Head of Primary
School camp is a rite of passage for all students and is a wonderful opportunity to develop new skills, friendships and interests. It also gives teachers an opportunity to get to know students in a different context outside of the classroom. We always say at Loreto that we want to know the student and the person behind the student and school camp is the perfect chance for this to happen.
Our Primary School camp at the Great Aussie Bush Camp this week offered special moments like this. I found myself having a deep conversation with Georgia, a new Year 5 student, and I learned so much about her story in a 5 minute fireside chat. I learned that she loves to ride her pony and all about the many extra-curricular activities she takes part in every week. She has all her activities scheduled on a large timetable on her desk so that she knows where to slot in her homework. She also has a very clear idea of what she would like to be when she grows up – a doctor or a vet – and she made it clear that she doesn’t want to marry the doctor, she wants to be the doctor!
The student also told me that her parents wanted her to come to Loreto so that she can work hard and have choices and also learn how to become a strong lady. She told me that there are many types of ladies that you can become; she would like to be a lady who is strong and confident and someone who can help others (animals included). I couldn’t help but marvel at our wonderful conversation and I never would have had the chance to know who Georgia really is and what she wants in life if I hadn’t had the time to have this conversation. This year in the Primary School we will focus on these types of conversations, as they do in the Secondary School, so that we have every opportunity to strengthen the relationships that make all the difference to a Loreto education.
This is one reason why the FACE Curriculum is such a powerful framework. The C for community and E for Extra-curricular were clearly evident at camp. We saw the girls forming friendships in their vertical house groups, facing their fears and challenges head-on as they scaled the rock wall, working as a team to create a boat that would stay afloat and displaying such joy as they tackled the challenge of the Lost Island – covered entirely in mud!
In today’s pressure-oriented society, camp provides a non-threatening environment for our girls to be active, to develop competence in life skills, to learn about and enhance their own abilities and to benefit from meaningful participation in a program designed just for them. As one student said, ‘I had the best time at camp, I made some new friends and got to spend time with my buddy. I can’t wait until we can go again.’
Mrs Maryanne Dwyer
Head of Primary