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News > School Newsletter > From our Deputy Principal

From our Deputy Principal

Mrs Lynn Long, our Deputy Principal, shares how we are committed to partnering with parents in providing their daughters with the holistic education envisioned by Mother Gonzaga Barry.

In Partnership with Parents

This is a significant year in our calendar as we celebrate 125 years of Loreto Normanhurst and the guiding presence of the Sisters of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary throughout that time. We also commemorate the Bicentenary Jubilee of Teresa Ball around the world. The IBVM Sisters, the buildings, the grounds and our bush setting speak so richly of a legacy left behind, and how privileged our students and staff are to be immersed in this history. Our surroundings provide us with constant reminders of the legacy of women like Teresa Ball, Mary Ward and Mother Gonzaga Barry. I think we would all agree that Mother Gonzaga Barry’s visionary idea of a school that would provide a solid and holistic education for girls is alive and well here in Normanhurst. This excerpt from a fantastic article in CathNews captures Mother Gonzaga Barry's spirit and story:

“Mother Gonzaga Barry believed that what the world needed are wise, loveable and well-educated women. She was a pioneer in creating a broad curriculum that ensured a holistic education to bring out the best in students so they could make the world a better place for having lived in it.” 

Parents, as the primary educators, play a significant role in educating this whole person as you shape and challenge the values and thinking of your daughters. It is a significant partnership we share; together we nurture and offer our young people much hope in themselves and the ever-changing world they co-create. In this world of rapid change and the many complexities of society today, the reciprocal relationship between family and school has never been more crucial. We understand and recognise the importance of parents and educators working together to invest in strategies that will enable and motivate students to use their gifts with confidence, propelling them into the future as independent, creative and articulate graduates. Together, we seek to empower them with courage and purpose as ‘compassionate warriors’ who will be responsive to the needs of the wider community.   

The school and family relationship has a profound impact on student learning and wellbeing. Research has shown that a culture of greater parental engagement has a positive impact on student outcomes, including a greater sense of personal competence and efficacy for learning. As a learning community, we seek to engage parents in their daughters’ education in a range of ways which place value on building a sense of community and developing authentic relationships. There are many opportunities for parents and staff to come together throughout the year, including information evenings, Academic and Holistic Plenaries and guest speaker events. 

I hope you have had the opportunity to peruse the 2022 offerings within our Parent Engagement and Education Program “It Takes a Village” and I encourage you to take advantage of the opportunities, expertise, and conversation available to you. Click here to access the relevant page on FACE Online. Engagement with the program will reinforce your sense of connectedness to our community and allow you to be engaged with your daughters holistic learning experience. There will of course be follow up communication around various events over the course of the year and we look forward to sharing many occasions with you over 2022. 

As we move into this year of Freedom, may we continue to strengthen our partnerships through our continuing conversations and authentic relationships. In alignment with our Loreto Schools of Australia Mission Statement on Freedom, may we work together in helping our students to "develop a sense of identity that is inwardly free and to become more capable of accepting responsibility for their lives and of courageous, compassionate and generous service."

Mrs Lynn Long, Deputy Principal

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