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

Mental health and wellbeing

Mel Greenwood

Using a relationships-first approach in the classroom

Prioritising strong relationships with pupils creates happy and eager learners, argues Mel Greenwood. She explains how to build and nurture connections with pupils. One of my favourite things to do is share a book with a class of eager listeners. Great literature really does provide an ‘ in' for...
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Elizabeth Holmes

How can schools support staff with long Covid?

Long Covid describes the effects of Covid-19 that continue for weeks or months. Elizabeth Holmes explores how t o reduce transmission in classrooms and help staff suffering from the condition. Long Covid, or Post-Covid condition or syndrome, is devastatingly impacting those who suffer from it...
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John Dabell

Making schools 'ibasho'

Do your pupils feel at home in your school? John Dabell explains why schools should be places of ‘ibasho.’ In Japanese, the word ‘ibasho’ means a place where you can feel like being yourself, a place where you feel a sense of belonging and purpose resulting from the social relationships associated...
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Richard Palmer

What LGBTQ+ education should we provide?

In the first of two parts, Richard Palmer explores what LGBTQ+ education looks like, what’s ‘age-appropriate’ and poses questions to help review your provision. In the world of PSHE, LGBTQ+ is one of the most controversial issues. Some teachers worry they aren’t doing enough; others are concerned...
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Dana Abdulkarim

Ignore PSHE at your peril!

Knowing your pupils and localising PSHE for them is crucial in helping them flourish. Dana Abdulkarim explains why devoting time and resource to PSHE is worth it. As a pupil and even when I first qualified to teach, PSHE and all that comes within it were sleeping dinosaurs in most schools. A...
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John Dabell

Wishing you well: 20 ways to keep being well

The intensity of school life can take its toll unless you have a self-care and wellbeing plan in place. John Dabell shares 20 ways to keep being well. The whacky workloads of a teaching term can really knock your mojo for six if you neglect your wellbeing, which is why it is crucial to keep mind,...
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John Dabell

Don’t do your best!

Sometimes a job only has to be done well enough. John Dabell argues that teaching is one such job and explains why it's better not to give 100% all the time. If you are ‘trying your best’ all the time it’s a one-way ticket to the GP with burn out. Perfection, or chasing perfection, is a huge time-...
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Sarah Hopp

For the love of learning: using the positive niche construction framework

Balancing pupil wellbeing and academic catch-up is challenging. Sarah Hopp explains how the PNC framework can help all learners flourish. In the recent Opportunity for all white paper the government announced that by 2030: 90% of learners should reach the expected standard in English and maths at...
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Dr Alistair Bailie

Seven tips to beat exam stress

How can you best support students who are stressed out at the prospect of exams? Clinical psychologist Dr Alistair Bailie suggests seven strategies to share. For students of any age, there can be considerable stress when it comes to exams. Their implications for study, jobs, and life progress can...
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Lauren Peart-Roddis

A spring in our step! TEAM’s wellbeing and workload journey so far

A working group, workload charter, wellbeing champion and learning lessons from staff surveys: Lauren Peart-Roddis shares next steps in the TEAM Education Trust's staff wellbeing journey. With the steady lengthening of each day and the exciting possibilities offered in early spring, our strategy to...
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