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

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...
Read more...
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,...
Read more...
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...
Read more...
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...
Read more...
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...
Read more...
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,...
Read more...
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...
Read more...
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...
Read more...
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...
Read more...
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...
Read more...