An interview with the newly appointed Deputy Head of Secondary (Academic), Brendan McLoughlin.
So, Mr McLoughlin, you are the new Deputy Head of Secondary (Academic). Congratulations on your new position. How did your career help prepare you for this new role?
Thank you very much. I have to start by saying it is an absolute honour and a privilege to be taking up the new Deputy Head post at such an outstanding school. During my six years at ISM, I’ve been fortunate enough to have gained teaching experience across all three secondary key stages. This has enabled me to witness on a day-to-day basis the diverse challenges that students of different ages face.
Having been Head of Year across Key Stage Three and Key Stage Four year groups, I needed to develop the leadership skills to oversee so many successful projects, including whole school assemblies, examination seasons and sporting competitions that have enriched the school life of our students. I look forward to facilitating many more student successes in my new role.
What is a typical day like as a Deputy Head of Secondary (Academic)? What does your role entail?
I am very fortunate that my day starts in the best possible way. I get to welcome students as they come through the school gates every morning. It always puts a smile on my face to see so many eager faces making their way in for another day of high-quality lessons.
No two days are the same at ISM, which is what I love about this job. I still get to teach a few lessons during the day. However, this week I have been making sure students have accurate timetables for next year, examinations run as smoothly as possible and student reports are written on time. There’s a lot to keep me out of mischief.
At the end of the day, I see the students onto their buses, and I can’t help but overhear the animated conversations about what they did during the day with their friends. It reminds me just how rewarding this school really is.
As Deputy Head of Secondary (Academic), what changes are you hoping to implement at ISM? How do you see your position influencing the development of the school?
As a school, we collect a lot of high quality data, and this has been recognised repeatedly by ISI inspectors, who rate our school as ‘Excellent’ in every category. One of our objectives to develop even further is to make even better use of this data. To this end, I am working on getting students taking GL assessments in our fantastic Ivan Gromov Gymnasium.
Indeed, we have started doing this during the recent assessment fortnight. Not only will this give secondary students the opportunity to experience examination conditions, but it will also mean that the data is even more reliable and that we can identify students who need intervention in each subject more readily. This data will provide all stakeholders with regular and reliable progress metrics for all students.
You have only been in post for a short time so far but have already made a significant impact. What are you proud that you’ve already implemented so far?
The fact that all students have had the opportunity to sit external examinations in all subjects this year at the International School of Moscow is something that we all should be immensely proud of. The whole community worked together to convince the examination boards that they should work with us, and ultimately, they all did work with us. This has made such a positive difference in the lives of our examination students. I am grateful to everyone who supported the school in our efforts. We should all be proud.
In August we begin our new academic year. What are you most looking forward to next year?
The biggest factor behind ISM being an excellent school and nurturing community has always been the enduring enthusiasm of the students. As COVID-19 restrictions ease, and we start to come out of the pandemic now, I am excited by the prospect of being able to see a full school of students physically back on the first day of term for the first time in three years. Fingers crossed!
The fact that all students have had the opportunity to sit external examinations in all subjects this year at the International School of Moscow is something that we all should be immensely proud of.
Mr Brendan McLoughlin