Today’s newsletter marks the last report for 2017. Like me, I’m sure you are wondering where the year has gone. What a fantastic year of celebration we have had as part of the 120-year celebration for the school. During the year we have celebrated our community and we have given thanks for the fact that our history, culture, tradition and values remains strong at Loreto Normanhurst.
As I read each school report and sign the many certificates for the Awards Ceremonies I can see the hard work of each student, their teachers and the wider staff. It is pleasing to speak to students about their year and to hear them talk about work that has challenged them as learners and that it has been fun – an essential element in good schooling. It is equally significant to hear from the students that they themselves have reflected upon and can see how they have matured and grown as young people this year – an essential element of a Loreto Normanhurst education. Thank you to all parents for your support of the school in 2017.
For Years 6-11, it is now time to rest and to perhaps pick up on that holiday reading for pleasure. For our Year 12 2018 students the school recommends a very good rest and holiday and to only commence work around the 15th January in preparation for the year ahead. We hope that gives students and parents a guide for the holidays.
Today I had the absolute joy of watching Year 9 Drama students perform the story of Cinderella ‘Loreto style’ for the Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 2 students from Good Shepherd, Plumpton as well as local catholic primary schools. It was such an enjoyable and funny rendition of the Cinderella story with great interaction with the little ones from the invited schools. Our girls sang and danced and worked the audience beautifully and I congratulate them on a superb show. The children very much enjoyed the show and their visit to Loreto, just as we enjoyed having them as our guests.
Today we blessed and celebrated Year 6 as they move closer to their last day of the school year and their graduation from their primary schooling. As part of a solemn blessing in the chapel, we prayed for our Year 6 students as they transition to the senior school to continue their journey as Loreto girls. Year 6 have been exemplary leaders of the Primary School this year and fine examples of leadership. We wish them well as this journey continues.
Recently, in the school chapel 41 Year 11 students were commissioned as Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist; a most important Ministry of the Church. It was wonderful to see so many of our young women putting themselves forward for this work for the church. This commitment to the ministry speaks volumes of the students’ willingness to be servant leaders for our school and their own broader faith community. This number of committed students also indicates the spiritual health of the school. These students do not merely put their name forward for the ministry, they must undertake weeks of rigorous training and discernment before they are commissioned. I thank these young women for their commitment to their own faith and their willingness to share that with us throughout the year to come.
To finish off the 120 celebrations this weekend, recent ex-students will perform ‘The Real Inspector Hound” as a bursary event in the Drama Space on Sunday and Monday evening. I believe the show is hilarious and we are so thankful that our ex-students are supporting the school in this way.
We know Christmas is just around the corner when the Boarding School places their painted rendition of the Twelve Days of Christmas in the Mary Ward corridor and we celebrate the beautiful and enjoyable Appreciation Dinner. Their humorous version speaks of their love for the school and the vibrancy of their experiences as they live each day. Today, in the Communion Service, we reflected on the love and awe we feel for God that is demonstrated in each other and in creation. As we move towards the season of Advent, and Christmas itself, it is good that we too engage with the love of God and that we grow in understanding of his awesome presence.
A reminder to parents that they are most welcome to attend the Years 7-11 Awards Ceremony from 4.30-7.00pm on Thursday 7 December in the Gymnasium. Please park on the Veronica Reid Oval.
The HSC will be out on the 14th and 15th December and we will communicate to all parents the successes of the Class of 2017. We will host the girls for Morning Tea on the 15th December, an event that we look forward to each year with great excitement.
The School Office closes for 2017 on Wednesday 20 December over the Christmas and New Year period and it will re-open again on Wednesday 3 January 2018.
May the blessing of Christmas be with all our families over the summer vacation.
You are the Father who welcomes home
The prodigal who has wandered far.
You are the Father who prepares a meal
When others would simply ignore.
You are the Father whose love extends
Beyond our thoughts or minds.
You are the Father who knows our hearts
And yet loves us as we are.
You are the Father whose word we trust
In whose presence we have no fear.
You are the Father whose tender touch
Makes a wounded spirit whole.
You are the Father whose only Son
Was born that he might die.
You are the Father whose gracious love
We celebrate this day.
With prayers of peace and hope,
Ms Barbara Watkins