Pulse 2013: A Celebration of the Arts

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life” this Pablo Picasso quote was the basis for the celebration of the arts this year.  Students showcased their incredible talent in the arts yesterday afternoon.


They showed us how singing, playing instruments, creating films, sculpting, painting, dancing and acting bring vibrancy to everyday life.  

To view more pictures from the day, please click here.

Later in the week on Friday it was the Lower School students who showed us their musical talent:

Ridley College Chimes Challenge & Sports Day 2013

The clock struck twelve and they were off!  The annual Chimes Challenge took place at high noon with four girls running in the female race and six in the boys.  The race is a Ridley College tradition where students try to outrun the chimes from the bell as they strike at noon.  Annabel Umeh ’13 took the title for the second year in a row and Weston Saunders ’13 came in first for the boys!



Duke of Edinburgh Horseback Riding Expedition

This term the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award members went to Pennsylvania to enjoy a three day horse riding and camping experience. The group of 18 students were joined by Mr and Mrs Campbell, Mrs Darby and Mr Dawson. The trip consisted of three days of horse riding where we tackled some very adventurous terrain,  forded large rivers, meandered through forest trails and wide-open fields.


For all, it was a challenging experience, but spirits were consistently high and everyone learnt many more skills in horse riding. The first two days we rode for five hours and on the last day we had a shorter  3 1/2 hour ride.


The weather was perfect and after the second scorching hot day of riding we all jumped on the school bus and went down to a very picturesque country store and enjoyed a well earned bottle of sarsaparilla on the porch, it was like stepping back through time!

Our accommodations was fairly basic as we all slept in tents and cooked outside.  We were able to bring along a couple of barbecues so the food was pretty spectacular. Pennsylvania is a really beautiful state and the Cook Forest region is wonderful this time of year.


The weekend before the long horse riding trip the team participated in a practice trip, so on Saturday 11th we all took a bus out to a local horse riding stable where we were given some basic instruction into controlling a horse. From there we went out to the BOERC where we camped the night and cooked two of the meals we would be having on the longer trip.


I am sure that this trip will be remembered for a very long time as being one of those lifetime experiences that you would hope to repeat again. The group of campers were really outstanding and I would like to thank each of them for their effort and enthusiasm to make the trip a resounding success.

To view more pictures from the trip, please click here.

As told by Mr. Giles Campbell, Duke of Edinburgh Coordinator

Ridley College Exam Prep: 10 Tips for Writing Short Answer Exams

As you prep for exams the Learning Centre is here to help!  Do you have an exam that will include short answer questions? Read the tips below to help you:

Short answer type questions can be difficult because you are required to recall the information directly from memory without clues. Use the following tips to help you:

Tip #1: Plan your Response Before You Start to Write– Since there are parameters of time and space, it is important to know what you want to say and how you are going to say it in the space provided. Brainstorm your ideas (jot down relevant concepts) and then decide on the order you will discuss them. It is important to be organized and easily understood.

Tip #2: Limit your Response to Fit in the Space Provided – Don’t spend all of your time trying to make your answer too long. Focus on quality opposed to quantity. If allowed, use point form to avoid an unnecessary level of wordiness.

Tip #3: Include Examples as Support– Rather than multiple explanations, use an example to clarify your point.

Tip #4: Write Neatly and Follow Directions – Your teacher cannot give you the marks if they cannot decipher your writing. Your answer should be double-spaced and grammatically correct with few spelling mistakes.

Tip #5: Consider the Weight – Look at the worth of the question to determine how much you should write. The more points, the more details you should include.

Tip #6: Read the Questions Carefully – The format for short answer questions can differ. Sometimes the question may require you to choose a topic, choose from a list of topics, or have one mandatory topic.

Tip #7: Budget your Time – These types of questions are typically worth a larger value of marks. It is important that you do not run out of time. Decide how much time you have per question and monitor your time closely.

Tip #8: Underline Key Words in the Question and Note the # of Parts – Start by rephrasing the question into your response. The number of parts is an indication as to the number of things you are required to discuss. Be sure that you are answering every part of the question required.

Tip #9: Use Standard Essay Format– Unless directed to use another format, use standard essay format. Include an introduction with thesis statement, typically three body paragraphs, and a brief conclusion.

Tip #10: Use All the Exam Time – Check that you have answered all the questions to the best of your ability. It is not a race to see who leaves the room first. Ignore what others do, especially early leavers.

*Review your marked exam, especially if you are unhappy with the results. Determine why your performance wasn’t as expected, adjust your studying and exam writing strategies for improved performance in the future.

Ridley College Prefects Announced for Next Year!

Eighteen students have agreed to act as School Prefects for the academic year 2013 – 2014. The Prefects are the School’s strongest leaders, they are committed to Ridley and they subsequently uphold all its ideals and traditions. To a great extent, the Prefect team is charged with influencing the atmosphere, tone and the spirit of the school. We were impressed by the quality of all the candidates who stood for Prefectship this year. In particular, we are excited by this dynamic group of incoming Prefects; consequently, we are confident that Ridley College will be in good hands next year.
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Ridley College Athletic Update

This past weekend the Senior Women’s Quad, the Senior Men’s Lightweight Double, and the Junior and Senior Men’s Eight traveled to Philadelphia for the Annual Stotesbury Cup Regatta – the largest high school regatta in the world.  The Women’s Quad advanced to the semi-final round and came away with a bronze medal.
female rowers
Also this weekend, our Senior 72kg Men’s Double won a Silver Medal at the Welland Invitational Regatta.

Recently, the Ridley College Track and Field team travelled to the Oshawa Civic Recreation Centre and York University to compete in the CISAA 2013 Track and Field Championship Meet. A top four finish at CISAA means an athlete advances to the Metro Regional Track and Field Meet to compete for a spot at OFSAA.

CISAA saw many of our athletes attain Personal Bests and place within the the top four spots in a number of events.


The following athletes have advanced to Metros:

Heather Petrick SG: 3000m (10.05.09) SILVER
SG 1500m (4:58.88) SILVER

Jacqueline O’Rourke SG: 1500m (5:40.16) FOURTH

Robbie Manchurek SB: Triple Jump (11.80m) GOLD

Christian Brunner-Lopez JB Discus Throw (33.83m)

Annabel Brooks MG Triple Jump (8.71m)

Karina Burke MG Triple Jump (8.68m)

Will Fraser SB High Jump (1.50m)


10 Tips for Exam Writing Success – Ridley College

Exam writing begins on Monday June 3rd, so in preparation the Learning Centre has created some tips to help you with your studying!


Examination period can be very stressful. However, being diligent about ongoing review, strategic planning, and writing strategies can help you persevere and do well. Successful exam writing requires: 1) effective review plans that refresh your memory and 2) exam writing strategies that help you demonstrate your learning.

Tip #1: Choose an Effective Space

If you are easily distractible, it is best to sit in the front or against a wall.

Tip #2: Relax and Stay Positive

Destructive thoughts can negatively impact your mindset while writing an exam; and ultimately impact your results. Try relaxation strategies like breathing deeply or using positive self-talk. Challenge faulty reasoning and visualize success.

 Tip #3: Write Quick “Memory Notes”

Do a quick jot note of important formula, dates, acronyms, facts, etc. in a blank space on the exam before you start answering the questions.

 Tip #4: Use the first 5 minutes wisely: Preview the Exam

Preview the exam for the format. Look at the types of questions. If there is an essay question, read the question so that your mind can begin thinking about it while you work on the first part of the test.

Tip #5: Allocate Your Time

Plan your time to ensure you have enough to answer all the questions. Allocate more time for questions that are worth more marks. Do not spend too much time on a question.

Tip #6: Start Where You’re Most Comfortable

Start with an easy question or a type of question that you prefer. This is a strategic method of increasing your confidence and lowering anxiety. Also, question types such as multiple choice may help you answer the essay or short answer questions.

Tip #7: Read the Questions Carefully

Read the questions carefully and do not make any assumptions abut what you have to do. Misreading or misunderstanding can cause an unnecessary loss of marks.

Tip #8: Write Legibly

Assessors cannot mark what they cannot decipher. Use headings within the answer if necessary.

Tip #9: Use All the Exam Time

Check that you have answered all the questions to the best of your ability. It is not a race to see who leaves the room first. Ignore what others do, especially early leavers.

Tip #10: What to do If Stuck

Skip the question and come back to it. Something on the test might help you in answering it. If you still don’t know, make an educated guess.

*Review your marked exam, especially if you are unhappy with the results. Determine why your performance wasn’t as expected, then adjust your studying and exam writing strategies for improved performance in the future.

There are two exam writing workshops, one this Thursday and one next Thursday May 30th 4-5pm.   Please click here to register.

Ridley College Upper School Public Speaking Contest

It takes a lot of courage to get up on a stage and perform a speech, in fact as we heard in one speech it is one of the most common fears.  Nine students braved the stares of the audience and entertained, informed and persuaded us.  There are three divisions in the Upper School Public Speaking Competition: Junior, English as a Second Language and Senior.

In the Junior division, Gracie L.  won for her speech on standing up for female rights.

In the ESL division McRid W.  won for his speech urging us to take a leap of faith and try something new.

For the Senior division, Luis L. won for his passionate speech on the state of music and Eric G. won second place for his speech on how you shouldn’t lose your imagination just because you get older.

5th Annual Ridley Independent Film Festival – RIFF


Students in Ms. Thomas’ Grade 12 Film Studies Course recently showcased a collection of their films in the 5th Annual RIFF – Ridley Independent Film Festival. The festival is the culmination of months of hard work in pre-production, production and post-production. Below are three films that were featured in the festival:

‘Dolly’ written and directed by Maia B.  is about a doll lost in a world where she is the only one of her kind.  Her search for a human that may be more like her has grim results.

‘Kelvin’s Story’ written and directed by Eric G. is a documentary following the story of Kelvin, a 17-year-old boy diagnosed with the world’s first case of Birdamanoma.

‘The Sick King’ written and directed by Audrey Y. is a documentary about her grandfather’s 90th birthday as he struggles with a serious disease.