Dear Parents/Guardians, Staff and Boys
Time to PLAY
I am hoping that our experiences of lockdown in the last two years will be the catalyst for the development of a mindset and an environment that is critical for a child’s educational success. Science says that the human mind maximizes learning in resting hours. Hence all education should be structured with adequate breaks. The way your brain functions is that you absorb and record information through your learning day. Then, to use that information effectively your brain needs time off to process it, make meaningful connections with other learnings that you have and throw up creative ideas from these connections.
To consolidate your regular learning, get adequate sleep every single night to let your brain recover and build new connections. To get creative and find new solutions, free up your brain’s resources from its daily grind. Like most successful people, you will find that your best insights and most creative ideas emerge from your sub-conscious when you play.
Play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength. Play is important to healthy brain development. It is through play that children at a very early age engage and interact in the world around them.
Play has many benefits for children, families and the wider community, as well as improving health and quality of life.
Recent research suggests that children’s access to good play provision can:
- increase their self-awareness, self-esteem, and self-respect
- improve and maintain their physical and mental health
- allow them to increase their confidence through developing new skills
- promote their imagination, independence and creativity
- offer opportunities for children of all abilities and backgrounds to play together
- provide opportunities for developing social skills and learning
- build resilience through risk taking and challenge, problem solving, and dealing with new and novel situations
- provide opportunities to learn about their environment and the wider community
Evidence is also available that outlines wider benefits of play provision for families and communities, suggesting that:
- parents can feel more secure knowing that their children are happy, safe and enjoying themselves
- families benefit from healthier, happier children
- buildings and facilities used by play services are frequently seen as a focal point for communities
- it offers opportunities for social interaction for the wider community and supports the development of a greater sense of community spirit, promoting social cohesion
My encouragement to the children therefore, is to HAVE FUN, enjoy the holiday, switch off, regroup, read a book, cook, sleep well, play… play… play…
To everyone in The Ridge School community thank you all for the care, commitment, and courage you have shown in what has proved to be a particularly difficult year. I would like to acknowledge the contribution of staff, parents and boys to The Ridge School in 2021.
Walt Disney once said ‘You can dream, create, design and build the most wonderful ideas in the world, but it requires people to make the dream a reality’. The reality is that the learning experiences and projects that have taken place this year could not have happened without a great deal of commitment and support from the staff, parents and boys.
One of the critical factors of any successful school is the staff. There has never been a time when being a teacher has been more demanding or challenging. To our teachers and support staff, thank-you for your energy, passion and enthusiasm. What a privilege to be able to witness the joy that comes with the understanding or satisfaction of a problem solved, or the wonder of living new adventures through the world of literature. Our teachers are privileged each day to participate in the boys’ academic journey. They recognise and applaud just how hard their boys try. They celebrate their boys’ achievements whether they be great or small and they share with pride the progress their boys make with their learning.
One cannot underestimate the effort and commitment of the support staff – they have undertaken to be our safe keepers and protectors. Nothing has ever been too much for them and their willingness to step into any area and any time to ensure that all things work is really appreciated.
We are truly blessed to have wonderful and supportive parents and boys who are committed and loyal. I am particularly appreciative for everything that you have been doing to support learning from home. I know how difficult it is to juggle working from home while supporting your children with their schooling, and this is of course in addition to dealing with all of the normal challenges of family life. The school has also received a number of messages of thanks and support from so many of you over these past few months, and these are all received very gratefully.
To our departing families and boys – make the most of the time God has given you. Whatever you strive for, whatever you do, whatever your lot in life give it your very best. Make the most of it, be positive, choose to be happy and thank God for each new day.
To our returning staff, boys, and families we look forward to strengthening our relationship with you and embarking on the journey of the 2022 school year together. There are many exciting things set to take place.
I thank you all for your continued support for the school. I have enjoyed meeting many of you and I thank you for working in partnership with us to ensure that we have been safe and completed the year on a strong note. Without us working together we could not have set such a firm foundation for 2022 and beyond.
Christmas holiday message
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).
We have tremendously high expectations of Christmas. We want everything to be perfect. We have pictures in our minds of children playing, church choirs singing, and people smiling and getting along. But often it is not that way. It feels that each year becomes harder to spread Christmas cheer and hope – until we realise what the world would look like without it. Having times of challenge is a wonderful and opportune moment to redirect the priorities in our lives.
Children often wonder what Christ looks like. They will draw pictures of Him. During childhood, visual concepts are extremely important. This would be a good opportunity to impress upon them that the glory of God that was present in Jesus was not observable in His physical appearance, but in the way He reflected His Heavenly Father’s love and patience and kindness. How wonderful it would be to redirect ourselves towards these virtues?
uKkhismusi pomuhle nonyaka omusha onezobusiso. Geseende kersfees en ‘n geseende nuwe jaar.