Dear Loreto Community members,
On Tuesday of this week we celebrated All Saints Day, which is a day in our calendar dedicated to the saints of the Church. Some of Pope Francis’ words about sainthood should be noted. Pope Francis has said, “The saints were not superhuman. They were people who loved God in their hearts and who shared this joy with others.” As with all special days, All Saints Day provides us with an opportunity for reflection. Pope Francis’s words, “to be saints is not a privilege for a few, but a vocation for many”, and his invitation to us to, “Ask Jesus what he wants from you and be brave” reminds us of the opportunities we have each day to do good for others and to stand for justice in all aspects of our lives.
Following All Saints day is All Souls Day. Our prayers on All Souls Day are dedicated to all the departed and we honour these good people, like our own relatives and friends, who have never been officially recognised as “saints” but who are sharing an eternal life with God. They are our “saints” too. One of our beautiful Loreto traditions is the community remembering and praying for our dearly departed with a Remembrance Book displayed at the front office during the month of November. The joy of Christianity is the belief and commitment that nobody will be forgotten. Like the seasons, we know there are winter times to be had in our lives – but we also know there are times of great joy and love which will sustain us.
On Wednesday, our Year 11 students held a memorial service for their dearly loved friend Arabella McKinn. Arabella’s courageous life-long battle with cancer will always be remembered by our school community. Her loving kindness to others and capacity to find joy, not only on the good days but also during the most difficult times, led her year group to see Belle as a contemporary example of Mary Ward. We especially pray for Elizabeth, Terry and Hugh McKinn during this month of November.
May peace be granted to our loved ones
and to all of the departed no longer with us but in our Heavenly Father’s care.
May they share the paradise of Heaven as we pray for their Souls today.
As well as the core business of quality teaching and learning, any two weeks at Loreto Kirribilli are filled with annual events, competitions, celebrations and new experiences. Find below some examples from the past fortnight:
- The Higher School Certificate Examinations officially conclude on Friday, 4 November. I was very impressed with the calm and confident demeanour of our girls throughout the exam period, demonstrating the impact of their solid preparation. Our girls have expressed their sincere gratitude for the prayers offered by the school community during this time and for the outstanding support of their excellent teachers.
- Many thanks to our P&F Presidents Louise McCoach and Niall Ronan for the very special morning tea offered to our teachers in recognition of World Teachers Day. As well as providing morning tea, Louise and Niall addressed the staff offering their thanks to the Loreto Kirribilli teaching staff on behalf of parents and students. Staff were very grateful for thoughtful act of kindness and appreciation.
- It was wonderful to welcome our Year 7 2017 students to our school. I thank all staff involved in the Year 7 2017 testing day and Hi Tea. I have received excellent feedback from our future Year 7 families about the day. The Year 7 Council did a wonderful job mixing up the groups and helping the girls get to know one another. On Sunday, 13 November we will be hosting the Year 7 2017 Orientation Day and I thank all involved in the preparation of this day as well.
- Special thanks to the staff and students who generously gave their time and served the community on Sunday at the Brekky Van.
- Congratulations to all students involved in the AHIGS Festival of Speech. We had students participating in every category of current affairs, reading, drama, public speaking, debating, poetry recital and religious and ethical questions. Festival of Speech is a wonderful competition held annually for girls across independent schools and I am delighted with the preparation, participation and achievement of our girls. I particularly thank the coaches and Ms Johnstone, as well as Ms Berlage, Mr Magner and Mrs Ryan, for their support of the girls.
- I thank Loreto Normanhurst for hosting the 2016 Mary Ward Justice Forum. The guest speakers were inspiring, resulting in the students and staff in attendance continuing the conversation on the topics of Humans, God and Nature well into the following week. We particularly thank Sr Libby Rogerson ibvm for her role in promoting and inspiring this event each year. The Mary Ward Justice Forum will be hosted at Loreto Kirribilli in 2017 and I strongly encourage your attendance as it is always a stimulating, thought provoking forum.
- I thank our Priests and our Loreto Sisters for their attendance at our Thankyou afternoon tea. This special annual event is in recognition of the wonderful support we receive from our local clergy who celebrate Mass for us, provide reconciliation and also actively engage in our enrolment process providing references for all applicants to Kindergarten, Year 5 and Year 7. I also thank all the students, staff and parents who attended the Youth Mass last Sunday evening at St Mary’s North Sydney. Our students’ involvement was much appreciate by the parish. We thank the parishioners of St Mary’s North Sydney for their generous support of our Loreto Pre-school in Gar-uai Timor Leste.
- We are blessed to have staff that are dedicated, talented and experts in their fields. We congratulate Ms Liana Trevisan, co-author of Italian textbook (Ecco Uno and Ecco Due) as she has been asked to be the main author of the second edition of the series. We know this will be a rewarding process for Ms Trevisan and our girls will benefit first hand. Congratulations to Mat Clausen for the recently published third edition of his text book, Centre Stage. It is wonderful to see that not only has the text been refreshed with a new design and some new chapters but it incorporates ideas about communication, critical thinking, creativity and communication.
- During the holiday period Mrs Linda Walburn hosted the Orff Schulwerk Teacher Certification course. There were 70 participants from all states of Australia, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore, and from all education sectors ranging from Conservatorium and University students to Heads of Music from schools all over Australia.
- We congratulate Meg Lonie (Year 8) who has been selected as a prize winner in the 2016 STANSW Young Scientist Awards. This competition is a state wide event that receives hundreds of entries. Meg’s Student Research Project investigated the effect of temperature on the surface tension of different liquids. The STANSW Young Scientist Awards presentation ceremony was held at the University of Wollongong on Wednesday, 2 November, and Meg won 3rd prize in the Chemistry category this state fair. Meg’s project has also been selected as a finalist in the national 2017 BHP Billiton Science and Engineering Awards. Her entry was one of 60 investigation projects that were selected from New South Wales to compete against the best projects from other Australian states and territories, for an opportunity to win a trip to Los Angeles to compete in the 2017 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in May 2017. We congratulate Meg for unleashing the scientist within her and hope that she inspires future scientists from Loreto.
- Neve Traynor of Year 10 has had a short story included in a new anthology of young adult writing. My First Lesson, edited by Alice Pung, a well-known Australian writer, is a collection of short stories by Australian secondary students, centred on their significant learning experiences. Neve’s story, “What Did You Learn?” , is an entertaining account of her first overseas trip, to Tanzania. Neve is to congratulated for her selection for this publication.
- We thank Mr Lachlan Allen for hosting the annual Rowing Cocktail Party last Saturday evening. I thank the many parents for their attendance and for their generous donation of funds towards the rowing program. We look forward to the commencement of the rowing season this weekend with the Loreto Normanhurst Regatta on Saturday followed by the Loreto Kirribilli Regatta on Sunday in Penrith at SIRC. Loreto Kirribilli won the cup for the highest point scoring girls school last season and have been training well over the winter months in preparation for this season of rowing. We wish the girls, coaches and teachers all the very best.
- Our talented Dance Troupe competed at the Dance Royale and were placed 1st in Lyrical and 3rd In Jazz. Our introduction of Dance into our extra-curricular program has been highly successful.
- I congratulate our Senior and Junior Waterpolo teams who have commenced the season in true Loreto spirit. Waterpolo is a new sport for Loreto, yet already the girls are demonstrating amazing skills. Our junior team has won 2 out of 3 games and our senior team has won one game, lost and tied a game. I thank the coaches Mr Hook and Mr Carroll for their coaching skills and support of the girls.
On a final note I wish all our Year 7-10 students all the very best in their end of year examinations. The results from these exams will enable your daughters to identify their strengths and areas for improvement, supporting their preparation for the year ahead. The teachers use this rich assessment data for your daughters learning by analysing the data to identify growth and areas needing additional support. Reports will be issued towards the end of term, providing time for parents to contact teachers to discuss your daughters progress.
Anna Dickinson (Mrs)