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

Professional development

Nicky Thompson

Attracting and retaining career changers

Career changers can bring a wealth of skills and experience to the teaching profession. Nicky Thompson explains how schools can support and encourage new teachers from another sector. Seven years ago I swapped the boardroom for the classroom when I retrained to be a technology teacher in a...
Read more...
Catherine O'Farrell

Power in collaboration: Four tips for high-impact LSAs

Learning support assistants (LSAs) provide valuable support to pupils with complex needs but their continuing professional development (CPD) is often overlooked. Catherine O’Farrell explains how teachers and other professionals can work with them to develop the skills they need. One of the most...
Read more...
Aldaine Wynter

Setting up an anti-racist book and film club

Aldaine Wynter explains how book and film clubs form an essential strand of staff professional development around anti-racism in his school. In my previous blog, Developing anti-racism strategy for schools and preparing for a cultural shift , I explored the impact that anti-racism strategies have...
Read more...
Kelly Hannaghan

How to challenge the imposter within

Imposter syndrome can get in the way of fulfilling our potential and purpose. Kelly Hannaghan looks for ways to silence the bully and be ready for challenge and opportunity. Have you ever felt misplaced? ‘I got lucky’; ‘I don’t belong here’; ‘I’m a fraud, and it’s just a matter of time before...
Read more...
Aldaine Wynter

Beginning the conversation around race, diversity and inclusion with staff

Diversity and inclusion lead Aldaine Wynter shares how his school has embarked on an anti-racism journey. I am the Global Dwight Diversity & Inclusion Coordinator for our sites in London, New York, Shanghai, Seoul, Dubai, and for our online school. In addition to my global role, I am the Head...
Read more...
Andrew Hammond

Critical reflection at the heart of CPD

Guest blogger Andrew Hammond explains why personal development, motivation and empowerment need to be at the centre of any CPD programme. The craft of teaching requires heart and mind, body and soul. CPD is often targeted at boosting our professional skills without considering the deep-down-things...
Read more...
Catherine O'Farrell

From fear to opportunity and growth: levering the power of the collective

Catherine O’Farrell explains how a need for Covid-19 solutions has given rise to an international community of practice around inclusion. Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay So, we all know the narrative that has been espoused again and again over the past months. It’s flooding our televisions,...
Read more...
Kelly Hannaghan

Let’s move the conversation on: what’s the future you want to create?

All of our recent conversations and thought processes have been centred around Covid-19. What if we could see the pandemic as an opportunity to create the change we want to see? What would that look like and how would it feel for you? For many of us our experiences of the recent months have been a...
Read more...
Liz Murray

Effective remote CPD: principles, planning and lessons learned

A wealth of free opportunities can result in overwhelm. Liz Murray shares how a return to principles has enabled effective CPD planning for her team. At the time of writing we are seven weeks into school disruption due to the coronavirus lockdown. Like most school leaders, my first priority was to...
Read more...
Amy Lalla

Lockdown learning: have you considered an apprenticeship?

Guest blogger Amy Lalla highlights the value of ‘educate while you isolate’: could this be your opportunity to embark on a course which will enhance your career? Who would have thought at the start of the academic year that we would be here? Collectively we have never experienced such a change and...
Read more...