Why Choose The Ridge?

Established in 1919, The Ridge School is one of Johannesburg’s oldest and finest English-medium boys’ preparatory schools. It is situated on 16 acres of the historic Westcliff Ridge, off Jan Smuts Avenue and Valley Road. With a strong sense of history, but firmly rooted in its modern contemporary environment, The Ridge School continues into its 10th decade to provide the boys with a holistic approach to education and the lessons of life.

We offer an exceptional, balanced education which instils respect for self and enthusiastically embraces diversity. Our aim is the development of a confident individual with a generous spirit and responsible character. Our progressive ethos, based on Christian values, is dedicated to the flourishing of learning and community development.

Email Joe Kotwal at marketing@ridgeschool.co.za to arrange a personal tour of the school or click to apply now.

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Why Boys Learn Differently from Girls

Boys develop and perceive the world differently to girls.

  1. Research shows that boys and girls are very different, not just in terms of their development, but also in how they perceive and interact with and within the world.
  2. Physical differences in the formation of the cochlea mean boys do not hear as effectively as girls. If you are teaching girls don’t raise your voice, if teaching boys, speak low, slow and loud and use motion to attract and keep attention.
  3. Boys are ten times less likely to be distracted by peripheral noise and can tune out superfluous noise quite effectively whilst girls prefer a quieter learning environment.
  4. Colour blindness is more common in boys and girls describe seeing more colours.
  5. Boys’ gaze is attracted by motion and their attention will be drawn to anything in motion.
  6. Boys draw verbs and prefer to simulate motion in their drawings. They also prefer muted colours like black, grey, silver and blue. Girls draw nouns and prefer brighter colours like red, orange and green. Girls see what it is and fill their pictures with details like colours, flowers and other children. Boys see where it is in space and try to capture the motion of the scene. Girls’ pictures are ‘pretty’ whilst boys often have little colour but lots of lines to represent movement. Both are valid, but different.
  7. Boys prefer objects whilst girls prefer faces so don’t depend on facial information as this is often overlooked by males.
  8. Boys build friendships shoulder to shoulder. Generally, when helping a boy, sit next to him and spread the materials in front of you so that you are both looking at them, shoulder-to-shoulder.
  9. Girls build friendships face to face. Generally, when helping a girl, smile and look her in the eye.
  10. In girls, emotion is processed in the same area of the brain that processes language. So, it’s easy for most girls to talk about their emotions.
  11. In boys, the brain regions involved in talking are separate from the regions involved in feeling. The hardest question for many boys to answer is: “Tell me how you feel.” Boys do have emotions, yet they often lack sufficient emotional vocabulary to enable them to express their feelings. As educators we need to help them develop their vocabulary to allow them to verbally express themselves in times of emotional need, but also to understand boys may not need to ‘talk things through’ as much.”
  12. Most boys are impressed by other boys who take risks, especially if the risk taker succeeds. Girls may be willing to take risks, but they are less likely to seek out risky situations just for the sake of living dangerously.
  13. With boys it is important to have as many “supervised” risk-taking opportunities as possible. Unsupervised boys together are often a real danger to themselves.
  14. Girls and boys respond to stress differently not just in our species, but in every mammal scientists have studied. Stress enhances learning in males. The same stress impairs learning in females.
  15. Since the mid-1970’s, many educators have made a virtue of ignoring gender differences. The assumption was that by teaching girls and boys the same subjects in the same way at the same age, gender gaps in achievement would be eradicated. That approach has failed. Gender gaps in learning have widened in the past three decades. The ironic result of three decades of gender blindness has been an intensifying of gender stereotypes.