and Learning

What the world needs is a wise, loving and well-educated woman. Mother Gonzaga Barry


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.

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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 that presents both challenges and opportunities. Our learning is also informed by the Alice Springs (Mparntwe) Education Declaration (2019) which promotes educational equity and excellence, where students are successful learners, confident and creative individuals, and active and informed citizens. The NSW Curriculum Review (2020) focuses on learning for understanding, the building of skills in applying knowledge, and the idea of ongoing progress.

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.