• Catholic, independent day and boarding school for girls in Years 5-12.

  • In existence since: 1897


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Mother Gonzaga Barry, an Irish pioneer of the IBVM, formed the Institute’s first Australian community at Mary’s Mount in Ballarat in 1875. Seventeen years later, she brought the IBVM to New South Wales when she established the first Sydney Loreto in Randwick in July 1892. Loreto Randwick taught day students and was home to thirty boarders, under the care of Mother Dorothea Frizelle. Within five years, however, the nuns were looking for larger premises.

As Mother Gonzaga Barry approached the property on Pennant Hills Road on a rainy day in June 1896, the sun burst through the clouds and formed a beautiful rainbow over the estate. Reverend Mother voiced her delight; her quest was over. The extensive property was purchased for the Loreto boarders and the foundation stone for Loreto Normanhurst was laid on 28 February 1897.

Loreto Normanhurst is a leading Sydney independent, Catholic day and boarding school for girls.

Mary Ward believed that “Women in time to come will do much…” This still resonates with us today, and we live out Mary Ward’s vision every day through the Loreto Values of Freedom, Justice, Sincerity, Verity and Felicity.

At Loreto Normanhurst, relationships and learning are of equal importance. The Loreto Normanhurst Student Growth Model (LNSGM) is an award-winning model of education which develops students holistically in the areas of Faith, Academic, Community and Extra-curricular (FACE).

A school which offers breadth and richness in its relationships and its curriculum, a school which provides opportunities to grow in spirit and faith and which prepares a young woman to take her place and make a difference in the world – this is Loreto Normanhurst.

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Loreto Normanhurst is a vibrant school where curiosity and excitement about learning is encouraged. Each student is challenged to think critically and reach beyond where she thought possible, considering real world problems and using technology innovatively. Students are provided with opportunities that encourage the development of key learning skills including collaboration and reflection, allowing them to grow in their ability to embrace new ideas and challenges.

The LNSGM is innovative and dynamic, and fosters critical thinking, curiosity, and joy in learning – an education which prepares a Loreto girl for and exciting and challenging future. The success of the LNSGM in the academic realm is highly evident, with Loreto Normanhurst having been ranked as the top Catholic School in NSW for three out of the last four years.

Students in Years 7 to 10 are offered a variety of elective subjects as well as all mandatory subjects to ensure mastery and enjoyment before commencing senior studies. The school also provides all students with Integrated Learning, a course of study that encourages critical thinking and collaborative group work, skills that are an essential component of senior school success.  The senior curriculum is designed to be as broad as possible to support all students to meet their own academic needs.

Technology is an integral aspect of learning and all students at Loreto Normanhurst use appropriate digital learning technologies to develop and engage in rich tasks.  As both a platform for their learning and communicating, the School is committed to actively teaching the best use of ICT inside the classroom and beyond the School gate.  The School supports this commitment with substantial investment in networks, reliable infrastructure, integrated systems and trained support staff.

Students at Loreto Normanhurst develop a love of learning.  They engage with passionate, exemplary teachers who value the learning relationship.  Growth as a whole person is at the core of how a Loreto Normanhurst student is educated.

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At Loreto Normanhurst our concern with social justice is integral to our definition of who we are as a Catholic and Loreto community.  It is not simply about giving to others, it is also about restoring right relationships in our world, through raising individual and community awareness and taking action.

Raising awareness of the nature of inequality is core to the FACE Curriculum at Loreto Normanhurst. Embedded in the learning experiences is encouragement for lively, informed discussion exploring real life issues.

The Year 9 Far North Queensland Experience (FNQE) is a wonderful program that is unique to Loreto Normanhurst.  It has been offered at the school since 2006. This year, in 2015, we celebrate ten years of this life-changing experience for our Year 9 students.

Also known as ‘Outreach, FNQE is a two week experience in which the entire cohort of Year 9 students and staff travel to Far North Queensland to engage with a number of Indigenous communities, perform community service, enliven their faith and experience learning outside of the traditional classroom.

When away from the trappings of our everyday lives we can truly see ourselves and what is around us. FNQE gives Year 9 many unique and unforgettable experiences that test them as young women. It is a time to expand their minds and learn in a vastly different environment – students love the opportunity to do Science on the Great Barrier Reef, learn History at Rocky Creek on the Atherton Tablelands and write poetry on the bluff at Undara. These experiences deepen the impact of their learning and they will carry this with them for a life time.

The school hopes that, through their experiences in Far North Queensland, students will gain a greater understanding of who they are as young catholic, Loreto women; reflect on the place of their faith in their relationships and how this informs their response to injustices and inequities.

The FNQ Experience provides an opportunity for our students to show leadership; gain insight into their strengths (and weaknesses) when challenged; be independent and make choices for themselves and care for themselves;  respond to the needs of others; live together in harmony, and at times, deal with conflict.

Over the past ten years, we have developed many special relationships in FNQ. Our indigenous friends and partnership schools have welcomed, shared and taught our Loreto Normanhurst community and we have all benefited. We have walked beside many people and communities in FNQ and learned to appreciate and care for our country.

Having formed firm bonds with those local communities, the school continues the relationship through later years; in Year 10 students and teachers from Loreto Normanhurst return to the Yarrabah community during the Christmas holiday to renew the relationships.



On Friday 20 March 2015, Loreto Normanhurst celebrated the re-opening of its Primary School, almost thirty years after the closure of what was then called the Loreto Normanhurst Junior School.  This significant and historic event was attended by over 1,500 members of the Loreto Normanhurst community including members of the IBVM and the wider Loreto community, students, staff, parents and other special guests.

The new Primary School was blessed and named the Teresa Ball Primary Centre.  The school was privileged to have Sr Margaret Mary Flynn IBVM, Province Leader for Loreto Australia and South-East Asia, take part in the proceedings, and unveil the plaque to officially open the Teresa Ball Primary Centre.

The official ceremony was followed by a beautiful Liturgy which celebrated the continuation of the Loreto Normanhurst story, and the life and inspiration of Mother Teresa Ball and all the sisters of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

“As we gather to begin a new chapter in the Loreto Normanhurst story, we draw inspiration from our tradition, and we look to our future with much excitement and hope.  To once again bring primary students to the campus and assist them to grow to be young women who will make a difference in the world fills our whole community with joy,” says Ms Barbara Watkins, Principal.

“Loreto Normanhurst’s fine tradition of assisting young women in Sydney and country NSW, to grow to their full potential has brought us great fulfilment since our doors opened in 1897. To open our doors again to girls in Years 5 and 6 means that we can bring our innovative model of learning, the Loreto Normanhurst Student Growth Model, to even more students so that they too may benefit from an holistic education.  This Loreto education, based on gospel values, with a national and international tradition, suits our students superbly and helps them grow gently to be young women of faith, who will meet their own academic challenges in a joyful community, and involve themselves in a variety of exciting experiences,” Ms Watkins explains.

Loreto Normanhurst thanks all those who were able to share in this historic event for our community. A community that works each day to walk the path that Mary Ward placed before us of Freedom, Justice, Sincerity, Verity and Felicity.

The Teresa Ball Primary Centre:  May it be a place of joy and growth, where learning is central, where relationships are made and nurtured, where curiosity is encouraged, and promise is fulfilled.  May it be a place of laughter and friendship; a place where the love of God is known each day; may it be a place of prayer.  Bless all who enter this space; bless all who learn, love and live within its walls.