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

Posted in Uncategorized

Greetings from Hothersall Lodge

So, we made it and we survived, well the children did anyway!  Staff are powered by numerous cups of tea or coffee and running on around 6hrs sleeps for the total duration of our trip! The children however are bright and cheerful, as the pictures will show and have had the time of their life!  With comments like, ‘Wow, what a view”, or “This is the best week of my life”, we feel safe in the knowledge that as always, Hothersall has delivered.

Once again, we got the glorious sunshine making our trip thoroughly enjoyable. We have climbed, canoed, and ridden mountain bikes around the beautiful Lancashire countryside.  We have scaled trees and mountains (well more like hills but the children will tell you differently!).

Being able to mix with the other Y6 bubble has been a total highlight and feeling like Covid (even if only for 48 hrs) is a million miles away has been a breath of fresh air.

The activities have been amazing, for some it was the canoeing and others it was “THE EATING!”

The food has been good, we may all be crammed with carbs and fit to burst but no morsal has been left to spare and there will be a definite need for some veggies this weekend!

We have overcome fears, learnt to make our own beds, tie shoelaces and most satisfying for some, they have mastered riding a bike!

The staff are bursting with pride when we realise what a ‘Big Deal’ this trip has been as for many, this is our first time out in 18 months; for our children, it’s the first 2 night stay away from their families.

We have laughed, oh how we have laughed, and yes there have been some tears but ask any of our Hothersall guests if they would like a repeat and the chorus shouts of ‘YESSS!!!!’ can be heard all the way from the Ribble Valley to the inner centre of Ribbleton.

We have missed you, but we will see you soon and we will tell you all about it, for now it is goodbye, we have breakfast to eat, rooms to clean and for the teachers…BREWS TO DRINK!!!!

Posted in who's who

To The Manor Born! – Hello from Mrs Nickson

So, this morning I was tasked with writing my first ever blog with the clear instruction that I had to make it interesting!  Perhaps even FUNNY!  Over time, we will be adding to this blog and thinking about it, I’d like to think that this space will become another welcoming part of our school community where we can begin to highlight what makes our school the wonderful, unique, and friendly place I love.   

This week I am thinking let’s make it all about our quirks or in my case…OBSESSIONS! 

Those of your who know me as Mrs Nickson, will know that I have worked across both schools in Ribbleton since 2013 and have most likely taught your children.  Some of you may have had more contact with me than others but hopefully all of you know who I am…the tall lady with the blonde hair and I don’t mean Mrs Gaitens (our School Business Manager). 

What you won’t know about me, but that the children will, is my obsessions…ask any child or staff member in this school and they will tell you about 2 things I am mad crazy about…the first being Sharks and the second being Christmas!  This week however, I also revealed my 3rd obsession and I don’t think they quite realise how BIG this obsession is yet! 

This weekend some of you may have celebrated ‘Halfmas’ or ‘Junemas’, the 25th June being the half way point to Christmas.  In the Nickson Household this is a long held tradition and Mr N and I both put on our Christmas attire, cook a turkey and watch Christmas films in our shorts and festive jumpers.  Alas, ‘Halfmas’ is on hold until 25th July 2021 and this is the reason WHY… 

Over the weekend, I was instructed by Mr N that we were going on an epic adventure, therefore forgoing my usual Turkey eating celebrations (Cue Mrs N grumbles!) 

As it turns out, the hubby did well as I was going to spend my day at Downton Abbey!  For quite some time I have had a love of all things Downton Abbey.  I have watched it through from start to finish 6 times…6 times people, a grand total of 312 hours..hmm that’s not including the films!  

I never get bored of it…and there is a new film out at CHRISTMAS…Can you see how these obsessions keep being fed! 

To visit such a beautiful place, surrounded by nature, wonder and privilege got me thinking, (brace yourselves this could end badly!) 

As I wandered rooms adorned with the finest silks, famous artwork and awe inspiring architecture, I wondered what it is that makes me like it so much? 

I think I would have to say, the people (OK so I know they aren’t real but to me they kind of are…) 

I am invited into their lives, I see their ups and downs, the highs and the lows and get to watch them grow…much like I do daily in my job as Head Coach for Team RAMJS. 

The main character I aspire to be is Lady Mary Crawley, (she’s like a BIG deal on the show).  Lady Mary isn’t without her own drama and can comes across as a little scary (perhaps a bit like me) but at her heart and core she is wonderfully kind and never gives up on her dreams of a better world for those around her!  Her hopes and aspirations are to maintain Downton Abbey for the future generation, providing employment and sustainability for her community.  Ok, so I don’t have a big house to run but I like to think that RAMJS is like Downton Abbey because of the way we work together, through our own highs and lows to help our children grow into the adults who will be the future of our community, the leaders of change, the ‘sustainers’ of tomorrow.  That’s to me is a PRETTY BIG DEAL! 

Just like Lady Mary and all the other wonderful DA Peeps, Our RAMJS family never give up on our community.  We dream of ‘Brighter Futures’ for all and whilst it we might not be granted a Lord or Lady title or live in Downton Abbey, it doesn’t mean that we can’t try and make those dreams come true…after all, ‘To dream is to believe!’ 

For now, that is enough about me. Give me a platform and you will struggle to shut me up!  I suspect you can guess the themes you’ll be seeing from me in future blogs but what about you? 

What little school quirks (or obsessions) do you love?  What dreams do you have for your children?  What dreams do you have for yourself?    

Let me know in the comments and we can call this post our first collaboration. 🙂