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

Inclusion

Olivia Dickinson

Like a girl: Gender stereotypes in education

What is the impact of gender stereotypes on the behaviours and beliefs of pupils and staff? Olivia Dickinson investigates. In your school or early years setting, what do you see that suggests how pupils and staff devalue things that are coded feminine? It is often deemed desirable for girls to like...
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Aldaine Wynter

Setting up an anti-racist book and film club

Aldaine Wynter explains how book and film clubs form an essential strand of staff professional development around anti-racism in his school. In my previous blog, Developing anti-racism strategy for schools and preparing for a cultural shift , I explored the impact that anti-racism strategies have...
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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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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...
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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...
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Aldaine Wynter

Beginning the conversation around race, diversity and inclusion with staff

Diversity and inclusion lead Aldaine Wynter shares how his school has embarked on an anti-racism journey. I am the Global Dwight Diversity & Inclusion Coordinator for our sites in London, New York, Shanghai, Seoul, Dubai, and for our online school. In addition to my global role, I am the Head...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Improving inclusion for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pupils

Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pupils are statistically the most vulnerable of any identified group of pupils in the UK. Why is this, and what can be done in schools to challenge biases and change mindsets? Damian Le Bas’ book The Stopping Places: A journey through Gypsy Britain , which combines memoir...
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Kelly Hannaghan

How deprivation affects outcomes in education – and what we can do about it

Like many school leaders, Kelly Hannaghan is seeing first-hand the effects of poverty on her school community. What can schools do to empower families and ensure children achieve their academic potential? The Child Poverty Act 2010 set targets for ending child poverty by 2020. However, child...
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Gareth D Morewood

Dubai's inclusive vision for education

Inclusion and wellbeing in Dubai: Gareth D Morewood reflects on Optimus' first international conference. I am very fortunate to work with a number professionals, families and young people in the UK but also, more recently, abroad. You can read about one of my previous visits to Chile in this blog...
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Gareth D Morewood

Emotional regulation in the context of whole school inclusion

Helping pupils understand the importance of emotions and how to regulate them can reduce stress, anxiety and dysregulation. Gareth D Morewood explains how research can inform a nuanced approach. A range of studies in different countries have demonstrated that autistic pupils are among the most...
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