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

Pause and prioritise the basics: lockdown, pandemic and resilience

Adele Bates talks to resilience writer David Gumbrell about the importance of connection, space, reassurance and getting outdoors. David Gumbrell is an author and speaker on resilience and wellbeing. A teacher for over 20 years, he worked his way up from NQT to headteacher, holding various...
Read more...
Andrew Hammond

Critical reflection at the heart of CPD

Guest blogger Andrew Hammond explains why personal development, motivation and empowerment need to be at the centre of any CPD programme. The craft of teaching requires heart and mind, body and soul. CPD is often targeted at boosting our professional skills without considering the deep-down-things...
Read more...
Luke Ramsden

A day in the life of a safeguarding lead in lockdown

Luke Ramsden reflects on the 'new normal' of life as a safeguarding lead during lockdown and beyond. At a time when the media has generally described schools as ‘closed’, teachers have in fact been busier than ever, trying to adapt well-practised lesson plans and schemes of work to a world of...
Read more...
Elizabeth Holmes

Helping young people make sense of events

Elizabeth Holmes investigates the challenges young people may face in coming to terms with world events and the impact on their lives, and what can be done to help. Amidst the seemingly interminable news of viruses, strains, mutations, vaccinations, economic shocks and industries and sectors left...
Read more...
Tom Osborne

How do we learn?

Learning is about asking questions, not about being told the answers, argues 16 year old Tom Osborne. Is it time to re-think priorities for schooling? Have a think about this question: how do you think we learn? What is our motivation to learn? Most of you probably think that all our learning comes...
Read more...
Luke Ramsden

How the role of the DSL is set to change in 2021

Luke Ramsden explores the implications of proposed changes to Keeping children safe in education for the ever-expanding role of designated safeguarding lead. There’s been a lot of focus recently on the government consultation around assessment and exams for summer 2021. However, there’s another...
Read more...
Adele Bates

From teacher to TV presenter

Remote classes raise new challenges for leaders, educators and pupils. Adele Bates suggests some new ways of approaching learning, engagement and behaviour. This academic year I found myself spending an entire lesson with a laptop bag on my head, for teenagers with social, emotional and mental...
Read more...
Fiona Carnie

COP26: 7 things schools can do

Fiona Carnie describes how schools can respond to the climate change challenge and play their part in creating a sustainable future for children and young people. This is the year of COP26. The climate crisis talks, taking place in Glasgow in November, will determine the future of the planet...
Read more...
Dr Karamat Iqbal

What is controversial in the classroom?

What makes something controversial? In the first part of a two-part series, Karamat Iqbal explores definitions of controversy and approaches to teaching it. Whether our fellow citizens can feed themselves is often in the news these days. This maybe because of Marcus Rashford’s excellent work on...
Read more...
Adele Bates

'Why can't they just behave?'

Answer: because there is something in that negative behaviour that is communicating an unmet need – and It’s our jobs as educators to find out what that is. We’re all human, and will all ponder variations of this question from time to time. ‘Why now?’ ‘It’s not that hard to just sit down.’ ‘It must...
Read more...