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

Staff wellbeing

John Dabell

Teachers can make their mark with written feedback

Effective feedback lies at the heart of the learning process. John Dabell explains why written feedback should be no exception. Marking has been demonised. It has been hijacked by the marking martyrs who rage against the machine. They hate marking and pour scorn on it at every available opportunity...
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Ashmi Morjaria

How to improve teachers’ post-maternal wellbeing

Returning to work after pregnancy can be a dizzying experience for teachers. Ashmi Morjaria explains why they need a helping hand. The six-week summer holiday can leave teachers at a loose end. Some of us turn into insomniacs the night before the autumn term. Anxiety takes over as our minds are...
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Julia Watson

Positivity pays: the art of solution-focused thinking

It's all too easy to overlook the power of an optimistic outlook, even for the bitterest of cynics in your staffroom. Looking on the bright side can have a significant effect on wellbeing, boosting self-esteem and productivity. While this may appear naïve, understanding how the brain works under...
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Optimus Education

Stress: how do we cope?

The theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is stress – one of the most common triggers of poor mental health – and how we’re coping with it. Stress is something most of us contend with on a daily basis and, as the Mental Health Foundation’s Mark Rowland has pointed out , our ‘stress...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Bouncing back from a disappointing inspection outcome

Your Ofsted inspection has come and gone, but the outcome wasn't what you'd hoped. What are the next steps? If social media is anything to go by, an Ofsted inspection remains a source of dread for those who work in schools. While much work has been done by Ofsted – and particularly its national...
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Gareth D Morewood

SENCOs: make the end of term festive, not frantic!

'Tis the season to be jolly, but with very little 'down time' in the run-up to the end of term, SENCOs need to make sure they allow time for self-care. Don't let a long to-do list wear you down in these last few weeks of term You might think that the run-in to the festive break heralds unbounded...
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Jack Procter-Blain

You can be a mental health champion

A school's mental health lead is someone who can facilitate grassroots change. This means building resilience, improving communication and gaining trust. It’s a sore but well-known fact that the demand for mental health support in schools is greater than the capacity of external services. When, at...
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Ashmi Morjaria

School leadership: for better for worse, till death do us part

I often hear colleagues talk about being 'married' to teaching. But what happens when matrimony becomes acrimony, and who can prevent it? For almost a third of teachers, the profession is a turbulent union that will end in divorce within the first five years Relationship breakdown Back in 2010,...
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John Dabell

How to recharge your teaching batteries

Summer is a welcome break for even the most resilient school leader. But when you get your life back, what do you do with it? Did the end of term leave you quanked, forswunk, and ramfeezled? Has your mojo run off and left your body to cope all by itself? Fear not, the summer holidays are here and...
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Optimus Education

Award scheme recognises schools building better mental health

From September 2017, a new Wellbeing Award for Schools, presented by the National Children’s Bureau and Optimus Education Ltd, will recognise outstanding work being done to promote mental health and wellbeing within school communities across England. An NCB survey in 2016 showed many school leaders...
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