Category Archives: Upper School Events

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.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

Ridley Celebrates 126 Years!

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On September 16th, 2015, Ridley College celebrated it’s 126th birthday! All of our students joined together for an afternoon of games, laughs and delicious cupcakes – all to honour our beloved school.

Students donned colourful shirts that were wonderfully designed by the Cook sisters – Chloe (gr. 6) and Gabrielle (gr. 8). The Ridleians were then divided into teams, all of which rotated from station to station, competing in balance games, playing life-size Hungry, Hungry Hippo and cheering all the way to the end. To finish the festivities off, the Prefects led a school-wide pep rally in preparation for tonight’s Snake Dance. After which, teams were treated to cupcakes!

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It was a day filled with smiles, that truly showed how proud Ridleians are of our beloved school and its history.

To see all the photos from the 126th birthday celebration, click here for Ridley’s official Flickr page!

Happy birthday, Ridley!

Students Take to Camp Before the School Year Begins!

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This past weekend, students enjoyed every last drop of summer and ushered in the new school year with a trip to camp.  Upper School boys headed up to the scenic Onondaga Camp while the Upper School girls and lower school students from grade 7 and 8 enjoyed beautiful Camp White Pine. While there, students had a chance to bond with their peers and fellow housemates, getting a chance to showcase their talents, partake in new sports and activities and of course, have fun!

The boys had an adventurous weekend; full of zip lining through the woods, water skiing on a blue lake and playing a friendly game of water polo.

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The girls filled their days canoeing and by building house spirit. In completing a high-flying adventure on a ropes course, our students surely showed they had grit.

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At Camp White Pine the grade 7’s and 8’s participated in team building activities such as a ropes course, beach volleyball and all kinds of fun in the sun!

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Our younger students didn’t miss out on the fun, as they had their own camp day on campus. Students made their own stop motion animations, played trivia games and bonded with their tribes!

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Students returned from camp with new friends and smiles on their faces, ready to start a new school year!

To see all the photos from the weekend, check out Ridley’s official Flickr page!

Opening Day 2015

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Opening Day here at Ridley College was a busy day, as we welcomed 650 students and their families from 44 countries around the world. New and returning students gathered at the campus to get their first view of the year ahead.

Families were welcomed by Headmaster, Ed Kidd before heading out on campus for registration and orientation events.

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Students and their families had a chance to mingle with teachers, explore the opportunities offered at Ridley and meet their fellow students and Prefects.

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“We had a lovely day – felt very welcomed and confident that [our son] will indeed flourish at Ridley.”

Ridley Lower School Parent

While students and their families were busy unpacking, we asked parents what advice they’d like to give their kids as they start another chapter of their life. Here’s what they had to say.

We wish all of our students great success as the 2015-16 school year begins!

From Ridley to First Year of University

Throughout the summer we will be featuring blog posts from our summer student Liz. Liz graduated from Ridley in 2014 and has just completed her first year of University. She is also our summer tour guide, so if you come to campus for a visit you will meet her! Liz is happy to answer any questions you might have, you can follow her on twitter @RidleyTourGuide.

Moving from high school to university can be a big adjustment for most students. It’s exciting to graduate, but also a little nerve-wracking to consider transitioning to a new community and leaving some important support networks behind.

Everyone’s post-Ridley plans are a little different. Some of the graduates from my class took a year to travel or gain some work experience. Most of us chose to attend college or university, heading to different schools across the country and around the world. Having studied here for eight years, I did most of my growing up at Ridley. With this in mind, I was especially anxious about some of the challenges I might face at university. Though I was a little unsure of what to expect, it didn’t take long for me to feel comfortable balancing classes, extracurricular endeavours, and social life.
14088218909_b3f6548a4f_bOne of the hardest decisions I had to make toward the end of high school was deciding what I wanted to do after I graduated. From grade nine to grade twelve, guidance meetings helped me to pinpoint some of the goals I might have for the future and the best ways to go about achieving them. When it came to applying to universities, I knew that I wanted to experience a bigger city and have lots of options in selecting individual courses and programmes of study. I went to lots of university admissions presentations hosted at Ridley and to a number of fairs in the province on trips arranged by the guidance department. Soon after, I applied to universities across Canada and the United Kingdom, and my guidance counselor sourced a ton of great scholarship information. In the end, I was confident that the University of Toronto would be the best fit for me and, so far, I’m thrilled with my choice.

In terms of academics, I always loved the humanities and social sciences at Ridley. Everything from the Harkness table debates to seminar presentations to Ridley archives visits helped prepare me for high-level discussion and research. In my two first-year seminar courses in university (Canadian policy history and public policy ethics), I was able to jump right into the conversation, listen effectively and make thoughtful contributions – skills that I think really helped me to take advantage of my university experience. Although writing a solid essay is always a challenge, I started university confident that I had the ability to research and structure my ideas effectively so that I could produce papers I felt proud of.

It’s strange to say, but one of the most unexpected parts of university life for me was having more free time. At Ridley, I spent from around 8:30am to 3:45pm most days in classes, and had sports practices or musical rehearsals immediately after until about 5:30pm. After dinner, I was either in study or at an evening activity like choir practice or cadet officer/NCO training. Being involved in extracurriculars was such an important part of my Ridley experience that I knew I wanted the same thing in university.

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On the social side of things, the residence experience was very familiar to me right from the start even as a day student. Having had five different boarding roommates from grade nine to twelve, I knew that I had to communicate well in order to build a solid relationship in close confines. This past year, I was lucky enough to have a great roommate. We quickly learned each other’s routines and found that shared a number of interests. Even though we did lots together as friends, we also gave each other space when we needed it.

The thing I’m probably most grateful to have learned before coming to university is the importance of balance. My academic progress is always high on my list of priorities, but so is being healthy and feeling good. I think that some of the habits I developed at Ridley really helped me stay on the right track in my first year. Though there were definitely times when a two-hour rowing practice or field hockey game seemed overwhelming after a busy school day, I’m thankful that I was able to learn how to plan exercise and the sports I love into my schedule. I always felt best after working out in the university gyms, playing in an intramural field hockey game, or finishing a Zumba class with my roommate.

At the end of the day, no two people will have the same experience after high school. That said, I’m grateful to have graduated with the skills and experience necessary to pursue my academic and career goals and make the most of my time as a student.

And the Cappie Goes to…..

It’s the Tony Awards for high school productions. Last night, Ridley drama students participated in the Cappies Niagara awards gala recognizing excellence in drama and theatre criticism.

cappies1Not only was Ridley nominated for 20 awards, but we also came home with 7 wins!  On top of that, each cast performed a scene for the awards ceremony and deserves equal congratulations for their outstanding performances.

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Congratulations to the Cappies award winners:

Special Effects or Technology: Mary Sword – The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Ensemble in a Play: Camp Girls – Ascension Day

Featured Actress in a Musical: Gracie Lowes – The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Comic Actor in a Musical: Noel Cousins – The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Supporting Actress in a Play: Cassandra Mitchell – Ascension Day

Lead Actress in a Play: Kate Wilson – Ascension Day

Best Play: Ascension Day

 

Church Parade 2015

The sky was sunny and the breeze was just right not to interfere with the traditional mace toss over the Marriott Gates as part of the annual Church Parade.  Drum Sergeant Major Alexander Matovic ’15 tossed the mace with the greatest of ease over the gates in front of a cheering crowd.

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On Sunday morning, students participated in the Church Parade through St. Catharines. It was a beautiful day for parents, alumni and residents of St. Catharines to take in the parade. Well done to all the student participants!

Please click here to view more pictures from the day.

VEX Robotics – World Championships

Ridley’s three teams competed at the VEX Robotics World Championship against some amazing machines from 29 countries, the strongest teams coming from the US, China and New Zealand. From Niagara teams, Ridley’s 1509Z team was the only one selected for the elimination rounds and lost in the semi finals.

The ability to process clearly under pressure, and to demonstrate grit when hope was fading was a trait each student on the team faced and attempted to overcome. Team 1509 (Ray Gao, Nina Haag, Daniel Marcos, Elias Ancer, Javan Graham, Antonio Aspite) had the most challenging problem, finding a shorted wire buried in a metal sleeve, fixing the problem and getting back on field within an hour (for a win). On another occasion, Nina rebuilt the secondary lift between matches.

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1509E (James Gross, Heather Curtis, Ryan Schmidt, Will Cowherd, Jonah Rubin, Willem van Sittert) had the least confusing mechanical problems of any team but still managed to break motors and was forced to adjust the machine after the abuse it received during each match.

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Special thanks to Ava O’Toole. She made sure we made it to matches, that batteries were ready and charged, kept the hundreds of parts in order and kept us all amused (or tried to) when the pressure was highest.

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1509Z (Padraic Odesse, Dane Sisinni, Andy Li, Anakin Li, Nikita Bryliov, William Wang) faced the greatest adversity, shredding gears in motors, rebuilding their main lift late into Thursday evening, suffering from pneumatics failure and overcoming the demoralizing reality of a triple loss on the first day. Like all other teams, they battled through adversity and posted a winning record in their 7 remaining matches and made it to the semi-finals of the Math division.

Every year the bar is raised in terms of competition. Just getting to worlds has now become such a challenge. Our three teams represented Ridley well before a world audience.

Special thanks to all who helped make this venture possible; from parents who sacrificed time and money to support us, Chartwells, security, admin, accounting for arranging payments and financing, and for all the support from fellow students and staff at Ridley for our teams. Special thanks to my co-mentor Scott McCambley. His effort and passion for our teams is unwavering.

P.S. We even managed to find a former team member.

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OR Igal Flegmann ’13 and Mr. Reimer

 

Written By Robotics Coach Rodney Reimer