Headmaster’s Newsletter

Dear Parents

It was a real joy, a few days ago, to bring the whole school (Grade 1 – 7, boys and staff) together on the Hersov Field for the first Combined Assembly this year. With masks firmly in place and physical distancing being adhered to, we made the most of a few minutes of assembly togetherness before the boys were divided up into their respective SALT groups.

The Sharing and Learning Together programme was sadly also affected by the impact of the pandemic and so has not been activated since last year. It has been sorely missed by the boys. SALT, as the acronym would suggest, is designed to give the Grade 7 boys a chance to be young leaders as they ‘sprinkle’ friendship and fellowship into the lives of their assigned group of boys. The groups are made up of one lad from each grade (1 – 6), they are led by a Grade 7 boy and are each facilitated by a member of staff.  Three times a term, on a Friday morning, these ‘knowing and growing’ sessions give our senior lads an opportunity to engage with and lead their small groups. Activities are pre-arranged and sent out to the Grade 7s so that they arrive at their special meeting places well prepared. The next SALT session will happen on Friday 4th June when the boys will be enjoying a South African civvies day in support of the SA Men’s Hockey Team and their Olympic Dream. 

Grade 7 boys college entries:

We are delighted to be able to share the news that all Grade 7 boys have been placed in colleges of first or second choice for 2022. As I congratulate the boys themselves on having stepped up and delivered during what can oft-times be a nerve-wracking and intimidating application, interview and admissions experience for them, all credit must go to Nick Diana and his team of teachers. The wonderful work done in preparing and upskilling the boys during their time here at The Ridge and in recent months, in particular, has certainly paved the way for another impressive showing by our Ridge lads; always, it must be said, against stiff opposition from other boys schools. Scholarship awards will be announced in due course.

School starting time:

I am appealing to SP Parents to please make sure that your boys are at school by 07:30am at the latest. We make a quick start each morning with boys assembling and moving down to Hersov Field at around 07:40am in order to start the SP Line-up promptly at 07:45am. The 1st period of the day begins at 08:00 am, so we are running close to the clock from early each morning.

This reminder comes to you all, I know, at a time when we are acutely aware that the chilly winter early morning weather is not too far off and so waking up to get to school might be that much tougher for some. Your assistance will be greatly appreciated. 

Strictly… drop off and go in the mornings:

Aligned to the above request is one that reminds you all that in order to keep the traffic moving in the Woolston Road Car Park in particular, we are relying on parents to please drop and go. Any unnecessary tarrying or stopping / parking for long periods has the effect of causing long queues along Woolston Road and into Pallinghurst Road.

In addition, I would remind parents and au pairs to please stay in their motorcars. Current Government regulations remain in place that prohibit parents access to school property unless within their motorcars. This applies during each morning and at pick-up in the afternoons.

Lighthouse Learning Support team news:

Zoe von Klemperer has joined our special needs and remedial unit as from the 1st May. She joins us in a locum capacity and as a replacement for Agnes Jooste who will be leaving us at the end of May. She will stay on when the new Lighthouse HoD, Penny Meyer, takes the reins from the 1st September.  

The Acting Heads of Learning Support will be shared by Jacqui Haddow (JP) and Claire Lord (SP) for the months of June and July. Candice Fletcher will on hand to offer guidance and support on the emotional and psychological fronts, as well as overseeing the readiness assessments of new boys.

Lost property:

Another reminder for parents to please double-check that your son’s clothing and property that he brings to school is marked. There is a veritable mountain of lost property clothing as we close in on the end of each week and, whilst Di Wellard and Bridget Gerber are doing wonders to get the marked clothing back to the boys, it is the number of unmarked items that is of real concern.

Of course, there wouldn’t be any lost property if the lads just took more care of what is theirs to be responsible for. Here too, parents can re-enforce the messages coming through from school by making your son more accountable for what he might have carelessly left lying around at school and that has gone missing.

Action Day:

Please diarize Saturday 5th June as our Ridge Action Day. Bridget Gerber and her PA Committee will be discussing the proposed plan of action at this evening’s virtual PA meeting. Once the plan and details are confirmed, information will be sent through to parents. It promises to be another Action Day with a difference but won that will certainly allow us to make a difference by being the difference in the lives of so many at need at this time. 

Blanket collection: 

A Final Word:

The following podcast link on the subject of  ‘Chasing Life’ by Dr Sanjay Gupta is really worth listening to. Dr Gupta and his wife speak about the value of rest as a way to process the stress in our daily lives. Listen to him having a conversation with Dr Lisa Damour in the first episode of his new podcast, Chasing Life, for some insights on how to live a more balanced life.

The Change We Need Chasing Life

Listen on Apple Podcasts: 


Warm regards

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