As ‘Time to Say Goodbye’ rang out over the bell last Monday morning we knew the last week for the Class of 2017 had arrived. We said farewell this week to Year 12 with a moving liturgy, song, exuberance, love and blessing, sending them forth to their futures, whatever they may be.
The final events of the Graduation Eucharist and Dinner tonight with Year 12 and their parents will be a lovely occasion. Yesterday the senior school watched as the Class of 2017 released the doves and rose petals in a symbolic ‘letting go’. We pray for Year 12 as they move towards their final HSC exams and to the next exciting chapter of their lives. We know they will do their best and remember that good HSC results come from hard work, but this is not all a Loreto Normanhurst education is about. It is only one part of the journey that has made them into well rounded, natural, faith-filled women that can take on the world they enter with positivity and joy. We wish them well.
This week we have been wearing green to support Enviroweek. At Loreto we are committed to reducing our carbon footprint and we are doing all we can to not only raise awareness on the issue of ecology but to take action as an Ecology-Centred School. Next term only ‘Keep Cups’ will be used at the Curran Café and so if staff or students wish to buy a hot chocolate or a coffee (for staff, Year 11 and 12 only) then they need the Keep Cup. For visitors we will have an environmentally friendly alternative. Similarly, water bottles will not be sold at the café or tuck shop. All students and staff should have their own water bottle and we have many water filling stations around the school. Again, for visitors to the site, we will have an alternative. Please get behind the school’s initiative and buy a Loreto Keep Cup from the uniform shop or an alternative that you prefer.
Security at a large girls’ boarding and day school on Pennant Hills Road is an issue the school is constantly engaging with. The safety of our girls 24/7 is paramount. For that reason, we have been advised to install CCTV cameras at entry points and main gateways. These installations have commenced in and around Boarder Reception as Stage 1. Stage 2 will see installations in other areas around the school over the coming months. These cameras are only more of a measure we have in place to support the safety of our students.
Congratulations to our Future Problem Solving Teams who have done very well and have been selected to compete in the National Competition to be held at Knox Grammar School later in the year. The school has a long tradition of success in FPS and we wish the teams competing well.
I had the joy of watching the Hills Netball Grand Finals last week and watched some nail-biting games with two wins and two losses. Congratulations to all the students who made it through to the grand final and who competed with energy and skill. Thanks to the parents who supported and ran the competition particularly Tracey Hartshorne and Katrina Travers. We could not compete in competitions like this without your dedication and hard work. You are our Team of the Week!
Please keep Year 11 in your prayers this coming week as they go on their Retreat. This is a beautiful time after the exams are complete and the term comes to an end before their Year 12 studies commence.
The prayer today is the Desiderata, one that will be well known to you. It is a prayer that I read to Year 12 in their final school liturgy yesterday and it speaks to them and to us at this time of farewell.
amid the noise and haste
and seek what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible be on good terms
with all people.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly and listen to others;
even the dull and ignorant,
they too have their story.
If you compare yourself with others you may become vain and bitter,
for there will always be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements
as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble:
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune,
but do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Beyond a wholesome discipline be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars.
You have a right to be here,
and whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the Universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore, be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive God to be.
And whatever your labours and aspirations
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace with your soul.
Strive to be happy.
With prayers of peace and hope,
Ms Barbara Watkins