The Plastic ProblemAs part of their oceans topic, Year 5 and 6 were left horrified to learn the extent of plastic pollution in our oceans. 8 million tonnes of plastic is dumped in the oceans every year; with a million single use plastic bottles being sold around the world every minute of every day.
In school, as part of our ‘all we can’ ethos, we are looking at ways to make our school more eco friendly with things like plastic recycling bins around school and litter picking. Please can you help support our mission at home too by thinking about your own shopping habits. Simple changes like reusable water bottles and paper sandwich bags rather than plastic, for example. Every little helps! You can see some of the children’s emotive work on their class pages. #saveouroceans #ditchtheplastic Year 6: https://www.ramjs.lancs.sch.uk/ocean-exploration/Year 5: https://www.ramjs.lancs.sch.uk/ocean-explorers
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.
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.
So what is the solution? What can we do to make a difference to the mental health and wellbeing needs of our children? I wish I knew all the answers but I have a few suggestions about the things we try to do in school.
We talk, talk and talk some more. Our HEART ROOM (https://www.ramjs.lancs.sch.uk/the-heart-room/) is a hive for talking because we recognise that through talking we gain answers and insights. These insights help us form relationships and help us work out solutions to problems. The old saying ‘A worry shared is a worry halved’ is so true and the more we talk the better.
We also try to factor in time to simply be and therefore the reason we are developing our Outdoor Curriculum in the hope that by building a LOVE for the great outdoors, we are showing how much enjoyment can be gained from the simpler things in life…nature!
At RAMJS we fully recognise that in some cases, we need professional support and that is why we work closely with CAHMS, our School Nursing Team and other professionals including our in-school counsellor and our Church in a bid to make our space a safe, supportive environment for all.
On Friday 08.10.2021 we will be wearing Yellow in support of YoungMinds charity. This simple act is about raising awareness so that our children know that how they are feeling is important and talking about it is OK!
At RAMJS we believe in doing All We Can, All I Can, All You Can and we hope you will continue to support us in our quest for happy, healthy children! We know that for our children, it takes COURAGE (one of our school values) to speak out about how you are feeling! As an adult it also takes courage to ask those difficult questions but if we are courageous together, we could really make an impact!
For more information about supporting the mental health needs of young children, the NHS have included a wealth of advice and guidance for parents and carers and as always, if there is anything you need our help with, please do not hesitate to contact us.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 😁🥚🥚🥚😁
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.
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. 🙂
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!!!!