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

SENCology

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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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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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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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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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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Gareth D Morewood

SEND at half term: time to take stock

Rest, relaxation and free resources: a SENCO’s half term itinerary. Gareth D Morewood highlights some useful material for next term. This week (or next, depending on where you are) is the time for SENCOs to switch off, to recover from the intense first half of the Autumn term. For some of us this...
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Gareth D Morewood

The value in listening to new voices

No matter how experienced we think we are, fresh perspectives will help us grow. Gareth D Morewood recaps his experience of attending the inaugural New Voices. Buoyed by the success of my first #BrewEd earlier this month, it wasn’t long before I was preparing for another new experience at an...
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Gareth D Morewood

New experiences at #BrewEd

When pints met pedagogy: Gareth D Morewood summarises his experience of speaking at a new breed of event. Quite a long time has passed since I became a newly qualified teacher in the 1990s, and during those years I’ve attended a countless number of Inset days and CPD events – many of a variable...
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Gareth D Morewood

Meaningful open evenings: a parent’s perspective

An opportunity to present school life at its most authentic and encourage early co-production is not to be wasted. Gareth D Morewood shares one parent’s summary of their recent open evening. For some schools, open evenings can feel like a real chore. The prevailing question among staff can be ‘Why...
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Gareth D Morewood

Why is an inclusive curriculum essential?

Every pupil should feel that their lessons relate to them. Gareth D Morewood outlines an inclusive approach to curriculum design. There has been lots of debate recently on the nature of the curriculum a school should deliver . News reports have drawn stark attention to the unpleasant consequences...
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