The Great School Showcase: The Mosslands School

Dec 4, 2020

“Care, Commitment and Challenge”, not just a kind sentiment, but the bedrock of The Mosslands School’s approach. This ethos, which pours through every facet of their education provision, has allowed Mosslands to improve, evolve and as of now, maintain a standard of excellence befitting of the ambition shown by their Headteacher, Adrian Whitely.  

Recently, we were lucky enough to sit down with Adrian and gain a keener insight into his school. See below for the full interview transcript.

 

Tell us a bit about yourself!

I have been in the Education sector for 37 years, and a school leader for 24.  I am a keen outdoor enthusiast and love DIY and making things.

 

How long have you worked as Headteacher at The Mosslands?

9 years.

 

How long have you worked with hi-impact?

6 Years

 

What advice would you give to any young person aspiring to be a teacher?

Do it for the right reasons, it can be the most rewarding and the most heart-breaking career at the same time!

 

What do you believe compelled you to choose teaching as a profession?

I started my adult life as a climbing instructor and found that I liked working with young people, and was quite good at communicating and empathising with them. From there it was (mostly) making the most of every opportunity that presented itself and engaging in the teacher training programme.

 

At the Mosslands School, you state that your core values are to provide ‘Care, Commitment, and Challenge’ to staff and students alike. How is this achieved?

I try to employ staff who share the same core beliefs, we care about our pupils and see them as young individuals who need help, guidance and support. When things don’t go well we try to look at why rather than just blaming them and change how we approach things rather than trying to change just the pupils.  The staff here commit their time and patience to the students, far more than in other schools I’ve worked in.  We’ve invested heavily in training for the staff and always look at ways of getting the boys to challenge themselves – this is, in turn, also poses a challenge to the staff; helping the school grow.  It is all about communication and wanting the best.

 

Mosslands had the honour of becoming the first school in the region to be recognised as a STEAM centre of excellence. What other ambitions do you have for your school moving forward?

I simply want the school to be a safe and happy environment where the pupils can thrive.  Technology plays an important part in the development of the community, jobs, education, and the climate. This all depends on the next generations being better at it than we have been.

 

In a 2016 report, OFSTED stated that your “…outstanding leadership” had transformed the school. This must’ve been an incredibly proud moment. How do you feel both yourself and your staff brought about this transformation?

Just by focusing on doing the right thing and putting the pupils at the heart of what we do rather than results or league tables.

 

Your school runs a successful chess club! How accessible is this club to newer students with an interest in the game, and how beneficial do you feel it has been in cultivating a sense of community amongst pupils?

Although Covid has stopped this currently, having activities that meet the needs of all types of pupils is really important, it’s another route for pupils to be good at something and enjoy being here..

 

And finally, what effect do you believe hi-impact has had on your school? Do you have any stand-out memories?

hi-impact have helped strengthen our identity as a centre of excellence for STEAM. We have better links with industry and hi-impact  have always been there to support activities for the pupils which help improve their life chances.  They’ve also helped improve our in-house ICT provision and staff training.  Stand out moments probably include our year 9 STEM club boys presenting a plan to the Mayor of Wirral in the Town Hall in the form of a rap (video work and plans kindly assisted by the hi-impact crew) and telling the Mayor that I’d agreed to take them to McDonalds on the way home!