|5 Aug 2022|
Last Friday over 200 grandparents and special friends made their way to the Primary School to celebrate the remarkable bond they have with their granddaughters.
We began the day with a beautiful liturgy where Ms Ugonotti spoke about her own relationship with her grandparents and the girls wrote prayers and reflections about that indelible bond.
Olivia Seale, Year 6, wrote a beautiful reflection about her grandma:
"My grandma is very special to me. Since birth she has always been there for me, looking after me, caring for me when I am sick and when my parents go out. My grandma is generous, loving, and caring. When I am sick, she will be the first to come over and spend the day with me, making me cups of tea and watching movies together. My grandma is always there to make sure that I am okay, and we have lovely conversations together. My grandma makes a huge effort to come to special events such as my birthday, holy communion, and dance concerts. She never misses anything. She is very supportive, and I know she is always there for me. I am extremely grateful to have my grandma so close to me; I love her very much."
After the liturgy, we all enjoyed a celebratory morning tea and then some time was spent in the classrooms comparing experiences at school. It was such a joyous celebration of community coming together.
On Tuesday, 26 July the Primary School was fortunate enough to be visited by vivacious children’s author, Ashleigh Barton. Ashleigh has published several successful picture books for younger readers, exploring themes such as different names for grandparents around the world and celebrations and traditions in other countries. The Loreto community is especially proud that one of Ashleigh’s books has been nominated for a Children’s Book Week Award in the Younger Readers category. Ashleigh is a graduate of the class of 2005, so students and staff certainly enjoyed being treated to the photos she shared with us from her time here at Normanhurst.
The focus of Ashleigh’s visit was her newly published middle grade read “Solomon Macaroni and the Cousin Catastrophe”. The book sees a much-explored literary character re-created using an approach that primary-aged readers will adore. Ashleigh had Year 5 and 6 students in fits of laughter as they heard all about Solomon Macaroni who loves tofu bolognaise and is the friendliest vampire you could ever imagine. Student volunteers were given the opportunity to assist in performing a scene from the book. Year 6 student Milla Storgato did a superb job in the role of Count Dracula, with a most convincing Eastern European accent, beautifully supported by Eloise Moore, Year 6, and Millie McHutchison, Year 5. Ashleigh also engaged students in the demonstration of a strategy she employs to develop characters for her books. There were many enthusiastic contributions, and much laughter as Primary students suggested a variety of ways to turn a typical literary character into something unique.
The girls shared what they enjoyed most about Ashleigh’s visit:
Eloise: "I loved it when Ashleigh Barton came to talk to us about her new book (Solomon Macaroni). It was really funny when she got people to come up to the stage and act out her characters. I really enjoyed her visit and can’t wait to read her book".
Lily: "I enjoyed listening to her characters and how different they are to old tales, and the play. I also enjoyed hearing about her childhood at Loreto Normanhurst."
Tenuli: "I found Ashleigh Barton’s talk interesting because she got some people to do a little role play from a part of her book which was really entertaining to watch. I also really enjoyed the part where everyone contributed to creating a new character based off an original one as you could say any character traits that you wanted the character to have. The best part about it was listening to the process of writing a book."
Pearl: "I absolutely loved when Ashleigh Barton talked to us. I loved how she twisted and turned the stereotypes of vampires and completely changed it."
Grace: "I really enjoyed listening to some of the girls play a character in the book. The story made me laugh and was really funny. Having Ashleigh Barton visit our school was a fun experience for everyone!"
Genevieve: “I loved how creative Ashleigh was and how she was always inviting audience-participation. It was very funny when we created a character for one of her stories. When she read the first part of her book, I was amazed with how much detail and creativity was just put into that one paragraph. In the end Ashleigh Barton made this a great author visit.”
Would you like to order one of Ashleigh's books?
Interested students who would like to order a copy of ‘Solomon Macaroni and the Cousin Catastrophe’ can do so through The Children’s Bookshop who have created an online link that parents may use to place orders for any of Ashleigh’s books. Books ordered using this link will be delivered to school for distribution.
The Primary School were treated to a thoroughly entertaining performance as part of our NAIDOC Week celebrations.
Ryka Ali is a performer who comes from the Wuthathi tribe of Shellburne Bay, Cape York and from the Torres Strait Islands. A winner in the Young, Black and Deadly Talent Quest (2003) he is a very proud ambassador for Australia’s Indigenous youth. Ryka has performed at various festivals and cultural showcases around the world. Most recently he has been working with his grandmother Cindy, presenting Indigenous workshops in schools throughout Australia.
Ryka’s performance included native dances with enthusiastic audience participation, including the students and teachers! Ryka played various instruments and explained the significance of the artifacts and costumes specific to the Torres Strait Islands. Ryka then introduced the Aboriginal custom, ‘painting up’ with ochre (along with 2 student volunteers) and explained its importance and the significance of the designs. Ryka discussed instruments pertinent to Aboriginal culture, especially the didgeridoo, which he demonstrated with great skill.
Ryka’s performance revealed the richness of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islands cultures. The show was entertaining, educational and was greatly enjoyed by all.
Hip, hip, hooray, and happy birthday to the following girls. We hope you had a wonderful day!
Sophie, Abigail, Ilariya and Kayla