A Loreto education is one which liberates, empowers and motivates students to use their individual gifts with confidence, creativity and generosity in loving and responsible service. Mother Gonzaga Barry reminded us that schooling is part of life, not preparation for life, that is, the school experience of learning is to be rich and full for its own sake. In order to grow the whole person, we require a model of holistic learning that recognises and nurtures the inherent dimensions of what it means to be fully alive spiritually, intellectually, physically, and in community with others. This is what the Loreto Normanhurst Student Growth Model (LNSGM) offers our students. A truly holistic curriculum is best articulated by the elements of the FACE Curriculum (Faith, Academic, Community, Extra-curricular) and this week we have reflected on and celebrated the ‘E’ piece of our FACE curriculum and how our extra-curricular activities program develops interests and talents in students, leading to growth.
By creating opportunities to expand skills, develop leadership attributes, make new friends and create a real sense of belonging, extra-curricular pursuits also bring a calmness and order to students’ lives, allowing them to refocus and build a positive outlook and, importantly, learn how to deal with success and failure without compromising their values. As an integral part of our FACE curriculum, the ‘E’ component is of equal value to the Faith, Academic and Community dimensions of holistic learning.
The strength of the extra-curricular life of the school was highlighted on Monday at the ‘Extra-curricular Fair’, an initiative to get students thinking about every activity on offer here at school. Staff and students from all areas – Sport, Music, Mission, FPS, Oratory, Drama, Tours and Immersions and all of the different clubs, teams and activities – talked about what’s on offer and how to become involved. Thank you to everyone who helped put this event together. It’s student-led events like these that inspire and motivate the girls to fully immerse themselves in the life of our school. To view all the extra-curricular activities on offer at the school, please click here.
It gives me great pleasure to congratulate Eileen Yang, Year 12 Kendall, who completed the Licentiate in Music (LMUS) exam – piano – last week. The LMUS is a diploma awarded by examination to outstanding candidates in the fields of musical performance and music theory by the Australian Music Examinations Board and is also effectively the highest qualification attainable as the next level of a Fellowship in Music is awarded only on an Honorary basis. You will remember Eileen’s beautiful performance at the Music Festival this year, playing ‘Ballade No. 5’ from Chopin – her talent and skill and the beauty with which she played was a joy and privilege to witness. Congratulations Eileen on such a tremendous accomplishment.
Today we formally opened and blessed the Hayden Fitness Centre, the newest addition to our Gymnasium which is named after Mother Antoinette Hayden, former Principal of Loreto Normanhurst and a tremendous advocate for sport. At the blessing ceremony today, Year 11 students Luka Swain and Bernice O’Brien shared a reflection on the life and inspiration of Mother Antoinette highlighting all the wonderful attributes which led to the decision to have such a versatile, happy and spirited area of the school named after her. One memory of Mother Antoinette, that some of our ex-students in particular will have, was how she would urge the girls to ‘lift their feet’ during runs around the school oval. The Hayden Fitness Centre offers a full program to all students, with the program designed to ensure that every student, regardless of experience, will find participating in the fitness program rewarding.
The Year 11 Loreto Day Awareness Raising Team have been busy this week distributing raffle tickets to staff and students to support the Baby Milk Project in Zambia. I hope that you too will dig deep to support this very worthy cause. To view the prizes on offer, please click here.
Last Sunday we gathered in the Chapel to bless the mother daughter union with the celebration of the Eucharist. The Choir sang like angels and I sincerely thank Sandra Duff and Charlotte Duff-Clarke (Year 12) for their very moving reflection on the special relationship of mother and daughter. I wish all mothers and those who share the gift of maternal love to nourish and nurture others a very Happy Mother’s Day for Sunday.
I am looking forward to catching up with families in Griffith, Wagga Wagga and Canberra next week on the Principal’s Country Road Trip. This invitation is extended to new families as well and I hope to meet as many as possible in your beautiful home towns and communities. Click here for your invitation.
Our Year 7 students paired up with their Year 12 buddies this morning for Friday Morning Communion in the Chapel followed by their buddy breakfast. It was lovely to see the friendships that have developed over the first term between the girls and to further immerse our Year 7 girls into the warm embrace of Loreto Normanhurst. I leave you with the simplicity and grace of this beautiful concluding prayer led by Year 12 this morning.
We leave the chapel today with a renewed appreciation for one other.
We thank you God for giving us minds that can know and hearts that can love, as we strive to use our gifts and talents in the service of others.
May Year 12 continue to walk beside one another in friendship and loyalty.
May Year 7 embrace every opportunity available to them.
May God grant us wisdom in our choices, put purpose in our days, empower us to confront in justice, make our hands strong and voices heard.
We give thanks for the gift of friendship and the place that these offer us all in our everyday lives. Let us go in the peace of Christ.
Ms Marina Ugonotti