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NEWS AND PUBLICATIONS > Academic > Loreto Normanhurst Unveils Innovative Agricultural Technologies Centre

Loreto Normanhurst Unveils Innovative Agricultural Technologies Centre

Osborn Orchards will complement the school’s agricultural curriculum, fostering a deep appreciation for STEM disciplines among its students.
6 Dec 2023
Osborn Orchards
Osborn Orchards

Leading independent girls’ school Loreto Normanhurst today unveiled Osborn Orchards. The all-new Agricultural Technologies Centre proudly represents the school’s commitment to fostering a love of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) among students through an immersive learning environment. ​

The redesign and construction of the new building follows the remarkable growth and success of the school’s agricultural program, introduced in 2019 for day and boarding students.

Amenities of the new Loreto Normanhurst Agricultural Technologies Centre are designed to support the natural environment and promote sustainable practices. From a rainwater tank that captures and stores water for irrigation to vegetable beds and chicken sheds that enable students to learn about horticulture and animal husbandry, the centre offers invaluable opportunities for hands-on learning and practical application of agricultural principles.

Year 9 Agriculture students, Harriet and Juliet say the new Agricultural Technologies Centre has helped students engage with practical lessons on topics they have been learning about in theory. “We have been able to feed and look after our own hens when learning about poultry. The hydroponics has helped us see life and growth and make connections between Science and Agriculture. The opening of the Centre will be cherished by Agriculture students for years to come, and we are all very grateful to have this amazing resource.”

Osborn Orchards is named for local orchardist, Oliver Osborn who in 1896 sold his land to members of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary for the purposes of building the Loreto Convent. Today, entry to Loreto Normanhurst is from Osborn Road, a nod to the farming legacy on which the school was first established.

As a meaningful tribute to the rich history of Loreto Normanhurst, its gardens and orchard, the unveiling included planting an orange tree during the blessing ceremony, which will represent growth, prosperity and the fruitful harvests of knowledge that flourish within the walls of the School.

Commenting on the unveiling, Simone Bryant, Head of Science at Loreto Normanhurst said: “Our girls are not just studying Science – they're immersed in it. Through Deep Learning experiences ranging from our local classrooms to global platforms, we create opportunities for our girls to showcase their abilities and innovations. This is not about simple rote learning; it's about hands-on, authentic involvement that instils confidence, fosters curiosity and motivates our learners to become the leaders of tomorrow's STEM industries."

Osborn Orchards is a key milestone in the School's 30-year Master Plan, exemplifying its vision for holistic education and the pursuit of excellence in STEM. Loreto Normanhurst is dedicated to educating young minds about the wonders of STEM through interactive activities and programs, fostering curiosity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.

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