Mary, Queen of Angels
While I live, I trust in the cross
Loreto Kirribilli is an independent Catholic school for girls from Kindergarten through Year 12 with an enrolment of just over one thousand students. We foster in our students the desire to be seekers of truth and doers of justice. The school is one of many around the world directed by the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (IBVM), also known as the Loreto Sisters.
At Loreto Kirribilli we are proud to build on our four hundred year international heritage. We believe it is our privilege to continue the work of Mary Ward, who founded the IBVM in 1609. Mother Gonzaga Barry was the first leader of the Loreto Sisters in Australia, establishing a convent at Ballarat, Victoria in 1875, then Sydney in 1892.
“For a mind to be free, it must be open to knowledge and learning.”
At Loreto Kirribilli, we believe in education that suits the needs of the student. We are not academically selective. We encourage extension at every level of ability. A Gifted and Talented program is offered together with specialist support for those with learning difficulties.
Loreto Kirribilli strives to provide for the changing needs of our students. For education to be relevant in any age, it must try to provide the best possible equipment and surroundings, then build upon this through encouraging students to be independent, critical and creative thinkers.
In modern society, with its rapid change and scientific and technological advance, the most important issues to be raised are not in fact technological – they are issues of values, and the translation of these values into action. A recognition of our responsibilities is a necessary part of education. Our society is a pluralist one, with conflicting attitudes to religion, morality human rights and associated areas. Hence our education needs to involve the development of our ability to evaluate critically, and to make decisions based on informed judgement and Christian principles, decisions reflecting a faithful use of the freedom given to us by God.
Loreto Kirribilli, through its climate, teacher-student relations and curriculum, aims to meet the spiritual, intellectual, psychological and social needs of each student, developing more fully the ability of each individual to think objectively and responsibly, to value the search for truth, and to appreciate the dignity and value of the human person.
Loreto Kirribilli is proud of the fact that our learning is, as Mary Ward suggested, congruous with the times. We educate the whole person in specialised learning spaces and use contemporary technological resources.
At Loreto Kirribilli, the concept of Verity underpins the high impact learning experiences provided for gifted and talented girls. Students are challenged in their gifted domain to transfer their high ability to achievement, and to embrace the spirit of Mary Ward in the classroom and during extra-curricular activities. Our teaching staff are committed to facilitating this process of talent development for gifted learners: empowering young women to “do what [they] have to do well”, recognising that every gifted and talented learner is different, possessing unique and diverse qualities.
Identification of gifted and talented students here at Loreto Kirribilli is a multi-faceted and on-going process, whereby we use multiple criteria to ensure gifted students of all domains are recognised. The foundation of our identification process is Gagné’s Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent. Gagné categorises:
High potential, or giftedness, must be nurtured to develop into talent, and many opportunities are offered to our gifted students to facilitate this developmental process. This results in a range of pathways by which talent can be developed and gifted learners can achieve excellence.
We acknowledge gifted learners can require modification to regular learning programs in order to develop students’ gifts as they progress towards full potential. Consequently, a range of programming strategies are used to develop the talent of gifted learners, including in-class extension or enrichment to suit strengths or interests, and flexible grouping to ensure gifted and talented students work with their peers. Throughout the school, mentoring and pull-out programs aimed at gifted and talented learners are used, and accelerative strategies such as curriculum compacting and telescoping are implemented to provide appropriate challenge. The social and emotional needs of gifted and talented learners are attended to through our pastoral program which focuses on self-knowledge and personal growth, as well as through the many affective elements of our subject programs.
A wide variety of extra-curricular provisions are offered to gifted and talented learners, including the Da Vinci Decathlon and the Philosothon, all of which seek to connect the girls with like-minded students in rich learning situations to inspire and develop talent further.
Key specialists in gifted and talented education, including our Gifted and Talented Coordinator, work closely with our students to offer more personalised learning opportunities. These specialists also collaborate with teachers to aid the talent development of our gifted learners, ensuring a holistic approach.
I was delighted to be appointed Principal of Loreto Kirribilli in 2014 and I continue to be inspired by the tangible sense of spirit that optimises our school community. Loreto’s rich faith life, excellence in teaching and learning, positive relationships, high expectations within the classroom and beyond and our beautiful location are all conducive to a joy of learning.
As a Catholic school in the Loreto tradition, we strive to live up to the expectations of Mary Ward who founded the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (IBVM) in 1609, that students at Kirribilli are offered an education with ‘something more’. The goals of a Loreto education are in essence the same as the goals of our founder: the spiritual, intellectual and social development of the individual, and the preparation of students to take their place in the society in which they live as well as to achieve their ultimate goal, the knowledge and love of God.
Loreto Kirribilli girls are nurtured to be wise, loving, spirited young women, inspired to seek knowledge and wisdom throughout their lives and to understand the value of being part of a community. Our outstanding teachers support and challenge our girls so that they flourish as inquisitive and critical learners. Loreto girls are educated to be women of faith, developing positive relationships with each other. Through discernment and a spirit of gratitude they strive to realise the Loreto values of felicity, sincerity, verity, freedom and justice.
Mary Ward’s vision was to educate in and for society, not apart from it. Our students are part of a rapidly changing world which presents both challenges and opportunities. To respond to these challenges and opportunities we empower our students to own their future by equipping them to be dynamic and flexible thinkers. We develop confident young women who are highly successful leaners, joyful and spirited, curious and reflective and who are inspired to offer loving and responsible service.
Our school community is committed to the vision of Mary Ward and Mother Gonzaga Barry. In 1908, Mother Gonzaga Barry said: What the world needs is a wise, lovable, well-educated woman; and centuries earlier, Mary Ward said: Women, in time, will come to do much. We know that women ‘doing much’ is no longer an aspiration, it is an expectation and responsibility each Loreto girl treasures – our vision is to ensure our students graduate as compassionate, dynamic young women who aspire to become leaders who will shape the future.
Loreto Kirribilli’s learning environment promotes confident young women, creative and critical thinkers with problem solving skills that they apply to significant issues in our world. It is an environment that nurtures the development of young women who are collaborative, resilient, adaptable, and innovative with excellent communication skills. I believe that learners find happiness through the pursuit of these ambitions. Ultimately, every parent wishes that their child will be happy and successful.
Parent involvement is encouraged and supported and we promote parents as partners in the education of their daughters.