Wednesday 1st March was a busy day at Loreto Convent School, with some special guests, including His Lordship Bishop Carmel Zammit, and the Minister for Education, the Honourable Dr. John Cortes, who had been invited to attend the Ash Wednesday service.

The service was led by Monsignor Paul Bear, and during the service he spoke of the importance of Lent and of using this time to encourage awareness of those less fortunate than ourselves. This year, Loreto is supporting the Bishop’s Lenten appeal in aid of Christians in Aleppo. Mgr. Bear drew attention to the Stations of the Cross on the walls of the chapel, which tell the story of Christ’s Passion and death, and the children then sang some beautiful hymns while Bishop Zammit and Mgr. Bear carried out the distribution of the ashes.

After the service, the head teacher, Mrs Louise Napoli, gave the invited guests a tour of the school, which the Minister remembers fondly. The school has developed a lot over recent years, with the addition of the Mary Ward block and the recently opened Kusuma Multi-purpose Hall, which, along with the main multi-purpose space, houses three extra classrooms and a covered play area on the ground floor. A Year 7 PE class was in progress in the hall, and the Minister chatted to the children and asked about their experience of Loreto. Then it was onwards and upwards to the exterior playground and games pitch which forms the roof of the building. Admiring the Kusuma building from the exterior, the Minister, who is a keen horticulturalist, was especially impressed by the two ‘living walls’, and by the amount of resources that had been comfortably accommodated in the relatively small area, while still preserving much of the original school garden.

The visitors then moved into the Mary Ward Building, which was constructed six years ago and houses twelve classrooms over three storeys. The guests visited some of the classes, and were treated to two lovely poems which were beautifully recited by the children in Year 1. The next visit was to a year 5 classroom, where the children were hard at work learning about pollution and environmental change, a subject which is also close to the Minister’s heart!

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