Reflecting on the importance of educating girls is never far from our minds as educators of girls and as parents of girls.
As we know, when you educate a girl around the world, you educate a family and a village. Education for girls empowers them to gain employment which can feed their family or assist them to escape poverty or slavery in some cases. Whilst here in Australia our girls may not experience these horrific challenges to safety and life, they too will have challenges of another kind. Their education will support them to achieve their hopes and dreams and work towards gender equality – the push through the glass ceiling. Their education will assist them to have independent means which will protect them and their families and it will support them to live satisfied and fulfilled lives long into their older years. An education in Australia and at Loreto will also spur them on to generosity and advocacy, as a Loreto education is not only about oneself, but about working towards a more just world.
We speak to our students each day about rights and responsibilities. Receiving an education is a right for the girls at Loreto Normanhurst and in turn, it’s their responsibility to use the gift of their education well, for the good of their own ‘village’ here in Australia. We are inspired by Mary Ward, Malala Yousafzai, the girls in Rumbek, Sudan and in Cambodia, who fought in their time and fight today to give and receive an education. May we always use our education to build love, compassion and advocacy for those who meet great struggles to gain their education and, in this year of Justice, keep them close to our hearts.
You may have heard information in the media yesterday regarding changes that NESA (NSW Education Standards Authority) have made to the HSC minimum standards. Last year, NESA announced it would use NAPLAN results to determine if students would pre-qualify for their HSC in the areas of literacy and numeracy. This applied for our current Year 10 students. NESA has announced that they will no longer be using Year 9 NAPLAN results to determine pre-qualification for the HSC minimum standards in literacy and numeracy. Ms Kieryn Bateman, Director of Learning, communicates more fully about this announcement from the Government in this newsletter and she will write to parents in the coming days.
It was wonderful this week to welcome so many parents and family members of students from last year’s Year 10 and 11 cohorts to attend our celebratory assembly for their RoSA (Record of School Achievement). It is important to celebrate the holistic growth of our students and we do that so well at our assembly’s week to week. This very special assembly congratulates these students and it hopefully spurs on all students to work hard, do their best and meet their own challenges head on, knowing they are encouraged and supported by their school and by their family.
Congratulations to two of our incredible sportswomen, one an ex-student and one our current Sport Captain. Tori Pendergast (Class of 2008) has recently been selected for the Winter Paralympics as a sit skier. This is Tori’s second Paralympics and as a school we are very proud of her and wish her every success as she puts the finishing touches to her training. Congratulations also to our very humble Sport Captain, Tatum Bird, who has been selected to represent Australia in the Oceania Youth Women’s Rugby Sevens in April. Tatum is an exceptional athlete and is very humble about her talents, never mentioning her incredible achievements. We wish her every success for the competition.
I hope parents enjoyed the Information Night and Cocktail Party last Friday evening. It was a most enjoyable night with more than 450 parents and staff attending. Celebrations and gatherings like this are so important at Loreto as they help to build community and life-long friendships. So many parents said to me that they were ‘doing as the girls do’ and saying hello to lots of new people they had not met before which is just what the evening was about. Thank you to all for supporting the event and thank you to the Development Team for organising such a great night for us all to enjoy.
“I want you to be happy,
always happy in the Lord. What I want is your happiness. “
With prayers of peace and hope,
Ms Barbara Watkins