Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox College - Newsletter

Volume 25 Edition 4 - August 2020

Welcome to Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox College eNewsletter

From the Head of College

Welcome to Term 3, the Theotokos Term 

Just as we completed Term 2 thinking that things would return to 'normal' for the commencement of Term 3, we have all seen that 'normal' is going to be quite some time to come.  Thank you to all our amazing students and staff for their understanding, cooperation and support as we move into this term with caution and uncertainty.

Thank you also to you, the parents and carers of our students for your continued support and cooperation and to those who took time to voice their care and thanks to the staff and school for implementing and maintaining the precautions during this time.  We all want this situation to come to a close soon, but when this will occur is unknown, so please continue to observe all the requirements asked from you and also your consideration to all other parents and our surrounding community as we progress with our now, daily routines.

During this time of Fasting, let's all say a few extra prayers for all those in far worse situations than we currently have to bear, that they heal quickly and that the Theotokos intercedes on all our behalf to the One Loving God for the welfare of all.

Traffic Concerns

The following two concerns have been raised with the school recently by Liverpool Council's Road & Safety Officers and Department of Transport Supervisors respectively:

1.  ROUND-A-BOUT Congestion:

Both community members and SMC parents have raised concerns to the various Authorities about the clogging of the Round-a-Bout during morning and afternoon drop off and collection times with drivers not stopping BEFORE the round-a-bout to allow movement around it as required by law. 

When waiting in the que drivers unable to proceed are required to wait before the lanes around the round-a-bout, so that the 'circle' is always  free-flowing.  Unfortunately this is not being practiced by some and so contributes further to the congestion for all waiting to move in the direction of their respective destinations. 

We have been advised that this matter is certainly not unique to SMC and especially during the required 'kiss and drop' procedure required by the authorities due to Covid-19 restrictions for parents entering the school grounds whilst we carry out this valet service. 

The numerous Staff and senior students you see on the footpath are there as helpers and VOLUNTEERS and have not been asked to undertake these daily routines but wish to do so to assist all in getting the traffic through as quickly as possible.  Please be considerate of their efforts and refrain from hurtful comments they are sometimes confronted with.  Everyone is trying to do their best.

2.  Pedestrian Crossing Requirements

The Department of Transport Manager for our area has requested parents to remind their children that when using the Pedestrian Crossing, students and adults MUST wait until the Crossing Supervisor has indicated it is safe to proceed. 

Unfortunately a number of students ignore these directions and cross regardless of instructions.  As the Crossing Supervisor has been authorised and assigned by the Dpt of Transport, their instructions must be adhered to and failure to do so may see unfortunate consequences.  Your cooperation in this safety matter is required at all times when using the Criossing during the supervised times in the morning and afternoon periods. 

Feast Day for the Dormition of the Theotokos - 22 Aug

From the College Chaplain, Very Rev Fr George Nakhil

The Fast of the Assumption of the Virgin Saint Mary (Dormition of the Theotokos)

The fast of the Virgin Saint Mary, which is 15 days long, begins on the first day of the Coptic month of Mesori. It ends on the sixteenth day of the month, when the Coptic Church celebrates the assumption of the body of the Virgin that was carried by the angels. This fast is one of the most beloved fasts by the lay people, to the extent that one can claim that the lay people enforced the fast on the church, being that it never recognized as an official fast prior to the thirteenth century, during which we find the first official written evidence of the fast in the book of the Sheikh Al-Mo’taman Abu Al-Makarem Sa’ad Allah bin Girgis bin Mas’ood. It is known that Abu Al-Makarem died in 1209 A.D., which means that the fast took its official position in the church around the thirteenth century, and the church recognized it as belonging to the fourth-level fasts, after the theological fasts. However, the lay-people’s love of this fast caused them to treat it as one of the first-level fasts, as a result of the people’s love for the Mother of God Saint Mary.

As for the feasts of the Virgin, they are: The Feast of the Annunciation of her Birth on 7 Mesori; the Feast of the Birth of the Mother of Light on 1 Pashons; the Feast of the Virgin’s Entry into the Temple on 3 Kiahk; the Feast of her Departure on 21 Tobe; the Feast of her Revealed Assumption on 16 Mesori; the Feast of Consecrating the First Church under her Name in Philipi on 21 Paona; and the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Virgin on her Church in Zeitoun on 24 Paramhotep. In addition, the Coptic Church celebrates and commemorates the Virgin on the twenty-first day of every Coptic month. The rite is the same throughout all the feasts and on the twenty-first day of every Coptic month.

May the blessings of these days be with us all. Amen.


Mikhail, Deacon Albair Gamal, The Essentials in the Deacon’s Service, (Shobra, Egypt: Shikolani, 2002), p. 817. Translated from Arabic by Bishoy K. R. Dawood, edited by Michael Guirguis.

Upcoming Dates

Theotokos Term 3 - 2020

AUGUST (Fasting Until 21 August - fish permitted)

Thu 6        Early bird Liturgy 6 - 8 am

Fri 7          Period 1 & 2 Stage Liturgy - Year 10

Thu 13     Early bird Liturgy 6 - 8 am


Fri 14        Period 1 & 2 Stage Liturgy - Year 9

Mon 17    Yr 12 TRIAL HSC commences until Tue 1 SEP

Thu 20    Early bird Liturgy 6 - 8 am

Fri 21       Period 1 & 2 Stage Liturgy - Stage 2 Years

Sat 22     The Dormition (Asumption) of the Theotokos

Thu 27    Early bird Liturgy 6 - 8 am

Fri 28      Period 1 & 2 Stage Liturgy - Stage 3 Years


Thu 3      Early bird Liturgy 6 - 8 am

Thu 3      Year 11 Preliminary Exams commence (until Wed 16 Sep)

Fri 4        Period 1 & 2 Stage Liturgy -  Year 7

Thu 10    Early bird Liturgy 6 - 8 am

Fri 11       Period 1 & 2 Stage Liturgy -  Stage 1

Wed 16    Yr 7 Immunisation

Thu 17    Early bird Liturgy 6 - 8 am

Fri 18       Period 1 & 2 Stage Liturgy -  Year 8

Curriculum News Years 7 - 12 Mr Peter Joseph

Subject Selections

Students in Year 8 and Year 10 will commence the subject selection process in Week 4. The timing of this process is key.

Now that we have completed Semester One marking, reporting and feedback requirements, students and parents are now well-equipped to have the information needed to make subject decisions. 

Due to COVID-19, we will adopt a digital format. This is not as we would like, but is a reality of the times. Students and parents will have access to all the appropriate information and guidance needed to make the right decisions. This is an exciting time and we look forward to working with these parents and students. 

Trial HSC Examinations Trial HSC examinations are due to commence in Week 5. As has been communicated last term, exams will be held at the St Thomas Indian Orthodox Cathedral Hall (other side of Wattle Grove shops). We thank our friends at St Thomas' for their hospitality and their willingness to assist our students and school at this time. 

Personal Interest Projects 

Students in Years 7-10 will complete a Personal Interest Project (PIP) in Semester 2. This is an exciting opportunity for students to complete a 'Major Work' style project on an area of interest to them. This is structured in approach and is guided by co-curricular teachers. We look forward to seeing the innovative ideas of our students!

Helpful Hints
Learning is not just what you do in the classroom. Study is not just what you do the night before a test. Both of these are ongoing activities that are enhanced by the correct pre and post activities.

See which of these 5 P's you do:

PREPARE: This is the stage where you ensure you have all of the materials you need for learning and have completed any pre-tasks such as reading sections of your textbook in advance or any other activities your teacher asks you to complete prior to the class.

PARTICIPATE:  Engaging in your learning is the best way to start to embed it in your memory and ensure you understand. Having the opportunity to discuss and interact and complete different styles of learning activities really helps your brain to process what you are learning.

PLAN: Take the time to look at the assessments for the course and plan when you will start, work on and complete tasks. Anytime you are asked to complete work for class, plan when you will do it and even better write your plan into your diary or online planner.

PRACTISE: One of the best ways to learn is to do practise questions. When you apply what you have learnt to actual questions, you will engage retrieval and cognitive pathways in the brain and reinforce your learning and uncover areas that need extra study.

PINPOINT: After a test or assessment is returned to you, celebrate your successes but also use it to pinpoint areas of weakness. This allows you to then spend time building your strengths in these areas and concentrating of the known weaknesses without the pressure of an exam looming.

Welfare and Pastoral News 7 - 12 Ms Mary Williams

Please see the attached letter recently emailed to all Secondary parents, outlining a positive change to the Merit & Demerit System that will be used at the College from this Semester onwards.

This is something that has been planned for extensively and will assist the College students, staff and parents in further developing our students pastorally and behaviourally within a more balanced approach towards positive and negative behaviours.

I ask you to all take a few minutes to view the outline and continue to support the College and its Staff in its endeavours.

Anthony Tsoutsas


Week 1 PointsWeek 2 PointsTotal to Date
St Anthony1106201,944
St Demiana1405501,795
St George1905701,496
St Marina1305601,653
Merit List

Congratulations to the following students who have earned 3 or more merits within a week:

St AnthonySt DemianaSt GeorgeSt Marina
Lucas Fam Yr 7Sara Djuricic Yr 7Ann Sergious Yr 7Natasha Edward Yr 10
Ereeny Fanous Yr 7Jason Israil Yr 9Mena Youssef Yr 10Kirollos Hanna Yr 10
Holy Zaki Yr 7Marlina Boules Yr 10Alexandra Assad Yr 12Marcus Boctor Yr 12
Joshua Amalaraj Yr 8Kyrmina Henein Yr 10Peter Ghobreal Yr 12Ryna Prasad Yr 12
Anthony Bishay Yr 10Sarah Matthew Yr 10Theodora Ramzy Yr 12David Nasr Yr 12
Kirollos Farhoud Yr 10Milkica Atanasova Yr 12Michael Kamal Yr 12
Anthony Nakhil Yr 12Charles Tawfik Yr 12

Jacob Ghobreal Yr 12

e-Safety Information Link for Parents

Especially with the current increased use of devices and computers our children are using, it is now even more important for parents to know what may or can be occuring when you're not physically supervising in your child's work/study/leisure space.

The link below is from the Australian Government eSafety Commissioner to support parents and I urge all parents to take 10 minutes to view.  

7 - 12 Merits and Demerits

7 - 12 Merits and Demerits

Uniform Shop Update - August

Monthly Quote for Personal Growth