HORIZONS TERM 1 2022

STOP BEING SO HARD ON YOURSELF

I had a parent call me a few days ago, apologising profusely for bringing their son 10 minutes late to school and close to tears for letting the school and her son down. I told the parent to stop being so hard on themselves as I have two daughters (age 6 and 7,5) and I am impressed that they even made it to school. 

I also sensed the sheer panic in many parents, queuing to buy Lumo dance merchandise, get Howler bands and ensure that their sons had everything they needed to have a great time. I wished the boys knew how hard the adults worked to make sure that they had fun. And it is also ok if he did not get the last pink tutu because I got it. 

We are all driven by demands of excellence from ourselves and others and when things go askew or fall short of those impossibly high expectations, we spiral into self-recrimination. Perhaps you thought that self-criticism keeps you sharp, hoping that if you are tough on yourself for long enough you will be compelled to perform. Is performance to that degree more important than our humanity? 

Last week I sat in Grade 4 – 7 academic meetings when all the staff got together and discuss the progress of each boy. Unbeknown to the staff, I was keeping a tally of the number of times the words anxious or stressed were used. I stopped counting when I got to 300. Surely, this anxiety or stress is our humanity telling us that something is not right! And to strategise to pursue performance that is taking away our humanity, our fun, our life – is not a performance at all.

By being hard on ourselves we tend to define achievement in a hyper-specific way, that is, complete and total excellence at all times. You don’t need to lower your bar, but you do need to broaden your scope of what qualifies as a “win.” Achieving the desired outcome isn’t always in your control, so broaden your definition of success to include:

  • Overcoming resistance or fear
  • Pushing back and standing up for what you think is right
  • Approaching a situation with a different mindset or attitude
  • Having fun with your family
  • Prioritising your wellness before you have to prioritise your illness

Humans essentially use two strategies for rewarding themselves and others. These two are destructive but schools have become exceptional at doing them. 

  • The first is – “If you do…, then you get…” How often do you seek to motivate yourself and your children (or others) by using this approach.
  • The second is – “Now that… I can give…” again, we wait for an impossible set of expectations to be reached and then view it as excellent.   

I want to suggest a third way to reward yourself and others – Self Acknowledgement. 

By acknowledging and celebrating yourself more often, you physically alter your brain to notice more evidence of your capabilities and success – not in comparison to an external set of factors or to other people. You accept that you are doing your best and that is enough. You can program yourself to believe that you deserve good things and that you are capable of creating positive changes in your life.

GLYNNIS MOORE

I arrived at The Ridge School a little more than a month ago to a very welcoming environment. My first greeting was a huge: “Hello…Welcome!” from Mandy Herold on the steps in front of the JP building. This set the tone for what was to follow. 

The first activity of the day was a Whole School Photo.The coordination of the entire school coming together in front of the hall – including some very little boys – was in my eyes, a feat nothing more than amazing. I admit to a feeling of ‘imposter syndrome’ by my inclusion in the photo  as I gazed over the wonderful view of Johannesburg. This was the first in a series of events and activities that had not taken place since before the advent of COVID lockdowns and it has been lovely to be a part of the palpable sense of excitement as more activities and events have happened over time.

The following day was an Ash Wednesday service where, in addition to a lovely service,  I was able to meet staff and girls from St Katherine’s and APPS. We enjoyed items performed by a combined choir and the boys and girls certainly enjoyed the opportunity to socialise during their break afterwards.

Imagine my surprise the following day when I was met by the sight of a host of Harry Potter and Cat In The Hat (amongst others) look alikes having a giant playdate on the Hersov field. Parents were clearly delighted to be experiencing a sense of community again whilst having their breakfast picnics on the lawns. There was even a Queen of Hearts, AKA Di Wellard, taking temperatures at the top gate. 

I was invited to several of the grades’ parent socials and was able to meet with many of the parents – some who were meeting for the first time – and they were grateful to be able to be out and about socialising after such a long time without being able to do so. It was clear that The Ridge parents loved the interaction and collegiality.

I was able to attend sporting events such as cricket, which seems to have a culture all of its own, with boys excitedly calling out to each other on the fields and parents cheering on the sidelines. The Inter House Gala and Cross Country demonstrated the boys’ energy and enthusiasm for active activities and obvious support for one another. 

Perhaps the most exciting event, especially for the more senior boys, was the Lumo dance. Besides the obvious enjoyment of the children (and some staff) bopping up and down on the dance floor, there were many opportunities for valuable discussion on the Monday afterwards as boys unpacked the events and interactions that they had had with children from other schools.

Where academics is concerned, I have been meeting with groups of teachers and visiting classes to gain a better understanding of how things work at The Ridge and to plan some of the way forward. In addition, we had an Exec getaway where we embarked on a process of strategic planning to guide us on our way forward. More details regarding this will follow.

The most recent event that I attended was a music festival at Kingsmead College in which our orchestra and marimba ensembles performed.  Everyone was really delighted that such an event could once again take place and the energy and sense of excited anticipation of our boys and the audience was notable. I found myself feeling extremely proud to be a part of this wonderful school. While boys and parents greeted and chatted to me, I realised that any feelings of “imposter syndrome” had left and that I am really beginning to feel at home at The Ridge School. I look forward to my time ahead and being a part of new developments that will follow.

KABELO MOTHLHOMI

Born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa. I started my music tuition in 1997 at the age of 11 with Rosemary Nalden at Buskaid in Soweto. In the 10 years I spent playing with Buskaid I led the Ensemble for 5 years and collaborated with distinguished orchestras around Europe and the United States. During this time I had the privilege to play with The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and The English Baroque Soloists conducted by John Elliot Gardner.

At the age 19 I went to further my studies at The Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester where I completed my  Higher Diploma in Music under Jonathan Morton who is the Artistic Director/leader of the Scottish Ensemble and performs as a leader for the BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Sinfonietta and other orchestras.

Since my  return from Manchester in 2009 I have been freelancing with orchestras from Johannesburg and Durban, teaching music at local institutions and Private schools. As a former member of the Diamond Quartet, which has been involved in big festivals like the National Arts festival in Grahamstown and Festival Culturel International De Musique Symphonique in Algeria.

Being a constant performer; whether in an orchestra, solo artist, session/recording artist or in collaboration with other artists, I pride myself on my professionalism, dedication and high standard of performance. I regulary  perform with all the major orchestras in Johannesburg like the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Johannesburg Festival Orchestra, Johannesburg Music Initiative and occasionally get invited to play with the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic in Durban. As a musician and recording artist I have worked or collaborated with Bra Hugh Masekela at the Market theatre in 2010 “Songs of Migration” and with Sibongile Khumalo celebrating 20 years of enriching the country with her music. To add to a long list of artists are Tshepo Mngoma and Gloria Bosman, Bala Brothers, Judith Sephuma and Zahara, Swazi Dlamini, Black coffee, Kent, Khuli Chana, HHP, Kwesta and many others. As a soloist and concertmaster I have  toured Europe and the United States with Buskaid. The Biggest highlight in my career was in 2013 when I was asked to play at the premiere of Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom held in Johannesburg

AZEEMAH MAYET-MOOLA

I am delighted to have the opportunity to introduce myself to you and to be a part of The Ridge Learner Support team. Working with children is my passion and interacting with the boys brings me so much joy.

I studied Speech and Hearing Therapy at the University of Witwatersrand. After graduating in 2008, I completed my community service at 1 Military Hospital. Thereafter, I furthered my experience and knowledge at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital and Park Lane Clinic. I started my journey in private practice in 2012 (10 years ago!).

First and foremost, I am a mum to two beautiful boys (A Ridge boy and a soon-to-be Ridge boy). As well as being a published academic (2011), I have completed a basic and advanced Neuro-Developmental Training (NDT) course and have extensive knowledge and experience in the field of early intervention. I have completed the “It Takes Two to Talk” training hosted by the world renowned Hanen Centre, as well as the PROMPT technique hosted by the PROMPT Institute and the SOS Feeding Approach which targets children with difficult feeding and picky eating. I completed my Masters degree in Early Childhood Intervention in 2014, at the University of Pretoria.

A paediatric Speech-Language Therapist can screen, evaluate and treat children in developing their communication abilities. I am able to treat speech, voice, fluency, language, processing and understanding, listening, social interaction and writing difficulties.

My mission is to promote optimal developmental outcomes for children and families with communication needs within their home and learning environments. Therapy considers the resources, priorities and concerns of each family and the school to optimise the success of every child.

MELISSA SMITH

It is well understood that each human is unique. Robert John Meehan states:  Every child has a different learning style and pace. Each child is unique, not only capable of learning but also capable of succeeding. 

No two children are alike. They differ physically, emotionally, socially and intellectually and it is therefore, essential that each child is understood and respected within this uniqueness and individuality. We need to understand and accept our children’s gifts and encourage them. It is important that the focus is rather on effort and not perfection.

For me, it is crucial to observe and pursue the interest of children to see what makes them curious, knowing that it is through curiosity that the best learning takes place. As a dedicated teacher, and now, learning support specialist at The Lighthouse, I ensure that the teaching I provide is not only interesting and exciting, but varied. Varied to the learning styles of the children’s specific needs, guiding them to grow their confidence, for with confidence, comes the ease of learning. I believe that there is value in stepping back and embracing each unique child that I have in my presence.

I conclude with Psalm 139 v 13- 14 that says;

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,

I know that full well. “

ALISON BRADFIELD

Hi, I’m Alison, a paediatric physiotherapist. I joined The Ridge at the beginning of this year, and since then, have been enjoying every second spent on the school grounds where the boys and staff have made me feel so welcome and part of the team.

I graduated from Wits with a degree in Physiotherapy in 2017, and completed my community service in Bloemfontein in 2018. Since then, I have been working almost exclusively with children. Working with children has taught me to enjoy the little miracles that life has to offer. One of the greatest joys of being a physiotherapist is watching children grow and develop, and to watch their excitement as they master new skills that they weren’t able to do before.

I have experience working in a large variety of environments, including mainstream schools, special needs schools, hospital and intensive care environments and community based work. Most recently, I completed a postgraduate course in M.A.E.S therapy, specializing in the treatment of neurological disorders in children. At the moment, I work in an outpatient practice in Parkview which services a number of schools in the area, including The Ridge.

My work as a physiotherapist has taught me that every child is capable of amazing things. I can’t wait to learn just how amazing the children and staff at this school are. 

RECENT MALINDI

I am Recent Malindi (29 years) from a small village called Tshivhongweni in Limpopo (Venda). I am the first born with two siblings. I completed my Matric in 2011 and furthered my education at Vaal University of Technology and graduated with a National Diploma in Mechanical Engineering.

I worked in a variety of companies to gain experience in different areas which would be valuable to me going forward. I started as a Mechanical Fitter at Metal Protection Engineering (2016) then in  2017 I worked as a motor technician in Boksburg. My career  began as a Junior Mechanical Operator at the Southern Gauteng Science and Technology park before moving on as Facilities Manager for Trinity House Northriding and Glenvista.

I am happy to join The Ridge School and would like to serve at my best. I am looking forward to many years of a good working relationship with The Ridge family.

TRIBUTE TO BRUCE NCUBE BY

MARESCE OPPERMAN          

Congratulations on securing a new internship with the likelihood of a teaching post for next year.

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.

I hope that this experience was close to what you hoped it would be if not more, when you applied.

I know that you are a bit anxious about the unknown at the moment but … Always remember that no matter where you go or what you do there are always going to be challenges. What I am asking is that you meet these challenges head on, with your head held high and your heart wide open. It is not enough to simply try and get by in life. Try to excel in everything you do, strive for excellence no matter how big or small the task is.

Although it is not easy to see right now, every accomplishment you achieve is added to the accomplishments of the world. When you succeed you are in a position to give rather than to take. Imagine if every individual lived up to his or her potential, how much better the world would be?

Well, you might not have the power to inspire the world to strive for success but you do have the ability to try and achieve it for yourself.

My challenge to you today is, to do all you can to reach your full potential and try and inspire the lives that you touch by your example.  The future is truly in your hands, so make the most of it and make The Ridge proud!

TRIBUTE TO MOEKETSI MOTSEPE BY

URVASI NAIDOO

It really is a bittersweet moment and as much as we wish Mr Motsepe well on his new journey to the Eastern Cape, we will sorely miss his presence around the school.

Moeketsi has been at The Ridge for 12 years and during that time has managed various portfolios. As a Mathematics and History teacher, he taught with passion, engagement and showed a commitment to boys’ education by being supportive and encouraging. The boys loved having Moeketsi as a teacher, and his connection with them speaks to his understanding of young people and what makes them tick. As a class teacher, Moeketsi often showed his gentle and caring side, and found a delicate balance between being a mentor and displaying tough love. Moeketsi and I have worked together in Grade 7 for a long time. During this time we put out many fires from teenage rebellious behaviour to questionable camp instructors, and even a camp trip that led to the bus being impounded by Metro police, with 60 boys on it! Through it all, be it achievements or a crisis, Moeketsi stood side by side with his team members. As colleagues, we were honest, displaying caring, we supported, we encouraged, we had passionate and robust debates, but in the end, I knew that Moeketsi had a vested interest in the team, and ultimately the boys.

Moeketsi was also entrusted with the Transformation and Diversity portfolio, which focused on community welfare as well. He guided The Ridge towards attaining a school that is reflective of South Africa, a melting pot of culture and diversity. One’s work is never complete and Moeketsi laid a strong foundation and the groundwork for us as a school, and now, we have a responsibility to develop and build on his outstanding portfolio. His work with Salvazione, the rhino campaign and many community outreach initiatives showed his compassion, and his desire to educate Ridge boys about the importance of giving back.

In the time I have worked with Moeketsi, he has quietly gone about his duties without a fuss, he isn’t someone who tries to grab the limelight, he works behind the scenes and does what is required. I have seen Moeketsi quietly empower staff, manage conflict situations head on, but with grace and sensitivity, and the school has benefited enormously from his wise counsel and expertise.

As a friend and colleague, Moeketsi has been an important part of my Ridge journey and I learnt a lot from him. I am most grateful and appreciative of his support, honesty and objective advice.

Moeketsi left the corporate world to work in education and his contributions to teaching makes the life of a school richer. Moeketsi once said,” a life as teacher is always going to be a poor one, people don’t go into teaching for the money, that’s for sure”. Teaching is a calling, and his passion and genuine interest in the welfare of the children entrusted in his care is what makes him valuable to any institution. 

St Andrew’s College is lucky to have Moeketsi, and on behalf of The Ridge School, we wish him everything of the best as he takes up the position of Deputy Head. We wish him, Amelia, Pabi and Kgosi every happiness and success as he makes Grahamstown his new home.      

TRIBUTE TO MATTHEW MARTINS BY JOE KOTWAL

Matthew arrived in Johannesburg from the beaches of Cape Town, as a nearly fresh out of school hockey player studying at UJ. He convinced Bennie to hire him as a student master and the rest as they say is history. Almost six years later, with three degrees, Matthew has opted to return to the icy waters of Clifton 4th where the knowledge acquired from his collection of nearly 50 ZigZag surf mags can finally be put to good use. 

It was never Matt’s intention to study to become a teacher, nor make a career out of working at a school. He is still not a teacher and his career at a school is now over, but the mark left on his character and the memories he made here will live on and continue to shape him in his chosen career path – that of Renewable Energy. If there was a noble profession in the corporate world akin to teaching, it would be those climate warriors who seek new and creative ways to fuel the world on clean energy! Matt, you are one such warrior! 

Matthew is a caring individual who does life in a more serious fashion than most. I have never met anyone who studies for a quiz night. His thirst to succeed is unquenchable and is why he has landed a job at one of the top renewable firms in the country, the reality that he must move to Cape Town is the only sad part of this tribute.

Matt began as a Stooge, was announced by Angie Chapman as the Head boy of the Stooges and entrusted with many great responsibilities in our Centenary year. When Richard Leaver left Matthew was asked to manage Phys Ed and the staff who ran it and in the short time with him at the helm Phys Ed has become a more structured lesson with meaningful outcomes.

Personally, I have always valued Matt’s eagerness to get involved. In 2019 I had a WhatsApp group with the Interns and Stooges.  This group of guys ran bars, put up bunting and then took it down and then put it up again. Eventually one of them would fall out of a tree, this was Matt – he never complained, but just got on with it, injury and all.

Matt, thank you for teaching me about solar energy, wind farming and the rate at which the world is moving towards a cleaner future. People like you give us all hope that because your skills are so in demand the world will be a different place for the boys who walk these corridors. 

I will miss our coffee chats; I know Scott will miss your catch ups in the staff room and Sarah will miss those whiskey visits. Many of us have come to value your presence at The Ridge and we will find it hard to fill the gap you leave. 

TRIBUTE TO ASHIK HARIPERSADH BY

JOE KOTWAL

Ashik is the type of person who does everything with a smile on his face. It is this personality trait that has made him both indispensable at The Ridge but also highly in demand elsewhere. Many people don’t know that he has been approached by no fewer than 3 schools in Johannesburg, he turned them all down because The Ridge was always where his heart wanted to be. 

Ashik grew up KZN and worked at Highbury Prep as his first role in a school. He then moved to Kearsney College before Richard Stanley convinced him to make the move up the hill. It was this move that saw Ashik grow into a role he most likely never imagined. One that required him to manage both the IT infrastructure and development of a school from an Edtech perspective, to eventually finding himself in the classroom teaching boys. Ashik grew into a confident teacher in 2021, which was when he truly immersed himself in the heart and soul of the school. His flexibility and ability to adapt to new environments and take on new challenges has seen Ashik become an asset at The Ridge, and not just an employee. We are all very grateful for the way he steered the IT ship when we needed to switch to online learning in March 2020. It was seamless because he made it so.

Ashik’s family and friends have grown considerably here at The Ridge. 

Arielle, his beautiful daughter was born in 2019 and has further softened Ashik, bringing out the caring, loving and doting father, who will always be captured by Arielle’s eye. Rose, Ashik’s wife has supported him through the high and the lows and put up with a lot of travel back and forth to be by his side.

Ashik has a certain way with people that allows you to trust him from the very beginning. Many staff have confided in him and see him as a great listener with a level head who gives amazing advice.

One would often see staff and parents walking down to his office with a gift bag in hand as a thank you for something he helped with, most likely above and beyond his role as IT manager. Some of those favours were no doubt not related to The Ridge and this spoke to his kind nature.

I know that we will miss his warm nature that filters to those around him. Ashik’s calmness and can-do attitude has allowed many a frantic staff member to arrive at his office angry, and ready to fight, only to be diffused by his manner and willingness to listen first then assist where he can. 

Ashik, from everyone you have befriended here at The Ridge, we wish you well at St Mary’s Kloof. 

TRIBUTE TO MBULELO NTSHINGANA BY

PAT MBELE

What an amazing bonding we shared all these years, and I can’t thank you enough for that!   A truly great colleague is hard to find…difficult to part with and impossible to forget. The fun and laughter we shared will be cherished and fondly remembered. I guess we have a lot to keep ourselves busy with until we meet again.

It was a pleasure working with you. Thank you for your tremendous  help and kindness “ You never really leave the place you love. You take part of it with you and leave part of you there.”  Wishing you success on your new adventure! I am sorry to see you go, and hope that we will meet again.  

Just like how you don’t forget the tune when a song fades out and stops playing, I will never forget the way you taught boys how to play basketball at St Peter’s and The Ridge. Your teams were always on top of the league. Mention must be made of your wonderful IT skills that you shared with many boys and staff members, and your endless patience. 

Each man’s life touches so many other lives, when he isn’t around, he leaves an awful hole.

Dr Suess said, “Remember me and smile, for it’s better to forget than to remember me and cry.”  

“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”

Ndlela Nhle !!!

Gaju the son of Ntshingana kaMajola kaSozabe!!!.

By Pat Mbele

SYLVIA MOREMI

I met Slyvia in 2003 when she moved to Johannesburg from Limpopo. We got along immediately and soon after our first meeting we became like sisters. After Slyvia’s husband passed away we lived together for 4 years. This strengthened our bond and we were inseparable. During this time I got to know her family and I became the elder aunty of the family.

Sylvia joined the Ridge in 2019  as part of my team, based in the Junior Block. She loved her job and was always smiling when at work. She was a hard worker and did her best at any task given to her. Slyvia was soft spoken and straight forward, called a spade a spade.

The special moments we shared over the years will always be treasured and never forgotten.

May her soul rest in peace.

By Martha Skhosana

FLORINA MOHAPI

I was deeply saddened when I received news of Florina passing on. We weren’t expecting to receive such news of her and we all were in shock upon hearing this.

Florina and I worked together for 2 years at The Ridge. Florina was a humble, sweet person and always worked hard and gave her best in her job. She showed respect to those around her, big or small. Although I worked with Florina for a relatively short time, she had knowledge and I always had something new to learn from her.

Florina was very fond of her family and loved her Aunty Elizabeth very much. You would always hear her chatting about her husband and children whom she loved dearly.

She will be greatly missed by her fellow co-workers. May the almighty give her family the strength and guidance during this difficult time.

May her soul rest in peace.

By Martha Skhosana

MAX MOYO

It’s hard to imagine our beautiful school without the calm presence of our beloved Max Moyo. Max, was a husband to Memory, and three children, Njabulo, Thandiwe and Tholozisi and Grandpa to 3 grandchildren. You would never have said that Max was turning 60 later this year! His youthful energy and work ethic was inspirational. Max was a peaceful man of few words.

Even during the hard lock down in 2020, Max pivoted, rolled up his sleeves and got stuck in with the other estate staff to paint and do other jobs around the school.

Here are a few tributes that the boys wrote for Max:

“I will remember Max for his caring heart and his hard working. I will miss the yum chocolate chip cookies that is the size of my face!”

“Magic Max – Max you amazing person. We miss you already. It’s hard to say good-bye. When I finished school and was so tired, you always made me smile. When you said hello you made everything worthwhile. Darling Max, thank you for you.”

 “I will remember Max for his chill attitude and him knowing my order. I will miss him for the cookies and his smile”

From the outpouring of love that the community has shown to Max’s family, it is clear that the impact that he made on all our lives was enormous. May your beautiful soul rest in peace dearest Max. 

By Mandy Herold

OLD BOYS NEWS

Congratulations to Ben Kok (Grade 11) who has been selected to represent South Africa at the 2022 United Space School which will take place at NASA, Houston, USA from 24 July – 7 August 2022. Ben is one of two SA high school students who were chosen to go to NASA after a countrywide selection process was conducted.

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR OLD BOYS AT MICHAELHOUSE

ACADEMIC RESULTS

  • Grade 10: David du Toit (first overall in the Grade); Marc du Plessis (8th overall)
  • Grade 8: Davrin Gillot (10th overall)

SPORTS RESULTS

  • On the sporting front, Tom McCall cracked 56 to chase down more than 300 in the first XI’s 2 wicket win over the Futura Academy XI. He followed that up with a knock of 32* in our 7 wicket win over Maritzburg College.
  • Matthew Nel placed third in the U16 K1 category of the Ozzie Gladwin Canoe Race.
  • Oliver Cheales and Oliver Walters are both representing the first water polo team
  • Adrian von Klemperer’s leadership abilities have been recognized in his appointment as the captain of the U15B water polo team.
  • Recent Old Boy Sizwe Sibotshiwe has been selected to represent the U14A basketball team.

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR OLD BOYS AT HILTON COLLEGE

Grade 11 Prizegiving:

Congratulation to Fayzan Adroos who competed in the U17 age category of the South African National Championships for climbing after having qualified for the Gauteng team at the provincial championships. Fayzan qualified for the SA Youth team in all three climbing disciplines i.e Lead, Speed and Bouldering and placed as follows:

 1st place-Gold in Lead;

1st place-Gold in Speed; and

2nd-Silver in Boulder.

Fayzan will now participate as part of the South African team for the 2022 Youth World Championships to be held in the USA, Texas in August this year.  

Fayzan was also the only athlete from the Gauteng team, across all age groups,  to qualify and represent Gauteng in the top 8 Open Men’s final for Lead. 

 He also achieved the fastest times across all age groups at the Competiton in the Speed discipline.   

MUSIC

2022! What an amazing musical year we have had so far. We have been blessed to have hit the ground running with more ensembles available to the boys and are bursting at our seams with boys wanting to learn musical instruments.

The year started with a bang in the first week, as we held a Choir and Orchestra Boot Camp, where boys came together for team building, learned new repertoire, and set the musical tone for the year ahead. These camps were both highly successful, and both flagship ensembles have grown in numbers since the start of the year.

We welcomed professional Jazz Musician and Performer, Markus Wyatt, to our team this year. He is teaching Brass at the school and is sharing his Jazz skills with the boys by heading up the Jazz Band.

We were privileged to host the special Ash Wednesday Service with St Katharine’s and APPS once again after a 2-year hiatus. This beautiful service was complemented by the combined choir of over 230 boys and girls singing together on the steps of the Hersov field. We welcomed parents to this event and shared the love of community with our three schools. The choirs performed with confidence and energy, singing Panis Angelicus and Ukuthula. The Ridge choir also sang a special Goodbye Tribute to the Headmistress of APPS, Mrs Howden, as we bade her farewell, singing Go with a Song in your Heart.

The Grade 2 boy,s who have just recently begun their musical journeys, performed for the Junior school at their Music Assembly. We were treated to special performances as two boys were accompanied by their moms. This was a wonderful moment to witness, as the love of music was shared between mom and son.

The Senior Orchestra and the Grade 5 Marimba Band showcased their exceptional talents at the Kingsmead Ensemble Festival. It was wonderful to share the joy of music once again, alongside other schools, including Kingsmead, Pridwin and St Andrews School for Girls. The boys represented The Ridge well and our Marimbas most certainly gave an energetic performance.

This term, three of our newly reinstated ensembles were showcased at the Grade 3 Music Assembly alongside the individual musicians. The Junior Choir, the Foundation Wind Ensemble and the Foundation String Ensemble showcased their hard work.  These boys were given their music badges as they now begin their time of representing the department in our choirs and ensembles.

At our final Headmaster’s assembly of the term our newly instated Drum Line performed for the school. They raised the roof with their radical rhythms and brought the house down while showing off their skills. Well done to these boys, for the first Drum Line performance at The Ridge!

Term 1 culminated in a large assembly of the Grade 1-7 boys, as we gathered at the end of term to celebrate Easter. The Senior Orchestra, Senior Choir, Amtoti Choir and Junior Choir all performed special items as we celebrated together as a school community.

It is so wonderful for me to be able to share news of the Music Department’s vibrancy after a time of quiet and regulation frustration. The Music Department has been working very hard towards the upcoming Tour to KZN in July, and we look forward to sharing more music with you in Term 2.

By Carol Ackermann

KINGSMEAD ENSEMBLE EVENING

SENIOR ORCHESTRA

2022 got off to a great start for the Senior Orchestra. We started off the year with an orchestra camp on the first Friday afternoon of the year. The boys got a chance to meet each other and find out each other’s interests and hobbies. It was an afternoon filled with music, fun, and some delicious food. The new recruits also got a warm welcome from the rest of the orchestra. This camp was very successful, as the boys left with a sense of being part of a team and understanding that they are ambassadors for our school. In keeping with the theme of the year “Dance”, I chose a very dance-orientated repertoire list with pieces such as Mamma Mia and Dance Monkey.

The orchestra rehearses twice a week, and this has really helped us to deliver polished performances. The boys have shown incredible dedication and performed to rave reviews at both the Ash Wednesday service and at the Kingsmead ensemble festival. It is really a blessing to continue to harness and witness their incredible talent and love for the music. We are looking forward to performing at the Easter service and on a Music tour later this year and, showcasing the flagship ensemble of the Ridge school.

By Khanyisile Mthetwa

JUNIOR(iziNkhozi) CHOIR

It has been absolutely marvelous to restart the Junior Choir after a hiatus of almost two years. Our Grade 3 and 4 choristers, or “Eagles” choir, have immersed themselves in their rehearsals, and are thoroughly enjoying the repertoire. After just eight rehearsals, they have already learned seven songs, and polished five! Their repertoire captures their boyish exuberance, and ranges from upbeat traditional and popular songs to slower anthems and ballads. With the proverbial “carrot” promise of two performances this term, they have exceeded all expectations. It is hoped that our young eagles will go from strength to strength, growing not only in numbers, but also in their musical experience. 

By Irene Morrick.

GRADE 0 FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL

GRADE 0 FIRST WEEK OF SCHOOL

Picture this: Wednesday 12th January. The sun is shining, classrooms have been decorated, special name labels have been poked with safety pins, stuck onto lockers, allocated to bathroom hooks, and carefully placed onto brand new tables. The Parker Block Garden is bursting with colour and the smell of freshly cut grass fills the air. The most exciting of all, though, is the footsteps of 59 brand new Ridge Boys walking into our School – which will be their home for the next 8 years.

With a slow and staggered arrival, our newest members of The Ridge family settled in quickly. The boys spent some time greeting one another and introducing themselves during morning ring. We quickly moved onto free-choice painting, where the boys created some incredible artworks ranging from cars, trains, and aeroplanes, to rainbows, gardens, and animals. The boys then enjoyed a yummy snack that had been packed thoughtfully into their new Ridge School lunch bags. It quickly became apparent to the Grade 0 teachers that we would have to practise some zipping skills!

The excitement of the playground lay ahead, and the boys jumped at the opportunity to get stuck into the sandpit, explore the pirate ship and rock features, or test out their balance skills on the walking buckets. They couldn’t believe it when the teachers rang their special shakers to indicate that it was story time and the end of their school day.

The rest of the week was spent drawing self-portraits, baking delicious cupcakes, playing with Lego, rolling playdough into shapes, more time in the sandpit, more time on the pirate ship, more time in the garden, and lots more time to get to know new friends. By the time Friday rolled around, the boys couldn’t wait to meet the other half of their class, as well as their Specialist subject teachers.

From Monday 17th January, the Grade 0 boys all enjoyed the start of their full school programme. The Grade 0 teachers were so proud of how quickly these little people settled into their new environment and it has been wonderful getting to know each one of their unique personalities ever since.

By Sarah Behr

VALENTINE’S DAY

GRADE 4 CAPPING CEREMONY

The capping ceremony is a wonderful occasion that takes place at the beginning of the year to mark the Grade 4s graduation into the Senior Prep. The Grade 7 boys welcome them into the Senior Prep by presenting each Grade 4 boy with his Ridge cap. Not only are the Grade 4s excited by the opportunities that lie ahead for them, but also that they can wear their cap as a significant symbol in recognition of their graduation.

The 2022 Capping Ceremony was combined with the Grade 7 Induction Ceremony and took place outside on the Hersov field which is a perfect venue. The early morning blue skies and golden sunlight overhead added an energy and a brightness to the occasion. The tiered steps enabled the Grade 7 boys to be significantly placed as the new leaders of the school, as well as ensuring a clear view for everyone. The event was not only enjoyed by the boys, but also by their parents as they watcedh their sons embark upon the next phase of their lives.

We look forward to the Grade 4 boys continuing to wear their caps with pride, and we wish them a happy, successful and fulfilling journey through the Senior Prep.

By Erica Kinnear

GRADE 7 INDUCTION

The Grade 4 and 7 Capping and Induction Ceremony is a beautiful tradition at The Ridge School, and is one of our biggest calendar events in the Senior Prep. The assembly was a wonderful opportunity to welcome parents onsite in the new school year, and the event was well received and enjoyed by both boys and parents.

The Grade 7s were officially inducted as the seniors of the school. In this ceremony they received their Grade 7 badges, tied the symbolic knot and committed to the Grade 7 pledge. This special assembly honours and recognises the senior boys of the school. One of their first responsibilities as seniors of the school was to “cap” the Grade 4 boys; it is a special moment that warmly welcomes the Grade 4 boys to the Senior Prep. 

 The assembly signifies the start of what could be a wonderful year ahead for the boys. We encourage boys to embrace the year and look for opportunities that will extend and challenge them. As the seniors of the school, we wish them a year filled with fond memories, happiness and personal growth.

By Urvasi Naidoo

ASH WEDNESDAY

CRICKET FESTIVAL

WATER POLO TOUR

On Thursday the 3rd of February The Ridge participated in the Oakhill Waterfront Chukka Festival in Knysna. Twelve boys and three very excited staff members embarked on what felt like a very long trip to the Western Cape. This Water Polo festival was truly unique as it was played in the harbour and within the sheltered surrounds of some beautiful yachts. The team was met by some very stiff opposition, but as Ridge boys do they did not shy away from hard work and showed determination. Credit to the boys they played with heart, tenacity, and no shortage of skill, but also learnt the power of team spirit. They supported each other constantly throughout the two days. Lots of new memories and friends were made on tour. The tour was most certainly enjoyed by all.

By Ryan Bezuidenhout

CANOEING

We have thoroughly enjoyed the return to an almost full canoeing programme this term. From Grade 4 to Grade 7 we have 37 boys participating in our wonderful sport. Six of our Grade 5 to Grade 7 boys have participated in two official Gauteng Schools League sprint events in February and March, and in the last event, we had a representative from Grade 5, 6, and 7 that finished in second place in their respective heats (Grade 5- Oliver Stewart, Grade 6- Jack Heenan, Grade 7- William McIlleron). We’ve also attended a river proficiency trip on the Klip River in February, where 3 boys gained some valuable river experience.

The marathon event race distances are as follows: U10s 3km, U12s 6km and U14s 12.5km.

We are also really excited that canoeing training and events will now continue in term 2. We have the following upcoming Gauteng Schools League marathon events in May:

– Sunday 8th May – Florida Lake Canoe Club Marathon Race

– Sunday 15th May – ERK Marathon Race (Homestead Dam, Benoni)

– Sunday 22nd May – Dabulamanzi Canoe Club Marathon Race (Emmarentia Dam)

– Friday 27th and Saturday 28th May- Gauteng Marathon Champs (Victoria Lake, Germiston)

Our canoeing team boys are really looking forward to the challenges ahead in term 2, which should provide some valuable race experience as well as a great opportunity to build some endurance and paddling fitness.

By Daniel McLachlan

iSIZULU AT THE RIDGE

This Term the Grade two boys have learnt under the following topics, the sounds, isiZulu vowels, to follow different isiZulu instruction, by using action words that they have learnt during, greetings and family members in isiZulu. They have enjoyed greeting each other in isiZulu so that they can get the correct pronunciation, role playing different characters, introducing themselves in isiZulu. They have also enjoyed talking about their family members and telling the class their names. It is very important to get the vowels correct in order to perfect pronunciation. At the Ridge school we take isiZulu very seriously because it is one of our South African official languages. During our lessons I always encourage our little boys to practise the language as often as they can because it is not about getting the correct answers. They are expected to speak the language. I am so proud of the boys because they take isiZulu very seriously and I am so pleased with the effort they put in during our lessons. 

By Thulisile Zulu

THE IDEAL RIDGE BOY

The Grade 2 boys were in discussion about their wonderful school and all that it entails as part of a Life skills lesson. One of the key topics being that The Ridge boys make the school what it is- a wonderous place full of admirable qualities like kindness, resilience, and teamwork. Once we completed the discussion, the boys were given the opportunity to build The Ideal Ridge boy in the form of a stick puppet.

We first had to give each boy the appropriate uniform, which was neatly dressed onto the puppet- just as the uniform should be worn. The boys then pasted a heart on the shirt to symbolize the kindness and care that all Ridge boys should have for one another and the society at large. Each hand was given an item to hold. The first item was a tennis racket- to represent the teamwork and sportsmanship which we believe makes the Ridge boy who he is, both on the sports field and off. In his other hand, a set of books were placed. These were a reminder that Ridge boys work hard and strive for their best in Academic work- displaying resilience even when something is hard. Finally, a picture of a brain was pasted just above the puppets head to remind boys to be ‘Bubblegum brains’ and not ‘Brick brains’. This means, to let experiences teach us to think differently and to trust ourselves when we say that “We have got this!”

The boys were so encouraged by their own puppets to represent the Ideal Ridge boy that some have pasted them in their rooms as a daily reminder! We thoroughly enjoyed taking pride in our school and showing it off to everyone in it!

By Jhulan Govan

READING BREAKFAST

The Ridge School had an early start to the Reading Breakfast on the 4th March. It turned out to be such a beautiful morning despite the prospect of rain.

The Book People set up the books on the wraparound veranda of the hall. The children and their respective families and loved ones sat on the Hersov field enjoying their picnics. Due to the books being at the entrance of the hall, the sales were fantastic and everyone enjoyed browsing the different genres. The majority of books bought seemed to be more of the fiction section, which was lovely to see.

For the Librarians it was a real treat to be able to have the families back onto the property. Being able to see groups reading to each other, chatting and enjoying being outside in the fresh air. It was also fantastic to have so many people making an effort to dress up, using their creativity. The majority of costumes were handmade from items found around the home. We did have a competition with the Junior Prep boys to vote for the best dressed teacher team and the winners were the amazing Grade 2s. Congratulations to the 101 Dalmatians and Cruella De Ville!

On behalf of the Senior Librarians and myself, thank you to each and everyone of you for the effort and the support that you bring to the Reading Breakfast. Look out for the next one which will be in the warmer months of the Third Term.

By Suzanne McLellan

SWIMMING GALA

And 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’s 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 ‘Interhouse 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.

By Deidre Leibrandt

CLIMBING

The Ridge U13 and U15 boys participated in the Gauteng Provincial Selections on the 19th and 20th of February. The following boys participated in the competition: Jack Heenan, Thomas Naude, William McIlleron, Mustafa Adroos, Owen Murfin.

Congratulations to Jack Heenan for receiving gold medals for both the Bouldering and Lead disciplines.

The Ridge Climbers have been busy strengthening their bodies to tackle the walls at school and City Rock. Watching them make their way up and down the walls is something quite impressive. The boys listen carefully to the needs of their climbing partners on the wall and work together as a team to ensure a safe and successful climb.

Jack Heenan and William McIlleron represented Gauteng in the National Climbing Championships in Cape Town last weekend.  It was a wonderful opportunity and experience for them both and Jack Heenan came 2nd in the Lead Climbing discipline.

LUMO DANCE

JOBURG MINI COUNCIL EASTER DRIVE

Our two Joburg Mini City Councillors launched the Easter project to their fellow Ridge boys. The collection is in aid of over 120 child centered organisations across South Africa, who will ensure that Easter is a little sweeter this year. We would like to wish Aidan Butler and Katleho Ramatsotso, seen here with their mums, well during their term of office

ST PADDY’S DAY

A surprise and delight for St Paddy’s Day. Our wonderful Ridge mums dressed up and treated our boys to gold coin chocolates and other goodies.