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I extend a very warm welcome back to all families who are joining us on site for the first time next week. The staff have been looking forward to seeing all their children in their new classes for 2022. This is an opportunity to recognise the hard work and flexibility of the staff, shifting from the online into the face-to-face teaching and learning. Thank you to the parents and students for their efforts in engaging in this hybrid format for the first two weeks.

Next week beckons the return to community as one Ignatian family spanning three campuses. Parents, children, and staff all bring their own hopes and aspirations for the year ahead with great anticipation. You might have seen the passionate debates from parliament this week in which the question was raised: ‘What message do we want to send our kids? That they are loved, cherished and adored.’

It begs to ask of our Ignatian story: what message do we wish to send to our students? Brené Brown, American research professor, lecturer, and author suggests that: ‘We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honour the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection. Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can be cultivated between two people.’

The Ignatian-Jesuit characteristic of cura personalis, which is Latin for ‘care for the whole person’, is a concept well known in Jesuit education. This connection cultivated between two people focuses on the relationship of care between the teacher and student. Originally a call for the kind of care Jesuit superiors were to give to their subordinates, cura personalis is a call for you and me to love ourselves and others: the entire person, the entire gift of life from God given to us. The roots from which love grows will awaken a sense of human flourishing where God can be found in woman or man fully alive.

We are grateful for the means by which we can now build stronger connection, community, and care for the individual as students return to the classroom. We hope that whatever challenges this year may bring, we are able to grow in greater belief, honour, and care of all within our community.

Mr Nic Boys
Head of Junior School

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