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

John Viner

The problem of obesity and school responsibilities

What role do schools have in tackling childhood obesity? John Viner discusses. Two of my grandchildren have recently started school where, for one of them at least, the highlight of each day is lunch. Particularly the sweet desserts. This is a boy with a real sweet tooth and school is a willing...
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John Dabell

Have you poverty proofed your school?

Prosperity for all? Nowhere near. John Dabell looks at how poverty proofing can be achieved in the classroom. Britain has a deep social mobility problem and there are considerable inequalities in educational attainment which are linked to social disadvantage. The Institute for Fiscal Studies...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Creating a school garden

How can a school garden contribute to a child’s development? Elizabeth Holmes finds out why the school garden at Castle Carrock is so important. Whether you’re green fingered or not, the benefits of gardening are well rehearsed. According to research there are ‘substantial human health benefits’ to...
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Gareth D Morewood

Autistic girls: my steep learning curve

To better support girls with autism, we need more research. Here's what I've discovered so far. Previously I have written about my growing understanding of autistic girls and more recently I have had the opportunity to learn further from our pupils and specialist staff. I never consider myself to...
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Julia Watson

Surviving the Christmas countdown

Don't end the term collapsed under a heap of paper chains, unable to enjoy the holidays and your own festivities. Follow these steps for Christmas countdown survival! It has begun. Trees are going up, toy adverts are everywhere and it’s just two short weeks until pupils arrive in school with...
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Liz Murray

Managing change as a SENCO

When planning and managing complex changes, the SENCO’s priority should be to cultivate a shared vision. Liz Murray offers some advice for getting staff on board. If you’ve worked in education for a while, you will know that responding to change is an important part of the job. Change can be great...
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Gareth D Morewood

Emotional regulation in the context of whole school inclusion

Helping pupils understand the importance of emotions and how to regulate them can reduce stress, anxiety and dysregulation. Gareth D Morewood explains how research can inform a nuanced approach. A range of studies in different countries have demonstrated that autistic pupils are among the most...
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Tiffany Beck

Multi-academy trust governance: your questions answered

Governance was a hot topic at our annual MATs Summit. Tiffany Beck, chair of trustees at Maritime Academy Trust, answers some popular questions from the event. 1. We have a shortage of governors and trustees and require more skilled professionals. Can you share any tips on recruitment? Ask your...
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Gareth D Morewood

Promoting a better understanding of ADHD in schools

Myths and misunderstandings can create barriers to effective support for pupils with ADHD. Gareth D Morewood shares some advice from a recent event. I have been fortunate to have been part of the work previously developing ADHD care pathways and supporting the development of training materials for...
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Lisa Griffin

What is the ePrivacy Regulation?

Thought you’d heard the last of changes to data compliance? Get ready for the new ePrivacy Regulation. The EU have proposed that the current ePrivacy Directive be replaced by the ePrivacy Regulation (ePR) and sit alongside the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into force in May...
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