The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Elizabeth Holmes

Teaching hungry children: the impact of food insecurity

With 4.5 million children in the UK living in poverty, many are going to school hungry. What impact does this have on our pupils, and what foods do schools need to be providing to support their learning? In November 2018, the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme povery and human rights visited the UK...
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Gareth D Morewood

Why understanding our own stress matters

Everyone experiences stress, but why does it matter? Gareth D Morewood shares how we can understand our own stress, and what we can do to manage it. In light of the current teacher retention and recruitment crisis, this morning the DfE announced their latest plans to set up an advisory group on...
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Julia Watson

Why teachers need more sleep

As teachers battle daily feelings of overwhelm and exhaustion, good quality sleep is not a luxury, but a necessity, says Julia Watson. When I see clients in my hypnotherapy practice, they present with a wide variety of challenges and goals. Invariably, they all have one thing in common: sleep...
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Liz Murray

Why I took the zig zag path to career development

How part-time working in schools enabled an unconventional approach to Liz Murray's career development. There are many reasons why a teacher might request part-time hours. For me, it was after the birth of my daughter. I had been teaching for a decade and was head of English at a new academy. I had...
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Gareth D Morewood

Dubai's inclusive vision for education

Inclusion and wellbeing in Dubai: Gareth D Morewood reflects on Optimus' first international conference. I am very fortunate to work with a number professionals, families and young people in the UK but also, more recently, abroad. You can read about one of my previous visits to Chile in this blog...
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John Viner

Damian Hinds' plans for teacher retention

One of the biggest threats to recruitment and retention in schools is teacher workload. John Viner looks at how education secretary Damian Hinds plans to tackle this problem. I have written before on the problems of teacher recruitment , but the situation is compounded by the rate in which teachers...
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Charlie Roden

Creative interventions to enhance student wellbeing

How can tortoises and pinwheels help your students? Charlie Roden shares two examples of creative interventions to enhance your students' wellbeing. Jake and Doodles stay with a member of staff during half terms and holidays Having worked as a TA in a secondary school, one of my main...
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Julia Watson

Dealing with challenging parents

How can teachers deal with parental behaviour they find challenging? Julia Watson shares three common scenarios and how to overcome them. Working in partnership with parents is the ideal for every teacher. When it works well, the tag-team of parent and teacher can be transformative for the welfare...
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Gareth D Morewood

Working together to improve outcomes for our most vulnerable young people

Reflections on #CoPro19: Gareth D Morewood highlights key themes and important points to consider in working towards co-production. Prior to our third conference a few weeks ago, I wrote about our journey in developing #CoPro19 ; a conference about families and professionals working together and...
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Joanna Grace

Recognising mental health in students with learning disabilities

In a population as vulnerable as our students with profound learning disabilities, recognising their mental health can be a game changer. Joanna Grace shares two stories to show the importance of such recognition. We all know that being mentally healthy is just as important for living a good life...
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