Dear Loreto Community members,
A very warm welcome back to Term 4. I have enjoyed welcoming your daughters back to school and hearing about their holiday break. It is lovely to witness their joy at returning to school and reconnecting with their friends and teachers.
We welcome back staff returning from leave:
- Mrs Kirsten Inches (PD.H.PE) returns from Maternity Leave
- Mrs Kate Jamison (English) returns from Maternity Leave
- Ms Sandra Duggan returns from Long Service Leave
We welcome to our school community:
- Ms Mairead Ross (TAS)
- Ms Susan Stonestreet (English)– replacing Ms Meaghan Hird LSL Term 4
The Holiday period
During the holiday period our school and a number of other independent schools attracted media attention as a result of the focus on funding of schools. Please find here an explanation of the current government funding model for schools. Loreto Kirribilli is in the category of “above the SRS” and comments under this paragraph reflect the status quo, we currently have no knowledge of how this position may or may not change or the time frame. I will keep you informed as we have more information. Over the holiday period the school was once again a hive of activity. A range of extra-curricular events were also in full swing beyond the school gates. We congratulate the students involved in the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme. 37 Bronze Duke of Edinburgh girls completed their qualifying journey by paddling in some very challenging conditions for 25 kms! Many thanks to Ms Jury for her support of the girls. Over the holidays we received some wonderful HSC news, we congratulate the Music and Drama staff for their support of our students:
- Eliza Scanlen, Alice Best and Anna McGinley have all been nominated for their Individual Drama Projects: Performance for OnSTAGE
- Isabelle Kohout has been nominated for inclusion in the music performance showcase, ENCORE, to be held in the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House
A special thank you to staff for offering our Year 12 students additional classes during the holiday period once again. The girls have expressed their deep appreciation for the additional support they have received in the lead up to the HSC. Please keep Year 12 in your prayers as they make their final preparations for the HSC exams which commence on Thursday, 13 October. I ask that each family include our girls in your daily prayers. I am a strong believer in the power of prayer, our collective prayers will do much to support our wonderful girls so that they remain calm and confident during this potentially stressful time. We want them to be able to demonstrate all that they know, their skills and deep understanding so that they are happy with their effort and their final result. Here is a prayer that you could use:
Today, let us especially pray for our Year 12 students during their exams.
God, we ask that they especially feel your closeness during the HSC exam period.
Give them calm hearts and quiet confidence in the knowledge that you hold them in the palm of your hand.
Bless them with keen understanding and retentive memory.
Give them the ability to grasp things correctly.
Point out the beginning, direct their progress and help them in the completion of each of their responses.
Holy Spirit send them your gifts of wisdom and knowledge. We ask this through Christ Our Lord.
During the first week of the holidays Ms Pearson, Mrs Clark, Mr Cameron and Mr Tidyman presented academic papers at the History Teachers Association of Australia (HTAA) National Conference, held this year at Sydney Grammar School. Keynote speakers included Dr Anne Summers, Dr David Smith, Dr Anna Clark, Dr Joanne Berry and journalist/writer Stan Grant. University, Secondary and Primary School teachers and educators from around Australia and overseas attended the three-day conference, this year titled Challenging History. Mrs Clark and Ms Pearson presented: Practical Application of Guided Inquiry in the History Classroom, Mr Cameron presented: Sources, scaffolds, big questions and technology – adapting assessment to the modern world and Mr Tidyman presented: Languages of Revolution: Reframing the Indian Nationalist Movement 1885-1947. All three papers were highly engaging presentations, well attended and warmly received by their respective audiences. Feedback was generous and very positive. The conference was a wonderful opportunity for Loreto Kirribilli history teachers to share their expertise and learnings with colleagues from a range of educational institutions.
We congratulate Tara Ellevsen (Year 11) for being the recipient of one of six of the Dame Marie Bashir Peace Awards 2016 sponsored by the National Council of Women of NSW. Ms Bleby and I attended the award ceremony at Parliament House with Tara, her brother and parents. We congratulate Lexie Duncan (Year 11), 1st place winner in the category of Musical Theatre in the Sydney Eisteddford for the second consecutive year. Lexie also competed in the grand prize category of Senior Singer of the Year (Age 16 -25 years) and was one of the six finalists selected for last month’s cabaret show. Congratulations also to Isabelle Afaras (Year 9) who has been selected in the Cricket Australia XI U18 Championship Squad.
Student leadership Induction Assembly
I warmly congratulate all students who were elected and appointed to leadership positions for 2016/2017. Please find below an excerpt from my address at the student leadership induction assembly:
The reading we have just listened to is from St Matthews Gospel, titled ‘The Beatitudes’, a series of scriptural verses of the teaching of Jesus as part of his Sermon on the Mount. The Beatitudes, the wonderful blessings Jesus gifted us with, function as a guide for living a good and joyful life. They also provide our newly inducted student leaders with the key qualities that should inform what they value and guide their leadership behaviour. Leadership is a wonderful honour, not because it brings power and prestige, but rather in a Loreto school we expect our leaders to serve others by standing up for what is right especially at times when it is difficult to do so. The Beatitudes encourage our leaders to be; poor in spirit which means to be humble, thankful and willing to learn from others; to mourn, meaning to demonstrate loving kindness and a passion for serving others; to be merciful – being compassionate towards others; hungering and thirsting for righteousness – meaning to seek truth, being just, a person of integrity and sincerity; being a peacemaker – a leader modelling emotional intelligence bringing calm and an inner peace – modelling the joy that comes from loving service. Living and leading with the beatitudes as your guide, although quite challenging, will result in a wonderful sense of fulfilment and a knowledge that you have served the school community well, becoming truly Mary Ward women. Mary Ward had a conviction that the right path to follow was grounded in a deep understanding of the spirit of God. She confidently described the virtues necessary to follow in God’s footsteps which were those of freedom, sincerity, verity, justice and felicity. She courageously expressed her belief in the freedom to form a loving relationship with God. Mary Ward’s understanding of freedom flowed from her personal relationship with God. She believed that each one of us can have free and open access to God and can find God in the ordinary experiences of each day, if we just take the time to reflect on them. Drawing on our own sense of being held in the love of God, acceptance of our own giftedness allows the love of God to flow through each one of us. We are blessed to have Jesus and Mary Ward as role models in our lives, role models for our student leaders. We are hopeful that our newly appointed leaders will be resilient, efficacious and loving.
One hundred and fifty parents and family members attended the leadership induction ceremony and were able to participate in this wonderful celebration. As I write this newsletter, we are preparing for the student leadership retreat held on Thursday and Friday of this week. Please keep our student leaders in your prayers as they build their capacity as the newly appointed leaders of the school and commence preparing their leadership portfolios for Term 4, 2016/2017.
There are also a number of strategic projects that are occupying the time and energy of the School Executive and members of staff. Members of the School Executive have specific responsibility for leadership of these projects. Parents will continue to receive information regarding the progress of these projects via the school newsletter and the parent CH@LK page and will have input into decision making through surveys and focus groups. Students will continue to be engaged through student forums and via surveys, CH@LK and the newsletter. These projects emanate from our Strategic Plan ‘Navigating the Future 2015-2018’ and include:
- We have completed the Senior School Pastoral Review. The outcome of the review is a pastoral care structure that has evolved from the best of our current pastoral and academic care structures. This new pastoral care structure is scheduled for implementation in 2017. We will present the outcome of the review and the new pastoral structure at the P&F meeting on Monday, 14 November, followed by information in the newsletter and on the parent CH@LK portal. The Term 4 P&F meeting commences with a Liturgy at 6:00pm, all parents are warmly invited to attend.
- Senior School Curriculum Review continuing in 2016 and 2017. We will communicate the outcome of the initial stages of this review in newsletters this term and on the parent CH@LK portal
- K-12 Sports review: We have reviewed the sports we offer currently and those that we might offer going forward, after surveying students, parents and staff. Results of this survey will be presented at the P&F meeting, in the newsletter and on the parent CH@LK portal.
- We will continue to consult with stakeholders regarding the development of our Loreto Kirribilli Masterplan Term 4 and early 2017. We will communicate dates of the commencement of the formal consultation phase during Term 4.
- We have invested in a Student Information System (SIS) which has an electronic roll marking facility. We are intending to implement the electronic roll markbook at the commencement of 2017.
Anna Dickinson (Mrs)