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

John Dabell

Swiss cheese leadership

What does it mean to think like Swiss cheese? John Dabell discusses how the Swiss cheese model can be used within schools to help eliminate error and risk. Leaders must be brutally honest with themselves and acknowledge what they know, what they don't know and what they partly know. This involves...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Climate change and sustainability — what role for schools?

Is your school wasting energy unnecessarily? Elizabeth Holmes suggests actions to take to better manage energy consumption. In a recent tweet , the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, stated that the last eight years are on track to be the warmest. The tweet continued, 'Sea...
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Amy Marsh

The importance of identity and self-awareness

How well do you know yourself? Amy Marsh examines how to better understand ourselves, our relationship with others, and why it matters. Think back to a time when you got some feedback that triggered you. What was it that made your reaction so extreme? In the book Difficult Conversations , the...
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Mel Greenwood

Blue is for everyone. Pink is for everyone.

What are gender stereotypes? Mel Greenwood describes day-to-day life examples and the importance of challenging gender myths. On my fertility journey, hoping to start a family, people often ask me ‘what I want’, and this question irritates me more than it should. Answer — I would like to birth a...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Outdoor learning and Forest School – enhancing experiences at school

What is Forest School? Elizabeth Holmes discusses establishing a Forest School and the benefits that come with it . What if we knew that spending time outside in the natural world contributed positively to our sense of health and overall wellbeing? Would that impact how we teach children to...
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John Dabell

17 myths about school leadership

You can’t be nice, don’t have enough time and must shout loudest; John Dabell discusses common misconceptions about being a school leader. School leadership has an image problem. There aren't many that want the job and the pipeline is running dry. The image that many of us hold about leadership is...
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Olivia Coombe

The 2022 Optimus blog quiz

With 2022 coming to an end, what better way to recap our year than with a blog quiz, covering many topics discussed this year by great authors. Hints are available for those who may need them, and answers are at the bottom of the page. Q1. Which A level subject was most popular with students,...
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Mel Greenwood

Using a relationships-first approach in the classroom

Prioritising strong relationships with pupils creates happy and eager learners, argues Mel Greenwood. She explains how to build and nurture connections with pupils. One of my favourite things to do is share a book with a class of eager listeners. Great literature really does provide an ‘ in' for...
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Elizabeth Holmes

How can schools support staff with long Covid?

Long Covid describes the effects of Covid-19 that continue for weeks or months. Elizabeth Holmes explores how t o reduce transmission in classrooms and help staff suffering from the condition. Long Covid, or Post-Covid condition or syndrome, is devastatingly impacting those who suffer from it...
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Candice West

Overcoming three barriers to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion

Finding ways to defeat EDI obstacles can be challenging. Candice West offers tips to locate where unconscious bias, privilege and lack of representation may cause problems. Go straight to Unconscious bias Lack of representation Privilege Educators are passionate about teaching and want young people...
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