What an absolute joy to be able to welcome our Ridge boys back on campus last week. We’ve said often enough in the past that a school only truly comes alive when the children are back. With so many hoops to jump through in the weeks leading up to Monday 1st February, this time around the delight of reconnecting with them all again was that much sweeter. This sentiment has, of course, and as expected, been expressed by a number of our Ridge teachers.
Now for the term coming into focus; with all that we hope to be able to bring alive for all our Ridge boys. The President’s address on Monday evening promised a relaxing of some of the restrictions that have been threatening to dampen many of our plans for the months ahead. As such we look forward to make the most of all that the broader learning programmes will be offering up, but without compromising in any way our ‘Safety First’ pledge.
Thank you to the many parents who tuned-in to our Grade Parent Forum meetings during the past two weeks. As mentioned in the meetings, we aim to keep communication channels open, informed and supportive as we navigate the days and weeks that lie ahead. As such, we look forward to further contact opportunities with all parents on a more regular basis.
It is good to report that our boys have responded very well to our alerts, prompts and reminders apropos adhering to the daily safety protocols built in for their protection each day here at School. It is still early days but as we maintain a ‘dripping tap’ strategy and approach, we look forward to being able to maintain their compliance going forward.
Thank you to the many parents who have supported and are administering the screening of their boys prior to leaving for School each morning. The stats from last Friday morning confirm that 374 boys out of 494 who attended school were screened. These numbers beg the question, so what about the other 120 boys? I would make another impassioned plea for those parents who have not adopted this screening practice yet to please do so.
I draw your attention to the COVID-19 Alert SA app that our President has endorsed and that many people have downloaded in the interests of safety and self-protection. It can provide a way of helping to shield oneself and our loved ones from possible exposure to the coronavirus. In simple terms, the app lets people know when they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. For your interest, please find the link here –
Whilst a warm welcome was extended to Bridget Gerber, our new PA Chairlady, and her new PA Committee, at each of the Forum meetings these past weeks, it is appropriate to use this newsletter to again welcome Bridget and her team and to wish them well for the year ahead. Bridget’s motto for the year is ‘Let’s not focus on what we can’t do, but rather on what we can do’. To this end, she and her committee will be planning to draw attention to and find ways to support so many NPOs and legitimate charities that are struggling at this time and will require some form of assistance and support. For those parents who may not have had the opportunity yet to watch the video sent out recently by Ijeoma Solarin and Bridget Gerber, please click on the link – https://youtu.be/SeirZ-ftVvQ
This coming Friday, 12th February, offers us one such opportunity as The Ridge focuses the support lens onto the CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation SA.
About Flip Flop Day™:
Now in its 2nd year, CHOC Flip Flop Day is an annual event celebrated on 12 February 2021. It is a day of fun and colour because although childhood cancer is in no way light hearted, South Africans certainly are, and when it comes to our children we need to rally behind them, as CHOC SOLE-diers to truly show that we are a force to be reckoned with.
About CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation SA:
Childhood cancer is a frightening diagnosis that no parent should ever have to deal with. Unfortunately, it is a reality that many families across South Africa have to come to terms with on a daily basis. These families are facing the toughest battle they will ever have to face – along with their little warriors who are fighting right on the frontline, at the heart of the battle. Luckily, these brave children and teenagers, along with their families never have to stand alone.
CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation South Africa is a non-profit organisation made-up of caring, committed and passionate people who stand-up for and support the well-being of children and teenagers diagnosed with cancer or life-threatening blood disorders, and their families.
A representative from CHOC will be speaking to the boys at Assembly on Friday 12th Feb. please note that if your son does not have a pair of flip flops, he will be able to wear a pair of track shoes.
Early morning Drop-off and Go arrangements:
Parents will know that we have implemented again the morning drop-off and go systems in the Lawley Road and Woolston Road car parks. These have proved to be pedestrian-safe, efficient and user-friendly ways of circulating traffic around these two car parks at the peak drop-off times each morning while also allowing for the important boys’ temperature check controls to be conducted before the boys enter the school concourse.
Thank you to the large majority of parents who are playing your part in keeping the traffic flowing. It is greatly appreciated.
Having observed all five days of the 07:00 – 07:30 drop-off in the Woolston Road car park last week I would ask of all parents or drivers to assist us in the following ways, please:
- To look out for boys exiting a vehicle on the car park side;
- To be considerate of other drivers;
- To, as much as possible, keep the drive through area, as demarcated by the cones, free for other vehicles to pass by relatively unencumbered;
- Not to stop and drop in the drive-through lane as it causes a back up of traffic waiting to enter the school grounds;
- To try and not drive over the cones.
Ceremonies, Assemblies and Services:
Grade 7 and 4 parents are to please note that we have set new dates for the hosting of the Grade 7 Induction Assembly (Friday 19th February) and the Grade 4 Capping Ceremony (Monday 22nd February). This years Ash Wednesday Service will take place on Hersov Field on the 17th February as scheduled. Unfortunately, the staff and girls for St Ks and APPS will not be able to join us on this occasion.
In an effort to find a way of accommodating Grade 4 and 7 parents being able to join us on Hersov Field for respective ceremonies that were originally planned for earlier in February, we have decided to wait for a few weeks in the hope that the Level 3 restrictions will be eased.
If Level 3 remains in place, I would ask that parents respect that, under law, we are compelled to remain compliant to the regulations as imposed by Government. We will make sure, however, to record these ceremonies so that parents will be able view them later on respective days.
Now or Never… Growing Green Children
In an effort to reactivate our School’s response to the call to find ways of being more environmentally aware, we are wanting to commission a special Growing Green Children Committee to champion this cause for us here at The Ridge.
Holly Ferrar (Head of Grade 2) and Terri-Lee Dix (mum of Zach, Grade 3) and I are planning to lead this campaign but require a new level of support as we look to bring deeper understanding and more sustainable, long-lasting attitudinal and behavioural changes into the lives of our boys.
If parents are interested to be involved in this vital Now or Never – Our Environment on the Brink initiative, please will you let me know by sending through an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Reminders and Updates:
Another Live Calendar meeting was held last week in the interests of making sure that relevant and up-to-date School information that pertains to parents remains ‘live’.
Due to the current Level 3 restrictions and the need to guard the Safety First compliance, much of what we had hoped and planned for during the month of February, in the form of tours, fixtures, functions, and parent in-person engagements have needed to be shelved for the time being. The Live Calendar will keep parents in the loop as to what we are still hoping to offer in the days immediately ahead and until current restrictions are lifted.
A Final Word … Thank you to our amazing security men:
We have many wonderfully selfless and kind people involved daily in the life of our Ridge School; many of them unsung champions who go about their tasks and duties in ways that demonstrate commitment, humility and a sincere people-centredness.
The following email that I received from Sue Steyn who runs our School Shop reminded me again of the amazing work that is done by our team of humble security men:
“I would like to highly commend the security guards on their incredible assistance with our email ordering over the past 10 months, but particularly the past two weeks. We have been inundated with emailed orders and there has been a constant pile of parcels awaiting collection on the floor of the guard house, and only a very few collection issues – most due to the parent quoting the incorrect surname. The guards have been extremely helpful and pleasant; not once did I feel we were inconveniencing them by taking up so much space, although I am sure it was very inconvenient having to step around and over parcels all day and night.”
On behalf of all, my sincere thanks to Moses Machado (Guards’ Supervisor), Tuis Babedi, Dyke Kune, Fhatuwani Mufhadi, Samuel Mulongoni, Thomas Mzizi, Thabang Teba, and Kenneth Thiba for all that each of them does in support of our boys and for people wellness generally here at The Ridge School.
I wish you all continued good health and God’s favour into the weeks ahead.