We are in the throes of final preparations for our 104th Founders’ Day. We can all look back proudly on the first two terms of 2023.
There is so much we could focus on: wonderful examples of boys growing and flourishing, an increasingly united and happy community, the working group that is reflecting on CAPEX projects for our school, extraordinary support and pulling off of memorable community-building occasions led by our Parent body, professional growth experiences of Staff etc.
We will distribute a copy of the Headmaster’s Address at Founders’ Day and will request a text version of our Founders’ Day Guest Speaker’s address and will share this, too, once received.
We congratulate our Deputy Head (Academics), Dr Moore, on successfully presenting at the recent International Boys’ School Coalition conference in Auckland, New Zealand.
A significant portion of the presentation was linked to the thought leading, innovative practice which is becoming increasingly embedded at The Ridge.
We are delighted for our Grade 7s who have finalised their Grade 8, 2024, College placements. Congratulations are also in order for the 16 Scholarship awards that were offered to our Grade 7 boys who are part of the class of 2023. This is a remarkable achievement. While I acknowledge the stress that often comes with the College application process, the placements and scholarship awards of our Grade 7 boys should serve to give parents additional comfort that boys from The Ridge continue to be sought after by all the leading colleges.
For the purposes of this newsletter, the focus is on our commitment to innovation.
There is no place for mediocrity in schools that wish to thrive and to survive. Innovation initiatives embed this truth and they also role model to our boys what we hope their primary future visions for themselves will be. I sincerely thank our Staff and our Parent community for their support in this Ridge ideal.
What follows is a summarised breakdown of some of our innovative processes over the course of 2023:
- We are thinking creatively about future CAPEX projects. The particular focus areas, currently, are a revamped Pavilion, a revamped OSIC centre and a revamped aquatics area
- The voluntary, out-of-school-hours Grades 6 and 7 RidgeUp initiative continues to offer our boys a rich and deeply impactful thinking experience where discussions and cognitively enriching learning processes are happening around a range of powerful texts. Grade 6s considered the poetry of Langston Hughes as an introduction to their studying of the play, “A Raisin in the Sun”. Grade 7s have been studying a range of South African voices (Athol Williams, Tatamkulu Afrika, Ingrid de Kok, Ingrid Jonker, James Matthews) and boys enjoyed presenting on their paintings (which visualized key messages underpinning studied poems,themes/messages). Using extracts from Adichie’s “Americanah”, they have also studied the seminal text,“The Danger of a Single Story”.
- Our English Department is planning a recreated Grades 4-7 curriculum where the core English offering will be supplemented, for 2 lessons a week, with Master Classes presented by different members of Staff, In Grades 4 and 5, the focus will be on reading for meaning and the curriculum will be co-designed by our Lighthouse. In Grades 6 and 7, the 3 classes will be divided into 4 groupings who will experience each of the 4 English Master Classes on offer. In Grade 7, for example, mine will be entitled, “Oral communication strategies through the lenses of Shakespeare, Sontag and Serote”. We will share details of this initiative and the various Master Classes as soon as possible
- Our recently published Code of Conduct is a record of our values as a community. Its focus is on ensuring that we have restorative and constructive journeys. A comprehensive set of infographics has been designed to visualize this code. It will be shared with parents and will be displayed around our school to remind our boys of expected codes of behaviour and conduct
- Differentiated learning experiences for individual boys remains a key priority for The Ridge. The Junior Primary has, for example, successfully implemented a rotation stations programme where boys can experience learning in different ways at different learning stations (each with a differentiated focus on learning a particular ‘thing’)
- Our Project Based Learning (PBL) experience in the Senior Primary phase is ensuring that boys are learning collaboratively and creatively, drawing on a range of modes of learning within their learning groups. A future PBL vision is that groups of boys are tasked with a complex question/problem and then have to present their solutions after a rigorous and collaborative thinking process
- The recreated Headmaster’s Leadership programme for Grade 7 is resulting in significant engagement and the leadership of an array of powerful leadership projects (most of which are focused on hearing and growing ‘the other’).
- The creation of a new tradition of an exit, rite of passage overnight, farewell camp for our Grade 7s is being finalised and promises to be a meaningful initiative for our 2023 and future Grade 7s
In conclusion, the link below contains a deeply moving and thought provoking text entitled, “How to be More Alive: Hermann Hesse on Wonder and the Proper Aim of Education”. It is such a worthwhile read for all of us and, should you get the chance to read it, I hope you will enjoy.https://www.themarginalian.org/2023/07/06/hermann-hesse-wonder-butterflies/
I wish each boy and each of our families a happy and rejuvenating end of Term break.
2023 is turning out to be a very good year for our school and I thank each of you.
By Frank Rumboll
I am Mojalefa Clifford Mtimkulu, first born in a family of three, one brother Nhlanhla and an only sister, Lerato. I hail from the revered township of Soweto and an offspring of parents whose love for education and belief system have carried and sustained me from the dusty streets of Jabulani to the hallways of schools and prestigious institutions of education.I started my primary school at St Matthews Primary School and matriculated at St Matthews High School where I was introduced to the Catholic Education Systems.
The ethos of kindness for all, especially those neglected, was a mainstay of my upbringing and I have carried this with me over the years. At St Matthews I was under the firm arm and tutelage of the educationally recognised ageless Sister Francis who to this day has kept my former High School, an oasis of Soweto.
I graduated from Wits University with a Bachelor’s in Education and joined McAuley House School in 2008 and rose through the ranks to being HOD of Inter-Sen Phase the position I held prior to joining The Ridge School in May 2023.
I am first and foremost a perpetual learner who also brings a fountain of experience in teaching Grades 4 to 7 in IsiZulu, Technology and Mathematics. I hope to continue learning from my colleagues.I have a deep passion for sport inclusion in the all-round development of our young learners. According to Nelson Mandela “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand”. I believe our Ridge Boys have the world in their hands and through education and sport they will be well-rounded and well-equipped to change the world.
I am also passionate in the holistic guided development of young people. I was one of pioneer members of the Kwanele-Kwanele (Enough is Enough) a silent protest or campaign aimed at raising awareness on the abuse of children and women held regularly at McAuley House to try and bring an end to this scourge in our communities. I hope to enlighten our boys here too, to never be perpetrators but to provide a solution to this perennial problem.
I aim to contribute in raising boys who will strive to serve the needs of the South African community with dignity, humility and integrity.
By doing what you LOVE, you INSPIRE and awaken the hearts of others.Learning can be fun! Learning can lead you into a creative and fun world. There is so much around us that we have not thought about, learnt about or even questioned. Creating this love for learning should start somewhere…and that is what a driven teacher does.I had a Grade 5 Science teacher who showed me how to explore, have fun and embrace new knowledge. She created a loving and fun learning environment. She awakened the love for teaching in me at a very young age.My biggest aim is to bring change into our classrooms where the learners can feel free to express their ideas, learn to love Afrikaans and to have fun while learning.I am an energetic and passionate teacher who believes in creating a love for the subjects I teach. I always strive to create room for curiosity, innovation and laughter. When learners experience love for the subject they are more open towards receiving information, questioning the information, and nurturing curiosity.I am a mother of two. My son joined The Ridge in Grade 1, and my little girl is attending Blue Bird pre-primary. I graduated from North-West University obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and started my teaching career in South Korea teaching English to different age groups. I learnt about different cultures, different ways of teaching and that fun plays a big role in education. I have taught Afrikaans, Natural Sciences, Life Orientation and Robotics, which I have been able to do because of my passion for teaching. I had the opportunity to fill the role of Phase Head of the Intermediate and Senior phases at Curro Rivonia for three years.I have now joined The Ridge family as the Head of Afrikaans. I will strive to always do my best and share my passion to help grow the Afrikaans Department where the learners can enjoy learning and appreciate the language.
TRIBUTE TO PENNY BY JANE LAMB AND MELISSA SMITH
The tribute paid to Penny Meyer by Jane Lamb and Melissa Smith on behalf of the Lighthouse Team at the Staff farewell function on 18 July, 2023.Penny, this is for you from your Lighthouse Team. Firstly, thank you for all you have done for the Lighthouse. And for all we have gleaned from your wide, extensive knowledge regarding Inclusive Education and Neuro diversity. As an aside, Penny is currently working on her Masters in Inclusive Education. We wish you good luck as you complete this magnum opus. The concept and implications of Neurodiversity are now familiar jargon at the Ridge School, thanks to Penny who has fed us all pertinent and useful information on a regular basis. We are now able to discuss Neurodiversity with confidence and great interest. When Penny arrived at the Lighthouse there were many loose ends. She has spent hours, weeks, months meticulously tying all these loose ends together. It’s been a huge task. Well done and thank you, Penny!Penny, now to “Your Boys”; they have loved and respected you as you have guided them through their barriers of learning into new, exciting territory where a light is beginning to shine for them. YAY!No “Boy – Problem” was ever too much trouble for you. You always explored the options. Penny, with your combination of skills, what you have to offer the world is of huge value.It is now our fervent wish that this new, important step in your career will bring you great happiness, deep fulfilment and good fortune. Hamba Kahle, dear Penny.
By Jane Lamb
May the road rise to meet you, dear PennyAs you embark on a new path with grace.May the wind always fill your sails,Guiding you to success in every place. May the sun shine warmly upon your face,As you chase your dreams and embrace new lands.May your heart be filled with joy and peace,As you follow the call of your own demands. May you find happiness in every endeavourAnd may your spirit remain forever strong.May the impact you’ve made be everlasting,And the memories of the Lighthouse live on. So farewell, dear Penny, with a grateful heart,We bid you adieu but not goodbye.May your future be bright and your journey blessed,As you spread your wings and soar high in the sky. May luck and prosperity be yours always,And may the blessings of the Irish be your guide.With gratitude and fondness we say farewell,Your legacy in the Lighthouse will forever reside.
By Melissa Smith
Congratulations to The Ridge Old Boys, Charlie Dewer, James Dewey and Weston Davis for making the South African Junior boys polo team. Wishing them good luck with their tour to Zambia. Do us proud boys.
Congratulations to one of our Ridge Old Boys, Oliver Johns for making the U16 Eastern
Province Grant Khomo Team. We are very proud of you!
Congratulations to one of our Ridge Old Boys. Michael Van Heerden, congratulations on your outstanding swimming achievements. During the April holidays, he competed in both the SA Schools National and the SA Senior National Championships. From the 21st to the 23rd of April, Michael represented the Gauteng Province at the South African National Schools’ Swimming Championship in Durban. He received Gauteng Provincial Colours in recognition of his selection to the Gauteng Schools Swimming team in 2023. He won six gold medals, two silver medals and one bronze medal at the Gauteng Champs, as well as the Senior Victor Ludorum trophy for his efforts.Michael’s outstanding results qualified him to compete in the Senior National Aquatic Championship in Gqeberha
Congratulations to Hamilton Wende a Ridge old boy for winning the 2022 National Press Club’s Journalist of the Year. Print/Online Features/ Investigative Journalism award.
Old boys Rory Steyn and Ben Cheales are part of the Michaelhouse Competition Marimba Band that won the recent International Marimba & Steelpan Festival. They came first overall; first in the High School Large Ensemble Strictly Classical section; first in the High School Prestige section; and second in the High School Large Ensemble Battle of the Bands. Rory was also awarded best High School Drummer out of 42 schools. Their marimba and drumming journeys began at The Ridge!
SENIOR PREP OVERVIEW
Academics at The Ridge School is continually under review and strengthening as we strive to provide the best possible education for our boys. The Ridge School achieved outstanding results in the International Benchmark tests (IBTs) for English, Mathematics, and Reasoning skills. We are proud to report that our boys performed above average both nationally and internationally in these areas. In fact, in some specific aspects, our boys performed significantly above the national and international norms. This achievement is a testament to the dedication and hard work of our boys and teachers.
However, our commitment to excellence does not stop there. We believe in a growth mindset and continually seek areas of improvement. The information gathered from the IBTs is being used to inform our teaching practices and curriculum development. By analysing the results, we can identify the specific areas where we can enhance our boys’ learning experience, ensuring they are well-prepared for future academic challenges.
To gain a broader understanding of our boys’ performance and adjustment to high school, we conducted surveys among the schools they attend after leaving The Ridge School. The overall feedback from these surveys was highly positive, with the majority of respondents agreeing or strongly agreeing that our boys are doing well. With new Heads of Department in both isiZulu and Afrikaans, as well as other initiatives, we hope to prepare our boys even better for their education beyond The Ridge School.
Another significant change we are implementing is the restructuring of our assessment process. We want to shift the focus from a more summative approach to formative assessment, emphasising the learning process rather than the final product. In this regard, we have renamed the examination process as “Summative Assessment Week,” where we have reduced the number of exams and introduced different assessment methods.
Our aim is to gain a more comprehensive and insightful evaluation of our boys’ progression and abilities in various subjects. Additionally, we have provided professional development training to our staff on different modes of assessment to ensure its effective implementation.
At The Ridge School, we recognise the importance of professional development for our staff. Most staff members are making significant progress on the PurpleZA professional development platform, and we have devoted several of our weekly professional development sessions to enhance staff learning in the pedagogy of Project-Based Learning (PBL); we’ve had discussions around gender and have been given feedback from conferences that staff have attended.
The PBL sessions were designed as interactive PBL projects, allowing staff to experience it first-hand and create innovative projects for implementation in their classrooms. The response from our staff has been remarkable, with a great deal of innovation and excitement about the learning process.
To further support staff development, we have introduced a coaching programme, inspired by the Google Coaches Certification programme. Staff members will identify areas they want to improve, and coaches will work with them to develop strategies for growth. Our ultimate goal is to have several staff members trained as coaches, ensuring the programme’s sustainability and ongoing improvement of teacher practice.
As part of our commitment to staying abreast of the latest international trends in education, several members of our school community will be participated in the IBSC International Conference. Anton Pretorius began a cycle of Action Research, Glynnis Moore presented at the conference and Daniel McLachlan attended as a delegate.
We had the opportunity to attend various workshops and presentations, sharing insights and learning from educators around the world. In addition, the networking opportunities were invaluable. We believe that such exposure will enrich our teaching methods and further contribute to our boys’ overall growth and development.
In addition to academics, we place significant importance on the social-emotional well-being of our boys. That is why we continue with the Attachment Awareness Schools (AAS) programme in the Senior Primary. This programme enables us to view discipline differently and provide appropriate support to children with poor attachment styles who may be facing behavioural issues.
Research indicates that addressing attachment issues can positively impact academic progress and social-emotional learning. To further enhance learning experiences, we have embraced Project Based Learning (PBL) in the Junior Prep. Through engaging projects, such as the Crime Investigation in Grade 5, we aim to foster higher-order thinking skills, critical thinking, 21st-century skills, self-directed learning, and a love of learning among our boys.
Moreover, we believe in the power of shared learning experiences between Junior Prep and Senior Prep. Collaborative interactions between our two phases provide unique opportunities for learning and personal growth. This semester, we have piloted joint classes between Grade 2s and Grade 4s, as well as Grade 2s and Grade 7s and the Grade 5s and Grade 2s. These interactions have proven to be successful and enriching for our boys.
As we continue on this journey of growth and improvement, we are confident that our commitment to providing a nurturing and academically enriching environment will yield positive outcomes for our boys and contribute to their overall success in life. Together with our dedicated staff, supportive parents, and enthusiastic boys, we are excited about the future of The Ridge School and the positive impact it will make in the lives of our boys.
By Glynnis Moore
JUNIOR PREP OVERVIEW
At the end of another successful term, the Junior Prep boys have so much to celebrate. They can certainly be very proud of the way they have taken on all the challenges, growth opportunities and experiences offered during this busy term. Lots of striding, not much shuffling!We welcomed two new families to The Ridge this term. Tsepang Monyamane joined us in Grade 0 and Zack Olivier joined us in Grade 1. We wish both these boys, and their families a very happy Ridge journey! Perhaps a highlight of the term for many of the boys will be the unusual and yet truly magical snowfall we experienced in July. Absolute elation and excitement (which included the adults!) heard in the corridors and out on the fields and pathways left me feeling so incredibly lucky to be part of this special place!
Highlights extended to Cross Country, Rugby and Soccer Seasons, which included many fixtures both at home and away for our Grade 2 and 3 boys, watching the SP production, visits to our classrooms from the Headmaster, shared learning experiences with classes from the SP, 100 days of school in Grade 0, outings to Croc City and the Magaliesburg, Happy Chappies, celebrating special Moms and Dads, a fair few birthdays, making new and special friends, Music assemblies, World Environment Day pledges, SALT sessions, cake sales, family picnics, a wonderful Junior Choir performance for the Eventide Old Age Home, traditional food demonstrations in Grade 2, safe and unsafe touch talks for the boys, task money collections for The Hope School, Project Based Learning, a fabulous History week where the boys learnt all about the school’s rich heritage and Literacy week where we were treated to innings like Hooked on Books, Pajama day, On Cue Theatre, books sales and author talks. Phew! It’s quite a list!
The Ridge Boy Attributes have been explored by each of the boys in their Grades. We have discussed, thought up examples, and related these attributes to our everyday lives at school and beyond. Each boy in the Junior Prep completed the self-assessment for the mid-year reports. He identified himself as a novice, apprentice, or master for each. We will continue to place emphasis on these attributes as they are the foundations of the strong set of values we hope to impart to each boy during his Ridge journey.
The recent visit from OISESA (Office of Independent Schools Evaluations, South Africa) has provided us an opportunity to look critically at everything we do here at The Ridge. Our inspectors spent three days in our classrooms, meeting with staff, boys and parents and getting a genuine feel for what happens on our campus. The boys made them feel right at home with their warm welcomes and kindness. We look forward to being able to share some of the wonderful feedback they gave us. Raising children (and teaching them) in our highly competitive world of instant gratification, with information at our fingertips, has its challenges.
In an article I read recently from the Institute of Child Psychology, entitled ‘Turn down the Pressure Valve: Turn up the Magic of Childhood’, it spoke of the nostalgia that many of us feel of “just being a kid” as an increasingly endangered dream. The societal demands to fill every minute of every day with scheduled activities is the great poison facing our children. What our young children crave more than anything is meaningful relationships, presence, and unstructured time. Play (the work of children) is particularly threatened. Through play, our children learn countless life lessons. They learn about themselves, about others, how to face fears, get better at something, and nurture resilience. On that note, I wish all our Ridge families a wonderful, restful holiday filled with meaningful family connection, unstructured time, and lots of play!
By Holly Ferrar
SOCIAL JUSTICE OVERVIEW
Halfway through our busy year I can confirm that The Ridge School is a community that prioritises fairness, justice and diversity. Our school places respectfulness at the forefront of lessons, interactions and fixtures and, as a result, our boys stand out and are exemplary amongst their peers. Our assemblies have been intentionally aimed at educating our boys about the importance of upholding the values our school encourages.
The staff at The Ridge play a key role in ensuring that principles of inclusion are lived out and felt in all experiences. We support our staff by making it possible to attend various seminars which deal with the realities of schools within South Africa and abroad. Staff report back on these experiences in professional development sessions, which are beneficial in guaranteeing that we are speaking in a unified voice, with a common purpose.
Our relationship with other schools is one that we can be proud of, having had numerous visitors from other schools this term. We had teachers and students from schools across the country who have been complimentary of our school and our ways of being. The revitalising of our relationship with Salvazione Christian School has been amazing. We have hosted Chess and Soccer days to strengthen interactions with students who can learn from one another. On a school level, we hope to embark on joint outreach ventures in Term 3.
Our Students’ Social Justice Committee has worked tirelessly and with enthusiasm, meeting every week to discuss accomplishments and challenges that our boys are faced with. The level of engagement has been commendable and as a result we hosted our first evening of dialogue where parents were invited to attend and participate. The evening was a great success, and we look forward to hosting the next one. Mandela Day was an astounding success which reminded our boys that there is something positive to be gained from working collectively to achieve a greater good. All our grades came together and contributed towards a cause.
I am sincerely appreciative to our community for the full support received thus far and trust that we can continue to encourage values and attitudes that can become habitual to our boys as they develop. I look forward to a sustained partnership as we inspire future leaders at The Ridge School. Wishing you all a Happy Women’s Month and our families a well-deserved break.
By Songezo Malangeni
What a magical, musical term it has been!
Concerts abound with choir festivals and community singing and culminated in the boys showcasing their talents on our very own stage for this year’s musical production of Oddz, Sodz and the Greek Godz.
This year’s school musical production was such fun! The best part was to see the boys enjoying themselves in the rehearsal process and finally on stage for each performance. The Grade 7s worked incredibly hard and it has been a pleasure to see them grow in confidence throughout the process. A huge thank you to all involved for your support in bringing this production to life!
We have shared the joy of music amongst our own school community and enjoyed collaborations with our wider school connections with APPS and St Katharine’s. Our Ascension Day service was a real celebration of togetherness when we joined forces with our sister schools. The spirit of togetherness was continued through into the tiny details of a shared message from the Heads of schools, the combined choir arrangement on the day and of course the long anticipated ‘social-time’ at the end of the service.
We have also begun some new musical relationship building with St John’s and WHPS, helping to create some exciting opportunities for our boys. A new concert added to the calendar included a collaboration with Pridwin and St John’s for the St John’s Three Schools Concert. The Senior Guitar Ensemble and the Senior Orchestra represented us well and the evening finished off with a combined orchestra of the three schools where I had the privilege of conducting one of my own musical arrangements. We were warmly welcomed to the WHPS Centenary Choir Festival this year in June. They hosted a wonderful Festival where we sang alongside WHPS, St Peter’s and Pridwin. Our boys most certainly did The Ridge proud and we also performed altogether in a massed choir item singing ‘Together we are Stronger’.
The individual music boys showcased their talents at The Johannesburg Festival of Music. Numerous boys have received outstanding results, including top honours of Diplomas and have represented our department with aplomb.
Our special congratulations are extended to Joshua Cook for receiving the Eugenie Chopin Trophy for the most promising Male Singer. Well done, Josh!
The Junior Choir boys hosted an afternoon outreach project for the residents of the Salvation Army Eventide Home for the Aged. The boys performed with enthusiasm and gusto and a lovely afternoon was had by all who attended. A Special thank you to Mrs Morrick and her team of choir moms for all their efforts in making this a successful event!
Our individual music boys continue to go from strength to strength, and this is evident in their confident performances in the Junior Music Assemblies. The Grade 2s showcased the start of their musical journey with fervour and energy, learning from the Grade 3s who performed a few weeks earlier. Well done to all the boys for their efforts – we are so proud of you!
Our Senior boys always bring their A-Game for the evening Soirees and this term was no different. We are so excited to see the Grade 4 and 5 boys enjoying their music so much, that these are always our most subscribed performances. Each Ridge boy gave his best and we have two very successful evening Soirees.
Well done to all the boys and staff for all their musical efforts this term, it most certainly has been a full calendar of events and a wonderfully magical musical term!
By Carol Ackermann
Ngiyanibingelela nonke mphakathi wase, The Ridge School(I would like to greet the entire Ridge School community) and thank you for welcoming me with warm hands in this winter season.
We started Term 2 by quickly identifying boys who would benefit from an IsiZulu programme called “IsiZulu Sethu”. The aim of this after school programme is to identify boys who we felt would benefit from having a small group where individual attention would be given and skills would be reinforced.
An invitation letter was sent out to the boys and parents, the classes are on Tuesdays and Thursdays of every week. Our boys are committed to their isiZulu lessons and we are using everyday experiences to develop their language use. We started writing book reviews of stories that had been read over the years or are currently being read. The reviews are in isiZulu and boys are exposed to a variety of stories. I encourage boys and parents to use as much Zulu as they can especially when greeting and allow boys to have small chats with other individuals they come across, who can speak the language.
We working very hard to equip our boys with the necessary vocab and understanding to have a basic conversation and that can only be possible if the opportunity avails itself. We transformed the isiZulu JP class by putting up posters, props and making it a language based class.
This has been well received by the boys who have their lessons in that venue. I managed to have a meeting with Limulab (an online language app), together with our management, we agreed to pilot their app with our Grade 3 and 6 boys in Term 3. On the 18th of June the much-anticipated Shaka Ilembe was aired on television.
OzithobayoMnu. Mojalefa Mtimkulu
By Mojalefa Mtimkulu
Our Quiz team had the privilege of hosting an Inter-School Quiz at The Ridge School on the 22nd of May. We had 7 schools (13 teams) participating and Miss Wellard was a fabulous MC for the event. The final podium standings was in our favour, with The Ridge Grade 7 team coming in first place, Christ Church in second and St Peter’s Boys Grade 7s in third place.
The rest of the term, Mrs Glanz and Mrs McLellan were hard at work planning another fantastic Literacy Week, which kicked off on the last Monday of the term. Literacy Week was filled with all things literary, carefully chosen to inspire boys to read. Monday the 31st of July, the Grade 0s and 1s had Augustine Mulenga, an author coming to chat to them and the Grade 2s, 3s and 4s had Nancy Gaylard with her book, Ayen’s First Day, which raises awareness around our 12th official language, SASL.
The Senior Prep had their Inter-House Quiz trials, causing much excitement around the House Teams! On Tuesday the 1st of August, we were all snug and warm in our pyjamas and had so much fun with the Hooked on Books crew as well as the teachers sharing their favourite books with the Grade 4s to 7s. Wednesday the 2nd of August saw another round of authors. Grade 6 and 7 had Hannes Barnard, a YA author and sales manager for Penguin Random House Publishers, explain how to get a book from conceptualization stages to finally having it on the shelves of bookstores. Lori-Ann Preston entertained the Grade 3s, 4s and 5s with an energetic presentation of her books.
Exclusive Books had the most amazing selection of books on sale, for the entire week. Even staying late on Monday during the soiree and on Thursday during the Science Expo. We definitely consider Refiloe and her team as a part of The Ridge Family!
We ended the week on Friday, with a very exciting Inter-School Quiz Final. Each house had 4 team members, one from each Grade. For the first time ever, we had a Teachers’ team as well! The final score was: 5th – Nicolson 4th – Dunn 3rd – Teachers 2nd – Cheales 1st – Rose The Ridge Ulwazi Assistants received their badges, after many months of training, testing and confirming whether in fact, they think being an Ulwazi assistant is the right fit for them. Congratulations to Oscar Berman, Jamie Berridge, Pranav Bhana, Imran Budlender, Nick Goussard, Jamie Grantham, David Marais, Avumile Nguqu, Brunello Schierenberg, James Short and Thor Tipping, for their dedication and commitment to making Ulwazi the special place that it is.
We are looking forward to another term of reading and celebrating books, in Ulwazi.
But first… a holiday to relax, put your feet up, and read another book.
By Hanlie Glanz
JUNIOR PREP LIBRARY OVERVIEW
For Term 2, all sorts of learning and excitement has happened in the JP Media Centre.The Grade 0s have been learning about various authors, local and international and how different libraries are run. They love choosing their books each week and being responsible for them.
We have also been talking about plastic and the environment, which included the lovely book “The Tale of the Toothbrush”. This story is about a toothbrush that lands up in the ocean but has a little twist near the end!In Grade 1, the boys have been introduced to the new picture books and they have been eagerly trying to read them by themselves. I have encouraged the boys to take out books in the green section but a lot of them are still fascinated by snakes and dinosaurs! The most popular book this term,seemed to be the brand new book called The Bowerbird by the amazing Julia Donaldson.
The Grade 2s were given the challenge to read as many red section books (chapter books) and then were all allowed to take a yellow book from the Grade 3 section. I read the book The Legend of Spud Murphy to them and changed the title to The Legend of Spud McLellan (my surname). The boys loved the fact it was about a ninja librarian and their teachers were mentioned in the story.
They could not wait till the last word in order for me to reveal the “true” book. Lots of fun and discussion on this including how books get published.
In Grade 3, the boys have been exposed to local authors, many different series and discussions of what happens in a library. The boys were also introduced to graphic novels of which they loved the Dog Man and InvestiGators series. With all that happens in the library, I have also included the General Knowledge quizzes which include True or False questions or moving up and down the outside stairs according to the right or wrong answers (the best fun ever)!In the Last week of this Second Term, the boys get to celebrate another Literacy Week. Exclusive books will be selling their books the whole week.
On Monday, the JP will have two authors visiting with age-appropriate books. Tuesday is the firm favourite of Hooked on Books and they get to wear their pyjamas that day! Grade 3s will join the Grade 4s and 5s for another author tale and on Thursday, the whole school will be watching On Cue Theatre performing Around the World in 80 days. A load of fun for the last week of school.It has been a very busy term but seeing the delight that the boys take in the library lessons has resulted in many treasured moments. Thank you to one and all for all the amazing support.
By Suzanne McLellan
As we approach the holiday season, I wanted to take a moment to express my excitement about the upcoming break and for your opportunity to spend some quality down time with your boys. This term has been filled with dedication, hard work, and remarkable achievements in sports, and now it’s time for well-deserved rest and relaxation.
The sports programme has hit the ground running with a perfect blend of enthusiasm and rigour. We have been diligently working towards expanding networking opportunities beyond our school’s confines, fostering a diverse range of experiences for our boys.
I am delighted to share that our sports programme has shown promising results. The dedication of our boys has been commendable, and it is evident that they are driven to excel in their respective sports. Their commitment to hard work, resilience, and teamwork is a testament to the character of the young men we are nurturing at The Ridge.
I must extend a heartfelt thank you to our remarkable coaching staff. Their tireless efforts, expertise, and commitment to developing our young talents have been instrumental in driving our sports programme forward. Their dedication has produced some outstanding results, and I am confident that with their guidance, our boys will continue to flourish in their sporting endeavours.
As we reflect on the rugby season, we are thrilled to share some of the exceptional achievements and exciting developments within our rugby programme. The dedication and passion displayed by our boys, coaches, and supportive parents have contributed to a highly competitive and successful season. Our A and B teams have been outstanding, achieving remarkable results. Their commitment to the sport, along with their exceptional skill and teamwork, has been evident in every game they played. We are immensely proud of their achievements and the positive spirit they have brought to the field.
We are equally delighted to see the growth and progress of our C and D team boys. Playing two games has provided them with invaluable experience, improving their overall rugby knowledge and skill. Witnessing their development has been a rewarding experience, and we commend their dedication to learning and improving their game. One of the most gratifying aspects of this season has been the increased parental support for our rugby programme.
Your active involvement has had a profound impact on our boys. It has created a supportive and vibrant rugby community, where the players feel encouraged and uplifted by the presence of their families in the stands.
In a landmark moment for The Ridge, we were proud to have co-hosted the u11 Youth Day Festival for the first time. This event is a wonderful opportunity for young rugby enthusiasts from various schools to come together and celebrate the sport they love. Our u11 boys have showcased their talent and sportsmanship, and we are confident that this experience will be a stepping stone for their future rugby journey.
The Ridge took part at this years Independent Schools Rugby Festival hosted by WHPS. This year marks their Centenary, adding even more significance to the occasion. Our 1st Team competed against some of the top Independent Schools in the country.
Throughout the season, The Ridge tennis teams showcased a high level of commitment, competing weekly with enthusiasm and dedication. It was truly heartening to witness our boys’ passion for the tennis programme.We are pleased to announce that the tennis programme has recently welcomed two excellent coaches, Georgina Dougall and Callum Brand. Their coaching skills and expertise have significantly elevated the training and development of our tennis players. Under their guidance, our young athletes have made remarkable progress, improving their skills and techniques on the court. Their dedication to the sport has been invaluable in nurturing a strong foundation for our tennis programme.
Our Cross-Country boys showcased commendable performances throughout the season, participating in various events hosted by different schools. The season concluded with an exciting Inter-Schools event held at Rietvlei Zoo Farm, generously hosted by St. John’s. Our runners rose to the occasion and demonstrated their dedication and skill on the course, making us incredibly proud of their achievements. A special mention must go to our u9 team who placed 1st.
U9: 1st place U10: 7th place U11: 4th placeU12: 7th place Open: 8th place Climbing:
Our climbers have delivered extraordinary performances this season, and it brings us immense pride to share the remarkable achievements of Jack Heenan. He demonstrated exceptional talent and determination, securing first and second positions in the disciplines he entered. As many of you are aware, Jack’s exceptional skills were on full display during the Gauteng competition, where he claimed top honors in two separate disciplines. His outstanding performance earned him a well-deserved spot in the Gauteng u15 climbing team for the South African National Climbing Federation competition, held two weeks ago. Despite being too old for the u13 category and no u14 section available, Jack’s dedication and passion for climbing have propelled him to new heights, and we couldn’t be prouder of his accomplishments.
I am thrilled to share with you the outstanding achievements of our paddlers in both the GCU Sprint Trials and GCU Marathon events!
Congratulations to all the paddlers who competed in the GCU Sprint Trials at VLC, Germiston on Saturday, 4th February 2023. Your dedication and hard work have paid off, and we are incredibly proud of your performances.
Furthermore, a big round of applause goes out to the paddlers who participated in the GCU Marathon events held at ERK, Homestead dam on Saturday, 3rd, and Sunday, 4th June 2023. Your skills and determination during these events were truly commendable.We are especially proud to announce that the following paddlers have earned Gauteng Representation in the 2023 SA Sprints & SA Schools Sprint Championships at VLC, Germiston in April 2023.
Gauteng Representation List:
- Asher William Wilson u10
- Mathew Kuhl u12
- Benjamin Carmichael u12
- Caden Wilson u12
Your achievements in both the junior GCU Sprint Trials and GCU Marathon events are a testament to your talent and commitment to the sport. You have made our school community proud, and we are excited to see you represent us on the national stage.As we look ahead to the upcoming championships and future events, let’s continue to support and encourage our paddlers. Your passion and dedication to paddling exemplify the true spirit of sportsmanship and excellence that we strive to foster at our school.
We congratulate these boys for their unwavering dedication and commitment throughout the season, leading them to this fantastic achievement. Additionally, starting from half-term, all our boys have been actively engaged in compulsory football. We have concluded our season, and we are pleased to see impressive results across the board. This year, our Grade 7s had a football tour,with the A and B sides heading to Penryn and the C and D sides going to Camp Discovery.
Moving on to hockey, we have recently held trials to select a side to represent The Ridge at the annual Prep Schools Hockey Festival hosted by KEPS this year. We extend our best wishes to the 14 boys selected, who will be facing tough opposition nearing the end of their season, while we embark on the beginning of ours.
Basketball trials are underway. 12 boys will be selected to participate in the Annual Kearsney basketball tournament. We wish our boys well as they prepare for this.
During the Winter season, our boys in Grades 5, 6, and 7 demonstrated remarkable dedication by participating in the Winter League waterpolo. This additional commitment led them to exciting Friday afternoons, where they competed against provincial and school teams. The boys thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and it was evident that their hard work paid off as we performed exceptionally well against some of the finest polo players in Gauteng.
During this term, we are thrilled to celebrate the exceptional achievements of four boys at The Ridge. Among them, two boys earned provincial representation, showcasing their remarkable talents and dedication. Additionally, two other boys proudly represented The Ridge school in five different first team sports, embodying the true spirit of our sports program. A massive congratulations goes out to these boys for their outstanding accomplishments. Their hard work and commitment have not only brought honour to themselves but also added to the pride and excellence of our school’s sports community. Well done, and we look forward to witnessing more of your success in the future!
Sports honours award
- Yousha Gani (Southern Gauteng Hockey)
- Jack Heenean (Gauteng Climbing)
- Nick Goeller (five first team sports)
- Maddon Elliot (five first team sports)
I would like to extend my gratitude to all parents for your continuous support and encouragement. Your involvement in your son’s sporting endeavours makes a significant difference and adds to the sense of community and pride at The Ridge.
As we head into the holiday season, let’s take a moment to celebrate the hard work, dedication, and remarkable achievements of our boys in sports. It is through their passion and commitment that The Ridge continues to foster a culture of excellence and sportsmanship.
Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season filled with joy, relaxation, and quality time spent with your families. May the upcoming break rejuvenate our boys, and may they return to school with renewed vigour and enthusiasm for the sporting challenges that lie ahead.
Thank you once again for your support, and I look forward to welcoming our boys back for another exciting term of sports at The Ridge.
The 2nd term of school was busy but fun.
The boys learnt math and played in the sun.
Youth Day was celebrated, and boys donated their time.
To making sandwiches on Mandela Day, the boys were sublime.
During the school day the boys leant English and History But who can forget the snowfall, that will always be a mystery?
The Senior Prep boys performed the “Oddz, Sodz and Greek Gods” play.Where boys practiced and sang their hearts out each day.
The boys played cricket, rugby and chess but don’t forget the cake sales.
They are always the best.
Term 2 was busy but fun!
By Jenni Caister-Carbonari
The Lighthouse has experienced a busy Term 2. The first half of the term saw some of the Grade 2 boys begin with the RAVE-O reading program with much enthusiasm.
RAVE-O (Reading through Automaticity, Vocabulary, Engagement and Orthography) is a literacy programme based on the science of the brain and reading. It is an evidenced based intervention for learners struggling to read in Grades 1 to 5 and has shown to be effective across socio-economic, cultural and home language backgrounds.There has also been some staff movement in the department, with the Head of Learning Support, Penny Meyer, leaving us at the end of the term.
Zoë von Klemperer will be taking over as the new Head of Learning Support from 1 September 2023. We know that the Lighthouse and our boys are in good hands with Zoë and wish her all the best as she takes on her new responsibilities.
By Penny Meyer
GRADE 1 OVERVIEW
Our Grade 1 boys have made it through the coldest and longest term! The Second Term at The Ridge lends itself so well to the teaching of the seasons. The changing colours and falling leaves, wearing of tracksuits, and playing tag rugby all herald the onset of Autumn. The boys used all their creativity and autumn colours to decorate trees and create an Autumn feel in their classrooms.
The boys made grand crowns to celebrate the coronation of King Charles II and began their sentence writing journey recording this historic event. We all felt privileged to be a part of this wonderful event and witness the pomp and ceremony that the British do so well.
As the culmination of our Reptile theme, the Croc City outing was an enormous success. The boys behaved well and listened to the Guide with interest and asked relevant questions. The bus rides, well-equipped playground, picnic snack all added to the event. Learning all about Space is another favourite theme for the boys. They were amazed by the fact that without satellites, there would be no internet to play their online games.
The Senior Prep Musical Production was a highlight. The boys waited eagerly for the Matinee, and found the singing, dancing, and seeing familiar faces on stage enthralling. They loved naming the boys they knew from their SALT groups.
Grade 1s wait on the playground for their SALT leaders to fetch them for the SALT session. They find the activities fun and come back from the gatherings full of bounce and stories.
The boys love going to the computer laboratory with Mrs. Mafunise. They spend 30 minutes growing their mathematical skills using the Cami Maths Programme.
Junior Prep assembly is another weekly highlight, loving the birthday celebrations and the
announcement of the task money collected for The Hope School. R5 covers a wide range of tasks. Pets benefit from these tasks: fed, taken for walks, bathed, played with, given clean water, and occasionally just loved. This is all for R5.
At Assembly, Happy Chappy is for the Grade 3s but Grade 1 waits with anticipation for the next Happy Chappy and are as enthusiastic at the announcement of the recipient, as possibly the boy himself.
The snow created great excitement and it was a moment of wonder as the snow fell silently all around the school. The boys were mesmerized and thrilled to be seeing and touching snow, many for the first time. A very well-planned phonics lesson introducing the sound “ow” blow the snow fortuitously coincided with a flurry of snow on Monday 11th July causing extreme excitement and wonder. So many questions arose that the careful planning for the day was sidetracked as we learnt more about snow.
The boys made sandwiches for Mandela Day and enjoyed taking part in this activity. We are ending the term with our much-anticipated Founder’s Day celebrations to end on a high note!
The Grade 1 Team
GRADE 3 OVERVIEW
The Grade 3s had the most enjoyable time in Term 2. The theme was Animals and they started off the term with a trip to Magaliesberg for a practical experience in the river whereby the boys looked for various insects that indicated the ‘river health’. Two moms joined our team and the one mom, a Freshwater ecologist, guided our boys in this activity.
The boys also had an opportunity to deliver speeches on an Animal of their choice. They worked hard and did quite a bit of research. The boys spoke confidently with cue cards, made good eye contact and shared interesting facts with their classmates. During our computer time boys could use their knowledge of animals and present it in a typed project inserting photos, changing the font and adding extra features. They enjoyed this project thoroughly. In Mathematics the boys covered the concept of money and visited Snazzy Max on the school property.
They brought a certain amount of money to buy items at Snazzy Max and afterwards had to work out the change. Obviously, the eating part was the most favorable. Our second theme after Half Term was Sport with special focus on Tour De France. We had a dad speaking to us about cycling and the ins and outs of Tour De France. The boys learnt all about the different jerseys, stages like the Queens stage etc. sticky bottles and even our very own ‘Tours De South Africa’, which is The Cape Argus and 94,7 Cycle race. We followed the stages daily and the enthusiasm grew as the names of the front riders became more familiar. The boys had to design a bicycle, thereafter, using different textures and add some special features to it. They had loads of fun.
As we were approaching Founder’s Day at school, the Junior Prep participated in a history week of The Ridge School. Jenny Herman, our school’s archivist, took our Grade 3s for a day of fun, sport and history around our school. Boys learnt about the different headmasters, how they used to start their day with sporting drills, a visit to the Dunn Koppie and ending off with a 1920 Sports Day at The Ridge. Wow, the way they dress was a sight to see, Durban July has seen nothing.
On the last day the boys visited Holy Family School in Parktown and experienced a day in the life of a 1920 classroom with ink wells, desks and cursive handwriting. Boys dressed up in olden day school wear and spent the day in the attic and around the school. The boys had a good learning experience at school this past term, both academically and practically. The classroom came to life and we hope that these memorable experiences will never be forgotten.
By Carmin Groenewald
GRADE 6 OVERVIEW
“Slow and steady wins the race.” This is how I would describe the journey our Grade 6 boys have undertaken thus far. The last few months have been filled with challenges and growth, and the boys can be so proud of how far they have come.
Success has come in various forms, from the sports field to our boys being recognised for their achievements in music and choir as well as, most recently, the Grade 4 to 7 production. Despite the busyness of the term, our boys have prided themselves on each task and approached each week with enthusiasm, winning a coveted pizza party as a reward. Sports fixtures with our local rivals have led to great teamwork and camaraderie.
The boys have learnt valuable lessons about losses and victories. These lessons ranged from teamwork, discipline, connection with coaches and their peers, and to embrace their full potential. As part of our Mandela Day Activities, we spent a happy morning, writing cards and putting beautiful gift bags together for the staff of Princess Alice Adoption Home.
The well-received donations will also have a huge impact on the little ones being looked after at this wonderful place of safety. We are encouraged to see that the boys are happy and willing to foster empathy, instilling in them a sense of pride and fulfilment.
The Grade 6 boys have been on a rewarding journey of growth and learning. It is important to acknowledge their efforts both in and out of the classroom and we look forward to seeing how they build meaningful friendships, find their sense of belonging and make connections with both staff and peers in a meaningful way as the year continually unfolds.
By Deidre Leibrandt
GRADE 7 OVERVIEW
We are extremely proud of our Grade 7 boys, who have managed a busy term with such maturity and enthusiasm. The boys were the lead roles in the Senior Prep production and displayed great talent and teamwork. The college application process can sometimes be daunting for our boys, and they managed the process with such resilience and grit. We had 16 scholarship offers this year, and we congratulate the boys on their wonderful achievements. Many of our boys continue to do amazing work with the Headmaster’s Leadership Programme, and we encourage them to continue working on their components. The boys hosted a tea for the residents at Park Care Centre for Mandela Day, and our boys displayed kindness and patience. The boys put together a special morning for the residents, and in doing so, they were able to appreciate the importance of spending time with and creating joy for others. The Grade 7 boys have had a meaningful and productive term and we look forward to a happy Term 3.
By Urvasi Naidoo
The Ridge School hosted its very first football match against Salvazione. It was a fun day filled with friendly football matches. The children displayed competitive football skills, good sportsmanship and passion for a sport they all enjoy. Our school fields were bursting with energetic, enthusiastic and budding young footballers who played with grit and passion. We are proud of both schools.
SALVAZIONE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL
You may have heard again of our outreach school Salvazione Primary in Mayfair – this unique school offers a safe learning environment for 219 children from Grade 0 to Grade 7 who are not able to attend local schools due to their financial and personal circumstances.
Salvazione will in the coming weeks launch its Friends of Salvazione fundraising programme and is also looking for volunteers to participate in the literacy and numeracy programmes at the school under the auspices of The Link Literacy Project which is held on Thursday mornings between 8:15am and 10:15am for literacy and 10:30am and 12:00pm for numeracy for Grades 2 and 3 (see https://www.thelinkliteracyproject.co.za/our-centres/salvazione/ for more details. No experience is needed other than your enthusiasm, so please consider lending a hand to this incredibly worthwhile and fulfilling cause!
There is a lot of good work taking place at Salvazione and many initiatives are underway thanks to volunteers and donations. Please email Eleonore on email@example.com to hear more about how you can make a difference.
FOUNDERS’ DAY CELEBRATIONS
TEACHERS VS ESTATE STAFF
Our Ridge coaches and some of the teachers played a soccer game against our estate staff to cap off the season. After a very competitive but enjoyable game, the estate staff defeated the coaching staff 6-5. This victory will go down in history because the coaches have not been defeated in the last ten years. Congratulations, Gentlemen
The Grade 7 RidgeUp boys created, in groups, A3 drawings, each of which is linked to one of their South African poems. Each poem had been studied and discussed. This was followed by groups being allocated one poem and then visualising its key messages. Groups then had to present an analysis of their poem using the visual as their base.
HISTORY WEEK AT THE RIDGE
The JP is participating in The Ridge School, History Week. The boys are learning about their previous Headmasters, buildings and Founders of our school. Mrs Jenny Herman, the coordinator and school archivist, prepared amazing interactive activities, including tasting cod liver oil. This History Week allows the JP boys to experience school in the year 1920, where pens were swopped for ink wells and how handwriting was practised back in the day.
Mandela Day Celebrations
The Ridge Coaches vs Pridwin STAFF
Congratulations to The Ridge Coaches and their victory over their main rivals Pridwin Preparatory School. The game was played last Saturday in good spirit and camaraderie amongst fellow coaches. Thank you to all that came to show their support.
Coaches training session
Assistant coach from the Univerisity of Pretoria Nicholas Stothard hosted a coach-the-coaches session with The Ridge School Football coaches. He shared his knowledge about coaching and how to improve our football skills. Thank you Nicholas Stothard.
Our Senior Prep boys have been working hard in preparation for their Senior Production of “Oddz, Sodz, and the Greek Gods.” The production week has arrived. “Teamwork makes the dream work”.
Grade 2 Soccer
The Grade 2s hosted St John’s Preparatory for a friendly soccer game. It was a delightful afternoon with both schools having a good time. Congratulations to the boys for displaying good sportsmanship and The Ridge spirit.
Grade 3 Tour de France
The Grade 3s theme “Sport” focused on the Tour De France. They learnt about the different jerseys, watched the different stages and followed the winners daily. A Grade 3 parent came to talk to us about cycling and mentioned our own 94.7 and Cape Argus cycle tours. It was very informative and fun, and the boys enjoyed picking up his 7,6kg bicycle
Congratulations to Nick Goeller and Maddon Elliot for being awarded sports honours. This is a remarkable accomplishment in representing The Ridge in five different first-team sports and unwavering commitment to excellence.
Academic Recognition Awards
Congratulations to these boys on their Academic Recognition for 2 semesters of 80% and above. Academic Honours for 3 semesters of 80% and above. Both starting in their Grade 6 year. Keep up the hard work boys