Frequently Asked Questions

Find the answers to your questions in our FAQs

 

Enrolment and Fees

Applications for enrolments opened on Wednesday 1 December, 2021.
Applications will close on Thursday 31 March, 2022.

Offers will go out at the end of April 2022.

All future enrolments are subject to availability.

Learn how to enrol

Applications for enrolments for 2024 are NOT open.
Enrolment applications are normally taken in December or January the year prior to enrolment (i.e. December 2022/January 2023).

Please check our website and/or social media channels for updates near the end of the year.

Learn how to enrol

The Santa Sophia Catholic Learning Community accommodates around 2,000 learners in purpose-built, contemporary learning spaces which include:

  • Early Learning Centre
  • K-12
  • Out of School Hours Care (and Vacation Care)
  • A learning needs hub, and
  • Post-school pathways with tertiary and business partners.

This is a community of learning for all - teachers, students, families and the wider community.

Yes there is. Run by Ambrose Centres, a social enterprise of the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta Services Limited (CDPSL), our School Age Care (Activities Club) provides active, engaging and fun programs before and after school, and during school holidays. Before School Care starts at 6:30am and After School Care runs to 6pm.

Learn more

The College’s foundation principal is Mr Mark De Vries. Mark has been working in Catholic education for more than 30 years. He was previously the Director of Learning and Pedagogy at St John XXIII Catholic College Stanhope Gardens. Mark is thrilled to have this role and is keen to meet prospective Santa Sophia parents.

A welcome message from our Principal

All children and families are welcome to apply for enrolment at Catholic schools in the Diocese of Parramatta (CEDP).

When spaces are limited, preference is given based on the CEDP enrolment policy.

Unlike government schools, CEDP schools do not have ‘school zones’ that dictate which schools you can apply for, so you can apply to enrol your child in any of our schools, regardless of where you reside. Contact your preferred school for more information on enrolment.

  Learn more about Catholic schools in the Diocese of Parramatta

Our classes are mixed ability. Differentiation to cater for all levels of students is planned for in lessons. Data is collected to ensure students are achieving growth in their learning.

A quality Catholic education is affordable and accessible for every family!

Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta (CEDP) is committed to providing an affordable quality Catholic education for families. We understand the financial demands placed on household budgets and do everything we can to keep fees low.

No child who meets the enrolment criteria will be refused enrolment or disadvantaged because of a family’s financial circumstance.

School fees in the Diocese of Parramatta are broken into three areas:

  1. Annual Diocesan Tuition Fees set by the Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta
  2. Annual Diocese of Parramatta Diocesan Building Levy set by the Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta
  3. Service fees set by each school

Learn more about school fees and sibling discounts

Enrolments of non-Australian citizens may only be considered after implementation of the existing general enrolment policy for the Diocese and at no time will they be enrolled in preference to an eligible local student. Systemic schools in the Diocese of Parramatta are able to offer enrolment to non-Australian citizens providing that they have a valid visa (the exception being subclass 571) and:

  • capacity exists within the school in the relevant year group
  • preference in enrolment is given to overseas students from practising Catholic families over those from other families
  • non-Catholic students enrolled and their guardians make a commitment to accept the ethos of the Catholic school and to participation by the student in all aspects of the Religious education of the school.

  Learn more about enrolling in Catholic Schools

Personalised plans will be transferred by the current Primary School to Santa Sophia. Further to this, the Diversity Team from Santa Sophia have met with the Diversity Teacher and/or Class Teacher at many local CEPD and DET schools to share important information regarding adjustments for students.

In such a big school we are often asked how we encourage respectful relationships between the younger and the older students (eg late primary vs high school) aside from your just our values. Is there anything practical being done (eg. special activities, events etc.)?

There are a number of ways we do that:

  • Explicitly teaching positive and respectful relationships, resilience and social skills through timetabled wellbeing lessons as well as through the Virtues programs
  • Peer Support will also commence in 2022 which will explicitly foster positive relationships between older students and younger students
  • Student Leadership activities and initiatives within the College and across the 3 schools will also be designed to support these positive relationships
  • Rewarding positive behaviours through our PBS4L stamp system and certificate system to recognise behaviours that are demonstrating our school values.

Learn more about student wellbeing

Academic difficulties are supported through the Diversity Team who work with class teachers and students to adjust the curriculum to be more accessible to these students.

Social and emotional difficulties are supported through the Wellbeing Team and may include small group programs (such as social skills groups, anxiety groups), individual school counselling and mentoring and individualised wellbeing and behaviour support plans.

Learn more about student wellbeing

General Information

To assist in the management of the school. Primary and Secondary schools will have staggered bell times.

 
School of Curiosity (K-4) School of Connect (5-8) School of Challenge (9-12)
Before School Supervision 7.30 - 8.00am 7.45am - 8.15am 7.45am - 8.15am
Roll / Homeroom  8.00 - 8.10am 8.15 - 8.30am 8.15 - 8.30am
Session 1 8.10 - 9.10am 8.30 - 9.30am 8.30 - 9.30am
Recess (Yrs 5-12) 9.30 - 10.00am 9.30 - 10.00am
Session 2 9.10 - 10.10am 10.00 - 11.00am
10.00 - 11.00am
Recess (K-4) 10.10 - 10.40am
 
Session 3 10.40 - 11.40am 11.00 - 12.00pm
11.00 - 12.00pm
Lunch (Yrs 5-12) 12.00 - 12.30pm
12.00 - 12.30pm
Session 4 11.40 - 12.40pm 12:30 - 1.30pm 12:30 - 1.30pm
Lunch (K-4) 12.40 - 1.20pm (10 mins eating time)
Session 5 1.20 - 2.20pm 1.30 - 2.30pm 1.30 - 2.30pm
 After School Supervision 2.20 -2.50pm  2.30 - 3.00pm  2.30 - 3.00pm

No students should be on school grounds before 7.30am and after 3.00pm, unless they are part of Ambrose Activities - Before/After School Care for K-6. 

You can also find the school bell times in our school handbook.

Western Sydney LHD comes to Santa Sophia Catholic College a number of times a year to provide The School Vaccination Program.

Currently their vaccination program includes HPV & dTpa vaccines.

 

Visitors are now allowed on site for important school events or programs.

Parents are not allowed past the school gates unless invited. 

The best parking options for visitors are on the adjoining streets. There are many available spots with a 1 hour limit during school hours along Lakefront Crescent, Fontana Drive and Red Gables Road. There is no on-site parking for parents and at no time during school hours are parents permitted to park in the staff parking.

The Primary (K-4) Kiss and Drop area is on Lakefront Crescent near Gate 1.

The Secondary (5-12) Kiss and Drop area is along Fontana Drive. Students MUST cross the road at the zebra crossing along Red Gables Rd and enter the school via Gate 6.

Where a parent has children in both School of Curiosity (K-4) and School of Connect (5-12) you can use the Kiss & Drop on Lakefront Crescent to drop off and pick them up together at the drive through for School of Curiosity.

If you are picking up siblings in K-4 and 5-12, you may use the K-4 Kiss and Drop area, however you must arrive after the 5-12 bell at 2:30pm.

  View new transport procedures for 2022

Bus Routes

Quick links: 

  • Click here for the Hillsbus timetable
  • Click here for the Busways timetables.

For further information, please use the Transport NSW Trip Planner which will assist you in determining which bus routes are available. 

Students catching the bus should enter the school via Gate 6 located on Fontana Drive.


School Travel Pass

The School Student Transport Scheme (SSTS) gives eligible school students free or subsidised travel between home and school.

You need to live a minimum distance from school to be eligible for a free school travel pass. The minimum distance varies according to the year/grade you are enrolled in, in that calendar year:

  • Years K to 2 (Infants): no minimum distance
  • Years 3 to 6 (Primary): 1.6 kilometres straight line distance or 2.3 kilometres walking or further
  • Years 7 to 12 (Secondary): 2 kilometres straight line distance or 2.9 kilometres walking or further.

Students are required to have their opal cards on them each time they get on a bus. Students may be refused entry if they do not have a valid opal card. Hillsbus Supervisors frequent these services on a regular basis. If students lose their opal card they need to apply for a replacement immediately.

Students will need to tap on, each time they get on the bus. Tapping on ensures that NSW transport is monitoring student numbers. If students do not tap on we may lose services.


Bus procedures

2:20pm

K-4 dismissal

K-4 bus students assemble at Gate 6 according to bus number

2:30pm

5-11 dismissal


All K-11 Express bus students board the buses to Rouse Hill Town Centre

All other Y5-11 bus students assemble in Hall according to bus number

2:30 -
2:55pm

For each bus number::

K-4 students are called from Gate 6 and are seated on the bus first

5-11 students are called from the hall and board the buses

Students are encouraged to ride their bikes and scooters to school.

There are 252 bicycle parking rails located in the school grounds. Students riding/walking to school should enter the school via Gate 1 (morning) and exit at Gate 3 (afternoon) located on Lakefront Crescent and park their bike/scooter in an available parking rail within school grounds next to Block B.

When students arrive at school on the front concrete paths outside the site (before entering through Gate 1), they must get off their bikes/scooters and walk them into the school grounds. RIDING IS NOT PERMITTED IN SCHOOL GROUNDS.

Students must ensure that they are wearing a helmet whilst riding to school and we ask that parents enforce this rule. Any student caught without a helmet may be banned from riding for a period of time.

Students are responsible for providing their own locks, the school will take no responsibility for stolen items where locks were not provided.

We ask that parents have a discussion with your child around bike safety.

  Safety on wheels - Information for parents and carers.

There will be times where parents and carers will need to pick up students during the day. However, we encourage parents to make any appointments outside school hours where possible.

We ask that parents send a note to school with the student advising time that they will be picked up. If it is an unexpected occurrence, we ask that parents ring ahead so that we can organise for the student to attend the office.

Parents needing to pick up their children due to appointments or sickness need to go to GATE 1 and ring the buzzer and head to the Administration Office.

Visitors will need to park on the adjoining streets. There are many available spots around the school but no on-site parking for parents

The device requirements for students are:

The guidelines found on the   CEDP BYOD portal are provided and managed by CEDP so that all parents in the diocese have access to our preferred suppliers if they wish to.

Each school may also give additional requirements to help support their learning pedagogy and technical environment.

Our Santa Sophia Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) requirements are available on the handbook page of our website under the ‘Technology’ tab. You can be sure that you are looking at our BYOD requirements if the document has our letterhead attached.

We ask that all families provide a BYOD device that runs MacOS, meaning that an iPad, Chromebook or Windows PC device would not be suitable.

 

Microsoft Office or any other software

Purchasing a Microsoft Office licence is not necessary as the diocese provides every student access to the Google for Education Suite, which includes a variety of collaborative tools such as Google Drive (Cloud-based storage), Gmail, and Google Docs.


Anti-virus/malware protection

Anti-virus/malware protection is at the discretion of the family, however, the software used cannot interfere with network settings or enforce a VPN connection.


What if students need a more tactile textbook?

Students will be provided with an online package. The hard copy equivalent could be purchased if your child needs this option.


Ensure safe online learning

We provide Internet access through the Diocesan Internet filtering service zScaler.

The content filtering provided by zScaler actively restricts access to inappropriate web material on school devices. This assists schools in confirming that devices are used only for educational purposes. We ask that VPN software or other network monitoring software isn’t installed as it can conflict with our local filtering service, causing the BYOD device to be unable to access the college network. Parents must note, the Internet filtering rules on your device will not apply outside the CEDP network. e.g. at home or public Wi-Fi and hotspot locations.

  • Compass
  • Seesaw (K-4 only)
  • Facebook/Instagram
  • Website

The main form of communication with parents will occur via the Compass Parent Portal.

Important letters will be e-mailed to all parents on Compass, and posts will appear within the News Feed. Download the Compass School Manager application for FREE from the App Store (iPhone users) or from Google Play (Android users).

The Seesaw App is a form of communicating learning to parents of K-4 students.

Other updates and news will be featured on our website and social media channels (mainly Facebook or Instagram)

Learn more about parents as partners.

Uniforms

Due to COVID-19 restrictions there will be no uniform fittings for students starting school in 2022 at this stage.

We have however provided a size chart and recommended uniform list to help parents choose the right size and amount of uniforms required to start the school year.

Learn more about uniform requirements and making orders

Yes, you may purchase shoes that match our uniform standards from the shops. Students may use the specialist areas of Science and Technology which require WHS regulations to be followed. This includes enclosed laced shoes with no raised heel.

School of Curiosity (K-4)

from Monday 7 March

Kindergarten: Monday & Tuesday
Year 1: Monday & Wednesday
Year 2: Monday & Wednesday
Year 3: Monday & Wednesday
Year 4: Tuesday & Thursday 

 

School of Connect (5-8)

Year 5 and 6: Tuesday
Year 7 and 8: every Thursday

 

School of Challenge (9-12)

Year 9 and 10: every Thursday

(Year 11 will not participate in sports in their timetable)

 

Building and Facilities

Most classes for each year group will be on the same level, with the exception of classes in specialist areas such as science, TAS, Art and PDHPE.

During recess and lunch, there are areas outside the classrooms that students may use.

Restricted lift access can be granted to any students with medical conditions that prevent them from using the stairs.

No. Students' bags have a dedicated space to be hung and security cameras ensure that belongings are safe and secure.

Yes, we have a 4 story Knowledge Hub, with a general collection for borrowing which caters for the range of diverse needs of students from each of the Schools. We are open on all levels in both the recess and lunch breaks.

Level 2 for K-4 has settled social activities including LEGO, games, colouring and reading.
Level 3 for Yrs 5-11 is a space for settled social games, including chess, UNO, puzzles, board and card games.
Level 4 is a quiet area for Years 5-11.

Learn more about our library

Learning and Teaching

There are not necessarily 'courses'. However, we do have after school Maths help and as the school grows, and we envisage there will be further after school activities specific to student needs later in 2022.

On average classes will have 60-64 students with 2 teachers. Larger classes would have a third teacher or teachers aide to assist.

This has not yet been decided, however, will be considered. It could be part of a program to extend students who are achieving academic excellence.

The language studied in Year 8 is Japanese. If students are interested in studying a language other than Japanese you may wish to enrol in The Saturday School of Languages.

Learn more

Is there any leniency with regard to homework?
Does it need to be handed in/completed daily or does it have a due date?
Just wondering how it works when children have after school activities?

Everything you need to know can be found in our   Homework Policy

School is supervised till 2:50pm. If a teacher runs a supervised activity or an after school homework club is organised you will be advised.

Santa Sophia Catholic College is not a registered training organisation (RTO). We are a delivery site on behalf of the Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta VET RTO. The CEDP VET RTO supports us in our delivery of VET qualifications at the College.

Students joining Santa Sophia in Year 8 2022 will not obtain the full Cert II in Skills for Work and Vocational Pathways qualification but they could be eligible for a statement of attainment.

We help students in a number of ways:

  • Scheduling additional teaching personnel in classes:
    In 2022 an additional Diversity Teacher will be scheduled across Maths and English classes for Years 5-8. This will allow for additional masterclasses and for a focus on building foundational skills in literacy and numeracy.

  • Scheduling Teachers Aides in classes:
    Teacher’s Aides are scheduled across a range of classes to support teaching and learning for all students.

  • Differentiation and Adjustments:
    Class teachers differentiate the learning to provide access points for all students in the lesson. Our pedagogy allows us to differentiate by directing students to work at the Surface, Deep or Transfer level. Furthermore, teachers will adjust work based on the students' needs. For example, providing additional scaffolding, simplifying language, incorporating the use of assistive technologies etc. Families are involved in conversations about adjustments via the personalised planning process.

  • Intervention:
    The school runs literacy and numeracy based interventions.

In 2020 Santa Sophia introduced a Gifted and Talented Program which ran outside of class time. This is currently being reviewed with a plan to profile students and use this information to determine specific subjects and specific content areas in which to run individualised projects to stretch nominated students.

Sporting Opportunities

At the College we participate in a wide range of sports. While we offer competitive sport competitions and pathways we also offer recreational sporting activities at school through our weekly timetables Sports and Activity session on Thursday afternoons 1:15pm-2:15pm.

There are also lunchtime/recess games/competitions held throughout the year for a variety of sports that all students are invited to attend.

Students also participate in Swimming, Cross Country and Athletics carnivals. The Parramatta Diocese Secondary Schools Sports Council (PDSSSC) provides the avenue for students, depending on their ability, the chance to play in competition against other schools in the diocese during inter-school gala days or to trial for PDSSSC teams/squads to compete in NSW Combined Colleges events against other Catholic schools students across NSW.

Learn more about Sport and PDHPE

We do not yet participate in the Duke of Edinburgh Award however this is a program we hope to become involved with.

We do not have specific sports clubs affiliated with the school or with any external organisation.

There are a variety of inter-school sports competitions that the college regularly participate in.

Learn more about Sport and PDHPE

Absolutely! There are opportunities for a variety of representative sports through the PDSSSC (Secondary Sport) weekly seasonal competition and gala days.

Learn more about Sport and PDHPE

 

 

 

Santa Sophia Catholic College Box Hill School Tours

We’d love a chance to show you how learning works for young people at Santa Sophia Catholic College


We encourage parents to organise a time to tour our school, meet our staff and see our learning in action.

Learn more

 

 

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