Dear Loreto Community Members,
Welcome to the last newsletter for the 2016 academic year, our year of Felicity,
Christ come into our world of darkness
Light up our lives with your coming
Fulfil all our longings with the joy of your birth
Strengthen our resolve to work for change in our world
And to share the hope of your birth that each ADVENT brings
Although the season of Advent has just begun, as this is the last newsletter of the year I would like to take this opportunity to extend Christmas wishes to all families.
Christmas means so much to us in so many ways. It is a time of celebration with friends and colleagues, a time of reflection of a year past. It is such beautiful a time for family, a time for the excitement of gift-giving and gift-receiving. In all these happy events we should never forget the central message of Christmas. Christmas is the Word made flesh, the Incarnation, a central event of our history. In all the wonders and joys of Christmas that we experience, this is the most wondrous and joyous. So we prepare ourselves to celebrate the coming Christmas in the joy of our faith. I trust that all families enjoy this coming season and its wonder and extend the blessings of Christmas to each member of our school community.
These last two weeks have been very busy indeed and I thank all parents for your continual engagement in school life. A very special thank you to the parents and family members who attended the K-12 Musical Showcase last Thursday evening. It was a wonderful celebration of the musical gifts and talents of our students and it was very special experiencing this with you. Thank you also to the parents who supported the Year 9 Commerce stalls. We witnessed very creative food options, business plans and the development of our students’ entrepreneurial skills. Thank you also to the parents who attended the P&F Liturgy and AGM where Ms Rocca and I unpacked the newly developed Pastoral Care structure to commence in 2017. We will launch the new structure at the commencement of the 2017 school year at the Parent Information Evenings. The Year Wellbeing Coordinators and newly appointed House Academic Care Coordinators will be in attendance at these meetings and will address parents. Please find below the dates of these very important evenings and I ask you to add them as a priority to your diary.
Parent Information Nights 2017
- Term 1 Week 2 – Wednesday, 8 February 7pm Year 7 and Year 10 Information Night
- Term 1 Week 3 – Thursday, 16 February 7pm Year 8 and Year 9 Information Night
- Term 1 Week 5 – Tuesday, 28 February 7pm Year 11 and Year 12 Information Night
End of year activities
Last weekend was a great example of the breadth of activities offered at Loreto. Our girls were involved in:
- Loreto Student Leaders Retreat at Ballarat
- Head of the Yarra in Melbourne
- Sydney Girls High Regatta Iron Cove (Loreto awarded trophy for Best Performing Junior Squad)
- Basketball and Volleyball competition at Santa Sabina
- Tennis Finals at Hornsby-Kuringai
- IGGSA Water Polo
- Touch Finals for Year 7 at Loreto Normanhurst
- Touch Grand Finals for Year 10 and Year 8 at Queens Park
Left: Team 3 (Winners 8-2). Right: Team 9 (Runners-up 4-5)
Phew, all in one weekend! The extra-curricular opportunities at Loreto are a hallmark of our school. We encourage our girls to engage in these activities as they contribute significantly to our students’ spiritual, physical and psychological wellbeing, which enhances their academic performance. At the conclusion of this year we will be issuing a Certificate of Recognition which documents your daughter’s involvement in the extracurricular life of the school as well as her academic achievements. We intend to issue the certificate of recognition at the conclusion of each school year and it is the result of a project we have been working on to track and recognise student curricular and extra-curricular achievements. This project emerged out of our Strategic Plan Navigating the Future 2015-2018.
Please find below a brief summary of the outcomes of some of the other 2016 projects that are in response to Navigating the Future 2015 – 2018. We:
- Embedded our Loreto Kirribilli Learning Principles within every K-12 classroom. We have focused on critical thinking, creativity, communication and collaboration. This will continue to be developed through whole school professional learning and further embedded in 2017.
- We continued our Senior School curriculum review, broadening our elective choices in Years 9 and 10 to meet the needs of our contemporary learners and we commenced research into our daily timetable structure. Our curriculum review continues in 2017.
- Further developed our spirituality days providing opportunities for all members of the community to participate in spiritual formation.
- Engaged students, staff and parents in fundraising and action in support of Gari-uai resulting in $133,000 being raised.
- Piloted an alternate approach to Mission for Justice/ Mission Day resulting in the highly successful and felicitous May Day where students raised in excess of $23,000 in one day for Gari-uai.
- Developed a Mary Ward Circle’Program for students in Years 10 and 11 derived from the Sheryl Sandberg “Lean in” model to support students in achieving their ambitions.
- Enhanced our system of tracking and responding to the learning needs of each girl – including tracking the curricular and extra-curricular data resulting in the development of a Senior School Certificate of Recognition.
- Evolved and restructured the Academic Adviser role to the House Academic Care Coordinator These four coordinators will have the responsibility of tracking student academic data and offering support within a House structure. We have also commenced training staff in a formalised coaching approach which will lead to a highly developed coaching model for students.
- Expanded our extra-curricular program to include Dance, Water Polo and the engagement in a Viva 7 program. We further developed our students’ performance opportunities by developing our Choir program.
- Enabled the work of our Gifted &Talented Coordinator worked closely with the Junior School G&T Coordinator to ensure we are differentiating the curriculum and achieving the highest level of engagement and outcomes for students. The K-12 Academic committee and the Gifted and Talented Committee also commenced term meetings to further develop our strategic approach to responding to the learning needs of all students. These committees also identify further opportunities for professional learning.
- Developed a Loreto Wellbeing Framework K-12 and concluded the review of our senior pastoral program and structure. This review encompassed two years of intensive research and consultation. The evolved Senior School Pastoral structure will be launched in 2017. The evolved model consists of both Year and House Structures. A Year Coordinator responsible for Wellbeing will address and support students’ social and emotional needs. They will remain with the student for three years, ensuring continuity of care (for Years 7, 8 & 9 & Years 10, 11 & 12). A House Academic Care Coordinator will ensure that the students’ academic care and opportunities are addressed. They will remain with the student for six years. Each House consists of 8 Circle Classes. The Circle Classes will be made up of students from Years 7 to 12. Modelled on Mary Ward and her circle of friends, the Circle Class will remain consistent and inclusive. Students will journey with their Circle Teachers and Circle Class through their Senior School years. Each student has three significant teachers who will work with them in relation to their academic, social and emotional wellbeing. Our review has been deep and far-reaching and I am confident that the evolved care model will enhance the school’s ability to care for its students.
- Developed a Student Information System (IWISE) and an upgraded parent portal (IGLOO) to be launched at the commencement of 2017 which provides greater detail regarding school calendar, student attendance and assessment information as well as assisting parents in the payment of school fees.
- Implemented our appraisal process for all staff, teaching and non-teaching. This included a performance development and teacher accreditation process, facilitating staff growth, progression and continual improvement in performance.
- Continued to provide first-class professional learning opportunities for staff and disseminated the skills learned through presentations at conferences.
- Enhanced our experiential learning with our highly successful trips to NASA for Years 8-9 and Years 10-11 and World Youth Day 2016 in Poland for Year 10.
- Commenced the development of a facilities master plan which will be responsive to contemporary teaching and learning approaches. We accessed the refurbished visible learning Science labs at the commencement of Term 1 2016 and are now touring Science educators through these facilities on request. We have also been invited to present at the Criterion Conference focused on School Learning Space design to be held in Sydney in 2017.
- Focused our attention on parent education and engagement to improve the knowledge and understanding of aspects of student learning and parenting – focus areas have included cyber safety, parenting, alcohol and drug education and use of technology. Parent engagement will continue to be a focus in 2017.
These significant projects listed above build on the excellent programs that already exist at Loreto. We are delighted that we achieved all of our priorities for the year and are ready to embed these projects further throughout 2017. We are at the half-way mark of implementing our strategic plan ‘Navigating the Future 2015-2018’ and we are delighted with our progress to date.
Congratulations and Thanks
- Congratulations to the Drama staff and students on their outstanding Year 9-11 showcase this week.
- Special thanks to the staff and students who will accompany students from Holy Family Emerton on the ‘Buddies Day’ to Luna Park on Sunday.
- Congratulations to all teams listed in the sports section of this newsletter.
- A very special thank you to all families for your generosity and support of our Christmas Hamper Appeal. Please read Ms O’Keeffe’s article in this newsletter for details.
- Congratulations to all students involved in the inter-house debating competition.
I thank all members of our school community for the prayers offered to our Loreto Sisters and also to our Jesuit community. We were very saddened to hear the news that Fr Peter Quin SJ passed away last week, followed by the very sad news that Elizabeth Johnson IBVM passed away on Friday evening. Both the memorial Mass for Fr Quin and the Funeral Mass for Sr Elizabeth were wonderful celebrations of the lives of these much loved members of our community and we remember with thanks the significant contributions that they have made to Loreto Kirribilli students, staff and families past and present.
Eternal rest grant unto Elizabeth and Peter,
O Lord, and let your perpetual light shine upon them.
May they rest in peace.
I sincerely wish each member of our school community the peace and blessings of Christmas and thank everyone for their support and encouragement throughout the year.
Anna Dickinson (Mrs)