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

Curriculum

Julia Sandford-Cooke

The 2021 Optimus blog quiz

In 2021, our blog covered everything from wellbeing, race and anxiety to school uniforms, finance and working with LSAs. Revisit your favourite posts to help you answer our quiz questions. Answers are at the bottom of the page. 1. Which of these tips is NOT helpful when tackling imposter syndrome?...
Read more...
Jean Gross

Self-efficacy: simple strategies to raise attainment

Building pupils’ sense of capability is vital to their long-term success. Jean Gross sets out some low-cost, straightforward ways to encourage self-efficacy in and out of school. I wonder if you use the idea of self-efficacy in your work? You may instead talk about having a sense of agency or an...
Read more...
Ian Holmes

Moving from health vs education to health and education

Ian Holmes and Bryn Llewellyn, co-directors of Move & Learn, explain the research and reality behind physically active learning and why it is especially important right now. There is plenty of evidence of the negative impact of COVID lockdowns on our children and their development. The problem...
Read more...
Aldaine Wynter

Developing an anti-racism strategy and preparing for a cultural shift

Aldaine Wynter describes the next part of his school’s anti-racism journey: creating a more relevant, inclusive curriculum, and promoting student ownership. My last blog, Beginning the conversation around race, diversity and inclusion with staff , shared my school's journey as we sought to...
Read more...
Ashmi Morjaria

What you don’t know, you don’t know!

Ashmi Morjaria explores the concept of hinterland knowledge, why it matters and what it means for curriculum design. As a member of the British Indian community and a school leader, I have found the last year more emotionally taxing than any year before. Knowing that I was 2 and half times more...
Read more...
Luke Ramsden

Navigating digital media: an essential part of the school curriculum?

Luke Ramsden makes the case for the explicit teaching of media and digital literacy to equip young people for a world of limitless information. If you look at the front page and mission statement of any school around the country you are likely to see that they boast that they are teaching for a ‘...
Read more...
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,...
Read more...
Charlie Roden

From special measures to outstanding: the power of an arts-based curriculum

When Naveed Idrees became headteacher at Feversham Primary Academy, pupils were disengaged and staff morale was low. Naveed explains how an arts-based curriculum has transformed his school. What state was your school in when you first became appointed as headteacher? When I became headteacher in...
Read more...
Elizabeth Holmes

Deep dives: what do they mean for schools?

Ofsted are now assessing a school's quality of education by carrying out 'deep dives' into subject areas. Elizabeth Holmes looks at what this means for schools, and what to expect during an inspection. Mention the 'deep dive' in certain education circles and there is likely to be a sharp intake of...
Read more...
Torsten Payne

Is your curriculum Ofsted ready?

Curriculum is under the spotlight for the Ofsted 2019 framework. What do you need to know about what they'll be looking for? ‘One of the areas that I think we sometimes lose sight of is the real substance of education. Not the exam grades or the progress scores, important though they are, but...
Read more...