During the week we made welcome to the school educators from all over Australia for our Connected Learners Conference entitled “The Future is Now”. It was wonderful to welcome excellent Australian speakers of such high calibre for our keynotes, Dom Thurbon on ‘Thriving in a changing educational future’, Judith Locke on ‘Promising success: The impact of the consumer model and parent expectations on schools’, and Mark Pesce who spoke on ‘Collaboration and Sharing, inside and beyond the school gate’. I was also privileged to be asked to present a keynote on ‘The Creative School’.
It was very exciting that so many of our teachers here at Loreto Normanhurst ran interesting and innovative workshops for the delegates. As you know, at Loreto Normanhurst our staff is energetic, passionate, forward thinking and creative and they are also very willing to share. Sharing in the educational space is so important. That is why we have hosted this our third Connected Learners Conference over the last six years.
When we decided in 2000 to reinvent our school and create our very successful LNSGM (Loreto Normanhurst Student Growth Model) we talked then about how best we could grow from, and help grow, the education community of which we were a part. We have tried to do this since that time and it has certainly enriched us as a school and also given our staff the greatest of opportunities to share their ideas and their innovative pedagogy with colleagues here and in other schools.
The conference was held in the midst of our work with our students because what we do every day supports their growth in relationships and learning. There is nothing more powerful than seeing our students and staff in action and this is just what the delegates witnessed over the last two days. I thank our staff and students for their efforts for the conference this week.
Last week I had the joy of spending a few days in Dubbo at the Dubbo Boarding Expo. It was great to be back in Dubbo catching up with our boarder families there and many ex-students. At the Expo our stand was extremely popular and we thoroughly enjoyed talking to prospective families for the Boarding School. We were lucky enough to share an evening with our Dubbo families on the Friday night and lots of laughter and storytelling of the past and present took place. Thank you to all our families for the Dubbo area for making us feel so welcome.
I hope you can join us for our event “Dreaming the Future of Loreto Normanhurst – A 30 Year Master Plan” to be held on May 30 at 7pm. This will be an exciting night and a first for Loreto Normanhurst. We would love as many parents, students and staff to attend together so that we can hear as many ideas as possible to start off our 30 year Master Plan. Many have RSVP’d already and there is still time to reply and attend. Click here to RSVP by 25 May. I look forward to this exciting next step for the school and having this broad consultative evening with the community.
This week we also held our Term 2 Spirituality Evening. These evenings are held once a term for ex-students, parents, staff and the wider community to reflect on spirituality, faith and our shared Ignatian tradition. We welcomed Associate Professor Anthony Maher who led us through a wonderful evening looking at Pope Francis’ teachings on joy and mercy, and their centredness in the Ignatian tradition.
It was such a big weekend at the school last weekend with the Year 12 Parent Cocktail Party , the Mother Daughter Eucharist and the Parent/Ex Student Morning Tea. It was great to catch up with so many families. I do hope you are attending the Trivia Night on Saturday night as the Major PAL Fundraiser for the year. I look forward to seeing you there.
Come Holy Spirit,
fill the hearts of your faithful
and enkindle in us the fire of Your love.
Send forth your Spirit, Lord, and make of us a new creation
and through us renew the face of the earth.
With prayers of peace and hope,
Ms Barbara Watkins