Our Catholic Faith and Tradition
With Catholic identity as its foundation, Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School, Tarro continues to embrace the charism of the Sisters of Mercy who founded the school in 1944. These women gave each of us a special gift and continue to inspire the teachings and practices carried out each day at the school. As a Catholic school, we honour our responsibility for contributing to the life of the Church and spreading the Good News of Jesus. Our commitment to the Church’s mission ensures we provide a holistic education based on the Gospel values of justice, truth, peace and service towards one another.
We strongly acknowledge that parents are the first and foremost educators of their children in matters of faith. It is their witness and commitment that lays the foundation for their child’s growth and it is our privilege to support them in this role.
At Our Lady of Lourdes, all students are encouraged and challenged to stretch their capacity to reach their full potential. High expectations are core to our presentation of the curriculum and the learning opportunities provided for students. We focus on learning, results and collaboration and we understand the importance of feedback for our students. We operate in a professional learning environment to create a culture of academic excellence and student growth. We provide a caring and nurturing learning environment and are committed to providing positive and enriching educational programmes which cater for the individual needs and interests of each child. Our Lady of Lourdes is a place where each student’s individuality is valued and celebrated. Each student is encouraged to pursue excellence in all fields of education in accordance with their gifts and capabilities. Students can participate in competitions in many different areas of the curriculum including Debating, Public Speaking, Science and Technology, Spelling Bees and a variety of sporting pursuits.
Culture of Inclusivity
Our Lady of Lourdes has a strong sense of community and inclusivity, where we acknowledge and appreciate our multicultural community. Our student population draws from diverse cultural backgrounds including Filipino, Samoan, Tongan, South African, South American, a variety of European countries and Indigenous Australians. We blend together to form a school community that is culturally aware and respectful of all traditions.
The dignity of each student is respected, the curriculum is adjusted to address individual needs and all staff are professionals who value integrity and justice. We encourage students to extend beyond perceived limits and we take time to nurture our students on their journey of personal growth. We are supportive of the needs of our students and families and seek to develop a close relationship which promotes partnership and trust. High priority is given to ‘walking the extra mile’ with families to ensure they know that they are valued.
Focus on Aboriginal Education
Our Lady of Lourdes is a unique school community that is strongly committed to Aboriginal education. Our school is proud of the many opportunities provided to all students to increase cultural knowledge of, and pride in, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.
Our school has developed a personalised Aboriginal Education Policy, which guides our direction in the area of Aboriginal Education. The Aboriginal Education teachers work with classroom teachers to provide intensive literacy and numeracy support to Aboriginal students where needed, as well as developing personalised learning plans. The Aboriginal Education teachers work in all classrooms to deliver Aboriginal perspectives across all Key Learning Areas.
The heritage of our Indigenous students is deeply respected, and we ensure that it is a focus of our school celebrations, especially during NAIDOC Week, Reconciliation Week and Harmony Day. We also run a cultural programme called Culture Yarns that aims to increase student knowledge of, and pride in, their Aboriginal identity. Students in this programme have the opportunity to hear from local members of the Aboriginal community and learn about Aboriginal cultures, both traditional and contemporary.
Our Lady of Lourdes is a warm and welcoming community with a strong focus on supporting students with additional needs to reach their individual learning goals. We are privileged to host three satellite classes for the Hunter Aspect School, which accommodates children on the Autism Spectrum. In 2003, satellite classes were introduced at Our Lady of Lourdes with the aim of providing specialised support services and facilities to help students develop the skills to become as independent as possible, resulting in integration into a mainstream classroom.
While the students follow the same curriculum as mainstream classes, the primary focus is on developing their communication and social skills and behavioural and sensory needs through game-based learning activities and ultimately including them in daily activities at the school. Our school has been the focus of two visits from delegates of the Ministry of Education in Singapore, as they seek to replicate the success of our relationship with ASPECT.
OOSH Child Care
An Out Of School Hours childcare service is provided by Maitland Baptist Church in the Northern Avenue Community Hall adjacent to our school. During school terms it operates from 6.00am to 8.30am in the morning and 3.00pm to 6.00pm in the afternoon. Students are brought across the road each morning by the OOSH staff and assemble on our site to be collected in the afternoon.