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Get to Know Your Prefects: Amelia R. ’17

Introducing Amelia Ritchie ’17, a Ridleian who has truly immersed herself in all that Ridley has to offer – from sports, to academics, to extracurriculars. This fall, Amelia begins her final year at Ridley. Read our Q&A with Amelia to learn more about this Ridley Prefect.

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I chose Ridley because I loved the environment, and I realized how many things Ridley could give me, as opposed to a regular, public high school.

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley?

I did feel prepared coming to Ridley. I was definitely nervous, but I also felt ready to take on a bunch of different activities.

Who is your favourite faculty member and why?

I can’t pick just one, however, my top three would have to be Miss Blagona, Mrs. McNiven and Mrs. Darby, because all three of them have supported me so much, in multiple different ways. I always love seeing them in the halls and having them there to talk to!

What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley?

My greatest challenge thus far at Ridley has probably been realizing what is actually important for me to be focusing on. When so many responsibilities are piled onto you, and there a lot of things you want to do on top of those, it’s hard to realize what is really important and to keep your eye on the prize.

What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley?

I think my greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley has been taking advantage of the activities and extracurriculars. I have been in a lot of different activities over my three years, and I have managed to find my niche within those.

What has been your favourite Ridley experience?

My favourite Ridley experience…wow it’s hard to pick just one! If I had to choose one, I would have to say Snake Dance. The amount of school spirit everyone has is awesome to see and be a part of! I also really enjoyed OFSAA basketball in the fall of 2015!

What is your favourite part of Ridley life?

My favourite part of life at Ridley is the sense of community it gives. It’s not just that we are living in such close quarters, it’s knowing that everyone else is doing the same things as you are and feeling the same things as you are.

What part of being a Prefect are you most excited for?

The part of being a Prefect I am most excited for is having the platform to meet every new person who comes to this school and being to have conversations with them and learn interesting things about them. I am also looking forward to potentially being a mentor to those who want/need one.

How has Ridley prepared you for the future?

Ridley has prepared me for the future by teaching me, through the opportunities presented and through a need for time management, that I can do whatever and however much I want to do. It has given me a taste of my full potential.

What are your plans after graduation? 

I plan on going straight to university after graduation. I’m not yet sure which university, however, I think I want it to be in a big city and I would like to pursue law and international relations.

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley?

Don’t be nervous, and don’t be afraid. Those two emotions limit the things that a lot of people partake in at this school, and they stop people from doing the things they really want to do – not just what activities and sports they do, but also the classes they take, the friends they pursue, and the fun they have. Remember everyone is in the same boat as you are, everyone is feeling what you are feeling. It’s the people who overcome these feelings that feel like they got the most out of their experience.

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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