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 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! 



  1. 1. 

a great interest and pleasure in something. 


  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


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!!!!