Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox College - Newsletter

Volume 25 Edition 5 - September 2020

Welcome to Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox College eNewsletter

From the Head of College

HSC 2020

Regardless of the circumstances, 2020 has definitely been a 'memorable' year in more ways than one commencing with nationwide  drought and bush fires, followed by major floods and destruction and quickly on to a world-wide Pandemic with COVID-19 affecting every aspect of our once 'normal lives and routines'.  Suffice to say we are all experiencing first hand what living in history feels like and reflecting on the impact that these changes will have in future years.  

Like all other Yr 12 students, the Class of 2020 will indeed have much to reflect on as they complete their formal studies towards sitting their final HSC exams during October and November.  As has been made very evident throughout recent weeks on news and media announcements, school events normally held to celebrate this chapter of Yr 12 life have been on hold, or have been adjusted and continue to do so according to the health advice and current restrictions in place.  SMCOC has endeavoured to meet all required steps and recently announced that it's usual Valedictory Liturgy & Graduation Ceremony that was to be held on Thursday 17 September (without parents as then was required) has now been moved to Monday 16 November (now with 2 x parent) as permitted by the latest Health NSW Advice received on Monday 7 Sep, ensuring that it is regulated, monitored and planned according to the required procedures of Health NSW Guidelines and observing all health and social distancing measures.  To have maintained the original event without the student's parents attending would not only have been heartbreaking for each parent, but also depriving all on witnessing, enjoying and feeling the special pride and joy in seeing their beloved child reach this stage of their life after so many sacrifices and effort on their part.

Yr 12 students instead will still conclude their school requirements on Thursday 17 September however will spend Thursday with each other and their Yr 12 Coordinator Miss Abdelsayed and other staff on an organised Activities & Recreation Day at a park venue to be advised. On Friday morning 18 Sep during Periods 1 & 2, a special student only Yr 12 liturgy will be conducted by Fr George and following this, Yr 12 will then  depart to commence their individual 4 x weeks preparations and study for their upcoming exams from Tuesday 20 October.

Building & Construction Update

Late August 2020 saw the College receive it's final and formalized Complying Development Checklist (CDC)  allowing us to start construction above ground level for the remaining levels to completion stage (expected May 2021).  Since receiving the CDC, Project Coordination (Construction company) and all involved have worked in earnest with out excitement and anticipation growing daily as we see the progress moving upwards.  Some of the progress photos taken 26 Aug 20 follow.

Building and Construction Update

From the College Chaplain, Very Rev Fr George Nakhil

The Feast of Nayrouz (Coptic Year 1737AM)

The Coptic New Year is the very first calendar ever known by man on planet earth! It goes back 4241 BC. The word "Nayrouz" is of Coptic origin. The stem is niiaro-oo meaning: "the rivers."  The suffex "ouz" is Greek, thus, the word "Niiaroouz."  

Mid September is usually where the waters of the Nile River rises, so the prayers are lifted to God for the rising of the waters of the rivers for irrigation and ask for His blessings at the beginning (crown) of the Coptic Calendar year.

On celebrating this feast, three things are stirred in our minds.

- Honoring the millions of martyrs who sacrificed their lives as sacrifices of love for our Lord who sacrificed Himself on our behalf.

- Joyfully celebrating the beginning of the Coptic New Year.

- Expressing of our flamed eagerness for the last advent of Christ. Through the last two weeks before the feast the readings of the liturgies of the Eucharist concentrate of the Parousia of Christ.

At this time we declare our eagerness to share with the martyrs, a new Day which they attain in Paradise. They have the experience of brightness, through which the brightness of the glory of Christ shines on them;  they have no need of a sun nor a moon. There is no room for various seasons, nor of night and day. They are not in need of food. In the Feast of El-Nayrouz we are longing for the eternal life. 

In the feast of El-Nayrouz we behold the opened gates of Paradise. We see our Christ coming to carry us on the clouds, together with those who already entered the Paradise.   All of us will enjoy the divine throne in heaven.  

Excerpt from

NSW Governor's Message for all HSC Students

Upcoming Dates

Theotokos Term 3 - 2020


Wed 16    Yr 7 Immunisation

Thu 17     Early bird Liturgy 6 - 8 am

Fri 18       Period 1 & 2 Stage Liturgy -  Year 12

Thu 24    Early bird Liturgy 6 - 8 am

Fri 25        Period 1 & 2 Liturgy Year 8

Fri 25       Last Day of Term K - 12

Term 4


Mon 12    Staff Professional Development Day

Tue 13      Lessons commence K - 11

Thu 15      Early bird Liturgy 6 - 8 am

Fri 16        Period 1 & 2 Stage Liturgy Yr 11

Tue 20    HSC Examinations commence - held at St Thomas Indian                                 Orthodox Cathedral Hall

Thu 22    Early bird Liturgy 6 - 8 am

Fri 23       Period 1 & 2 Stage Liturgy Yr 11

Head of Teaching and Learning Mr Peter Joseph

Trial HSC Examinations

Year 12 students have now completed their Trial HSC examinations and are very much in HSC preparation mode. This is a hugely important time in a student's life and as a community, we pray for our Year 12 students. May God give Year 12 and Year 11 Accelerated the strength to know they can get through the challenges of the next two months. 
Subject Selections
As per the timelines issued at the beginning of Term 3, students have now completed Round Two of the subject selection process for Year 9 and Year 11 (2021). The College will communicate final allocations to students in the coming weeks. 

Study Skills Tips

The Power of Collaborative Learning.

Learning with other students can be a very powerful way to improve your learning outcomes. You might be sitting next to each other discussing what you are learning, or working together in a group online and sharing your screens, or giving a friend feedback about an assignment. There are many benefits to learning to work with other students.

MOTIVATION: Studying together can be much more motivating than studying on your own. Setting targets and working towards them together can help keep you focused on completing assignments. Often study done together is more active and engaging than studying on your own and this is much better for retention.

DEEPEN UNDERSTANDING:  Discussing with a friend, being able to bounce ideas off each other, ask each other questions – all of these activities will help strengthen your neural networks and deepen your understanding of what you are learning. This can help to develop our higher order thinking skills.

DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES: Sometimes we don’t realise that we are only looking at things in one particular way and there are different and diverse viewpoints to ours. Learning with a friend can help you see things in a different light and broaden your perspective. This can help develop our critical thinking skills. 

BUILD TEAMWORK SKILLS: Learning to cooperate, negotiate and problem solve with other people is a great skill to have in later life. By learning with other students you will have opportunities to learn to be a more active participant in group work and also develop communication and leadership skills.

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Education Perfect 2020 Summary

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