The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Professional development

Alex Masters

Tick-tock! Time is not on your side

Sadly, The Rolling Stones song ‘Time is on my side’ rarely applies in day-to-day life. Get time on your side using these strategies to help you prioritise, delegate and learn to say 'No'! ‘I just need more time!’ has to be the most common refrain from people I meet in the education sector. And who...
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Kate Herbert-Smith

Teachers as researchers: 6 ways to encourage action research

Kate Herbert-Smith of IRIS Connect outlines how to encourage an action research culture to make a meaningful impact on pupil outcomes Teacher research is a powerful tool for professional learning. It has the potential to enhance and improve teaching and learning as well as increase teachers’...
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Elizabeth Holmes

The College of Teaching is 'an irresistible offer'

Following her appointment as CEO, Professor Dame Alison Peacock shares her plans for the Chartered College of Teaching, including Chartered Teacher status, associate memberships and a commitment to evidence-based expertise. With the recent appointment of Professor Dame Alison Peacock as the chief...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Refresh your school's CPD: top tips

Give professional learning at your school a boost. Elizabeth Holmes offers eight top tips to help CPD leaders refresh their policy and practice. 'Know how to listen and you will profit even from those who talk badly.' Plutarch However successful professional and personal learning have been in your...
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Elizabeth Holmes

The Standard for Professional Development: a timely reminder for all

The Standard for Professional Development is clear about the importance of effective training to effective teaching. What are its most important messages? The recent publication of the Standard for Professional Development offers us the impetus to focus on CPD with a fresh perspective and renewed...
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Liz Worthen

Collaboration for professional development: what makes it work?

Collaboration sounds great, but how do you make it work in practice? Some thorny questions and success stories from a teaching schools workshop session. Collaboration was a key theme running through the programme of the Optimus Education Teaching Schools Summit . There was talk about collaboration...
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Owen Carter

Putting CPD at the heart of school success: case study

We spoke to Healing School in Grimsby about how it’s redesigning its professional development programme to help all teachers continually improve. Almost every teacher in the world wants to improve. But the demands of the job, time pressure and mental fatigue means that reflection time often gets...
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Alex Masters

SBMs: Why 2016 could be your most significant year

The school business management profession is a varied and challenging one but a new set of professional standards will set the SBM role on a path to dramatic growth. Stephen Morales, NASBM CEO, discusses the future of professional development for SBMs in his interview with Alex Masters. Someone...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Getting to the heart of professional learning and literacy

‘New teachers are starting a journey, not being prepared, glazed and kiln baked by CPD to be career ready.’ Diane Leedham , English, Literacy and EAL teacher and advisor, and all-round voice of sense and reason on edu-twitter, has clear ideas about helping children to learn and thrive. I caught up...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Being a reflective teacher: making it work for you

Being a truly reflective teacher is hard. Skills of reflection are difficult to acquire and seemingly not frequently demonstrated (when asked to reflect, many simply describe). Elizabeth Holmes outlines the benefits and offers tips for effective reflection. Life can only be understood backwards;...
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