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

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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Ian Holmes

Moving from health vs education to health and education

Ian Holmes and Bryn Llewellyn, co-directors of Move & Learn, explain the research and reality behind physically active learning and why it is especially important right now. There is plenty of evidence of the negative impact of COVID lockdowns on our children and their development. The problem...
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Aldaine Wynter

Developing an anti-racism strategy and preparing for a cultural shift

Aldaine Wynter describes the next part of his school’s anti-racism journey: creating a more relevant, inclusive curriculum, and promoting student ownership. My last blog, Beginning the conversation around race, diversity and inclusion with staff , shared my school's journey as we sought to...
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Ashmi Morjaria

What you don’t know, you don’t know!

Ashmi Morjaria explores the concept of hinterland knowledge, why it matters and what it means for curriculum design. As a member of the British Indian community and a school leader, I have found the last year more emotionally taxing than any year before. Knowing that I was 2 and half times more...
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Luke Ramsden

Navigating digital media: an essential part of the school curriculum?

Luke Ramsden makes the case for the explicit teaching of media and digital literacy to equip young people for a world of limitless information. If you look at the front page and mission statement of any school around the country you are likely to see that they boast that they are teaching for a ‘...
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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...
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Adele Bates

‘But they’re fine with me’ – why this doesn’t help when managing behaviour

Adele Bates explains why this comment is unsupportive of staff and unhelpful for pupils and suggests some alternative approaches. ‘But they’re fine with me’ is the most useless comment I received in my NQT year. I had a Year 7 class once a fortnight for their ‘library session’ during my PGCE. I...
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Elizabeth Holmes

What did we learn from the home learning experience?

For some children and families, home learning was a positive experience. What lessons can schools learn as a result? Elizabeth Holmes poses some searching questions. The changes to our lives ushered in by SARS-CoV-2 in the early months of 2020 have been far-reaching. The new normal we had to settle...
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Hamish Mackenzie

Reimagining learning: how Covid-19 can change our approach for good

Hamish Mackenzie explores the gains that remote learning has brought in terms of choice, collaboration and productivity and makes the case for locking in these benefits. Now this cog has turned, it is important that the rachet comes down behind it to lock in the gains What have we learned from...
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Joe McGinn

Research call: understanding the impact of Covid-19 disruption on young people

How is the current disruption to schooling going to affect pupils in the future? What will be the impact on wellbeing, social and emotional development? Joe McGinn of ImpactEd shares a research opportunity. The outbreak of Covid-19 is contributing to an unprecedented level of change in our...
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