The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Joanna Grace

Joanna Grace is an international inclusion and sensory engagement consultant, the founder of The Sensory Projects, and the author of Sensory Stories for Children and Teens and Sensory-being for Sensory Beings.

Rated 'Outstanding' by Ofsted on a number of occasions, Joanna has taught in mainstream and special school settings, connecting with pupils of all ages and abilities. She has also spent time as a registered foster carer for children with profound disabilities.

You can find her on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin

Latest blog posts

Joanna Grace

Sensory rooms: a sound investment in the right hands

Kitting out your school with the latest technology is no guarantee that your pupils will benefit. Joanna Grace explains why it’s important to invest in people too. The first sensory rooms in the UK emerged in the mid-1980s. Initially there were just a few of these strange immersive spaces in the...
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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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Joanna Grace

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder: in need of our understanding

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) may sound obscure, but misdiagnosis or misunderstanding in schools can have a lasting effect on young people who have the condition. It’s likely that your school supports young people with autism. It’s also likely that, if you were to have trouble supporting a...
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Joanna Grace

Caught in a spin

Fidget spinners are the latest craze to cause controversy in schools, but an outright ban won't make the underlying needs disappear. You’ve planned the perfect lesson, you have a great starter, you know pupils will find it interesting once they get into it. But their attention is elsewhere. Fidget...
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Joanna Grace

Pupils with SEND are just the tip of the iceberg

The mark of true inclusion is that all pupils benefit, not just those with SEND. Joanna Grace explains why it's important to see the bigger picture. In my work at The Sensory Projects , I provide training to settings and organisations looking to better understand the sensory world. One day I could...
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Joanna Grace

Sensory circuits: the right track, but not a shortcut

A good start to the day is as important for pupils with sensory needs as anyone else, but a lap of the circuit will only scratch the surface. When at an impasse with work, has time away from your desk ever allowed you to return reinvigorated with new ideas? Has running or swimming ever helped you...
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