Head of Primary

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.

Nelson Mandela

 

As we settle into the rhythms and routines of the school year, much of the novelty (and nerves) of the first school week has dissipated into a general feeling of calm with students now ensconced in their new classes and engaged in learning in their beautiful learning spaces. It has been delightful to observe how seamlessly our new students have transitioned and integrated into the community. Research tells us just how significant an effective partnership between the school and parents is for your daughter’s development. We are a community at Loreto Normanhurst and we always welcome and encourage your involvement and participation.

At Loreto Normanhurst we celebrate the whole child by offering the opportunity for students to fulfill their personal potential within a dynamic, vibrant and nurturing learning environment. We enrich learning with a range of exciting experiences to enable students to really engage and thrive. Our team of talented educators work collaboratively to differentiate the learning program to cater for the individual needs and learning styles of all students. Having experiences aligned to learning needs ensures that students are engaged and develop the motivation and resilience to ‘do their best and no less.’

Our commitment to educational practice where the girls are at the centre of the learning process, has developed an increasing interest in the integral place of thinking. Investigations conducted weekly with the girls are designed to promote authentic learning experiences. The girls meet as a community of learners and create theories in response to challenging problem solving tasks. Through effective questioning techniques students and teachers co-construct knowledge and, from this, develop deeper understandings. During these sessions, the girls explore and build on a range of skills including working collaboratively, risk taking, and becoming serious questioners. This approach provides alternative ways of thinking about the girls as learners, the role of the teacher and the sensory environment.

The ‘growth mindset’ is a disposition that we have been encouraging in the girls by offering specific and targeted praise focused on effort and perseverance. The knowledge that grit and hard work has the ability to change the brain provides the motivation for meaningful engagement in learning, resilience and mental toughness when things become difficult. We will continue this important work this year.

Lunchtime clubs continue to be an exciting addition to learning in the Primary School. Robotics, debating, chess, da Vinci Decathlon, computer clubs and relaxation will continue. Interest in STEM has brought about a Coding Club which will support the girls’ love of robotics. Studies tell us that we don’t have enough women or minorities represented in the software that gets built, so we need to provide opportunities for girls to take those roles on in the future by inspiring them not just to embrace technology, but to start creating it themselves.

 

Mrs Maryanne Dwyer

Head of Primary