Maritime Mindset

Our Maritime Mindset is our trust-wide approach to education, it’s the starting point for how we think about developing as an organisation. It’s about our vision, our purpose, and what mindset it takes to get us all there.

We created Maritime around an idea - education should be meaningful, children should love learning, and everyone who works with us should feel they make an impact.

Our schools have transformed through targeted collaboration, innovative ideas, and an entrepreneurial curriculum we absolutely believe in that builds leadership and life skills into children.

Children are capable of incredible things, and we expect the same of ourselves - thinking outside the box and achieving creativity through problem-solving. We are always looking for ways to improve, new ideas, and new partners to help us build a solid start in life for every single one of our students. We believe we can positively disrupt education and spark something great in our schools - together.

That’s what being part of Maritime is. That’s who we are.

Co-Founders Nick Osborne(CEO)  & Tiffany Beck (Chair of Trustees)

 

Background

Nick was a primary school teacher before eventually becoming Headteacher at Brooklands Primary School in Blackheath in 2011. Around that time, he was watching an episode of The Apprentice when he became frustrated with the approach one of the teams was taking to their project, and he grumbled about how kids could do it better. And then he thought – actually, yes, they could – and he set out to prove that by integrating a creative, Apprentice-style, cross-subject project into the curriculum, not only would progress and attainment accelerate, but the learning itself would be better retained by the children. And better yet: children would develop resilience and leadership skills as they set about solving real-world problems, and their confidence would skyrocket as they presented their work to parents at the end. His mentor told him at the time that 'you have 5 years in the job’ - because after 5 years everyone will have worked out that you have no idea what you’re doing. So, Nick decided to just get on with it.

This principle of creatively delivering the curriculum has been a proven success, and we’ve brought it to each of our schools as we’ve grown. It’s how we’ve turned schools around. As we’ve grown we realised we were on to something - learning can be exciting and creative and still sustainably turn a school around – it doesn’t have to just be rote teaching and memorisation. We want to build an organisation based on support, challenge, collaboration, trust and the opportunity to develop leadership, resilience, and confidence in everyone from the board to the children.

 

Mindset & Culture

Mindset is everything, it’s how you approach opportunities, challenges, and the everyday. At Maritime, we are fully committed to a growth mindset and our vision for education. We’ve had a lot of success over the years, so over the last year we sat down as Trustees and staff and broke down the behaviours, the ways of working together, that help to foster the environment that makes our vision happen. We’ve even changed our performance management procedures to incorporate our values.

Our culture is based on our 6 key behaviours:

  • Supportiveness & Trust
  • Collaboration
  • Adaptability
  • Creativity & Innovation
  • Humility
  • Humour & Positivity

We will have more on this when we launch our new website!

 

Curriculum

At Maritime we believe children can be leaders and entrepreneurs – and that when our students grow up and leave school and try to answer the age-old question of what to do next, they’ll have the gumption to start their own business, or put forward their own ideas at work, or take a chance on something they might otherwise think they are too young or inexperienced to try.

Maritime is built on the firm belief that kids are capable of developing leadership and entrepreneurial skills that will build them up for their future, and that the best way to empower them with the self-belief to do so is through collaboration and innovation– always looking for different ways to do things. Every child can develop these skills in their own way- within the parameters of outstanding behaviour and a friendly atmosphere.

Our curriculum is based on our 6 C's - the life skills we want children to take through life with them:

Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Creativity, Communication, Character, & Citizenship

 

After years of putting this into practice, we are finally taking what we are so proud of and putting it down on paper and developing a way to measure what we value. Our entrepreneurial curriculum sets out to prepare children for a future we can’t imagine yet, equipping them with skills to help them adapt by problem-solving and thinking differently. We look forward to sharing more on that soon.

 

Partnership & Professional Development

When you’re a part of Maritime, we are all interconnected. We help all staff work together to learn how their counterparts do things and approach different challenges- that’s how we’ve turned schools around. We go deeper than that. We make sure staff are deployed efficiently across the Trust, we help each other to plug gaps whenever possible- it’s about thinking about how the Trust might help your school, and how your school can help the others in the Trust. Going it alone won't work – there is always something to learn from each other and a way to develop your school and your people while working to help another. A win for one of us is a win for all of us. And challenges are an opportunity for us to pull together and find a solution. No one is alone in this and we’re here for each other. Together we are Maritime.

Being part of Maritime also means having opportunities to grow - within your role, within your school, and across the Trust. We want to grow our own leaders, and provide the opportunities in career development they need. We want everyone to be able to develop their practice and keep finding ways of refreshing and reinvigorating it through development.

Our unique school improvement model and staff CPD offer is designed around principles of facilitative collaboration, headed up by our Educational Partnerships Lead. We will have full details when our new website launches!

 

Governance

Our Chair is a National Leader of Governance who advocates that a fully strategic, forward-looking board can enable the head to be a better a leader through the right balance of support and challenge. We want governors to feel they are a part of the school transformation journey and that they are having a tangible impact. Otherwise, everyone's time is wasted. Governors can be a tremendous tool proactively enabling the headteacher to innovate and bring about the outcomes that everyone is aiming for. Too many heads view governors as a blocker, or a chore that needs sorting. And too many governors view a head as someone who's trying to pull a fast one and so nitpick in all the wrong things creating a fraught relationship. We want to break that pattern and make it about creating a supportive relationship that challenges with new ideas, insight and ways of thinking. We are refocusing governance to focus on really drilling down into the key priorities in the school, and making sure that stakeholders are all on board for the ride. Our Board of Trustees is purpose-built to be highly strategic and forward-thinking with a dynamic flow that enables big ideas, support, and challenge, helping our CEO to think differently in order to build a sustainable organisation we are all proud to be part of.

 

Mindset

At Maritime, the important thing is that heads, teachers, governors and children have the confidence to give things a go – and know that failure is an opportunity to figure out a different approach, a way up. We want to empower schools with the means to drive ever greater and more enjoyable outcomes for their children. But we also want them to learn how to use our model and craft it to fit their schools -  consistency of impact without conformity in approach.

Maritime. Collaborate. Innovate. Educate.

 

Recommended Reading

Want to find out more about the Maritime Mindset? Read some of the books that influenced our founding & ways of working:

Mindset: Changing the Way You Think to Fulfil Your Potential by Dr. Carol Dweck

The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology that Fuel Success and Performance at Work by Shawn Achor

Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations by Dan Ariely

Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success by Adam Grant

Originals: How Non-conformists Change the World by Adam Grant

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink

Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

Deep Learning: Engage the World Change the World by Michael Fullan (this is the book that most closely resembles our approach to the curriculum!)

What School Could Be by Ted Dintersmith

The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups by Daniel Coyle

The Founder's Mentality: Overcoming the Predictable Crises of Growth by Chris Zook & James Allen