Deans of Boarding

Deans of Boarding

Passion and perseverance

A poster in the Year 11 dormitory reads “Fail Early, Fail Often, Fail Forward.” How is it that this Silicon Valley insight can be a source of motivation for the students in our care? It is a reminder of the passion and perseverance that is required as a boarder, and an acceptance that they will be faced with many challenges on their journey to becoming resilient, compassionate individuals.  A combination of care, respect and clearly articulated expectations that embrace the FACE curriculum provides the support for our boarders as they navigate their way.

How does the FACE curriculum come to life for boarders?


Every Sunday evening during the term is an opportunity for all boarders to deepen their faith by active participation in the Boarder Eucharist.  Each week a different year group take on the roles of readers, altar servers and form part of the offertory procession.  The chapel ensemble meet weekly to prepare and provide the music. These are joyful celebrations of faith and a wonderful way to begin the school week.


Boarders are provided with structured study times that are age appropriate. Students can access homework help from a variety of dedicated tutors across many subjects and levels. Our Academic Care Manager meets with students to develop individualised study plans and delivers specialised sessions to address needs that arise for boarders.

Year 11 students mentor Year 7 students.  This means that they work together in study, with Year 11 students modelling good study habits and offering advice.  They also accompany the Year 7 students to study skills sessions and relevant activities.


The boarders, together with staff, form a very special community. Positive relationships and community spirit are fostered through a number of activities. These include Boarder Commitment Weekend, Main Event, themed dinners, the Pink Lady cruise and our end of term Pink Lady dinners.  At these dinners the student who best exemplifies the qualities of a Loreto Normanhurst Boarder in each year group, receives the Pink Lady award.

The vertical pastoral care system extends to dinner in the Boarding School.  Each table consists of members from different year groups.  A Year 12 student takes on the role of table head at dinner and  conversations and community are built through their leadership.  The students also contribute to the boarding and wider school community through the Boarder Community Service program.


Boarders are involved in a number of extra-curricular pursuits that are facilitated by the school and outside organisations.  Sports such as hockey, netball, basketball, rowing, swimming, surf life-saving, gymnastics and equestrian are just some of the physical activities enjoyed by our students.  Public speaking and debating, vocal and instrumental ensembles, individual music lessons and dance, provide avenues for self-expression and personal growth.  Many of our students undertake the Duke of Edinburgh Award and work behind the counter or as swimming instructors at the Loreto pool.

Learning to be independent from a young age has various challenges, however with the support of the staff and supervisors within the boarding community we are able to grow and become young women in a safe and loving environment. In developing resilience and grit, I feel confident to step into the world outside school knowing my time in boarding has prepared me for any difficulties I may face in the future.

Abigail Downes
Boarder Captain

Boarding here at Loreto has not only given me so many opportunities in all aspects of school life but has prepared me for the world outside school. Being at Loreto since Year 7, the independence I have gained through living away from home has taught me to be resilient and has shown me that it is OK to have set backs but to always strive to be better. The boarding school is a loving community that I see as a big family. We are all so unique and we all push each other to be better in everything we do.

Sophie Dent
Boarder Vice-captain


Boarding requires students to be independent and self-directed.  The central tenet of boarding at Loreto Normanhurst is to provide a supportive environment that fosters both resilience and grit.


Ms Suzanne Leahy and Mrs Joanne Hallinan

Deans of Boarding