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

Simon Scarborough

5 ways to make inclusive PE work

Adapting the curriculum is only the start in making PE more inclusive. Simon Scarborough offers a few tips. One of the greatest barriers I have faced when promoting inclusive PE practice is the misconception held by some, that making PE more inclusive somehow makes it impossible to stretch and...
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John Viner

Where do new teachers come from?

Looking for fresh talent, or a pathway to a new career? John Viner outlines some of the many different routes into teaching. As a teacher trainer, it always astonishes me that, of the (usually) young men and women who we send out into schools with a shiny new QTS, so many leave the profession after...
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Gareth D Morewood

Talking diagnosis: a parent's advice

An honest conversation about your child’s needs isn’t something to fear – it can help you work and learn together. Gareth D Morewood asks one parent for their views. Recently there has been a flurry of questions on Twitter and from colleagues in different schools about how parents and carers should...
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John Dabell

Most able, most appropriate?

What's in a label? For John Dabell, much less than teachers might assume. He explains why it's time to focus on pupils' potential rather than on pigeonholes. We are pretty good at giving ourselves labels. Ask someone who they are, and they will label themselves a teacher, a father, perhaps a...
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Marta Pelejero

From thinking all was impossible to becoming a TA (and now teacher!)

Volunteering as a teaching assistant at Priestnall School gave Marta Pelejero precious insight into the fundamentals of teaching. She describes her journey so far. How many people know their vocation? How many know what they really want to do with their life? In this constantly changing world it is...
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Simon Scarborough

The need for inclusive PE is greater than ever

If your physical education curriculum is to get every student moving, it needs to play to their strengths. Simon Scarborough explains how you can make your lessons more inclusive. With a rise in mental health issues reported among young people, and record levels of childhood obesity , it would...
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Julia Watson

How to detoxify your staffroom

A collection of dirty mugs is not the only sign that the vitality of your staffroom may be under threat. Julia Watson provides some tips for a healthier environment. A happy, healthy staffroom is at the heart of an effective team, providing safe haven, a place of camaraderie and connection. Sadly...
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Gareth D Morewood

How (and why) we set up a secondary nurture group

Supporting students in a nurturing environment was a formative step in our school’s progression towards a model for inclusion. Here is what we did. Ten years ago, at Priestnall School, we established a nurture group to support students’ transition from our feeder primary schools to Year 7 (any...
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John Viner

When is outstanding not good enough?

Recent reports have brought renewed criticism of Ofsted’s delay in inspecting 'outstanding' schools. John Viner summarises what has changed – and what hasn’t. It has taken rather longer to surface than might be expected, but you must have noticed the frequency with which the education press is...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Arts in the curriculum: one school's approach

How do we stop creative subjects being squeezed out of the curriculum? Elizabeth Holmes spoke to the headteacher of one primary school that is keeping the arts in the picture. Pupils at Ashdown Primary School proudly displaying their work. The school recently held an ‘ exploration day ’ for arts...
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