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

Kelly Hannaghan

Let’s move the conversation on: what’s the future you want to create?

All of our recent conversations and thought processes have been centred around the COVID-19. What if we could see the pandemic as an opportunity to create the change we want to see? What would that look like and how would it feel for you? For many of us our experiences of the recent months have...
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Gareth D Morewood

Why constant consistency matters: emotional regulation as a foundation for learning

Gareth D Morewood reflects on the importance of a joined-up approach when it comes to reducing stress and enabling learning to take place. I have written previously about stress and emotional regulation in the context of learning and the value of listening to the voices of young people . However,...
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Liz Worthen

Reconnection, co-construction and courage: how we create a safe space for learning

How do we create a sense of safety in schools? Sharon Gray OBE on the importance of vulnerability, trust, collaboration and community re-building. Sharon Gray OBE is a Pride of Britain award winner, a national leader of education and a consultant who puts emotional health and wellbeing at the heart...
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Debby Elley

Beyond the tick list: the ice cream sundae approach to explaining autism

Words don't come easy... Debby Elley examines the need for a more explicit, balanced and environmental approach to talking about autism. As well as being the co-editor of AuKids magazine, I’m mum to twin autistic boys. One of them, Bobby , is verbal and has just left mainstream school. When Bobby...
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Hamish Mackenzie

Reimagining learning: how Covid-19 can change our approach for good

Hamish Mackenzie explores the gains that remote learning has brought in terms of choice, collaboration and productivity and makes the case for locking in these benefits. Now this cog has turned, it is important that the rachet comes down behind it to lock in the gains What have we learned from...
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Gareth D Morewood

Low Arousal experiences during lockdown: learning from a family perspective

Gareth D Morewood seeks first-hand experiences from families and draws out five positive lessons to take forward in practice. The recent months have been extremely challenging for everyone across the globe. The word unprecedented is often used, but rarely warranted. I think it is justified with...
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Liz Worthen

What’s been keeping you going through lockdown?

Feeling the lockdown fatigue? From kayaking to dancing, dog walking and coffee with an unusual view, the team @OptimusEd share their wellbeing strategies. I’m not the only person to have found themselves pondering ‘lockdown fatigue’ in recent weeks. Try googling it and you’ll find over five million...
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Nicola Harvey

How to promote diversity in schools: three strategies for positive change

Do you want to see change in schools and wider society in terms of challenging racist structures? Nicola Harvey shares three areas for action. Many of us are using lockdown to reflect on our personal values and take a meaningful look at the structure of the society we live in. Sparked by the...
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Kelly Hannaghan

Education recovery: bridging the gap of opportunity for staff and pupils post pandemic

Kelly Hannaghan shares her own experiences of the repair and reintegration process that schools are currently facing. Are educators and pupils ready for the changes ahead? Who would have thought that the end of the academic year would feel like this? Pre-coronavirus school life would have looked...
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Liz Murray

Effective remote CPD: principles, planning and lessons learned

A wealth of free opportunities can result in overwhelm. Liz Murray shares how a return to principles has enabled effective CPD planning for her team. At the time of writing we are seven weeks into school disruption due to the coronavirus lockdown. Like most school leaders, my first priority was to...
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