engaged Lower School
Where a Legacy Begins
For generations Ridley has shaped the lives and futures of graduates living around the globe. That big idea begins in our Lower School. We give our youngest students the care, time and resources they need to explore and delight in the world around them as well as in their own gifts and those of others.
Drawing the best out of each Ridleian is how we “educate.” We all need time and space to grow.
“Your child will become the best he or she can be across the board from JK and up. Pushing kids’ personal envelopes in a positive and enthusiastic manner and the outstanding commitment by the faculty here are just two things I really love about this school. And I know other parents do as well.”
Ridley is truly an international school with students from over 30 countries and teachers from all over the world. Our goal is to prepare students to move with understanding and ease in a global society. The opportunity for students to begin their school years with this perspective gives them a major advantage.
Ridley Parent Satisfaction: The Lower School enjoys a very high retention rate, with 97 of 100 lower school families returning in our most recent year.
“You don’t discover what you’re missing until you come here. We were at a school in Toronto that we paid a lot more for. When we came here, I thought ‘wow’; this is just head-over-heels, a significantly better school.”
Ridley is a genuine blend of respect for its great traditions and for the best of modern progression. We are looking ahead to the abilities and talents students will need not only now but in the future. We believe the need to develop balanced, happy people who have a firm academic foundation and can see things from wide and varied perspectives has never been greater.
“Whenever I meet my kids’ Ridley friends, I always think, ‘Gee, if we’re placing our future in these kids’ hands, we’re going to be okay.’”
The Ontario Curriculum Plus We were the first school ever evaluated by the Canadian Educational Standards Institute and have been accredited ever since. Our Lower School programme (JK-8th Grade) starts with the Ontario Curriculum as its foundation. Then we go beyond this internationally recognized and respected curriculum in exciting ways to give our students an even greater edge.
“Ridley’s globalization is amazing. I’ve noticed my 12-year-old daughter is very interested in other cultures. I think part of it is that she has had the ability to connect with students from other parts of the world and gotten to know them. I find that very exciting.”
Highest Quality Resources:
Learning in the Real World:
We use the most in-depth materials available. As an example, our reading program literature is widely viewed as the best by educators throughout Ontario.
Trips to theatres, art galleries and Ridley’s own 60-acre outdoor education centre bring classroom ideas to life.
Class Size: Thematic Teaching: Students learn best when they can connect ideas across subjects. We use a cross-curricular approach to teaching. For example, a unit on sound and light is a literacy unit as well as a science unit.
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Our Lower School classes range from seven to 21 students per class, gradually increasing in the upper grades. Our studentto-teacher ratio throughout Lower School is 8 to 1, which means we can go further and more deeply into the Ontario Curriculum than many schools.
Expert Teachers: To bring the best out in our students we need the best teachers. Our faculty goes through rigorous evaluation every three years including observation of teaching and classes. Enrichment teachers are experts in their areas. For example, artists and musicians teach art and music.
Character and Values:
Kindness, generosity, openness, honesty, hard work, reliability and common sense matter here. Growing these values stems from a thousand influences â€” from what is said in the classroom, to the atmosphere of Chapel, from the encouraging remark in the corridor, to a Lower School virtues program, from high standards of sportsmanship, to our motto Terar Dum Prosim (May I Be Consumed In Service).
Ridley is ahead of the curve in integrating meaningful technology and learning. The tools we use include classrooms equipped with SMART Boards, multiple desktop computers in early grade classes and laptops for fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth graders.
Lower School Success: Our Lower School students have a high success rate transitioning to high school. Our Upper School faculty, many of whom have taught in schools around the world, comment on how well prepared Ridley Lower School students are for the rigors of preparing for university.
School should contain many of the happiest days of oneâ€™s life. With the rich variety of classroom activities, field trips, arts, sports and clubs here, a Lower School student can spend his or her entire day happily and actively engaged.
A Lower School World within a Magnificent Campus Beautiful, wireless, historical, stately, wooded â€” they all describe Ridleyâ€™s remarkable 107-acre campus. Within this setting, our youngest Ridleians have their own school world devoted to their needs and development. Across the main green, Lower School has been built on a more intimate scale for younger students. In addition to classrooms, Lower School resources include a separate library and dining hall, art studio and design and technology workshop. When needed, Lower School teachers can also call upon the breadth and depth of schoolwide facilities such as the Mandeville Theatre and Ross Morrow Theatre, a state-of-the-art athletics arena and field house, swimming pool, two gymnasiums, five tennis courts, exceptional playing fields, a stunning Chapel, the Great Hall dining room, Upper School library and our 60-acre Burgoyne Outdoor Educational Research Centre.
Junior Kindergarten through Grade 4 (Sample Schedule) 7:30 – 8:30
Before School Care
8:00 – 8:30
Before School Clubs
8:30 – 8:40 Homeroom (Lower School subjects are organized into a homeroom system where students rotate through different subjects throughout the day.) 8:40 – 9:50
Mathematics or Art & Design
9:50 – 10:10
10:10 – 11:20
11:20 – 12:15
12:15 – 1:30
Language Arts or Music
1:30 – 1:50
1:50 – 2:35
2:35 – 3:30
3:30 – 4:30 After School Clubs (every day but Friday) 3:30 – 5:30
After School Care
Special Days (for Kindergarten through Grade 4 students) 1:50 – 2:35
1:50 – 2:35 Tuesday Advisory Time (All students have an academic advisor and meet with their advisory groups weekly.) 2:15 – 3:15 8:05 – 8:30
Thursday Tribes* events Friday Chapel
“When we enrolled here, it wasn’t just my son who was welcomed. I was welcomed to the school as a parent. They have made me part of his education, which is great because as your child heads off to school for the day you can say, ‘Wow, this is happening and that is happening. You know what the libraries, gyms and dining halls look like. Families are embraced here. The door is never shut to you.”
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Grade 5 through Grade 8 (Sample Schedule) 7:00 – 7:55 Breakfast (for Junior Boarding Students. Day Students welcome.) 8:05 – 8:15
8:35 – 9:50
French or English
9:50 – 10:10
10:10 – 11:25
Mathematics or Science
11:25 – 12:15
12:15 – 1:30
1:35 – 2:35 Music or Art & Design or Physical Education/Guidance 2:50 – 4:00 Sports Activities (All students above Grade 3 take part in sports four days per week) Special Days (for Grade 5 through Grade 8 students) 8:15 – 8:35
8:15 – 8:35 Tuesday Advisory Time (All students have an academic advisor and meet with their advisory groups weekly.) 8:15 – 8:35
Thursday Tribes* events
8:05 – 8:35
*Tribes: Just as Upper Schoolers have their House families, Lower Schoolers have their Tribes. All Lower School students are assigned to one of four tribes (Mohawk, Algonquin, Iroquois, Huron). Throughout the year, they compete for individual and team Tribe points. Points are awarded for: academic work, effort, grades, participation on school teams, participation in school and Tribe events, and service to the school community. On Prize Night, the winning Tribe is announced, as is the name of the “chief” tribesman in both the junior and senior categories.
“There is a greater focus on excellence here — not just on academic or athletic excellence, but the pursuit of excellence. I wanted to make sure that our children had that opportunity to get that exposure, not just from the faculty, but from other students as well.”
Timeless tradition | 11
“Both my kids are so excited about virtually every class and project they work on. They just get really excited. That’s a barometer for me about how great a school this is.”
Ridley’s Essential Extras How do you launch students on their own lifetime learning adventure?
Plays and Musicals: Two productions are staged each year, one for Grades JK through 6 and the other for Grades 7 and 8.
Give them an exciting school experience to spark their curiosity and creativity. We inject each school day with endeavours that might be considered “extra” but that we think are “essential.”
Before and After School Clubs: Every day before and after school, students from kindergarten through Grade 4 can take part in optional clubs such as yoga, sculpture building and sports.
Visiting Scholars: School days include visiting scholars, noteworthy authors and musicians and other experts.
Grade-to-Grade Connections: Connections between younger and older students can further learning. For example, our seventh graders work with third graders on biography projects. The older students interview the younger ones and write their biographies. The third graders illustrate and read the biographies aloud.
Green Tigers: Ridley has an in-depth environmental initiative called the Green Tigers. Our goal is not only environmental stewardship and engagement, but also to enhance connections and understanding between people and to help them work together. As a part of this initiative, Ridley Lower School students get to know a variety of staff members, for instance gardeners, kitchen workers and custodial staff. They work together on projects such as campus composting and a community garden.
Private Music Lessons: Lessons in piano, voice, guitar and violin are available during the school day beginning in kindergarten.
Healthy Competition: It’s cool to be a good student at Ridley. With a healthy sense of competition our students routinely excel in regional and national events in science, history, music, drama, public speaking and debate.
Before and After School Care: Ridley gives parents who need it the flexibility of dropping their children off at school as early as 7:30 with extended care after school until 5:30.
Ridley’s Junior Boarding Option Ridley’s unique residential House experience extends to Lower Schoolers through our junior boarding option.
The Houses of Ridley are a nurturing and grounding home base for students. Each House is a small community within the school as a whole and a central hub of social, service, athletic and enrichment activities. Housemaster, faculty advisor, affiliated teachers and coaches form a close network of support for each of the students in their Houses so students can make the most of their Ridley experience and personal development. Burgoyne House is our junior boarding House. Coming from Canada and throughout the world, junior boarders in Grades 5 through 8 live together in Burgoyne House with their Housemaster and Assistant Housemaster and their families. Smaller than the Upper School Houses,
Burgoyne has a more structured and even more homelike atmosphere as is appropriate for younger students. Living in Burgoyne House is like being part of a large family with a dozen or more brothers and sisters. Junior boarding can be an especially good option for families with parents who must travel for extended periods of time or who live outside of Canada. The constancy and vibrancy of House life set students up for great success.
Indeed, research conducted by the Art & Science Group for The Association of Boarding Schools has found that the benefits of boarding school extend throughout a student’s life.
14 / Engaged Ridley • Lower School
• Boarders spend more time on extracurricular activities and homework, and less time watching television, than do their non-boarding school peers. • Significantly greater percentages of boarding school students and alumni report academic satisfaction and academic challenge and feel better prepared for all aspects of university from their academics to social life, time management and readiness for independence.
“It has been my daughter Shanshan’s good fortune that she has the chance to board at Ridley. She is being challenged a lot from organization to teamwork to doing her own laundry, and it’s all good. This time in life — the middle years — are in my opinion the most important time in life. It is the time to build self confidence, find where one’s goals are, fire the imagination, build all the foundations of knowledge in life. The results show in Shanshan, who is growing up as a lovely young lady.”
• By mid-career more former boarders in the study had achieved top management positions compared to non-boarders. • Boarding school graduates attribute their independence, adventurousness and love of learning for learning’s sake to their boarding school experience. Whether students are day or boarding, Ridley is a 24/7 school that emphasizes life in a way that can’t happen at day schools.
Friendships are deeper. Learning is more intense. Students live and learn with others whose backgrounds may be very different from their own. Parents find their boarding children are more mature young people with a new confidence because they are part of something bigger than themselves and their own families. Interestingly, the experience of stepping beyond home makes family ties even stronger. As one boarding parent said, “Instead of one-word answers to questions, you get meaningful talk. The bonds between student and family become very strong and of even greater importance.”
The vibrant happiness of
our Canadian school with its deep international connectedness is a true blend of past, present and future. Joining Ridley is about so much more than being a member of a school. It means being part of a community that sets students on their way to finding the great contribution they can make in this world. The best way to learn about Ridley is to visit our campus. We invite you to see for yourself the friendly warmth of our community, the excitement of our academics, arts and extras, and the lively engagement within our school. If you would like your children to spend their formative years here at Ridley, growing and learning and discovering all that they are capable of, we will do everything we can to help you including financial assistance beginning in Grade 4 through Upper School.
16 / Engaged Ridley â€˘ Lower School
â€œI am thrilled by the opportunity to send both my children to Ridley. My parents are immigrants who sacrificed to give me the opportunity to attend Ridley. I, in turn, will do the same for my son and daughter. I place exceptional value on the learning opportunities Ridley presents â€” not just academics but life skills. You hope to provide a foundation and tools for your children and let them decide what they build with them.â€?
Students: 342 boys 265 girls
At A Glance
Headmaster: Jonathan Leigh, M.A. Corpus Christi College, Cambridge University Eton College ...and Lucy, his black lab who also lives on campus
Anglican Junior Kindergarten through Post-Graduate Year boarding and day school
Location: St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada (Niagara region)
Lake Ontario Burlington Newfane
ONTARIO, CANADA Welland
NEW YORK, USA North Tonawanda
Average Class Size Lake Erie
Faculty Members 34% with advanced degrees
Motto: Terar Dum Prosim — May I Be Consumed In Service
British-style Residential House System: Ten residences; Upper School day students are assigned a House where they have study and storage space
Complete athletics programme including hockey, basketball, soccer, volleyball and more
Lower School (JK-8): 139 (23% Junior Boarding Grades 5-8)
Separate section of campus for Lower School grades JK-8 with library and dining hall, art studio and design and technology workshop • Theatres: Two (Mandeville Theatre and Ross Morrow Theatre) • Visual Arts: Darkroom, sculpting studio, drawing room with natural lighting • Athletics: New arena and field house – completed 2010 •
“Doors have been opened that would never have been opened for my children. Opportunity. Confidence. That’s huge when they go out into the bigger world. Each year as they move ahead, they know where they need to be. They want to excel and they do. I love this school.” Dale
107 Acre contiguous historic campus with state-of-theart academic, arts, athletics and living spaces
Upper School Upper School (Grade 9-12): 468 (77% Boarding)
30% Students Receiving Aid: 30% Financial Aid: $2.7 Million
Boarders Day Boarders: 347 • Day Students: 260
Ridley College Cadet Corps: largest coed Cadet Corps in Canada
Two productions are staged each year, one for Grades JK through 6 and the other for Grades 7 and 8.
International Students (34% of total enrollment)
172 Core Values: • Integrity • Knowledge • Respect For Community •P ersonal Growth Through Perseverance
Leadership opportunities including Duke of Edinburgh Award, Prefects, House Captains, House Councils, Burgoyne House Counsellor
Advanced Placement exams in 2008
ON Ontario Academic Curriculum
Students are encouraged to play three terms of competitive sports
Swimming pool, two gymnasiums, fitness room, sports therapy clinic, five tennis courts • Classrooms are SMART Board equipped • Wireless campus • Two Dining Halls • Libraries: Two (McLaughlin Resource Centre and Matthews Library) • Outdoor Education Centre – BOERC – located in Vineland, ON
Visit Ridley Call us to arrange a visit that can be tailored to your interests. We look forward to meeting you on campus in the near future. Ridley College P.O. Box 3013 2 Ridley Road St. Catharines, ON L2R 7C3 Canada (905) 684-1889
Turnaround Marketing Communications Text: Andrea Jarrell Photography: Michael Branscom
20 / Engaged Ridley â€˘ Lower School
A LEGACY THATâ€™S YOURS. To graduate from Ridley is to have the keys to knowledge in your pocket, true friends by your side, a ticket to the world in your hand and the resources of a legacy at your back as you move forward in life.
P.O. Box 3013 2 Ridley Road St. Catharines, ON L2R 7C3 Canada (905) 684-1889 www.ridleycollege.com