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

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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Charlie Roden

St Bartholomew's Primary: from empty building to school of rock

When Haslemere's children's centre was closed down, St Bartholomew's Primary was left with a vacant building. Headteacher Charles Beckerson explains how they came up with an exciting new initiative that’s benefited both the school and local community. Why was the music school built? Back in 2010,...
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Helen Morgan

What can we learn from international schools about remote learning?

With many international schools some weeks ahead of the UK in terms of remote learning, Helen Morgan explores how they have coped and what can be learned. In the UK and across the world, teachers and pupils are getting used to being away from the classroom and learning remotely. Teachers are...
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Charlie Roden

From special measures to outstanding: the power of an arts-based curriculum

When Naveed Idrees became headteacher at Feversham Primary Academy, pupils were disengaged and staff morale was low. Naveed explains how an arts-based curriculum has transformed his school. What state was your school in when you first became appointed as headteacher? When I became headteacher in...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Homework: how beneficial is it?

How effective is homework in improving pupil attainment? According to research, less is more. Homework – love it or hate it, one thing is indisputable: it's one of the hottest topics amongst parents across the country. Browse any corners of social media where parents hang out and you will see...
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John Dabell

How to help children who say they are 'stuck'

Teachers are sometimes far too quick to respond to requests for help. How do children benefit from being 'stuck' and how can we encourage them to find a solution independently? When some children encounter a problem, difficulty, or challenge, they stop. Sometimes stopping and pausing for a moment...
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Will Millard

Boyz II Men: how worried should we be about boys' educational outcomes?

How much does gender impact pupil performance? According to Will Millard, other characteristics exert a far more powerful influence over academic outcomes. The media is full of stories about boys’ relative underperformance at school in comparison to girls. This seems warranted. Boys don’t do as...
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Emily Colyer

Boys' underachievement: rethinking masculinity in schools

Why are boys falling behind in school? Emily Colyer interviews Matt Pinkett about boys' underperformance in his new book Boys Don’t Try? Rethinking Masculinity in Schools. What prompted you to write a book about boys’ underachievement in education? Ever since I started teaching, the debate about...
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Dr Helen O'Connor

Introducing 'positive education' into the curriculum

Embedding wellbeing in the curriculum is more important than ever. Dr Helen O'Connor shares how 'positive education' has been introduced in her school, and how it can be adapted to suit different environments. It's easy to predict what parents want most for their children. They want them to be...
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