Horizons Term 2 2021

Term 2 2021 at The Ridge School will be remembered for a few reasons:

  • At 15 weeks it was one of the longest terms we’ve had;
  • We went from being at school full-time to blended and then to fully online and back again to full-time face-to-face school! No wonder boys, teachers, parents were spinning!
  • Teachers all received their COVID vaccinations;
  • Every Grade 7 boy got into their first-choice college and;
  • It was one of coldest terms in some time!

But ultimately what this term will be remembered for is that it is the final term with our much-loved Headmaster, Richard Stanley. And so, the first half of this edition of Horizons is a dedication to him through tributes from the staff that have worked most closely with him during his time at The Ridge.

The second half of Horizons is dedicated to our next group of leavers who have only one term left at The Ridge, our Grade 7s! I hope you enjoy the wonderful insight into our school teens, or almost teens. Unsurprisingly their words show how intelligent, resolute, funny and wise our current school leaders and soon-to-be college boys are.

Wishing everyone in The Ridge community a safe and wonderful August break!

By Anton Pretorius

Dear Parents,

As Lucinda and I come to the end of a memorable and happy second chapter here at The Ridge School, we do so with so many mixed emotions and with our hearts full to the point of overflowing.

As we deal with and manage these cluttered feelings, we are aware that, with farewells needing to be said, we are able to communicate our heartfelt gratitude and sincere thanks to so many wonderful people who have walked this part of our life’s journey with us, and to The Ridge School family for so many happy and forever memories.

But before getting on to the thanks and farewells, I will take a moment to touch on a few final thoughts that I share in love and with an open heart.

A Final Word

Mahatma Gandhi is known to have said, ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’. He was a man who lived out and exemplified this deep wisdom throughout his life. If this great leader and humanitarian were alive today it is a pretty safe bet that he would be offering the same sage advice but with even more passion and voice.

It is my humble opinion that our schools ought to be equipping and empowering children with a far greater urgency to become resilient and mindful change agents and global citizens as they receive a depth of educational preparedness that will reach into their hearts as much as their minds.

These moral, emotional and social learning reflections need to awaken for them all a clearer understanding about what their role in society will need to look like into the future. It cannot simply be enough any longer for schools, teachers and parents to be hell-bent on their children achieving that one ‘all-important’ school leavers’ certificate that essentially. only measures intelligence through a narrow academic filter.

Schools will, in my view, need to be tasked to assist parents to bring to life even more within the children a purposeful depth of character, conscientised levels of integrity, sincerely felt instincts to serve and support humanity, and a built-in desire to connect with and meaningfully embrace what at The Ridge we refer to as the ‘Right Stuff’.

The world is crying out for us all to show our children the way. As another great leader, Nelson Mandela is known to have said, ‘We must use time wisely and forever realise that the time is always ripe to do right.’

As I reflect on what I have learnt in my 41 years of boys’ primary education and on what stands out for me in this twilight stage of my career as the essence of foundational learning, I would have to say that it is for teachers and parents to find better ways to unlock for our children what being truly human, purposefully relational and instinctively empathetic, kind and compassionate really means and what it needs to look like. If this is to be achieved and so set our children up to ‘be the difference’ that the world needs as they strive to make a difference, they will only truly catch these values if they are shown them each day by example-setting adults in their lives … their parents and their teachers.

Thank you and Farewell

It was in March 1989, that Lucinda and I, together with our very young children, Nicola and Joshua (Samuel was still only a twinkle in the eye), were first introduced to the beautiful Westcliff neighbourhood and, in particular, to this wonderfully unique boys’ prep school. Thirty-two years on (with a memorable and significant twenty-year Highbury Prep adventure separating the two six-and-a-half year tenures), it is now time to say goodbye.

On behalf of Lucinda and me, as we say farewell, my heartfelt thanks to:

• The Ridge boys who have breathed their boundless energies, free spirits and broad love of learning, in so many unique and individual ways. Your collective zest for life brings the school alive each day, lads, and has done so even at a distance, as experienced all too often during these past eighteen months;

• Our dedicated and wonderfully talented team of educators. It has been a privilege and a special honour to have observed each of you bringing to life a myriad magical boy-centred moments. Together we have shared in, grappled with and overcome daily challenges and have found time to celebrate your professional individualities, purposes and passions;

• Members of my faithful, devoted and hard-working Exco management team who go the distance and beyond every working day – and so often at other times – to navigate safe passage, to lead, manage and guide, to keep reliable channels of communication and information open, and to look after and care for boys, colleagues, parents and others;

• Members of our admin, marketing, secretarial and finance team who go about

their workday responsibilities in ordered, ‘behind-the-scenes’ ways that bring calm, add

value and help to instill trust;

• Our cheerful and loyal service and support staff teams, in the form of Housekeeping, Gardens and Grounds, Maintenance and Upkeep, and Security, who add so much into so many operational aspects of school life each day;

• The fine young interns and student masters who play such important roles not only as assistant teachers and coaches but in many other areas of daily operational support;

• Past Chairman of the Board, James Clucas, current Chairman, Itu Kgaboesele and their teams of governors who, as custodians and guardians of best practice, financial sustainability, and good governance, have continued to provide the oversight, the wise counsel and the legal knowhow throughout my seven-year tenure;

• Liz Wallis who has been, quite simply, a gift from heaven for me throughout my time back at The Ridge. There are good private secretaries, there are amazing PAs, and then there is Liz Wallis. This beautiful human being exudes each and every day warmth, love, sincerity of heart, kindness, and sensibility; all as underpinning virtues that amplify her efficiency, work ethic and love of all that falls under the banner, The Ridge School;

• You Ridge parents, past and present. I have said on a few occasions in recent months that amongst so many other lessons learnt, Covid-19 has reminded us all in education just how much we, the adults in our children’s lives need each other. I have missed so much the person-to-person contacts, the earnest debates about everything from boys’ lunches and lost property to sports’ team selections and the standard of coaching. It will be more important now than ever before, for school and home to be aligned for the sake of our boys;

• Thank you to so many for having placed your trust in me as Headmaster of The Ridge, for your collegial and professional support, and for so many friendships forged.

• To Lucinda who has stood by me through good times and the not so good, she has been my rock, my confidant, my shoulder to cry on, my counsel and my encouragement at time when the loneliness of the job meant that there was no other person in the world for me to turn to.

• Finally, my humble praise and thanks to my Father God, my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, and to the power of the Holy Spirit, without Whom all my efforts would have been nothing worth.

As I sign off, I do so with a beautiful verse of promise, peace and hope from the Scriptures that I pray over The Ridge and its family:

Thank you all for the memories. I shall cherish them all.

Go well, God bless you all and may His Spirit guide, guard, bless and keep you and your loved ones now and into the years ahead.

Richard Stanley

Headmaster

Richard Stanley Tribute by Nick Diana

With a heavy heart, we bid farewell to an inspirational leader, one who always put others first and whose servant and humane leadership remains unquestionable.

A man who continues to instil and see the best in all who he comes across and interacts with, a man with a heart of gold and selfless goals. Having had the privilege of working very closely with Richard, it was evident that he made you feel like the most important person in the room. His admirable way of dealing with difficult parents, opening his door to staff and embracing each and every boy makes him someone who will be very difficult to forget.

A man whose assemblies inspired us, whose knowledge of birding awed us and whose messages and conversations (off the cuff) wowed us. Richard’s leadership is not a case of hard work, it’s a sentiment of ‘heart’ work. This is what makes our school, The Ridge School, an environment in which we (boys, parents and staff) feel safe, secure and loved.

Richard’s leadership style is similar to that of geese. It’s not necessarily the quiet, tranquil way in which these birds fly delicately and admirably above you, spreading their wings in tandem to create a picturesque setting, but rather the way in which they:

  • Communicate often
  • Cooperate effectively to speed up progress
  • Share leadership roles
  • Encourage each other
  • Protect each other
  • Use this wisdom to pass onto others

And with these specific attributes, Richard, we thank you for the dedication and commitment you have given us, your ‘gaggle’, over the last seven years. Without you, many of us would not have had the courage to spread our own wings!

We now wish you and Lucinda all the best as you spread your feathered plumes and migrate to your beautiful family. Although you will be sorely missed, don’t forget that all you need to do is think of us here, at the Ridge School, where we all learnt, under your steady leadership, to fly!

A poem for Richard Stanley By Nick Diana

And so here we are, this day has come

We sadly bid farewell

To a gentleman, and servant leader

But I’ve got a story to tell

Mr Stanley joined in 2015

A brave and courageous head

Always putting others first

Ubuntu is what he said

In 2016 we learnt that

Birding was his game

Not one to shy away from lengthy assemblies

We still enjoyed them all the same

2017 saw a man who

Used the head, hand and heart

To unpack the importance of who we are

It’s a catchy phrase, quite smart

A year later we saw, what we eagerly awaited

The preparation for the hundred

Luckily he had experience with this

And the bursar helped him fund it

The centenary year brought with it

Fun, flair and vigour

Thanks to our good old head

This was a year to remember

And with 2020 came a new direction,

COVID was its name

Our head was calm, cool-headed and without a fault

He was happy to play this game

And as he did so, we came to learn

That decision making wasn’t easy

What’s in the best interests of the boys

Is where his heart lay, quite breezy

You see this is a man, who understands young boys

And has continuously moved with the trends

There’s nothing that has stood in his way

Of this, we cannot pretend

So we bid farewell to our humble leader

He leaves us in twenty-twenty one

There will be no other like him

With Richard Stanley, The Ridge has won

By Nick Diana

Richard Stanley Tribute by Mandy Herold

Where do I begin to pay tribute to this incredible human being? The following words come to mind: humble, trustworthy, empathetic, honourable and kind… SO KIND!

You are a family man and always talk about your beloved Lucinda, Nicola and Ian, Sam, Joshua, Benjamin and Jack with so much love and affection. I’m beyond delighted that you’re going to be closer to them. Benjamin and Jack are so blessed to be your grandsons!

You relationship with your Heavenly Father is so special. Thank you for always keeping Him front and centre, and for sharing your thoughts and inspiration from your quiet times. I’m going to miss the reference to pertinent scriptures in your Monday HM bulletins.

Thank you for gifting me with the autonomy to run the Junior Prep. Your faith in me has helped me to grow both professionally and personally. You have loved and cared for the JP staff, parents and boys, always making time to listen to me when I needed a sounding board.

I’ll also never forget travelling to conferences and workshops with you. You would always open the car door and make sure that I had a refreshment. Those chivalrous habits are few and far between in this day and age.

We drove past you taking Layla for a walk the other day. Robyn turned to me and said, “I’m really going to miss Mr Stanley, mom. He is always so kind to me.”… after taking a deep breath and biting back my tears, I said, “Me too Robs, me too!”

Richard, I have loved working with you and I can’t wait to see what the next steps of your adventure will entail. Hamba Kahle, Mr Stanley.

By Mandy Herold

Richard Stanley Tribute by Gillian Dippenaar

I have been extremely lucky to be blessed with some exceptional bosses over the years, but none quite as exceptional as Richard, who has to be one of the most upstanding, humble, learned Saints I have ever met!

Richard and I started here at The Ridge at the same time in 2015, although for Richard it was his second time – this time as Headmaster; and me as the new Bursar. From day one we were on the same page on all manner of levels, from financial control, our outlook on life and how to form meaningful relationships whilst getting the job done.

Richard has remained a teacher throughout, the vocation which remains closest to his heart and his reason for being here, always putting the boys first, as well as his staff. Always genuinely caring for everyone and always putting himself last. I say he has remained a teacher throughout because I have personally learned a great deal from him – his people skills are unmatched, his levels of empathy should put some of us to shame and his kindness is endless. Besides quite a bit of financial acumen from looking at things from a different angle, he has taught me life lessons which will remain with me forever and a level of empathy which I thought I possessed, but didn’t. Hopefully those levels have improved.

From the financial side, I have to comment on what has been achieved due to Richard’s leadership. He sees the big picture at a glance. He slowly and gently put an end to unnecessary expenditure, to extravagance, and made sure the reins were tightened just as gently, without ever compromising our core business. And look what we have today, at the end of his tenure: a fantastic, seamless Centenary celebration and all that went with it (a year before Covid, thank goodness!), fundraising for capex, bursaries and Outreach through reconnection with Old Boys the world over, a magnificent new state-of-the-art JP building (Richard’s vision), renovations or rebuilding of almost all staff residences in some form or another, a beautiful revamped music quad (remember those old criss-cross paths in a field of hard sand!), completion of all our indigenous gardens, upgrades and additions too numerous to mention. All carried out with the minimum of fuss and with no attention drawn to himself.

My hope is that every one of us has learned something from Richard in how to treat others and how to show kindness before all else.

I have enjoyed a wonderful friendship with Richard and Lucinda and will continue to do so. Everyone at The Ridge will surely miss them and I wish them all the very best for their new, exciting chapter. May the future hold the most wonderful, blessed times with your precious family and may you enjoy and cherish every moment. The Ridge will miss you madly and you will certainly never be forgotten. God Bless.

By Gillian Dippenaar

Richard Stanley Tribute by Elizabeth Wallis

This is probably one of the saddest moments in the twenty-two years I have worked at The Ridge School – to have to say good-bye to our beloved Headmaster, Richard Stanley.

I have known Richard since 1992, and it has been my enormous privilege to have been his personal assistant since 2015.

Richard has always inspired, motivated and trusted us all to be the best possible people we can be. He has always seen the good in every boy, parent and staff member, and his passion and commitment to The Ridge is extraordinary and selfless. He is a deeply devoted Christian and is guided by his faith in all he undertakes to do.

Richard gave ‘cohesion’ a new status when he joined The Ridge as he took it upon himself to unify the staff into one big family as never before. As I page through the function file so many happy and fun memories emerge; Be a Winner – August 2015; special teas with the staff, the lost property Mums, School shop Mums, Mums who gave endless time to school functions – no one was forgotten or unappreciated. We have all enjoyed Richard and Lucinda’s gracious annual hospitality in their home.  The long table lunches Under the Oaks and looking forward to ‘red letter’ day and all the invitations to the end of year functions. “Schools’ Out” lunches at the end of each term; Buck’s Fizz & Bagels; National Teachers Day and Administrators/Secretaries Day get togethers. The fun and laughter as we tore around the track for The Grand Prix, and who will ever forget the Potjie Competition in 2017; Numerous Frolicking Fridays at the Zoo Lake Bowls Club; Walking on Sunshine through Johannesburg; a Blast from the Past and the Covid Nineties Revival Evenings. Croissants and Cappuccinos; Coffee and Muffins; Celebratory Teas; Welcome Teas for new staff members, the opportunity to celebrate and be together has never been underplayed.

Richard always know how much you are loved and appreciated.

I will miss you more!

Big hugs.

By Elizabeth Wallis

Richard Stanley Tribute by Janet Fox van der Poel

When Itumeleng (Chairman of the Board) asked me to say a few words about Richard, I was hugely honoured, and then I thought, “Oh my word Richard, where do I start?” Recently, at the dedication and opening of the Music Fountain on Friday, I realised that we have known each other professionally and socially for over 35 years!

We first met at St Stithians in 1984. You and Cindy were newly married and you were by far the most glamorous, admired and best looking couple for miles. You were definitely one of the most popular teachers, and Standard 4S was the class to be in! You coached the unbeatable swimming team, and I’m reliably told that the swimming mothers didn’t miss a swimming training session either. We worked very happily together for those 7 years. You left to take up the Deputy Head position here at The Ridge, and I left…. to have James.

When Alan Wyborn asked me to become Director of Music at The Ridge some 4 years later, I thought: “Well, this could be fun!” I would be teaching with you and Alan. You had now joined the legendary Ron and Trishie Parker, and so many other fabulous and passionate Ridge teachers. These were incredibly happy days.

At The Ridge, apart from being Deputy Head and acting Head for a while, you also coached the ‘A’ Swimming team and the 1st soccer team. What formidable teams they were. The Soccer team had been unbeaten for several seasons and again in 1994. Incredible for the small school it was! They did have a brilliant coach of course!

Unsurprisingly, you were appointed Headmaster of Highbury in 1996 and you had 18 wonderful years there. Hillcrest must surely be one of the best places to raise children, and this was where Nicola, Joshua and Sam grew up. You were loved, respected and admired by all at Highbury. You left a huge gap when you returned to The Ridge as Headmaster in 2015.

I was absolutely delighted when you returned as Headmaster. You have often talked about the ‘Golden Thread’ and you always used this analogy in the annual Grade 7 Induction Service. Your returning to The Ridge spoke so much to ‘this Golden Thread’. This thread continues as we see many of our former pupils’ children join The Ridge. In your speech at The Centenary Founders Day Service in 2019, your theme, ‘The Circle of Life’ was equally inspirational, apt, poignant and of course musically inspired.

Over all these years you have always shown extraordinary and unwavering support for the Music department. You believed intrinsically in what we did. You embraced, supported and were part of our much anticipated combined music tours. You’ve always allowed us the independence to make our music our own, in our unique way, and,  come ‘show time’, with your support, everything else at school stopped. Every child was going to shine on that stage!

Your focus has always been the children, and unashamedly, they have always been your priority. You are the most empathetic, supportive, humble and remarkable man. It is never about you, you are extraordinarily generous with your praise and appreciation, and you always make everyone else feel important, honoured and respected. You did that for your staff and for me every day. I loved working with you, and if ever I became too excited,  (which was often) you would just laugh and say… yes Mrs Fox, and you just let me be me.

Your unwavering faith is of course the most important part of your life. Whenever we sang the Hymn “I the Lord of Sea and Sky”, I always thought, “This is you, and this is how you live your life.” The boys have always loved this hymn, and have sung it with all their hearts, as if they knew. I am going to end with words from that hymn, and as you know, a hymn is really words set to music, after all:

Here I am Lord,

Is it I lord?

I have heard you calling in the night,

I will go Lord, if you lead me

I will hold your people in my heart.

Go safely special friends, enjoy being with your beloved children. You will be sorely missed.

By Janet Fox van der Poel

Richard Stanley Tribute by Angie Chapman

On behalf of all of the current parents at The Ridge School, and specifically the Grade 7 parents (as we have travelled and all sadly aged on this current school path the longest with you…), I’d like to say that it is hard to believe that both our chapters at this wonderful school are drawing to a close.

Your relationship and history with the school of course goes back far longer than ours. But it was in 2015, when Paul Channon retired at the end of 2014 and you were brought back to take over the reins of this great school that our combined narrative began. Your mandate was, amongst many other things, to ensure that the Ridge’s Centenary was celebrated in a meaningful and mindful manner, creating a strong community and culture where everyone, not only the boys, were made to feel comfortable and at home.

I will never forget in our son Christopher’s Grade 1 year, being called into your office out of the blue. This is never a pleasant experience for a child or parent especially at the start of one’s school career and most especially with a new Headmaster! My first thought was that Chris had done some terribly deed like pea shoot a tadpole at a teacher and that we were being asked to leave.

Instead of asking us to leave, you kindly asked me to put together a team and strategy to appropriately celebrate the legacy of 100 years at The Ridge School. Approximately 988 meetings, and 460 samosas and koeksisters later (thanks to the lovely Liz), we pulled it off, ageing only 150 years in the process. Let’s not forget the many cortisol-inducing moments along the way such as Ridgie leaping out a helicopter ably escorted by Melissa Mussett  on the dustbowl that was the Hersov Field at the time, and James Pitman swooping down just a little bit lower than anticipated (and briefed) in the parking lot at the opening ceremony. But Richard this was not your first ‘Centenary rodeo’, so to speak, having led Highbury so ably through their Centenary a few years before, so we all felt completely safe in your solid and steadfast leadership.

I had the privilege of monthly meetings with Richard for 5 years. Coming from the corporate world at Ernst & Young, I had been used to working with business leaders and CEO’s, and sadly many inflated boardroom egos. What I experienced in the boardroom and halls of The Ridge, however, was the polar opposite. In fact it’s what this country and the world needs more than ever right now – true servant leadership. Richard embodies this. He is a leader who adds true value to the people he leads, who works for the benefit of others and not just his own personal gain. He inspires and motivates rather than intimidates and manipulates. He lives with people to know their problems, and lives with God in order to solve them, and he follows a moral compass that points in the right direction regardless of trends.

The Ridge has often been described as a values-based, boy-centric haven of teaching and learning. Richard has always passionately advocated the importance of a values-based education and on instilling the correct values in order to raise boys who will hopefully become great men in our society. This has been especially appreciated by us parents during these dark and troubled times, so thank you Richard. We also thank you for the peace of mind of knowing that deeply rooted at the core of every decision you have made, is ultimately what is best for the boys at this school. A warm and caring Ridge community has been created by this humble, down-to-earth leader who always has the boys best intentions in his heart.

It is safe to say that the past 18 months have been the most challenging times for any educator. Many have equated the job as a school leader to walking a tight rope without a safety net; or sailing a tall ship into a storm with no navigation or sail. But you have navigated the way through these stormy waters with Ridge values and community intact, having made decisions that have been best for the boys and their families and have made us feel safe.

Richard if we were able to today (and if we thought that you would have  approved) we would, with Janet Fox’s support, had the full Ridge Marimba band here playing their finest tribute to you! We would have enlisted a brass band, South Africa’s finest praise singers, the orchestra, you name it! We would have got James Pitman back with his blue and cerise pink plane, Ridgie would have jumped out of a helicopter for you one last time, and we definitely would have brought back hundreds, if not thousands of old boys to the school to pay tribute to YOU and the role that you have played in shaping their lives and their destinies. We also would have brought back all of the colleagues and teachers you inspired during your remarkable career, including, of course, the young aspiring women and men from the Ithemba Community Early Childhood Development Programme that you started during your years as Headmaster at Highbury and more recently the hopeful young trainee teachers taking part in the Partnership of Hope programme that aims to empower and inspire future teachers thanks to your vision and leadership.

Richard, you are physically leaving not only the school, but South Africa, and that is sadly a huge loss all round. But our loss is the UK’s gain and we wish you and Lucinda all the happiness you deserve in your exciting next chapter in the UK with your precious family. We thank you for your dedication, passion, and commitment, not only to making The Ridge the remarkable school it is today, but also for the role that you have played in shaping education in South Africa as a whole, and for all of the lives that you have touched in your roles as teachers, mentors, friends and leaders. Your legacy will always live on.

I leave you with these words by Paul Berchtold:

You Live On!

You live on in days retired,

In the pupils that you inspired,

You lit the flame they carry high,

Now see it over the world fly.

You live on in parents’ hearts,

Together well you did your parts,

To see with growing satisfaction,

Training up this generation.

You live on in students’ lives,

Who have become husbands, wives,

Some are parents with children dear,

You have a part, deserve our cheer.

You live on for generations,

What you teach is building nations.

The seed you’ve been busy sowing,

Will day by day keep on growing.

You live on in memory deep.

Your legacy is what we’ll keep.

If every church needs a preacher,

Every person needs a teacher.

You live on in our grateful mind,

How hard it is the right words find.

To thank you for your work done well,

Where it will end, can scarcely tell.

You live on in grateful spirit,

May you rejoice when you hear it,

You’re an angel, a shining star,

May your light shine near and far.

Paul Berchtold

By Angie Chapman

We asked the Grade 7s to give us some feedback about their time here at The Ridge, as well as a bit of insight into their futures.

Alex Conradie

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

St Stithians College

What excites you the most about going to this college?

The sport and the academics offered at Saints.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

Everybody is so accepting, regardless of your strengths and weaknesses. Just be yourself.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

Walking the whole of inter-house cross country!

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

It is like a second home to me.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

Don’t worry about what other people think or do.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

Being successful in whatever I’m doing.

What’s your quote of the year?

“Be kind and thoughtful.”

Ahmed Hassan

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

St David’s Marist Inanda

What excites you the most about going to this college?

A new environment.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

About being myself.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

My friends.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

The people and kindness shown by everyone.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

Never stop working – it will pay off.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

You never know, you can’t predict the future…

What’s your quote of the year?

“Life is like a roller-coaster – can be scary but ultimately it is a lot of fun.”

Christopher Herman

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

St John’s College

What excites you the most about going to this college?

To see what high school is like.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

To work hard.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

2019 Centenary Founders’ Day

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

Everyone at The Ridge is very nice and supportive.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

Set goals.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

A successful Engineer.

What’s your quote of the year?

“Hard work pays off.”

Luke Holden

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

Hilton College

What excites you the most about going to this college?

I am boarding and I have always wanted to board.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

I have learnt to value my friendships and learn important values in life.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

Too many to list!

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

The Ridge is a place where you make lots of friends and they prepare you for life outside of school. It is really a special place.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

I would tell them to enjoy their time here and try your best at the time at the school.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

I see myself working hard and hopefully being successful in life.

What’s your quote of the year?

“You must persevere through times and give it your best.”

Matthew Jennings

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

St. John’s College

What excites you the most about going to this college?

Meeting knew people.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

Social Skills.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

Meeting my current friends.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

The teachers and facilities.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

Do your work.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

Computer hardware engineer.

What’s your quote of the year?

“What we call the beginning is often the end.”

Langalethu Langeni

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

Kearsney College

What excites you the most about going to this college?

Not being in Johannesburg.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

Perseverance and teamwork.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

Founders’ Days.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

The availability of sports grounds, music instruments and private lessons.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

Make sure you do your English homework in Grade 7!

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

At home with a beautiful wife and kids.

What’s your quote of the year?

“Tough times never last, only tough people do.”

Lafika Mabandla

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

St John’s College

What excites you the most about going to this college?

Basketball and boarding.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

Greatness takes time.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

Founders’ Day 2017.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

It is a school like no other.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

Do your best for everything.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

Hopefully a successful rapper in the USA.

What’s your quote of the year?

“Success doesn’t come easily.”

Simon Mussett

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

St John’s College

What excites you the most about going to this college?

I’m looking forward to the sports and the making new friends.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

How to be a better human being.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

Getting the Swimming captaincy.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

All the wonderful people around me.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

Listen to teachers because they have your best interests at heart.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

A good job living in Saxonworld.

What’s your quote of the year?

“Mistakes are a fact of life, but the way we respond to these errors is what counts.”

AbdurRahman Navlakhi

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

St John’s College

What excites you the most about going to this college?

Making new friends and experiencing something different than The Ridge.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

I have learnt to push through tough situations and have the “Right Stuff.”

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

Being on camp with all my friends.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

The Ridge feels like my second home.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

Work hard!

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

Living happily.

What’s your quote of the year?

“Tough times never last only tough people last.”

Lethukukhanya Ndhlovu

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

St Alban’s College

What excites you the most about going to this college?

The Engineering club.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

The importance of hard work.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

All the camps.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

The school isn’t too big or to small and the teachers are nice.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

Be patient and have fun.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

Having a nice job and relaxing more.

What’s your quote of the year?

“Always have fun and don’t be too serious.”

Matthew Samuels-Duvel

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

Northfields (Mauritius)

What excites you the most about going to this college?

It’s a school on a small island with no need to go to online school.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

Basic social skills.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

Sitting at what is now the “Garden of Reflection“ and just eating and arguing with my friends.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

The many special memories that I have made here.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

Adults tell us that these are the best years of our lives, and I can’t really say because I haven’t gotten as far as they have yet, but I have had a ton of fun so far, I hope you do too.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

Probably as some sort of editor with barely enough money to get by! Or working in a graphic/logo design company. One of those is more likely than the other though!

What’s your quote of the year?

“In all disorder there is a secret order, so when life seems tough, just remember that there is a reason for what’s happening.”

Mulalo Selamolela

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

St David’s Marist Inanda

What excites you the most about going to this college?

The new people I will meet.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

Teamwork and leadership.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

Winning the talent show!

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

The meditation garden and the excellent education.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

Don’t feel alone because people are always there for you.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

Voice acting.

What’s your quote of the year?

“Don’t care about what people say.”

Mondli Shibambu

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

St Johns College

What excites you the most about going to this college?

I will be with my friends and it was my first choice.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

To have GRIT.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

Founders’ Day with my friends.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

The bond you have with some teachers.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

Don’t get in trouble and have the most fun that you can.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

In a mansion with my family.

What’s your quote of the year?

“Make the most of your memories.”

Sam Slettevold

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

St John’s College

What excites you the most about going to this college?

Meeting new people.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

Try new things because it can be more fun than you think.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

All the camps we have been on.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

How all the people are so kind.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

Don’t be shy,

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

Travelling the world and experiences new things.  

What’s your quote of the year?

“Don’t be a follower, be a leader.”

Anthony Tillim

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

Redhill School

What excites you the most about going to this college?

Going to a co-ed school.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

Independence

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

When I received the Headmaster’s Award at the end of Grade 5.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

My brothers have been coming here for 17 years.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

Don’t choose another school.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

Hopefully driving a Lamborghini.

What’s your quote of the year?

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

Lithalethu Tuku

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

St John’s Colege

What excites you the most about going to this college?

Being in a new environment with new people.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

If you see someone who needs help, help them that person could make a lifelong friend.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

Playing with friends at all the Founders’ Days.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

It’s a close-knit community.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

Be kind.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

In a big secure house, happy with my family, wealthy and either an artist or a lawyer.

What’s your quote of the year?

“Reach for the moon that way if you fall you’re still above the stars.”

Andrew Turck

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

St. Johns College

What excites you the most about going to this college?

Meeting new people and making new friends.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

That you don’t always get what you want and to not be selfish.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

When we all were at Centenary Founders’ Day in 2019 and I was with all my friends and we just had a lot of fun.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

The teachers and all the facilities.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

Be confident and always do your best.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

I see myself as an architect.

What’s your quote of the year?

“Do not walk in front of me, I may not follow. Do not walk behind me, I may not lead, but walk next to me and be my friend.”

Connor van der Walt

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

St John’s College

What excites you the most about going to this college?

The sport, academics and my friends there.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

How to be a better and more enjoyable human to be around.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

There are way too many to list here!

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

The Ridge is a special place for me because I have great friends and teachers, the atmosphere is incredible and I have spent most of my life at this amazing school.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

Be yourself and have fun.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

I see myself doing something I love and enjoying my life to the fullest.

What’s your quote of the year?

“The only way to predict the future is to create it.”

Thomas van Onselen

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

Redhill School

What excites you the most about going to this college?

It is a very different school compared to most of the private schools in Joburg. That excites me.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

Work hard gets results, being kind to others, learning respect, learning to be tolerant, understanding other people cultures. To be the best you can.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

I’ve had a lot of very good memory’s. Starting in Grade 0 when me and a few others made a fort and we would have the most fun there. I’ve loved every single nativity play that we have done. One of my best memories at The Ridge is Grade 5 camp. The most fun thing that I’ve ever done at The Ridge. One of my latest one’s is performing drums at The Ridge music soiree. I got really nervous but I had the most fun.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

What I like is that they zero tolerance for bullying and many other things.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

Be yourself.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

I see myself in 20 years’ time running a huge social media company worth lots of money.

What’s your quote of the year?

“Small steps in the right direction can turn out to be the biggest step of your life.”

Christopher Allen

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

St. Stithians College

What excites you the most about going to this college?

It’s close to home!

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

Self-Suffiency

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

Finding a “paradise” in the middle of Grade 5 camp.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

Founders’ Day and climbing practice on Mondays.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

Make friends and hold on.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

30 metres up on a climbing wall during my break between being an astronaut.

What’s your quote of the year?

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

Adam Ball

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

St. Andrew’s College

What excites you the most about going to this college?

Boarding

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

Friendships are the most important thing.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

Meeting my close friends Khashane and Ikenna.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

I like the teachers and the warm vibe.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

Enjoy it while you can.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

In a game reserve working with animals.

What’s your quote of the year?

“Enjoy it while you still can.”

Alexander Bothner

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

Michaelhouse

What excites you the most about going to this college?

I am excited to start a new chapter in my life.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

I have learnt that if you have the Right Stuff you will get far in life. I have learned about loyalty and fairness.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

My favourite memories are making all my friends.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

I like that it is a place where I have many friends and it is a place where I can always be happy. I also love all the sport.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

Remember and cherish your Ridge moments while they last.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

I see myself as a successful businessman that has a loving family.

What’s your quote of the year?

“Sometimes you will never know the VALUE of a moment, until it becomes a MEMORY.” – Dr. Seuss

Oliver Bouilliart

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

St John’s College

What excites you the most about going to this college?

I am excited about having a fresh start, where others can see you in a way you might not have seen yourself before. Besides the reasons that I have chosen this college, which pertains to academics and the general all-rounded program, I am also excited to be part of a group of people that belongs to a community which is steeped in tradition.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

I have learnt most that you never give up, and you always try your best. This defining value as been instilled in us for as long as I can remember. From LO lessons to Mr Stanley’s inspiring assemblies.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

In a school such as The Ridge, it is hard to pinpoint one moment, especially when you are surrounded by teachers and friends who have your best interest at heart. In general, all the little moments between me and my friends has added up to an extensive collage of memories and fun times. One moment that has always stuck with me was when I hurt myself in rugby practice, and all my friends gathered around me to support and comfort me in my time of need. For me, this instilled the true essence of The Ridge and why it is so special to be a part of it.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

In a place of education, I think teachers are the roots of any branches. I was fortunate enough to have AMAZING teachers whose care and affection have shaped me into who I am today. This has made my experience at The Ridge infinitely more special. With this comes the childish foolishness for one’s friends which makes every moment more special.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

I would say that if you want to grow, and thrive in this environment, make the most of your opportunities. Take every one of them that you get and use it to make you a better person. But most importantly, don’t wait for opportunities to fall into your hands, go find them, forage if you need to, but never stop looking.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

I see myself trying to make the world a better place.

What’s your quote of the year?

“If you have a dream, chase after it… and NEVER stop.”

David Chorley

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

St Andrew’s College

What excites you the most about going to this college?

I’m excited about boarding and being with my friends 24/7.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

The Ridge ‘Right Stuff”.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

My friends.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

The atmosphere is just incredible from academics to music and my favourite sport.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

I would tell them if you are down never be afraid to go and talk to a teacher.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

I see myself either working at my dad’s company or either becoming a farmer.

What’s your quote of the year?

“Never be afraid to strive for you big goals.”

Adam Gardee

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

St David’s Marist Inanda

What excites you the most about going to this college?

“Gentleman. Scholar. Sportsman.” This really resonates with me.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

I’ve learnt to trust my instincts and believe in myself.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

Searching for Edna Dunn’s ghost at the koppie at dead of night…

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

The people at The Ridge are very special. Also all the outreach activities we have participated in over the years.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

As Ms Kinnear once wisely said: “Make a plan, not a fuss!”

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

I see myself Healthy, Wealthy and Wise, and of course always remembering that I was a Ridge Boy!

What’s your quote of the year?

“Live by choice not by chance.”

Sechaba Gude

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

Hilton College

What excites you the most about going to this college?

Making new memories with new friends.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

Grit and determination.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

When we went to Golden Gate for our Grade 5 camp.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

You can express yourself and just be yourself.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

Be yourself and be who you want to be.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

Playing cricket for the Proteas.

What’s your quote of the year?

“Be who you want to be.”

Liam McElroy

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

St Alban’s College

What excites you the most about going to this college?

The sport.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

To be kind.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

The whole of Grade 5.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

My friends and the sport.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

Always try your best.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

Working in a good job.

What’s your quote of the year?

“Never give up.”

Ehzan Merali

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

Redhill School

What excites you the most about going to this college?

It’s a co-ed school.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

I’ve learnt how to be disciplined and how to be a role model for the Junior grades.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

It was when we had the Soap-box Derby race in Grade 5.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

The fact that every boy at the Ridge shows manners and respect to any adult whether it may be a teacher or a parent.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

To be calm, participate in class and have fun with the friends that you make.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

I see myself becoming a world-renowned CEO and having an HQ in a skyscraper.

What’s your quote of the year?

“Dare to dream, dare to take action, and success will be yours!”

Lee-Roy Mochan

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

Michaelhouse

What excites you the most about going to this college?

More time with friends and more competitive sports.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

Learning so many things from the all the great staff.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

U11 WHPS Rugby Festival, 2017 Founders’ Day.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

Great all round school.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

Step out of your comfort zone and try something new.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

Playing professional rugby or football.

What’s your quote of the year?

“Life is like riding a bicycle – to keep your balance you have to keep moving.” – Albert Einstein

Jude Pretorius

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

St. John’s College

What excites you the most about going to this college?

Meeting new people and gaining new experiences.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

Acceptance and how to love learning.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

Being with friends and trying new things.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

All the experiences that we are given for us to try.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

Try new things and meet new people.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

I see myself laughing at what I thought I would do 20 years ago.

What’s your quote of the year?

“Try things you don’t know, no matter how scary because you never know if you’ll ever be able to try it again.”

Soham-Zhy Ravjee

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

St. John’s College

What excites you the most about going to this college?

The fact that it is going to be a whole new experience for me.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

I have learnt that being yourself is one of the most important things.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

My favourite was in Grade 2 where in our class we always used to do fun stuff and activities, like survivor.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

It is special because it is unique, the staff is awesome and so are the facilities.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

Grade 0 – 2 is easy but when you get to grade 3 it gets tough, grade 4-6 should be a bit tough but it will be fine. Grade 7 you will pass with flying colours.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

Living overseas, having started a family, and involved in sport as a career – either as an athlete or as a manager of a sports team.

What’s your quote of the year?

“Sometimes the only way to move forward is to revisit the things in your past that were holding you back. You have to deal with them head on, no matter how scary they may be. Because once we do, you will see that you can go further than you ever imagined.”- Barry Allen “The Flash”

Griffin Schroder

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

St Alban’s College

What excites you the most about going to this college?

To go make new friends and learn new things.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

Learning how to be a good citizen of society.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

Having friends that have stayed friends with me throughout my school career.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

The teachers are always happy and are always willing to help if a boy needs some help.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

Have lots of fun when you can because the time flies by before you know it.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

Hopefully saving the planet for the future generations to enjoy it.

What’s your quote of the year?

“If you want to be happy, do not dwell in the past, do not worry about the future, focus on living fully in the present.”

Sizwe Sibotishwe

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

Michaelhouse

What excites you the most about going to this college?

Making new friends and being in a new environment.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

How to be humble.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

Grade 5 camp.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

The friends that I have made at The Ridge make it a special place for me.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

I would tell them to stay in their lane and stay out of trouble.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

I see myself either playing basketball in the NBA or in D1.

What’s your quote of the year?

“Don’t let people bring you down.”

Joshua Stapylton-Smith

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

St Andrew’s College

What excites you the most about going to this college?

The boarding experience

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

You can’t stress to much about little things.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

Lumo dance!

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

The boys and the teachers.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

I would tell them to make sure they are responsible.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

Ideally I would like to be playing tennis professionally.

What’s your quote of the year?

“You will make mistakes then you will learn and you will get in trouble but you shouldn’t get in trouble again.”

Ethan Stein

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

Redhill School

What excites you the most about going to this college?

New friends, new environment and new opportunities.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

You always have someone to support you through the hard times.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

Being with friends.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

The Ridge is special because it’s basically where I have spent most of my life when not at home and pretty much all of my current friends I met here.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

The Ridge is fun place that you have friends and a safe environment to be in so make the most of it!

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

Helping wild animals.

What’s your quote of the year?

“No dream is too big if you have the right attitude. Dream big, work hard.” — JJ Watt

Adam Stoutjesdyk

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

Saint Stithians College

What excites you the most about going to this college?

Meeting new people, making new friends.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

How to make friends.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

Each and every Founders’ Day.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

We have lots of fun.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

It’s an adventure.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

Either an architect or a pro rugby player.

What’s your quote of the year?

“Success isn’t just what you accomplish in your life it’s about what you inspire others to do.”

Andrew Turvey

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

St Andrew’s College.

What excites you the most about going to this college?

Seeing my friends from different schools and seeing what it’s like in a different environment.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

That the endings won’t end you.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

Probably playing sports with all my friends and making special plays to beat our opponents, or all the laughs with all your friends and just having the time of your life.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

Knowing that teachers actually put a special thought in to you about academics and sports.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

Do your work and then you will get free time to go wild and have fun.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

Living my life in a foreign country doing one of my favourite jobs, maybe with a family.

What’s your quote of the year?

“The endings won’t end you.”

Calvin Wagner

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

St Stithians College

What excites you the most about going to this college?

Seeing new people.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

I have learned to do the ’Right Stuff’.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

The sports fixtures.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

The entire community.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

Calm down and have fun.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

Doing well in a career of my choice surrounded happily by many friends and family.

What’s your quote of the year?

“Yesterday was the past, tomorrow is the future, but today is a gift, that’s why we call it the present.”

Adam Bleazard

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

St John’s College

What excites you the most about going to this college?

A new experience.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

I have learnt that I am extremely privileged and should be appreciative.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

My first Founders’ Day.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

That everyone is a family.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

Make the most of your time you will regret it if you waste it.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

Travelling the world.

What’s your quote of the year?

“Don’t count the days, make the days count.”

William Boland

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

St John’s College

What excites you the most about going to this college?

Being with most of my friends, meeting new people and learning new things.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

That no matter how doubtful you are, there is always a place or activity that you can do and enjoy.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

The 2019 Drama Eisteddfod (I won the Best in Grade award as well as Prestige Diplomas for all of my performances) and playing soccer at break with my friends.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

I like the wide variety of activities that are available to do, like music, academics, sport and a lot more.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

Make as many friends (with teachers as well as boys) as you can. It’s good to have people that you trust nearby.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

I am not sure yet.

What’s your quote of the year?

“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

Chris Chapman

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

St John’s College

What excites you the most about going to this college?

Making new friends and spending time with my friends that are older than me.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

I have learned to do the ’Right Stuff’ and to be kind and loyal to my friends.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

When participating in the KEPS Waterpolo festival in 2019 – it was fun, exciting, competitive and good friendships were formed all round.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

The boys, sports and the teachers.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

I would tell them to work hard, listen in class and always be kind.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

In 20 years time I would like to see myself having a happy family and being successful.

What’s your quote of the year?

“Always do your best!”

Leruo Chikapa-Phiri

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

St John’s College

What excites you the most about going to this college?

I’m most excited about the new environment that I’m going to be in and I’m excited about the fact I will be able to be more independent.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

I’ve learnt unity, friendship and patience.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

Basketball tour.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

I like the values that have been instilled in us at The Ridge.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

Appreciate every moment.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

I see myself in 20 years being successful in whatever career I’ve chosen.

What’s your quote of the year?

“Your future needs you, the past doesn’t.”

Cameron Coetzer

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

St John’s College

What excites you the most about going to this college?

A new experience.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

That we are very privileged and we should be grateful for what we have.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

My first Founders’ Day at The Ridge.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

The people.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

Make the most of your time here- it flies by really quickly.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

Travelling the world.

What’s your quote of the year?

“If you can’t do great things do small things in a great way!”

Dean Davis

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

St David’s Marist Inanda

What excites you the most about going to this college?

The big space and the nice people.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

To always do the ‘Right Stuff’ and to be kind.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

Going on the Knysna Waterpolo tour in 2020 – it was a great experience and I learnt so much and had tons of fun.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

My friends and teachers.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

I would say to them that they are going to enjoy your next 8 years and always be kind.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

Probably some sort of career at Nedbank.

What’s your quote of the year?

“You never have to be the best just believing in yourself.”

Joshua Heeger

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

St John’s College

What excites you the most about going to this college?

A new start at a new school is very exciting.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

Leadership

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

The Grade 7 ‘after exam’ braai and treats.  

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

The people – friends, teachers – everyone.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

Be kind to everyone.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

Working in a stable job.

What’s your quote of the year?

“Believe you can and you are halfway there.”

Sam Kleinhans

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

St. John’s College

What excites you the most about going to this college?

Meeting new people and making new friends.

 What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

Having friends is the best thing ever.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

Playing and spending time with my friends.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

My friends.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

Make friends, if you don’t then you might not be accepted, get ahead while you can.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

Charted accountant, or a veterinarian.

What’s your quote of the year?

“Challenge your limits don’t limit your challenges”

Nyiko Mabunda

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

Hilton College

What excites you the most about going to this college?

The amazing campus.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

The value of teamwork.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

It was when playing the Game of Life in Grade 6, I rapped for the grade to thunderous applause.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

The amazing friends I made.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

Keep the friends you make because you will value them in the long run.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

Winning a Grammy for best rap album.

What’s your quote of the year?

“School is hectic make the most of your friends at break!”

Lwazi Mabuza

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

St. John’s College

What excites you the most about going to this college?

They are quite serious about music and I love music a lot so I feel I will be very comfortable.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

Grit and determination!

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

My first music soirée.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

The way the teachers and staff are so kind.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

Make as many friends as you can and build trust with others.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

In some sort of music career or an accountant.

What’s your quote of the year?

“Music is the soundtrack of your life.”

Khashane Maenetje

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

Michaelhouse

What excites you the most about going to this college?

I am very excited that it is a boarding school. This is because I will have a higher level of independence I am also excited for the new chance at new relationships amongst students and teachers alike and the new opportunities that come my way whether it be academics or sports and I am just excited to be part of the Michaelhouse experience.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

I have learnt to always be as understanding as possible because usually people don’t have bad intentions.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

My favourite memory was our last game of the football season when we needed to win to go unbeaten in our Grade 4 football season for the A team and we won the game.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

I love the atmosphere of The Ridge how inviting and accepting everyone is and how caring everyone is and everyone’s willingness to help and listen to everyone person in the family like community.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

It would be to always be open minded and to always try new things.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

I see myself as a professional footballer.

What’s your quote of the year?

“In the end we only regret the chances we didn’t take.”

Alex Magowan

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

St Stithians College

What excites you the most about going to this college?

Meeting new people.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

I’ve learnt the Right Stuff.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

The Grade 5 pool party.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

I like the people and the atmosphere.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

I would say don’t miss out on anything and take every opportunity.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

I see myself having some sort of interesting job.

What’s your quote of the year?

“Always be kind.”

Zukhanye Matjila

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

St Alban’s College

What excites you the most about going to this college?

Basketball and that there will basketball tournaments against other school.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

How to be a leader.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

Playing the ‘Game of Life’ in Grade 6.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

Friends!

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

Have fun.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

Working as a chef in a kitchen at a great restaurant.

What’s your quote of the year?

“Live for today and let tomorrow come later.”

Azad Muralidhara

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

St. John’s College

What excites you the most about going to this college?

The facilities are amazing.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

I have learnt how to be a well-mannered young man.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

Getting nominated for vice-captain for Cheales house.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

The entire community.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

Always be kind to others.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

Designing tennis shoes for Nike.

What’s your quote of the year?

“Stress is artificial, but relaxation is natural.”

Jonathan Parent

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

Bishops Cape Town

What excites you the most about going to this college?

Boarding

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

How to be social and my education.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

Capping one of the Grade 4’s

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

The way that everyone is treated equally and how everyone is like family.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

Don’t be shy to make friends.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

Practicing as a doctor.

What’s your quote of the year?

“One with all.”

Max Pitman

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

St. John’s College

What excites you the most about going to this college?

The great education.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

The Right Stuff.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

Beating the record for house relay race in Grade 5.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

The incredible education and sport.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

Always do the right thing.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

Professional footballer.

What’s your quote of the year?

“Life is not about waiting for the rain to pass but learning to dance in the rain.”

Sam Sargent

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

St. Stithians College

What excites you the most about going to this college?

Meeting new people.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

I have learnt how important friendships are, as the friendships you make at The Ridge last forever.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

Playing soccer at break with the teachers.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

It is special and everyone is kind to everyone else.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

I would tell them that they must live every year to the fullest as it is going to be the next best 8 years of their life.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

I see myself inspiring others.

What’s your quote of the year?

“Live the way you want to be remembered.”

Matthew Smith

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

Radley College (UK)

What excites you the most about going to this college?

I am very excited to board.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

I have definitely learnt that having grit is important.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

My favorite memory was on the second last day of grade two. The whole class went to the field and we played a really nice cricket match.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

I love the Ridge because it feels like a home from home.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

I would tell a grade 0 to not worry. I would tell him that it will take time to adjust but it would all work out.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

I see myself working at a law firm. I would have many friends and two dogs.

What’s your quote of the year?

“Small steps in the RIGHT direction can turn out to be the biggest steps of your life.”

Madimetja Tema

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

St John’s College

What excites you the most about going to this college?

The Sport and Academics.

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

I’ve learnt respect and Right Stuff.

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

When playing a soccer match against KEPS this year (Grade 7), I ‘skilled’ an opposition player with style and huge applause from my team-mates.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

The Football games.

What advice would you give to boys coming into Grade 0 at The Ridge?

To be polite and try your hardest academics and sport.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

As a philosopher and a physicist.

What’s your quote of the year?

“Weak people revenge. Strong people forgive. Intelligent people ignore”  Albert Einstein

Etienne Weyers

Which college/high school are you going to in 2022?

Michaelhouse

What excites you the most about going to this college?

Being able to sleep there and spent the night with all my friends every night .

What have you learnt most at being at The Ridge?

I learnt respect and Right Stuff.

What makes The Ridge a special place for you?

I like how it has a lot of different sports to play .

What has been your favourite memory of your time at The Ridge?

All the camps we went on because it makes your friendships stronger with people you didn’t know so well.

What advice would you give to a boy starting in Grade 0 at The Ridge?

To just have fun and try not to make a bad impression.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

Working or taking care of my kids .

What’s your quote of the year?

“Work for a cause, not for applause.” 

Horizons Term 1 2020

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It’s tempting to use this editorial to cover the surreal and unprecedented circumstances of COVID-19 and its impact on the world, and more closer to home, our school. But a disclaimer… I am choosing instead to focus on the good old days instead.

The anticipation of the start of Term 1 at The Ridge was palpable when the staff returned after a long and wonderful December holiday. The previous year’s centenary celebrations were now a thing of the past and the staff were eager to start the first of the next 100 years at The Ridge!

AS Grade 5PI love the start of a school year and all the new things that brings with it: The excitement of my own two boys’ new classes and new teachers; a new class of boys (and parents) for me and a round of new faces to the Ridge team. This year saw a new Grade 5 teammate for Mr Seakamela and myself too, with Scott Mallen joining us and bringing a fresh new dynamic to the Grade 5 team! If you haven’t met Scott, and the other new staff, look out for their introductions in this edition of Horizons.

While we may have a few gaps in this edition, without camps and Lumo Dance and Soapbox Derby, and more. We still have a lot to offer you in this edition covering what started as a full 2020 with busy sporting, cultural, academic and Ridge family activities. Please take a moment to enjoy the wonderful photos of your boys and the write-up about each of their activities. If nothing else, it’s an opportunity for us to be grateful about the start to the year that we did have; the time we have together at home now, and to look forward to what’s to come in a new term.

Stay happy and stay safe.

Anton Pretorius

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Dear Parents,

My headmaster’s message comes to you all as part of Anton Pretorius’ regular and, as always, much anticipated end of term Horizons publication. A termly newsletter that has, understandably, been collated against the backdrop of the Novel Coronavirus pandemic. As such, it will essentially represent two distinct aspects of school this term: The Ridge before the measures taken to stop the spread of the virus and The Ridge after the early school closure and lockdown.

I’ve said on many occasions that the school during holiday time is never quite the same because of the very obvious fact that The Ridge Spirit, that is so beautifully captured by the boys, is missing. During the school holidays is one thing, during term time, when forced closure and lockdown is keeping them all at home, is something even more telling.

Being blessed, as I am, to live on The Ridge estate means that the access to the grounds is mine to enjoy each day. So the boys’ absence has been brought home to me even more markedly; a sadly profound reminder of all that the lockdown is challenging us with in our primary schooling context.

The other reality, though, and as the teachers have found out during the most enlightening online learning adventure, is that the little boy and young man spirit is still readily on tap, just somewhat at a distance.

For me, one of the highlights of the whole online teaching and learning experience that we have seen unfolding in recent days has been the way in which the boys have so willingly, naturally and with real energy, embraced it all. An enthusiasm that has been felt by the teachers not only in the way the lads have adapted to this cyber learning space, but also through their excitement to link up and share their experiences with each other.

It’s in this reaching across the enforced lockdown divide that the boys have shown their remarkable ability to adjust and their resourcefulness, as young Generation Z natives, to find interesting and new ways of sharing time with each other. The cyber playdates have been wonderful to hear about and reflect again on just how important it is for boys to be able to connect, to share stories, and to just ‘hang out’ together – albeit through artificial means.

But the reality is that, no matter how wide the WiFi bandwidth, how efficient the digital connectivity, and how imaginative the young minds will show themselves to be, nothing beats the real thing. Lockdown has reminded us that there is no substitute for person to person contact and the emotional empowering that comes from relational bonding. Parents would have enjoyed the positive side of this same coin.

My forty years as a teacher and educator of boys has encouraged me to find some important reflection opportunities during the past few days. Something that is very clear to me is the fact that at the heart of every successful school and place of learning is the underpinning power that healthy and happy relationships generate. This is nowhere more evident than when seen to be experienced each day in the lives of the boys themselves. A trusted and secure brotherhood that provides essential social and emotional security for every lad as he prepares to navigate the world beyond the cocoon of safety that a primary school like The Ridge can and does offer.

The first eight weeks of the term certainly provided ample evidence of just how strong these bonds of friendship are here at The Ridge for the majority of our lads. And it all comes so naturally. As they engage, socialize and participate in so many class, group and team activities each day their innate instinct to trust and believe in each other leads, as naturally, to the emergence of vital Right Stuff virtues that include, amongst so many others: respect, forgiveness, acceptance, kindness, compassion, empathy and love.

I look forward immensely to the time, hopefully not too far ahead, when our Ridge lads will return to their school, to this beautiful, sheltered harbour, and to an environment that will continue to work hard to develop and strengthen all that secure and trusted peer group relationships ought to be bringing their way.

In conclusion, it is appropriate to acknowledge and thank you, our parents, for all that each of you has done to facilitate the offsite/online learning that your boys have been engaging with. It has taken some pretty significant adjustments on the home front and in your respective schedules, and it has certainly been greatly appreciated by our teaching teams back here at The Ridge.

My sincere thanks to Anton Pretorius for all that he has worked so hard to bring together in yet another vibrant and boy-centred Horizons publication. My thanks too, to so many teachers for their respective interesting and colourful contributions.

I wish you all good health, fun-filled family times and God’s covering and Spirit-filled strength and courage at this time.

Richard Stanley

Headmaster

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Ashley Keene

Hi there, my name is Ashley Keene and I am honoured to be a part of this special Ridge Family. I am lucky enough to be one of the Grade 0 teachers and I am looking forward to all the learning, fun, and amazing adventures that will take place here at The Ridge.

70357I strongly believe that what we learnt growing up becomes a significant part of who we are today. I owe a lot of who I am to the amazing childhood I had growing up. I was born and raised in Johannesburg, surrounded by all my family and friends, I couldn’t have asked for anything more. I went to Kingsmead College from Grade 0 all the way to Matric and then completed a Post Matric course at Treverton College in Mooi River where I learnt hundreds of new skills and absolutely amazing things. I spent a year at the Stellenbosch Academy of Design and Photography allowing my creative juices to flow and then I moved to Jacaranda City where I got my Bachelor’s Degree in Education at The University of Pretoria.

The beautiful thing about learning is that nobody can ever take what you have learnt away from you. I was encouraged from a very young age to be passionately curious and to never stop learning no matter what. Teaching is a lifelong process of learning and I think that’s why I love it so much.

“Teaching kids to count is what I am required to do, but teaching them what counts is what I am here to do.” – Bob Talbert

Kim Hansen

Nearing the end of my school years, I made a heartbreaking decision to postpone my studies in Education. Despite my longing to start studies in teaching, I knew there were paths I needed to follow in life which were going to make me a stronger, confident, and well-rounded teacher. I wanted to gain experiences outside of school, which I could one day share with the children in my class.

70356I first studied at Stellenbosch University, completing an Honors Degree in Goldsmithing and Jewellery Design. Patience, perseverance and absolute resilience were some of the skills I learnt; skills I have no doubt aid me within the classroom today.

I went on to start and build an online marketing company, for which I travelled Africa, visiting countries I never imagined I would. Here, I learnt to be brave, to be confident, and to trust in myself and my abilities. Again, I see myself using these in the classroom with my students and encourage them to see that they too can be brave and confident.

After years of experience outside of the classroom, I knew I was ready to turn my dream into my reality. I studied Foundation Phase and Early Childhood Development and moved from Cape Town to Johannesburg to join the incredible Ridge Family.

I strive to give each child my unconditional support and aim to build their self-confidence in academics as well as in themselves as individuals. The teaching and guidance of emotional and social intelligence are important in my classroom, equipping learners with skills for every facet in their life. I could not be more blessed than to work at The Ridge, and look forward to the magic here that lies ahead!

Scott Mallen

“Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens” – Jimi Hendrix

Eight years of cumulative marketing and educational experience and a year of Africa-wide travel has inspired me to use my skills to make an impact on the future of our continent’s children. I am an English Literature and Dramatic Studies graduate, with varied teaching experience in South Africa and the UK.

70359My lifelong love of reading English and Drama has driven me to explore the challenges and joys of sharing these disciplines with young minds. In my teaching career, a constant inspiration has been seeing students of different ages, cultures, and abilities leave the classroom with a keener understanding of the world through literature, sciences, and maths.

I believe that teaching should inspire the growth of autonomy and confidence in students, with the teacher as a guide. My creativity and work ethic aid me in contributing to the process of curriculum development across new methodologies. When not teaching, I am inspired from trips to the bush, reading books, and friends and family – including a ginger cat that adopted us two years ago.

The Ridge’s place in the vanguard of South African Preparatory schools is an environment which I am thoroughly enjoying. Furthermore, the exciting extra-curricular and sporting opportunities allow me to engage with the boys in a different yet equally important setting. I am looking forward to continuing to extend the boys’ minds and learning from each of them, in turn.

Naadirah Loonat

“The more that you read, the more things you will know, the more that you learn, the more places you will go”- Dr. Seuss

70358When I was in school, my Headmistress at the time said to us, “Girls, always remember that the world needs good teachers, because one day, who will teach your children.” These words stuck to me as I grew older and I began to realize the importance as well as the need for passionate, enthusiastic teachers.

I came from a school with exceptional teachers and their enthusiasm encouraged me to pursue a career in teaching. I have always had a passion for English, especially reading, which is why I first completed a BA degree in English. I always knew that I wanted to teach so after I completed my degree, I then did my PGCE.

The Ridge holds a special place in my heart as my brother is an old Ridge boy, so I have been coming to the Ridge from the age of 9! So to be back in this capacity is incredible.

I believe in learning for all and pride myself on being inclusive in my teaching. I will always aim to create a friendly, nurturing environment in my classroom for our young boys.

I look forward to my time at The Ridge School.

Leslie Elderkin

If there is one quote or statement describing my life-sentiment toward music, it would echo what had been expressed by Leonard Bernstein during a lecture held at Harvard University in 1973 – “I am a fanatic music lover. I can’t live one day without hearing music, playing it, studying it, or thinking about it.”

70355I was born in Mahikeng (then Mafeking) in the North West Province and completed my schooling at The International School of South Africa. Following this I had spent several years teaching while completing my studies, following which time I had relocated to Cape Town in order to continue both my musical and personal growth. Having come from a long line of educators, I feel I have always been aware of my life calling. Education is not only a calling, but a passion.

Following my appointment as Head of Instruments and Performing Arts at The Ridge School this year, it is certainly safe to say that my role serves as an enormous responsibility toward our boys and the greater musical community as a whole. With so much potential and a brilliant team of staff teaching within the Music Department, it provides the necessary incentive in order to ensure that music at The Ridge continues to develop and flourish.

I look forward to endlessly exciting and fulfilling opportunities at The Ridge School and to sharing my passion and love of music with you all.

Christina Mashobane

“A teacher affects eternity; she can never tell where her influence stops.”- Henry Adams

The first time I read that quote I was in high school and did not fully understand what it meant. Only after I became a teacher did I truly fathom what Henry Adams was trying to say. In my years of teaching practice, I have come to conclude that there are two main defining elements of teaching, namely voice and influence. A teacher is someone who speaks into the lives of others with a view to influencing their minds and hearts for the better.

nashobaneTeaching and learning involve a chain of influence in which voices link with one another across the eternity of time and space.  Upon reflecting on my own voice and what it whispers (and sometimes shouts!) to the learners I have before me, I am driven to a contemplation of my own history with teachers and the important vocation of educating young impressionable minds.

A teacher’s influence is life long and can be paid forward by what the student learns.  It can affect history and eternity.  Everyone who has made a contribution to humankind has acted from the influence of teachers at some point in their lives, and I am no exception.

During my studies at university, the late Dr. Marthinus Beukes spoke into my life and he made Afrikaans literature interesting and exciting. He always told me that there is an amazing world waiting for me in Afrikaans. I often think of him and how he challenged me to make a success of my studies.  He challenged me to rise to the occasion and to seek excellence.  He did me no favours and spurred me on to excellence. Upon reflection, I would like to think that learners hear my story and are inspired to work hard and apply themselves.

Teaching Afrikaans has allowed me to interact and meet people that I would not have met had I not become a teacher. It has taken me into spaces, many of them uncomfortable yet edifying. These experiences have played a pivotal role in my personal and professional growth. I look forward to continued growth at The Ridge.

My hope as a teacher is that I speak into the lives of my children in such a way that I influence them to see beyond the superficial and to practise kindness in all they do.

I hope they will remember how much their teachers cared for them and believed in them, even if they weren’t top of the class or made the first team. Hopefully the feeling of being seen and validated for purely being themselves will translate in all social interactions that become part of in their futures.

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Mandy Herold – Junior Prep

In her address to parents at the PTA AGM at the start of the year, Mandy Herold spoke of the importance of Social and Emotional Learning. Watch her speech below:

Nicholas Diana – Senior Prep

Overview of the Term 1

Although a quieter start to 2020, having said our farewells to an exciting and eventful Centenary year, Term 1 has been a successful period of discovery learning for Ridge boys. It was, however, an extremely busy period for the Grade 7s who were involved in  their college entry process. Nevertheless, the first part of the term saw a good balance of academic learning, social development and extra-murals. No day was the same and who would have it any other way?

This term we welcomed several new academic staff:

  • Christina Mashobane joined us as Head of Afrikaans, and brought with her new ideas and innovative ways of teaching and learning within her department.
  • Akhona Mtshabe has been a welcome addition to the isiZulu department. He has taken on the Grade 4 isiZulu as well as the Grade 4 Digital Literacy.
  • Naadhirah Loonat joined us as an English specialist in Grades 6 and 7. She has also taken on the teaching of STEAM in Grade 6.
  • Scott Mallen joined our Grade 5 team and has already found his feet within the grade, bringing new and creative methodologies to teaching Grade 5 boys.
  • Ashik Haripersadh also joined the academic staff in teaching Digital Literacy to our Grade 4 boys.

A word about Grade 7 College Applications

In terms of the Grade 7 Application Process, it has been another busy Grade 7 year of College applications. We await offers at the end of this term and at the beginning of Term 2. Many structures were put into place to assist the Grade 7 boys in the application process, including:

  • The writing of a CV to aid in the holistic overview of each individual boy which was sent to the respective colleges.
  • Broader scope for the college application process. In other words, more schools are ‘on the radar’ in terms of right fit for each boy.
  • High School Expo to educate parents around “right fit” schools for their sons.
  • Caroline de Pelet Abraham assisted with the interview process.
  • Candice Fletcher (School Psychologist) offered assistance to both boys and parents if the need arose.

In addition to this, a survey was sent to parents once the application process has taken place in order to get a sense of how to better the admission into colleges in the future.

Senior Primary 5 Year Academic Plan 

This term saw us starting ‘Year 1’ in our 5 Year curriculum development plan. For this, we have a specific focus on the following:

  • Specific themes for the school – The Ridge Way
  • More skills focused rather than content heavy
  • Cross curricular planning / teaching
  • 21st Century Skills focused
  • Upskilling in the area of Social and Emotional skills
  • Encompass the Hidden Curriculum within our teaching and learning
  • Focus on Character building

I believe we are in an exciting educational space, with a lot of new ideas, growth mindsets and continued progress taking place. We also need to remember that we are teaching boys in a technological age that continues to change daily, an era where society sends mixed messages that confuse and challenge our boys, parents and us on a daily basis. It is our calling, not our job, to make sure that we continue to nurture, to motivate, to build resilience and grit. Ultimately, we need to educate our boys about what it means to be a young man in the 21st Century.

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. – Benjamin Franklin

Nicholas Diana

7

Music, Performing Arts and Choir

The first three months of 2020 have been very busy in the Performing Arts Studio. In keeping with our year theme of ‘Making a Difference’, we have looked at ways in which performers in the arts can make a difference to the environment. Some of our exciting performances have included ‘I was here’ (Beyoncé) with the Grade 5 boys, ‘Don’t kill the world’ (Boney M) with Grade 6, ‘Man in the mirror’ (Michael Jackson) with Grade 7 and a Water dance with Grade 4. The Grade 4 boys also used recycled materials as props in the Water dance as well as a Gumboot dance. For this, they made ankle rattles out of recycled bottle tops.

Our Junior Choir has learned two songs already, but unfortunately, were unable to perform these at an assembly. ‘Chiquita Banana’ is a colourful Caribbean song and ‘Hodu L’Adonai’ is in Hebrew. It means ‘Give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good and His mercy endures forever.’

The Senior Choir have also been hard at work and had their first performance at the Friday Assembly for Valentine’s Day, singing the poignant anthem ‘I Choose Love’. They also performed with St. Katharine’s and APPS at our Ash Wednesday service, singing three sacred choir anthems, namely ‘Modimo wa re rata’, ‘For the Beauty of the Earth’ and our favourite, ‘Above All’. The singing was heartfelt and our choir’s tone was especially beautiful that morning. It has been a joy to have directed the choirs. We look forward to even more exciting and wonderful choir performances as the year progresses.

Irene Morrick

Art and Creative Thinking

Building Relationships, and Embedding Creative and Critical Thinking

This year The Ridge has embarked more seriously on a larger cross-curricular approach to teaching and learning. It’s been a natural transition from our STEAM initiative, which, through projects, combines the disciplines of Science, Technology and Engineering (Design and Technology), Arts and Maths. Due largely to STEAM projects, our teachers have developed an understanding and appreciation that boys respond more positively with a real-life context to their learning. Content is understood and retained far better where there are links between learning areas- for one thing, repetition of a concept is done in many different forms, helping to embed the learning. Boys can see how different learning areas can complement each other. Using this cross-curricular model, we are also focusing more strongly on creative and critical thinking skills.

Art and History have combined in Grade 7. Boys began the year investigating their heroes and making a historical portrait piece. While learning about the treasures of Timbuktu, they also recreated the famous temple of Gene, using oxide, charcoal and gold leaf. Grade 5’s began their journey learning about the universe in their STEAM lessons, and were totally committed to the process of making a Space-scape. They did this by responding to pieces of music and making planets from their abstract paintings. Reading for Meaning has been a progression of our media lessons, where boys dive deeper into the material from other learning areas in order to improve their understanding as well as their research and analytical skills. The Grade 4’s created ankle rattles in Art for a dance performance piece. They also investigated water in both creative thinking class and music lessons.

Each day our boys have to switch from one teacher to another, from one subject to the next, and from one venue to another. A cross-curricular approach helps boys transition more easily between learning areas. As shared themes help to link the subjects, and teachers begin to speak the same language, our boys begin to develop a more holistic world view of how content and people are linked.

Nicci Kurz

Creativity Online

It’s five pm on a Thursday evening. The first week of online learning is almost over. I am finally done with designing the next batch of questions and projects to help enrich our boys’ homeschooling days. I have done this in two ways – through Art activities, using various video formats and presentation apps, as well as by posting Sticky Questions every couple of days – sticky questions are the ones that do not have a definitive answer, ones that can’t be googled. They are the questions which can be debated, ones that can change your mind many times, and help us to think more creatively and critically. (Please see below for some the insightful and interesting responses to the sticky questions that were posted.)

I sneak a peek at some of the submissions and postings which begin to trickle in, slightly apprehensive about what I might see and read. Letting go of the control one has in the classroom, where we are used to conducting the boys’ creative and learning process, is something new to me and many of our teachers here at The Ridge. We now have to inspire and infuse our boys with the love of learning, remotely! This has been an incredibly insightful time. Their ‘at home’ creations and insights have amazed, surprised and entertained me. The level of creativity has been truly wonderful. I have realised that there are some boys who work better in the classroom, relying on the chemistry and energy generated by a real-time face to face experience. There are also boys who enjoy being left to their own devices, the ones who surprise you with great responses to a topic because they are not distracted by the classroom atmosphere, ones who are not intimidated by the online classroom experience. And of course, there are those who, no matter what the circumstances, will always deliver and go above and beyond. However, one thing that they have all brought to this experience, is the in-classroom knowledge that they have acquired over their years at The Ridge, experiences which have informed and equipped them to deal with this next frontier of online homeschooling. When looking at their submissions, it is clear that the tools and techniques which have been taught and developed over the years have clearly been drawn upon to assist them when learning online and on their own. I’m sure the boys can hear me in their heads beating out the ‘’elements of art’’ or pushing them to be more self-critical, to ‘’steal like an artist’’ or to open their toolbox in their minds and use all that they have to creatively solve a problem. These boys are truly the thinkers of the 21st Century and beyond. I am filled with hope, pride and a sense of awe for what they might be able to achieve.

Nicci Kurz

Sticky Questions and Responses

 Grade 7 Question: Which Freedom is most important: Psychological Freedom, Economic Freedom, Physical Freedom?

  • “Psychological freedom because if your brain is free you can get through anything.”
  • “There is no freedom if you can’t walk your dogs on the road or in your neighbourhood.”
  • “Psychological freedom as it keeps you going that way you can always think ‘yes I can run the comrades’, ‘yes I can become I millionaire’, stuff like that.’’

Grade 7 Question: We often say that we should treat everyone the same. Is it ever unfair to treat people the same?

  • “So I think that different rules can apply to people who are ill than to people who are perfectly fine like you or me’’
  • “Yes, it is unfair to treat people the same.’’
  • “How can we expect that a person in a wheelchair can climb stairs. How can we expect a short person to reach stuff on the top shelf? We have to respect people’s disabilities and offer solutions on how they can overcome obstacles in their way.’’

 

Grade 6 Question: If you were always on holiday, would it still be a holiday?

  • “Yes, it would be.’’
  • “No, because a holiday is when you get a day off but if you have a day off forever it wouldn’t be a day off.’’

 

Grade 5 Question: Is it better to have a memory of a moment but no photograph, or a photograph but no memory of it?

  • “I think it’s better to have a memory of something and not a photograph because you know that it happened and it’s true to yourself. If you have a memory of something you can remember the sounds you heard and the feelings that you felt and the things that you saw and the taste on your tongue and the smell in the air.’’

Grade 5 Question: If you were bigger in size than your parents, who would be in charge?

  • “Me because I’d have more power in strength.’’
  • “Well I think just because we are big does not make us older and plus we still have homework and obviously they still know better than us, so I choose my parents.’’
  • “My Dad would still be in charge. Even though I’m bigger, he’d be wiser.’’

Women’s Day Reading Breakfast

On the 6th of March, we celebrated Strong Women in Literature, with our Reading Breakfast, in support of International Women’s Day (on the 8th March). The brief was to dress up as a strong female character or author, or a male character or author that supported strong women.

The boys really took up the challenge, dressing up as Amelia Earhart, Agatha Christie, Malala Yousafzai, Hermione Granger, Pippi Longstockings and many more. There were also some (very well thought through) male characters, ready to explain to anyone why they supported strong women. Well done to each and every one of you, who showed your support for strong women. It takes a strong man to stand up for something as important as this, in today’s society.

Hanlie Glanz

Kids’ Lit Quiz

On the 10th of February, twelve very excited (and well-read) boys, went off to St John’s, to fly the Ridge flag for the regional round of the International Kids’ Lit Quiz competition. We are only allowed to enter two teams (eight boys altogether) but took an extra team along for the experience. Our boys did us proud, coming 7th and 18th out of 37 teams. A special mention was made after the event, on the helpfulness of our reserve team, who helped collect answer sheets, and offered assistance where needed. Well done to Parkview Senior School on their win.

TEAM 1 TEAM 2 RESERVES
Vashiv Naidoo 7B Michael Jeong 7N Madimetja Tema 6M
Kabir Budlender 7N Connor v.d. Walt 6L Calvin Wagner 6L
Matthew Thomson 7N Joshua Heeger 6Ma Nyiko Mabunda 6L
Robert Steyn 7N William Boland 6L Ethan Stein 6L

Hanlie Glanz

Interschool General Knowledge Quiz

The Interschool General Knowledge Quiz is an ongoing event, with two to three quizzes per term. On the 12th of February, we joined a few schools at St David’s, to participate in the first Interschool General Knowledge Quiz competition. Because there are only four boys per team, and we had two boys extra, they cleverly worked out a rotational system, in which all boys got a chance to be a part of the team. We tied for 5th position, as well as 7th place out of 18 teams.

On the 11th of March, two Ridge boys teams to Beaulieu Prep School on a mission to conquer the world. They were accompanied by Mrs Mbele, Mr Motsepe and Mrs Glanz, and driven all the way, by the patient Mr Senyatsi. We competed against 13 other teams, and celebrated with a win (Team 1) and a fifth place (Team 2). Well done boys, you did us proud!

In each of the competitions this year, our boys showed the “Right Stuff” by being polite, courteous and helpful to all. Thank you too, to the staff members and parents, who joined us at each competition, it was wonderful to have each of you as eager and enthusiastic supporters.

Teams for St David’s

Team 1 Team 2
Valentino Sartini-Kruger 7B Calvin Wagner 6L
Ethan Stein 6L Chris Herman 6Ma
Zhy Ravjee 6L Nyiko Mabunda 6L
Madimetja Tema 6M Adam Ball 6Ma
Adam Gardee 6L Adam Stoutjesdijk 6L

Teams for Beaulieu

Team 1 Team 2
Michael Jeong 7N Luke Holden 6L
William Boland 6L Josh Heeger 6Ma
Robert Steyn 7N Connor van der Walt 6L
Vashiv Naidoo7B Calvin Wagner 6L

Hanlie Glanz

6

Junior Prep  Sport

Junior Prep sport in Term 1 is one of the term busiest in the academic year. The boys have a number of activities they have to participate in, both in the classroom and on the sport field. Swimming and cricket are the main sports offered to the Junior Prep boys. In swimming our focus is to get every boy, by the end of their Grade 2 year, to swim a full length of The Ridge pool and be comfortable to swim in a swimming pool without assistance.

Cricket has shown growth in the Junior Prep. There is always excitement amongst the boys when playing cricket, especially during the Parent and Son’s Saturday morning session. The Grade 0s have taken their opportunity to participate in sport and every boy is keen to be involved. We currently have the whole grade participating in afternoon sport and we are excited for the upcoming seasons.

During our Physical Education in Grade 0 and 1 lessons we have worked on gross motor skills and basic ball skills. In these lessons, as the coaches, we have learnt a lot about the boys and had chance to reflect and evaluate how we could structure future lessons.

Term 1 in Grade 2 is the most exciting grade to be in. For the first time the boys get to play matches against other schools. Unfortunately our match against St Peter’s was cut short by rain, but we are hopeful that in the coming term we are able to participate in matches with other schools.

Finally, despite our term being cut short by the abrupt closure, there have been many learning opportunities created in the time we have had together with the boys. I would like to thank all the parents for their support at matches as well as the Saturday morning Parents and Sons sessions.

We look forward to an even busier and exciting term next term!

Phumulani Mnculwane

Swimming

The swimming season was set to take on a different format this year. All the galas were scheduled to take place during the first term which meant there was to be a total of 9 galas for each team. However, it didn’t quite go according to plan. We managed to get 5 of the galas in before the weather and Covid-19 took their hold. Unfortunately, the B team only managed to swim 3 of their galas owing to lightning at their venues. The C team were definitely the ‘Team of the Year’ with 2 wins by the end of season. The A team were placed 3rd in most of their galas as, try as they might, they were unable to take St Benedict’s or St David’s who dominated the season. Our B team are to be commended on showing true Ridge spirit and held their own in their galas, becoming the victim of boys being on cricket tour, writing exams for their colleges or playing in waterpolo festivals.

Despite the Schools’ season being disrupted, the Interhouse Championship Gala went ahead without a hitch. There were many close fought, exciting individual races and Cheales led the whole way, that is, until the relays. However, the depth of Dunn’s crawl relay teams saw them claw their way back and they eventually took over the lead during the final races to earn themselves the title of ‘Interhouse Swimming Champions 2020’. Although the races went ahead without a hitch, as luck would have it, the lightning alarm went off during the last event, so the presentation of the trophies had to be postponed.

Thank you to all the coaches and swimmers for all their time and hard work throughout the season. Also, to all the parents who brought their sons in to school at the crack of dawn for training. As I sit and write this on Day 3 of Lockdown, those early morning training sessions, the time spent selecting teams and the military manoeuvre to get over 100 boys to different galas on a Friday afternoon don’t seem so bad after all!

Erica Kinnear

Climbing

Fayzan Adroos: Captain

I am honoured and grateful to be appointed as climbing captain for 2020. Climbing is an incredible sport. It uses muscles you never knew you had, including your brain!   As such, it is great exercise for your mind as much as for your body.

When you are scaling great heights, mapping the best route to the top, being anchored by someone on the ground (known as a belayer), you are literally placing your life in that person’s hands. This creates strong trust bonds between climbers.  I am excited, together with my fellow Grade 7 climbers, to lead the climbers. This is a great opportunity to get to know, understand and create friendships with every single boy that has chosen to take up the sport this year. We are always available to encourage and show new climbers the ropes!

My hope is that as Climbing captain (along with the Vice-captain), we remain humble and lead by example. Whether we are climbing for fun, training or participating in competitions, my wish for the Ridge climbers is that we all rise to our full potential and never give up.

Without a doubt, 2020 is going to be a memorable year. The world is facing a mammoth challenge at the moment and I will endeavour to encourage the discipline and patience that climbing teaches, as this will hold us in good stead in the coming months.

Climb on and be safe everyone!

Warwick Bradford: Vice-captain

Being vice-captain of Climbing at the Ridge School is a huge responsibility. Climbing is a dangerous sport. Together with Fayzan, we have to check that all the climbing equipment is accounted for and properly stored away. It is also our responsibility to check that the boys wear the right gear. I help the younger boys with techniques, fitness and safety. It is exciting to see that more and more boys are interested in climbing. This year, we have our biggest group of Grade 4 boys join climbing as a sport. When we are at competitions we often hear the Grade 4’s saying ‘’this is so fun, I love the challenge’’ and lots more. I cannot wait to get back to climbing and praying for our current situation to improve.

Canoeing

DMcLachlan canoeing during lockdown

IMG_0503We had another eventful term of canoeing. Our Ridge School Canoeing team have continued to be active participants the in Gauteng Schools League. The main events this term were the short course races held at the Florida Canoe Club and the Gauteng Sprint Champs at Victoria Lake in Germiston. These were exciting events for our new canoeing boys and gave them a taste for the competitive side of the sport. Their experience will stand them in good stead for events later in the season as they continue to develop their fitness and racing technique. Six of our boys also went on a trip to the Klip River in March to learn about various aspects of river safety and racing. Adrian von Klemperer and Viggo Price both performed exceptionally well whilst driving K2 boats through rapids and weir drops, and have now received their river proficiency certification, which will allow them to participate in official river races.

Daniel McLachlan

Waterpolo Tour to Knysna

Report back from Simon Musset

On Thursday the 6th February, 12 boys and 3 coaches boarded a flight to Knysna in the Western Cape to participate in the two day long Oakhill School Waterfront Chukka Waterpolo Festival.

Over the Friday and Saturday, The Ridge team played against various schools from all over the country. We did fantastically well and managed to win 7 of our 8 matches.

A highlight of the festival was that the games were played in seawater in the Knysna Waterfront Quays and not in a swimming pool. To get into the playing areas, boys had to jump off the harbour wall into the water. This was an exciting and new experience for all of us and we loved every second of it!

Other highlights included attending the Oakhill Valentines Dance, staying together at The Loerie Bed and Breakfast; good music on the tour bus; breakfast at the restaurant ‘34 Degrees South’ every morning; our trips to the beach; enjoying good sportsmanship; great competition and making many awesome memories.

Thank you to the coaches for safely chaperoning, coaching and putting up with us all. A big thank you as well to all the parents for their support and boys in the team for a great tour!

Basketball

Three years into the Basketball program at The Ridge and 2020 is looking fantastic. The Ridge school officially has 5 basketball teams: one Grade 5 team, two Grade 6 teams and two Grade 7 teams. Boys are understanding the true reason for Basketball’s intention: to improve on athleticism and stay physically fit! Basketball at The Ridge has proven to be highly successful over the last three years and some of our old boys have gone on to College and are playing A team Basketball at the likes of Michaelhouse, St Andrew’s, St John’s, St Alban’s and St David’s.

This shines as a bright beacon to the Ridge boys now, showing them that they are in a good Basketball program at this school. We are looking forward to attending a 2020 basketball tour in the 3rd term. This will give our upcoming young players a platform to compete before the 2021 season starts.

A massive thank you to the coaching staff and management for everything that’s been done to ensure that Basketball has been a success. Hopefully, soon we will see boys getting basketball scholarships.

Mbulelo Ntshingana

8

First Day of Term

The first day of the year is one that is always filled with excitement. Boys can’t wait to see their friends, connect with their teachers and just be back at this wonderful school. The Grade 0s also have their first day ‘Big School’ and one has to wonder whether the boys or parents end up being more emotional when saying goodbye to each other!

The Ridge Conscious Discipline Seminar

On Thursday 9 January, I hosted a workshop at The Ridge School for 170 educators from 14 different schools all over Gauteng. The main aim of the workshop was to help teachers set up their classrooms for optimal connection. My colleague, Esther Hecht, and I shared proven strategies to increase teacher effectiveness and academic performance while reducing discipline referrals. The attendees learned about practical ideas of how to cultivate a healthy, connected home/school culture that creates transformational change. The feedback from the workshop was very positive and I believe that it made a big difference to how the educators started the 2020 school year. All this theory and practice is from Conscious Disciplineâ.

I was introduced to Conscious Discipline in September 2017, when I first heard Dr Becky Bailey speak at a conference in Cape Town. I had a visceral response to her keynote presentation and I just knew this was something I needed to know more about. Fast forward two and a half years, two trips to the US for training, two to Cape Town and hours and hours of practice and implementation and I’m the first International Certified Instructor with Conscious Disciplineâ  in Africa. Conscious Discipline has wrapped words around what my heart was longing for and encompassed all that I know to be valuable when working with children. Discipline is traditionally synonymous with rewards and punishment, but if you look at the word discipline, it comes from the word disciple which means ‘to teach’. I believe that this Social Emotional Learning programme has transformational potential for children of all ages, schools, teachers, parents, communities and society in general.

Conscious Discipline is recognized as one of the top social-emotional programs available to both schools and parents. It teaches children how to regulate and manage emotions in order to make safe and healthy choices. But before we can optimally help children, we need to first focus on ourselves as adults. We need to be able to regulate ourselves and our own emotions before we can assist children with theirs. The main concern/problem with this is that we were never really taught how to do this and essentially, you can’t teach skills you don’t have. So this is about unlearning so we can relearn and ultimately, give our children the skills they need to be successful.

In our current world of the Covid19 Epidemic, the need for Safety, Connection and Problem Solving has never been more essential. If you want more information about Conscious Discipline, please contact me on mherold@ridgeschool.co.za or go to https://consciousdiscipline.com

Mandy Herold

IBSC Conference

A team of Ridge staff including Claire Lord, Faronaaz Patel, Scott Mallen, Carmin Groenewald and Shanitha Ramsurwaj, were privileged to attend the IBSC conference at St Andrew’s School in Bloemfontein. This was the first time the regional conference has been hosted in the Free State and we were treated to some outstanding Mangaung hospitality. It was a wonderful opportunity to share ideas and new platforms with teachers and leaders from boys’ schools around the country. There were several inspiring speakers as well as practical and pragmatic advice given by different schoolteachers in the breakaway sessions. The conference theme, ‘Restoring Hope’, reflects a common desire amongst schools to rebuild the spirit, that drew us together as teachers, to be rekindled.

Dr Sonia Lupien, the founder and director of the Centre for Studies on Human Stress, presented an inspirational study on the effects of stress on the human brain from infancy to adulthood and old age. Her studies have shown that children – as vulnerable as adults to stress – can produce high levels of stress hormones as early as age six. She maintains that every child that walks through our school’s doors, has different stressors. As teachers, we need to be equipped on how to firstly identify and then deal with these stressors. Similarly, another very important theme emerging from the lecture was the importance of parents and teachers to know their own stressors and manage their stress accordingly, as children of all ages will instinctively key into this. Her research in adults demonstrates stress can significantly impair memory performance as well as the effects of stress on the ageing brain. The IBSC Conference looked to address issues and paint a new narrative regarding gender, stress, toxic masculinity, and, very importantly, mental health. Around the world there are different issues that boys are grappling with on a daily basis. These issues include how we, as teachers, deal with and affirm students that are struggling with internal and external stressors. Also, do we offer spaces where boys are able to speak freely and safely about where they are at and not have any reprisal?

This conference also encouraged us to relook at the curriculum we are teaching. Is there work that we particularly need to do, particularly understanding our history regarding boys’ schools in South Africa. How do we as teachers create affirming spaces where everyone belongs? How many white teachers have an implicit basis that impacts the way we teach boys of colour? How many schools force boys to assimilate to a dominant culture rather than let them be themselves? Various lectures also touched on the digital life of boys as a huge part of who they are and how do we encourage our boys to be responsible citizens, not only in the way they represent themselves but in what they say to other people.

Can we redefine the role of boys’ schools in such a way that we are judged upon the graduates that leave our school? What kind of partner will he be one day? Are our boys going to be ethical businessmen? Are they going to see the need in the world and answer that need? Are they going to treat their fellow people with respect?

We considered and reflected about how boys schools should be leading the way in answering these questions. For example, when there is something that rises in the media about gender-based violence or the behaviour of men, boys’ schools should then step up and educate the world and, in turn, what it means to be a man of significance.

Considering this, we were encouraged as teachers to acknowledge each learner, to work towards identifying who they are and where they are in terms of themselves and in relation to the world. This conference encouraged us to continue restoring hope to a generation that are continuously faced with so much, and from so many overwhelming avenues – to help them to a space where they feel free to be successful in all they do. We learnt that our job as teachers is to provide safety, security and acknowledgement, to deliver life lessons in a way that speaks uniquely to each boy, to evoke responsibility, accountability and passion. This can all be done through loving what we do, through leaving positive impressions on every boy we encounter, and, most importantly, by restoring hope.

Faronaaz Patel

Care to Learn Day

The purpose of the Care-to-Learn initiative is to provide our learners with the opportunity to serve and be served by their peers from a different background. The day is set aside in the school calendar to provide learners with ample opportunity to interact, on a meaningful and deeper level, with learners from Salvazione Christian School in Brixton. This is done with the hope of cultivating friendships, breaking down prejudices, and to widen the boys’ worldview.

The Care-to-Learn day took place on 05 March 2020. It was a wonderful and meaningful exchange day between the learners. The activities for the Junior Prep were organised by the respective Grade Heads and their colleagues. These included playing on the jungle gyms, reading, sports on the Cheales field and many, many other fun-filled activities.

The Zulu Department organised the activities for the Grade 4s. These included traditional South African games that included hopscotch, skipping rope, diketo and mgusha. The children enjoyed these indigenous games a lot and took to them naturally as one would expect from children born and raised in Africa.

The Music Department and The Grade 5 teachers put together a program that included singing, beat creation, robotics and coding. This proved to be a hit with both the boys and girls as “music and technology is “the language of the young”.

The Grade 6s and 7s were hosted by Salvazione at their campus. The learners had to build a cardboard city. The beautiful cities that the learners came up with speak of their creativity and their ability to collaborate and come up with solutions that will be needed as we look forward to smart cities as spoken about by the government and our president in particular.

A huge thank you to the parents that sent through the cardboard boxes that were used on the day. All the material used were recyclable.

Moeketsi Motsepe

Lighthouse

“None of us, including me, ever do great things, but we can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful.” – Mother Theresa

It was with a great sense of pride and also some trepidation that I took over as Head of The Lighthouse at the start of what has turned out to be a life-changing year for all of us. It turns out that I needn’t have worried, because with the support of the amazing Lighthouse team it has been a wonderful year so far and we persevere and grow even whilst in the current, extremely challenging situation.

Claire Lord continues to surprise me with the way she manages to control her classes beautifully without ever having to raise her voice. Jacqui Haddow has joined our team seamlessly and she is forever learning and generously sharing her excellent ideas. Candice Fletcher keeps us all sane! She is such an important part of The Ridge community – touching lives daily and making an important contribution to the well-being of the boys, as well as the staff. Anne-Ri Brits, our quirky, kind and super smart speech therapist (who is always thinking and learning) teaches the boys, as well as the rest of us. She has been joined this year by Retha-Mari de Beer, who is gentle, kind and seems to never stop smiling. Angela Pietersen, our OT, works tirelessly to improve the skills needed by the boys to engage in learning, and also offers us valuable guidance. Jan Mallen has stayed on part-time and we are all grateful for this. She may be small in stature, but she has an enormous heart and holds a great number of boys, The Lighthouse team and many other staff members in her role as mentor. Last, but not least, Sean Coughlan and Jane Lamb remain an invaluable part of The Lighthouse team as external therapists.

As a school, we have the responsibility to accommodate the diverse learning needs of every Ridge boy, and The Lighthouse is part of ensuring this inclusivity. We aim to work closely as a cohesive team and we work collaboratively with the boys, their teachers and their families to ensure that their learning support needs are met in order that they may reach their full potential. In his book, “I still love you”, Michael Ungar (2014) describes 9 things which children need – structure, consequences, connections, many relationships, a powerful identity, a sense of control, a sense of belonging and purpose and finally, rights and responsibilities. These are the very things we aim to provide for the more than 100 boys in our care.  We endeavour to make learning accessible and fun.

We are also part of a community of learning support specialists. We attended the learning support cluster at Japari this term and it’s our privilege to learn alongside the teachers and therapists in other private Johannesburg schools.

The announcement of lockdown came as a shock to the Lighthouse team – we work so closely with the boys that it seemed impossible to offer learning support remotely, but it’s been a steep learning curve. However, with some creativity, intense work, lots of communication and sharing, we have proven resilient and continue to serve the Lighthouse boys. The boys themselves have been amazing – they have courageously embraced this new way of learning. I’m not sure what lies ahead, and I believe many lessons have been learned, but I feel at peace with the fact that a spirit of Ubuntu unites us as Lighthouse team and as a school; and that The Ridge will continue to be a place where ALL boys will learn to fly.

Agnes Jooste

Grade 0 Grandparents Tea

On Friday 13th March, 72 excited little boys made their way up to the Nicolson Hall, dodging rain puddles and thunder clouds, whilst carrying their musical instruments and wearing handmade binoculars. The Grannies and Grandads had arrived (some from overseas!) and taken their seats, and were about to embark on a Summer Safari! The boys entertained their special guests with songs they had prepared with Mrs Morrick during their weekly Music lessons. As the performance continued, the audience tapped their feet and sang along to familiar tunes.

After the concert the Grandparents were treated to a delicious spread in the dining hall, which had been organised and set-up by a team of Grade 0 mums and our wonderful kitchen staff. The Grade 0 boys headed down to the Parker Block to get ready to welcome their visitors into their classrooms and playground. The boys had spent many days preparing special gifts and artworks to share with their Grandparents. After what felt like hours of anticipation whilst the adults finished their nibbles and tea, the boys were finally able to show off their hard work and share the sweet anecdotes that they had recorded about their families.

Thank you to everyone who played a part in making this such a happy occasion. I have no doubt that this will be fondly remembered by both the boys and their Grandparents.

Sarah Behr

Robotics

With Robotics just introduced into the curriculum this year, it is quickly becoming an indispensable part of the boys’ lives. Boys are learning the thought process behind creating a program, basic programming functions and how they relate to robotic actions and reactions. The boys are motivated and enthusiastic and are able to incorporate creativity and fun simultaneously. They enjoy working in teams, making connections with each other, competing, and other times, just supporting each other.

Shanitha Ramsurwaj

Thomas van Onselen Grade 6

Robotics has been one of my favourite subjects this year! I am so enthusiastic about Robotics that I arrive early for the lesson. During this term, we’ve learnt to program the EV3 robots to move forward, backward, turn and spin around. We also learnt about the touch sensor and the ultrasonic sensor. I absolutely love working with a friend or a partner. When I am done with my testing of the robot, I offer help to other teams such as connecting the EV3 to the iPad and showing them where the code is. Competing with other teams makes it more fun, but not because it’s a race, because it is challenging and we all love a challenge.

Robotics Club

The following boys competed in the Inter-Schools Robotics League on March 10 at St Peter’s Girl’s Prep: Kabir Budlender, Vashiv Naidoo, Reza Salojee, Ethan Stein, Adam Gardee, Matthew Jennings, Nicholas Barberini, Muhammed Cassoojee, Sinalo Danisa and Finn Berman. I am proud of the boys; they persevered through the difficult challenges, communicated with other participants, and displayed the Right Stuff. Congratulations to Finn Berman for receiving the ‘Excellent Collaboration Award’.

Shanitha Ramsurwaj

Adam Gardee Grade 6

The Inter-Schools Robotics League competition is a wonderful adventure. At The Ridge we generally start with an early lunch, followed by a bus ride to the venue. Competing teams consist of a pair of learners from two different schools, so if you were in a team you would be with someone you don’t know. Sometimes you are paired with someone who is a bit clueless about robotics, but that is not all bad because it teaches you how to teach (teachers really do have a tough job!). It also means you need to have some resilience and grit and to try your best. Teams are given challenges that must be completed within a limited time. The challenges consist of obstacle courses for the robot to complete as well as modifying the robot to accomplish tasks, e.g. constructing a robotic arm. Teams are scored not only on technical merit but also on teamwork and collaboration. The Ridge always comes back with many prizes. I really enjoy participating in these events.

Tour de Maths