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

Leading teaching and learning

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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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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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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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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Olivia Dickinson

Like a girl: Gender stereotypes in education

What is the impact of gender stereotypes on the behaviours and beliefs of pupils and staff? Olivia Dickinson investigates. In your school or early years setting, what do you see that suggests how pupils and staff devalue things that are coded feminine? It is often deemed desirable for girls to like...
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Jean Gross

Self-efficacy: simple strategies to raise attainment

Building pupils’ sense of capability is vital to their long-term success. Jean Gross sets out some low-cost, straightforward ways to encourage self-efficacy in and out of school. I wonder if you use the idea of self-efficacy in your work? You may instead talk about having a sense of agency or an...
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Dr Karamat Iqbal

Preparing young people for a multicultural world

Where do you come from? Dr Karamat Iqbal explores what it means to live in a multicultural world and suggests resources to support teaching and further reflection. I have lived in the Midlands for 51 years, having been born in Kashmir. But I am used to being asked: ‘Where do you come from?' Visible...
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Adele Bates

Checking in, self-direction and learning cycles: an alternative to school?

If you could design your dream school, what would it look like? Adele Bates finds out how Kate McAllister is making her dream a reality at The Hive School. When Optimus’ Liz suggested that I interview someone for the blog, I knew who my first choice was: Kate McAllister ( @Rethinking_Kate ) and her...
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