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Ridley: A Secret Garden

1981 26 min
Leaving soon

This short documentary invites us inside Ridley College, a private boarding school founded in 1889 and located in St. Catharines, Ontario. This film goes beyond the walls and groomed lawns of this institution to show how it molds its students into the leaders of the future. Although the private school system has its critics, Ridley continues to uphold a strong British tradition with its emphasis on moral training, strict supervision, a strong academic education, conformity, sports and relative isolation from the community.

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Ridley: A Secret Garden

Details

This short documentary invites us inside Ridley College, a private boarding school founded in 1889 and located in St. Catharines, Ontario. This film goes beyond the walls and groomed lawns of this institution to show how it molds its students into the leaders of the future. Although the private school system has its critics, Ridley continues to uphold a strong British tradition with its emphasis on moral training, strict supervision, a strong academic education, conformity, sports and relative isolation from the community.
  • director
    Robert Lang
  • producer
    Silva Basmajian
    Arthur Hammond
  • executive producer
    Arthur Hammond
  • commentary
    Steve Lucas
  • camera
    Len Gilday
  • sound
    Douglas Ganton
  • editing
    Tiina Soomet
  • sound editing
    Roger Mattiussi
  • re-recording
    Terry Cooke
  • narrator
    Colin Fox

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Education

Ages 12 to 18

Warning (if any): Offensive/outdated terminology (“Blacks”, “Indians”) in a classroom discussion.

Brief “lesson launcher type” activity or a series of inquiry questions with a bit of context:

A documentary profiling Ridley College, a prestigious private school in Ontario, and the students who attended this school in the 1980s. This school offers day school and boarding school. How might the effects of bullying and harassment be intensified for students who are living and learning in the same spaces together? What changes have we made as a society to address concerns like hazing and bullying? In the film, they explain that tuition cost $9,000 a year in 1981. Today, it costs more than $60,000 a year for a boarding student. Why might parents think that $60,000 a year is worth it when public education is free in Ontario? Some send their children to these schools to form connections. Is it fair that these kinds of institutions offer connections that the average person may never have? Is that linked to the wealth of these students in general or is it at all heightened by their access in schools like this? The staff at the school mention the responsibility that comes with power/privilege. Do you believe that private schools do enough to ensure that their students contribute meaningfully to the society around them? What sorts of initiatives exist nowadays?

Ridley: A Secret Garden
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