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

Mental health and wellbeing

Joanna Grace

Recognising mental health in students with learning disabilities

In a population as vulnerable as our students with profound learning disabilities, recognising their mental health can be a game changer. Joanna Grace shares two stories to show the importance of such recognition. We all know that being mentally healthy is just as important for living a good life...
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John Viner

DfE recognises the importance of mental health in schools

The DfE is now recognising the link between mental health and behaviour in schools. John Viner looks at how useful their recent reports are. The Department for Education (DfE) has recently published two informative and helpful papers. The first, released in October, is Mental health and wellbeing...
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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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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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Julia Watson

Positivity pays: the art of solution-focused thinking

It's all too easy to overlook the power of an optimistic outlook, even for the bitterest of cynics in your staffroom. Looking on the bright side can have a significant effect on wellbeing, boosting self-esteem and productivity. While this may appear naïve, understanding how the brain works under...
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Optimus Education

Stress: how do we cope?

The theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is stress – one of the most common triggers of poor mental health – and how we’re coping with it. Stress is something most of us contend with on a daily basis and, as the Mental Health Foundation’s Mark Rowland has pointed out , our ‘stress...
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Katie Rose White

Mental health is no laughing matter, or is it?

Implementing laughing techniques in the classroom can help pupils become more emotionally resilient. Katie Rose White explains how. Stress is a contributing factor to anxiety. Anxiety can lead to panic, depression and low self-esteem. Finding affordable and effective ways to manage stress in...
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John Viner

When fast-track adoption comes off the rails

When it works, the fast-track adoption route can save prospective parents a lot of hassle. But when it doesn't, schools are the first to see the emotional consequences. Angela and Darren are a childless couple. Having exhausted all other possibilities, they started fostering for the local authority...
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Optimus Education

How do we look after ourselves?

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, and the emphasis on the ways we enable ourselves to thrive, not just survive. An incredible number of organisations and public figures have joined the effort 'to uncover why too few of us are thriving with good mental health'. ( Mental Health Foundation )...
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