Lower School

Explore Lower School

Building the Foundation for a Flourishing Life

Flourishing lives blossom in an environment that supports inquisitive natures, develops resilience, inspires creativity, and creates a sense of community. Ridley’s Lower School provides that environment to help your child learn the habits of mind, body, and spirit, and the values he or she needs to lead a flourishing life.

A Positive Education

Research confirms that intellectual aptitude is only one measure of cognitive ability. In our efforts to inspire flourishing lives, we leverage evidence-based research in positive psychology and the principles of the PERMA-V model of psychological well-being and happiness:
P: Positive emotion
E: Engagement
R: Relationships
M: Meaning
A: Accomplishments
V: Vitality

Based on this science, Ridley equips Lower School students to deal with the daily demands of life and learning by creating an environment that:
  • Generates positive emotions
  • Practices mindfulness
  • Builds on strengths not deficits
  • Models grit and resilience
  • Nurtures positive relationships
  • Encourages goal setting and accomplishments
  • Fuels our vitality

- Barbara McRae, Ridley Mother

“The diversity of the student population was important to us and it has been a positive experience for both of our children as they have become friends with students from all over the world. They have learned about other cultures and we have had the opportunity to welcome children into our home from China, Russia, Mexico, and Germany, and have truly enjoyed these occasions.”

List of 8 items.

  • A Learner-Centred Culture

    Our Lower School offers a unique experience that allows your child to unlock the wonder of inquiry-based learning, develop the foundations of physical literacy, and explore the endless possibilities of personal creativity. 
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  • Day and Boarding Options

    Our Lower School co-educational programme is structured for students in Junior Kindergarten through Grade 8. While it is primarily a day school, we also offer full and five-day boarding options beginning in Grade 5.
  • Global-Minded Learning

    Ridley’s Lower School is also a fully accredited International Baccalaureate (IB) World School.
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  • Home-to-School Partnership

    Our Lower School experience is also based on a home-to-school partnership that invites parents to be involved in the journey with their child. Workshops and seminars equip parents with the resources they need to feel engaged in their child’s Ridley experience.
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  • Inspiring Life-Long Learning

    Everything we do at the Lower School is designed to inspire your child to become a life-long learner, ready to make a difference in the world of tomorrow. 
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  • IB Continuum Framework

    The Ridley IB continuum consists of three programmes: Primary Years, Middle Years, and Diploma Programme.
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  • Lower School Boarding

    Ridley’s ten boarding houses are unique, warm, and inviting communities within the school.
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  • Lower School Tribes

    We believe an environment that builds and supports community and a sense of belonging are essential ingredients for student happiness and success. 
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P.O. Box 3013, 2 Ridley Road St. Catharines, Ontario L2R 7C3 Canada 905 684 1889
With more than 665 students from 44+ countries, the largest boarding programme in Ontario and the second largest in Canada, Ridley College is a truly international, co-educational, day and boarding school of the world that prepares students for the world. It has provided enriching learning and life-shaping experiences focused on the arts, academics, and athletics since 1889. Ridley’s Lower School offers JK-Grade 8, its Upper School consists of Grade 9-PG, and Ridley graduates attend some of the top universities and colleges around the world. Ridley is the only independent boarding school in Canada and one of only three in North America authorized to offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) continuum programme.