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

Pupil safety and pastoral care

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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Dr Karamat Iqbal

Community in the school and school in the community

The transformative power of school-community relationships is plain to see. Karamat Iqbal explains what schools can gain from strengthening their local ties. If we look closely enough at our communities, we discover that many of them are rich in different types of capital and assets which, when...
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Lisa Griffin

‘Wellbeing at the heart of our school’

We visited Lessness Heath Primary School to congratulate them on their wellbeing provision and present them with the Wellbeing Award for Schools. Sunshine and blue skies set the scene for a day of celebration at Lessness Heath Primary School . The school is the first to achieve the Wellbeing Award...
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Katie Renton

4 ways to develop resilient teenage learners

To prepare young people for success in later life, we must first help them overcome adversity, cope with uncertainty and recover from failure in the present. It’s no secret that the life of a teenager is challenging, and that building resilience against stress, anxiety and pressure is no easy task...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Education is for everyone

If schools aren't working to help all children succeed, what else can they do? Elizabeth Holmes caught up with Debra Kidd to discuss the systemic problem of poor social mobility. Despite various attempts over the decades to address the inequalities that leave a blight on our society, social...
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Joanna Grace

There's no such thing as attention-seeking behaviour

Playing the fool, acting up... or indicating an unmet need? Joanna Grace explains how teachers can get to the root of poor behaviour. As a teacher, you may have heard inappropriate classroom behaviour – loud noises, jokes, foot tapping – dismissed as 'just attention seeking'. But is it? 'Just'...
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Kieren McCarthy

It's not too late to help young people recognise online sexual content

How do you help children and young people navigate a world of online sexual content? By doing what teachers have always done: give 'em a compass. It's taken a long time but we finally seem ready to address the impact of the internet on young people in a systematic way. The government's Internet...
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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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