Over these first few weeks of the school year it has been inspiring to see the power of the big sister, little sister relationship demonstrated in the school. We see it in so many places. In the buddy systems that operate for Year 7 with their Year 12 buddy and in Year 5 with their Year 9 buddy. We also see this through the tutor system which runs throughout the school. I can see already our new Year 5 students gaining so much support, friendship and knowledge from the Year 6 students in their House/Tutor groups and the same applies in the senior school. Each day when the students gather for Tutor group we celebrate relationship building with vertical groups of young women supporting each other in friendship, with advice, and with support in a caring atmosphere.
Not only do these relationships build confidence and a sense of belonging, they build the leaders of tomorrow as well. Leaders whose skills of empathy, team work and listening are well developed. Last Friday we saw the best demonstration of this when Year 7 and Year 12 enjoyed the annual Buddy Trivia night. It was colourful and fun, and it was tremendous to see our young women bonding together. For some, this buddy bond will travel with them through life well beyond school as professional women. I hear many stories from our ex-students telling me they are still in touch with their buddy long after they have both graduated from Loreto. The buddy system is a tremendous part of our pastoral care system at Loreto and one which supports our young women to be happy in their time at the school. Building networks is an essential part of growth for young girls and this is an excellent way for this to develop.
The first meeting of the Parent Association of Loreto (PAL) took place last Wednesday night and it was great to see many parents in attendance. The new PAL Executive team led by Co-Presidents Sue Whipps and Louise Wytenburg are excited for the year ahead. There are so many fantastic events planned and I know they and their team will be in contact to ask for volunteers for the various events. When they call or send out a request for help, please say ‘yes’. Getting involved in the school not only is a great deal of fun but it helps parents acquaint themselves with other parents of your daughter’s friends. It is also such a beautiful demonstration of parents being the ‘cheerful givers’ that Mary Ward describes. This is brilliant role modelling for our young women from their parents and there is guaranteed fun involved as well.
The construction of the Modular Buildings and the surrounding landscaping through to the front of the Gymnasium has commenced and should be complete for Term 2, weather permitting. These buildings will house 10 flexible learning spaces for the use of the senior school and will be a great addition prior to our work on the Master Plan for the school. Their construction means the site is a little busier and so I ask parents to be mindful of this when coming to the school.
It is with great sadness that I inform our community of the passing of one of our dear Mums Jenny O’Keeffe to breast cancer this week. We pray for the family in this time of great sadness. May Jenny rest in peace.
A prayer for witness
Spirit of God
We have heard your call to share in building up the Kingdom of God.
Fill us with the desire to change ourselves and to change the world.
Enflame our passion for justice into
a commitment to address unjust situations and structures.
Deepen our concern for our sisters and brothers in Australia and overseas
who endure the burdens of poverty, war, exploitation and persecution.
Let us enthusiastically play our part
in the mission of the Church in the modern world.
Banish any complacency in our hearts and minds
Teach us to recognise the lack of justice
May we always act in the Spirit of justice
May we envisage, pray about and create a different sort of world
in which injustice is replaced with a renewed sense of solidarity and care.
Enlivened by the Spirit,
may we go forth in the peace of the Holy Spirit
to love and serve the Lord.
With prayers of peace and hope,
Ms Barbara Watkins