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

Charlie Roden

Wellbeing podcast: body image and eating disorders

In the fourth episode of the Optimus wellbeing podcast, Charlie Roden looks at the factors contributing to negative body image, how this can affect mental health and what can be done to support children and young people. Body image is how we think and feel about our appearance, and how we think...
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Kelly Hannaghan

How to improve self-care

With a growing number of educators struggling to maintain a work life balance, Kelly Hannaghan shares her ideas around teaching self-care techniques to increase productivity and emotional harmony. I appreciate that educators have one of the most stressful yet rewarding careers, and as such you...
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Gareth D Morewood

Listening to the voices of young people: understanding stress

Gareth D Morewood reminds us of the importance of having simple strategies to manage stress and create a low arousal culture in schools. Towards the end of the last year I was fortunate to deliver some workshops on stress and wellbeing to two groups of young people organised by the charity...
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John Dabell

Six styles of leadership

What style of leadership is most effective? According to John Dabell, the more styles a leader has mastered, the better. When teachers get asked what type of leader their head or line manager is, they tend to give an honest opinion! The type of leader they identify though tends to fall into one...
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Ann-Marie McNicholas

Too stressed for exam success?

Preparing for exams can be overwhelming for neurodiverse learners, impacting their mental health. Ann-Marie McNicholas explores strategies to develop their self-belief, improve learning and relieve exam nerves. There’s no doubt about it: exams can be stressful for many learners. The NSPCC reports...
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John Viner

Home education: where do schools and parents stand?

Parents have a right to choose to educate their child at home and may do so for several reasons. With little regulation and lack of clear guidance, John Viner explores the role schools, local authorities and parents play. As a headteacher it always troubled me that parents can withdraw a child from...
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Charlie Roden

Wellbeing podcast: social media

In the third episode of the Optimus wellbeing podcast, Charlie Roden looks at the impact that social media is having on our mental health, and ways to make social media habits healthier. Last year, the number of active social media users in the UK grew to 45 million . This translates to around 67%...
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John Dabell

How to deal with negative teachers

Actively cultivating positive emotions is essential in a school environment. But how do you work with staff who don’t look on the bright side of life? John Dabell discusses. Schools can be stressful places that make Frankensteins of us all and breed negative thinking and toxicity. When left...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Teacher wellbeing: more than just tackling workload

To address the real problem of poor teacher wellbeing, schools need to be doing more than just reducing workload. It’s also about leadership and management, personal wellbeing and learning to say no. In November 2019 the Education Support Partnership published its latest Teacher Wellbeing Index ...
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Gareth D Morewood

Autism and inclusion in a mainstream secondary school

Gareth D Morewood reflects on how his previous school has successfully created an inclusive environment for their pupils with autism. During my last year as SENCO, my school was fortunate to be part of the Autism Education Trust (AET) good practice case studies . The case studies highlight eight...
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