St Mary's Coptic Orthodox College

Newsletter Issue No. 8

Get to know our Staff

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Big Sister Experience

The Big Sister Experience was a comprehensive, day-long wellbeing workshop aimed at our female students from Year 5 to Year 10. Each year level individually engaged in a workshop titled ‘Exploring Self’, delving into crucial topics including self-love, self-care, body image, nutrition, and fostering a sense of sisterhood. The girls gained valuable insights into the significance of self-care and self-love, along with practical strategies for implementing these principles into their lives. Building on that, they explored techniques for developing a positive body image and took part in a variety of activities designed to boost their self-esteem. The workshop also featured a module on nutrition, highlighting the importance of balanced eating and debunking common misconceptions about what constitutes a 'healthy' diet.

To conclude the day, the girls participated in activities aimed at strengthening their bonds and embracing the concept of being 'sisters in Christ', where they uplift and support one another. All students who participated in the workshops filled out pre and post surveys. The findings demonstrated a notable improvement in both wellbeing and psychoeducational outcomes across all covered subjects. The workshop received an average rating of 8.9/10 across all year levels, indicating their enjoyment. Students also gave an average rating of 8.8/10 for the usefulness of the topics discussed.

Below are some comments from students reflecting on their experience, as well as a comment by a lead presenter from the company:

“Today gave me a very big impact” - Yr 5 student

“Love your program, keep up the good work. Please come back again and teach us more, I enjoyed it so much thank you.” - Yr 5 student 

“This has made me feel more confident” - Yr 7 student .

“It really made me aware of my self worth” - Yr 8 student 

“I really enjoyed this workshop. It was fun, creative, made me feel really happy the entire time and very loved.” Yr 9 student 

“I just wanted to say this workshop has been so good it’s the absolute best probably my favourite workshop we’ve ever done and I just loved this so much.” - Yr 9 student

“I really enjoyed it I felt like we were all sisters and felt really Safe and comfortable.” - Yr 9 student 

“Thank you for your lecture, we learnt a lot about our mental and physical well-being and we’d love to have another one in the near future.” - Yr 10 student

Yous made such a good impact today it really brightened up my mood and i would definitely use all the info and advice i got today” - Yr 8 student.

"This past week working with the girls across Year 5 to 10 has been an absolutely incredible experience. It has been a heartwarming reminder to see the immense joy that comes from the program, solidifying the spark and passion in us facilitators to witness the changes made in each cohort day after day. Their enthusiasm, growth, and positive energy are a testament to this school and the energy these girls exude is truly inspiring." - Molly Back, Big Sister Facilitator.

Nardine Saad

Wellbeing Officer 

Foundation's Orientation Day

Thursday 9th November was an exciting morning for all our new Foundation students, as it was their first orientation visit to the college.

The transition from kindergarten to school is an exciting and important time for all children. It is a great way for each child to begin to feel comfortable in the St Mary’s Coptic Orthodox College environment.

This year, the college orientation program involved three on-site sessions during Term 4. These sessions allowed the children to meet all the Foundation teachers and Head of Primary, visit the classrooms they will be learning in and build positive relationships with their new peers.

Our first session also allowed all parents to meet other new families and hear about our college and what they can do to help their child in their first year of school.

Thank you to all parents and students who attended the Foundation Orientation days. We look forward to working positively in partnership with all parents and students as they begin their exciting educational journey.

Kate Tsiolas

Head of Curriculum (Primary)

Foundation Teacher

Better Bodies

On Tuesday 28th November, the Foundation students and their Year 5 buddies all set off to Bounce in Heidelberg to celebrate and further develop the friendships that they have formed throughout the year.

The Better Buddies program is embraced at St Mary’s Coptic Orthodox, as it enables the younger students at the college to feel safe and cared for while older students feel valued and respected.

During our experience, all students had a wonderful day, and the teachers were very impressed with how well all students participated in the activities and cared for each other.

What a great way to end the year!

Kate Tsiolas

Head of Curriculum (Primary)

Foundation Teacher

Fr. Tadros' lunch time with students

On Friday the 1st of December, students were given the opportunity to have lunch with our wonderful principal, Father Tadros. Students from all ages enjoyed eating their lunch and asking Abouna many questions about God, Heaven and the Church. Students also had the opportunity to ask Abouna some more personal questions, to get to know Father Tadros even more! It was lovely to see everyone smiling and enjoying their time together.  

Science Habitat Diorama - Year 3

Engaging with biological science and exploring the needs of living things, students planned and created a design of a habitat diorama for their chosen animal, with animals ranging from penguins and polar bears, to African wild dogs, rhinos, lions and camels, to Tasmanian devils and koalas, to pandas and bears, to cows and butterflies...The list is endless and overflows like the creativity of our students!

They studied the four basic needs of a living thing: air or oxygen, shelter, water, and food or other types of energy such as thermal energy from the sun. As part of their project, they were required to ensure that their habitat contained all these needs, a habitat for their animal to help it 'survive'.

Excitement filled our Year Three classrooms as students used various materials to create their habitat diorama, with tissue paper and cellophane, foam and cotton balls, coloured paper and markers, PVA glue and sticky tape decorating our classrooms, with memories made and a love for learning at the centre.

The Year Three Teacher,


Christmas Carols at SMCOC

🎄📚 Celebrating the Conclusion of Academic Year 2023 & Christmas Carols at SMCOC! 🎉🎶

On Friday the 7, December SMCOC had a double Celebrations! We wrapped up the academic year 2023 and got into the festive spirit with Christmas carols! Our college community – staff and students – came together to rejoice in the achievements of the year and spread some Christmas cheer. Let's celebrate the wonderful moments we've shared and the memories we've created.

🎁🎼🎅🏼#SMCOC2023Finale #ChristmasCarolsCelebration #CommunityJoy 🌲🎵🥳

Wishing You All a Merry Christmas and Safe Summer Holiday

St Mary's Coptic Orthodox College

19-35 Thorpdale Avenu, Coolaroo 3048

03 - 9301 0999