The times we are in remain challenging and uncertain. Based on our experiences in the last two years, we all know of someone who has lost their job, closed their business, changed their school, or succumbed in the most severe way. Our duty calls for us to keep supporting each other, praying for friends and family, adapting, and caring without ceasing.
After a super busy year with all the challenges and opportunities it presented, the wellness of the staff and especially the boys is more important than it has ever been. The love felt by a parent does not automatically translate into love experienced by the child. The same holds true in teaching – what we feel for the children in our care does not automatically translate into that being experienced, unless we are deliberate and practical in our actions. It remains our endeavour at The Ridge to be deliberate in our actions so that all those in our community experience the care we feel. I am certain that the historical record in this magazine testifies to the immense care and effort that everyone in our community has put into making it a special one for the boys. These actions, in many ways, are representative of the ‘fruits’ we are called to grow.
The events, activities and the programme that is outlined in the magazine, is a teaching of the following when one considers growing ‘fruit’.
- The tree does not consume its own fruit. It is produced for the benefit of others. Let our fruits be for the benefit of others – be deliberate in making sure others experience love, patience, goodness… and not assume that they experience it because we feel it.
- Fruit is not produced the same day the roots take to the ground. Invest daily in the parts of yourself where it is produced. The mind and heart produce what you feed it.
- Fruits are not produced by the tree itself. If a tree is not producing, we do not look to fix the tree but the environment in which it is planted. If you feel that the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control are not being produced in your life – fix the environment.
I have often spoken about not going back to normal and to create a different quality of life. In doing so, I look to encourage you with these reflections:
- Do not focus on where you must get to – focus on how far you have come. You are better because of it.
- What you did this year was based on the knowledge you had. Do not judge yourself or others for the actions of this year – they were because of the options available at that time. Now that you know better, you can do better.
- You may not see it now or tomorrow, but when you look back at this year, you will be awed by how everything added up to take you somewhere more wonderful or amazing than where you were headed. You will be grateful that things did not work out the way you once hoped it would.
- Mental, emotional and physical health is more important than academic progression. There will always be given time to develop academically.
- Generally, in life, it has become second nature to complain about all the things we have to do. Without questioning it, we became accustomed to have-to-do lists. It became an essential part of being organised. I hope that we change our mindset – now we have get-to-do lists. This is not playing on semantics – it is a magnificent attitude – we get to go to school, we get to spend time at home, we get to learn, we get to experience new things. We get to…
Now, go and do.
By Wayne Naidoo
TRIBUTE TO WAYNE NAIDOO BY GLYNNIS MOORE
Wayne joined The Ridge School as Headmaster in August 2021. From the beginning, he worked tirelessly to continue the proud traditions of The Ridge School yet to make it relevant to today’s society and the world in which the boys inhabit. He maintained equilibrium and high standards while the school was in the midst of COVID restrictions and although this was not an easy time, he carefully guided the process of returning to regular schooling.
Wayne is a visionary who held high ideals for The Ridge School and its future. Although he was here for a short period of time, he made significant contributions in terms of putting structures and policies in place that were well-considered so that the management and functioning of the school could improve and progress.
Wayne was approachable and accessible to the entire Ridge community at all times. He had an unfailing readiness to listen and the profound ability to empathise and view matters from multiple perspectives. With an air of humility, he managed difficult situations with diplomacy, In staff meetings, he guided discussions deftly and tactfully. Wayne has an analytical brain and is an adept problem solver. He did not lose sight of the bigger picture and would bear in mind the distant implications of decisions and issues. Decisions were always taken with fairness, wisdom, immense integrity and for the overall good of The Ridge School, the school community and in particular, the boys.
His mantra to the Executive Team and staff was “Deep change or slow death” and his commitment to deep change will have a lasting effect. Wayne has dedicated his life to education and will no doubt continue to make valuable contributions to education as he takes up his new position at WPPS in Cape Town. We will continue to collaborate and share ideas and in so doing, extend our network with similar boys’ schools across the country.
Wayne is someone with integrity and dedication to his faith and values. His commitment to his family and to family values is honourable. We wish Wayne, Fiona, Abby and Jessie all the best for their journey ahead.
TRIBUTE TO MANDY HEROLD BY THE JUNIOR PREP TEAM
How does one start a tribute for someone who has changed the language around teaching of boys and how they are seen?
It all started 12 years ago when Mandy took up the position of Head of Junior Prep. At that stage she had 2 young children with Ryan and Robyn being toddlers at the time.
It was during her second year at The Ridge that Mandy had a dual role, that of Head and of parent. This was not an easy task, to be sure, but she took it in her stride while always considering what was best for the boys in the Junior Prep.
It was also during her time with us that she met (as she refers to him) “her person”. Gareth has been a pillar of strength for Mandy as the challenges of the job morphed and changed with the needs of the boys. It must be said that Mandy has always been the biggest cheerleader for Gareth for all that he does, learning significant amounts of information about hockey. It was surprising that you were not roped in to coach one of the teams here!
With Mandy’s unshakable belief that the children in today’s world need more coping strategies than ever before, her interest in finding out more took her to America. There are 2 thought leaders that have caused a shift in Mandy’s approach to what is now common language in the Junior Prep. I like to refer to them as the Double B’s. For those who have not had the privilege of reading up or being at a workshop, these Double B’s are Brene Brown and Becky Bailey.
Brene Brown is known in particular for her research on shame, vulnerability, and leadership. Becky Bailey is an award-winning author, renowned teacher and internationally recognized expert in childhood education and developmental psychology.
Together these 2 ladies have had a huge impact not only on how we teach the boys in the Junior Prep, but also on how we engage with each other. Mandy has used the teachings of these woman to build a better team and a greater understanding of boys and how they learn. By implementing Conscious Discipline lessons throughout the Junior Prep the boys have a common language that can be used to express themselves.
Mandy’s investment in the Conscious Discipline way of thinking has led her to be the first International Conscious Discipline Certified Instructor in Africa as well as member of the Association for Coaching. Her passion has taken her to great heights, speaking on this topic at conferences and workshops. It is ultimately this new window into teaching that has taken her on her new adventures.
With both highs and lows during your time here, you have always worn your heart on your sleeve! Thank you for your passion and commitment to The Ridge School, never wavering in your belief of how beneficial Social and Emotional Learning is to our boys. We look forward to seeing how your new adventure takes you further. I am sure you won’t miss the mundane tasks such as report editing, meeting after meeting and the lost property. Whenever you feel too calm, please visit us to help out in all those areas!
I doubt that you will need any one of these during the next year. A pretzel, a balloon, a drain or a S T A R because you will already be calm 😊
TRIBUTE TO JOE KOTWAL BY CHRIS VERSTER
After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree at Rhodes University, Joe started his teaching career in 2004 at his Alma Mater, Parktown Boys. He quickly climbed the ranks and was Head of Geography, Head of Grade 12, Chief Examiner for Finals and still gave of his time on the sports field. Joe coached the 1st hockey team to win the Aitken Trophy (the most prestigious high schools hockey competition in Johannesburg). Joe could also not be stumped on the cricket field. He took the 1st team which won the Chubb Challenge as well as becoming the u16 Night series champions.
Teaching is the profession that teaches all the other professions – Author Unknown. In 2012, Joe completed a Post-Graduation Diploma in Management and moved into the role of Director of Marketing whilst still at Parktown Boys. This was a brave move and indeed Joe’s calling. He joined the Ridge at the beginning of 2016 as Director of Marketing in a role that had been created. Another brave move, leaving his Alma Mater and comfortable environment. Joe had no shoes to fill and no experience in a prep school, yet it was a role that he developed and made his own. He made an immediate impact on the school community and the saying of “Does Joe Know” echoed throughout many a Staff, PA and Exec meeting. In 2019, the Marketing Department went to the next level, with the school’s Centenary Celebrations. It was probably Joe’s busiest year ever and his wonderful dry sense of humour and ability to remain calm and unflappable in all situations, really prepared The Ridge for a most happy year-long celebration.
As a colleague, friend, business partner and lover…of red wine, I still don’t know how to fully describe Joe. I found an interesting way around this dilemma and consulted John Platter’s book on the description of wines. There are some informative descriptions that bear uncanny resemblance to people; one sums up Joe Kotwal rather well:
• Pinotage: intensely individual, robust, with potential for refined development, when matured it is luscious.
• Merlot: generally softer and more approachable in youth.
• Cab Sav: Plenty of class and style, worthy of aging.
The above wines are close descriptions, but to me Joe Kotwal is a shiraz. Shiraz: inspirational, with style and quality, able to express itself most eloquently. It has classic attributes of being spicy, with warm hints of fruitiness, combined with gentle traces of nuttiness.
By his very nature, Joe likes to call a spade a spade and does not appreciate any form of indecision or circumvention. He is a hard and methodical worker who gets the job done. At a recent Exec Meeting, we were asked if we were an animal, what would we be and why? Joe said that he would be a lion. I am not sure why he thinks he would be a lion, we all know that his roar is bigger than his bite! Now if I had to choose an animal for Joe, I would choose a ram. Highly revered as one of those rare creatures that even the most terrifying of beasts would not deal with, rams are easily seen by many as a symbol of grit, determination, and fearlessness. Capable of fighting off a host of big game predators, it inspires us to stand firm and tall in the face of life’s most challenging situations.
So, Joe takes another plunge, from stand alone to a bigger more complex environment in that of St David’s Inanda. That’s again brave, braver than some of us. An apt quote is John Keats: I leaped headlong into the Sea, and thereby have become better acquainted with the Surroundings, the quicksand, and the rocks, than if I had stayed upon the green shore and took tea and comfortable advice: (John Keats, from a letter to J.A Hessey, 8 October 1818.)
The dog barks and the caravan moves on. Joe, you have made an impact wherever you have gone, and will continue to do so wherever you go. I think you underestimate the difference you have made to the boys, staff and parents. Your moral compass and the fact that you are just a good human being is respected by us all. Go well my friend, The Ridge’s loss is most certainly St David’s gain!
TRIBUTE TO ERICA KINNEAR BY THE GRADE 4 TEAM
Erica, Easy E, Miss K, ma’am. You go by many names but we all know you as the salt of the earth Miss K.
It’s time to bid you farewell. From a colleague to a mentor and now a true friend. We are all going to miss you dearly. Your passion, dedication and commitment to The Ridge School and education as a whole has spanned some 40 years, 18 of which were shared with The Ridge School. You came out to South Africa from the Highlands in Scotland with a gap year in mind. This gap year has now lasted 39 years and counting, and boy have you made the most of each and every one of those years!
From our lively grade meetings, to enjoying a Hansa on your swoop home at Pirates, your time and company are always cherished. The last 4 years have been nothing short of incredible. From celebrating the Centenary Year, to navigating online learning, to finding our feet again in this new normal and now finally for the last dance.
Your infectious sense of humour and hilarious ‘Little Rocking’ motion when re-enacting a story, are going to be sorely missed. But nothing more than the care, love and passion that you share with not only the boys but us as staff, who have become friends and some even family. E, you are the most amazing educator and I know I can speak on behalf of all the young men and women that have had the privilege of having had you as their teacher.
Although our ‘dream team’ is parting ways it has been an absolute pleasure being part of the team and the guidance and wisdom that you have both shared with me are so appreciated and I cannot thank you enough!
In closing, some of your finest quotes: “Make a plan and not a fuss”, “You can’t fly on one wing” and finally “I hope I don’t get like you, when I’m your age”. These all speak to your real zest for life, to never sweat the small stuff and to live each day like it is your last!
Thank you for everything, E! We will all miss you dearly.
TRIBUTE TO LAUREN BAINES FOURIE BY THE JUNIOR PREP TEAM
Lauren Baines-Fourie has been a teacher at The Ridge School since August 2011. She started her time as a locum in Grade 2 and never left. 😊
Lauren worked with Izette Varty, Wendy Schultz, Kathi Rossouw, Tessa McWilliams,Tracy Beukes and the always amazing Ms Miriam Mafunise over the years. Even though the group changed, the humour, fun and support was a constant. Laughter, an anecdote or two about the boys and a cuppa have always been the way to begin the day.
When Covid hit and we were all in a state of panic, Lauren stepped up and provided much needed calm, assistance and moral support with Seesaw, an online learning platform that was used to engage with the boys and parents. Lauren helped us with the tech to record videos, create activities and respond with digital marking. She helped us maintain a sense of humour at a time when we really needed it.
As a team, we have shared so many happy moments with Lauren. From the time she met her lovely husband Juan, an engagement, wedding and the birth of her adorable daughters, Olivia and Sienna.
Lauren leaves to pursue new ventures and the Grade 1 Team would like to wish her all the love and happiness in the world.
TRIBUTE TO SARAH BEHR BY MANDY HEROLD
The year was 2015 and we were looking for a Grade 0 teacher to take over from the legendary, Jenny Jones. Bennie du Preez recommended that we interview a young intern from WHPS, so we did! The rest as they say in the classics, is history!
Sarah joined our JP team in January 2016 and very quickly found her feet in and out of the classroom with the staff, parents and boys. She consistently went above and beyond the call of duty for her colleagues and boys. Sarah opened her home in Lawley Road for many a staff gather and always hosted friends in the most generous manner.
In 2019, Sarah moved to Grade 1 for a year and was then appointed as Head of Grade 0 from January 2020.
Sarah has been the most dedicated and avid supporter of The Ridge School, including many, many school functions over the years – Galas, Rugby festivals, Founders’ Day, sports fixtures, cocktail parties and plays. She’s been a key role player in the SP Climbing extra-mural club and supervised the boys at City Rock and on campus.
Two of my highlights with Se were the ECD conference in Rustenburg at Lebone College in March 2017 and our KZN school visits in 2019, where we stayed with her fabulous parents in Durban.
Sarah personifies a contagious positive energy and professionalism. She has been a gift to our school family and from the bottom of my heart, I wish her all the very best on the next step of her journey as Headmistress of The Parks Pre-Primary. I just know that she’s going to inject her ‘Sarah-magic’ into that lucky community.
Tribute to Cameron Eliot by Erica Kinnear AND Maresce Opperman
Cameron joined the Grade 4 team at The Ridge in 2019. He is a passionate teacher and we are all the richer for having him on the staff. Cameron has been amazing in giving the boys who have passed through Grade 4 during his time, an unforgettable year. As the boys make the daunting transition into the Senior Prep, he is unfailingly kind and caring. He quickly gains their trust, gradually builds their confidence and gives them the tools to go on to enjoy a happy, fulfilling year of growth.
Cameron is always willing to take on any challenge and nothing is ever too much for him. He has enjoyed the opportunity to teach Earth Sciences to the Grade 7s, over and above his Grade 4 commitments. Having experience as an intern, he offered his services to assist with, and enhance our intern programme. Cameron loves his sport and has been fully involved in coaching rugby, football, cricket and hockey to a range of age groups. He has also, happily and successfully, accompanied several sports tours. Over the last four years, we have been fortunate enough to benefit from Cameron’s commitment to immersing himself fully in the life of the school.
Cam, we thank you for all you have brought and contributed to The Ridge. You are going to be sorely missed by boys, staff and parents alike, but you really deserve this wonderful opportunity to make your mark in London. Just remember, they don’t sell Hansas and you need an umbrella! Take care and go well, Cam. We know you will continue to make us proud.
Tribute to Naadhirah Loonat by
Naadirah began teaching at The Ridge School in 2020. It was a difficult time to begin as a new teacher as we were in the midst of COVID and online learning. Yet, Naadirah was a fast learner and showed her resilience by finding ways to educate her learners in as efficient and educationally sound manner as possible.
Naadirah has been a Grade 5 class teacher for the past two years and has also had a focus on teaching English. As a class teacher, she set firm boundaries yet was empathetic and kind towards all her students. She worked collaboratively with parents and was keen to engage with them when required to do so. Naadirah has an interest in children who learn differently and has worked closely with the Lighthouse to assist those boys who require more support. She knows her boys extremely well and is sensitive to their needs and emotions.
In her teaching, Naadirah equipped her learners with the knowledge, skills, ways of thinking and working that are needed for their future lives as leaders, entrepreneurs, scholars, innovators and workers in different vocations.
Naadirah was a part of the Project Based Learning (PBL) team from the second term onwards. Here she demonstrated her ability to work collaboratively within a team of teachers; to innovate; to learn new modes of pedagogy; see the value in it and to facilitate learning in a different way. She also surprised us with her ability to direct boys and bring out the best in them when they were required to present to a wider audience.
The boys will miss the guidance, support and encouragement that they received from Naadirah and her kind nature. In addition, she has been a valued colleague. Naadirah leaves us to take up a position at her Alma Mater, Roedean School for Girls and we wish her well in her future career which will no doubt be a bright one.
Tribute to Scott Mallen by Nico Seakamela
To dearest Scott, and this not many people know…
We’ve known one another for years; I’m not just saying that for show.
Quiet, calm, and very unassuming, you are your own man
Caring, kind and often amusing.
The year was 2020 when you came to us.
Dedication, commitment, when it came to the boys there was never a fuss
You leave your mark here, and for this I can attest.
With many parents and boys, stating that you’re simply the best.
Your best attribute is that you see the boys.
The human touch without the noise.
Yet another chapter, now awaits
Like the boys at break, it is open gates.
Mum, sister and now, you
The Ridge Golden thread, it deeply runs through.
Scott the Mensch, you’re a hellava guy
Tot siens, hamba kahle and a fond goodbye.
Tribute to Aiyabongwe Dube by Maresce Opperman
Congratulations on securing a new internship which will create more learning opportunities for the specific teaching phase you have embarked on.
On behalf of the teachers and the special boys at The Ridge School, I would like to express our sincere appreciation to you for the various contributions you have made to The Ridge School. I thank you for your dedication and commitment.
It is always difficult to say goodbye, but it gets easier when we know that you are ready for your forthcoming journey and that this experience is going to be worthwhile and rewarding. You, as a person will grow tremendously as you are all set to move out of this zone and explore more of the world and yourself.
I would like to impress on you to always see yourself as an ambassador of this school and never allow selfish interests to blemish the integrity that you have nurtured over your years here. Be kind and good to people you meet on your way. Allow the words of your elders to guide you as you journey on to greatness. Dream big and be optimistic. Be the change you want to see in the world!
Tribute to Tafadzwa Matariro By Maresce Opperman
Four years ago, you came to the Ridge School as an enthusiastic and naive young man and today you leave as a mature individual ready to face the real world. The time has come when you are required to become serious about life and make important decisions that will determine your future. When I look at you today, I see a leader of tomorrow. Someone who will make a difference by sharing what he has learnt.
I would like to thank you for all you have done for the Ridge School, its teachers and most important of all, the boys!
You have got all the potential and now you must find the right platform to express your talent and make your dreams come true.
Tribute to Siya Makinana by Cameron Eliot AND Maresce Opperman
Siya, it has been a pleasure getting to know you and working alongside you this year. Although your stay at The Ridge was brief, your contribution to the school is so appreciated.
Particular mention is to be made for your commitment and involvement in the hockey season, travelling down to
Rondebosch with the boys, coaching them and umpiring whenever you were called upon.
I wish you all the best in your future endeavours, although this may not necessarily be in teaching, I am sure you will continue to succeed in your field of coaching. Thank you for everything and I wish you all the best for next year!
REMEMBERING MAX MOYO
We hosted a special tea to commemorate the unveiling of the plaque in memory of Nabazayo “Max” Moyo, who served The Ridge community with a gentle enduring spirit, warmth, and kindness.
We had the pleasure of welcoming 46 Old Boys from our Grade 7 Class of 2017, and their parents to a special assembly. Our honoured guests reconnected whilst reminiscing about their time here at The Ridge. After the assembly, a few of them visited their former teachers and even spent time with our boys, sharing advice and of course stories of their days at The Ridge.
Congratulations to the following Ridge Old Boys at Hilton College, Oliver Joyner has been named McKenzie Head of House for 2023, Ben Kok has been named Head of Academics for 2023, and Matthew Peters has been named Newnham Head of House for 2023 and Captain of Rowing. Christopher Harty received full academic colours, Flynn Newell received honours for academics, Ross Short received full academic colours (A levels), Luke Holden received a Merit Certificate for Soccer, Thomas Roy received half-colours for soccer, and Murray Brink received half-colours for rugby 7’s.
Congratulations to Daniel Bloom, Head of Ochse House (St Alban’s College) and to Sean Ruwodo, David Ball and Leruo Mophatlane , Espin House prefects at St Andrew’s College. May you continue to proudly fly our flag.
Congratulations to the following Ridge old boys on becoming prefects and heads of their various houses at Michaelhouse. David du Toit – Head of Baines House, Oliver von Klemperer – Prefect of East House, Marc du Plessis – Prefect of Ralfe House, Oliver Walters – Prefect of Pascoe House and Cameron Fleming – Prefect of Farfield House. We are proud of all of you gentlemen. Keep striving for excellence.
Not often do young men like Sebastian Bouilliart come around. As a young boy at The Ridge he was amazing, as a young man, he is exceptional.Sebastian has been named the Dux Scholar at St John’s College for 2022.
He received the subject prize in the following subjects at the recent Valedictory Mass,
AP Mathematics, English, French, History, Mathematics, Physical Sciences, Life Orientation
We are very proud of our Ridge Old Boys: Weston Davis, Lebusa Mokhele and Sam Wearne, who have been elected as prefects for 2023 at St David’s Marist Inanda. Further congratulations to Charlie Dewar who has just received his South African colours for Polo.
We would like to congratulate Courtney Jamnik at Southern Cross in Hoedspruit on his election as the Head of the boarding house and also the house captain for Bateleur House. We are proud of you.
SENIOR PREP OVERVIEW
On your marks, get set and GO! The year 2022 was always going to be an action packed one. Having lived under strict COVID protocols for close on three years the school was bursting at the seams to come back to life.
One of the things we strive to achieve is to build a dynamic learning environment that engages our students, promotes deep understanding, and nurtures a love of lifetime learning and inquiry. One of the ways that The Ridge is trying to engender this mindset is through the introduction of PBL (Project Based Learning)
It goes to reason that, if we support students in becoming active creators, initiators, problem finders and community members while we as teachers focus on coaching, mentoring, and being community navigators; then students’ understanding, engagement, curiosity, and self-direction will increase.
We are once again pleased to note that our boys remain highly valued and prized by many of our leading Colleges around the country. Whilst we passionately believe that the process of learning should be more valued than the outcome, it is with a great degree of pride that we announce that our boys were offered no fewer than eighteen scholarships this year.
The school is most alive and vibrant, when we open our doors and invite our community in. After a long hiatus, we were able to welcome back many of our traditional events. Founders’ day is one such occasion with the excitement being palpable as the days drew closer. The day as has become custom was an enormous success.
This day, more than most, highlights what makes this school so incredibly special. Whilst the clothing and food stores can keep one occupied and fed for hours and the music performed keeps one entertained. It is the people, “our community” and the generosity of spirit coupled with friendship and laughter that makes this a red-letter day.
Speaking of things that lift the spirit, another personal highlight was when we hosted the premiere of the Mission Joy movie, featuring The Dalai Lama and the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu. This documentary was a celebration of the human spirit, the power of the “human touch” and how leading with kindness can spread joy.
Having last had a music tour in 2016, it was with great excitement that the school embarked on a tour de force to KwaZulu Natal. The boys played with passion and enthusiasm and fully embraced the opportunity to spread joy through their musical gifts. Our boys were well received whenever we performed and more importantly, they conducted themselves in a manner of which our community could feel proud.
Music touches us emotionally where words alone cannot. The boys and music department fortunately for us, took this to heart. Back in full swing, parents and staff were treated to musical soirées, Carols by Candlelight, and a most fabulous return to the Linder Auditorium where we hosted both the Junior and Senior Choir Festivals.
The academic year never feels complete without a school production, and the Grade 7 adaptation of Jack and the Beanstalk proved to be just the tonic and an enormous success. It has been said of this particular year group “That when they are called upon to show the Right Stuff and need to perform, they never fail to deliver,” and our boys should be proud of that. The boys and the production team deserve an enormous amount of credit for a most enjoyable and slick production.
Not to be outdone, our fabulous PA team was in full force once again. They came together and gave of their love, commitment, and time to put together a host of scintillating events. We had Lumo Dances, Night Runs, Golf Days, Cake Sales and even the occasional art auction.
Sport plays a huge role in a young boy’s life and we at the Ridge use this as an opportunity to inculcate strong values. Sport allows us to be intentional in displaying empathy, resilience, respect, authenticity, and a sense of belonging.
It feels like we toured every inch of the country this year, from Knysna, to Cape Town, Mpumalanga to Durban. Nowhere was too far for us to travel in search of competition and the boys jumped at the opportunity to travel and play competitive sports once more.
Besides the obvious health benefits and mental well-being that sports provide, it presents opportunities to strengthen bonds and ties with other schools near and far. The Ridge School is renowned for being fantastic hosts and this year was no different.
We hosted the Independent Schools Cricket Festival which feels like a school’s mini World Cup, such was the competition and number of schools that came through our gates. The festival provided opportunities to rekindle friendships and play competitive cricket in a festival environment. Where involvement and personal and collective growth is the measure of success not merely results.
There was also a welcome return of grade camps for both boys and staff. The camaraderie, team-building, socialisation and grit these camps provide for the boys should not be underestimated. For the staff, the hidden curriculum comes into play beautifully, and provides another lens in which to see our boys.
The year was action packed from start to finish and we would not have it any other way. As we lean towards the finish line, I wish you all a blessed and restful festive season and a reminder to lead with empathy and kindness in all that we do.
By Nico Seakamela
JUNIOR PREP OVERVIEW
I write this with a heavy heart as it is the last time that I will be doing it as the Head of the Junior Prep at The Ridge School so this is mostly a reflection of the 2022 school year and partly a farewell to my beautiful school.
Schools are the most hyper-connected human spaces and 2022 has given us a plethora of a year of ‘getting back to normal’. We are delighted that our boys have been able to participate in sport events, outings and concerts.
Our Parent Association has had an extraordinary year of events including the Lumo Dance, Neon Night Run, Founders’ Day, Soap Box Derby and the Grade 6 & 7 Social.
More than half of 2022 was spent in the dreaded masks! I had an interview on eNCA in May about why masks are so bad for all of us, especially our children. The voices of some of the Grade 3’s were included in the interview saying the following:
- “Masks are taking away the joy of being able to see our friends’ faces”
- “I can feel the lines on my face because I’ve weared a mask for so long”
- “I don’t understand why the government hasn’t listened because it’s been scientifically proven that masks don’t help”
- “Masks hurt the earth and they’re not even helpful, whatsoever”
It was with much joy and gratitude that we celebrated the end of mask wearing on 23 June!
I did tell the boys that we could have a bonfire to mark the occasion but as one particularly thoughtful Grade 3 boy pointed out “Mrs Herold, is that not disrespectful to those families who still chose to wear masks!”
Term 3 saw the re-introduction of Task Money. This is an amazing opportunity for the boys to be of service at home and then pool the monies to donate to a worthy cause. Princess Alice Adoption Home is the recipient of this term’s Task Money.
I’m going to miss everything about the day-to-day ‘buzz’ of our school. No two days are ever the same. My dream for The Ridge School is that we continue to be a dual-purpose educational institution where we not only focus on academics, but also the emotional wellbeing of all the humans in the space.
My gratitude is deep and sincere. Thank you to each and every person who has played a role in my journey over the last 12 years. You will forever be in my heart. I wish you well.
By Mandy Herold
The Music Department has had a Rockin’ year in 2022! The ensembles and choirs have gone from strength to strength, and we’ve had a few new additions onto our calendar of yearly events.
Marcus Wyatt joined our team as our new Brass instrument teacher and has brought quality tuition into the department. The Jazz Band has done exceptionally well this year under his tutelage, and we look forward to watching this musical team grow. Highlights of the year included a vibey Founder’s Day stage performance and a confident showcase at the St Mary’s Ensemble evening; which showed their resilience in being able to continue despite the loadshedding interruption mid performance.
We have enjoyed the collaborative delights of singing together with our wider Ridge community; St Katharine’s and Auckland Park Preparatory School. We hosted our Annual Ash Wednesday and Ascension Day Services on the Hersov field, where the combined choirs filled the Westcliff with their beautiful singing.
Each term the individual music students have an opportunity to perform at the relevant Assemblies and Soirées. The department has grown in number with boys taking individual music tuition and we look forward to watching these boys continue on their respective musical journeys.
The Choirs have flown the Ridge flag high this year at a number of internal and external events. The most outstanding Senior Choir performances include the Kingsmead Junior Choir Festival in Term 2 as well as their formidable performances at Founder’s Day and The Ridge Choir Festival at the Linder Auditorium. Our smallest choir in the school, the Amtoti Choir, has managed to produce some of the highest quality choral music, through difficult technical arrangements and dedicated boys.
The Junior Choir, under the directorship of Irene Morrick, have had several notable performances. The Grade 3 Assembly, Special Easter service, Founders Day, The Sound of Children Choir Festival, Carols by Candlelight as well as a unique opportunity to perform for invited guests and dignitaries for the African Premiere of the Movie Mission:Joy. This incredibly moving documentary tells the tale of the friendship between Archbishop Desmond Tutu and The Dalai Lama. The Junior Choir boys also took the time to do some community engagement in sharing their musical talents with the residents of the Eventide Home for the Aged in Emmarentia.
The Foundation Orchestra has continued to grow this year having performances at a few Music Assemblies and was a highlight at the Carols Service with their rendition of ‘Jingle Bells’. These boys have also collaborated with the Senior Orchestra on a few occasions, giving them the opportunity to play in a musical team with other strong, confident young musicians at The Ridge.
Our Marimba bands are always a firm favourite at many different events. The Grade 5 Band has performed especially well this year, having opportunities to perform at the Kingsmead Ensemble Festival and also for the arrival of dignitaries for the Movie Premiere held on campus. The Grade 6 and 7 Marimba Band combined to form the Tour Band for our music tour and brought the house down with their vibrant energy. The Grade 4 Band has gone from strength to strength performing at our home Ensemble evening as well as for the Junior Art Auction later in the year.
The Senior Orchestra has developed in quality and finesse under the baton of Khanyisile Mthetwa. This ensemble has produced a wide range of repertoire from Classical to Pop and is our most well-established ensemble on campus. The boys continue to work hard, week on week, to be able to perform at any function or occasion.
We introduced a new Ridge Ensemble Evening in Term 2 where all our musical ensembles showcased their efforts and hard work to our Ridge community. This event was highly successful and will definitely become a regular event in the future. Some smaller ensembles were also able to showcase their talents here, including the Senior Guitar ensemble and our Senior Rock Band.
The Music Tour to KZN was an absolute highlight of 2022! The Tour boys were incredible in their performances, in their willingness to help with all the setups and breakdowns from one performance to the next and were fabulous ambassadors for The Ridge. Our Tour included special community concerts around Mandela Day at Caister Lodge, Garden Grove and La Domaine. School concerts were hosted by Highbury Prep and Clifton School, and the boys had an incredible collaborative performance with the Internationally renowned Kearsney College Choir. Our newest ensemble was also showcased here, the Drumline. I have a hope of a Ridge Marching band in the years to come and we have started with the rhythms of the drums. The 2022 Music Tour was a resounding success, and our Ridge boys certainly did us proud!
The boys from Grade 0-7 have had wonderful opportunities this year to enjoy the magic of music outside of the choirs and ensembles. The Grade 0s presented a heart-warming showcase at the annual Grandparents Day early in the year and wowed the community with their SPACE spectacular for their end of year concert. The Grade 1-3 boys were absolutely delightful in the presentation of this year’s Nativity, where the Junior Primary staff also made a cameo appearance. The Grade 4-7 boys have been a part of many of the special assemblies held this year, including a whole school showcase for our Heritage Day celebrations. The Senior boys culminated the year with their confident, well-rehearsed Christmas music for the Carols by Candlelight.
Music is flourishing here at the Ridge, and we commend all the boys and staff on their dedication, hard work and continued commitment to excellence in the Performing Arts.
By Carol Ackermann
As we close off another year of Art, and on the back of so many changes at The Ridge and in our broader context, it’s good to step back and take stock of what we actually do with our boys in Art class. In the words of veteran Art Educator and publisher, Maryanne Kohl “Art is as natural as sunshine and as vital as nourishment”. The journey of an individual through art begins at The Ridge School in Grade 0. From Grade 0 through to Grade 3 boys are busy with the building blocks of art-making. This is a time when exploring colour and representing objects begins. By Grade 3 they are using more complex ways of describing their world, and they begin to get to grips with the language of Art. By Grade 4 boys enter the Senior Prep Art studio – the most spectacular Art studio in the country! Here they start to use techniques with more confidence and awareness, and they are able to produce more original work. In Grade 5 they begin to grapple with how to use materials in unique ways in order to achieve their vision. By Grade 6 boys are able to understand that art is also about the idea, and they learn how to use it as a tool for communication, particularly through Graphic Art. The Grade 7’s bring it all together in their projects, marrying their technical skills with their conceptual abilities- and their work never fails to impress.
No matter the age or the stage, our boys are not afraid to tackle whatever artistic challenge is thrown their way. In addition to learning about artists and techniques, Art class is about using one’s imagination, finding multiple solutions, patience, humility, respect for others, and appreciation for diverse cultures, beliefs and backgrounds. Boys realise that their Art making is not only about producing something amazing to look at, but that many skills can be applied to the world more broadly. The thought processes involved in creative endeavours influence and enhance all other spheres of learning. In an ever-changing world where AI and IT dominate, it is the things which make us uniquely human and machines can’t replace, which we have to develop and nurture. Such things are compassion, critical thinking and creativity. Art classes at The Ridge make a substantial contribution to equipping our boys with these ‘softer’, but soon becoming ‘core’ skills. I have seen how, over their time in the studio, boys become more curious, they develop their intellectual courage, they explore, problem solve and collaborate, becoming more adaptable, resilient and committed! Many old Ridge Boys return to the studio to tell me about their Matric Art, or Fine Arts degrees, or even how Art has influenced technical subjects like Engineering and Sciences.
Art classes give boys a wonderful space for innovation and imagination. There should not be a formula for producing art. The American abstract sculptor, Louise Nevelson said “I think all great innovations are built on rejections.” Having the freedom to make mistakes and seeing them as opportunities to create something new, is my guiding philosophy, which gives boys the courage to make beautiful creations and interesting innovations. I am always surprised and always inspired by what they do.
By Nicci Kurz
Pastoral Care FEEDBACK
Strong Pastoral Care underpins everything we do at The Ridge, knowing that a happy and confident boy will flourish and achieve wonderful things. We believe that a boy’s wellbeing is paramount and therefore, foster a truly strong partnership between parents, learners and staff; as one Ridge Family.
Pastoral Care is woven into the fabric of every subject and activity; with all boys understanding and modelling the responsibilities of looking after one another; celebrating and sharing in each other’s successes, and more importantly, helping each other get there. This forms a key part of encouraging relationships built on trust, kindness, and respect.
A good moral compass guides our boys to become the best version of themselves they can be. We believe that instilling the importance of morals and values through our SALT and House systems, under the guidance and support of SALT teachers and Heads of Houses, boys are allowed to feel uniquely valued, both as an individual and as part of the Ridge School Family.
A positive approach to behaviour management, led by our Pastoral Care team, ensures the boys are encouraged to reflect on the causes and effects of good and bad decision making. Teaching the boys to take responsibility for their decisions or actions is an integral part of how we shape the boys as they progress through the school; resulting in well-mannered, respectful, and chivalrous young gentlemen we are all proud of.
By Ryan Bezuidenhout
2022 started with much excitement and anticipation as we were finally allowed to start our official Sports Programme without having to worry about COVID. We were finally allowed to participate in inter-school events and participate in all sporting codes.
Term One saw us back in full swing with swimming, cricket, water polo and basketball starting. What a busy start, but after two years of no sport, we were ready to go. Polo matches happened on Thursdays, galas on Fridays and cricket & basketball on Saturdays. 2022 saw The Ridge hosting the Prep Schools Cricket Festival for the first time ever. The festival was a great success with 12 different schools participating. The festival was also the founding member, Mr Rory Wood’s last festival, thus fitting that we made it an unforgettable one for him. This was also a very good festival for The Ridge who didn’t lose a game. At the end of term one our first team rugby boys were already prepared for the St Stithians night festival and the St John’s Easter festival. Our basketball boys also participated in the St John’s tournament whilst our second team water polo boys participated in the Knysna Chukka Festival hosted by Oakhill. Our U10 B & C, U11 B & C and second to fourth teams also had our annual Clifton inbound and outbound tours. Thus, a very busy First Term.
Term Two was rugby, cross country and tennis from the start with football starting after half-term. Another busy term lay ahead for all our boys with tennis fixtures on a Thursday, cross country events on a Friday and then rugby on Saturdays. This year saw the Prep Schools Rugby Festival hosted by Bishops and our boys performed well and enjoyed all that Cape Town had to offer. The rest-day saw Cape Town showing off all its true beauty as the boys enjoyed an open top Red Bus tour, a boat trip through the harbour and Waterfront, a trip up Table Mountain, fish and chips in Houtbay and then ending with a visit to the beach. Amongst all of this the boys still played some really attractive rugby ending the tour with a convincing win. 2022 also saw the return of a much-needed football tour to Nelspruit, hosted by Penryn for our first and second teams. This year also saw our third and fourth teams attend a football festival at Camp Discovery. The boys thoroughly enjoyed the season with some tight and competitive fixtures during the season. During the August holidays our first and second team tennis boys attended the annual Sun City tennis tournament, a really well-run tournament which the boys love attending. A week later our first hockey team were on their way to Cape Town to participate in the Prep Schools Hockey Festival hosted by Rondebosch. A tough, but great, pre-season for our Ridge boys facing some stiff opposition who were at the ends of their respective seasons. The Ridge was the only Johannesburg based school to win a fixture at this festival.
Term Three started with compulsory hockey for all our Gr 3 – 7 boys. This is an extremely busy season with our boys being bussed to various schools with Astros to practice. For a school without an official astro our boys take some time getting used to the surface and we punch well above our weight in this code. This term also saw our First team basketball attend the Kearsney basketball tournament, narrowly missing out on a quarter final spot. Hopefully the introduction of two courts at The Ridge will see our basketball become a formidable force in the next few years. The Ridge also attended the annual SACS water polo tournament in October, this year having 28 schools participating. The Ridge ended the tournament as the 4th best ranked Gauteng school. Half-term saw The Ridge host the second edition of the Camp Discovery Festival. This year saw it adjusted to a T20 format with 5 fixtures scheduled for the weekend. The boys truly enjoyed the weekend and produced some exciting cricket. This will remain an annual event on our calendar going forward. At the end of the hockey season our boys had a very short and compact athletics season, with the inter-schools event scheduled to be hosted by The Ridge and St Stithians being cancelled due to inclement weather. We were however able to complete our first inter-house athletics event since 2019. At the time of writing, we were still busy with field events so could not provide the results. This event was also a special event as it was Ms Erica Kinnear’s final Saturday sport event in 43 years of education, 17 of them at The Ridge. What a legend and I wish her all the best for the future.
To all the staff who made this year’s sporting programme a success I must give a huge thank you, as without you, our boys wouldn’t have the opportunities they had.
Finally, this will be my final end-of-year article, as I will not be at Ridge this time next year. My journey at The Ridge started in 2007 being appointed as a Senior PE and Maths teacher. In 2010 I was asked to take over as Head of Sport. This has been an incredible journey with many ups and downs along the way – however, a most memorable journey. The Ridge is very well respected amongst all the Johannesburg and many coastal schools, and I hope the relationships that have been built will be maintained. I have seen many boys and staff come and go during my time at The Ridge and yet we have always managed to punch well above our weight in all that we attempt. There have been so many highlights along the way, far too many for me to mention without leaving one off a list or forgetting about one. The Ridge is a special place and will always remain dear to me. I look forward to following The Ridge’s progress in the years to come.
Wishing you all a wonderful break and time to relax and reflect on the year that has passed. Celebrate the many blessings received, and wishing you a prosperous 2023.
By Bennie du Preez
SENIOR PREP LIBRARY FEEDBACK
The Senior Prep Library was a hive of activity this year. Boys flocked to the library for books to read when they had some time, in between all the rest of their activities. We introduced a Library Lovers Award at the end of October for boys who read the most during the month. This will be continued into the future. The competition is fierce!
Our Reading Breakfasts (Term 1 and 3), were a huge success. The first one happened on the 4th of March to celebrate World Book Day and on the 16th of September we celebrated Roald Dahl’s birthday (13 September 1916) with another wonderful Reading Breakfast.
Families joined us on the Hersov field to picnic and reconnected over coffee, snacks and loads of books. Boys and staff (and some parents!) dressed up as their favourite book characters, bought books from the Book People, coffee and snacks from the Grade 6 mums and celebrated reading and books in a way that makes every librarian’s heart beat just a little faster.
Did you know…
- The BFG was Roald Dahl’s favourite story
- The Peach in ‘James and the Giant Peach’ was originally a cherry!
- Roald Dahl wrote his stories in a shed, in his garden, using HB pencils and yellow note pads
- ‘The Enormous Crocodile’ was the first book illustrated by Quentin Blake in 1978
- Roald Dahl is responsible for adding over 250 words to the English language
- Roald Dahl could speak three languages: English, Norwegian and Swahili
The Second Term ended with Literacy Week 2022. It was a week filled with fun and all things Literary. This happened from the 1st to the 5th of August. We had authors coming to talk to us; teachers sharing their favourite books with us; shows including Hooked on Books, On Cue Theatre and The National Children’s Theatre; the chance to accessorise and dress up (or down); a fabulous book sale hosted by Exclusive Books and ended the week with an epic General Knowledge Quiz. The focus of this week was to give boys the opportunity to rediscover the joy of books and stories as well as broaden their horizons so that they can embrace all the aspects of Literacy with enthusiasm and excitement. If you looked around the school at the piles of books being carted around, listened to the excited chatter and witnessed the boys’ wide smiles… I think we achieved our purpose!
The 2023 calendar is already filled with fun book-related events and we can’t wait to welcome everyone back into our special library space!
By Hanlie Glanz
TRANSFORMATION AND DIVERSITY
Transformation, Diversity and Inclusion
The Preamble to the South African Constitution bears these powerful words:
“We the people of South Africa,
Recognise the injustices of our past;
Honour those who suffered for justice and freedom in our land;
Respect those who have worked to build and develop our country; and
Believe that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity.”
At the Ridge School, we believe that Education plays a central role in bringing about a fair, just and inclusive society and that our boys have an important role in achieving this. A school is a reflection of society and while we grapple with the challenges that our country and world face, we try hard to make The Ridge a welcoming and nurturing place for all boys, staff and their families. The Ridge School commits itself to building a community that respects human rights, celebrates diversity, encourages inclusivity, and develops pupils and staff who are comfortable with debate and discussion by providing a safe space within which pupils and staff can explore differences while recognising our common humanity. We strive to build an environment where each individual feels welcomed and affirmed and where each person is encouraged to explore and develop their racial, cultural, and religious identity.
Diversity and Transformation form an integral part of the vision of The Ridge School. We strive to:
- live the values of the Christian faith, humbly and courageously
- respect, nurture and value each person
- embrace and celebrate diversity in the communities of our school and nation.
- inspire individuals to open their minds and hearts, and to reach their dreams
- offer a world-class, all-round education fully up to date with the best educational and technological advances
- address global issues including the sustainability of the environment both as part of the curriculum and as demonstrated in school operations
The School has adopted various policies over the years to bring about the desired transformation of the school in line with current South African realities and values, as contained in the Constitution. This year was an opportunity to revisit those policies which culminated in a revised anti-discrimination policy, anti-bullying policy and Code of Conduct. Intolerance and discrimination on any ground, including race, culture, language, religion, nationality, sexuality, or ethnicity, have no place in our School. Implementation of these policies is therefore key.
We encourage all Ridge families to help us realise the vision of creating a welcoming, inclusive and positive environment for boys to grow.
By Wayne Naidoo
Environmental awareness at the Ridge has continued to grow at The Ridge in 2022. While we have come to realise that a shift towards environmental sustainability is the only way forward, we have challenged our community to think about their own mindset.
We joined forces with Whole Earth recycling earlier in the year. This ensures that waste generated at our school is minimised and that it lands up in the right places. Our boys and staff have been encouraged to ‘think green’ when disposing of various waste items at school. We are looking forward to decreasing our waste footprint and adopting even more sustainable habits going forward.
In June, we celebrated World Environmental awareness month. Each Grade was challenged to take on a project or run with an initiative to help create awareness or make a positive impact on changing mindsets.
The Grade 1s created bird feeders using pine cones and peanut butter. They learnt about the importance of a habitat and the need for us to provide this important space for wildlife in urban areas.
In Grade 2, the boys were lucky enough to be visited by Mrs Coetzer, who taught them about earthworms and how they play a vital role in soil decomposition. The boys built a Grade 2 class worm farm and now deposit their apple cores and banana peels in there for the worms to feed on instead of throwing them in the bin.
In Grade 4, the boys learnt about the value of water and what a precious resource it is. They even took up the challenge of carrying around their own 5l water bottle for a day, just to get a sense of what it is like for many people who must travel great distances each day to access clean water.
The Grade 5s took on the Clothes to Trees Drive and got the whole school on board with bringing in their unwanted clothing and shoes. This is the second time we have partnered with Clothes to Trees, and it was another successful campaign.
The Junior Primary Art Auction raised significant funds to support our Rhino’s in Kwa-Zulu Natal. Many thanks to all the parents who came out to support the event and who gave so generously to the cause. Thank you to the PA Moms who organised the event.
As we end another year, I appeal to all our community to make time to consider your carbon footprint and the legacy you are leaving future generations. When you are setting your goals for 2023, think about how you can make small changes in your life to better support the environment. By working together, we can be kinder to our planet.
By Holly Ferrar
GRADE 0 OVERVIEW
It has been a busy, fun, and adventure-filled year in the Grade 0 block. It has been wonderful to observe as the boys have settled into The Ridge School, made new friendships, become accustomed to different experiences, and learn in a boy-centred environment. The Grade 0 teachers and interns have had such fun getting to know these special little people who provide hours of entertainment, quirky humour, and an enquiring outlook on life.
Some of the highlights of the year have included catching tadpoles from The Ridge ponds, enjoying a delicious braai and boerie rolls in celebration of our South African theme, whizzing around the Lawley Road car-park for Bike Day, and most fondly, celebrating 100 Days of School. For this occasion, the boys came dressed as 100-year-olds and there was much laughter to be heard when seeing each other donning grey beards, glasses, and even some walking sticks! The teachers took part too, much to the boys’ entertainment.
Our Grade 0 Mums were treated to a Mother’s Day morning, whereby they were pampered with manicures and had the chance to create some gorgeous, beaded bracelets together with their sons. The Dads were invited to come in for a more physical morning, where they had the chance to show off their woodwork talents and build boats with their sons in preparation for the annual Grade 0 Boat Race in The Ridge School pool.
After many Music lessons and working hard with Mrs Ackermann, the Grade 0 boys put on the most fantastic performance of ‘A Trip to Space’ in the Nicolson Hall. With shiny silver helmets, and impressive NASA badges, the boys took the audience on a journey through Space. Parents and special guests were entertained with a variety of songs and dances. We are so proud of our boys for all their hard work that went into putting on such a wonderful show.
To end off an exciting and fun-filled year, the boys showed off their sporting talents at the Inter-House Athletics and Gala. Their fitness levels are something to be admired, and thanks to the Sports coaches for all the guidance to get their boys to this point.
There is no place quite like Grade 0 at The Ridge School. Classrooms filled with colour and creativity. A playground offering explorative opportunities and a sense of adventure. Teachers who are passionate, kind, and fun. And boys that are happy, mischievous, and hungry for knowledge. What a year 2022 has been!
By Sarah Behr
GRADE 1 OVERVIEW
What an amazing year we have had in Grade 1 this year! The boys experienced an uninterrupted year of learning and fun.
It was so encouraging to watch them learn and play together and have the freedom to be mask free and able to interact with teachers and peers alike. Playing on the jungle gym, in the playground and with the construction toys is the highlight of their day. For the teaching team, the ability to see the smiles and expressions on our boys’ faces has been priceless.
The boys enjoyed so many ‘firsts’ in terms of experiencing traditional Ridge celebrations, like Founders’ Day, The Lumo Dance, Reading Breakfasts, Grade 7 Market Day, cake sales and various themed ‘dress up’ days. Our outing to Random Harvest Nursery was a firm favourite, although it is the teachers’ opinion that the bus ride was the most exciting part of the day.
Initially, the introduction to a formal learning routine can be daunting for these little chaps. As their teachers, we are always so proud to see them grow in ability and confidence. Humour is always found in their illustrations and their ideas for their ‘News’ sentences and independent writing. We are confident that they are going to enjoy Grade 2 just as much. Well done, boys!
GRADE 2 OVERVIEW
What an exciting year to be a Grade 2 boy! Being the first full contact year after the COVID 19 pandemic, it has been action packed and full of adventure.
Term 1 started off with a bang as we began our Art, Gardening and Games extra-murals. The boys gained so much knowledge about how to care for nature, how to use different mediums and how to work as teammates to create and play games. Then came the celebration of Shrove Tuesday. They enjoyed some pancakes on the terrace and themed activities about the significance and history of the day. By far the most exhilarating experience for Term 1 was the outing on the Big Red Bus where the Grade 2s got to explore our beautiful city of Johannesburg.
We started discussing the cultures of people in South Africa and the food that they eat at the beginning of Term 2. Thanks to a generous mum, they got to watch the process of ‘braai broodjies’ being made and eat them! They also enjoyed some peppermint crisp dessert to finish off the meal. What a treat! As the Grade 2s gained independence, Mrs. Coetzer taught them how to become more responsible for their environment. She helped the boys to make a worm farm for the creation of compost. This worm farm is still going and the boys do their bit by adding their banana peels and apple cores. We are so proud of them!
Term 3 was the busiest term by far. The boys engaged in Project-Based Learning activities to introduce and consolidate some tricky concepts in Mathematics. They thoroughly enjoyed using information from previous lessons, iPads, and their teammates ideas to solve problems related to Time and Capacity. Problem solving was practically experienced during our outing to Honeydew Mazes this term. The boys were so pleased with themselves being amid nature and working their way through the maze. Literacy week was another learning opportunity for the boys. They got to watch some shows by Hooked on Books and On Cue Theatre as well as a special reading by a young girl who wrote her own book. This was inspiring for the boys and many of them began to create their own books thereafter.
During the year, the boys relished many of the school events. Some of which were the World Book Day Reading Breakfast and the Roald Dahl Reading Breakfast. The Grade 2 Family picnic was also a wonderful event shared with their families at the school. Two absolute highlights for many of the boys were the Lumo Dance and the PA Night Run where they could wear their luminous clothing and accessories.
The sporting matches this year were played with absolute ambition and enthusiasm. The boys gave their all during the Tag Rugby season and competed against St Peters School. While the excitement for Tag Rugby was met with some disappointment, the boys showed their fighting spirit during Soccer matches against St Peters, St Stithians and Pridwin in Term 2. When the Cricket season approached, the boys already learnt how to play to each other’s strengths and work as a team. They displayed this teamwork when playing against St. Davids, Pridwin and St. Johns in Term 3. It has been so wonderful to watch their sporting growth over the year.
It has been such a stimulating year filled with experiences, exploration, skills development, and a whole lot of learning! We are so proud of all our boys!
By Jhulan Govan
GRADE 3 OVERVIEW
The Grade 3 boys, together with their teachers, have certainly made the most of their last year in the Junior Prep. Not only have the Grade 3’s learnt a lot but we have been involved in a variety of wonderful educational opportunities both in and out of the classroom.
In the first term, the boys were involved in learning about themselves and Pirates. This meant a Mr Men day where boys could dress as any character that showed something about themselves. We saw many talents, skills and interests being represented. We also learnt about Shrove Tuesday and Chinese New Year. This widened our knowledge of others and the important traditions celebrated. The Grade 3s hosted an Easter Picnic, inviting estate, security, admin and teaching staff. It was a wonderful opportunity to get to know significant role players within the school. As we finished the theme of Pirates, the boys completed a collaboration project building boats.
The second term was filled with lots more learning, particularly about animals. The lifelong learning during this theme, broadened the horizons of how each individual can help the world going forward. We celebrated World Environment Day and World Oceans Day. As part of the learning the boys had the opportunity to create an ocean diorama and write a speech on an animal, ocean pollution or how we can assist in looking after this invaluable resource. It was also during this term that we celebrated Founder’s Day and the Grade 3 boys loved every minute of this important tradition
The final term saw the boys spend time together on their first school camp. Being out in nature provided many opportunities to learn about teamwork, responsibility and independence. The boys also enjoyed Roald Dahl Day and dressed up as their favourite character. Our last theme was linked to World Cup Soccer. Sportsmanship, countries and players led to many wonderful discussions. Grade 3s also took on the role of the main parts in the nativity play.
A year filled with lots of fun, learning and getting ready for the Senior School.
By Di Wellard
GRADE 4 OVERVIEW
The Grade 4s have had an amazing year! They entered the Senior Prep in January, wide-eyed and a little apprehensive about what lay ahead. However, they were full of energy and showed an enthusiasm to embrace all the new opportunities and challenges.
The year started with a week of orientation which incorporated different activities to introduce the boys to life in Grade 4. One of the highlights was the ‘Capping Ceremony’ during which the Grade 7 boys each cap a Grade 4 as a mark of recognition of their promotion to the Senior Prep.
Some exciting new subjects were introduced, including Social Science, Natural Science, Design and Technology, Digital Literacy and Life Orientation, each offering their own set of skills and capturing the boys’ interest. They have particularly enjoyed the additional practical aspects of these subjects.
There were also new opportunities in the extramural programme. Climbing, canoeing and water polo showed their popularity on the sporting front, whilst marimbas, debating, orchestra, chess and drama attracted boys to the cultural programme.
Grade 4 places a great emphasis on the importance of reading, and the incentive of a bar of chocolate and a book voucher awarded in assembly when they reach their target, works exceptionally well! Some Moms and Dads have also been able to offer their services and join their son’s class once a week to assist with the reading programme.
Project work has also been a highlight. The boys have been engaged in a Minecraft project, centred around the design of a zoo, following research on the habitats of selected animals. They covered a wide range of topics in their Science Expo projects and thoroughly enjoyed all the presentations. ‘The Importance of Water’ was the subject for their Environmental investigation and this included each boy carrying a 5 litre bottle of water for a day in appreciation of all the children in the world who do this on a daily basis to obtain water. This water was then donated to Ashraful Aid Charity who transported it to the Eastern Cape. The Grade 4s also participated in teams in the Travel Game in the 3rd term. This year the game took them to the FIFA World Cup, finally ending in Qatar. Each team had to earn ‘money’ to travel to countries participating in the World Cup by doing good work and deeds, as well as involving themselves in activities. Similarly, money could be lost! The boys also had to research and gather information on the countries they visited.
Outings included an informative walk in the Melville Koppies, investigating the plants and grasses as well as learning about the fascinating history of the area. A day at Gold Reef City proved to be extremely popular. As well as learning about the history of gold in Johannesburg and the trip down the mine, the Grade 4s loved the opportunity to test their nerves on the rides. They were definitely braver than some of the staff…..the innocence of youth!
Camp Konka in September was a wonderful success. The boys grasped every opportunity to challenge themselves physically and enjoyed working together in teams to solve problems. However, the ‘Mudstacle’ course and the tuckshop won the day as the most popular activities!
And so, it has been an incredibly busy year for the Grade 4s, but it has also been full of fun and camaraderie.
To the Grade 4s of 2022, you have grown beyond measure and made your teachers proud. We look forward to watching your onward journey, as you continue on your road of success through your years at The Ridge.
By Erica Kinnear
GRADE 5 OVERVIEW
It was wonderful to be back in the classroom for the entire year in 2022. It’s hard to believe that the year is already over, but this is unsurprising since we have been so busy in the classroom, on the sports field, singing and playing instruments, debating, playing chess, chatterbox, and immersing ourselves in our project-based learning.
Our Egyptian exploration was stimulating, interactive, and fun! In the Third Term, we took a similarly exhilarating expedition exploring Mars. In English, the three set works this year were The Witches, Kensuke’s Kingdom, and Wonder. Themes arose and were discussed, such as external appearances, seizing unexpected opportunities, and kindness. We continued to transcend the CAPS Curriculum in Maths and several Grade 5s acquitted themselves well at the provincial Maths Olympiad. In the FAL languages, boys were consistently challenged to use their theory to go beyond the written word and become authentic Zulu and Afrikaans conversationalists. This was evident on our excursion to the Voortrekker Monument. These core subjects were always accompanied by a wide variety of artistic, musical, and dramatic offerings. I am most proud of the notable representation of Grade 5s in the school choir and orchestra. A particularly worthwhile event was the lunch our boys prepared for the service staff – a great day was had by all.
The Grade 5s of 2022 beat to the rhythm of their own drums. I will watch them keenly as they progress in the Senior Prep. I would like to thank Ms Loonat and Mr Seakamela and all the Grade 5 staff who go beyond the call of duty every day.
GRADE 6 OVERVIEW
It is always daunting to be starting off a new school year. Post Covid, we were overly cautious and always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Our Grade 6 boys were determined to make the most of their opportunities by creating wonderful memories and celebrating each other’s achievements.
As with any other year, there are always challenges, be it on the sports field or in the classroom. The boys have acquitted themselves well with everything they had to face, and most times put on a brave face. Each sporting code had its pros and cons, especially those early Saturday mornings we had to endure while we played rugby and football. I had the privilege of being with this group for almost all the sporting codes and I have never met a group of boys who displayed such enthusiasm just to be in each other’s company. There was never a quiet bus drive to hockey, without the boys singing their hearts out.
The latter part of the year flew by with many exciting activities. We spent three wonderful days in the Golden Gate Highlands National Park. The weather was beautiful, and the boys thoroughly enjoyed being outdoors with their friends. We returned earlier than the rest of the grades and spent some time giving back to our community. The boys (and parents) generously donated towards the Princess Alice Adoption Home. It took us quite some time to pack and organise everything before it was dropped off. We got to spend some time with the little ones and the staff, before meeting the rest of the boys at Hope School. The rest of the morning was spent reading to the Grade 1s to 3s, sharing a snack and playing a few games with them.
This experience has allowed the boys to recognise differences and accept people for who they are. Enriching their lives and others with little acts of kindness. This year has flown by, with the busyness of it all and this year group is commended for their grit, friendliness, empathy towards others and always wanting to do their best.
By Deidre Leibrandt
GRADE 7 OVERVIEW
The Grade 7 boys experienced a full calendar-year of events without having the disruptions of Covid. The year started with the traditional Induction Assembly, which officially introduced our boys to the greater school community as leaders of the school. The assembly often serves as a reminder to the boys of their responsibilities as leaders and the opportunities that lie ahead. With the challenge set, boys were encouraged to make the most of the opportunities afforded them and were urged to work towards having a happy and rewarding year.
As leaders of the school, they were fully committed to the life of the school. The boys successfully represented the school at various sports tours and festivals, and displayed incredible maturity in managing a busy school life. They took the lead in important events such as the Grade 7 production and hosting the Remembrance Day assembly; they showed The Ridge community the magic they can deliver when they work together as a team. Using the Headmaster’s Leadership Programme, boys worked independently to develop their own skills and helped the community as well. The boys dabbled in the business world and became budding entrepreneurs for their Market Day project. The profit from the sales was used to purchase a gift for the school, which is a well-loved tradition. As seniors of the school, the boys participated in assemblies and marketing initiatives, and the Grade 7s proved to be invaluable and dependable. The Grade 7 boys must be commended for their exceptional year in and out of the classroom.
The class of 2022 was a relatively small group of boys, and each boy was on a journey. It was wonderful to see boys working towards reaching their personal goals, challenging themselves to venture out of their comfort zones and displaying incredible personal growth. It was a busy year filled with many successes and wonderful memories. The boys can be proud of the work they have done, both individually and collectively.
Innovation and Research OVERVIEW
At The Ridge School we acknowledge the need for a high standard of education with consistency of curriculum delivery that comprises an innovative and forward-looking education and pedagogy. The aim is for a future focused education that creates solution architects with a strong sense of social justice and responsibility.
To this end, collaborative work is being done by the staff on the curriculum and learning processes. Learning is to be student driven with pedagogies that support this. In doing so, we aim to provide a personalised learning journey for each boy. Differentiation and inclusion is an area of focus and is required to be a part of every lesson. A student centred approach that is inquiry based and requires problem solving, is in the process of becoming our mode of instruction. An aim has become to create learning that is fun, engaging, authentic and to instill a sense of wonder, curiosity and a love of learning so that our boys can become lifelong learners.
We have begun to explore such learning through the implementation of pilot projects which include: Philosophy for Children (P4C) in Grade 4; Robotics and Coding in Grade 4; Project Based Learning (PBL) in Grade 5 and Applied Drama in Grade 7. The PBL (Project Based Learning) programme in Grade 5 has been successful. Boys were excited about their learning, thoroughly engaged, used critical thinking skills, collaboration, inquiry-based learning, creativity and their learning was self-directed in many ways. Most importantly, they had fun whilst learning.
We plan to extend the pedagogies that have worked in the pilot projects to other subject areas next year. With continual research, staff development and an iteractive process whereby we analyse the effects of our innovation, academics at The Ridge will thrive.
By Glynnis Moore
SOAP BOX DERBY
Once again, we had full commitment from our climbing boys this year. Two of our Senior climbing boys, Jack Heenan and William McIlleron made the 2022 Gauteng Climbing Squad and attended Nationals in Cape Town in March 2022. Congratulations go out to both boys for obtaining their Provincial Colours in acknowledgement of this wonderful achievement.
The boys participated in a friendly inter school climbing competition held at City Rock in October. They participated in both the bouldering and top rope disciplines. The boys did themselves proud. The competition was tough, but they persevered pushing themselves to the limit while displaying appropriate Ridge Behaviour.
The journey of both the Captain and Vice-captain
Captain: William Mcilleron
It has been an awesome experience climbing at The Ridge School. I have gotten to know many people older and younger. I have become stronger physically and emotionally and have done things I would have thought impossible. I have been on this journey for over three years, and it is a hobby I hope to continue for many years to come. Climbing started in Grade 4, when we were still learning how to tie a knot and now, I am here, climbing routes that I thought only the best of the best could do. It has been an incredible journey. I have had so much fun climbing, talking and joking around with the rest of the climbing group and coaches. I would like to thank everyone involved for the amazing experience and I wish The Ridge Climbing Club luck for the coming years.
Vice-Captain: Mustafa Adroos
Wow, what a time! My climbing adventures at The Ridge have come to an end and I can
certainly say that I have grown from climbing, in many ways. I have learnt discipline, grit and
resilience through climbing and it will definitely be a fun and enjoyable sport to all who
decide to give it a try.
The feeling of finally getting to the top of the climbing wall, while doing a route that I have
been struggling with for a while, is one of the best feelings, if not the best feeling ever.
Through my many experiences with climbing, I have learnt that failing is only the path to
succeeding. Climbing is a sport that stands out from many other sports where you can
always come back and try the same route again the next day.
I would like to thank Mrs Ram and all my coaches for introducing climbing to me and helping
me all along the way throughout these special years of climbing at the Ridge.
By Shanitha Ramsurwaj
Drama is an extracurricular activity that allows students to express themselves through their acting abilities. For Drama this year, we focused on improvisational acting, spontaneous decision making and team building exercises.
For the improvisational component of what we did in drama this year, we were given our activity for that day, for example doing a commercial on a product, followed by a demonstration of said task. Continuing the commercial example, we would be sent outside or were allowed to stay inside to practise our piece with a group, either chosen by the teacher, or of our own choice, for around 5 minutes. By the time we came back indoors, we took turns as groups presenting our projects, and after we were done, the teacher would analyse our performances and tell us what we did right, what we did wrong, and how we could improve.
As for the spontaneous decision-making aspect of drama, the teacher gave us complete creative control of what we could do, provided we went along with the given requirements. When we did improvisations, we would go outside for around 2-3 minutes, which was only enough time to get a basic concept of the performance and to do a little bit of preparation. Once we came back, the whole act would mostly be improvised because of the aforementioned time restrictions. The teacher would then rate how well we improvised and worked together, then tell us what we could improve on for when we did an activity like this again. They would especially emphasise the use of our imagination in the acts we did, as well as using the environment to the fullest.
Lastly, for our team-building aspect of drama, we would do reactionary exercises, such as games of Bang, Broken Telephone, Charades, Musical Chairs, and Splash before a lesson. All of these games were to get us ready for the lesson we were about to do, and to get us in the acting and improvisational spirit.
Drama was very interesting and fun this year. We learned a lot of new things; we’ve had experiences that we’ve never had before; our confidence and collaboration skills developed and we played a lot of fun games that got us into the Drama spirit.
By Lelo Mofokeng and Umi’Phakade Gwala
THE RIDGE SCHOOL SOCIAL
THE RIDGE SCHOOL GOLF DAY
We hosted our annual Golf Day at Parkview Golf Club. What was meant to be a grand afternoon of golf, mother nature turned into a fun, festive and competitive Pub Quiz. We’d like to thank our parents and sponsors for all the wonderful prizes, the PA and the staff for helping organize the event, and finally, thank you to all the players who stayed and made the quiz a memorable afternoon.
nd just like that we were back in the pool, enjoying early morning training sessions with Covid a not-so-distant memory. Both staff and boys alike embraced each training session, especially if hot chocolate and sometimes a warm shower was on the cards.
After almost two years of no competitive league galas, we had sufficient teams to allow our boys to be part of all three league galas, which took place weekly. Very few were called off due to bad weather and this gave the boys an excellent opportunity to show their grit and determination. Due to the busyness of the term, and our grade 6s and 7s also participating in other sporting codes and tours, we often had to double up and move teams up. The boys held their own, even if it often meant that they were swimming in each race for their age group.
Travelling to and from venues each week, also gave the boys opportunities to build friendships and camaraderie while competing. The Grade 7 boys are to be congratulated for always stepping up to the plate and ensuring that the younger boys were looked after and ready for their races.
We were also privileged to be able to compete in the inter-school gala held at KEPS this year. Both the A and B teams fought brave battles against some stiff competition but still held their own. A long day of competitive swimming meant that some of our boys waited a few hours, only to have a few seconds in the pool. They are commended for their enthusiasm and commitment, with both teams ending in 5th position out of the 9 and 10 teams they competed against respectively.
The swimming season for term one ended on a high, with our boys enjoying the much-anticipated inter-house gala. The Grade 7 house captains and their team of boys (together with some moms) ensured that each area for their house had been decorated colourfully. The spirit captains ensured that there was endless cheering to spur on the boys who were competing for their respective houses. The title of ‘Inter-House Champions’ was well-earned by Rose house, as they cleaned out and excelled in each race, despite having some tough competition. Well done to all the swimmers and coaches for ensuring we had a happy and successful season.
As I end off my report, I’m a little sad as we are saying goodbye to a stalwart of The Ridge and someone who epitomises what we do on a daily basis. Miss Kinnear has been a significant part of the development of swimming and coaching of many young boys in her time at The Ridge. Both staff and boys alike have benefitted hugely from her vast knowledge. She has never hesitated to tackle the bull by the horns, especially if we have found the boys struggling with a particular stroke. Miss Kinnear is a dedicated and passionate coach who will be sorely missed by all.
By Deidre Leibrandt
Term 2 is the traditional start of Tennis season amongst the preparatory schools in Johannesburg, and 2022 was no different. Boys were extremely eager to get going in their tennis fixtures and there was a lot of jostling for positions on the tennis ladder. The Open teams, in particular, had a lot of very strong tennis players, so there was a lot of effort to get places in the various teams.
We started our tennis fixtures as normal, doing extremely well. As per our usual Ridge standard, we competed tremendously well in every one of our Open team fixtures, but unfortunately only attained mixed results. Our U11s showed a lot of promise and grew stronger and stronger as the season progressed.
During the August Holidays, we sent two senior teams to the prestigious Sun City Tennis Festival. This tour is always the highlight of the tennis calendar with boys playing against schools from all over the country at the incredible Sun City venue. The multiple trips to Valley of the Waves were a hit, as well as the opportunity to meet peers from different schools. Unfortunately our teams didn’t do as well as hoped, with our 1st team coming 7th in the A division and our 2nds coming 8th in the B division.
I look forward to another very successful tennis season in 2023!
By Anton Pretorius
GRADE 3 CAMP
GRADE 4 CAMP
The anticipation and excitement for the two- night trip to Camp Konka reached a crescendo on Wednesday 7 September, as we climbed onto the bus and headed out of Jo’burg. Whilst it is only a two hour journey, after 20 minutes the cry of ‘Are we nearly there yet?’ had already started!
On arrival, the sun was shining, the sky was blue, the river was full and the birds were singing. It was all a perfect start to three full days of exciting and challenging activities. We stayed in the dormitories at the top this time which were conveniently next to the swimming pool, although a slightly longer walk to the activities. Once again, Konka laid on a great range of activities that incorporated some physical challenges, including the high wall, canoeing and the Hexa Challenge. Alongside the physical activities there were games that required teamwork and problem-solving, as the blindfolded boys tried to pick up magnetic letters to create a word, and build a bridge using planks that weren’t quite long enough! During the breaks, the swimming pool proved to be a welcome form of relaxation followed by the ice cream, cool drink and sweet treats from the ever-popular tuckshop. However, the ‘Mudstacle’ course and the thrill of the ZipLine once again won the day as the favourite activities, followed closely by the spaghetti bolognaise on the meal front!
On the morning of the 3rd day, we walked to see the lions which are now 10 in total. Whilst observing from a distance, Bazooka arrived and took us around the perimeter where we were treated to some real close ups! Later that morning, we sadly had to board the bus and head back to Jo’burg. This time the journey was almost silent as the exhausted, but happy and fulfilled, Grade 4s made their way home. Well done to every boy for throwing themselves into all the activities with energy and enthusiasm and rising to each and every challenge. You made us so proud.
GRADE 5 CAMP
In the first week of the Third Term, 60 excited boys and seven teachers set out for Camp Discovery in Dinokeng Game Reserve. For many of the boys, in the context of the pandemic, this was the longest stint they had been away from home. We were very proud of the manner in which the boys conducted themselves over the three days. It was an invaluable opportunity for staff and pupils to spend time together in a different and stimulating setting. Highlights included the “mudstacle” course, FBI, survival shelter building, and the pool party. Of particular interest was the game drive where the boys gained some fascinating insights into the importance of ecosystems, conservation, and being sustainable custodians of the planet. Hearty thank you to the following staff for giving their time and making it such a worthwhile trip for all involved: Mr. Spilhaus, Mrs. Ramsurwaj, Mrs. Moore, Ms. Loonat, Mr, Seakamela, and Ms. Mashobane.
GRADE 6 CAMP
With the end of the August holidays looming, we were looking forward to starting the third term with our annual camp. The boys were lugging their heavy bags onto the tennis court on the morning of the 6th of September. Many boys were wearing colourful clothes, super excited for camp. The drive to Golden Gate Highlands National Park didn’t seem as far just before we left.
The beautiful Maluti Mountains made the long drive worthwhile. We were surrounded by nature and the boys enjoyed three days filled with activities. As usual we had the early risers as well as late sleepers. The activities included an early morning hike with Mr McLachlan, vulture spotting, canoeing, abseiling, and enjoying the outdoors with their friends. This was no different to other camps where boys were challenged both physically and mentally. We were in awe of our beautiful surroundings, and we often forgot how long, or far we were walking. Our last day was spent at the Basotho Cultural Village. Here the boys were immersed in the traditional arts, food, and way of life of the Basotho People.
And all too soon we were on our way back home, richer after spending a few days with friends and teachers alike. Ready to tackle the third and final term head on. It was once more a fantastic opportunity for both boys and staff alike to forge relationships and continually explore that hidden curriculum. A special note to this special year group. They have continually prided themselves on making the most of every opportunity that has come their way, and this grade camp was no exception.
By Deidre Leibrandt