We aim to produce a boy with a “strong mind, soft heart”. The Ridge follows a path from Grade 0 through to Grade 7 where the emphasis is on the development of the whole child. To this end our education focuses on the academic, the cultural, the emotional and the physical areas of a boy’s development. We aim to grow a boy who is well-rounded, happy, confident and able to move on with confidence to any new environment when the occasion arises.
The school is known for its nurturing and child-centred environment which begins in our wonderful Junior Prep, and permeates the Senior Prep. The Ridge is blessed with top quality, high calibre staff at all levels who are well equipped to deal with boys’ particular developmental needs. The boys’ pastoral needs are looked after by class teachers and tutors, providing guidance at various levels. There is also a strong learning support centre offering remediation, speech therapy and occupational therapy.
There are currently 490 boys enrolled at the school. There are three classes per year group from Grade 0-7, all of approximately 20 boys. We believe this to be an effective, child-friendly formula, allowing flexibility if class dynamics require it, while also allowing the school to remain small enough to be personal. These relatively low numbers allow for individual attention for all boys. From Grade 2-7, Mathematics classes are further divided to help facilitate more personalised study and development programmes.
There are four key components at The Ridge: our wide-ranging and engaging academic life; our sporting versatility and prowess; our rich cultural achievements; and our advanced technological involvement. These are underpinned by our values, based on courtesy, Christian morals and a sense of balance and purpose.
In the academic field, Ridge boys have performed with distinction. Numerous scholarships to the country’s top schools are awarded each year, and colleges are eager to gain Ridge boys because of their balanced, enthusiastic approach to learning and life’s myriad of opportunities. We do feed all the major senior schools in the country, especially the leading boys’ schools. The Ridge has taken a lead with other prep schools in establishing a process aimed at curriculum development leading to professional teacher growth and school improvement.
While academic success is important, we are not obsessed with results, nor do we spend attention only on those who are capable academically. True education has more to do with stretching and challenging ALL pupils to unleash their potential in whichever sphere of school life their talents lie. To this end we strive to build self-confidence in every individual to encourage creative self-expression and to nurture a willingness to question and debate important life issues, for example, through the small tutorial discussion groups. One of the senior staff is also responsible for the pastoral care of boys in need of extra care and assistance.
Alongside mastery of the basics of effective communications, creative problem solving and an investigative approach to learning are key components of successful and innovative teaching at The Ridge. We are very fortunate to have our well-equipped Design and Technology Centre as well as an advanced level of integration of information technology in the classroom from Grade 0-7.
We also attach great importance to cultural enrichment, and educate broadly through art, music and drama. The school prides itself on the range of its musical activities. Indeed, our music is widely recognised as a centre of excellence. We have a senior choir, a junior choir, a senior orchestra of some 50 boys, a junior orchestra, a wind and sax ensemble, two ORFF groups, a rock group, a brass ensemble, recorder and string groups. To that we can add our wonderful jazz band and our lively marimba group! We have been invited to perform at several prestigious events, and eagerly take advantage of opportunities to display our high standard of music on a regular basis.
Moreover, we have a weekly activities period to promote hobbies such as cartooning, model building and more.
Ridge boys excel in inter-school sporting activities, performing both on and off the field with distinction. Several sporting activities are offered. These include cricket, swimming, tennis, athletics and squash in summer, and football, hockey, rugby and cross-country in winter. The school’s own facilities include four tennis courts, four playing fields, three sets of cricket nets and a heated 25-metre pool. Other specialist activities such as chess and judo are also offered.
The emphasis in sports at The Ridge, however, is one of full participation rather than a focus on a small number of winning teams. It is pleasing that every boy has the chance to represent the school in one or other sporting activity during the year.
A key part of The Ridge ethos is teaching boys to do good and to do well. In the Junior Prep, boys perform tasks to raise money for charity. Over the last few years a pleasing sum has been raised for CHOC and other children’s charities.
In the senior part of the school, boys interact with children from Salvazione Christian School, a small independent school in Brixton. This school largely comprises children from the Slovo Park informal settlement. For more details about this school and the opportunity for Ridge parental involvement, please look under our “Social Responsibility” tab.
Boys in Grade 7 have the option of taking part in the Headmaster’s Leadership Programme; this has four components. They have to perform an act of service; learn a skill; demonstrate organisational capabilities; and undertake a physical development task.