Acting Head of House – Aston

Our Foundation is Strong

At this time, it is likely that many of us will be reflecting on the year that was. 2020 has been a year like no other and a year of challenges; however, it has also been a time of innovation and an opportunity for us to reframe our thinking and develop stronger foundations with family and friends. Could we perhaps view 2020 as a year in which we have learnt more or achieved more than we thought we would?

This year introduced us to the Loreto value ‘Verity,’ which for Mary Ward meant the profound truth of who we are and what gives meaning to our lives. With the end of Term 1 unfolding in an unexpected manner and the time spent in lockdown, the prospect of a long holiday was perhaps exciting for many students, however this period encouraged us to reflect on how our lives had changed and the experiences we were missing out on as we grappled with a new way of life.

As we connected in a virtual context, the value ‘Verity’ that we had been introduced to at the beginning of the term became apparent. We moved to a simpler way of living, placing value on the things that give meaning to our lives such as spending time with family. However, it soon became evident that this period led us to miss our school classrooms, the lively playgrounds sprinkled with laughter and the rich relationships we have formed as members of the Loreto community.

Upon returning in Term 2, there was a light-hearted excitement in the air as we reconnected in the context we were familiar with. There were, however, some changes to be had which encouraged us to reimagine daily school life, activities and events.  

Though our tutor groups may have been structured differently and year groups had been separated, we were still together as one Aston community. We still experienced Music Festival,  singing ‘Amazing’ led by our conductor Yasmin Say. While this year’s Music Festival was presented in a virtual manner, Aston girls sang loudly and proudly, united as one. We participated in House time, conversations and trivia, and celebrated birthdays. We bid farewell to our Year 12 girls in an outdoor graduation liturgy and celebrated our incoming House Leaders at a reimagined badge ceremony.

This year, we have learnt resilience, the importance of gratitude and hope for the future. We have acknowledged the importance of our relationships and the value of school life, which we may have previously taken for granted. We have learnt to be innovative, to reframe our thinking and to view experiences through a different lens. These are the skills that are going to assist our students as they become Loreto women of integrity; as they navigate the world outside the walls of Loreto, working towards changing the world.

As we revisit the lyrics from the Aston Music Festival song ‘Amazing’; “We’ll make our way to the top; We’ll never break, never stop; And when we get to the spot; We’ll know we made it there together,” we know that’s what we have done. We made it through the year together through the strength of the foundations of Aston House and the Loreto community. I believe that, as a community, we will approach 2021 stronger than ever. We will uphold the value of ‘Felicity’, strengthening our foundation further through renewed optimism, positive thinking and courage with each other.

 

Ms Erinn McMahon

Acting Head of Aston House