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 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