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

Kelly Hannaghan

10 new year resolutions wellbeing leaders should actually keep

If you’re someone who always looks out for other people, it’s time to start prioritising your own wellbeing. Kelly Hannaghan shares her top 10 wellbeing goals for 2020. Wellbeing leaders need to be emotionally and physically healthy. The role is a non-stop process of inspiring, planning and...
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Charlie Roden

Managing Christmas expectations

What can we do to stop unrealistic expectations taking the joy out of Christmas, and how can we keep emotionally well during the hectic festive period? The pupils of Lessness Heath made their own Christmas decorations Last week I was very kindly invited to Lessness Heath Primary School's 'Family...
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Optimus Education

Wellbeing Award for Schools: the impact so far

Over 1,000 schools are taking part in the Optimus Wellbeing Award for Schools, but what impact has this actually had on the wellbeing of pupils, staff and families? In 2016, Optimus commissioned research into a series of new awards, including the Wellbeing Award for Schools (WAS) . We found that...
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Kelly Hannaghan

Building wellbeing connections across the globe

An opportunity to meet with fellow wellbeing leaders from Zhejiang deepens cultural understanding and confirms the importance of mental health education for children and young people everywhere. Earlier this term I wrote about the power of networking . My wellbeing work has brought me into contact...
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John Viner

Staff wellbeing: the case for change

Teacher mental health has been a concern for over a decade, so why has so little been done to tackle the issue? John Viner shares the research around teacher stress, and why urgent action is needed. Damian Hinds has recognised that if we are to retain teachers, something has to be done to address...
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Kelly Hannaghan

Why wellbeing in education matters to me

With a growing mental health crisis in our school, Kelly Hannaghan shares her views on why schools need wellbeing leaders. My first memory of starting primary school is scarred by the immense feeling of fear that overcame me. I clearly remember looking through the glass on the classroom door and...
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Dr Helen O'Connor

Introducing 'positive education' into the curriculum

Embedding wellbeing in the curriculum is more important than ever. Dr Helen O'Connor shares how 'positive education' has been introduced in her school, and how it can be adapted to suit different environments. It's easy to predict what parents want most for their children. They want them to be...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Teaching hungry children: the impact of food insecurity

With 4.5 million children in the UK living in poverty, many are going to school hungry. What impact does this have on our pupils, and what foods do schools need to be providing to support their learning? In November 2018, the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme povery and human rights visited the UK...
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Gareth D Morewood

Why understanding our own stress matters

Everyone experiences stress, but why does it matter? Gareth D Morewood shares how we can understand our own stress, and what we can do to manage it. In light of the current teacher retention and recruitment crisis, this morning the DfE announced their latest plans to set up an advisory group on...
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Charlie Roden

Creative interventions to enhance student wellbeing

How can tortoises and pinwheels help your students? Charlie Roden shares two examples of creative interventions to enhance your students' wellbeing. Jake and Doodles stay with a member of staff during half terms and holidays Having worked as a TA in a secondary school, one of my main...
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