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

SEND

Gareth D Morewood

University beckons: continuing the journey to independence

Ellen shares lessons learned around applying for university as an autistic adult, including the importance of deadlines and DSAs. In Ellen’s last post on becoming an autistic adult she shared her aspirations to attend university and how she was preparing for that on a personal level. Now Ellen...
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Gareth D Morewood

Autism and inclusion in a mainstream secondary school

Gareth D Morewood reflects on how his previous school has successfully created an inclusive environment for their pupils with autism. During my last year as SENCO, my school was fortunate to be part of the Autism Education Trust (AET) good practice case studies . The case studies highlight eight...
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Joanna Grace

'Tis a sensory season!

Christmas can be an exciting but overwhelming time, particularly for young people with SEND. Joanna Grace shares strategies to help children cope with and enjoy the festive period. Stepping out the door in the early morning last week, I turned to my little boy and said, “I think I can smell...
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Liz Murray

Developing an effective SEND register

A comprehensive SEND register supports every aspect of the SENCO role and prevents children from slipping through the net. Liz Murray explains how to put together a SEND register tailored to suit your school. Every year it seems to be more challenging to be prepared for our students with SEND. My...
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Gareth D Morewood

International perspectives and broadening horizons

Gareth D Morewood reflects on his latest international conferences, sharing lessons from the inspirational contacts he has made during the last few weeks. I have been very fortunate over the last few years, not only to gain some amazing insights and experiences in UK schools and settings but also...
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Freddie Roberts

Researching for Optimus' SEND Update conference

Our annual SEND Update conference takes place on 23 May. Conference Producer Freddie Roberts shares what he discovered through his research calls, and what you can expect on the day. Going into researching my first SEND conference for Optimus, I was unsure about what to expect in terms of agenda...
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Gareth D Morewood

Autism and peer relationships

What can research tell us about peer relations among autistic learners, and what can we do in our schools to support? I often talk about the peer group being one of the most untapped resources in our schools. Indeed, previously we have heard first-hand from young people about their real, lived...
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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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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

Working together to improve outcomes for our most vulnerable young people

Reflections on #CoPro19: Gareth D Morewood highlights key themes and important points to consider in working towards co-production. Prior to our third conference a few weeks ago, I wrote about our journey in developing #CoPro19 ; a conference about families and professionals working together and...
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