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

In classroom learning

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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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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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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Tom Fay

Teachers: do you have the X factor?

What does it take to be a great teacher? Tom Fay asked pupils to name their desired traits, and shares the responses. Everyone remembers a great teacher they once had. You may not remember exactly what they said or did, but you will certainly remember how they made you feel. Their impact can last a...
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John Dabell

Teachers can make their mark with written feedback

Effective feedback lies at the heart of the learning process. John Dabell explains why written feedback should be no exception. Marking has been demonised. It has been hijacked by the marking martyrs who rage against the machine. They hate marking and pour scorn on it at every available opportunity...
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Elizabeth Holmes

'Alexa, teach me': the future of artificial intelligence in education

Elizabeth Holmes caught up with Miles Berry to discuss the benefits and ethical dilemmas of bringing AI into the classroom. The potential role of artificial intelligence (AI) is something of a new frontier for schools. But should we not be finding out as much as we can, so that we can maximise the...
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John Dabell

5 education myths we need to dispel

Grand ideas can carry a lot of gravitas, but these five educational 'cure-alls' came without a pinch of salt. John Dabell explains why they were too good to be true. One of the most depressing things about attending CPD sessions is when the self-appointed gurus or odd-ball suppliers of Inset refer...
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John Viner

Smart watches: new tech needs new solutions

In face of a booming wearable technology market, it’s high time we find ways to incorporate rather than exclude these gadgets in schools. Analysts at Research and Markets, a market research organisation, have estimated that the wearable technology market will grow at a compound annual growth rate...
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Torsten Payne

A lesson to challenge every pupil

Finding opportunities to stretch in the classroom shouldn't be a challenge. Here are three ingredients of a lesson that will get all pupils, including the more able, thinking. According to Ofsted , the best teaching ‘engages and includes all pupils, with work that is challenging enough and that...
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Robert Slavin

Leave no pupils behind: the principles (and limits) of a mastery approach

If all pupils are to master the prerequisite skills for important lessons, teachers must have the resources to help them reach the same baseline. When giving a lesson, all teachers face a dilemma. Some pupils will master all the lesson content, some will learn it partially and others will not learn...
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