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

Gareth D Morewood

Becoming an adult [with autism]

Preparing for the independence of university life is a big change for most teenagers. What's it like to make the transition into adulthood as an autistic woman? Our blogger shares potential challenges and her solutions. Ellen (not her real name) last wrote for us in a powerful blog about her...
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John Dabell

Maverick teachers wanted

Teaching is made up of all types and that's a good thing. We need diversity and difference. But do we have enough adventurers and mavericks? Just what type of teacher are you? There are some teachers who do things differently and can be trusted to ruffle feathers. These teachers I like. The pupils...
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Kelly Hannaghan

Why self-care is vital for wellbeing leaders

The role of the wellbeing leader in cultivating a healthy environment and organisation is increasingly important. But what challenges do these leaders face in protecting their own wellbeing? Think about all the challenges schools are facing: troubled pupils, Ofsted inspections, attainment concerns...
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Mike Williams

Protecting children from sexual exploitation: eight key messages for school staff

Mike Williams outlines findings from the NSPCC child sexual exploitation programme, Protect & Respect. Child sexual exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse where an exchange of resource takes place for sexual activity with a child. In 2014 the NSPCC launched its child sexual exploitation...
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John Viner

Supporting teacher mental health: strategies for senior leaders

How can senior leaders support their colleagues' mental health? John Viner shares four strategies to promote positive wellbeing amongst staff. As discussed in my previous blog post , wellbeing in schools is coming under increased scrutiny. Unfortunately, too often school leaders are so busy...
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John Dabell

What's the point in breaktimes?

John Dabell looks at the emotional and physical benefits of breaktimes, and how teachers can supervise pupils without interfering. Most children look forward to playtime – they can’t wait to get outside for a break. It’s their time and they have a fair degree of ownership over it. It’s a part of...
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Charlie Roden

Quiz: how sexist is your school?

Does your school have a whole-school approach to challenging gender stereotypes? Take our quiz to find out. Gender inequality permeates many areas of British society, and schools are no exception to this. A particular issue in schools is the gender imbalance in subjects such as science, technology...
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Charlie Roden

Ensuring successful transition from primary to secondary

Charlie Roden looks at ways in which schools can prepare and support their pupils through relationship building and becoming familiar with the new school layout. The first few weeks of secondary school are crucial. A lack of support and poor preparation throughout transition can have negative...
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John Dabell

How to help children who say they are 'stuck'

Teachers are sometimes far too quick to respond to requests for help. How do children benefit from being 'stuck' and how can we encourage them to find a solution independently? When some children encounter a problem, difficulty, or challenge, they stop. Sometimes stopping and pausing for a moment...
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Will Millard

Boyz II Men: how worried should we be about boys' educational outcomes?

How much does gender impact pupil performance? According to Will Millard, other characteristics exert a far more powerful influence over academic outcomes. The media is full of stories about boys’ relative underperformance at school in comparison to girls. This seems warranted. Boys don’t do as...
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