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

Promoting positive wellbeing in the early years

What happens during a child's earliest years can have a lasting impact on their mental health and wellbeing. Charlie Roden looks at how we can help children get the best start in life. The first five years of a child’s life are crucial for development. It is during these years that a child’s brain...
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Ashmi Morjaria

Women in leadership – change the stats!

Two-thirds of women experience 'imposter syndrome' in the workplace. How can we combat this voice in our head, and how can we encourage and support the progress of other women? I recently attended an inspiring course led by Carol Jones (Director of Leading Women Education ) at my school. The aim of...
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John Viner

Turning 'problem parents' into partners

Hard to reach or scared to come in? John Viner shares how we can reach out to so-called 'problem parents' to better support our pupils. I am a slow learner. It took me over twenty years of headship before I really understood that even the most challenging parents are as much partners in their...
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Gareth D Morewood

Autism and peer relationships

What can research tell us about peer relations among autistic learners, and what can we do in our schools to support? I often talk about the peer group being one of the most untapped resources in our schools. Indeed, previously we have heard first-hand from young people about their real, lived...
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John Viner

Preparing for the worst, hoping for the best: what impact could Brexit have on schools?

No one knows what a disorderly Brexit could mean for education, but we need to be prepared. How should schools respond to the potential disruption which may follow? The local authority officer looked across the room. “We are,” he said, “preparing for the worst, but rather hoping it won’t be as bad...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Teaching hungry children: the impact of food insecurity

With 4.5 million children in the UK living in poverty, many are going to school hungry. What impact does this have on our pupils, and what foods do schools need to be providing to support their learning? In November 2018, the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme povery and human rights visited the UK...
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Gareth D Morewood

Why understanding our own stress matters

Everyone experiences stress, but why does it matter? Gareth D Morewood shares how we can understand our own stress, and what we can do to manage it. In light of the current teacher retention and recruitment crisis, this morning the DfE announced their latest plans to set up an advisory group on...
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Julia Watson

Why teachers need more sleep

As teachers battle daily feelings of overwhelm and exhaustion, good quality sleep is not a luxury, but a necessity, says Julia Watson. When I see clients in my hypnotherapy practice, they present with a wide variety of challenges and goals. Invariably, they all have one thing in common: sleep...
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Liz Murray

Why I took the zig zag path to career development

How part-time working in schools enabled an unconventional approach to Liz Murray's career development. There are many reasons why a teacher might request part-time hours. For me, it was after the birth of my daughter. I had been teaching for a decade and was head of English at a new academy. I had...
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Gareth D Morewood

Dubai's inclusive vision for education

Inclusion and wellbeing in Dubai: Gareth D Morewood reflects on Optimus' first international conference. I am very fortunate to work with a number professionals, families and young people in the UK but also, more recently, abroad. You can read about one of my previous visits to Chile in this blog...
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