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

Teaching and learning

Aldaine Wynter

Representation in the curriculum: culture, diversity and inclusion

In the third of his series of blog posts, Aldaine Wynter looks at the importance and impact of a diverse curriculum. In this blog we will look at the following areas in relation to representation in the curriculum: cultural representation embedding diversity into the curriculum creating an...
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John Dabell

The ordinary magic of resilience

What life throws at us might dent or break us – but the '7 Cs' of resilience can help us recover and rebuild. John Dabell explains how. ‘Resilience’ is a buzzword heard pretty much everywhere these days and certainly within the mental health narratives of schools. How do you define resilience?...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Aftermath: What followed the Ofsted maths review

The Ofsted research review on mathematics proved controversial when it was published in 2021. Elizabeth Holmes examines some of the responses and describes the direction of the ongoing discussion. Every now and then, the relative peace of the world of education, such as it is, is shattered by a new...
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Sarah Hopp

What is the purpose of education?

Critical, creative and divergent thinking are often overlooked in favour of employability skills. Sarah Hopp suggests a different approach. The definition of education has been the subject of intense debate since the time of Aristotle and Plato. The word itself comes from the Latin ‘e(x)ducare’,...
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Julia Sandford-Cooke

The 2021 Optimus blog quiz

In 2021, our blog covered everything from wellbeing, race and anxiety to school uniforms, finance and working with LSAs. Revisit your favourite posts to help you answer our quiz questions. Answers are at the bottom of the page. 1. Which of these tips is NOT helpful when tackling imposter syndrome?...
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Jean Gross

Self-efficacy: simple strategies to raise attainment

Building pupils’ sense of capability is vital to their long-term success. Jean Gross sets out some low-cost, straightforward ways to encourage self-efficacy in and out of school. I wonder if you use the idea of self-efficacy in your work? You may instead talk about having a sense of agency or an...
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Catherine O'Farrell

Power in collaboration: Four tips for high-impact LSAs

Learning support assistants (LSAs) provide valuable support to pupils with complex needs but their continuing professional development (CPD) is often overlooked. Catherine O’Farrell explains how teachers and other professionals can work with them to develop the skills they need. One of the most...
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Ian Holmes

Moving from health vs education to health and education

Ian Holmes and Bryn Llewellyn, co-directors of Move & Learn, explain the research and reality behind physically active learning and why it is especially important right now. There is plenty of evidence of the negative impact of COVID lockdowns on our children and their development. The problem...
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Adele Bates

From teacher to TV presenter

Remote classes raise new challenges for leaders, educators and pupils. Adele Bates suggests some new ways of approaching learning, engagement and behaviour. This academic year I found myself spending an entire lesson with a laptop bag on my head, for teenagers with social, emotional and mental...
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John Dabell

How to help children who say they are 'stuck'

Teachers are sometimes far too quick to respond to requests for help. How do children benefit from being 'stuck' and how can we encourage them to find a solution independently? When some children encounter a problem, difficulty, or challenge, they stop. Sometimes stopping and pausing for a moment...
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