*** DON’T FORGET TO COMPLETE YOUR TIMESHEETS ***
How are you all? I hope you have had a great week and have enjoyed the fact you have not been blown into school! Definitely hints of spring in the air! How is the training going for the 10ks? Hope you are finding the time to get out there a little bit more now the nights are lighter. Only 2 weeks before the clocks go forward and it’s officially Summer time!! Yeh!!
So, what’s been going on this week?
This week I have been out and about to schools in Leeds, Manchester and Norwich. Mainly recruitment stuff but for the first time in ages I went along with Jess to a support meeting with our two brand new tutors Olivia and Ben. It was really motivating to me to see first hand again exactly why schools need our support! Olivia and Ben, you will make such a difference to that school and their students! Hope you enjoyed your induction today and all the very best of luck for next Tuesday!!
Then, today along with some recruitment presentations and interviews in Norwich, I also had the chance to catch up with Carla and Tia which was really great. You’re both doing such a brilliant job down there and look so professional and it was lovely to see you both! Really sorry I didn't get chance to catch up with Faye- next time!!
Finally, this week also saw the artwork from YipiArt framed and hung on the office wall. I am just blown away by the creativity, imagination and talent that all of you have. We are so proud of all the YipiArt entries and as you can see from the photo below both the wall and Anne and I look considerably more cheerful than the last time you saw us all here!!
My usual reminder about the £50 finder’s fee if you recommend a friend and they work successfully for us until July! Lots of schools are looking to pick up last minute support for the build up to exams so if any if your friends have come back from travelling, for example, and need something to do until July, please send them through!
It was lovely to visit one of our longest standing schools, Beamont Collegiate Academy, this week and meet with the former Head who is now chair of the school’s MAT! It is always nice to look back over how far we’ve come since the early days with people who remember them and value so highly the contribution 5 years’ of tutors have made to their school.
Also, Catherine and I spent an afternoon sifting through CVs for a HR manager that we are looking to appoint for next year. With over 30 applicants it’s a challenge to narrow it down even to 5 but the right person is definitely in there and it really made us super-aware of the importance of selling yourself in your CV - from your covering letter to the way you personalise your skills to fit the role offered, even mentioning the company name at some point makes you stand out. Really excited to move to the next stage and start even more interviews!!
Norwich, Peterborough and Derby
The interviews are racking up now and we have some excellent candidates coming forward in all three areas. Catherine usually gets to meet everyone way before I do but I did a first interview for a role in Norwich which was great and got to use our new and improved (thank you Alan!) checklist for the first time.
It’s been a really positive week here in Manchester! We’ve welcomed two new tutors to our team and both will be at the social event next week so you’ll get to meet them and welcome them with open arms. I’ve also done four interviews with potential future tutors and there will be more to come after Easter I’m sure. Finally, I spent Thursday evening with Elle at a careers fair at Altrincham Grammar School for Girls. We were on a stall next to their Connexions advisor, who was my advisor when I was in school! Thanks very much to Elle for coming along to keep me company at the event – it is very much appreciated!
Denbighshire and Cheshire
First off, a quick reminder to my team to get your timesheets submitted if you haven't already - if you're on my team, you'll also see some questions about our upcoming social so do make sure to fill it out asap! I learned this week from Adam that this Wednesday was 2019's International Day of Happiness. I think that completely checks out as it's been a very positive week so far. Started off with a great visit to Beamont to check in with April (I'll be looking to check in with Lois too soon!) I've also been across to North Wales to see Elliot and I have another couple of visits planned for next week too! I'm also setting up a new approach with recruitment at Winstanley and Priestley colleges - hoping to get a steady stream of applicants coming through, and hoping for plenty of these to be joining our team for September - time will tell!
Flintshire and Wrexham
My focus has been on building networks at events in North Wales this week. Following a late-night last-minute phone call on Thursday I was invited to a superb ‘Bespoke provision’ event at Mold county hall where I was able to meet with lots of schools and members of the Local Education Authority. The opportunity to showcase Yipiyap to a wide audience was priceless and so I’m hoping that the contacts made will lead to more support requests and further recruitment presentations.
I have also been to a careers fair in Mold again with a view to recruiting potential tutors (more of which in my wall of happy). Again, a really positive event with lots of interest.
London, Yorkshire and The Humber
Big news this week is we've finally got our Y&H socials sorted! Escape room fun to be had by all! Can't wait to see how you get on... I've been a little bit evil and booked the hardest ones for you since you're all such clever cloggs! There's a race format in Hull so will be some healthy competition thrown in the mix, too! Thanks for sticking with it through the confusion and a special thanks to everyone who's gone out of their way to rearrange stuff or will be going straight from work in order to be there. Hopefully it's all worth it in the end and you can bask in your cleverness - win, lose or draw!
In other news we're well stuck into the business of interviewing tutors for next year and finding them placements. It's a long and difficult process, but if we end up with a team half as good as you lot next year then it will all be well worth it!
Wall of Happy
This week Jess starts us off with her special mentions
First of all, a very Happy Birthday to Emma for Tuesday. I hope you had a great day!
A huge congratulations to Amir this week as he accepted an unconditional offer to study Medicine at University of Leeds. I remember asking Amir where he ideally would like to study and he said “Anywhere that will take me!” so it seems like they’ve been fighting over him!
Also this week, I wanted to say well done to Liv and Ben on starting their placement at Lostock College. I really enjoyed our meeting on Wednesday and it was great to see you both asking questions and so keen to get started. Can’t wait to visit after the Easter holidays!
Next to Anne
Just going to have one mention this week and it’s for Humayra who dealt brilliantly with a difficult situation in school involving some particularly challenging behaviour. Maintaining her usual calm and polite manner Humayra did exactly the right thing and sought help from a senior member of the team to resolve the issue quickly. Also, coming over from Peterborough to Derby for the Tutor’s Choice event is no mean feat, so hope you have a great time on Monday, Humayra!
Now over to Joss
Wall of happy this week - more great news from Gaurav who's been offered another place for Dentistry - this time at Sheffield! He's going to have a tough time picking where to go but will absolutely fly wherever he ends up. it's fantastic when tutors get in touch to share their news - always brightens a day up! Thanks Gaurav for keeping me up to date and CONGRATULATIONS!
Now to Alan
I'd like to wish a very happy birthday to Adam for this week! Enjoy your celebrations this weekend and I'll look forward to checking in with you at Dinas Bran next week. I also had a really nice visit to see April at Beamont on Monday. It was great to see your interactions with the students and how you've taken on a lot of ownership and responsibilities with school's Reading Plus and Pixl programmes. Getting the students engaged with Star of the Week and making a board to showcase it is clearly a successful approach and if Lesley's only downside to Yipiyap is that they have to see great tutors leave at the end of each year, that's only a credit to you and Lois!
And, finally to Richard
My wall of happy this week is a moment which made me laugh and was a prime example of what a small world it is. I was talking to two young men who had come in together to the careers fair in Mold and were enquiring about Yipiyap. I asked where one of them had to been to Sixth Form and he told me name of the college. ‘I made contact with the Head of 6th form there yesterday on LinkedIn - Italian sounding surname’ said I. ‘That’s our Dad!’ came their response in unison!! Very small world!
This week’s corner is about the importance of getting students to reflect once they have completed a piece of work or received something back with written feedback. Some ideas for how to support them reflecting on how to improve are as follows;
Discuss or share the criteria that work has been assessed against to give students a clear focus.
e.g. In Maths they may have followed a process clearly and correctly to solve an equation but made a calculation error which is no major problem. However on the flip side there may be errors with technique such as expanding a bracket or remembering to do the same thing to both sides of an equation but you can be clear about what students should focus on.
Similarly, In English you may have had a focus on using descriptive vocabulary so you could be specific in asking students to reflect on this rather than worrying about spelling or punctuation for example.
Ask them to improve their work. This might involve doing a question again or redrafting all or a part of a piece of written work. Lots of schools ask them to do this in a different coloured pen, although there’s no evidence that a different colour has any particular impact!
Get students to improve their skills by practicing them, either using a bank of new questions or a piece of work that requires similar skills but set in a different context.
Get students to articulate or write down what they are going to do to improve their work or learning so that their next piece of work is of a higher quality. Make sure they are specific. Comments like ‘try harder’ are too general and do not focus on the specifics of what they have learned. As a note of caution, students find this quite difficult to do so may need support until they get the hang of reflecting on their work in this way.
Tutor Choice Event Details
Here are all the details for our Tutor Choice Social for this half term. Make sure you get there on time!!
Thursday 28th March - Arrive for 4:15 for briefing at Escape Rooms Hull, Ground Floor, Ferens Court, 16-18 Anlaby Rd, Hull HU1 2PA
Thursday 28th March - Arrive for 6.30 briefing at escape room at Tick Tock Unlock, Kings House, 3, 1 King St, Leeds LS1 2HH
Monday 25th March at 6pm- Clip’n’climb, Derby
Tuesday 26th March – Arrive for 7pm for the Pub quiz at The Pen and Pencil, Northern Quarter, Manchester, M1 2EJ
North Wales (Wrexham, Denbighshire and Flintshire Teams) and Cheshire
Thursday 4th April- Cinema Night at the Vue Cinema at Cheshire Oaks (Stanney Lane, Ellesmere Port, CH65 9HD)
Charlotte & Ola’s Top 20 Tunes
It is a huge thanks this week to Charlotte and Ola for providing two very contrasting playlists this week. Charlotte confessed she has been waiting for her turn to do this as music is her area of expertise. A little bit of favouritism given that Holding Absence are Charlotte’s friends and Fridge Magnet Mysteries (what a name for a band!!) are her boyfriend's band so that is to be excused!!! Charlottes 10 tune will certainly get your heart rate up!! My typing certainly speeded up while I was listening to them. This is in contrast to Ola’s more boppy yet soothing selection. Loving The Little Mermaid song to round this weeks mix off. Heart rate restored!!!
Enjoy listening everyone!
Thanks for reading all and have a great weekend!