Transitioning to St Mark's in Secondary School

We interviewed Year 11 student Daisy Wang on her experience transitioning to St Mark's from another school years ago. We know it can be a daunting thought for families but Daisy has become part of the community with ease and achieved some great results. Thanks to Daisy for her openness and willingness to share with other students who may be considering a move in Secondary School.

What year were you when you joined St Mark’s?

I joined St Mark’s when in Year 8 (2019).

How is St Mark’s different to the school you came from?

There is a bigger cohort and students are very kind to each other.

What is it like studying at St Mark’s?

The teachers are very nice and they are always there to help. The resources are there for students to access easily.

What was it like on the first day at St Mark’s?

I had a school buddy to take care of me and show me around the school, and she invited me to sit with her friend group on the first day. The student was really nice and we became friends ever since. As most people know that my English wasn’t as good, so they were really patient with explaining stuff to me and the teachers checked up on me multiple times to see how I was doing. Obviously the first day is normally overwhelming but I met lots of teachers who were willing to help me, answer my questions, and the students were really nice to me specially with explaining stuff I needed to know about this school.

What was it like on the first week or first term at St Mark’s?

I thought it was going to be a chaotic week but honestly I adapted the new environment very well because of my teachers and students’ supports.

What was it like in the first Year at St Mark’s?

It was a wonderful year, even though English isn’t my first language, I still felt the warm welcomes from the St Mark’s community.

How long did it take to make friends?

I made lots of friends during the first week at St Mark’s as the students were truly nice to me.

What are your subject passions?

My favourite subjects have to be drama and music, even though I am not doing music. I am currently studying Human biology ATAR, Biology ATAR, English as An Additional Language/Dialect ATAR, Maths Methods ATAR, Chemistry ATAR, Drama ATAR and Chinese first language ATAR (which I am doing outside the school).

How would you describe the ATAR pathway at St Mark’s?

It is definitely not easy but the teachers and the after-school helps definitely made things less complicated.

Do you have any academic achievements you are proud of here so far?

I am really proud that I was in all of the extension classes last year in Year 10 as it wasn’t easy for me to learn a new language and use this language to study, but I still managed to be one of the academic excellence students.

Do you have any achievements you are proud of outside of the academic side?

I was the International Student of the Year in 2021 which is something I am really proud of.

What are the highlight experiences of your time at St Mark’s so far?

Being involved in School productions, performance nights etc and definitely the OAS camp in Year 10. I got very close with the people in my camp group.

What have been some of your favourite subjects you have studied whilst at St Mark’s?

Definitely drama and music certs. Music certs allow students to perform multiple times with multiple songs, they were definitely the highlights of my school year.

How have teachers supported you?

My teachers supported me a lot. I loved my Year 10 teachers, all of them were really nice - Mrs. McClelland, Miss Guelfi… to be honest there are so many teachers I like, they are all there for you when you need anything.

How would you describe your overall experience at St Mark’s?

I love St Mark’s, the students, the people and the environment… the experience at St Mark’s is definitely something worth remembering in my lifetime and something that I will tell my family and friends about back in China.

Did you have any hobbies outside of your studies?

I like playing my piano and my guitar.

What career goal(s) do you have?

I want to become a wildlife veterinarian as I love animals, especially tigers and lions.

Thank you Daisy for taking the time to help us understand your transition into St Mark's. We wish you every success for your studies and goals outside of the classroom too. It is wonderful to have you within our St Mark's community.