Nothing says Valentine’s Day quite like a debate! In 1992, Ridley College began the tradition of holding a formal debate close to Valentine’s Day and this year was no different. While Ridley debating has a long history at the school, prior to 1992 the only debate that actually took place on the campus was the Fulford Cup. Member schools take turns hosting the Fulford Cup, meaning that Ridley would host only once every 6 years. In order to raise the profile of debating, and to feature and attract students to this important para-curricular activity, the co-coaches at the time decided to host an annual debate in second term in and around Valentine’s Day. It started with a student campaign in 1992 with “bring a date to the debate” and the tradition grew from there. The topic of this year’s debate was the 1960s and its social, political and economic impact and the format of the debate was parliamentary style. The winner of the debate and recipient of the Cronyn Trophy was Ms. Erin O.
Watch the debaters in action:
“In an age when most communication is done electronically and when people are more likely to ‘Tweet’ than meet the importance of debate has never been greater. As well, healthy debate is the centre of our democracy and there are too few opportunities even in countries such as ours to debate publicly and properly, yet it’s considered an important 21st Century skill that remains a part of the democratic spirit…” – Mr. O’Rourke
The intermediate division of Lower School wowed audiences with ‘Around the World in 8 Plays’ on Thursday afternoon and Friday evening. Dane C. and Grace L. entertained as the duelling couple and leaders of the travelling actors group that performed the eight plays.
Many of the students filled roles in various stories (as travelling actors do) and therefore had to keep lines straight from many different stories (not an easy task, but one that was handled with great professionalism by our students). Each play was set in a different country and conveyed a message to the audience. My personal favourite was the Japanese story about a great warrior who saves a king from a gigantic centipede and becomes a wealthy man after he is gifted with an endless roll of silk, a bag of rice that replenishes itself and a pot that cooks food to perfection and doesn’t need firewood to heat.
Students from Edith Cavell Elementary School joined the rest of the Ridley College Lower School audience on Thursday afternoon and our actors had all the students in stitches with their excellent comedic timing. Check out some highlights from the show:
Mr. “Bio” Bob Malyk invited me into his AP Biology class last week to watch an experiment about the Transformation of E.coli with Bioluminescence & Antibiotic Resistant Genes. Sounds complicated right? Well, Mr. Malyk explains this in a way that it all makes sense. He is one inventive teacher – watch the video to see him do everything from referencing a Beyonce song to comparing a biology lab heat bath to a hot tub in order for students to understand his lesson and at the end of the experiment – glowing E.coli – keep watching!!
Ridley College Lower School students know just what to do in order to combat bullying thanks to a new initiative at the school. Today, students participated in “The Power of One”, a presentation about how bullying happens and how we can stop it? Students learned that bullying is hurtful, purposeful and repeated behaviour and that even if they are a bystander they are guilty of letting bullying happen. Five brave volunteers were brought up on stage to act out a bullying scenario.
At the end of the presentation students took an oath to stop bullying from happening at the school. The oath is to be displayed in Lower School and to be signed by all students to show their commitment to “the power of one” to stop bullying.
This week marked the launch of Ridley TV, a new activity being offered at the school. Students participating in this activity are learning to be reporters, videographers, anchors and writers by producing their own Ridley news and current events show. Segments this week include an interview with the new French teacher, Ms. Graf; a feature on the new squash coach, a segment on how to become a playwright as well as opinions on the food in the Great Hall. Check out Shaneel Nair as he hosts the show:
Ms. Lindsay Price is visiting Ridley College this week to work with the grade 12 English students as they began to write their own original one act plays. Ms. Price is a published playwright herself and so who better to help put these fledgling writers through their paces as they explore what it is like to “write for the stage.” The students are working on warmup exercises, the idea of character, conflict and setting. It is no doubt that Ms. Price’s advice and experience will help the students to produce some interesting and entertaining scenes later this month. The finished scripts will be recorded as “radio plays” and the best will soon be featured on Ridley Radio – https://www.ridleycollege.com/podium/default.aspx?t=130683&rc=1. Writing in this “dramatic mode” is probably new to some of our students, and I’m sure that it is a challenge that they will no doubt embrace whole-heartedly.
There’s snow on the ground, but that isn’t stopping the Grade One’s from preparing their garden for the Spring. The Grade One’s in the Ridley College Lower School planted tomatoes and flower seeds in their classroom today.
The Lower School gardens are a new initiative at the school. The gardens create a more green environment around the school and also serve as an educational tool to help students learn about gardening and plants. As an added bonus, the garden yields some delicious vegetables!!
The air was crisp and spirits were high in St-Donat, Quebec for the Grade 7 Immersion adventure with Perspectives. The Perspectives program integrates language skills and culture with outdoor activities, music, arts and crafts and dramatic arts to create a unique French educational experience. Students enjoyed three days of skiing, downhill and cross-country, recorded Quebecois folk songs, learned about Quebec’s history, and participated in many group activities with schools from all over Ontario.
One highlight of the trip was the talent show, in which several Ridley students participated. Thanks to Mme Bradley for organizing the trip and to our students who fully participated in the program and represented Ridley well!