The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Staff wellbeing

Gareth D Morewood

SENCo resolutions for 2016

Gareth D Morewood takes a look at what resolutions SENCos can set in order to achieve effective whole-school provision for SEND. Happy New Year! As we start 2016 I am reminded of one of the first articles I had published about the role of the SENCo . After achieving some decent down-time over the...
Read more...
Elizabeth Holmes

Wellbeing for the year ahead: 12 tips

Study after study tells us that teacher wellbeing is in danger of hitting rock bottom and a visit to any staffroom is likely to confirm those findings. What to do? 'Getting down to the gym a couple of days a week and having low-fat milk in your latte isn’t going to make much of a dent in a system...
Read more...
Elizabeth Holmes

Staff wellbeing: avoiding burnout in the run-up to Christmas

The festive season is upon us, and whether you celebrate Christmas or not, there’s no doubt that reaching this point in the school year can be an exhausting experience. Elizabeth Holmes outlines research from City University on the importance of taking a break over the holidays, to ensure staff...
Read more...
Gareth D Morewood

Strategies for responding to stress

Gareth Morewood examines self-control and stress models that can influence how you manage challenging behaviour. Two weeks ago I attended a three day International Health and Wellbeing Conference , hosted by Studio III , with one of our speech and language therapists. The event focused on taking a...
Read more...
Alex Masters

Supporting your support staff with positive appraisals

The word ‘appraisal’ often conjures images of clipboards and awkward conversations. Alex Masters explores how this process can bring out the best in your teams. It’s the time of year for appraisals and, as part of their role, many SBMs carry these out for their school’s support staff. Indeed, these...
Read more...
Alex Masters

SBMs: we need to talk!

Many SBMs are worried about their relationship with the SLT. Alex Masters invites you to a new live forum where you can talk openly about your concerns and get expert advice. ‘I’m going to come out and say it. I love my business manager.’ This was the confession from a primary headteacher in his...
Read more...
Elizabeth Holmes

NQTs: tips to help you get off to a great start

Making the transition from trainee to fully fledged teacher is exciting, challenging and, at times, daunting. Whether this is your first career or a change of career, being in charge of your own class(es) can feel so different from the relative cocoon of training. Optimus expert, Elizabeth Holmes,...
Read more...
Sara Boomsma

Developing resilience and promoting mindfulness in schools

Here are some of the key learnings from my day at the COBIS ‘ Measuring Success: Wellbeing, Resilience, Education & Leadership in British Schools Overseas ’ conference. 1. Getting out of your comfort zone is a good thing The conference kicked off with a keynote address from Dominic Peckham (...
Read more...
Elizabeth Holmes

Mindfulness: a classroom tool for all

Looking to introduce mindfulness into your school? Elizabeth Holmes explains why there's potential in the idea, and how you can get started. After some time in the wilderness, mindfulness has recently enjoyed wide-scale exposure and drawn the attention of researchers keen to determine precisely how...
Read more...
Elizabeth Holmes

Supporting NQTs: ideas to implement

Are you meeting the needs of your NQTs? Elizabeth Holmes offers practical ideas to ensure your newly qualified teachers feel valued and motivated. Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be. Ralph Waldo Emerson If my inbox is anything to go by, this is the time of...
Read more...