Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox College - Newsletter

Volume 24 Edition 5 - June 2019

Welcome to St Mark's College eNewsletter

Head of College

It's difficult to believe that we have already approached the half way mark for 2019 - Year 11 has only one more term before they commence their HSC courses; Yr 12 have only one more term before they undertake their HSC exams! 

As we draw to the end of this half year, it’s appropriate to reflect:

1.        Our school has reached its maximum capacity, now only able to offer placements to external students if a current student/s withdraw in any particular cohort;

2.       Secondary and Primary Curriculum and Pastoral formats and initiatives are being implemented across the spectrum of Teacher Professional Development, Curriculum Processes, Staffing, Evaluation, Surveys, Leadership Development and Effectiveness and Maintenance Processes and Planning.

3.     The Tendering process for the construction of the new facilities is at its tail end of the process and will be completed, God willing, ready then for excavations and the building construction element to occur in July.

4.   Mid-Year HSC Lessons for Year 12 students.  Before the end of term, Mr Joseph will distribute to all Yr 12 students relevant Tutorial Days for various HSC lessons. 

Please understand that these sessions are not to cover new work, but are offered by individual Yr 12 staff, voluntarily sacrificing some of their break to reinforce concepts and content that will be of great assistance to each student.  These sessions are not compulsory for either Staff to undertake or students to attend, however from experience, the majority of subjects with respective students do take advantage of this offering if they are remaining in Sydney during the break. 

Therefore, we urge all parents of Yr 12 who are remaining in Sydney, to please take advantage again this year of this wonderful Service offered by our dedicated and committed staff.  Student attending are to be in full tracksuit sport uniform.

Much has been done and its great to acknowledge the wonderful work that goes on behind the scenes which oftentimes is not seen.  This work includes the Board members, the Teaching and Administrative Staff, the Parents and the various sub committees quietly working on specific projects – THANK YOU to all.

We look forward to seeing everyone for the commencement of Term 3 - Theotokos Term as follows:

Monday 22 July: Staff Professional Development Day "First Aid Compulsory Training"

Tuesday 23 July: K - 12 commence lessons

Wishing everyone a wonderful and enjoying mid-year break!  (I've included a b & w outline of the Icon of 'The Feast of the Holy Apostles' as the Apostles Fast commences soon on 17 June for you to copy, enlarge and print as a colouring-in session for your children during the upcoming break.)

From our College Chaplain: Rev Fr George Nakhil

The Rite of the Feast of Pentecost (Descent of the Holy Spirit)

One of the Seven Major Feasts of the Lord is the descending of the Holy Spirit on the disciples, known as Pentecost Day (Fiftieth day). On this day, the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples as tongues of fire, through which they were able to speak in different tongues and preach the news entrusted to them by our Lord Jesus Christ. This gift is the promise of the Father to the human race. After the Son reconciled the Father with the human race by giving Himself up as a sacrifice on the Holy Cross, and after giving our human body the capability of living with God through His Ascension, God the Father poured on us the grace and blessings of the Holy Spirit, allowing us to live by the Spirit with God while we’re still on earth. The feast is called “the Feast of Pentecost (Arabic: Ansara),” a Hebrew word that means, “feast.” Originally this day was a Jewish feast, which was one of their three major feasts: the festival of weeks, the first fruits of wheat harvest, and the festival of ingathering at the turn of the year (cf. Ex. 34:22). 

In the New Testament, the Church celebrates this day by commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit on the disciples: “From heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability” (Acts. 2:2-4). 

In the Dioscolia (chapter 31), it is written: “After ten days from the Ascension, let there be a great feast, for on this day, in the third hour, our Lord Jesus Christ sent us the Paraclete, and we were filled with His gifts and spoke in new tongues.”

Also, in the Canons, it is written: “Do not work on Pentecost day, for the Holy Spirit descended on the believers through Christ.” This day commemorates the institution of the Church and its true beginning, and it marks the beginning of the true service and the preaching of the Apostles and disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ. For this reason, the day has a special place in the life and rites of the Church.


Upcoming Dates

  • TERM 2 - 2019

Tuesday 11 JuneP&F Meeting 6 - 7 pm College Hall
Friday 28 JuneLessons Conclude K-12
  • TERM 3 - 2019

Mon 22 JulyStaff Professional Development Day
Tue 23 July

Theotokos Term 3 Commences K-12

Technology updates

Bring Your Own Chromebook ( BYO-CB )

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We would like to invite all the students in Years 7 & 8 to participate in the Bring Your Own Chromebook Program which commenced in Term 2 - 2019. At this stage no students are obliged to join; however, if you wish for your child to participate in this exciting move, please access the following web page for further information which includes our policies and agreement. 

St Mark's Bring Your Own Chromebook - Page 


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. 

Best regards,

Remon Metira

IT Manager 

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Curriculum updates - Mr Peter Joseph

Curriculum News Years 7 - 12

2020 Subject Selection Expo

A letter was issued to parents last week regarding the commencement of 2020 Subject Selections. This applies to current Year 8 and Year 10 students. The Subject Selection Expo will take place on Monday 29th of July in the College Hall. Times are:

Year 9 (2020) – 5:45-6:45pm

Year 11 (2020) – 7:15-8:30pm

At the event, students and parents will listen to key information impacting the student's study completion. Following this, students and parents will have the opportunity to approach faculty stalls, see work samples and ask questions to teachers. 

HSC Minimum Standards Online Tests

All Year 10 students in NSW are required to meet the HSC Minimum Standards via a series of online tests. Any Year 11 student who has not currently met the standard will also need to reattempt the test. Information will be communicated regarding scheduling dates in due course. 

Semester One Reports

Semester One Reports for Years 7-11 will be posted home during the Winter School Holidays. Please look out for these in the post. 

Primary School

Primary School News - Mrs Silvia Nada

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Term 2 is off to a great start with the Easter Hat Parade taking place, Easter card competition and many more activities that will see us nearing the end of Term 2.

This term you will be receiving the Semester 1 Report and your child’s portfolio consisting of all the assessments and work samples. Please inform your child’s teacher if you require a meeting. Parent teacher interviews are in Term 1 and 3, however, you are always encouraged to contact your child teacher.

Playground rules and expectations

The playground has been structured by the Primary staff and the assistance of the SRC students so that there are designated areas for the children. It consists of the following:

  • K-2 Area  set up with appropriate games.
  • G  Grass area where the students from year 3-6 can play soccer games in year groups.
  • Quiet Area is set up with reading materials appropriate to k-6 , puzzles, magnets and colouring in.
  • Amphitheatre is set up with giant chess, board games and handball court.
  • Multiple handball courts for year 3-6.

The Primary school has a hands off / no rough play rule.

The expectation is for all students to show respect for the environment and for each other. Please reinforce this at home. The students are encouraged to speak to the teacher on duty if they feel upset about something or someone so that the matter is dealt with appropriately. No student is encouraged to take up matters using violence or verbal altercations.

Reading In the Primary school:

Students in year 3 to 6 complete a Literacy Pro test which places them on a lexile (reading level). This determines the students’ comprehension level, fluency and speed. Please encourage your child to read regularly by signing the homework reding log and borrowing books from the library.

Students in Kindy to year 2 have a reading program where they are assigned books and comprehension. Please make sure your child is using the program regularly as it is proven to improve their reading fluency and comprehension.

Reading is vital component in improving the students’ Literacy as a whole. Your support and encouragement is highly appreciated.


The reinforcement of being kind, compassionate and loving towards each other is highlighted and modelled to the students throughout the day. Please encourage your child to speak up if they encounter any problems to allow teachers to guide the children better in different situations. As parents you can also assist by speaking to your child about their day and their friends at school.

Teaching and learning

All the students are taught from programs which have been thoroughly prepared by the expert teachers at St Mark’s. The programs are differentiated to suit the levels of the different learners in the class. Please do not hesitate to speak to your child’s classroom teacher regarding your child’s progress.

Parents & Friends News

All parents are welcome to attend the upcoming P & F Meeting scheduled for TUESDAY, 11 June to be held in the College Hall between 6 - 7 pm.  At this meeting you will be updated on all matters regarding the recent Mothers' Day fundraising event and the plans thus far for the events being considered and prepared for the remainder of the year.

In other exciting news, by the Grace of God, and with the blessings of H.G Bishop Daniel, St Mark’s College will be holding their annual P&F Dinner on Sunday 8th of September, We invite you and the whole family to join us for a Harbour Cruise, including buffet dinner, drinks, some live entertainment and plenty of  Sydney Harbour views.  Early bird tickets will be available for purchase online soon. Further details will be shared in due time. For the latest updates, please be sure to follow us on the P&F Facebook Page @SMC.PandF. Thank you for your support and we look forward to seeing you at the Harbour Cruise dinner to support our children and our school! 

Volunteer - Soldering Demonstration required...

Our Science Technology Assistant is seeking a volunteer to demonstrate how to safely un-solder and solder simple electronic circuits. The College already obtained the soldering gun etc.  If you are available during school hours especially on Tuesdays after 12.30pm and can volunteer your time, please contact me on