Hope you have all had a great week and are looking forward to another lovely Bank Holiday! I hope you all have something nice lined up and are going to make the most of the great outdoors albeit without the Mediteranean weather we had for the last one!
I have a number of important announcements to make this week so here goes….
In addition to our usual Weekly Update news this week there is some very important information which we need to ensure you all read concerning your remaining time with Yipiyap. I will also be sending this by email for anyone who has not read this week’s Weekly Update. Please ensure you read it carefully and if you have any questions whatsoever please speak to your RD, Anne or myself.
You have all come so far since September, growing and developing in so many ways. Your confidence, communication, interpersonal, team and leadership skills - all essential qualities that will set you apart from your peers when you start university and your careers beyond, have evolved as a natural consequence of the role. You have successfully stepped up to the plate in a professional environment, something that few others of your age will have had the opportunity to do and all of this should give you an enormous sense of achievement and pride in yourself. You have your lives ahead of you and you are ready to go! But before you do, some words of caution for your last few weeks in school….
Beware – Term 3!
You will find in Term 3 that life in school can change quite considerably from the strict timetables you have become accustomed to. While this is great in many respects as it is a nice wind down for you all into the holidays, it is also a serious concern for us as historically we have had a handful of tutors who have come a cropper at this very late stage and unfortunately rapidly and regretfully undid the good work they achieved over the year. It is for this reason we are writing to you now just to give you a ‘heads up’ as to what is likely to happen and how to survive the rest of Term 3!
Changes to your timetable don’t mean changes to your role!
Whichever year groups you are supporting, there will be changes with the likes of school trips, shows and other events causing disruption. Internal and external exams are going to be a major source of disruption with many of you losing your students altogether. Even so, your role as a Yipiyap tutor exists right up until 19th July and so school (and Yipiyap!) still expects you to be productive in the hours that you are in school.
The days will just drag on if you get bored and it’s at times like that things go wrong (you know the saying ‘Idle hands are The Devil's workshop!!’) so make yourselves useful and be proactive in finding things to do. Ask your contacts in school what you can do to help them. It might be something different each day but they will really value you doing this! If you are finding it difficult to identify things to do, please let your RD know as they can help manage this.
Don’t put your feet up (on the staff room coffee table)!
As if any of you would!!! But this was in fact a complaint we had about a tutor 3 years ago. Even though it all gets that little bit more relaxed around school, please don’t let your professional attitude slip in everything from staffroom etiquette right through to timekeeping, attendance and manner with the students.
It is also unacceptable to sit in the staffroom reading a book or on your phone during lesson time – you all know your departments really well now so offer your services in any classes that are going on or if all else fails, offer to help in the office!
Hugs and exchanging details
We just cannot stress enough the importance that you to avoid at all costs the anticipated ‘hugathon’ which will happen right the way through this term as your students leave and want to say ‘thanks’ and ‘bye’! As we have said literally from Day 1 at the Induction Days, physical contact with students in any way shape or form on or off school premises is completely out of bounds and not only is it breach of your Contract/ Code of Contract by way of gross misconduct but could potentially escalate to a Police matter. You are in all respects an adult and your students (even those over 18 if they are still in education) are young people in the eyes of the law. Please be very aware of this. It would be completely out of our hands if any matter was referred by school to the Police.
The issue of contact also extends to any contact via social media, emails, texts and calls. A student can only contact you if you make your details available to them. Please ensure you do not distribute your details or make them easily available. If a tutor contacts you please tell us immediately and do not respond in any way. Again, to have any contact with a student (even if you did not instigate it!) the consequences would again lead to sanctions beyond any we would impose, becoming a Police matter.
If you have questions around this please call either your Regional Director, Anne or myself. If something has happened that you are worried about, PLEASE TELL US. It is much better to do this so we can help you.
School Proms / Trips
You may well be invited along to the school Prom or a trip. Firstly, please let us know if you are asked. Whilst we are would not stop you from attending, we do have to make sure that you are fully aware of your ongoing obligations under your Contract/ Code of Conduct and also deal with the event from a Health and Safety/ risk perspective. Albeit a Prom is a social event it is still intrinsically linked to your work at school and so you would still be bound by the Code of Conduct. Given the possible increased risk of hugs and students wanting to say thanks and keep in touch in an environment fuelled by bonhomie (and alcohol!) you are potentially exposing yourself to a higher risk of something happening that would compromise you. If you attend these events, you must be alert to all of the risks and consequences. For school trips, much the same applies, albeit without the alcohol! Sorry this all sounds like we are putting the dampers on a fun and enjoyable experience, but it is for very good reason and to protect you all!
On the positive side…
You are now only weeks away from your completion bonuses! Yeh! You have gone the distance with Yipiyap and done such a great job these bonuses are indeed very well deserved! You will receive the bonus along with your final salary on the last day of your contract with us, Friday 19th July so you will all need to ensure you submit your timesheets a week early to enable us to do this Your Regional Directors will remind you of this closer to the time.
The holy month of Ramadhan is due to start at the beginning of May and we know that, as fasting is a responsibility as well as an obligation in Islam, it is important that both tutors, and any young people you work with who may observe Ramadhan, are supported while continuing with normal school life. The following guidelines should be followed during this time in respect of students you support:
Tutors should refrain from suggesting to students to have a 'sip of water’, unless there is a concern that the student is suffering from dehydration;
Students should not be asked if they are fasting, unless the student presents with a health issue;
If a student faints or collapses, tutors should alert a member of the school team immediately.
For tutors who are fasting:
If you are unwell and unable to attend school, please follow the normal school procedure for absence. Possible effects may include disruption to normal sleep patterns as well as tiredness and reduced focus. To minimise these potential effects, it is important that tutors eat healthily and are well hydrated during the non-fasting hours as well as adapting their sleeping routine to ensure enough hours of sleep.
In planning how you will manage these challenges, please do let us know if there is any support we can offer.
Finally, if any tutors are going to be absent to celebrate Eid-al-Fitr later this year, please request the leave of absence in advance with your RD; we are able to authorise one day of absence for any day of religious observance.
So, what’s been going on this week?
I am going to start to sound really boring but much the same as the last few weeks it has been ‘second interview, second interview, second interview’. Our team for next September is shaping but of course if any of you know of any one in your regions that may be considering a gap year, please point them in our direction. Our absolute super star in this respect is Gaurav!! He has been the most amazing ambassador for Yipiyap at his old school Bradford Grammar and we are so grateful!! Numerous finder’s fees will be winging their way into his bank account once the tutors (who are all superstars too!) pass their probationary period! Thank you Gaurav!
It’s also a big ‘Happy Birthday to Mrs Morris’ for tomorrow!!! We did celebrate with a rainbow cake at the Regional Director’s meeting last week and have decided to give her Monday off as a special treat!!!
Well, yes, it is always nice to have a national holiday in honour of your birthday so I’m looking forward to a long weekend of presents and pampering with the little Morrises pulling out all the stops!
We’re seeing support requests come in for next year now in all regions and it’s always a great feeling to know that you will be passing the baton on to next year’s cohort so successfully. You know you are our ambassadors and are doing a magnificent job day in, day out. Even if you have to do some invigilating over the next few weeks (one of my least favourite activities in school!) I know you’ll do it brilliantly!
Norwich, Peterborough and Derby
Just before the Easter break, and narrowly missing a Weekly Update, David Nieper Academy - one of Millie’s schools in Derby - confirmed support for next year, not just continuing in Maths, but introducing English as well. It’s a real testament to the work Millie has done this year especially with their more able students – well done Millie!
What a manic week! On Monday I spent the day in Oldham, visiting OSFC to verify DBS documents and also met with their principal to discuss the exciting possibilities of supporting more schools in the area. I also met with Royton and Crompton who are looking to introduce Maths and English support after their Headteacher had worked with us in a previous school. Tuesday and Friday were very DBS orientated and I met with 7 future tutors to verify their documents. On Thursday I popped into St Matthew’s to visit Olivia and discuss renewing support for the next academic year. Finally, on Wednesday I was working from the office for a full day (hallelujah!) and then attended a meditation class in the evening. Perfect for calming the mind after a busy week!
Denbighshire and Cheshire
This week has gone by so quickly! Starting off on Monday with a presentation from another of our new HR candidates, and also adding to our resource pack for bidding for new support for next year. I've got more interviews lined up for next week and hopefully a couple more college visits to come soon too. Working with Joss on our new induction process and seeing this take shape has been great, and no doubt will make the process better for us and the new tutors. My highlight has been my thorough visit to Priestley seeing Francesca - it was really nice to see you taking ownership in creating worksheets and Paul has been really positive about your placement so far. I also got to check in with our recruitment at the college and hopefully there'll be another visit around the corner!
Flintshire and Wrexham
It’s been great getting into Deeside college again this week to meet potential tutors for next year and to spread the message to their Y12s with a longer term view in mind – loads of interest. I’ve also been in Wrexham meeting with somebody responsible for alternative provision, I caught up with Stephen at St Richard Gwyn who will be one of our tutors next year and continued the recruitment process, interviewing a potential English tutor.
London, Yorkshire and The Humber
Great week this week - everyone back from Easter now and already looking forward to another long weekend! I also finally got round to getting a new phone so I can apologise for talking to you all on a dodgy speaker-phone connection for the last few months! Lots of schools coming forward now for support next year (mostly schools you're all doing great work at so well done, team!) and things finally starting to take a bit of shape for September. Hope you've all had a great week in school and are also looking forward to another Bank holiday coming up!
Wall of Happy
This week Jess starts us off with her special mentions
After weeks of talking to Charlotte about coming to visit her at Buxton I have finally got a date in the diary! Charlotte would always mention me popping in to visit and I’m so glad to finally have something arranged. I am really looking forward to it! And how about this comment from Ciaran, Head of English as a build up to the visit:
Will very much look forward to your visit as an opportunity to reflect on just how brilliant Charlotte has been. She has produced some really effective work with the students, particularly our Y11s in the run up to the exams. Charlotte has forged really good relationships with the students and with staff in the department. I can't praise her highly enough.
Amazing feedback Charlotte- I can’t wait to see you in action!!!
Happy Birthday to Jake! He celebrated his birthday on Monday and thankfully mentioned that he wasn’t poorly anymore. No one enjoys being ill on their birthday!
Next to Anne
It’s been great to get all the Derby tutors back this week – all but one that is! Poor Niamh has had a week full of flu and ickyness – hope you’re well recovered for next week as I don’t think the Y11s can cope much longer without you!
As usual, Carla has a story of weird Norfolk behaviour (her words, not mine!) to brighten the week. I agree it’s slightly strange to throw your bag into a bush and then jump in after it, Carla – sounds shrubbish to me (!)
Finally, good luck to Louie, flying the flag at the Derby 10k on Monday. We’ll be with you in spirit, Louie J
Now over to Joss
Wall of happy this week is super easy - a huge congratulations to Ramsha who has finally been granted Indefinite Leave to Remain after two years - she's been able to accept her place at QML for Biomedical Sciences and I can't think of anyone who deserves it more or who will benefit more from the opportunity. So happy for you and really pleased that your Yipiyap story will end with packing you off to uni! WELL DONE!
Now to Alan
An overall wall of happy in anticipation of the team's charity challenge entries. A big thank you to Adam for taking charge on this for the team and getting responses on what everyone will be doing. This will be your first unofficial project before starting your RD role in September! We had a really good turnout from my team last year and so I hope it will be bake sales galore over the next few weeks! It doesn't matter how much you raise - getting involved is the more important part.
And, finally to Richard
My Wall of Happy shout out this week is for all of my Wrexham & Flintshire tutors to wish them well for their final term. They’ll no-doubt be exhausted after one full week of work and ready for a long weekend!! I’m looking forward to getting into schools in the next couple of weeks to see them again. It’s also been great to get another mini-surge of interest from more potential tutors for 2019-20.
Fit For Future Day- Saturday 15th June REMINDER
We just can’t wait to see you all for our Fit For Future Day on Saturday 15th June! We would like as many of you as possible to come along. We have a day packed with useful talks and workshops all geared to your futures (First Aid, Sign language, How to be Happy, Be prepared for Uni and self-defence!). We also have our annual award ceremony!!! It’s a chance to see everyone together for the last time, learn lots of really useful stuff for your transition to University and the world beyond and have a great day!
Final reminder that there is a Pedagogy corner competition running with closing date of Friday, 3rd May. £25 Amazon vouchers to be won. All of the details and attachments were included in the last bulletin on 5th April.
In terms of things to think about in schools at the moment, preparing for exams is absolutely key. I’ve already talked about how students should be using past papers and mark schemes. As well as getting into the brains of the examiners, the repeated practice helps students to consolidate learning of a broad range of topics and skills. Another good piece of advice of students would be to get them to repeat questions they have struggled with previously to see if the information has stuck after they have checked mark schemes or received feedback. Another strategy you could employ is to get students to explain to you step by step why examiners have awarded certain marks – again helps to get into the minds of examiners.
Adam’s and Elliot’s Top 20 Tunes
We have an absolutely cracking selection of tunes this week from our brilliant North Wales tutors Elliot and Adam. Elliot had a rather nasty football injury last week but soldiered on into school until Wednesday when finally he went for a check up and they found he has broken his hand and sprained his ankle- OUCH! Despite this, he delivered one of the best ever TT20 (in my humble opinion!) this week teaming up with Adam (Senior Tutor in waiting!) to bring us some absolute classics from the 80s and 90s that are guaranteed to make you bop ‘til you drop and are going to provide a brilliant soundtrack to a Bank Holiday weekend! So download, get listening and enjoy folks! Thanks for sharing both!
Have a great Bank Holiday everyone!