one of the most useful documents I have ever seen here at Yipiyap regarding independent, research-based evidence of why our support is successful. Will make all our lives so much easier and if any tutors are interested in the business reason why, just give me a call and I’ll happily chat you through it!

Next to Joss

I have to say that wall of happy this week goes to Sally. I’m arranging for her to start a new placement that will involve her going from Leeds to Bradford and might involve some changes to her schedule this week. I was expecting some (very understandable) resistance to one or both of these ideas but her attitude just blew me away. So positive and so “can-do” – such a “yep that’s not a problem” person and it’s fantastic to work with. Thanks so much, well done and good luck in the new placement!


Now over to Alan

No one particular mention for the wall of happy this week, but an all round great response to our end of year Christmas meal. A full house! This is a really nice way to finish the term and I'm glad that you've all signed up for it. Looking forward to seeing you all there on Thursday!


Now to Richard

The thing that has stood out to me this week as I’ve watched tutors in action is the increased level of confidence with which you now carry out your roles and conduct yourselves in schools. You all seem to have grown tremendously over this first term and this is very evident in how you are around school and how you are with the students that you work with. It’s great to be part of your journey this year and I can’t wait to see where it gets you all by the end of the year!


And, finally to Jess

My first mention is to Emma for making a brilliant start at Flixton Girls’. I had my first visit there this week and she was so settled – it was great to see! Plus afterwards I had an email from Sonia (Director of Progress and Achievement) to say that Emma has demonstrated great enthusiasm within the Science department and they’re excited for her to start her intervention sessions. Great work!

Thanks to George for writing a brilliant piece for the blog about his experience applying to be a teacher. Hopefully it’ll be joining all of the other excellent posts on the website soon!

Pedagogy Corner

Given that you’ll be heading into your final week of term which I’m sure will hold some festive activities and maybe even the odd film, I thought it may be useful to do a quick review of the term rather than putting out new ideas. You’ll find in the attachment to this newsletter an overview document which is a collation of all of the pedagogy corners throughout this first term. Take some time over this final week and during your holiday to have a look through it as some of the ideas from early weeks may no longer be at the forefront of your mind but are still hugely important. Have an enjoyable final week of term.


Just to remind you our Christmas Refresher Inductions and Christmas Meals will be held next THURSDAY 20th December.

In advance of the Induction, please can you all ensure you have carefully read the documents I sent to you all onn Thursday, namely our Code of Conduct, Relationship Policy and Safeguarding Policy.

Then, please also think of and write down:

  1. one positive experience from your time in school this term you would like to share with your team, and

  2. one challenge that you have faced in school this term, again, that you would like to share with your team.


Don’t forget to request your skipiyap ropes from your Regional Directors at the Christmas Refresher Inductions!

James and Charlotte’s Top 20 Tunes

This week it is a brilliant collaborative playlist from our resident DJs James and Charlotte! We nearly had 10 Coldplay songs from James but he eventually decided instead on a mish-mash of 10 songs by different artists that have been favourites at some point in his life. Charlotte also had a good ponnder over her faves too. I know it is really is so hard to try and condense your favorite songs down to 10. Just as you think you have them, another one comes to mind! Anyway, this is an eclectic mix of old and new that I know you will love! Thanks both for sharing!

Here’s the link:

Have a very Christmassy final week in school in 2018!


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