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

Luke Ramsden

Thoughts for safeguarding leads on returning from lockdown

Safeguarding lead Luke Ramsden reflects on experiences of the return to full schooling and implications for the summer term and new academic year. School staff around the country were delighted when we realised that we could all return in person for the last three or four weeks of term. Now that we...
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Adele Bates

Pause and prioritise the basics: lockdown, pandemic and resilience

Adele Bates talks to resilience writer David Gumbrell about the importance of connection, space, reassurance and getting outdoors. David Gumbrell is an author and speaker on resilience and wellbeing. A teacher for over 20 years, he worked his way up from NQT to headteacher, holding various...
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Luke Ramsden

A day in the life of a safeguarding lead in lockdown

Luke Ramsden reflects on the 'new normal' of life as a safeguarding lead during lockdown and beyond. At a time when the media has generally described schools as ‘closed’, teachers have in fact been busier than ever, trying to adapt well-practised lesson plans and schemes of work to a world of...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Managing anxiety in challenging times

The changing and challenging circumstances we find ourselves in are creating a wave of anxiety, particularly for those working in schools. Elizabeth Holmes looks at what to do and where to go for help. This is unquestionably an anxiety-inducing time. As I write, there have been challenging words...
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Nicola Harvey

Digital mental health platforms for young people: an innovative way forward?

The pandemic is just one factor driving the increased use of online mental health platforms. Nicola Harvey weighs up the opportunities and challenges this innovation presents. At a time when everyone is adjusting to the tier system and vaccines are on the way, children and young people are...
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Kelly Hannaghan

Coping with change and moving forward with hope

Kelly Hannaghan shares her lessons learned during the coronavirus pandemic and explores ways to adjust to the new normal in education and life. Photo by Florian Bernhardt on Unsplash As I sit in my local community library reflecting on 2020, it dawns on me that I haven’t really taken the...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Reassuring children in an uncertain world

What can we do in schools to help children manage anxieties that may arise with the autumn return to 'normal' schooling? Elizabeth Holmes suggests practical ways to cope. For some children who are facing the full return to school following a prolonged period at home as a result of SARS-CoV-2,...
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Nicola Harvey

How racism impacts on teacher wellbeing and what we can do about it

The stress and trauma of discrimination takes its toll on mental health. Nicola Harvey explores strategies to build resilience and support wellbeing. Many of us are starting to think about the new school term and the transition to a ‘new normal’. We also have the aftermath of Covid-19, exam results...
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Elizabeth Holmes

What did we learn from the home learning experience?

For some children and families, home learning was a positive experience. What lessons can schools learn as a result? Elizabeth Holmes poses some searching questions. The changes to our lives ushered in by SARS-CoV-2 in the early months of 2020 have been far-reaching. The new normal we had to settle...
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Kelly Hannaghan

Let’s move the conversation on: what’s the future you want to create?

All of our recent conversations and thought processes have been centred around Covid-19. What if we could see the pandemic as an opportunity to create the change we want to see? What would that look like and how would it feel for you? For many of us our experiences of the recent months have been a...
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