I hope that this school year has started positively for all students and families.
The beginning of the school year is always a good time for reminders about key matters, some of which are listed below. If you have questions around any of this information, please contact the Deputy Principal’s Office.
DROPPING OFF FORGOTTEN ITEMS
Sometimes students forget items such as uniform, lunch, classroom items and class work. It is the school’s policy to not accept from parents items which their daughters have forgotten at home and are then ‘dropped in’ to school. I ask all parents to work in partnership with the school on this. We take this position so as to decrease the girls’ dependency on parents and other adults and enhance their own capacity to cope without parents there to ‘save them’. It is also worth noting that as not all our students have parents willing and able to drop items off at school and boarders are not given permission to return to their dormitories in cases when they forget things for school. So this also becomes a matter of equity and fairness for all.
The school’s position is backed by what we know about young people – that for us to step in and solve all of their problems for them is to deny them the freedom and space they need to grow by making mistakes and by understanding consequences of actions and behaviour, whether it be disorganisation or forgetfulness.
Last year, staff spent time learning with Dr Judith Locke, psychologist and educator. Dr Locke says that when parents fix everything the child loses the opportunity to learn how to overcome the situation, face things not always going their way and understanding they have to face consequences when they make poor choices. You may wish to read more about Dr Locke’s work in this area.
If your daughter forgets her lunch, she needs to see her Head of House or Mrs Vink, Acting Dean of Pastoral Care, so that arrangements can be made for her to not go without lunch. Please be aware that girls will not be ‘in trouble’ for leaving things at home or in dorms – the consequence is that they do not have what they need or should have, and so the learning is in experiencing that. Of course, as I mention above students without lunch or morning tea will be looked after.
COMPULSORY SCHOOL EVENTS
Community events which nurture and celebrate school spirit, student leadership, a sense of belonging, and gifts of the individual and the collective, all strengthen our community and add to the richness of a Loreto education. All of these events are of course compulsory, but I would like to particularly highlight for all parents some key dates given their placement in the school calendar.
You would have received some preliminary information from my office regarding this year’s Music Festival on April 8 (the last day of Term One). All students are expected to attend the rehearsal at the Sports Centre at Homebush during the day and the festival that evening. Details around the rehearsal and the festival itself will be forthcoming within the next few weeks.
The Years 7-11 Awards Ceremony is held in the School Gymnasium on the last day of Term Four, Thursday December 8 from 4.30 to 7pm.
EXEMPTION FROM ATTENDANCE AND LEAVE FROM SCHOOL DUE TO TRAVEL
It is a condition of enrolment at Loreto Normanhurst, and part of the contract of enrolment entered into with the school by parents, that students be in attendance at school for the duration of each school term. Exemption from school or approval for leave from school for the purpose of travel will only be granted in extreme circumstances.
As part of the implementation of the ACARA National Standards of Student Attendance Data Reporting, a Certificate of Exemption cannot be granted for holidays taken by students outside of school vacation periods. Holidays taken during term time will now be included as absences.
In order for the school to meet its obligations in relation to the standards, the following procedures are followed.
Application for Exemption from attendance at school under Section 25 of the Education Act 1990
- Applications for exemption from attendance may be made for the following reasons:
- Exceptional domestic circumstances
- Other exceptional circumstances
- Directions under Section 42D of the Public Health Act
- Employment in entertainment industry/participation in elite sporting events for short periods of time, i.e. one or two days, and at short notice (other than when representing Loreto Normanhurst)
- For reasons other than the final category, parents are to apply for exemption from attendance at School if they wish to take their child out of school for a period of 3 or more days.
- Parents are to complete the application for exemption from attendance at school form. This was sent as part of the beginning of the year mail out, or can be requested from the Deputy’s Office.
- Once your Application for Exemption is received by the school and processed you will receive a Certificate of Exemption from Attendance at School under Section 25 of the Education Act 1990 if the application is approved. If the application is not approved you will also be notified.
Applications for Leave from School due to Travel
Families are expected to holiday or travel during student vacation periods.
- If travel during school time is necessary due to exceptional circumstances, families are to complete an application for leave form. This was sent as part of the beginning of the year mail out, or can be requested from the Deputy’s Office.
- If the reasons for the leave are accepted, a Certificate for Extended Leave will be granted.
- Where the reasons for the leave are not accepted, parents will also be notified.
- It is advised that parents apply for leave before booking and paying for tickets. Please be aware that having paid for travel arrangements is not in itself sufficient grounds for the leave to be approved.
Please be aware that the following procedures apply to both types of applications:
- Applications are to be received by the Deputy Principal or the Head of Primary at least four (4) weeks (term time) prior to the date of the Leave. Applications can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org (Years 7 -12) or email@example.com (Years 5 and 6)
- The absence of a student whose leave request is not approved is unjustified, and it will be recorded as an absence. For students in Years 10-12 a student who is absence without approval on the day of an assessment task will be awarded a zero mark.
Loreto Normanhurst is required to report all student absences from school, approved and unapproved, on student reports. Where a pattern of unapproved leave emerges, families will be required to attend a meeting with the Principal to discuss the student’s ongoing enrolment at Loreto Normanhurst.
Please note that for periods less than 3 days parents are required to use the usual procedures notifying the school either via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or the Attendance Hotline on 02 9473 7354 (Years 7-12), or email@example.com (Years 5 and 6) or the Primary Reception on 9473 7474.
Ms Marina Ugonotti