Sharp-Shinned Hawks Nesting on Campus

Just inside the Marriott Gates, in a cluster of trees to the west, is a large nest of branches – home to Ridley’s latest couple – a pair of Sharp-shinned Hawks.

The hawk is the smallest of its kind in North America. Their diet consists almost exclusively of medium-sized birds, and Chris Clark of the grounds department has noticed a decline in the Robin population at that end of the campus.

Given their recent behaviour there is very likely either eggs or recently hatched offspring in the nest.  These birds are great to watch especially during through the family rearing process.  We are lucky to have the hawks on campus as they are notoriously skiddish. Please do not approach the tree, but observe from the road – we would like the birds to continue to call Ridley home.


Catching up with an Old Ridleian in Oxford, England

Our Director of Admissions Dr. Weller was recently in England and while he spends much of his time on the road meeting with prospective families and educational consultants he always tries to make time to catch up with graduates from Ridley College (Old Ridleians/OR’s).

Margery Infield in Oxford, England

This time while in Oxford, England he met up with Margery Infield who spent a gap year at Ridley College last year and is currently attending St. Edmund Hall College at Oxford University.  Take a look at the video below where Dr. Weller asks Margery about her Ridley experience and catches up with the former Ridley College student:

Ridley College is the largest boarding school programme in Ontario, Canada, with graduates attending top universities in Canada, the United States, and around the world. With over 100 different high school courses, 14 different athletic teams, and over 70 clubs and activities, Ridley has much to offer its students from 31 different countries. To find out more about Ridley College visit:

Ridley College Weekend Update

It was a busy weekend for students at Ridley College. There were no classes on Saturday, instead it was a volunteer service day and students participated in various activities to help the community.  Nineteen students joined Ms. Auld and Ms. Kubu at the Short Hills Park for the annual “Trash Bash.”

Kennedy holding a snake that was found in a pile of discarded roof shingles in the Short Hills Park

The Girls and Boys Rugby teams were both away at their respective CAIS tournaments. Each team exhibited excellent effort and showed great promise for the upcoming season.

Ridley College Boys Rugby at Crescent School - CAIS tournament
Ridley College Girls Rugby at CAIS tournament

Congratulations to the Grade 12 drama students and Mr. Sweeney who traveled to Stratford, Ontario on Sunday to participate in the Shakespeare Challenge.  The students placed 3rd out of 115 Ontario schools for their scene from Cymbeline.  They were awarded a trophy and $2,000.00 for their 3rd place finish.

Ridley College Gr. 12 drama students present Cymbeline for the Stratford Shakespeare Challenge

Students also traveled to Toronto to see the stage production of ‘War Horse’ at the Princess of Wales Theatre on Saturday evening and on Sunday forty-five of our students participated in the Conference of Independent Schools’ Music Festival at Roy Thomson Hall.

Ridley College Singers at Conference of Independent Schools Music Festival at Roy Thomson Hall - Toronto

The VEX Robotics team is returning from Anaheim, California today after being away for the World VEX Robotics Championships where they finished 3rd out of 100 teams in the Science Division. Team 1509’s machine programmed by Igal F. with wingman Jon P. finished 6th in the world in the programmer challenge out of 4,800! Congrats!

Ridley College team 1509B in a match at the World VEX Robotics Championships in California

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Ridley College Upper School Public Speaking Competition 2012

Ridley College Public Speaking Participants

One of Ridley College’s oldest traditions, The Upper School Public speaking competition was held yesterday afternoon.  The topics ranged from tire safety to riding coach on an airline, Toddlers and Tiaras to following your dreams.  The speakers were engaging and entertaining and should be proud of their speeches. The winners are as follows:

Ashleigh Sternberg in the Junior Division who entertained the audience with the pleasures of sitting in coach while flying:

Sunshine Wang won the Tony Kwok Memorial Prize.  This is a relatively new prize started by the Kwok family to recognize English Language Learners who participate in public speaking.  Former student, Thomas Kwok ’10 was in the audience.  It was his idea to sponsor the prize after he felt a great sense of accomplishment after he participated in the public speaking competition when he was in school.  Wang talked about China’s One Child policy and reasons why it should be abolished in her speech:

In the senior division Andrew Pace won the Dr. W.H. Merritt Memorial Prize for his speech about the fictional group he was starting called ‘Facebook Anonymous.’  A timely topic talking about the pitfalls of the social networking tool.

Lopez was the runner-up and won the Hon. Mr. Justice A. Courtney Kingstone Memorial Prize.  Last year Lopez won the Tony Kwok Prize:

Films from the RIFF: Ridley Independent Film Festival

Ridley College student filmmakers at 4th annual Ridley Independent Film Festival

The 4th annual Ridley Independent Film Festival was held last night and each unique film had a different impact on me.  Some made me cry, some made me laugh and some made me think.  There were eight films shown last evening, each made by a student in Ms. Thomas’s Grade 12 Film Studies class. The students went through the stages of pre-production, production and post-production in order to create their films. The whole process took four months to complete.

‘Drag’, directed by Sophie Munden tackled the subject of teen smoking through documentary.  I thought the cinematography and music fit well with the subject matter:

‘In The Club’ was directed by Anthony Pullia.  I thought this film was hilarious.  Shot using stop-motion animation Pullia created a world where sandwich meat and cheese are all vying to get into the “club”.

‘Tank Tank’ was another funny film directed by Charlie Izaguirre and similar to ‘Yes, Deer’ directed by Fearghas Gundy showed the power of the punchline.

Gundy’s cinematography was very interesting as he used shot overlays to create a snowstorm and to create a look and feel of being inside an old cabin without actually being inside the cabin:

‘Our Orange Butterfly’ directed by Adriana Radic shared the story of the loss of her brother told by her family members.  A truly heart wrenching story.

‘The Game’ is a documentary directed by Michael Stevens.  Stevens gave an inside look on the day-to-day life of a Ridley Hockey Player.  There was some really neat shots of the hockey players on the ice, and it really captured the camaraderie of the boys on the team well.

‘Post Mortem’ directed by Inara Myles was an interesting look at a man who commits suicide only to find that death is just as pointless as his life was and it wasn’t the escape he was searching for. I thought the music choice was perfect and the subject matter was interesting.

‘The Life Project’ directed by Niko Chan is a documentary where various people of different ages attempt to answer: “what is the purpose of life?” I really liked the shots in this film and the subject matter.

All of the students should be really proud of the hard work that they put into their films. Congratulations on a successful film festival.

Ridley College RIFF: Ridley Independent Film Festival

Ridley College Students in Ms. Thomas’s Grade 12 Film Studies class have created short films and will show them at the 4th annual RIFF: Ridley Independent Film Festival in the Mandeville Theatre Wednesday April 18th at 7:30pm. The students have endured months of hard work to get to this point. They submitted proposals, wrote their own script, created storyboards with shot angles, perspective, lighting and call sheets (film schedules). They then directed, produced, shot and edited the films. The final step of the independent study project is promoting their film and showing it to an audience at the Film Festival.  In this video students talk about the experience and their own films:

Ridley College Cadet Ball 2012

The annual Cadet Ball was held this Saturday. The Cadet Ball is Ridley College’s version of prom for students in Grade 11 and 12. Traditionally the boys wear their red uniform from cadets and the girls wear formal dresses. The event took place at Club Italia in Niagara Falls and judging by the pictures everyone had a great time!

Grade 9 & 10 students decorate for pictures & had their own party in the house during Cadet Ball
The theme of the evening was Hollywood

Students showing off their ballroom dancing

Ridley College Cadet Star Inspection

Reviewing Officer - LCol David E. Meehan, Commanding Officer 56th Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery

Yesterday afternoon the students participating in the Cadet Star Program had their formal Inspection. The Star Program is conducted between Fall and Spring of each year through a combination of classroom sessions, drill and expeditions. Students in both the Upper and Lower School participate in the Star Program and work to achieve the various levels throughout the years – starting with Green Star and working through Red, Silver, Gold and finally the National Star of Excellence. LCol David E. Meehan, Commanding Officer 56th Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery served as our Reviewing Officer and talked about the importance of service to the community.

Ridley College Cadet Band
Meghan K. Recieves award from LCol David E. Meehan, Commanding Officer 56th Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery

Springtime at Ridley College

I love Spring at Ridley. The Magnolia tree begins to bloom in front of Gooderham House, the students are spending a lot more time outside and the sun is shining! Today is a beautiful day on campus- enjoy the pics:

Ridley College front circle - Spring 2012
Ridley College Magnolia Tree up close
Students entering School House Building
Memorial Chapel
Green grass on A Squad