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

CPD

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...
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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...
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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...
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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,...
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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...
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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...
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Kelly Hannaghan

The power of networking: what are the benefits for leaders in education?

School leaders around the country are trying to juggle the demands of their role alongside finding opportunities to protect their self-care and promote pupil outcomes. Could networking be the key to success? Kelly Hannaghan shares her experiences. It’s one of the biggest buzzwords in education:...
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John Dabell

Bringing video-based CPD into focus

Watching how we teach is a great way to revitalise lesson observation and feedback. John Dabell provides some advice for getting started. We have witnessed a significant shift in our perception of lesson observations; from something to be feared to an opportunity to engage in open and productive...
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Gareth D Morewood

High quality, low cost: a guide to CPD for SEND

In ensuring SEND takes pride of place on their school's CPD timetable, SENCOs should first turn to the excellent resources we share among ourselves. In the last post, we asked what a good whole-school investment in SEND would look like, and considered how training and professional development...
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John Dabell

10 resolutions for new teachers

Feeling frazzled after your first term? Begin afresh by resolving to improve your practice without taking on too much. With the first term under your belt, you are probably feeling pretty chuffed with yourself – and rightfully so. You earned your Christmas break and hopefully you’ve spent some...
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