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

Adele Bates

Beyond the big binary behaviour debate

We spend a lot of time talking about and dealing with pupil behaviour but are we always fair and equal? Do we recognise our own bias? Adele Bates explores how best to support our pupils. There are binary debates around everywhere. Traditional vs. Progressive Discipline vs. Liberal Zero tolerance vs...
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Gareth D Morewood

Applying Low Arousal approaches in education settings

Gareth D Morewood explores how to embed Low Arousal approaches in classrooms, schools and settings, so that all young people can thrive. Previously I wrote about the importance of constant consistency with regard to whole-school approaches. For me this is one of the most important elements of a...
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Gareth D Morewood

University beckons: continuing the journey to independence

Ellen shares lessons learned around applying for university as an autistic adult, including the importance of deadlines and DSAs. In Ellen’s last post on becoming an autistic adult she shared her aspirations to attend university and how she was preparing for that on a personal level. Now Ellen...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Reassuring children in an uncertain world

What can we do in schools to help children manage anxieties that may arise with the autumn return to 'normal' schooling? Elizabeth Holmes suggests practical ways to cope. For some children who are facing the full return to school following a prolonged period at home as a result of SARS-CoV-2,...
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Nicola Harvey

How racism impacts on teacher wellbeing and what we can do about it

The stress and trauma of discrimination takes its toll on mental health. Nicola Harvey explores strategies to build resilience and support wellbeing. Many of us are starting to think about the new school term and the transition to a ‘new normal’. We also have the aftermath of Covid-19, exam results...
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Elizabeth Holmes

What did we learn from the home learning experience?

For some children and families, home learning was a positive experience. What lessons can schools learn as a result? Elizabeth Holmes poses some searching questions. The changes to our lives ushered in by SARS-CoV-2 in the early months of 2020 have been far-reaching. The new normal we had to settle...
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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 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 been a...
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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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