Tag Archives: Canada

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

Screen Shot 2016-01-11 at 2.03.33 PM

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

Screen Shot 2016-01-11 at 2.04.08 PM

 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.
Screen Shot 2016-01-11 at 2.03.39 PM

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.

Screen Shot 2016-01-11 at 2.03.52 PM

Screen Shot 2016-01-11 at 2.03.46 PM  Screen Shot 2016-01-11 at 2.04.22 PM

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

Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 1.40.54 PM

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.

Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 1.42.48 PM

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.

Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 1.40.36 PM Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 1.41.56 PM

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.

Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 1.42.29 PM

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.

Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 10.47.14 AM IMG_8812

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.

IMG_8803 Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 11.55.44 AM

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.

Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 11.47.32 AM Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 11.47.22 AM

Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 11.47.40 AM

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.

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.


Adding Dimension to Ridley’s Digital Learning Studio

Ensuring that our students learn and grow in an exemplary environment is a part of our vision at Ridley College. It is of utmost importance for us to provide our students with access to cutting-edge technology and rich learning experiences, whenever possible.

Thanks to our generous donors, we were recently able to fulfill this promise by introducing three 3D printers to our Digital Learning Studio! This state-of-the-art rapid prototyping device has been revolutionizing the way the world creates and what better way to teach modern technology then with hands on experience.

Last year, Mr. Giles Campbell, Co-ordinator of Design and Technology, carefully researched which model of 3D printer would best suit our students’ needs ­­– one that would be easy and safe to use, while providing high quality results. As school let out for summer, Mr. Campbell was still undecided on which model to select, until a student submitted a project he had completed using the Ultimaker² 3D printer. It soon became clear that this brand of rapid prototyping device would provide Ridleains with the best features to explore three dimensions.

Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 4.08.02 PM  Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 4.28.15 PM

Ultimaker² printers work in a very interesting way – using high heat and fused filament to create clean and accurate 3D models of any design that is input into the system. Our Ultimaker² 3D printers, which arrived over the summer, temporarily reside in the Design Technology classroom, while a dedicated lab is established for them.

Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 4.12.59 PM  Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 4.15.45 PM

Students have just begun their term project that utilizes the 3D printer’s capabilities to create iPhone speakers that amplify sound without electricity. They’ve begun designing their projects on paper; filling their sketchbooks with ideas and concepts.

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 3.20.27 PM  Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 3.20.34 PM

Next, they will bring their final design to life on the computer screen before sending them to be printed on the new printers.

Ridleians represent at International Public Speaking Competition


On the weekend of October 23rd-26th, Ridley participated in the International Independent Schools Public Speaking Competition hosted by The York School in Toronto. Nearly 200 students from 45 schools throughout the world were involved in this annual event that features a wide range of the speaking arts­–debate, drama, and public speaking. Schools from Canada, the U.S.A., Bermuda, India, China, Peru, Scotland, England, Hong Kong, and Australia competed in a four-day tournament that brought together some of the best international high school speakers..

Each participant selected three events from various categories that included: persuasive, after-dinner, and impromptu speaking; parliamentary and cross-examination debate; dramatic interpretation, interpretive reading, and radio newscast. Ridley was ably represented by Arwyn Workman-Youmans, Eduardo Deliyannis, and Philip Brenninkmeyer, who excelled in parliamentary debate, interpretive reading, and impromptu speaking respectively.

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 1.12.26 PM
Ridleians, Eduardo Deliyannis, Arwyn Workman-Youmans and Philip Brenninkmeyer pose with students from the Shanghai American School

Although Ridley did not reach the finals, each student presented his/her event in each of the two rounds, demonstrating growth and progress throughout the tournament.  All students are congratulated and thanked for their outstanding efforts.

– Mr. Paul O’Rourke, Department of Social Sciences & Coordinator of Speaking Arts

Speaking Arts at Ridley College has long held great stature within the gates and beyond, as it has helped many students reach their potential. With this activity, students are able to refine their public speaking skills, gain confidence in their own ability and become active leaders in the Ridley community and society, as a whole.

Students are encouraged to attend the weekly Speaking Arts activity, which takes place on Thursdays at 4:00p.m. in room 203 of Lower School.

Upcoming competitions include the Fulford Cup hosted by Ashbury College in Ottawa from November 6-7th, followed by the National Qualifier at Appleby College in Oakville on November 24th.

Good luck to all the students participating in these upcoming competitions!

Art Toronto Inspires Our Young Artists

Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 9.48.43 AM

On Friday, October 23rd, the senior Visual Art students visited Art Toronto at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. This event is Canada’s largest exhibition of contemporary visual art. For the past 16 years, this event has drawn art dealers from Canadian and International galleries to exhibit some of their best pieces. It offers a chance for galleries to make connections to collectors or cultural institutions; but for students, it offers a glimpse into the world of contemporary art.

“The primary point of the visit was to allow students the opportunity to see first-hand artworks by professional practicing artists working in an enormous array of styles and media.”

– Mr. Duane Nickerson, Department of Visual and Performing Arts

With wall-to-wall art and 62 gallery exhibits, every student was able to discover an artist or style that spoke to them.

Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 9.49.13 AM  Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 9.47.59 AM

This year, our Ridleians dove into the experience. As they made their way through the exhibition, our captivated students asked questions about the art market and the work that surrounded them. The art dealers and agents were happy to share their knowledge and passion with the students.

Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 9.47.50 AM

It was apparent that the exhibit had an obvious and positive impact on our receptive young Ridleians. These students will be able to take their experience and the inspiration they absorbed from Art Toronto and carry it with them as they explore visual arts in the coming terms here at Ridley College. With access to a wide array of brushes, paints, canvases and more, these students will be able to channel their new favourite artists and their creativity into every project they complete.


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.

Why did you choose Ridley?Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 1.40.54 PM

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.