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Ridley is steeped in tradition, and from this tradition comes many names, short forms and acronyms that anyone outside of our school would scratch their heads at.

Being a new family and having no idea what anyone is talking about can be intimidating, so we’re here to help! We’ve compiled a list of all the standard terms unique to Ridley. 

The terms are listed in alphabetical order.

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z


Admissions Ambassador

An Admissions Ambassador is a current Ridley student who conducts tours with prospective families, showing them Ridley’s 90-acre campus while answering their questions.


A graduate or a former student of Ridley College. Also known as an "Old Ridleian."


Aramark is Ridley’s food service provider, offering three hot meals a day, seven days a week, at the Great Hall (Upper School Dining Hall) and Williams Hall (Lower School Dining Hall). 


The Archives is a room in the basement of School House containing artifacts from Ridley’s long history and is a location to host meetings.

Arts in April

Every April, Ridley celebrates the Arts by hosting a variety of events showcasing our student’s amazing artistic talents.

Athletic Therapy

Open to all Ridley community members, the Athletic Therapy clinic offers injury prevention, rehabilitation, taping, and bracing.


Bermuda Cup

Inter-house competitions called the Bradley Shield and Bermuda Cup see students compete with the rest of their houses to win glory for their community.

The Bermuda Cup is an inter-house sports competition for boys.

Board of Governors

A group of highly qualified individuals responsible for overseeing and managing an institution.

Boarding School

Ridley is a boarding school that provides a unique educational experience, with students from around the world living and learning on our St. Catharines campus. Our boarding students live in ten Houses spread out across our 90-acre campus. 

Learn more about boarding

Boarding Students

A student who lives and studies away from home at a boarding school.

Bradley Shield

Inter-house competitions called the Bradley Shield and Bermuda Cup see students compete with the rest of their houses to win glory for their community.

The Bradley Shield is an inter-house sports competition for girls.



Cadets is a long-standing tradition at Ridley, developing leadership skills as peers work together to progress through a variety of tasks and responsibilities relating to the overall Cadet programme.

Cadet Parade and Inspection 

The event follows a time-honoured sequence which allows the entire battalion to pass inspection, the troops to demonstrate their marching discipline and the band to show its proficiency. 

Cadet Ball 

A long-standing Ridley tradition where students dress up for a night of food, dancing and celebration. This event is Ridley’s version of prom. 

Campaign for Ridley

The Campaign for Ridley is the development of a strategic vision to address the future needs of our students and campus.

Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS)

The Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS) is a community of independent schools that choose to meet and exceed rigorous National Standards that inspire continuous whole-school improvement. 


The Memorial Chapel was dedicated on June 23rd, 1923, to the fallen Canadian soldiers who once attended Ridley College. It was designed in a perpendicular Gothic style using Georgetown and Bedford stone, with solid oak furnishings and artisanally-crafted stained glass windows.

Today, as it was then, the Chapel is the heart of our campus, a vibrant gathering place and community hub where lifelong memories are made, traditions are practiced, and all students can feel they belong, regardless of their nationality or religion beliefs. 

Christmas/Winter Break

A two-week period in December when Ridley College is closed and students do not have any school duties. When the school is closed, boarding students are expected to leave campus—many travel home to enjoy a break with their families. Check our Major Dates Calendar for the upcoming school year to see when you can expect the Christmas/Winter closure. 


Cialfo is a college and career readiness software provider that partners with Ridley and other K–12 institutions to provide students with post-secondary planning and career assessment tools.

Creativity, Action and Service (CAS)

The co-curricular programme entitled Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) is associated with the Diploma Programme (DP).


Day Students

To apply for day student status at Ridley College, families must have a current, local address and reside within a 50 km radius of the campus. 

Diploma Programme (DP)

The Diploma Programme (DP) is a two-year programme, starting in Grade 11 and continuing to Grade 12. This programme is taught in Ridley’s Upper School.

The Diploma Programme (DP) curriculum is made up of six subject groups and the DP core, comprised of the theory of knowledge (TOK), creativity, activity, service (CAS) and the extended essay. 

Through the Diploma Programme (DP) core, students reflect on the nature of knowledge, complete independent research and undertake a project that often involves community service.


Enrollment Contracts

An enrollment contract is an agreement a family makes with Ridley College that their child(ren) will attend the school for the outlined term, which includes the payment of tuition fees. 

Extended Essay

The Extended Essay is undertaken as part of the Diploma Programmme. It is an independent, self-directed piece of research.

External Assessment

Examinations that are undertaken at the conclusion of the IB courses.



Faculty is another word for the teachers who instruct students at Ridley College.  

Family Mentor Programme

The Family Mentor Programme is offered through the Ridley College Family Guild (RCFG). This programme sees current Ridley families from each grade paired with newly enrolled families starting in the following September. These current families, also known as family mentors, act as a guide, helping new families to navigate their first year at Ridley College.


Fieldhouse is the name of our Athletic Centre on campus, featuring our gymnasiums and arena. 


The term ‘flats’ is another word for each boarding house floor.

Example: When your child says they live on the second flat in G East, that means they live on the second floor of Gooderham East House.


Ridley’s main indicator of wellbeing and its proactive approach to student wellbeing.


A payment service that provides international students and families with a secure payment gateway that simplifies the payment process.


Great Hall

The 'Great Hall' is the Upper School dining hall located in School House.

Ridley College’s international health insurance provider. Enrollment is mandatory for all students without domestic health insurance.

Guidance Counsellors

A licensed professional who provides competent and ethical advice and information to assist students in their personal and academic goals.



'Hanks' is Ridley College’s campus store that sells uniforms, general school supplies and Ridley memorabilia.

Head of House / Assistant Head of House

The Head of House and Assistant Head of House are Ridley staff who live in houses attached to each boarding house. They are there to help care for your child’s daily needs, be a sounding board when they need someone to talk to and plan fun activities and events for them in the evening and on weekends. 

Health Centre

The Schmon Health and Wellness Centre is our purpose-built medical centre designed to keep our community healthy. With thirteen beds, two doctor exam rooms and one nurse exam room, it is well equipped to provide on-site medical care from minor surgical procedures to convalescence care. 

Higher Level (HL) Courses

HL courses are IB courses taken over two years within an allotted time of 240 hours.


An annual event that occurs at the end of September or early October that celebrates the return of alumni to their alma mater, Ridley College. The annual event kicks off with our Alumni Dinner, usually on Friday evening, and continues thoughout the weekend with various athletic events, on-campus activities, class-specific events and photos, Chapel service, and more.


A student’s home classroom is where they assemble at the beginning of the day so that their homeroom teacher can record their attendance and give out information. 


Every Ridleian, day and boarding, belongs to one of our Houses. This structure creates a unique cohesion, fosters deeper friendships and establishes lifelong connections. 


Internal Assessment

Course work, not including the final examination, that is graded by Ridley teachers and moderated by an International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) appointed moderator.

International Baccalaureate (IB)

An education program that aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

IB Continuum

Schools that offer at least three IB programmes are referred to as continuum schools. Each of the programmes has a strong international dimension, develops intercultural understanding and requires study of a broad range of subjects.

IB Certificate

A certificate awarded by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) after a student who is not enrolled as a diploma candidate completes the requirements for a single course.

International Student Guardianship Canada (ISGC)

International Student Guardianship Canada (ISGC) supports international children studying at Ridley College by providing services that make studying away from home successful and easy. They monitor the student’s progress, health and overall wellbeing through regular communication with students, parents, agents and school staff. Their team is available 24 hours a day for emergencies. 

Learn more about Ridley’s guardianship and immigration support specialists. 




Learning Strategist

Also known as an academic mentor, they help students develop personalized plans to meet the challenges of academic life.

Lower School Open House

Taking place the first week of school, the Lower School Open House is an opportunity for families to come to the school, visit their children’s classrooms and meet their teachers. In addition to the meet and greet with teachers, a family BBQ will be hosted in the Courtyard so that families can meet one another.  



A software that allows schools to digitally collect student health and medical information. 

Only the parent's TigerNET access will open Magnus, the school’s electronic medical record system.

You will require a username and password to log in to TigerNET and access your child’s Magnus health portal. 

If you require assistance retrieving your login credentials, please get in touch with [email protected].

Major Dates Calendar

The Major Dates Calendar contains the important dates that all families should know each school year. This calendar includes the first day of school, holiday closures, long weekends, and any scheduled early release days. 

March Break

A two-week period in March where Ridley College is closed and students do not have any school duties. When the school is closed, boarding students are expected to leave campus. Many travel home to enjoy a break with their families. Check our Major Dates Calendar for the upcoming school year to see when to expect the March Break closure.

MGI-Gordon Speaker Series

An annual speaker series that brings respected leaders and subject experts to campus to address the Ridley community on various topics and current issues. Past guests have included Dr. David Suzuki, The Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Bob Rae, Kim Thúy, and Irshad Manji, among others.

Middle Years Programme (MYP)

The Middle Years Programme (MYP) is a five-year programme, starting in Grade 7 and continuing to Grade 10. This programme is taught in both Ridley's Middle School and Upper School. 

The MYP curriculum comprises eight subject groups, providing a broad, balanced education for early adolescents. 

The MYP requires at least 50 hours of teaching time for each subject group in each programme year. In the final two years of the programme, carefully-defined subject group flexibility allows students to meet Ridley's requirements and personal learning goals. 


Niagara Airbus

The only door-to-door shuttle bus service from Toronto Pearson Airport to the Niagara Region. 

Niagara Region

A portion of land in Ontario that sits between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie, and covers cities from Grimsby to St. Catharines to Niagara Falls. 

Nine Lessons and Carols

A traditional worship service celebrated in the Memorial Chapel each December, comprised of stories, Christmas carols, hymns, and choir anthems.


Old Ridleians

A graduate or a former student of Ridley College. Also known as "alumni."

Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)

The Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) is the province of Ontario’s official high school diploma. Every Ridley student graduates Grade 12 with the OSSD in addition to the Ridley Diploma and potentially the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma (should they choose to complete the Diploma Programme).  

Opening Days

Ridley’s version of school orientation that hosts move in days, fun activities for students and educational sessions to make sure new and returning students can adjust to the new school year. 


Parent/Teacher Conferences

Parent/Teacher conferences are an opportunity for parents of current Ridley students to meet with their student’s teacher to discuss how their child is doing in each course. These meetings can take place in-person or virtually, depending on the family’s preference.


A human development theory developed by Dr. Martin Seligman that contains six letters, each representing pillars of wellbeing that are foundational to everything we do at Ridley.  

PERMA-V stands for Positivity, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, Achievement and Vitality.


An elected Grade 12 student who has been chosen to perform certain responsibilities, giving them authority in the school. 

The Prefects are the school’s strongest leaders, they are committed to Ridley and they subsequently uphold all its ideals and traditions. To a great extent, the Prefect team is charged with influencing the atmosphere, tone and spirit of the school.  

Prep Sports

Prep programming at Ridley College is focused on long-term athlete development, ensuring our student-athletes have the resources, support, and exposure necessary to pursue their educational and athletic aspirations.

Our Prep programmes have produced provincial, national, & international champions and hundreds of post-secondary careers in the NCAA, USports and Tier II programs. 

Prize Day

Prize Day is an awards ceremony that takes place during June graduation.

Primary Years Programme (PYP)

The International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum framework for students in JK to Grade 6. Each grade level is organized around six transdisciplinary themes which allow teachers to develop a rigorous and relevant programme of inquiry, culminating in a collaborative project and exhibition in Grade 6.



Ridleians of Distinction

An internal programme, launched in 2014, which recognizes outstanding Ridley College alumni who have made outstanding contributions to their communities and the world. 

Ridley College Family Guild (RCFG)

The Ridley College Family Guild (RCFG) is a parent-driven organization with almost 100 years of history in supporting our students and school.

Some families may know “PTA” or “Parent Teacher Association.” The RCFG is the PTA at Ridley, here to support Ridley families.

Ridley Outdoor Activity Retreat (ROAR)

ROAR is our Lower School camp experience for students in JK to Grade 6, which takes place on campus during Opening Days at the beginning of September. The retreat consists of a series of orientation and belonging activities to help our Lower School students settle into the new school year. 

Ridley Recap

A bi-weekly email newsletter that highlights and details the recent happenings on campus, as well as important updates and upcoming events.

Ross E. Morrow Theatre (RMT)

Also known as the RMT, the Ross E. Morrow Theatre is an intimate performance space in School House, complete with a raised stage and full electronic sound and lighting systems that can seat approximately 100 people. 


School Calendar

The School Calendar is a calendar of all upcoming events taking place on campus. This calendar is accessible through Ridley College’s website or a family’s TigerNET accounts. Students are encouraged to check the calendar often to ensure they don’t miss any upcoming events.

School House

This main school building contains reception, the Admissions team, academic classrooms, as well as the Headmaster’s, Guidance, Business and Advancement Offices. It also houses the Great Hall and is the main building for Upper School classes.

Second Century Building (2CB)

Home to our Middle School, the Second Century Building, also known as 2CB, houses classrooms, the Mandeville Theatre for the performing arts, as well as administrative offices.


A way of learning that involves studying independently instead of in a classroom with a teacher. This type of learning is expected in the IB continuum.

Social Emotional Counselling

At the heart of the Ridley experience is our belief in the primacy of human flourishing and development. We inspire Ridleians to be caring, confident and self-actualized young people, prepared to make a difference in the world and in the communities they will lead. 

At Ridley, our Lower School, Middle School and Upper School counselling services ensure these qualities through our regular classroom lessons, workshops and meetings with individuals, small groups and families. 


Powered by OverDrive, Sora is a digital reading app for students.

Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT)

The Secondary School Admissions Test (SSAT) measures verbal, quantitative and reading skills that students develop over time both in and out of school. The SSAT can be used for the scholarship assessment of a student.

Standard Level (SL) Courses

SL courses are IB courses taken over two years within an allotted time of 150 hours.

Student Success Plans (SSP)

A personalized student driven plan that will be created to address every learner’s needs and interests to help them stay engaged in school and to achieve post-secondary educational and career goals. 

Summer Programmes

Summer Programmes (also known as Summer Camps) offer a wide selection of day camps with art, science and sports programmes to cater to all interests. Campers aged 4-15 flourish whilst expanding their physical, creative, social and interpersonal skills.


Terar Dum Prosim

Ridley’s school motto, “Terar Dum Prosim” is Latin and translates to “May I be consumed in service.” For more than 130 years, our vision and approach to learning have produced influential leaders in various fields. Today, our student body includes some of the most brilliant young minds from around the globe. We continue to live our motto everyday by giving back to our local and global community. 


The three academic terms that make up the school year at Ridley College are also in use, primarily in UK schools and universities. 

They are roughly commensurate with the seasons, beginning with the Michaelmas term, named after the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels in the Fall; the Lent term, named after the Christian tradition during the Winter months; and the Trinity term, named for the term during which the Superior Courts of England were formerly open in the Springtime.

Theory of Knowledge (TOK)

The Theory of Knowledge course is part of the Diploma Programme (DP). This course involves critical reflection on knowledge and knowing.


Our annual spring carnival, organized by the Ridley College Family Guild (RCFG) and complete with inflatables, carnival games, live entertainment, and delicious food, which takes place near the end of the school year, usually in June.


TigerNET is Ridley’s student information system (SIS) and is accessed from the 'Login' button on Ridley's homepage.

Each parent is given a unique login and will use the system to follow their child(ren)'s academic journey. Once logged in, a parent will also have access to various system logins, forms, handbooks, and links that can be found on the Resource Board. 

Click here for instructions on retrieving your login information. 

For students, TigerNET is where they will view their daily schedule, assignments, course material, grades, and report cards. 


An all-in-one teaching and learning platform for IB schools, used for curriculum planning, projects and portfolios, assessments and reports, among other functions. At Ridley College, Toddle is used by our Lower School students and faculty.

Town Halls

Town Halls are scheduled virtual information sessions for newly enrolled and returning families, which take place between March and August each year, and feature presentations from the Headmaster along with other Ridley experts. These presentations feature important information and updates for families as we look towards the next school year. 

Tuition Assistance

Tuition Assistance (TA) offers a financial partnership between Ridley and the student’s family. With more than $3.5 million given yearly by our generous donors and benefactors, we work with qualifying families to ensure they can afford a Ridley education.





We teach the concept of ‘feel good and do good’ as we educate our students on the habits of mind, body and spirit so they are primed for learning and success - now and long after graduation.

Williams Hall

The Lower School dining hall, located in the Lower School Building.

Winter Homecoming

An opportunity for alumni to return to their alma mater for a weekend in the winter, for fun activities and events, usually at the beginning of February.

Winter Music Festival

A week-long musical celebration taking place in December before the Christmas Break, kicking off with the Seasonal Sounds Concert, that showcases the musical talents and abilities of our Grade 7 to 12 students.