At some point or another, every student goes through significant changes and challenges in different areas of their life. One of the advantages of being part of the Ridley community is having access to an extensive support system that helps students develop the skills to address these challenges most effectively.
As a part of the House System here at Ridley, each House has a Head of House (or Housemaster) living in a family home attached to one of the ten boarding houses here on campus. There’s also an Assistant Head of House living in an apartment within the residence building. Students living in the Houses are free to knock on their Housemaster or Assistant Housemaster’s door any time, day or night, if they have a problem. Each House also has a number of Masters on Duty, many of whom live in residence on campus here at Ridley. These MODs are often local university students and their main duties involve supervising evening study in the House with which they’re affiliated.
On top of this, every teacher at Ridley helps with evening duty in one of the Houses of Ridley. Members of the faculty also advise a group of around six to eight students in the same House. These advisory groups meet once a week during the academic day for about 45 minutes where they discuss issues and upcoming events that are common to the group, like healthy living, study tips, and signing up for community service activities. During this time, advisors also meet with students individually to talk about matters that are more specific to each student, such as challenges they may be facing in the classroom or difficulties they may be having with their roommate. Advisors are the main point of contact for parents, and are a great resource as they are uniquely familiar with Ridley life and will know quite a bit about each of the students in their advisory group both in terms of their academic progress and their social life.
For any concerns that are more specific to physical and mental health, students are encouraged to visit the Health Centre. Located behind School House and Dean’s House, the Health Centre has Registered Nurses available 24/7. They are some of the warmest and friendliest people on campus, and they are careful to keep all information that students share confidential. A physician is also on campus four days a week, and is available 24 hours a day for emergencies by phone. In addition to the Health Centre, Ridleians are lucky to have a fantastic Athletic Therapist (located in the Fieldhouse) to assist students with any sports-related injuries.
One area that every Ridley student is involved in some capacity is athletics. At Ridley, all students will have different coaches for each of their sports. Coaching at Ridley is a lot more than pushing teams to win; it focuses on developing personal mastery of skill, leadership and interpersonal experience, and respect for the game they play. With that in mind, coaches are a great resource to discuss any issues relating to social life in and out of practice, physical and emotional wellness, and personal progress.
Apart from all of the adult mentors in the Ridley community, there are a number of student leaders who are dedicated to helping fellow Ridleians deal with challenges they may be facing. In many situations, student leaders like elected Prefects and House Captains may be in the best position to give advice to students because they’ve lived through many of the same experiences others could be struggling with. Senior student leaders at Ridley are very approachable and easy to connect with at any time. There are Prefects and House Captains involved in all areas of school life – from sports teams to theatre to community service groups. If they can’t help you solve a problem, they’ll certainly be able to direct you to an adult (Housemaster, advisor, nurse, coach) that can.
Written By Liz Gross ’14