Posted in Uncategorized

A Whole New World

It is our school mission to provide ‘Brighter futures for all!’ and what better place to start than building a love of the great outdoors into our curriculum.

For many of our children, life experiences may be limited due to the high levels of deprivation in the community.  Being an inner city school, the access to nature, outdoor activities and the opportunities to try new things are reliant on funds, transport and expertise.  It is our hope that through the development of our curriculum, we can begin to give children regular life experiences that will help them develop new hobbies and passion alongside the confidence to push themselves to try new things and experience their ‘Best Life!’

a whole new world

Through our exciting new curriculum focus, Children at RAMJS have the opportunity to embark on some amazing outdoor learning and as part of our quest, we are building our own outdoor learning space from scratch!  Our children have a designated session, every other week, building on learning and life skills whilst impacting positively on our external environment.

What is most wonderful about this process is that as we develop our own forest and growing patches, fire pit and outdoor classroom, the RAMJS family will be part of planting the seeds for future generations of children to enjoy God’s world in all its wonder;

 “But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this?”

Job 12:7-9

To compliment our new curriculum focuses, we are also planning lots of trips; the purposes of which is to give our children first hand experiences that both broaden their horizons and provide experiential learning opportunities.  These trip are designed to allow children to experience different settings and develop an awareness of the different seasons.  

the great outdoors

The trips are underpinned by our school values:

Ambition-to gain a greater awareness of the locality; exploring new activities that impact on life chances and encourage new hobbies and enjoyments.

Courage-gaining the courage to try new activities and gaining a strong understanding of the activities that children enjoy/don’t enjoy to ensure a wider future prospect.

Respectto build an understanding of the importance of respecting nature and our environment which positively impacts on the world around us and beyond.

Loveto develop a love of nature, the outdoors and a passion for trying new experiences that broaden life chances.

Hope-to give hope to our community and our future generations of a sustainable, respected and loved planet based on a sound foundation of respect for the world in which we live.

Faith-to find peace and tranquillity in the world around us; recognising the gifts bestowed upon the world by our own individual God whilst using our own personal faith and beliefs to demonstrate thanks for all we have by taking care of our environment.

We look forward to updating our school community with regular posts about this exciting learning that is taking place.  You can find more information on our school website – https://www.ramjs.lancs.sch.uk/outdoor-learning/

If you want to see the proof about why this project is so important, these wonderful smiles are telling us the huge value and impact this work is already having!

Children enjoying the great outdoors
Posted in Uncategorized

Y6 & Y5 has a serious message they want to share!

The Plastic ProblemAs part of their oceans topic, Year 5 and 6 were left horrified to learn the extent of plastic pollution in our oceans. 8 million tonnes of plastic is dumped in the oceans every year; with a million single use plastic bottles  being sold around the world every minute of every day. 


 In school, as part of our ‘all we can’ ethos,  we are looking at ways to make our school more eco friendly with things like plastic recycling bins around school  and litter picking. Please can you help support our mission at home too by thinking about your own shopping habits. Simple changes like reusable water bottles and paper sandwich bags rather than plastic, for example. Every little helps! You can see some of the children’s emotive work on their class pages. #saveouroceans #ditchtheplastic 
Year 6: https://www.ramjs.lancs.sch.uk/ocean-exploration/Year 5: https://www.ramjs.lancs.sch.uk/ocean-explorers

Save the planet
Reduce plastic waste
Posted in Uncategorized

It’s Good To Talk

Mental Health-Why it is important to talk!

Currently, 10% of young people have experience poor mental health.  The statistics below are worrying and they do not, as yet, reflect the impact Covid-19 has had on our children and young people.

Children's mental health

When we think about the following how does that make us feel?

  • 20% of adolescents may experience a mental health problem in any given year.1
  • 50% of mental health problems are established by age 14 and 75% by age 24.2 
  • 10% of children and young people (aged 5-16 years) have a clinically diagnosable mental problem3, yet 70% of children and adolescents who experience mental health problems have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age.4

As an advocate for children, it breaks my heart to read such worrying statistics, but it also makes me wonder what we can do differently?

I think for many grown ups our childhood experiences could not have been further away from the life our children experience on a daily basis.  I don’t remember having to worry about “fashion” or “diets” until I inflicted it on myself as a young adult.  I remember that mobile phones became a ‘thing’ when I was maybe 16 and they didn’t have cameras or social media and they hadn’t, at the time, become permanently stuck in our human hands!

I remember ringing a friend meant dialling a landline and we often spent much of our time outside, making dens, riding our bikes and causing minor mischief before returning home for tea, bath and bed.

Granted, I would not want to stand in the way of progress and Mr Nickson is a complete Tech Whizz so I have a house full of gadgets and gizmos a plenty but I also have a strong urge to connect with nature and that allows me to limit my brain frazzle by doing the simple things in life, like walking Tilly the fur baby.

We've got gadgets and gizmos a'plenty! We've got whosit's and whatsit's  galore! - Little mermaid ariel | Meme Generator

So what is the solution? What can we do to make a difference to the mental health and wellbeing needs of our children?  I wish I knew all the answers but I have a few suggestions about the things we try to do in school.

We talk, talk and talk some more.  Our HEART ROOM (https://www.ramjs.lancs.sch.uk/the-heart-room/) is a hive for talking because we recognise that through talking we gain answers and insights.  These insights help us form relationships and help us work out solutions to problems.  The old saying ‘A worry shared is a worry halved’ is so true and the more we talk the better.

We also try to factor in time to simply be and therefore the reason we are developing our Outdoor Curriculum in the hope that by building a LOVE for the great outdoors, we are showing how much enjoyment can be gained from the simpler things in life…nature!

At RAMJS we fully recognise that in some cases, we need professional support and that is why we work closely with CAHMS, our School Nursing Team and other professionals including our in-school counsellor and our Church in a bid to make our space a safe, supportive environment for all.

On Friday 08.10.2021 we will be wearing Yellow in support of YoungMinds charity.  This simple act is about raising awareness so that our children know that how they are feeling is important and talking about it is OK! 

At RAMJS we believe in doing All We Can, All I Can, All You Can and we hope you will continue to support us in our quest for happy, healthy children! We know that for our children, it takes COURAGE (one of our school values) to speak out about how you are feeling! As an adult it also takes courage to ask those difficult questions but if we are courageous together, we could really make an impact!

For more information about supporting the mental health needs of young children, the NHS have included a wealth of advice and guidance for parents and carers and as always, if there is anything you need our help with, please do not hesitate to contact us.

https://www.nhs.uk/every-mind-matters/supporting-others/childrens-mental-health/

nhs - every mind matters
children's mental health

Posted in Thoughts, Uncategorized

Anything is possible!

I am delighted to welcome everyone back into the building; the hustle and bustle of every day life is music to my ears and I love the excitement September brings as it gives us (in school terms) a second New Year start.

We have talked to the children this week about ‘sowing the seed‘ that we will harvest in the coming year and beyond. Much of this kind of thinking requires a growth mindset approach and resilience to keep going despite finding our dreams and aspirations hard to achieve at times.

Hey, you. Don't give up, okay? 💕✨💗🙏 – Sea of words

From a headteacher point of view, this message couldn’t have been ‘hit home’ any harder this week when we watched a young Emma Raducanu demonstrate true grit and determination to go on to win The US Open tennis championship. Ranked No. 338 in the world at the time of competing, Raducanu was awarded a wildcard into the main draw at the 2021 Wimbledon Championships, and reached the fourth round there in her major debut.

British tennis star Emma Raducanu pulls out of Wimbledon due to 'difficulty  breathing' | ITV News

Two months later, she entered the qualifying competition for the 2021 US Open, and after reaching the main draw, she went on to become the first qualifier to reach and win a Grand Slam singles final.  She became the first British woman to win a major singles title since Virginia Wade at the 1977 Wimbledon Championships, and the first to do so at the US Open since Wade in 1968. From a ‘Wild Card’ to ranking #1 British female tennis players is a serious achievement and a wonderful role model to the possibility of dreaming BIG and having self belief.

Emma’s confidence however took a serious knock in the Wimbledon 2021 championship, when she found herself having to pull out of the tournament. The pressure, combined with playing ‘the best tennis of her life’ in front of her home crowd all got to much and as a result, Emma made the difficult decision to retire from this prestigious competition. This would mark a turning point for Emma, who had to find the inner strength to pick herself back up and go back out there in front of the world’s media to try once again to achieve her dreams; we can all appreciate that this is an incredibly hard thing to do especially when we have experience disappointment or failure on the journey.

At RAMSJ we have some exciting plans in our future; ones we hope will teach the key life skills that will encourage our RAMJS family to reach for the stars. We know that we have a BIG journey ahead of us especially when one of our aspirations to is run a Forest School when we don’t yet have a forest! This could be a major set back for us but we have decided we aren’t going to let it…we will make it happen because we believe in the power this outdoor provision could have on our health, emotional/academic wealth and happiness.

You know me well enough now to know that following the start of the blog will inevitably lead onto another film, fad or interest and here it is…Last night I watched Cool Runnings, a story about the first Jamaican Bobsleigh team (based on a true story) reaching the winter Olympics despite the fact they had never seen snow.

Review Flow - Into Film

The team spent much of their training time trying to be what everyone else thought they should be until they finally grasped the importance of being true to their vision, not the vision others had for them. Personally, I think that resonates a message that can’t be ignored, (after all we are an inner city school with aspirations to have a woodland complete with bees, butterflies and insects) and that is why at RAMJS we are always on our quest to be ‘US!’ That ‘us‘ is an exciting place where learning is underpinned by life skills. A place of tolerance, diversity, hope, aspirations, being true to ‘Us‘ and as always, LOVE!

We LOVE that you are on this journey with us as we ‘feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme, get on up it’s RAMJS adventure time!’ and we hope that when things get hard, you will be there to help us find our way and remind us who we are and why our mission is to help our wonderful pupils achieve ‘brighter futures built on ambition, courage and respect; filled with love, hope and faith.

Primary school children doing a crab

I am sourcing my Lucky Egg (Cool Runnings fans will get it) as I type and I can not wait to see where this amazing journey takes us 😁🥚🥚🥚😁

Posted in who's who

Wesley’s Summer

Hi everyone, Wes here, I thought it would be nice to let you all know what I have been up to over the Summer.

So, as you all know, I live with Mrs Gaitens. What many of you don’t know is that I also live with Mr Gaitens, their 3 children, and 2 other dogs – Buddy and Betsy.

I have had lots of adventures over the Summer, I’ve been to Centre Parcs where I had lots of walks in the woods, but it was so hot when we were there that I could only be walked early morning or in the evening.

One evening Mr & Mrs Gaitens took me to the beach at Lytham. It was my first time at the beach and I absolutely loved it! It was so much fun walking on the sand and paddling in the water. Here are some pictures:

Another of our adventures was when we went to Brock Bottom. We had a lovely walk and I played in the water with Buddy and Betsy, it was a fantastic way to cool down after our walk:

One weekend Mrs Gaitens and her children went on a little holiday, and left me at home with Mr Gaitens, Buddy and Betsy. I missed them very much, and was so pleased when they returned home, after the excitement of seeing them I was very tired, so I fell asleep on Mrs Gaitens’ feet, to make sure she didn’t go and leave me again:

So as you can see I have had a very busy Summer, and am very much looking forward to seeing you all in school this year. Perhaps you could leave a comment below telling me what you have been doing over the Summer, or draw me a picture that Mrs Gaitens can put next to my bed in her office.

Love from Wesley ❤❤❤

Posted in Thoughts

A weekend of adventure and racism in sport

Another weekend of adventure awaited Mr N and I as we took ourselves off to watch the F1 Grand Prix at Silverstone.  Like Downton Abbey, Sharks and Christmas, I am an avid watcher or Formula 1.  I was planning on saving this information until a later date but the outcome of this monumental race and the negative, upsetting, and downright disgraceful response from certain fans prompted me to get on the RAMJS Blog. 

Like many sporting events, in F1 there are different teams and therefore different fans.  As with most sports, fans choose their teams, wear their colours and share the highs and lows of their team which in Mr N and I’s case happens to be Mercedes.  They employ 2 drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas and as has been the case for as long as we have followed this sport, number 44 aka Lewis, is our boy…I cheered him on with such vigour that I have currently, and for the first time in my life, lost my voice! 

Not only is he an amazing driver, a 7 times world champion in fact, he is also a wonderful role model (in my opinion) to those who follow the sport.  He is a passionate sports person who is working to make racing eco-friendlier and more diverse by looking at ways to support people from other backgrounds, race and gender to enter the sport. 

Whether you agree or disagree on the outcome of the race (Lewis unfortunately made contact with Max Verstappen resulting in a catastrophic crash), the enjoyment for many sporting fans is the hearty debates with those who do not support the same team.  Whilst at the racetrack, we see the most amazing displays of friendly competition between all the varying fans; at no point did we see anything other than respect for a sport that is highly charged and potentially dangerous. 

To observe the heated debate on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram continued to bring about more discussion, “Max was in the wrong place!”, “Lewis should know better than to overtake on Copse Corner!” but at no point did the colour of Lewis’ skin get called into question by any of the fans who, like Mr N and I, LOVE this sport. 

As news came in regarding the racism and hate that Lewis Hamilton has received since his victory, I feel despair for the world in which we live.  I spoke last week about my LOVE with our school; one of the biggest reasons I LOVE RAMJS so much is because of it’s diversity.  We have over 18 languages spoken, we celebrate a variety of faiths and beliefs, we educate each other on our cultural differences, and we challenge racism with a vengeance. 

The children at RAMJS were made aware of the continued use of racial slurs as we watched our England Squad face hatred and racial abuse following their missed penalties in the Euro 2020 final.  Our children talked in their classes about how we are living in a culture where we make our sports people ‘Heroes’ when they are winning and ‘Villains’ when they are not.  Despite Marcus Rashford being a hero for so many children and their families throughout this pandemic, the life changing impact he has had was forgotten by so many, simply because he missed a goal…how truly heart breaking! 

As always, I see my glimmers of hope in our RAMJS children, who were appalled by the total lack of ‘Love’ being displayed by so called fans, who instead found ‘Hate’ and ‘Racism’ appropriate; we ask what model are these people setting to their children, their grandchildren and the future generations of our world. 

Many of you will not know that Mr N and I are from very different backgrounds; I identify as White British as my family heritage is entirely from the British Isles whereas my wonderful husband considers himself Anglo Mauritian, a badge he wears with immense pride.  In our house, colour is not, nor ever will be a consideration because our relationship is built on love.  We had the wonderful experience of meeting our Mauritian family, who welcomed us into their homes and shared their culture and traditions with us; an experience that not only strengthened our love of diversity but also increased the love we felt for each other and our families.  My Mauritian family are Muslim, whilst I am a Christian; we shared a mutual understanding of our differences and welcomed our similarities.  Colour, faith, or gender was not a factor and nor will it ever be. 

The future of our society depends entirely on the strong messages we share with our children so that they can share these same principles with their children; this is how we make positive changes.  At RAMJS we will not tolerate these negative attitudes to infiltrate our world of culture and diversity.  We will continue to work together to make our world a better place.  As Martin Luther King said, “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the colour of their skins, but by the content of their character!”  That day has already arrived, and the children are RAMJS are the carrier of that message, we show LOVE not HATE and we will continue to stand up for what is right as is moral purpose! 

Mrs Nickson

Posted in Thoughts

Love what you do and do what you love

“Love what you do and do what you love!” 

I was blessed to find this little sentiment on my desk yesterday and it got me thinking…brace yourselves! 

Love 

noun 

  1. 1. 

a great interest and pleasure in something. 

Verb     

  1. 1. 

    feel deep affection for (someone). 

     

    I am truly blessed to experience lots of loves in my life.  I am loved and I love.  I love my husband, family and friends.  I LOVE Downton Abbey, Christmas and Sharks.  I love my job and most importantly, I love Ribbleton Avenue Methodist Junior School. 

    As I come to the end of my 3rd year as headteacher of this wonderful establishment, I can not begin to believe the whirlwind adventure I have been on.  As a school we have had some pretty tough moments, but the hard times have always been met with momentous moments or simple pockets of time that make me feel content and blessed to have been entrusted with the job of Head Honcho. 

    For some of you, this will be our final time together; your children will be leaving our Year 6 ready to embark on pastures new and for others, the journey is only just beginning.  As I have looked through our Year 6 memories and moments, I can’t help but feel pride and an overwhelming sense of love.  As educators our biggest fear is getting it wrong.  We know the role we have to play in ensure that the children entrusted in our care have a lifelong passion for learning, living and life.  We know the impact of our words and our actions and throughout our career we remain on the learning ladder ourselves, hoping that whilst at times we may get it wrong, much of the time we are getting it right! 

    Our children have lived through a time like no other; they have felt highs and lows we hoped they would never be subjected too but despite some dark times, I hope there has also been light.  Moments of light that have sparked a new hobby, interest, friendship or a love of something.  Throughout this entire pandemic, one thing has remained true for me and that is that I LOVE my job; it has been the driving force that has kept me sane and got me up in a morning.  Despite covid playing havoc with my personal health, as well as working life, I can honestly say that I have never felt more grateful than I do today.  I am one of the lucky ones who found a life that allows me to “Love what I do and do what I love!” 

    What do you love and why? 

    If you could do it all again, what would you change to find that true ‘love’ for life? 

    My advice to our children is to enjoy life and find things that make them happy.  Life can be tough at times which Covid has taught our future generation all too soon, but it can also be wonderful.  The simple pleasure of a sunny day, a walk through a meadow or reading your favourite book.  It is important to make it count and fill it with moments of love that sooth the heart and heal the soul. 

    I leave you for now with thoughts of sunshine, happy times and fun, knowing that you take my love and best wishes wherever you go.  Until September, stay safe RAMJS Family, and I look forward to feeling this wonderful, old building, brimming with love, both old and new, in our new academic year! 

Mrs Nickson

Posted in Uncategorized

Year 3 – Brockholes Trip

During the penultimate week of school, our year three pupils ventured out to visit a nearby nature reserve. Here they went on a scavenger hunt led by our outdoor adventurer Mr Moran.

They enjoyed the open spaces, fresh air and wildlife. Looking out for frogs, bugs, butterflies as well as reeds, trees and flowers, they were able to detect and identify and, keep track using a tally chart.

The children visited the many diverse habitats that Brockholes provides; a river walk; a woodland copse; lake hides and meadows. Here they learned about the importance of protecting these very special places for our British species of wildlife, flora and fauna.

Mrs Bradshaw

Posted in Reading

Book Chat

I do like a good book chat and don’t think I’ll ever tire of those “Have you read…..?” conversations. Luckily, plenty of my colleagues are willing to indulge me in this and there’s always someone ready with a recommendation.

For me, the next best thing to selecting a book for myself is choosing one for someone else and I particularly love to browse new children’s titles. Imagine my glee when Mrs Nickson asked me to choose some new books for a Year 5 book club. We have some very accomplished and enthusiastic readers in year 5 so this task was an absolute joy.

My little book club happens most Friday afternoons and it really is a lovely end to the week. We’ve had some great discussions and the children have surprised themselves with how their book and author knowledge has developed. I think they’re all a little more open minded with their choices as a result of our book chats.

Here’s what Sophie and Rajwant have to say about the experience.

It was October 2020 when we first started Book Chat Group. We got our first look at the books and stated our opinions (from the cover and blurb). In the first session, we explore the books and scored them 0-5. During our chats, we sometimes ended up chatting about other authors and books. In one of these sessions, Mohammed asked what a trapeze artist was (the book was about the circus). We ended up watching a video which explained what a trapeze was so that was good too.

We always like talking about the different types of books. With Mrs France, we talk about what has happened in our books and what our favourite book settings have been. Then we end up chatting about the places that we have been too.”

What have you been reading lately? Leave a comment for any recommendations for our library. 🙂 Mrs France

Posted in Uncategorized

Memories

Ask anyone who works in a school which key characteristic is most useful and I’m sure that “a good sense of humour” will be high on their list.

As in any workplace, there are days that fly by and some that are a little more hmmmm…testing shall we say? This could be said of any school year of course but the last 15 months have provided some rather “unusual” classroom scenarios. A sense of humour, shared with staff and children alike, has helped enormously because it’s these “unusual” scenarios that have given me some of my best memories. Here are just a few of them….

Looking after a Year 6 key worker group for 6 weeks during the first lockdown. Miss Bradshaw and I loved this time. There was much hilarity and we even buried a lockdown time capsule to look back on in the future.

Mrs Tugwell dancing down the corridor every morning and every afternoon. Yes – EVERY day. 😀

A year 5 child showing a previously hidden skill for drama that made me and the rest of the class laugh so much it hurt. Sahil we love you for this. Don’t ever stop the drama.

Playing “kidnap” games whilst on yard duty. Watching Miss Parker playing hide and seek with her class like she is still 8 years old.

I could go on. I could tell you about how, one day last week, I started actually spelling the words out whilst giving the children their spelling test – oh yes it had been a long day!

Anyway, enough of MY memories. I (nervously!) asked the children in year 5 what their memories of school were and of course they obliged. 🙂

What about you? Did you attend RAMJS? Do you have any funny memories you’d like to share with us? It’d be lovely to hear them. Leave a comment and we can reminisce together. 🙂

Mrs France