Category Archives: Ridley News

A Day of Percussion at Ridley College

Over 30 people gathered in the Mandeville Theatre on Saturday, January 23rd for an afternoon of percussion clinics and performances. Participants, ranging in age from 5 years old to over 60, spent several hours listening and learning about drums and percussion from two great musicians, Miles Gibbons and Dave O’Neill. Tony Nguyen (tenor sax) and Antonio Aspite (guitar) joined our guests, along with Bob Lytle (double bass) to warm up the afternoon with an open rehearsal and jazz combo performance.

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Dave O’Neill spoke about how his drumming career began at the age of 12, but was quickly diverted when he lost fingers on his right hand in a tragic workplace accident at 16. Dave’s intense determination to overcome his disability was proven by an incredible solo demonstration on the drums. He uses a prosthetic device on his hand to hold a stick or mallet, which his early teachers helped him design. Later in the afternoon, Dave demonstrated tunes and techniques on the vibraphone.

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Miles Gibbons demonstrated the electronic V-drums and Roland Octapad, giving his steps to develop a music vocabulary on the drums, in order to open up one’s creativity and versatility in playing.   The clinicians were generous answering questions and students were able to come on the stage to play the instruments.

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Miles was gracious in thanking Ridley for the Day of Percussion, for providing a chance to “hang out, play music, and talk about drums.”

Music lovers are encouraged to keep watch for the next opportunity to collaborate with professional musicians on February 18th and 19th, when Ridley hosts The String Fling. The Penderecki String Quartet from Wilfrid Laurier University will be our musical guests for Thursday workshops and a Friday evening performance in the Memorial Chapel. For more information, contact Ridley’s music department.

– Mr. Scott Vernon, Visual and Performing Arts Subject Coordinator and Lower School Music Teacher

Girls volleyball team makes the most of its weekend road trip

Between January 8-10th, the U16 Girls volleyball team travelled to Kingston, Ontario for the Sydenham High School Red and Gold Invitational Tournament. This weekend marked the team’s first tournament of the year and was an opportunity for the girls to bond as a team, hit the court and learn about our provincial history

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On Friday, the team hit the road to begin its weekend. On the way to Kingston, the team made a stop in Napanee to visit the Lennox and Addington County Museum and Archives. There, the team participated in a hands-on presentation, where members learned what a career as a Museum Archivist and Curator entails. It proved to be an opportunity to not only learn about history, but to grow the students’ knowledge of all the people that make up a community. Back aboard the bus, the girls set out on the final leg of the trip.

After a full night’s rest, Saturday was game day for our Tigers. The team earned a victory against Kingston’s Holy Cross Secondary, and put forth its best efforts in matches against Kingston’s Sydenham High School and La Salle Secondary School, Napanee’s District School and Brockville’s Thousand Islands Secondary School. Tiger coaches, Ms. Kathy Anderson and Mr. Nicholas Ronald, were pleased with the Tiger’s efforts on and off the court. 

“For the majority, this was their first opportunity to experience the camaraderie of a team in a tournament setting… We are very proud of them, they were worthy representatives of Ridley.” – Mr. Nicholas Ronald, Coach

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 Saturday concluded with a tour of Fort Henry – one of Kingston’s most notorious historical sites – led by the Commander of the Fort Henry Guard. The tour was followed by a traditional 19th Century meal in the Officer’s Mess.
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Before heading home on Sunday, the team had a few more stops to make. First up was one of the finest 19th Century buildings in Canada and a nationally designated heritage site, Kingston City Hall. From there, the girls visited the Queen’s University campus for a personal tour from Coach Ronald, an alumnus of Queen’s (also the alma mater of Headmaster Kidd). In the afternoon, the team made a stop in Trenton, Ontario at the National Air Force Museum of Canada. There they participated in a fantastic interactive learning experience on Canada’s aviation history.

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The team returned home with more than just tournament experience. Ridley and its wonderful selection of faculty members are committed to offering Ridleians the most well-rounded experiences and this trip is a prime example of that.

Good luck to the girls as they prepare for their next CISAA match against Lakefield on January 20th.

Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” – Henry Ford

 

Preparing international students for success

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Throughout the school year, Ridley is bustling with students from 44 countries around the globe and we are committed to providing as much support as possible to our international students as they adjust to life away from home. Helping them overcome a language barrier can often make all the difference in their ability to thrive.

Ridley’s English as a Second Language (ESL) programme is a course offered through our Guidance Department. It offers students – whose native language is not English – additional learning support intended to strengthen their conversational English, grammar, spelling and help them grasp nuisances. Furthermore, the ESL programme uses cognitive learning skills that can be applied in students’ daily lives. All of these resources result in improved communications and confidence on a personal and academic level.

Students begin with Level C and D ESL, as well as a Learning Strategies course in their first year here at Ridley. Throughout this first year, students work with our ESL Teacher, Ms. Loretta Whitty, as they build a set of skills that help with their English language proficiency in addition to their organizational skills, time-management, writing, public speaking and note taking. Students who might benefit from a more gentle transition into the school year, our Summer Programme also offers Level B ESL.

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In 2nd term, the students are introduced to the research essay project. Utilizing Brock University’s program, Academic Zone, the students take a step-by-step journey through the essay writing process. This process allows them to tackle one component of an essay at a time, while learning tips and tricks and developing their own writing style.

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Throughout the term, the students are encouraged to discover their own learning style. By developing character profiles and assessing their own personal skills, accomplishments and goals, the students are then able to determine what is the best way for them to learn and retain information. These skills are used throughout their time at Ridley and carried forward into their eventual careers.

“That’s the beauty of our ESL course; it gives [students] the resources and strategies that they can use at Ridley and beyond.”

– Ms. Loretta Whitty

Upon completion of Level C and D, these Ridleians progress to Level E in their next year of schooling; where they complete a course that aligns with a Grade 10 level of English.

Ms. Loretta Whitty has seen students progress with such success over the years. Students develop a passion for writing, find the confidence to speak in front of large groups of people with ease and projection and discover skills and strengths that they didn’t know they had.

“The Ridley ESL programme provided me with an opportunity to practice my English skills in a familiar and comfortable environment. The teachers are friendly and very helpful.”

– Wenze Guan ’16

This programme was designed to align with the Ridley curriculum and international culture. Its goal is to help our students reach a point in their education that they can confidently apply to post-secondary school, prepare for university and begin their flourishing lives. It is clear that this ESL course has done just that; and proves to be a great transition for our international students into life here at Ridley.

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Positive Change Ignites at Ridley College

“To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.”

– Nelson Mandela

December 10th is Human Rights Day – observed globally to commemorate the day, in 1948, when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This year, Ridleians went above and beyond to enact positive change in the world by participating in a number of events that took place on campus. Throughout the day and around every corner there were new opportunities for students, staff and faculty to get involved.

Students arrived on campus wearing red and green in support of Arthur Bishop West’s house charity, Congo Leadership Initiative. Contributions from this dress-down “grub” day were donated to the charity in support of a recently relocated Syrian refugee family.

In Upper School, from 8:00a.m. into the night, the Matthews Library was transformed into the drop-in workshop for Ridley’s own Amnesty Group. All students were invited to pay a visit to the library and write letters that took a stand on human rights issues. Within half an hour, 125 letters had already been written; by lunch, over 245 had been signed by Ridleians, pleading to end a number of unjust cases. Throughout the day, teachers brought their classes, faculty and staff dropped by to write their own letters, and students from Lower School stopped by to learn about this amazing cause.

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As the entire Ridley community continued to contribute to the Write for Rights event, another inspiring act had taken place in the Great Hall. Every table and wall in the Great Hall had been adorned with Post-It Notes. Each one with an inspiring message, urging its readers to “stay strong” or “never give up.” Led by the Positive Spaces Group, these positive sticky notes infused the dining hall with an optimistic energy.

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As classes concluded for the day, a group of Ridleians assembled in the Second Century Building (2CB) to help change the world. Each Thursday, this team joins together to make a difference in the lives of women living in developing countries. Led by Ms. Linda Chang and Prefect, Grace Lowes, members sew and prepare feminine hygiene kits for an organization called Days for Girls. These kits allow women, in developing countries, to carry on with their daily lives when they would otherwise be forced to forego school or work up to two full months each year.

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As the sun went down on the school day, so many acts of kindness and positive change had taken place on campus that it was impossible not to feel inspired.

Meanwhile, the Write for Rights event was forging ahead. Students piled in the library to help reach Ridley’s goal of writing 500 letters. Ms. Shelley Thomas, Faculty Advisor to Ridley’s Amnesty group, documented Ridley’s progress and along with her team, joined in on a twitter chat with the Secretary General of Amnesty Canada. By 10:00p.m., as the Write for Rights event came to a close, not only did had Ridley won Amnesty’s photo challenge, but an astounding 565 letters had been written for Amnesty International; a record breaking number for Ridley College.

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The winning photo of Amnesty International’s photo contest, taken by Ms. Shelley Thomas.

Whether they were writing, sewing, donating or posting, Ridleians made an impact and gained perspective on serious global issues. We all learned to be grateful for our circumstances and to use our power to assist others who are not as fortunate and wage a personal war. Each and every student joined together to make a difference and transform the globe. Their passion and kindness has inspired us all to be a part of positive change.

 

Ridley and the City

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Photo taken by Nina Foster ’16

November break has come and gone, which means the end of term is fast approaching. Some students spent their long weekend preparing for upcoming tests and projects, some relaxed and visited with their families and another group of lucky Ridleians travelled to New York City to explore all the Big Apple has to offer!

On Thursday, November 12th, 24 students piled on the bus, where they would spend the evening traveling through the upstate countryside before arriving in New York, New York! Chaperoned by faculty members: Mr. Gerardo Martinez, Ms. Shelley Thomas and Ms. Taryn McKenna, it was sure to be an amazing group.

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Photo taken by Nina Foster ’16

Once there, our Ridleians had the chance to experience this world-renowned city first-hand, with tours of New York City’s finest spots! The students strolled through Central Park and down 5th Avenue. They experienced the energy and excitement of Times Square and were transported back in time at the Natural History Museum before seeing the everlasting Brooklyn Bridge.

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Photo taken by Nina Foster ’16

“I feel like we got to see almost every main attraction New York has to offer in only 2 days. With all the free time we got, we really had the opportunity to see the things we wanted to see and experience the city in our own way.”

– Vayda Schuttke ‘16

Every year, this trip gives the students to experience the world outside of the Marriott Gates; it gives them a chance to experience all the cultures, history and beauty that New York has to offer. Every year, this trip proves to be an incredible opportunity for the students and for Ridley.

Thank you to all the Ridleians who represented our school with such pride and to our chaperones that gave the students the chance to experience the Big City.

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To learn more about our Weekend Programme, please click here.

 

Driving Global Change, Together

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Together we can drive global change. Together we can grow stronger.  Together we can change the world.

On Monday, October 19th and Tuesday, October 20th, Ridley hosted Together: an exhibit on global development. The mobile exhibition – presented by the Aga Khan Foundation of Canada as well as the Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada ­– is traveling across the country to educate Canadian youth on how they can drive global change.

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While the trailer was on campus, our students were encouraged to step inside the exhibit, which was filled with interactive elements, wall-to-wall imagery and video screens. Students became part of the conversation by answering questions about global change, sharing their ideas on how they would take action and finding inspiration in the stories provided by people from all over the world.

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Although the exhibit has moved on to its next destination, Ridleians have not forgotten the inspiration, motivation and desire to take action. This is just one of many events – focused on encouraging millennials to transform our globe – that our students have attended this year and we look forward to many more.

 

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.

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.

HomeComing 2015

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This past weekend, Ridley graduates from far and wide returned to campus for HomeComing; where they had the chance to see friends, reminisce about old times, and make new memories. 

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This year in particular, we celebrated classes whose years ended in 0’s and 5’s, and honoured the class of 1965 as 2015’s Golden Tigers.

Friday’s events began with the Golden Tigers luncheon with Headmaster, Ed Kidd and his wife, Hanna, followed by a tour of the new buildings on campus. Later in the evening, OR’s, Governor’s, faculty and friends gathered in school house to watch the unveiling of the 125 Donor Wall, which proudly displays the names of those who made major donations to the school during the 125th year. The Governors’ Dinner rounded out the day’s events with OR’s from 1945 all the way up to 2010 dined in the Great Hall.

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SATURDAY

Saturday began with Alumni Rowing, where twelve OR’s took to Royal Canadian Henley Regatta to row with the current Ridley Crew. The rain did make a brief appearance, but the rowers had smiles on their faces nonetheless.

Back on campus, OR’s began to fill up the tent, tour their old houses, visit with their old teachers and enjoy their time back on the Ridley grounds. The bleachers in the Griffith Gym were filled to capacity, as the inaugural “Athletes of Distinction” presentation began. This was an opportunity for us to celebrate some of Ridley’s greatest athletes, such as Fiona Milne ‘90 (Canadian, Olympic rower) and Alexander Hayes 30’(Grey Cup Champion). Luckily, the sun came out just in time for the OR’s to enjoy some afternoon sports. 

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SUNDAY

On the final day of HomeComing, OR’s sat down in the Memorial Chapel for the “Founder’s Day” service, followed by Prayers of Remembrance and a dedication in the memory of John Stevens, ’42. Our last item of the Weekend was an alumni soccer game.

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Thank you to all who attended and participated in another successful HomeComing weekend.

For all the photos from HomeComing weekend, check out Ridley’s official Flickr page!

“There’s nothing half so pleasant as coming home again” ­– Margaret Elizabeth Sangster