Head of Languages

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Asking the right questions at the right time can be a powerful way to stimulate new thoughts and generate great ideas. As a parent, you know the vital and unique role you play in your daughter’s life. Your values, your guidance, your conversations and your relationships will shape the beautiful adult she will become and whom you will be proud of. You probably also wonder what place she will take in society and how her actions will form a history that is yet to be told.

As teachers and as a school community, we engage ourselves in the questioning process tirelessly to think, to listen, to understand and to act. The action plans devised as a result of this practice lead to growth and to decisions which involve commitment, collaboration and expertise. Reflection and evaluation of past experiences do not always help us achieve the best outcomes in the future, but often they can help us to make improvements along the way, learning more about our identity and our potential.

Our vision is to promote the profile of languages in the community and develop global citizens who are life-long learners. This is one of the reasons why in Term 1 we planned a new excursion to Sydney University for Year 10 languages students, where they met and talked to current university students enrolled in various courses who are also studying languages. Many of our ex-students who are following different career paths have greatly benefited from studying languages at Loreto Normanhurst and words cannot truly express our sense of gratitude and accomplishment in acknowledging our (perhaps not so small) contribution for these students.

As a future university student of languages, it will be worth investigating the options of sitting the CELI (Italian), DELF/DALF (French) or HSK (Chinese) exams in authorised centres or universities in Australia. They are internationally recognised qualifications which will allow your daughter to take full advantage of her languages skills in an unlimited capacity, such as completing a Bachelor Degree at a prestigious French university.

In Term 1, the Year 11 Chinese students went to the NSW Art Gallery to visit the Heaven and earth in Chinese art exhibition. The excursion concluded at Chatswood, where they enjoyed a beautiful Yum Cha and paid a quick visit to the Mandarin Centre. Year 11 French students watched a French movie at Palace Chauvel Cinema and concluded their day with a magnifique French lunch in the city. We also had Year 6 students of Chinese perform at the secondary school assembly singing the Chinese New Year song Gong Xi Gong Xi (“congratulations”) and it was a beautiful explosion of joy, colour and language skills! To conclude the term, language students from different year groups presented at assembly for the “Close the Gap” whole school initiative to understand and embrace linguistic and cultural diversity in our own community.

In Term 2, Year 12 students will attend the Mock Speaking Trial excursions to help them prepare  for their Trial and HSC examinations. In Term 3, Year 8 students will participate in the long-awaited and traditional Languages Day incursion while students in Year 12 will sit their HSC speaking examinations. In Term 4, the recipients from Years 8 – 11 of the Patricia Webb Reading Competition will be awarded medals personally from Ms Webb, a former Head of Languages at Loreto Normanhurst, who established and continues to fund this special tradition at our school. Students in Years 10 and 11 who achieve a high distinction in both reading and listening skills in the ALC (Assessment of Languages Competence)  will be awarded their certificates at Assembly in Term 4 as well.

As mentioned in our newsletter last year, students of Years 5, 6, 7 and 9 are now learning languages following the new K-10 syllabus and this is why new outcomes will be shown in their Semester One reports from this year. The new outcomes will also appear for students in Years 8 and 10 next year.

At the beginning of this year we  warmly welcomed our new French teacher Ms Clara Marsh and our new Italian  Languages Assistant Mrs Katya Polimeni, and our new Chinese Language Assistant Fu Xie. I would like to thank all Languages teachers and assistants for their ongoing commitment to their profession and to your daughter’s learning and wellbeing.

 

Mrs  Stefania Thomsett

Head of Languages