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

Sara Boomsma

Developing resilience and promoting mindfulness in schools

Here are some of the key learnings from my day at the COBIS ‘Measuring Success: Wellbeing, Resilience, Education & Leadership in British Schools Overseas’ conference.

1. Getting out of your comfort zone is a good thing

The conference kicked off with a keynote address from Dominic Peckham (conductor, presenter and choral ambassador) and the first thing he did, before even saying a word, was get everyone singing.

Dominic reminded us that we expect our teams and pupils to take risks every day, so we have to be able to put ourselves in this position too. It certainly was a great wake up activity on a Sunday morning!

2. 'Constant disruption requires better shock absorbers'

Developing resilience amongst staff and pupils is essential in today’s changing society. Anna Lise Gordon (programme director, St Mary’s University UK) highlighted four key sources of resilience: confidence, adaptability, purposefulness and the need for social support.

I particularly liked one of the resilience strategies she shared with us called ‘Comfort, Stretch, Panic’. You can use this strategy to think about a situation and categorise how it makes you feel, owning the parts you feel you can handle and taking the time to stand back and reflect on the others.

3. I’d like to start a mindfulness course

The evidence supporting mindfulness as a means of improving stress management, increasing productivity and enhancing communication is impressive. A lot of schools have already started to implement this in their schools with great results, and more information can be found at Mindfulness in Schools. I think in today’s society where everything is ‘on’ all of the time, it is a great opportunity to just find some time to be in the moment. I will certainly be working on this!

Supporting older pupils

'More than third of teenage girls in England suffer depression and anxiety.' (Open Door, September 2016). 

Our Safeguarding Teenagers: Supporting Mental Health & Protecting Young People Online conference will be the perfect opportunity to: 

  • network with leading practitioners and experts
  • attend a variety of keynotes and in-depth workshops
  • take away proven strategies to successfully support the mental health of your older pupils.

Register now to secure your place!


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