The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Julie Kennelly

Working together to maximise the impact of TAs

Schools can learn as much from each other as from anything else, as Priestnall School has found when discussing the best use of teaching assistants. This year, Priestnall School has taken part in the Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants (MITA) project . As part of this, we had the...
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Ashmi Morjaria

How to improve teachers’ post-maternal wellbeing

Returning to work after pregnancy can be a dizzying experience for teachers. Ashmi Morjaria explains why they need a helping hand. The six-week summer holiday can leave teachers at a loose end. Some of us turn into insomniacs the night before the autumn term. Anxiety takes over as our minds are...
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Gareth D Morewood

Revisiting the student passport

It has been several years since Priestnall School first introduced student passports. Gareth D Morewood explains why they continue to help secure better outcomes. We have been using student passports at Priestnall School for almost a decade now, and the reason for using them has never been clearer...
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Gareth D Morewood

Establishing a model for SENCO supervision

Successful professional supervision of SENCOs will depend on the extent of collaboration and mutual support between supervisor and supervisee. Gareth D Morewood outlines his thoughts. In a previous post I made the case for SENCO supervision , looking closely at: managerial supervision, to refer to...
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Katie Renton

4 ways to develop resilient teenage learners

To prepare young people for success in later life, we must first help them overcome adversity, cope with uncertainty and recover from failure in the present. It’s no secret that the life of a teenager is challenging, and that building resilience against stress, anxiety and pressure is no easy task...
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Julia Watson

Positivity pays: the art of solution-focused thinking

It's all too easy to overlook the power of an optimistic outlook, even for the bitterest of cynics in your staffroom. Looking on the bright side can have a significant effect on wellbeing, boosting self-esteem and productivity. While this may appear naïve, understanding how the brain works under...
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Optimus Education

Stress: how do we cope?

The theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is stress – one of the most common triggers of poor mental health – and how we’re coping with it. Stress is something most of us contend with on a daily basis and, as the Mental Health Foundation’s Mark Rowland has pointed out , our ‘stress...
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Caroline Collins

GDPR: ready and waiting

Bring on the GDPR! In the last of her GDPR blog series, Caroline Collins describes her final preparations. I’ve been talking to quite a number of people since my last post and am still hearing from people who are telling me that they’ve done nothing about it and don’t intend to, until they get some...
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John Viner

Midday meals supervisor: the school's superhero

While every school might have different expectations of the midday meals team, such expectations are invariably high. John Viner makes the case for recognising their valuable input. In the grand scheme of things, a school’s midday meals supervisor (MMS) is often its unsung hero. Yet the fact that,...
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Gareth D Morewood

An integrated approach to working with health services

With a positive disposition, a little creativity and the support of key stakeholders, nothing is impossible. Gareth D Morewood outlines his alternative approach to organising CAMHS consultations. Earlier this week posted a tweet about something I thought reasonably unremarkable. Tomorrow we host...
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