Posted in Thoughts

‘What is Christmas like at RAMJS?

When asked the question by our Chair of Governors, Ken Wales, ‘What is Christmas like at RAMJS?‘ it seemed the perfect topic for our school blog.  Not only do I get to think about my favourite season, I can link it to one of the greatest books I believe was ever written, ‘A Christmas Carol’.

Hark, the Herald Angel sings as the colourful lights start twinkling as school transforms into a winter wonderland, adorned with Christmas trees, tinsel and all things festive.  This is not the true meaning of Christmas you may be thinking but when we think about the context of the school, this is as equally important for us as exploring the faith elements of Christmas in a Methodist school!

For many of our children, Christmas is an integral part of a religion different to their own. The Christmas cards and decorations may not be included in their own homes.  The sheer joy that twinkling lights and the pleasure of gift giving or receiving is something that may not be experienced (in a Christmas sense) outside of school but is something that teaches a wonderful message to all our pupils; tolerance, respect and the enjoyment that can be gained from shared experiences. 

As Fred says to his uncle Scrooge when referring to Christmas, ‘though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!’

This sense of the ‘shared experience’ is never limited solely to Christmas! We celebrate Eid, Diwali and Chinese New Year with equalled enthusiasm and pleasure as we revel in the opportunities our diverse and multicultural context affords us.

For the RAMJS family, our school values, especially Respect and our golden thread of ‘doing all the good we can’, becomes a real-life experience as we encourage and experience the sense of joy that these festive, celebratory seasons bring.  This can be felt in the giving of a Christmas Card and wishing Merry Christmas from a Sikh child to a Christian child or the jolliness of sharing Christmas lunch between a Muslim child and non-faith member of staff; at RAMJS we embrace our differences to enhance our own lives and the lives of those around us.

“Every traveller has a home of his own, and he learns to appreciate it the more from his wandering.”

Charles Dickens

Fred and Scrooge

As we prepare for Christmas, the nativity and the beautiful range of Christmas Carols become a learning opportunity for all.  Whilst enhancing our performance skill we are also branching beyond our school walls by singing to our local community, bringing festive cheer to Morrison’s or local Nursing Home.  Our annual Cards of Kindness, written with genuine love and care, are sent to our community members who may be most affected by a sense of loneliness at Christmas. Receiving a response of heartfelt joy from our recipients only sweetens the knowledge that we have done something special for another human with the sole purpose of bringing happiness.

‘Business!’ cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. ‘Mankind was my business.’

Marley’s Ghost

Scrooge and Marley

As early as July we are making requests to Cash for Kids and Fulwood Methodist Church to access donation that can be gifted to our families in need; ensuring that no child has the experience of a present less Christmas.

We talk about the true meaning of Christmas and the importance of Jesus.  We find common ground in our shared understanding of who Jesus was both to a Christian and a person of a different culture and faith.  We find the similarities between our faiths in school, especially the shared understanding that helping those less fortunate than ourselves serves to make the world a better place.  We draw on our comparisons whilst recognising the religious similarities between Christmas and the important festivals within different cultures. We embrace how Christmas brings out the best in people.  At RAMJS, the twinkling, brightly decorated message is clear; Christmas is a time to care for each other and share in a time of year when we are perhaps a little kinder, more thoughtful and most of importantly of all, sharing in humanity as equals, with goodwill to all.

“But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time . . . as a good time . . . the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave . . . ”

Ebenezer Scrooge

Scrooge and Tiny Tim
Posted in Reading

Reading for Pleasure – Part 1

So what do we mean when we say “reading for pleasure”?

Some would ask “is there any other kind of reading?”

For these people, any text is an invitation to read. The back of a cereal packet whilst waiting for the kettle to boil; the abandoned shopping list left behind in the trolley at Morrison’s; the sign on the car park at the docks that tells you “This car park closes at 8 pm. The barrier will be locked until….”. I’ve read that sign about a thousand times; I clearly don’t need to read it every time I park there and I’ve even tried forcing myself not to but I just can’t. If words present themselves in front of me, I just have to read them – interesting or not. I read every word on every sign that I pass on the motorway. In fact, it annoys me if a truck gets in the way as I pass the sign. 😂

Now I realise this doesn’t sound much like “pleasure” and I’m possibly starting to sound a little odd at this point 🤣 but bear with me because it’s an oddness that I’d encourage absolutely everyone to embrace if they can. Reading these mundane notes, signs etc is pretty involuntary to me. Reading is my ‘me time’. I like to ‘read for pleasure’ in any spare moment so it’s no surprise that it’s leaked into my ‘not-so-spare’ moments too.

When we send a reading scheme book home with your child, we like them to show willing and read a few pages at home. We’d like them to read with you if possible (we’re aware of course that this can be tricky – even teachers skip this some nights with their own children!). There is purpose behind the reading schemes of course; they are banded and the vocabulary and phrasing are chosen very carefully to show improvement in your child’s reading skills over time. Reading schemes will always be an essential part of reading in school.

However, these books are not ‘reading for pleasure’ items. They’re not a substitute for your child finding a book at the library that they are just dying to read. They’re not the book that has been hyped by their classmates and has a waiting list to borrow. They’re not the start of a lifetime love of reading. For this, we need to look elsewhere…

Some of your children may have mentioned our school Reading Club/Book Chat. We’ve been running these for the last term on Thursday and Friday afternoons and I can honestly say that it’s by far the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done in any school. I now have like-minded little people who will happily indulge my love of book chat for an afternoon and who have created the absolutely perfect atmosphere to do so. They’re so enthusiastic about the group and this is rubbing off on their classmates. They just can’t stop reading and I have absolutely no wish to slow them down at all. Reading like this gives them the opportunity to use their imagination, to explore new ideas, to visit new places and to meet new characters. It improves their well-being and empathy. It helps them to understand their own identity, and gives them an insight into the world and the views of others. It’s also just plain, good fun – for them and me! For this reason, we’ll be doing all we can to give children opportunities to read for pleasure – including enrollment at the local library.

Of course, not everyone is so in love with books and reading – I’m going to chat more about that in part 2 – but if you’re a reader who would like to give us a recommendation, know more about ‘reading for pleasure’, or even join us on one of our book chats, please leave a comment because we’d love to chat – especially if you bring a book! 😊

Mrs France – RAMJS Reading Team

Posted in Uncategorized

Digital Leaders Special: Why is computing in education so important?

Here at RAMJS our mission is to become masters of technology, not slaves to it. Technology is everywhere and plays an important role in our lives now, as it will increasingly do so in the future. We want to be creators not consumers who aimlessly scroll the web and ‘play’ on an iPad. Rather than being mindless ‘users’, we are looking to be innovators, designing and creating the next big app, game or website!

Some schools think as we were online during most of lockdown for lessons from home, children have ‘done’ plenty of computing and it’s not a priority. Here’s why we think this is wrong and computing is so important to our futures.

As a society we are becoming increasingly dependent on computers and technology. If lockdown showed us anything, it is that being digitally literate and learning to use new technologies rapidly is essential.  In 10 years’ time it is estimated 9 out of 10 jobs will require digital skills. In the not-so-distant future, it is estimated there will not be enough developers and programmers to keep up with the technological demand in our world. We will be the generation to create and code driverless cars, assistant free shops and things that haven’t even become an idea yet. Computing isn’t something you can learn once and know everything; technology is constantly evolving, upgrading and improving. Even Mrs Tipton needs to keep learning!

Computing and digital technology is driving amazing global changes.  We need to ready ourselves  for life in a quickly, advancing technological world. It is essential we are digitally literate. It is a life skill! As well as the importance of computing knowledge, the subject also breeds resilience and perseverance with no programmer or developer able to create complex code without some serious debugging to get to their perfect end goal. Computing is rich in complex knowledge. It combines science, maths and engineering – encouraging logical thinking and creative design. The skills from computing are transferable across the curriculum; they are used across subjects like reading, writing and art. We like to use technology to show off what we have learnt in history, geography and science. It is not a stand alone subject. We are green screening in history, 3d printing in DT and creating movies in literacy lessons.

But with such quickly evolving technologies, it is essential as part of our learning that we have the opportunity to learn about the possible risks and pitfalls of it; the dangers of using the internet, social media and email. Education is the key to preventing many of the issues we see with tecnology. We are acquiring key life skills, from avoiding scams and phishing attacks to keeping passwords secure. Computing lessons are enabling us to have a more pleasant experience when we choose to be online!

So as Digital Leaders’, we hope you can now see why we think computing lessons really should be seen as a priority in all primary schools!

Mrs Tipton

Posted in Uncategorized

She’ll be Wheeling round the Corridors When she Comes, she’ll be Riding a Pink Scooter when she comes

As the headteacher at RAMJS, the pressure is always on at the end of the year to offer some profound words of wisdom to our young people, advice that may carry them forward with a feeling of empowerment.  Words that will challenge and inspire our future teachers, Drs, politicians, builders, engineers, electricians, nail technicians and a whole multitude of professions (some of which may not yet have been invented) to follow the trajectory we aspire for them to have and live a truly wonderful life! 

Now don’t ask me why but this extract from Lewis Carrols, The Walrus and the Carpenter has been inexplicably running through my head all week: 

“The time has come”, the Walrus said, “To talk of many things: Of shoes – and ships – and sealing wax – Of cabbages – and kings- And why the sea is boiling hot – And whether pigs have wings.” 

Perhaps, in a strange way, it sums up that whilst my words may seem nonsensical to you now, they may just go on to inspire something spectacular.  Could I one day feature in a book you write about the mad headteacher who broke her leg and whizzed around school on a pink scooter with a matching cast?  Will you become a shark crazed marine biologist because I shared my obsession with sharks?  Might you become a headteacher yourself, determined to make a difference to the most wonderful people you will ever meet?   

The possibilities are endless, and it may simply be that in writing some words that have come from my heart, I remind you of how important you are, how loved you are and how brave you can be! 

When Lewis Carroll wrote Through the Looking Glass and included this poem, could he ever have imagined that it would be included in a Walt Disney film, Alice in Wonderland or that it would inspire John Lennon to write ‘I am the Walrus’? 

Words convey a thousand meanings and having read the first few chapters of Julia and the Shark by Kiran Millwood Hargrave,  (lent to me by Mrs France), words are described as being the most powerful thing, by far more powerful than numbers because numbers can be made into words but words can not be turned into numbers!  There is also space in words.  They change according to whose mouth they are coming from, and in my opinion, nothing could be truer because whilst actions often speak louder than words, words empower the action and give it momentum.  In short, I am hoping that my rambling words will do just that… strike you into action like a match being struck into flame! 

So what wisdom am I trying to impart?  Where do I even start?  I think most importantly I want you to remember that even though you may not feel it, you are spectacular.  You are also entirely unique, there is and only will ever be ONE you.  And some days, you will make mistakes, wish you had done things differently and wish you were just like someone else because they are so wonderful, and they always do everything right.  Ironically, I can guarantee that someone else will be looking at you, wishing the exact same thing.  So, the first thing I want you to do, is love yourself.  You and you have a long journey ahead and getting to know yourself is the surest way to make sure you follow your gut (it is always right) and work on being who you want to be.  Find out what you like, what your heart tells you and what your morals and values are.  Use these to guide you; if you’re not sure think about how we used our school values to help us work as a family. 

Secondly, I want you to remember that making mistakes is about how we learn.  If we never fallen, how would we learn to get back up?  Making mistakes is what it is to be human.  You learnt to walk by standing and falling, crawling and standing, falling and getting back up.  You couldn’t just walk one day so life is very much like being a baby; with each day you gain wisdom and knowledge.  This helps you make sense of the world.  Some days you may have eaten a worm or some dirt (a mistake) but one you learnt from; that didn’t then stop you trying new foods and discovering that you like cheese or ice cream, pickles or chocolate now did it- Mistakes are part of life, learning from them is what counts! 

And finally, I want you to promise me that no matter what, you will not quit.  You will find a way to keep climbing that mountain because the best views come after the hardest climbs.  You will face challenges, but you will overcome them because as you have shown us this year, you were the Year group that smashed your SATs despite missing 2 years of school! You were the children who got on with it and showed the world what you could do, and I know that at times you felt like giving up, but you didn’t! You dug deep and you gave it your best! 

I am going to finish on this poem because it often inspires me to keep going and if this is the only thing you take away from your time with us at RAMJS, I hope it gives you a steely determination to never give up on yourself because, believe me, the best is yet to come! 

“Don’t Quit” 

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will, 

When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill, 

When the funds are low but the debts are high, 

And you want to smile but you have to sigh, 

When care is pressing you down a bit, 

Rest if you must, but don’t you quit. 

Life is strange with its twists and turns, 

As every one of us sometimes learns, 

And many failures turn about 

When we might have won had we stuck it out. 

Don’t give up though the pace seems slow – 

You may succeed with another blow. 

Success is failure turned inside out – 

The silver tint of the clouds of doubt, 

You can never tell how close you are, 

It may be near when it seems so far; 

So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit – 

It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit. 

 To the Class of 2022, you have been amazing, now go forth and make us proud xx 

Mr Nickson and all at RAMJS

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 –

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: 5:

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 ( 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.

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