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Get to Know Your Prefects: Annie S. ’16

Introducing our final Prefect in our blog series, Annie! Annie is a part-time boarder with us from Chippawa. She proudly wears the number 11 for Ridley’s First Girls hockey and field hockey teams.

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I chose Ridley because of hockey. I had been scouted for
the women’s hockey program in the summer of 2012. 

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley?

I was terrified coming to Ridley. I knew absolutely no one here and it was going to be my first year of high school. I had also just moved to a new city a few weeks before school started.

 What are your plans after graduation? 

I plan on playing university hockey, somewhere in Canada or the US. I’m interested in studying health sciences because I want to work in a rehabilitation center for trauma patients.

 Who is your favourite faculty member and why?

That’s a hard one. I’d probably have to say my Housemaster, Mrs. Filion, or my coaches, Mrs. Wark and Ms. Doucet. All three of them have been a huge part of why I am the person I am. They all have been here for me since my grade 9 year and will continue to be, even after I graduate. I can comfortably talk about every aspect of my life with all three faculty members.

 What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley?

My greatest challenge thus far at Ridley has been time management. Being at Ridley, you need to learn how to use your time wisely. I play on first team sports and I am an 80% and above student. Therefore, being able to manage Ridley’s workload and being away for hockey almost every weekend can get extremely difficult. Although it’s been my biggest challenge, I have also improved a lot when it came to managing my time so I am thankful for that.

 What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley?

I’d say my greatest accomplishment would have to be earning the honour to be a school Prefect. Only a certain amount of grade 12’s get chosen to represent the school and I was 1 of 16.

 What has been your favourite Ridley experience (thus far) and your favourite part of Ridley?

Choosing one favourite Ridley experience is impossible. The two things that came to mind would be our long lasting tradition, Snake Dance, and being able to represent Ridley on the ice and on the field. Both things have been a privilege to be a part of.

My favourite part of Ridley would most definitely be how Ridley is it’s own community within a community. Until you experience the Ridley community, you won’t understand it. Every single person at Ridley is family. You spend approximately 16 hours of the day with other students. We see each other at our best and we see each other at our worst. I can honestly say that leaving this school will be heartbreaking.

 What are the most important things you have learned from your time at Ridley?

As stated before, one of the most important things I can take out of my time at Ridley and into the real world would have to be the capability to manage my time. No matter what I do in life, being able to have the skills to use my time appropriately will only benefit me.

 What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley?

The most intimidating thing coming to Ridley, for most students, is the fear of no one liking them and not being able to fit in. Therefore, my biggest piece of advice I give new students is to just be yourself. Often people forget that you don’t need to change to “fit in” at Ridley.

 

Thank you Annie and all of our prefects for contributing to our introductory blog series. To review our past interviews, please click here.

Growing in Nature

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Graced with beautiful weather, Lower School students from grades 7 and 8 travelled to the Burgoyne Outdoor Education and Research Centre (BOERC) for a day filled with learning, creating and being inspired by the nature around them.

BOERC has acres upon acres of forested land, large fields and ponds, teaming with wildlife. It offers a great area for students to escape the classroom and grow in a different environment.

With that in mind, Lower School teacher’s led the students to the countryside to participate in an array of activities that allowed them to express their creativity, test their knowledge of the world around us and burn off some steam.

Divided into their tribes, the students rotated to various stations, consisting of unique activities. One such station was dedicated to frisbee golf. Using the expanse of land, students relayed discs, as a team, towards a net competing for goals. Students had to work as a team and support one another in order to claim victory. There certainly wasn’t a shortage of laughs and cheers.

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At a nearby station was an ecology activity, where students had to identify varieties of trees located on the surrounding land. This helped educate the students to be aware and appreciative of the environment in their own backyard, while testing their knowledge of ecological terminologies. Upon gazing up at the leaves and searching the ground beneath their feet, the students stumbled upon caterpillars, acorns and a beautiful array of coloured leaves.

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Our students also got into the Thanksgiving spirit with a mason jar craft station. The rustic DIY project called for the children to their jars with items they had found in nature, including leaves and acorns.

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Finally, the students sat pond-side for mindfulness and meditation time. Settled together, the students made beaded bracelets , with each bead representing a symbol that would remind its wearer to be mindful ­– water, symbolizing  personal reflection and calmness; air symbolizing freedom and breath; mountain symbolizing strength and grounding; and flower symbolizing inner beauty.

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As the day came to a close, the students piled on the bus; their arms full of their creations and minds full of new knowledge and perspectives.

How grateful we are to have a place like BOERC in our own backyard, where students can experience nature in its purest form, flourish in a new environment and be inspired by all that is around them.

Get to Know Your Prefects: Shamar B. ’16

Introducing Shamar; a boarder from the Bahamas, who represented his country for two Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 1.01.33 PMconsecutive years at the Youth Olympics for basketball – now our First Boy’s Basketball team Captain! We are thrilled that he has brought his talents on and off the court to Ridley. Read our Q&A with Shamar to learn more about this Ridley Prefect.

Why did you choose Ridley?

The decision to attend Ridley was a collective group decision between my family members and I. Ridley was chosen because of the high standard of education, large sporting background, and mainly the quality of the school. It has diversification between different cultures; this allows students to bond and grasp a better understanding between self-culture and outside cultures. Ridley offered different facilities, a unique experience and exposure to a variety of programs. Lastly, Ridley is an elite school that assists, guides, and prepares students for university and the real world.

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley?

My parents and I knew that I was prepared to attend Ridley College, and make the next big step in my life as a growing teen, but there are always some obstacles to face, even when you feel most prepared. Some of these obstacles were leaving family and friends behind in Nassau, Bahamas, seeking new opportunities and creating new friends; also making tough decisions on my own without mom or dad being by my side making the decisions for me.

What are your plans after graduation? 

Graduation is something I am really looking forward to. However, knowing that it will be my last time in high school will make the moment even more special, but also tough and possibly an emotional experience. After graduation I plan to attend university, possibly do some traveling, and gain a little more work experience before I’m completely enrolled into university. 

Who is your favourite faculty member and why?

There are so many great faculty members at Ridley College. It’s quite tough to single out a faculty member as most favourite because they all are unique in many ways. 

What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley?

My greatest challenge at Ridley thus far has been, possibly, time management. This is because of traveling to different places for basketball, staying on top of assignments, and preparing for quizzes and tests.

What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley?

My greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley was being selected as school Prefect and also winning the first ever OFSAA ‘A’ Basketball Championship for the first time in Ridley history with an unbelievable group of teammates and coaching staff.

How has Ridley prepared you for the future?

Ridley has prepared me academically, socially, and mentally for the real world. This is because the Ridley College community is a very social environment, which helps with your social skills in a formal and informal way. Academically, because of the different rigorous courses, the responsibility to research, study, and take on tasks independently or even sometimes with fellow classmates. Lastly mentally, because of the Ridley Guidance Team, which enlightens students in many different areas for future goals, plans, and decisions 

What have been your favorite Ridley experience (thus far) and your favorite part of Ridley?

Camp at the beginning of the school year, because of new people coming into the Ridley community, and taking part in house activities together. This creates a bond between you and other kids. Secondly, Snake Dance was an unreal experience for me because of the intensity and excitement of everyone participating. Snake Dance creates motivation for me to start off the school year in an enthusiastic way.

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley?

My advice to all prospective students is; to always remain open minded, to be polite with others, and to try your best to be welcoming to others. Seize every opportunity and be determined, to tackle and overcome any obstacles that come before you in your Ridley journey. Lastly be respectful, mannerly and always take advantage of all opportunities given.

Students Brave the Elements in Algonquin Park

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Each year, a group of adventurous students sign up for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. This award encourages grit, as students set goals that test their skills, push them to find adventure and work as a team. Student complete stages that increase with difficulty, moving up upon the completion of each level. At the end of the programme, students are awarded a pin and certificate to show their accomplishments.

This past weekend, students took to Algonquin Park for the first Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (D of E) trip of the school year! The students set out on a canoe trip on the chilled waters of Northern Ontario. The group was comprised of 16 students, chaperoned by Mr. Giles Campbell, Mr. Clyde Dawson, Mr. James Leslie and Mrs. Hanna Kidd.

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Unphased by the cold and ferocious winds, the group kept a positive and keen attitude – a trait emphasized by D of E. The group camped on Parkside Bay before paddling over to Big Porcupine Lake for the remaining nights.

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On Saturday, the day was spent paddling to Bonnechere Lake where participants enjoyed a much-deserved lunch. After filling up on a hot meal, a few very students took a dip in the lake. Needless to say, the swim was a refreshing one!

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After a weekend spent embracing Mother Nature, this group of adventurers proved their strength, endurance, teamwork and positivity.

Ridleians Ignite Positive Change at WE Day 2015

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In 2014, when we launched our Strategic Plan, we declared that our vision was to, “inspire flourishing lives to transform our globe”. Today, at WE Day in Toronto, a group of Ridleians have made our school proud, as they live out this vision alongside thousands of young minds devoted to improving the world we live in.

WE Day, started by Free The Children, “…is the movement of our time, empowering a generation of young global citizens through an inspirational event and a year-long educational initiative”. As it enters its eighth year, WE Day has grown significantly – with more attendees, social coverage and famous speakers than ever before.

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This year, a group of Ridley students had the chance to hear from global leaders, activists and cultural icons, like Joseph Boyden, as they shared their powerful stories before the crowd at the Air Canada Centre. The incredible line-up, including Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas and Shawn Mendes, spoke about what motivates them to make a difference and encouraged youth to work together to do they same.

Our students returned to campus feeling empowered to be the best versions of themselves, to inspire their peers and to turn their dreams into a reality.

 

 

 

Get to Know Your Prefects: ShanShan L. ’16

Today, we are profiling Prefect ShanShan. She is a part-time boarding student from China Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 11.10.11 AMwho now resides in Toronto!

ShanShan was the top female in the CISAA Golf Qualifier for OFSAA and will represent Ridley at the OFSAA Women’s Golf Championships next month!

Why did you choose Ridley?

We were looking at private schools around the Toronto region and Ridley. I personally had
the best first impression at Ridley.

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley?

I came to Ridley in grade 6. It was definitely a big change for me as I was at a public school for 2 years prior and before that, I lived in China. Culturally and socially, there were some aspects that took some getting used to, but Ridley is a great (safe) environment to make those changes.

What are your plans after graduation? 

After graduation, I plan to go to university in the States and go on at least one Study Abroad program. Hopefully, I can continue to play golf and play piano and the flute.

What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley?

The jump from grade 10 to IB. I felt that I was not prepared for the IB Diploma Program and it took the first year (maybe still) to become accustomed to the dynamics of being an IB student at a school as busy as Ridley.

What has been your favourite Ridley experience (thus far) and your favorite part of Ridley (chapel, rowing, your house)?

Snake Dance – Every year, especially the last one. Snake Dance is something unique to Ridley and no one can take that experience and memory away because it is difficult to explain and only Ridleians can truly understand.

What are the most important things you have learned from your time at Ridley?

Fears were meant to be destroyed.

Traditions are good – they create an identity that seperates Ridley from other schools.

“In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take, relationships we were afraid to have, and the decisions we waited too long to make.”

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley?

Don’t be afraid to try something new and voice your opinions.

The only way to truly experience Ridley is to be open-minded to every opportunity. Guaranteed, you will do something you never thought you would.

Your friends will be from all around the world – take advantage of this because it leads to great food and amazing vacations.

Grade 12 Students Experience North America’s Largest University Fair

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Photo courtesy of Ontario Universities’ Fair. https://twitter.com/OntarioUniFair

Yesterday, the Ridley Guidance Office accompanied our grade 12 students to Toronto, for the Ontario Universities Fair (OUF).  The OUF takes place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, and is the largest University Fair in North America with all 21 Ontario universities represented. Each school had massive and elaborate displays, staffed by their own students, recruiters and school administrators.  It was a unique opportunity for our seniors to ask questions, learn first-hand from current post-secondary students, and to come away with important information about programmes of interest.

With four busloads of 125 students, we were certainly the largest contingent of the day!  As it happens, we left the fair at exactly the same time as the Toronto Blue Jays won their final home game of the season!  With 50,000 fans spilling out onto the streets, it took a logistical miracle to get us back to campus safely and soundly.

Photo courtesy of Ontario Universities’ Fair https://twitter.com/OntarioUniFair

Many thanks to Counsellors, Mr. Matt Bowie and Mr. Michael Maki, as well as Residential Don, Mr. Josh Farkas (AB East), for chaperoning the event.

One final note to parents; all 21 Ontario universities will also visit campus this fall, along with approximately 65 other universities from around the world.  Details and updates on their visits to Ridley are available to students and parents through the Naviance Family Connection portal.

– Mr. Stephen Clarke, Head of Upper School