Loreto Normanhurst offers AIEF Scholarships for boarding students.
2021 saw the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education program at Loreto Normanhurst flourish with 15 students from across New South Wales. These students come from towns such as Goondiwindi, Bourke, Wellington and Wagga Wagga. Two of the Aboriginal students graduated Year 12 after a long period of remote learning in Bourke and Wellington. The grit and determination they demonstrated during remote learning due to Covid-19 was outstanding.
The school is participating in the Waratah Project, a grant from the Association of Independent Schools. This has allowed for further targeted programs to improve wellbeing, literacy and numeracy and community engagement. Engagement with local Indigenous women has improved the cultural competency of teachers and enabled us to critically view and evaluate the curriculum through a more informed perspective of Australia’s First Nations Peoples.
There has been a focus to amplify the voice of Indigenous students in the school, involving them in discussion and decision making that directly affects them or they have a passion for. In 2021 the school updated our Acknowledgement of Country, and the Indigenous students contributed significantly to this, alongside a local Indigenous Elder. The connections with the local community has been valuable allowing the students to connect with culture, learning a traditional woman’s song and dance for NAIDOC Week which was then interrupted by Covid.
One of the highlights for Year 11 student Clare was the opportunity for her to meet Pope Francis. Clare was the only secondary school student meeting and speaking to Pope Francis directly. All other participants were university students. As a young Wiradjuri woman, Clare spoke on her ambitions and hopes for the world in light of Laudato Si.
Each year that we are accompanying the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, we grow in confidence, and we are strengthening our programs and the supports that we have in place. Our students teach, lead and consistently challenge us to provide more opportunities for them to grow.
In 2021, AIEF Scholarship Students at Loreto Normanhurst were spread across Years 7 to 12.
In 2021, the 15 Indigenous students enrolled at Loreto Normanhurst were representative of 1.5% of the total population of 1004 students.
In 2021, AIEF supported 10 students at Loreto Normanhurst.
In 2021, the retention and Year 12 completion rate at Loreto Normanhurst was 100%.
Note: Attrition rates do not imply underperformance as students may leave a school for a variety of reasons including changes in personal circumstances such as family relocation interstate, personal or family health issues, or moving to a school that is more suited to the needs of the student.