It is hard to believe we are in our last few weeks of the 2011/2012 academic year. So much activity is packed into a relatively short few months. First and foremost there has been much learning across a wide range of subjects and programmes. There has also been much extra-curricular activity, in sport, drama, debating, music, etc and the girls have shown that they have indeed a very strong school spirit. Our girls have represented us outside of school at many, many events and competitions and I have had such positive feedback back on them, that I am so proud of them all. They are a credit to their parents and their school. Mary Ward, our Loreto foundress said “Act not out of fear, but solely from love, because you are called by God to a vocation of love”.
Our school mission statement was amended slightly this year to include the recognition of social justice within our school. This is certainly borne out with our girls showing such strong leadership in respecting the environment, helping those less fortunate than themselves, holding information campaigns, our anti-bullying week and going out willingly on community outreach.
Our new relationship with Loreto Rumbek in Southern Sudan commenced with great enthusiasm. We learnt about their new school and the great need they have for buildings and equipment of all kinds. The 4th and 6th Year Prefects organised a superb Autumn Fair, with the help of Ms Taylor and Ms Egan. They raised a huge €7,000 which along with other important collections and cake sales, raffles and donations eventually made up to €12,404, which we were so proud to hand over to Sr. Ann, one of the schools founding sisters, when she visited Beaufort as part of our Mary Ward Week celebrations in January. She also brought pictures, progress reports and statements from the girls in Rumbek. Our donations will make a significant difference and we will continue to help our sister school.
Five of our 6th Years had a meaningful experience in Lourdes, where they helped with the Dublin Diocesan Pilgrimage. They were ably assisted by our school chaplain Ms Donohoe and also last years 6th Years who returned to help again. Many of our girls also helped other charities and our new Tuesday afternoon outreach to the community, where the Transition Years have visited local elderly parishioners has been a great success. During this year we also raised awareness of many other charities; UN Millennium Goals, Aidlink, St Vincent de Paul, Niamh’s Dream, etc.
In March our 5th Years chose to organise a fundraiser in aid of Canteen, the only Irish organisation that works specifically with teenagers suffering with cancer. They had had a seminar from Catherine Byrne, an image consultant, who volunteered to give a workshop for girls, Mums and Grannies. A wonderful evening was organised, with the help of Ms Curtis and we enjoyed singing, cup cakes, fashion tips and make up skills. Well done on a wonderful event and for raising €5,000 in the process.
Our new IT room is working well and the two new classrooms and auditorium are certainly in great use and a great addition to the school. This summer we will be replacing our boiler and doing various minor renovations of paint work and repairs. We are constantly reviewing and upgrading our facilities. The Loreto Hockey Club will start building their new clubhouse, which is to be situated beside the Sports Hall.
I would like to thank some of the people who have worked so hard to make our school a better place. Our teaching and ancillary staff, who work so hard and are always prepared to go the “extra mile”. The Board of Management who meets regularly and has the best interests of managing a well run school at heart. Our Parents Association who tirelessly contribute to school life and help create a positive link between parents and the school. Finally, I would like to thank the Loreto Education Office for their ongoing support and backup throughout the year.
For most of our pupils, revision has started for our end of year exams and they will be looking forward to the summer break to recoup and re-energise. Our First Years have settled in so well and can look forward to a long summer ahead. To our Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate candidates, I wish them success in their public exams and hope that they can display all that they have learnt. For our 6th Years, these last few weeks represent a final leave- taking from life in Beaufort and I wish each girl happiness and fulfilment in their future education and life. We will miss you.
I wish everyone in our school community, parents, pupils and staff, a very happy and healthy summer.