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

Listening, honesty and humanity: how leaders can best support behaviour

It’s easy for school leaders to forget what’s it like to deal with challenging behaviour on a daily basis in the corridors and classrooms. Adele Bates shares top tips from Bukky Yusuf. Last month in my “We give a sh*t” Behaviour Membership I was thrilled to host the first guest speaker session with...
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John Dabell

The ordinary magic of resilience

What life throws at us might dent or break us – but the '7 Cs' of resilience can help us recover and rebuild. John Dabell explains how. ‘Resilience’ is a buzzword heard pretty much everywhere these days and certainly within the mental health narratives of schools. How do you define resilience?...
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Sarah Hopp

Unconscious bias in the classroom and discreet disability

Teachers need to be aware of why they might react to certain behaviours in certain ways. Sarah Hopp provides some context for the self-reflection process. Someone may assume that a person is capable or not capable of doing something based only on their judgement of that person’s external appearance...
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Dr Alistair Bailie

Seven tips to beat exam stress

How can you best support students who are stressed out at the prospect of exams? Clinical psychologist Dr Alistair Bailie suggests seven strategies to share. For students of any age, there can be considerable stress when it comes to exams. Their implications for study, jobs, and life progress can...
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Lauren Peart-Roddis

A spring in our step! TEAM’s wellbeing and workload journey so far

A working group, workload charter, wellbeing champion and learning lessons from staff surveys: Lauren Peart-Roddis shares next steps in the TEAM Education Trust's staff wellbeing journey. With the steady lengthening of each day and the exciting possibilities offered in early spring, our strategy to...
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Liz Worthen

Changing and challenging perceptions about disability: the Power 100

The Disability Power 100 list is all about challenging negative perceptions about disability and celebrating the achievements of the many successful and influential disabled people in the UK. How can you get involved? Did you know that a fifth of the UK’s population has some kind of disability or...
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Adele Bates

Looked-after children: seeing beyond the behaviour

A looked-after child is twice as likely to be excluded from school due to their behaviour. Adele Bates suggests that a little understanding can go a long way. Being a looked-after child (LAC) does not resolutely mean that you will have behavioural or SEMH (social, emotional and mental health) needs...
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Aldaine Wynter

Racial literacy and what it means for me

What is racial literacy and why should it be incorporated into the school curriculum? Aldaine Wynter shares his experiences. In my first blog post, ‘ Beginning the conversation round race, diversity and inclusion with staff ’, I briefly spoke about racial literacy and its place in anti-racist CPD...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Aftermath: What followed the Ofsted maths review

The Ofsted research review on mathematics proved controversial when it was published in 2021. Elizabeth Holmes examines some of the responses and describes the direction of the ongoing discussion. Every now and then, the relative peace of the world of education, such as it is, is shattered by a new...
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Adele Bates

You’re not on your own

If you've noticed a change in pupils' behaviour recently, Adele Bates has some reassuring advice - you're not the only one. Behaviour. If you don’t read another word of this article, read the next five: You’re not on your own. In my role as a behaviour and education specialist who supports primary...
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