The Headmaster’s Newsletter

Dear Parents

This coming Right Stuff Action Saturday will serve to offer all of us who make up The Ridge family a unique opportunity to engage with and reach out to service-based and NGO organisations in a wider Johannesburg context.

Ijeoma Solarin and Smeeta Devchand have worked tirelessly to plan for and set in place a well thought through programme that will provide plenty of opportunity for our Ridge boys, in particular, to connect meaningfully with people, places and spaces that are crying out for support and a helping hand.

My sincere thanks, in advance, for the extraordinary show of support from the vast majority of parents and their lads. It promises to be another Centenary “Celebrating with Purpose” event that will leave many happy and lasting memories.

Grade 7 College Acceptances:

I am delighted to be able to report that all of our Grade 7 boys have been placed at senior schools from next year. Whilst this ought to be taken as a given, with the huge demand on a limited supply of places at some of the more profiled and preferred colleges, nothing is ever taken for granted until every boy has received confirmation of a place having been secured. All sixty boys will be moving on to schools of first or, in a few cases, second choice.

The breakdown of these offers and acceptances reads as follows:


We are once again extremely proud of the way that our Ridge senior boys have acquitted themselves during what can be an often taxing and, at times, stressful process. From entrance exam writing and one-to-one interviews, to personalising positive attitudes and fortitude of character, each one of our boys has performed admirably.

A number of our boys have also been awarded scholarships but details of these will only be reported on once we have a final confirmation from the senior schools.

EcoBricks … a Whole School Eco-project:

At the beginning of the year Holly Ferrer (Grade 2 class teacher) who runs our Eco-school programme challenged the boys to commit to a Centenary year of EcoBrick making. To add some spice to the challenge she also initiated a friendly competition between the JP and SP in order to see who, by year end, will have made the most bricks.

This very simple, but constructive reuse of non-recyclable plastic has captured the imagination of a growing number of boys. At present the JP lads are well out in front having made in excess of 400 bricks. The SP is lagging behind somewhat, although, in recent weeks would seem to have made up some ground and are closing in on 300 bricks.

How to help your son make an EcoBrick?

  1. Collect your clean and dry household waste. It is recommend that only waste that you cannot recycle (like dog food bags), but you can EcoBrick anything non-biodegradable and dry.
  2. Twist your waste and insert it into a plastic bottle. Compress it as tightly as you can with a stick.
  3. Keep doing this – make sure your bottle is ‘unsquishable’.
  4. Think your EcoBrick is done? If you can squeeze it by more than 10% with one hand you should add more waste.
  5. No longer squishable? It’s done!

Towards the end of the year, and once it is felt that we have a sizable enough collection to hand on to an organization to make use of, we will hand the bricks on so that someone else will be able to put them to good use. The idea will be that they be actually used to support some chosen construction project in another part of the city.

Grade 7 Headmaster’s Leadership Project:

Each year the Grade 7 boys are challenged to identify and develop their leadership skills by choosing some carefully thought through projects that they can commit to. There are four components to the challenge: Service; Development of Self; Physical Development and Organizational Skills.

Many of our current Grade 7 boys have already completed this year’s challenge and, having contributed or made a difference to someone else’s life and to their own, they have been awarded their Leadership Badges.

Needless-to-say, there are a variety of meaningful and interesting projects that the boys come up with. Many of these are in the area of service. This year the boys were asked to choose carefully a service offering that would allow them to be personally and directly involved and that provided for them a chance to be more ‘hands-on’ as they seek to add value to someone else’s life or circumstances.

A wonderful example of one Grade 7 who has really gone the distance in this regard is Olufemi Oyeka.

Femi committed some months ago to learning the art of long-bow archery. Having joined the Zoo Lake Archery Club he soon found that he had a real knack for the sport and started entering competitions. Earlier on this year, he saw the chance to use this new-found skill to give something back to the Zoo Lake Conservancy. Having approached friends and family to sponsor him, Femi was soon on his way to raising funds by competing in archery competitions each Sunday morning. The end result is that Femi’s ‘Shooting for Zoo Lake’ exploits have raised R30 250 that he was able to present to the Zoo Lake Users Committee last week. I know that I speak on behalf of all when I congratulated Femi on a remarkable achievement.

There are, of course, other Grade 7 lads who are also giving back into the wider community in some way and I look forward to sharing more of these ‘making a difference’ stories with The Ridge family.

The Centenary Rugby Festival … 28 – 30 June:

If you have been following the Centenary Events calendar, you will know that we are four weeks away from hosting what will be the first rugby festival in our school’s history. Between Thursday afternoon / evening, when the visiting teams from elsewhere in the country start arriving, through to Sunday afternoon when they leave, we will be hosting eleven visiting rugby teams, their coaches, managers and a sizable number of supporter parents.

In addition to us looking forward to six 1st XV games of rugby on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday, John Smit (legendary 2007 Springbok rugby captain) will be addressing The Ridge boys and some visiting team players at Friday morning assembly on the 28th June. In addition, we will be hosting a gala dinner for players, coaches and managers in our Nicolson Hall on the Saturday night, and we look forward, too, to welcoming and befriending teams and supporters from as far away as KZN and the Eastern Cape.

John Smit

Further details will be coming your way in the weeks immediately ahead but, for now, this is an early invitation to our Ridge family that you are all most welcome to join us for what we believe will be festival of school boy rugby to savour. All matches will be played on the Hope School Field, there will be plenty to eat and drink, and a real carnival atmosphere for all to enjoy.

A Final Word … The 5 AM Club by Robin Sharma

In all likelihood this book will be old news to some of you but is still worth touching on for others of you parents who might not have had the chance to read it yet. Our Head of Maths, Damian Pakkiri, recommended the book to me some months ago and, having really enjoyed the read, I thought that I’d pass the recommendation on.

“Legendary leadership and elite performance expert Robin Sharma introduced The 5 AM Club concept over twenty years ago. It is based on a revolutionary morning routine that has helped his clients maximize their productivity, activate their best health and bulletproof their serenity in this age of overwhelming complexity.

Now, in this life-changing book, handcrafted by the author over a rigorous four-year period, you will discover the early-rising habit that has helped so many accomplish epic results while upgrading their happiness, helpfulness and feelings of aliveness.”


A step-by-step method to protect the quietest hours of daybreak so you have time for exercise, self-renewal and personal growth.

An easy read that it certainly worth spending some time getting into and reflecting on.

Kind regards


Richard Stanley


Leave a Reply