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

Elizabeth Holmes

Therapeutic Storywriting Groups

Intervention strategies that improve academic achievement and wellbeing are few and far between. Elizabeth Holmes finds out more about Therapeutic Storywriting Groups that does both. When the issues that some children face in their lives are such that they are at risk of missing out on school life...
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John Dabell

Wishing you well: 20 ways to keep being well

The intensity of school life can take its toll unless you have a self-care and wellbeing plan in place. John Dabell shares 20 ways to keep being well. The whacky workloads of a teaching term can really knock your mojo for six if you neglect your wellbeing, which is why it is crucial to keep mind,...
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Michael Tefula

Is university worth it?

Have students been mis-sold the benefits of a university education? Guest blogger Michael Tefula explains how to make a more informed decision. University used to be one of the surest ways of getting ahead in life, and for some students, especially those who wish to pursue careers in fields where a...
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Aldaine Wynter

Representation in the curriculum: culture, diversity and inclusion

In the third of his series of blog posts, Aldaine Wynter looks at the importance and impact of a diverse curriculum. In this blog we will look at the following areas in relation to representation in the curriculum: cultural representation embedding diversity into the curriculum creating an...
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John Dabell

Don’t do your best!

Sometimes a job only has to be done well enough. John Dabell argues that teaching is one such job and explains why it's better not to give 100% all the time. If you are ‘trying your best’ all the time it’s a one-way ticket to the GP with burn out. Perfection, or chasing perfection, is a huge time-...
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Elizabeth Holmes

The early career framework – so far so good?

As we draw towards the end of its first year of implementation, Elizabeth Holmes reviews how the early career framework has been received and experienced. Can it provide a positive, sustainable base to a teaching career? In a shake up of the induction period for newly qualified teachers, the early...
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Aldaine Wynter

Representation in teaching

‘You can’t be what you can’t see’. Aldaine Wynter discusses why representation in the classroom is an important way to role model for students. In my previous piece I spoke of the importance of representation in education at every level. So far, we have explored representation at school leadership...
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Sarah Hopp

For the love of learning: using the positive niche construction framework

Balancing pupil wellbeing and academic catch-up is challenging. Sarah Hopp explains how the PNC framework can help all learners flourish. In the recent Opportunity for all white paper the government announced that by 2030: 90% of learners should reach the expected standard in English and maths at...
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John Dabell

Staff wellbeing and TNTs

Tiny noticeable things, lollipop moments and filling buckets: John Dabell discusses how these things can make you a better leader. Although there isn’t a single definitive leadership skills list, there are four core leaderships skills that are fundamental: communication self-awareness influence...
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Elizabeth Holmes

The Joy of Not Knowing: a conversation with Marcelo Staricoff

Learning how to learn, philosophical thinking, action research and getting comfortable with discomfort: Elizabeth Holmes gets to grips with JONK. Recent headteacher, now consultant, lecturer and author, Marcelo Staricoff is a man with a mission. Drawing on his decades of experience as a scientist,...
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