“What the world needs is a wise, lovable and well-educated woman.”
Mother Gonzaga Barry
Charism and Learning
Mary Ward founded the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (IBVM) in recognition of the critical difference that education for girls could make to the world, especially through the care and development of the Catholic faith. Loreto schools promote a vision of education for girls that liberates, empowers and motivates students to use their individual gifts with confidence, creativity and generosity in responsible and loving service. Loreto Kirribilli is a hope-filled and Christ-centred community of learners which strives to realise the Loreto values of felicity, sincerity, verity, freedom and justice.
The Ignatian practice of discernment is essential to a Loreto education. Learners are encouraged to be open and discerning to the ideas and movements of the time, ‘referring all things to God’ to sift what is truly good from what diminishes. This practice requires a commitment by all to the ideal of promoting intellectual development informed by Christian values and seeking truth wherever it may lead. At times, accepted notions or predominant values of society may be at variance with the deepest truths of humanity, as revealed in Jesus, and we are called, like him, to be counter-cultural.
In recognition of a need to foster resilience, self-knowledge and psychological wellbeing, Loreto Kirribilli provides a wellbeing program incorporating Positive Education to shape our learning experiences. Through this we strive to create a learning environment and practices which enable positive emotion, engagement, quality relationships, achievement and health for students and staff. Positive Education at Loreto Kirribilli also embodies and promotes Ignatian spiritual practices and values.
Mary Ward’s vision was to educate in and for society, not apart from it. In Australia we are part of a rapidly changing culture which presents both challenges and opportunities. The Melbourne Declaration (2008) identified two core aims that align strongly with a Loreto vision for education, being that:
- Australian schooling promotes equity and excellence, and
- All young Australians become successful learners, confident and creative individuals and active and informed citizens. (2008, Melbourne Declaration)
These aims form the foundation of the Australian Curriculum and its local expression, the NSW Syllabus documents. The cross-curriculum priorities and general capabilities outlined in these documents reinforce the Loreto vision for education by addressing issues such as social equity, environmental awareness, sustainability and innovation, materialism, human rights, multiculturalism and reconciliation. These issues must be included in programs, practices and experiences offered to students in order to develop and deepen their personal commitment to the attitudes and values the school upholds.
The AITSL National Professional Standards for teachers define quality teaching and are used as the basis for professional reflection and development. The seven standards are:
- Know students and how they learn
- Know the content and how to teach it
- Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning
- Create and maintain supportive and safe learning environments
- Assess, provide feedback and report on student learning
- Engage in professional learning
- Engage professionally with colleagues, parents/carers and the community
Working from these standards, Loreto Kirribilli teachers recognise and engage with the moral responsibility inherent in the work of education, and strive to achieve the aims of a Loreto education.
Principles for Learning
This statement of principles aims to convey and define the nature and purpose of learning at Loreto Kirribilli. It is designed to be the basis on which teachers select, refine and evaluate their pedagogical approaches. Professional learning, growth and development of staff will also be shaped by these principles.
Learning experiences at Loreto Kirribilli should be created with the intention that they allow students and staff to:
- Develop an informed, active faith and spirituality
- Develop knowledge and skills to a standard of personal excellence in an atmosphere of high expectations
- Develop resilience, self-knowledge, autonomy and a sense of personal agency
- Develop positive relationships with others
- Experience achievement through reflection, goal-setting, exploration, experimentation, persistence and personal mastery
- Utilise, adapt and extend their personal context, strengths and prior knowledge
- Learn to think flexibly, critically and creatively
- Effectively access, use, transform and communicate information and ideas in a variety of forms and media
- Be challenged and supported in their learning through timely, constructive feedback and direction
- Understand, value and celebrate learning as an active and sustaining process
- Participate in assessment and reporting practices which are meaningful and growth-oriented
Evidence of these principles will be seen in:
- Interactions with students, colleagues and parents
- Opportunities for spiritual formation
- Professional learning
- Curriculum shape and offerings
- Engagement with social justice initiatives
- Pedagogical approaches including the selection of a range of teaching and learning activities and resources
- Shape and quality of teaching programs
- Assessment and reporting
- The use of data to inform decision making and promote the growth of learners
- School guidelines, structures and processes
- Community and co-curricular activities
Information & Communication Technologies (ICT)
Loreto Kirribilli is constantly striving to provide students and teachers with a rich variety of opportunities to embrace ICT both as a tool for learning and also a field of enquiry in its own right. Our 7–12 ‘Bring Your Own Designated Device’ (BYODD), and K–6 iPad programs ensure a personalised approach to the use of ICT.
Our school aims to provide ICT opportunities to all students K–12 and in every curriculum area, as outlined in the current syllabus requirements, in a safe and secure networked environment. The integration of ICT not only promotes independent learning and enhances good teaching practices, but also prepares students for the increasingly connected digital world of which they are a part.