Category Archives: Admissions

TOP 10: Ways the IB Programme Helps Students Flourish

With the new school year underway, we asked some of our faculty members how the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP) and Diploma Programme enable our students to reach their full potential.

According to our faculty members, here are the top 10 ways the IB Programme helps students flourish:

  1. Equips Students with the Tools to Learn

Students learn more than facts and figures; they learn the tools to apply them to real world situations.

  1. Helps Them Discover Their Passions

Students are challenged to discover their own passions, while exploring the opportunities each may uncover.

  1. Teaches Communication Skills

Students discover how to better communicate and understand themselves, their peers and the world around them.

  1. Instills Global-mindedness

The IB Programme teaches students global-mindedness; it teaches them to not only be open to other perspectives, but to embrace global worldviews. This helps to develop empathy and caring, and ultimately, it helps students become good global citizens.

  1. Teaches Students to Think Critically

The IB is a remarkable programme that encourages students to think critically about the world in which we live and challenges them to think about the larger picture.

  1. Encourages Students to Take Risks

The programme encourages students to become risk-takers and inquirers.

  1. Teaches Lifelong Skills

The IB Programme helps our students flourish, teaches them resilience and team work and, most importantly, teaches them about humanity.

Prepares Students for Their Educational Journey

Although the programme can be challenging at times, it is a fantastic preparation for post-secondary education.

  1. Creates a Personalized Education

With a focus on student-centered learning, the IB allows for richer experiences in education. In the MYP, through the Personal Project, students can learn more about topics that are relevant and interesting to them. This leads to greater engagement in the learning process and is highly rewarding from a student perspective.

  1. Opens Opportunities for Faculty

Teachers can also open many doors to learning through the IB Programme, through IB professional development. This allows our teachers to continue to grow and provide students with the best learning experience.

 

Get to Know Your Prefects: Anastasia G. ’18

Introducing Anastasia Guzenko ’18 – a Prefect who has learned how wonderful it can be to be different. Read how her Ridley experience has been an immersive one; introducing her to unique, cultural and invigorating opportunities.

Why did you choose Ridley? When looking at different schools across Canada, my mother, with the help of an agent, narrowed the possible list down to three schools and Ridley was one of them. Being attracted by Harry Potter looking dining hall, artwork that decorates school hallways, cozy classrooms, giant athletic facilities, the Mandeville Theatre, music department, green grass fields and warm rooms, alongside endless opportunities and rigorous academic programmes convinced me to choose Ridley over other schools.

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley? Absolutely not! Although I came and visited Ridley beforehand, I generally didn’t know why and what I was going for. I have never changed schools or place of living before. Even when the plane landed at Pearson Airport, I still had a lot of doubts. However, as soon as my orientation day has started, all my concerns were gone. Every person, whether it was a student, staff or faculty member, was all extremely friendly and welcoming, which shows the warm and hospitable nature of the Ridley community.

Who is your favourite faculty member? There is something very unique and special about every faculty member who was somehow involved in my Ridley life and choosing one will be impossible. Ms. Anderson, Ms. Blagona and Ms. Thompson are like my true mothers on the other side of the world. Ms. Becken’s History classes and funny, yet sometimes serious conversations about Extended Essay, Mr. Gordon and Mr. Mugan constant inspiration and amazing opportunity to travel to Germany this summer, Mrs. Darby and Mr. Darby’s help and support with connecting me to Rotary organization and getting me on an Australian exchange, Ms. Fournier’s wonderful introduction to the world of theatre and advisor support throughout my Grade 10 year, my ‘never stop believing’ coaches Ms. Thomas and Ms. O.R., all of the Mandeville house faculty, my passionate, enthusiastic and patient teachers: the list can go on and on… I hope you can feel my struggle of choosing just one.

What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley? The greatest challenge in my Ridley career so far has been realizing that there are only 24 hours a day, at least six of which are taken away by sleeping. With Ridley’s huge variety of clubs and opportunities, it was a challenging to fit all the activities I am interested in into my schedule, while ensuring that I am doing well academically. In the end, it all comes down to time-management and this is a key requirement for getting the most out of this place.

What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley? I think my greatest accomplishment was growing as a person, as a student and as a leader. Before coming to Ridley, I lived in my own bubble without paying much attention to global issues, emerging problems, etc. However, by being surrounded with such multicultural community and being constantly pushed to the limit by International Baccalaureate programme, I was able to put myself on a path of becoming a global citizen. Moreover, receiving The Jay Feagan-Philip Davies Memorial Award this year for character development and leadership potential was a huge accomplishment for me as it has been previously won by truly amazing and very inspirational people and it is an honour to be a recipient.

What has been your favourite Ridley experience? I really enjoy the events that bring the whole school together, for example: camp, Ridley’s birthday, Cross Country Run, arts celebrations, spirit nights, Sports Day and much more. However, I think my favourite one is Snake Dance. It is one of the longest standing traditions at Ridley and it is one of the first school gatherings of the year. I feel like this is when new students begin to feel the spirit of a tiger and experience the feeling of a strongly–bonded community. In addition, it is an incredibly fun away to start up the academic year.

What has been your favourite part of Ridley life? My favourite part of Ridley life is the feeling of being a part of this supportive and very culturally diverse community, as well as the ability to call Ridley my home. It’s incredible; when walking down the hallway, you can hear your peers speak German, Mandarin, Cantonese, Spanish, Russian and Igbo. Also, it sets up an amazing example to the whole world, how so many cultures can bond in such a small place, living and interacting peacefully with each other on daily basis.

What part of being a Prefect are you most excited for? I am not quite sure yet as I don’t know all the small details of what it is like being a Prefect, but I am excited about this challenge. I am excited to advance or to finish the initiatives that have been brought up by previous generations of Prefects. At the end of next year, I am excited to reflect and see the positive impact on Ridley and the Niagara community that will hopefully be made. I think I am very lucky to be a part of such amazingly talented group of people and I am excited to take on this journey with them, which will be filled with joy and lots of learning.

How has Ridley prepared you for the future? Ridley gave me an opportunity to pursue the IB programme, which has been very rigorous and demanding so far. It taught me and keeps teaching me how to ‘live my life’, in a good sense of this phrase. Now, after completing only one year, I feel like I am a more mature person, who can approach tasks creativity and critically, considering a variety of different perspectives. Ridley is like a little world, filled with lots of unique moments, long-lasting friendships and challenging decisions. This is what life is all about.

What are your plans after graduation? I think I will peruse an undergraduate degree at a university. Ideally, I will be double-majoring in international relations and theatre. However, whatever I will end up doing or wherever I will end up going, I want to keep learning language, travelling and culturally exploring the world.

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley? Ridley is a place of opportunities and self-growth. Don’t be scared to take risks, to try things even though you have never seen yourself doing them, join activities, participate. Embrace your weirdness and unique characteristics and don’t judge people for being different. Being different is great. Never give up when something goes wrong, aim to become better every day. Don’t be afraid to meet people; don’t hesitate to ask them for help or advice – you will be surrounded by people from all over the world and I am sure there will at least one person who will be able to relate to your struggle. Finally, make your own decisions and don’t be scared to express your own opinions but keep in mind and respect the fact that there are people from 46 other countries. You have one chance of being at Ridley, so use it!

Get to Know Your Prefects: Jack H. ’18

Meet Jack Hilditch ’18 – a Prefect whose Ridley career has opened up a world of opportunities. Read how he has grown, achieved and flourished in the last 10 years.

Why did you choose Ridley? My sister, who graduated from Ridley in 2014, started at Ridley in Grade 5. The amazing experiences and opportunities she had interested me and I decided to give it a try. I can honestly say that without Ridley, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley? Ridley was very intimidating and daunting initially. Being so young I was unsure about what to expect. The Ridley atmosphere and environment was very different, but I was excited and open to this new opportunity to learn and grow alongside many of my close friends.

Who is your favourite faculty member and why? My favourite faculty member is Ms. Anderson, my IB Biology teacher. She is extremely supportive and caring in and out of the classroom. Ms. Anderson’s support has allowed me to travel to the Arctic this summer as part of a Students on Ice program. She has been a huge influence in the past year always encouraging me to pursue new opportunities and to follow my passions.

What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley? Every challenge at Ridley has allowed me to grow and become a better version of myself. Graduating from Lower School and entering Upper School was one of the most frightening, exciting and challenging experiences I’ve had. The walk across A squad and B squad was one that was filled with fear and enthusiasm. While this may have appeared as a challenge initially, it has been a source of growth and development.

What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley? My greatest accomplishment at Ridley is being accepted into the Students on Ice Program this summer. The Students on Ice program educates the world’s youth about the importance of the Polar Regions and supports them in their continued personal and professional growth. Only 100 students were accepted from around the world and I am honored to have the opportunity to travel to the far north this summer.

What has been your favourite Ridley experience? My favourite Ridley experience would have to be Snake Dance. Snake Dance is an awesome way to kick off the year by building excitement and anticipation for the year to come. It’s a great opportunity to bring everyone together and celebrate this Ridley tradition.

What is your favourite part of Ridley life? My favourite part of Ridley life is the house life. Being in MSO (the best house) has been an amazing part of my Ridley career. The house life is such a great brotherhood. House life is an awesome opportunity to develop friendships and compete amongst each other.

What part of being a Prefect are you most excited for? As Prefect, I am most excited for the beginning of the year where I can meet so many new people and help them adjust to the Ridley environment. I understand how scary it can be travelling long distances away from your friends and families. Supporting everyone will be a major focus of mine.

How has Ridley prepared you for the future? Ridley has provided me with the opportunities to develop and grow as a person. Ridley has presented me with the chance to develop as a student, leader, friend and peer. Through the wide variety of opportunities I have taken part in over the years, I have strengthened many aspects of myself, preparing me for the future.

What are your plans after graduation? After graduation, I plan on attending university in Canada. My goal is to attend Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto for business and commerce.

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley? My biggest piece of advice is to not take the wide range of opportunities presented for granted. I encourage you to step outside of your comfort zone and participate in activities, sports and opportunities that you may be unfamiliar with, as you could grow from them.

Get to Know Your Prefects: Kofi O. ’18

Meet Kofi Osei-Opare ’18 – a Prefect who has pushed himself academically, athletically and artistically. Read about the challenges he has overcome with Ridley’s help and how they have prepared him for the future.

Why did you choose Ridley? The reason why I chose Ridley is because I was looking for an institution where I could be challenged academically. I found that at Ridley, I was both challenged academically and allowed to pursue whatever additional interests I had in the process. It was only a bonus that this institution was already so close to where I lived.

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley? I thought I was prepared to come to Ridley. Although, when I came to Ridley, I quickly realized that Ridley and my old school had drastically different expectations. Ridley was much more rigorous than I had thought, but I had a really good work ethic, which certainly made everything more manageable.

Who is your favourite faculty member and why? There are so many faculty members that I would consider to be my favourite. One of these faculty members is Mr. Clyde Dawson. Mr. Dawson is a music teacher at the school and the reason why he’s my favourite faculty member is because he never fails to make me smile with his unending jokes. He has pushed me completely out of my comfort zone in order to become a better person (and student) and for that, I will be forever grateful to him. 

What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley? My greatest challenge thus far at Ridley is procrastination. I don’t know how, but I always find a way to procrastinate and as a result find myself doing things at the last minute. My time management skills have certainly gotten tremendously better since coming to Ridley, but procrastination always seems to be a reoccurring issue.

What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley? My biggest accomplishment thus far at Ridley (ironically) is, for the most part, being able to find a balance between athletics, academics and personal life. Since a good portion of my time is allocated to activities at Ridley, I have learned the best way to maximize all my time so that I am able to not only do school work constantly, but focus on the extra things that make me happy. Therefore, making me an overall happier person.

What has been your favourite Ridley experience? My favourite Ridley experience is Snake Dance by far. It is one of the main school events, where everyone comes together as a school. It is one of my favourites because of how hyped up it is. From the formation of the “snake,” Prefects coming in with huge torches and the music blasting in my ears. It will forever be one of my fondest memories of Ridley and one of the things I will things I will miss most when I leave.

What is your favourite part of Ridley life? My favourite part of Ridley life is being surrounded by so many different cultures. It is always interesting talking with someone from a different part of the world and seeing how their culture shapes their views. As a result, you become more of a “globally minded citizen” in that sense. It really enlightens you because it makes look at life with a different perspective. Additionally, it is just really interesting to be immersed with so many other cultures, since I find other cultures so fascinating.

What part of being a Prefect are you most excited for? The part of being a Prefect that I am most excited for is to help give back to the community; to be able to give back to a school that has helped shape me into the person who I am now. I am excited to help change the school in such a way that others who follow in my footsteps can grow and feel the same sense of gratitude to the school. I will be able to do this simply by trying to make the school a better when I leave than when I came and being able to make that change, makes me ecstatic.

How has Ridley prepared you for the future? Ridley has prepared me tremendously for the future. I now consider myself a globally minded citizen because of the cultures and opportunities that have surrounded me, which will certainly help me integrate with people of various backgrounds. Additionally, I unquestionably feel prepared for university with all of the rigor faced at Ridley. I will not be blindsided like most students going to university since I will already have my solid foundation, and have that ability to balance everything. This is especially important for me later on because I will not always have people telling me how I should manage my time. Everything will be entirely dependent on me so having that ability to balance will be crucial in the future.

What are your plans after graduation? My plans after graduation are to go to university in America, to do something with premedical studies. From there I want to go to medical school, where I can hopefully become some sort of a surgeon. I plan on living in a big urban city when I’m older. I do not know why but I always saw myself living in New York City. Along the way, I will most likely participate in various sports like basketball and soccer for fun and fitness.

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley? The advice that I would give prospective students is something that is often said and often overlooked. It is to take advantage of everything that is offered at Ridley. I say this because your time at Ridley will pass by so quickly without you realizing, it’s unbelievable. It feels like just yesterday, I was in Grade 9, not knowing how to get to the Chapel and now I am about to graduate. Ridley offers so many opportunities that most schools can only dream of offering. Ridley, along the way, will give you so many chances to have amazing, unforgettable memories, where you’ll be able to meet so many new people or try new things or perfect what you are already good at! Additionally, Ridley is certainly a grind, but in the end, it will certainly be worth it and you will truly appreciate all the risks that you have taken throughout your time here because it will help grow as a person and become a better individual.

Get to Know Your Prefects: Alex S. ’18

Introducing Alex Schramm ’18 – a Prefect who knew the first moment he stepped on campus that Ridley was where he belonged. Read about his rewarding Ridley career, thus far.

Why did you choose Ridley? When my family decided to move to the Niagara region, we started looking at schools for me to attend. When we toured Ridley with Mr. Darby, our minds were immediately made up. From that first day, I recognized the amazing atmosphere of Ridley and I still stand by my past self in saying that the ethos in the school is like nowhere else.

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley? When I enrolled into Ridley I was not scared at all. Usually, when going to a new school I would be nervous and scared, however, not in this case. I was more excited than anything else. In terms of being prepared, Ridley is much more academically challenging than other schools but I was prepared for this challenge and undertook it with strength and perseverance.

Who is your favourite faculty member and why? This is very difficult because there are so many amazing faculty members that have affected me in such positive ways. From teaching in classrooms, to organizing activities, to being coaches: different faculty members have had different impacts on my growth as a learner, athlete and as a person. My favourite, however, is Mrs. Roud. She is my Head of House in Dean’s House. She fulfills the role of Head of House perfectly, as she makes it enjoyable to return to Dean’s after the academic day. She is a great communicator, which allows her to be humorous, relatable and easy to talk to. Whenever I have a problem or something going on, I can mention it to her and find a solution. She has always been there for me and supporting me over the course of my Ridley life.

What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley? My greatest challenge thus far at Ridley has to be the IB programme and the challenges that come with it. The skills that I have developed from IB are essential for me to have in the future. The challenges and skills of time management and organization are needed to succeed in the IB programme and are difficult to master.

What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley? My greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley is becoming a Prefect. This stage in my Ridley career is really special and important for me as I am really excited to be a leader of the school and take on this important role.

What has been your favourite Ridley experience? My favourite Ridley experience has to be when I went on exchange to Australia for three months. It was truly an experience of a lifetime, where I got to try new things and meet new people who I would not have encountered in my normal life. This is one thing that I will never forget and is an experience that I will keep with me for the rest of my life. This was all made possible thanks to the exchange programme that Ridley offers.

What is your favourite part of Ridley life? My favourite part of Ridley life is the people. All the different cultures and types of people from around the world, joining together in the Ridley community. I get to learn about all different languages and nations in my daily life.

What part of being a Prefect are you most excited for? I am most excited for the new challenges that I have yet to encounter. These can be anything from organizing activities or events to giving speeches/advice to being the best possible role model and the best possible person I can be.

How has Ridley prepared you for the future? Ridley has helped me gain very important life skills and lessons that I will keep with me for the rest of my life. The way it challenges us academically and as a person allows students to gain multiple skills. Personally, it has helped me become more balanced, principled, open-minded and a risk taker. It has also helped me improve my time management and organization skills, which help balance my school and personal life.

What are your plans after graduation? After graduation, my plan is to attend university to study the health sciences. To do this, I would like to go to the United States or England. My goal and dream would be to attend an Ivy League school. That dream is a long way away but with hard work and dedication, it is possible.

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley? My advice to prospective students at Ridley is to not be scared about applying and joining the Ridley family. It truly is an amazing and welcoming place. The Ridley community is so diverse yet at the same time everyone bonds together regardless of race, gender, religion or background. The atmosphere, along with the strong academics, multiple co-curricular activities and numerous sports teams allow each person to be who they are and do what they want to do.

Get to Know Your Prefects: Victoria K. ’18

Meet Victoria Kohler ’18 – a Prefect who travelled around the globe to attend Ridley and experience Canada. Read how boarding abroad impacted her education and helped her discover an array of opportunities.

Why did you choose Ridley? Ridley is a school that is one of a kind. I consider it my second home and I know that I would have never had this opportunity if I was in Europe. It is the best school that I have seen in Canada.

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley? I didn’t know how to prepare myself and did not know what to expect. It was a whole new experience for me.

Who is your favourite faculty member and why? I do not have a favourite faculty as they are all my favourite in my eyes.

What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley? My main challenge has been to find my balance between social time and academic time.

What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley? My biggest accomplishment has been being chosen as a Prefect for my final year here at Ridley.

What has been your favourite Ridley experience? My favourite experience has been to be with my friends that I met and just have social time.

What is your favourite part of Ridley life? My favourite part of Ridley has been to spend time in the dorms and spend time with the girls in the house.

What part of being a Prefect are you most excited for? I am most excited for the big events and making Ridley even better.

How has Ridley prepared you for the future? Ridley has helped me to socialize, collaborate and find the person that I am. There are more characteristics that are important for the future but the main ones for me would be socializing and collaborating.

What are your plans after graduation? I am looking at various Universities in Canada, some in Europe, but I’m afraid of going back so I will stay in Canada. Considering Waterloo, Laurier, Vancouver, Nova Scotia and more. Degrees of study are arts, psychology and maybe languages.

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley? Ridley is a unique experience. My best advice would be: be yourself, work hard, participate in all activities and push yourself beyond your limits.

Get to Know Your Prefects: Selena L. ’18

Meet Selena Lu ’18 – a Prefect who has flourished in Ridley’s multicultural environment. Read how she took a risk when she moved around the world and discovered an open-minded, globally driven and welcoming community.

Why did you choose Ridley? Other than the elite academia Ridley provides, I was also attracted by the cultural diversity, as well as the warm and home-like vibe of the boarding option.

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley? I did not feel prepared. I was overwhelmed by the reality of being thousands of miles from home. At that time, I felt surrounded by strangers and was completely alone. However, I soon got over my freshman mindset and started to make new friends in my classes, with the encouragement of Ms. O’Boyle (the former assistant head of house in G-West) and a couple of my friends back in China.

Who is your favourite faculty member and why? Mr. Burke is definitely my favourite. I went on a service trip with him to Jacaranda School in Malawi. He is down to earth and has a good sense of humour. He would actively engage in our conversations and never in a condescending way. Having him on the team was one of the highlights of the trip.

What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley? Living in a foreign country without my parents was definitely the biggest challenge I have ever faced. Coming to Ridley was my first time leaving home and starting a new life by myself, so it was hard to adapt to the new lifestyle. Luckily, I was offered plenty of help from my friends and Ms. O’Boyle. I soon adapted to this new environment with my Ridley family. 

What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley? Performing in Battle of the Bands has been my greatest accomplishment, as I learned the value of teamwork. Our band, Match Point, were lucky enough to win the championship. This result was made by having all members working together and put in all our efforts.

What has been your favourite Ridley experience? My favourite Ridley experience is definitely Snake Dance at the beginning of the year. It is a passionate event that brings all of the students together and raises the school spirit for the start of a brand new year.

What is your favourite part of Ridley life? My favourite part of Ridley life is having the opportunity to live in such a diverse environment. I am very lucky to have the chance to spend time with people from all over the world and getting to know their culture.

 What part of being a Prefect are you most excited for? I am most excited for having the opportunity to serve the Ridley community and to meet more people as I fulfill a Prefect’s duty. 

How has Ridley prepared you for the future? Ridley has taught me open-mindedness and respect by providing me with a multi-cultural environment. I have learned to be respectful to different perspectives and be willing to accept it.

What are your plans after graduation? My plan is to go into university for bachelor degree and if possible, further into master’s degree.

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley? Do not be afraid to try new things at Ridley, as the school provides you with massive amounts of valuable resources and an encouraging attitude to those who are courageous.