Dear Parents/Guardians, Staff and Boys
I have been pleased with the buzz and excitement around The Ridge School since the start of the new year. In total, we have had approximately 17 500 academic lessons, 5000 extra mural activities and 478 pairs of feet stomping daily on our beautiful fields. And it is only January.
I have enjoyed greeting the boys as they have entered the school and in doing so, it is a daily reminder that they each walk their own journey. Some are anxious, some scared, some uncertain, some excited and hopeful – there is a wide range of emotion. So, my appeal to you is to be kind. We know not of where the other person is – we know only that everyone desires kindness.
I welcome new families who have joined The Ridge School community and families (who left and have returned).
Please look out for them and make them feel welcome. Introduce yourself on the side of the sports field, invite them over for a play date, add them to a friendship circle.
We were really pleased with the attendance of parents to the information evenings that were hosted. For those families who unfortunately could not attend, I trust that you were able to catch up by watching the video or podcasts releases that were sent following it. My central message was that of the fundamental principles that we would use as a guide to inform our strategy as we develop it during this term.
- Deep change or slow death – if schools were an invention of the 22nd century, what would they look like? How would they be structured? What teachings would take place?
- Using the evidence available in neuroscience. Change the conversation with him. If we keep asking, what is he going to do when he grows up, we are failing him. Rather ask him, what problem is he going to solve.
- The analogy of the carpenter and gardener – because your son is the most important person, he should not be our focus. The environment should support self-directed learning and student agency.
Instead of the usual how was your day? How was school? What did you learn or do? Rather ask these five questions – Who were you kind to today? Who was kind to you? What positive contribution did you make to your friends today? Tell me about a good deed you did? How did your teacher respond when you said thank you to them for the lesson?
Focus for February and March
Although we are in the process of developing a new strategy, there are some pillars that are critical to the wellbeing and development of every child. The focus for February and March, therefore, will be on setting a culture and structure for positive discipline. There will be fortnightly letters emailed to you and I encourage you to engage with it – it will include links to Google forms. The process will be that of deep change.
Drop off and Pick up
We have enjoyed having parents onsite this term – information evenings, special assemblies, sports fixtures etc. Key to the success of these events has been the planning to allow for all protocols to be adhered to and to remain legally compliant. We have noticed, however, a creep of a deviation from these protocols during the morning drop off and afternoon collection. I implore all parents of boys in the Senior Preparatory to adhere to the following:
- It is a drop and go – please do not park. (essentially the boys need to tuck and roll 😊)
- Please do not get out of your vehicle and walk to the classroom. If you have an appointment with a teacher, please report to reception, get screened and wait for the respective teacher to meet you at the reception.
- Use the space all around the car park. Many parents wish to use the space directly in front of the hall and that creates a back log because of double parking.
The parents in the Junior Preparatory are to use the guidelines that were given by Ms Herold. I understand the frustration and if we all play our part; the congestion will be minimised. The Exec team are also considering other resolutions to this problem and will communicate when solutions are finalized.