St Mark’s has grown from humble beginnings in 1986 to be a thriving educational community of approximately 1580 students from Kindergarten to Year 12. The School employs nearly 200 staff, including teachers, education assistants, music tutors and administrative, grounds and maintenance staff. The School’s Christian ethos and values promote a positive work environment and a culture which attracts and retains high quality staff by fostering professionalism, commitment, loyalty and strong pastoral care.
The first two Principals, Mrs Barbara Godwin and Mr Tony Stopher, led wisely and strongly during the first 27 years and together with the School Council they have left a remarkable legacy. The academic ethos of the School remains paramount, with increasing focus on catering for high achievers and gifted and talented students. Although the School is quietly understated in promoting itself, places for enrolment at St Mark’s are highly sought and often difficult to secure.
The School's Strategic Plan was launched early in 2015, with our three strategic priorities for the next five years: (1) raising our academic ethos and profile; (2) increasing our focus on the arts, creativity and innovation; and (3) connecting meaningfully with the Indian Ocean Rim and becoming more international in our perspective.
Unlike our overall School Improvement Plan, which encompasses all aspects of school life, the strategic plan deliberately focuses only on the three strategic priorities for 2015 to 2019. Together with our long-term Master Plan, launched last year, and our 10 Year Financial Plan, this new strategic plan will steer a course for us in our quest for continuous school improvement. The School’s Master Plan will ensure the continued development of contemporary learning spaces for the 21st Century, set amidst pleasant, open grounds.
St Mark’s facilities reflect those of a modern yet mature School, with the School currently in the early stages of a projected fifty million dollar building program over a ten year period. The first element of the program is the addition of new facilities for the Primary School. These facilities opened in early 2017. The new spaces allow the School to accommodate a third class in Years 2, 3 and 4.
The most significant project in Phase 1 of the building program is the construction of the new Alan Cadby Senior Academic Centre. Work is progressing well, and we look forward to its opening in 2018. The Senior Academic Centre will house students in Years 9 to 12.
Following the completion of the Senior Academic Centre, the School Council and School Executive have chosen to focus on the proposed relocation and expansion of the Early Learning Centre. We are hopeful that this facility will be constructed in the vicinity of the existing tennis courts near Whitfords Avenue and will probably accommodate four classes of Kindergarten, Pre-Primary and Year 1 students. This will allow many more families to enter St Mark’s earlier. It is hoped that the new Early Learning Centre will open in 2021.
A commitment to developing the ‘whole person’ is at the core of a St Mark’s education through a diverse and enriching set of learning experiences including distinctive programs in the arts, sport, outdoor education and service to the community. My hope is that St Mark’s students will be typified by their compassion, their resilience, their pursuit of excellence, and their sense of community and global responsibility. The Christian values of the School are central to all of this, and the two great commandments to love God and to love one’s neighbour as oneself underpin the strong relationships between students, parents and staff. This ethos permeates the fabric of the St Mark’s community, creating a safe and happy place in which to work and learn.
Mr Cameron Herbert
Dip.Tch., B.Ed., M.Ed., P.Grad.Cert.Bus., Grad.Cert.Ed.Admin., M.A.C.E.L.