The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Professional development

Elizabeth Holmes

Using a range of activities to make CPD count

Do you tweet? Are you involved in peer networking? Are you a member of a working group? Do you include these activities under the broad definition of CPD? And indeed, should you? What does – and what does not – constitute CPD (continuing professional development)? At a time when grass roots...
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Gareth D Morewood

5 steps to a successful SENCo year

At this time of year there is the usual proliferation of back to school advice through blogs, articles and tweets. I thought it may be useful to consider what the SENCo year is all about and what our priorities should be in this ever changing and challenging world of education. There are some...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Developing Great Teaching: 8 key points from the TDT report

A major international review of CPD has recently been published, revealing what many of us have long suspected. There should be ‘an urgent move away from models of one-off, one-day continuing professional development (CPD) for teachers to more effective longer-term programmes of support and...
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Lizzie Gait

How to engage staff in CPD

NTEN recently held a ‘How to engage staff in their CPD’ event at Blue Coat Academy, Nottingham. Lizzie Gait, training development lead, shares her thoughts and provides a brief summary of their latest research. As a CPD enthusiast, I found this be an incredibly useful event and was excited to be...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Presentations: top tips to engage your audience

As schools utilise in-house expertise, teachers are not only educating children and young people - but colleagues too. What could we accomplish if we knew we could not fail? -Eleanor Roosevelt I’ve seen poor presenters with great content and slick presenters with poor content – never be taken in by...
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Lizzie Gait

CPD in the news: Sutton Trust

Across the education sector, colleagues are calling for a greater focus on professional learning for teachers. Lizzie Gait, training development lead, looks at some of the key research and policy documents which are paving the way to improved professional development. In light of the government’s...
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Elizabeth Holmes

How to encourage professional dialogue in schools

Effective face-to-face professional dialogue requires good listening skills, empathy, compassion, understanding and being civil in the event of disagreements. Elizabeth Holmes explains what schools can do to encourage positive discussion. A single conversation across the table with a wise man is...
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Lizzie Gait

What does quality CPD look like to you?

How can you ensure that CPD in your school consistently meets the highest standards? Our new Teacher Quality Mark can help you maintain training standards in your school. Exciting news from camp OE… Here at Optimus Education we have just launched our first online only course! Managing Self-Harm by...
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Elizabeth Holmes

The College of Teaching – what’s it all about?

‘The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change.’ – Bill Clinton If you’re not a regular on Twitter some of the wrangling over plans for a College of Teaching for the profession may have passed you by. But now a proposal has been published by the Claim Your College...
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Lizzie Gait

ResearchED: a stimulating, if mind-boggling experience!

Optimus Education staff report from the 2014 ResearchED event, held on 6 September at Raine’s Foundation School Lizzie Gait reports: ‘A great line-up of speakers drew me to this year’s ResearchEd event. It was a fascinating insight into the views and ideas of those who are passionate about...
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