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

Richard Palmer

LGBTQ+ education: what’s too little and what’s too much?

‘Make PSHE education as inclusive and balanced as possible.’ In the second of two parts, Richard Palmer explains how to take a non-siloed approach to PSHE. We start part two of this blog on LGBTQ+ education by asking the question – too little or too much? As a child who was educated in the 1970s...
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Richard Palmer

What LGBTQ+ education should we provide?

In the first of two parts, Richard Palmer explores what LGBTQ+ education looks like, what’s ‘age-appropriate’ and poses questions to help review your provision. In the world of PSHE, LGBTQ+ is one of the most controversial issues. Some teachers worry they aren’t doing enough; others are concerned...
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Sarah Hopp

Why neurodiversity is not a diagnosis

Misuse of the term neurodiversity can promote a ‘them and us’ attitude, Sarah Hopp argues. Instead, she explains how to truly embrace our differences and uniqueness. In recent years, the term ‘neurodiversity’ coined by Judy Singer in 1998 has become prevalent in educational literature and policy...
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Dana Abdulkarim

Ignore PSHE at your peril!

Knowing your pupils and localising PSHE for them is crucial in helping them flourish. Dana Abdulkarim explains why devoting time and resource to PSHE is worth it. As a pupil and even when I first qualified to teach, PSHE and all that comes within it were sleeping dinosaurs in most schools. A...
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Olivia Dickinson

What to consider when writing a school uniform policy

Cost, pupil voice and branded items: what should be included in a policy on school uniform? Olivia Dickinson discusses. School uniform is often in the news, whether it’s about how the cost is prohibitive for many families , that girls are petitioning to wear trousers , that boys have worn skirts to...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Therapeutic Storywriting Groups

Intervention strategies that improve academic achievement and wellbeing are few and far between. Elizabeth Holmes finds out more about Therapeutic Storywriting which does both. When the issues that some children face in their lives are such that they are at risk of missing out on school life and...
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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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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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