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

School communications

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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Justin Robbins ...

Build the perfect partnership with parents

The case for parental engagement has never been as clear as it is right now. Justin Robbins and Karen Dempster provide some practical tips for effective communication with parents. Students are reportedly three months behind in their learning because of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to data...
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Kirsty Ruthven

School uniform: The gender debate

Kirsty Ruthven, Head of Education at the charity Lifting Limits, casts an eye over the school uniform debate through a gender-equality lens. We need school uniform to show our identity as a school. It’s important that we all feel part of a group (Year 5 pupil). I think we should wear our own...
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Fiona Carnie

COP26: 7 things schools can do

Fiona Carnie describes how schools can respond to the climate change challenge and play their part in creating a sustainable future for children and young people. This is the year of COP26. The climate crisis talks, taking place in Glasgow in November, will determine the future of the planet...
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Fiona Carnie

Caring for vulnerable children: put listening at the heart of schools

Fiona Carnie draws on examples from practice at home and abroad to explore the vital role of listening in pandemic recovery, for children, families and staff. Many children – particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds – are suffering deeply through this pandemic. Increasing numbers live in...
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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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Rachel Wright

Why 100% attendance awards are toxic to school environments

Going to school or work is important, but not as important as mental wellbeing and health. Rachel Wright argues why schools need to stop giving out attendance awards. ‘Four reasons my son won’t be collecting his 100% attendance award’ became a social media viral phenomenon in 2017. As a blogger and...
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Charlie Roden

Managing Christmas expectations

What can we do to stop unrealistic expectations taking the joy out of Christmas, and how can we keep emotionally well during the hectic festive period? The pupils of Lessness Heath made their own Christmas decorations Last week I was very kindly invited to Lessness Heath Primary School's 'Family...
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Fiona Carnie

How can schools respond to the climate crisis?

If schools don't show themselves to be responding to the climate emergency, many young people will see their education as irrelevant. Fiona Carnie looks at what schools can do to address this crisis. Fears about the climate crisis are bringing growing numbers of adults and children out on to the...
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John Viner

Turning 'problem parents' into partners

Hard to reach or scared to come in? John Viner shares how we can reach out to so-called 'problem parents' to better support our pupils. I am a slow learner. It took me over twenty years of headship before I really understood that even the most challenging parents are as much partners in their...
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