On Monday 18th June, His Excellency, The Governor, Lieutenant General Edward Davis, visited Loreto Convent School.
The Governor was met at the main entrance by Head Boy – Jerome Linares, Deputy Head Boy – Jack Bingham, Deputy Head Girl – Carlota Lopez Perdigones and Louise Napoli – Head teacher, who welcomed Lieutenant General Davis to the school.
Arriving in the old part of the school, His Excellency was keen to hear about the history of the beautiful building as he passed through the cloister adjacent to the Palm Tree Playground, where there was a giant game of floor chess underway. He spoke to the children about the popularity of chess in Gibraltar, and commented that chess: “promotes strategic thinking and endurance, which are important life- skills.”
In our Reception classes the children were very excited to meet the Governor, and explained that they were preparing to enjoy a Pirate Day – dressing up and searching for hidden treasure.
The party then up through the old Loreto building, visiting rooms that used to be the Nun’s quarters, and absorbing the wealth of history the Convent holds. Leaving the old part of the school, it was time to see the Mary Ward building, built in 2006 to accommodate some of the First and Middle School classes in superb learning environments. They stopped off in the computer suite where Mr Devincenzi-Clemens talked about the digital curriculum, school development in coding and robotics, and the work to obtain a sponsor for a purpose-built Fab Lab for the children to encounter engineering and robotics, using 3D printers as part of the design and manufacturing process.
The First School children in Year 1 explained the work they have been doing in class and recited a poem about the Wright Brothers, followed by the song ‘Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines’.
They then moved next door to Year 2, where the children showed His Excellency the work they had produced on their summer play about the Great Fire of London. This included two songs, ‘The Bossy King’ and ‘1666 Great Fire’. The Governor then asked the children some questions to test their knowledge of this period of history.
The last of our First School classes was Year 3. They explained to His Excellency that they have been reading about Hercules as part of their Literacy lessons. His Excellency recalled the story about the ‘Golden Apples’ and how Gibraltar is known as one of the Pillars of Hercules. As part of their history work on Vikings, the children had made their own stone necklaces.
Year 4 children showcased their work on the Environment. They were asked questions about what is important about the environment which the children answered with understanding and clarity. The children then performed their song ‘Colours of the Wind’ from World Environment Day , held last week at the Commonwealth Park. His Excellency explained to the children that there is only one world and we all need to look after it.
Year 5 gave a short presentation on Mexico. His Excellency commented on how well Mexico played over the weekend in the World Cup and enquired if anyone would be watching the England match that evening! He then looked at some of the masks that the children had made. One of the children asked if he had always wanted to be Governor. He told them about his career in the armed forces and how privileged he felt to be The Governor of Gibraltar.
Then His Excellency was accompanied to the School garden, where members of the Gardening Club were busy sowing seeds, planting flowers and weeding. He asked the children about their activities in the Garden, saying that they were very lucky to have this outdoor space. The children showed a display that they made for the Grow Your Own Food Campaign highlighting all the work they have done this year.
The children then invited His Excellency to the school lawn for refreshments including marmalade cake made with fruit picked in the garden. A jar of the marmalade was given as a present to His Excellency to enjoy at home.
The visitors then made their way across the roof-top playground down to the Sports Hall where Year 6 were engaged in a Basketball lesson. The Governor commented on the excellent facilities in the sports hall asking the children what sports they learn in the hall and what were their favourite sporting events.
Leaving the newly constructed Kusuma building, it was off to the School Hall to watch a snippet from the ever popular Year 7 Leaver’s play which, this year, is entitled ‘Alibaba and the Bongo Bandits’.
Back inside the Old Building, the Governor walked past the school photographs taken over decades. The Chapel was the penultimate stop, here the Middle School choir sang ‘Fix You’, ‘We Know the Way’ and ‘Kiss the Girl’. His Excellency praised the children in the choir; he always looks forward to hearing the Loreto School Choir at Christmas and wished them ‘good luck’ in the Gibraltar World Music Festival where they are performing on Wednesday evening, alongside professional musicians.
Walking from the chapel, the visitors passed the wonderful artwork produced by the children in their Art lessons before signing the visitor’s book.