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

Gareth D Morewood

Transition into adulthood: moving from school to college

The transition from school to college can be daunting for any teenager. Gareth D Morewood shares the experiences of a former student with autism, and how she deals with the challenges she faces at college. I am fortunate to work with some truly empowering young people and many fantastic families...
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Dr Karamat Iqbal

Whatever happened to equalities?

What have changes to government policies meant for equalities? Dr Karamat Iqbal looks at racism in schools, and the steps that need to be taken to achieve equality. In the post-war education system, there have been a variety of education policy approaches to equalities. It is an area that is...
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John Viner

DfE recognises the importance of mental health in schools

The DfE is now recognising the link between mental health and behaviour in schools. John Viner looks at how useful their recent reports are. The Department for Education (DfE) has recently published two informative and helpful papers. The first, released in October, is Mental health and wellbeing...
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Simon Scarborough

Establishing yourself in a new school: my top tips for behaviour management

Starting in a new school can be a daunting process even for an experienced teacher. Simon Scarborough shares his advice for building meaningful relationships with students and staff. For those teachers who have moved from a school where they became an established member of staff, it can come as...
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Gareth D Morewood

What is co-production? Moving from theory into practice

How does co-production happen? Finding solutions, collaboration, empowerment and sharing responsibility. I have considered previously how research indicates that co-production is powerful . However, I am constantly thinking more about what this really means ‘on the ground’. In the first post of the...
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Joanna Grace

Using sensory stories for learning

How can sensory stories engage students and inspire learning? Joanna Grace explains how she used them in the classroom and beyond. When I first discovered sensory stories, they were something of a hallelujah moment for me. I had been struggling to find a way of meaningfully engaging the students in...
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Julia Watson

The big switch off

Julia Watson looks at why some people just don’t know when to stop and what to do about it. We all know people who are unable to switch off from work. Any night out with a group of teachers (once they’ve rearranged the seating wherever they are) will include a couple of people talking about work...
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Liz Murray

Models for the SENCO role: context, value and intent

Should SENCOs be on the SLT? Does status matter? What’s the best way to ensure influence and impact on pupil outcomes? It’s several years now since I completed the NASENCo qualification , but I still remember the first day of the course. We started off by introducing ourselves. While we were all in...
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John Dabell

Why we shouldn’t ignore low-level disruptive behaviour

Behaviour management is a daily, hourly commitment. John Dabell explores how to promote positive behaviour and say goodbye to classroom disruption. Serious misbehaviour can unhinge the class, you and the school. But then so can low-level behaviour, especially when it is persistent. Ignore low-level...
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Gareth D Morewood

It’s time to take action on SENCO workload

The ‘It’s about time’ report has highlighted the issue of SENCO workload. What action can we take to redress the balance? Nearly 2,000 SENCOs responded to a call for their real experiences of the job, workload, processes and (perhaps most importantly?) time. The resulting report, It’s about time:...
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