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

Pupil safety and pastoral care

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

The ordinary magic of resilience

What life throws at us might dent or break us – but the '7 Cs' of resilience can help us recover and rebuild. John Dabell explains how. ‘Resilience’ is a buzzword heard pretty much everywhere these days and certainly within the mental health narratives of schools. How do you define resilience?...
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Sarah Hopp

Unconscious bias in the classroom and discreet disability

Teachers need to be aware of why they might react to certain behaviours in certain ways. Sarah Hopp provides some context for the self-reflection process. Someone may assume that a person is capable or not capable of doing something based only on their judgement of that person’s external appearance...
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Dr Alistair Bailie

Seven tips to beat exam stress

How can you best support students who are stressed out at the prospect of exams? Clinical psychologist Dr Alistair Bailie suggests seven strategies to share. For students of any age, there can be considerable stress when it comes to exams. Their implications for study, jobs, and life progress can...
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Adele Bates

Looked-after children: seeing beyond the behaviour

A looked-after child is twice as likely to be excluded from school due to their behaviour. Adele Bates suggests that a little understanding can go a long way. Being a looked-after child (LAC) does not resolutely mean that you will have behavioural or SEMH (social, emotional and mental health) needs...
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Aldaine Wynter

Raising the voice of LGBTQ+ youth

LGBTQ+ History Month is an ideal time to start an LGBTQ+ student voice group. Aldaine Wynter explains some first steps. Every February is LGBTQ+ History Month and this year’s theme, 'The Arc is Long', is inspired by Martin Luther King’s quote: ‘The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends...
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Liz Worthen

The best that we can be: why behaviour management starts with self-care

Liz Worthen speaks to Adele Bates about what inspired her book, “Miss, I don’t give a sh*t” , and what she’s learned in the process of becoming an author. Regular blogger Adele Bates has published her first book, “Miss, I don’t give a sh*t”: Engaging with Challenging Behaviour in Schools , in which...
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Lucy Marcovitch

Five ways to teach RSHE with confidence

Guest blogger Lucy Marcovitch, writer, educator and series editor Discovery Education’s Health and Relationships programme shares her top five strategies for building confidence in teaching relationships, sex and health education. No matter how good a school’s RSHE provision might be, there is...
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Liz Worthen

What can we do about sexual harassment in schools?

Liz Worthen shares her key takeaways from the Delivering Statutory RSE conference and signposts useful resources. Not surprisingly, one of the main topics for discussion on the part of both speakers and delegates at the Delivering Statutory RSE conference was sexual harassment. Of course, child-on-...
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Adele Bates

How do you deal with behaviour?

Been told you shouldn’t smile until Christmas? Adele Bates explores how you can work out how to do behaviour your own way. When talking about behaviour there is often an underlining assumption that there is one way that really works. It’s the booming voice of discipline creating compliance, where...
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