The Santa Sophia Parent Handbook contains all the information families need to know on the administration and running of our school.

Should you have any questions that are not answered in the Parent Handbook, please contact the school office on (02) 8801 6200 during school hours or send us an email.


At Santa Sophia Catholic College, we acknowledge that every child’s learning journey begins at home with parents being the first educators of their children. Parents will continue to influence their children’s learning and development during the school years and long afterwards. We are committed to making sure that your child continues to learn within our Catholic Learning Environment at Santa Sophia. This will involve our teachers getting to know your child well, how they learn best, how they can support your child, and what challenges your child to extend their learning. Great teachers can make a real difference to a child’s life, and we’ll make sure that your child’s teachers are using the very best research in teaching and learning and are supported by a College Leadership team with a passion for learning and caring. Let’s work together to build your child’s capacity to learn and develop.

Research demonstrates that effective schools have high levels of parental and community involvement. This involvement is strongly related to improved student learning, attendance and behaviour. Family involvement can have a major impact on student learning, regardless of the social or cultural background of the family. Family involvement in schools is therefore central to high quality education and is part of the core business of schools.

The future workplace and society in which your child will live and work will be different from our own, primarily because technology is changing everything. It’s imperative that we work together to prepare your child for this future. Our College Leadership team will need to work with our teachers transform the way in which they teach students including how students are assessed and reported on. Our teachers will be trained to use data to assist them in developing a personalised learning plan for each student, and to work collaboratively on helping students set goals, track their learning, use feedback to improve their learning and how to reflect and evaluate their own learning.

As well as maintaining a strong focus on literacy and numeracy, our college will focus on identifying and developing your child’s strengths as well as future skills such as communication, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and presentation.

In teaching your child:

  • We’ll work with your child to find out what interests him or her and show them ways to learn more
  • We’ll use real world problems to show how the skills we learn at school are relevant for life
  • We’ll work closely with your child as she or he learns to take responsibility for learning too.

We would take every opportunity to keep you informed about your child’s learning and how the learning works. We’ll keep you updated when your child is working well and when they’re not working well. I’m looking forward to working together with you!

Mark De Vries


College Hours

K-4:  8.10am - 2.25pm
5-12:  8:15am - 2:30pm

College Office Hours 7:30am - 3:30pm
Address 1 Lakefront Crescent, Gables NSW 2765
Telephone 02-8801-6200
Email santasophia@parra.catholic.edu.au
Website www.santasophiaboxhill.catholic.edu.au
College Principal Mr Mark De Vries


Head Office Catholic School Parramatta Diocese Office
Address 12 Victoria Road, Parramatta NSW 2150
Telephone 02-9840-5600
Website www.parra.catholic.edu.au


“It is not simply human wisdom, the fruit of knowledge and experience? The wisdom the Holy Spirit grants is the grace of being able to see things through God’s eyes. It is seeing the world, situations, problems, everything, with the eyes of God…. the heart of the man who is wise in this way has the taste, the flavour of God. We have the Holy Spirit inside us, in our heart; we can listen to it, or we can choose not to listen to it. If we listen to the Holy Spirit, He will teach us this way of wisdom, and will give us the wisdom to see through God’s eyes, to hear with God’s ears, to love with the heart of God, to judge with God’s judgment. This is the wisdom that the Holy Spirit gives us, and all of us can have this.” - Pope Francis

Our Mission

  • Santa Sophia Catholic College provides an innovative contemporary learning experience within a Catholic faith community.
  • Our values are Wisdom, Faith, Hope and above all Love.
  • Our motto is ‘Wisdom through faith, hope and love’.
  • Our school colours are fuchsia and navy.

Our Patron Saint

  • Saint Sophia the Martyr (died AD 137) was born in Italy.
  • Saint Sophia had three daughters: Faith, Hope and Charity, who were named after virtues mentioned by Saint Paul in 1 Corinthians 13.
  • Saint Sophia was venerated in the Eastern Orthodox Church on September 17th. Her Feast Day, for the Catholic Church, is 15th May.
  • The daughters are said to have been martyred during the reign of Hadrian (117-138). Guards took Sophia’s daughters one by one, from oldest to youngest and beat and tortured them to death in an attempt to force their mother Sophia, to renounce her faith in Christ.
  • Sophia buried her daughters’ bodies and remained by their graves for three days until she died herself.
  • The name Santa Sophia means ‘Holy Wisdom’ and can be traced back to Greece in the days of the Roman Empire.
  • In the city of Constantinople (Istanbul), on the same spot where Constantine, the first Christian Emperor, had built a basilica two hundred years earlier, the Emperor Justinian erected a monumental church in honour of ‘Hagia Sophia’ the Holy Wisdom in year 538.
  • The title ‘Hagia Sophia’ or Santa Sophia, has remained popular ever since.
  • In the Bible, Wisdom refers variously to smart decision making, wise teaching, a body of literature, a remarkable woman and the person of Jesus.
  • Wisdom is also presented as divine attribute: an aspect of God to be imitated by those made in God’s likeness.
  • The Holy Spirit imparts seven gifts to those fully initiated into the church; wisdom is at the top of that list, followed by understanding, knowledge, counsel, courage, reverence and wonder in God’s presence.
  • Wisdom comes first as the grace that assists in the practise of all other virtues.


The school crest for Santa Sophia Catholic College is imbued with the charism of Saint Sophia and the values of Wisdom, Faith, Hope and above all Love. It is a symbol that reflects the ‘Santa Sophia Way’.


The TREE is a symbol of growth and wisdom. It is a living thing - as we grow and develop we become more mature, our personality emerges and begins to flower and fruit ( a very feminine symbol - Santa Sophia was also a mother) providing a path to the wider world and life-long learning. It is also a symbol of renewal and rebirth.

WISDOM is the first and highest gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is often represented by flame or fire. The leaves on the tree are not drawn as a typical leaf but more as a stylised flame shape. If you look closely you will see the use of negative space to create a flame shape from the arms to the top leaf.


General Information

2023 Term Dates

Term 1

Monday, 30 January  -  MAI for K-6
Tuesday, 31 January  -  Year 5, 7, 11 and 12 commence
Wednesday, 1 February  -  Years 1-4, 6, 8, 9 and 10 commence
Thursday, 2 February  -  Kindergarten commences

Wednesday, 5 April - Last Day of Term

Staff Development Days - Friday 27 January, Monday 30 January, Thursday 6 April


Term 2
Monday, 24 April to 
Thursday, 29 June

Staff Development Day - Friday 30 June


Term 3
Monday, 17 July to 
Friday, 22 September


Term 4
Monday, 9 October to 
Thursday, 14 December

Staff Development Days - Friday 15 December, Monday 18 December, Tuesday 19 December


To assist in the management of the school, K-4 and 5-12 will have staggered bell times.

New Bell Times in 2023

School of Curiosity (K-4) School of Connect (5-8) School of Challenge (9-12)
Morning Supervision 7.40 - 8.10   7.45 - 8.15 7.45 - 8.15
Roll/Prayer Circle 8.10 - 8.15 Homeroom 8.15 - 8.27 8.15 - 8.27
    Travel time 8.27 - 8.30 8.27 - 8.30
Session 1 8.15 - 10.45 Session 1A 8.30 - 9.20 8.30 - 9.20

Session 1B

9.20 - 10.10 9.20 - 10.10
Recess 10.45 - 11.15 Recess  10.10 - 10.40 10.10 - 10.40
Session 2 11.15 - 12.55 Session 2A 10.40 - 11.30
10.40 - 11.30
    Session 2B 11.30 - 12.20 11.30 - 12.20
Lunch (seated eating) 12.55 - 1.05    
Lunch 1.05 - 1.35 Lunch 12.20 - 12.50 12.20 - 12.50
Session 3 1.35 - 2.25 Session 3A 12:50 - 1.40 12:50 - 1.40
    Session 3B  1.40 - 2.30 1.40 - 2.30
Afternoon Supervision 2.25 - 2.55    2.30 - 3.00  2.30 - 3.00


No students should be on school grounds before 7.40am and after 3.00pm, unless they are part of Ambrose Activities - Before/After School Care for K-6. 



Canteen orders must be done online through MunchMonitor
Instructions on how to sign up with MunchMonitor and order from Santa Sophia Catholic College can be found here.

Orders must be placed before 8.00am on the day of the order. Orders can be placed up to 4 weeks in advance.

The canteen will also be open at recess & lunch (limited availability). Cash/EFTPOS accepted.

View the K-4 Menu (updated 31 Jan 2023)     |       View Years 5-12 Menu (updated 31 Jan 2023)


Ambrose Activities runs before and after school care (Activities Club).

Before School Care starts at 6.30am and After School Care will run until 6pm.

Please note: Ambrose Activities is a separate entity to Santa Sophia Catholic College and CSPD.


Please refer any questions or communication to:

Email: santasophia@ambrose.org.au
Mobile: 0460 013 228

For more details, please see the   attached brochure.


Ordering Uniforms

All uniform orders must be processed directly with OZ Fashions uniform suppliers. For information on how to order uniform, click here

Their contact details include:

115 - 127 Parramatta Road
Phone: 9897 3121
Fax: 9897 3222
Email: elle@ozfashions.com.au
Web: www.ozfashions.com.au

General Enquiries

If you have any enquiries, please contact Elle:
0421 216 414


Students wearing the school uniform are important ambassadors of Santa Sophia Catholic College in the community and are expected to wear the correct uniform and groom themselves appropriately at all times.

For full information about uniform requirements, click here.


At Santa Sophia Catholic College, we place great emphasis on establishing a partnership between home and school. Please visit our Parents as Partners page for more information:  click here.


Clear communication is vital to the success of the school. At Santa Sophia Catholic College, we aspire to develop and maintain effective communication through just-in-time communication and real-time reporting. Communication with parents may take a number of forms:

  • Compass Parent Portal: Download the Compass School Manager application for FREE from the App Store (iPhone users) or from Google Play (Android users).
  • Seesaw App (K-4)
  • School assemblies
  • School website/social media
  • Notes to parents (electronic)
  • School e-newsletter (electronic)
  • Digital portfolios will be utilised to showcase student learning
  • The school website is http://www.santasophia.catholic.edu.au
  • The school email address is: santasophia@parra.catholic.edu.au
  • If a parent needs to make contact with the class teacher, they may e-mail through the Compass App. Alternatively, the office will take a message for the teacher to return the call.

In exceptional circumstances, the school will use the phone to make urgent contact with parents. Therefore, it is essential that the school is informed if a home, work or mobile number changes. We may also ring if we are unsure of your child’s whereabouts, i.e. he/she is not at school and we have had no prior notification of this absence. Emergency contact details must be kept current.

Telephone messages for students cannot be passed on through the College office except in cases of emergency.

It is extremely difficult to ensure that messages get to students, so it is advisable that parents discuss changes and variations to normal routine at home before a student comes to school.

Almighty God, You have called each of us by name.

Help us do Your holy will and never forsake us.

Grant us Thy holy aid, that our hearts are not frightened by any worldly struggles to do Your will.

May we be open to the Good News of Jesus Christ who is Wisdom itself.

We ask the intercession of Mary the Queen of Heaven and St Sophia to help us live out faith, hope and love each day.

We make this prayer through Jesus Christ Our Lord.


St Sophia, pray for us.


Six days are set aside each year for the College staff to come together for professional and school development. These are ‘pupil-free days’ which means the children do not attend school and parents are asked to make arrangements for the supervision of their children. Parents will be given advance notice when a staff development day is held. There is usually one Staff Development Day per term, as well as one day at the commencement of the school year and two at its conclusion.

Allocated staff development days can be found in the Parent Calendar.


As we move towards a cashless society, many school are seeking to use innovative technology to remove cash from the school campus and generate efficiencies. Santa Sophia aspires to be a cashless school. The cashless school has the following benefits:

  • improved duty of care by removing cash handling risks
  • greater parental control over spending.

Parents can pay all fees in person at the office via the EFTPOS machine or via direct debit and BPAY.

Other payments (excursions, uniforms, charity donations) are made via the Qkr! app.

Students and staff take part in scheduled and unscheduled emergency drills to ensure the safety of the children. Evacuation Maps are located in each learning space.


At Santa Sophia Catholic College, we enforce the CSPD policy on administering medication.

Our policy can be accessed from our 'Policies and Procedures' page.


At Santa Sophia Catholic College we can have students with allergies at any given time. We strongly encourage parents to share any information regarding their child’s allergies with the school. In doing this we accept the responsibility to be informed about your child’s condition and, where required, be informed about current Action Plans for your child (these are developed in consultation with the parent, principal and doctor).

Action Plans are displayed in the staffroom, in the office and in the classroom. Staff undergoes training every two years in asthma and anaphylaxis first aid treatment. Epipens are kept in the office and in duty bags. The office must be notified immediately in the case of an anaphylactic reaction.

Our policy can be accessed from our 'Policies and Procedures' page.


Santa Sophia Catholic College does not done condone any form of bullying.

We consider all discrimination. harassment and bullying to be totally unacceptable behaviour because it undermines the intrinsic dignity of the individual person. It is the responsibility of all staff and students to respect the rights of others, to never encourage discrimination, harassment or bullying and to contribute positively to the formation of harmonious work and school relationships.

All reported bullying is taken seriously and investigated fully. Cyber-bullying, most frequently occurring out of school hours, is resolved in partnership with parents. Ongoing education programs for students on the ethical use of technology and the internet are supported by outside agencies such as the Police Liaison Officer, Quakers Hill Police Station - Phone 9678 8999.

The school has a number of policies and practices which incorporate procedures that promote anti-racism. These procedures need to be both proactive (acting to prevent racist behaviour) and reactive (providing avenues for response to racist behaviour if and when it occurs).

Santa Sophia Catholic College follows all CSPD policies and procedures in this area.

  • Workplace Harassment Policy
  • Racism Policy
  • Anti-bullying Policy
  • Cyber Bullying Policy

Our policies can be accessed from our 'Policies and Procedures' page.


Santa Sophia Catholic College provides a policy and procedures document for the handling of complaints within the school. This policy is based on the CSPD policy with regards to Complaint Resolutions.

The basic principles for complaint handling include respect, confidentiality and fair and impartial investigation in a timely manner. When parents are concerned about student-related issues, it is always advisable to contact the class teacher first. The Principal can then be contacted, through the office, if the issue is not resolved.

Our policy can be accessed from our 'Policies and Procedures' page.

To submit a complaint, you may use the online form

All assemblies are noted on our Parent Calendar.

In K-4, parents of the hosting grade are invited to attend (these will be noted in a communication via Compass/Seesaw).

In Years 5-12, parents are only invited on special occasions.

PDF Fact Sheet

Importance of Attendance

School attendance plays a critical role in enhancing the lives of students in schools. Every day of attendance adds to a student's achievement and success at school. Schools in partnership with parents are responsible for promoting the regular attendance of students. There is a direct link between school attendance and academic achievement. Each day, our students are building on learning from the day before, which means that every day away from school makes it harder to catch up and can impact everyone in the classroom. Poor school attendance doesn’t just impact student learning. Attending school every day helps students to build resilience, develop important connections and establish healthy habits that will follow them into work and life.

Attendance Requirements

Students are expected to be at school every day and to be present at each learning session during the day - please note that this is a mandatory requirement. The school is required by law to keep written records of each child’s attendance.  If your child is sick or absent you are required to notify their school on the first day of absence if at all possible.  All explanations to the school must be provided within 7 days from the first day of any period of absence. 

How do I notify the school if my child is absent?

Absences can be explained using one of the following methods:

  • SMS: respond with reason to school notification of absence
  • Online: log the absence directly using Compass Parent Portal

Where an explanation has not been received within the 7 day timeframe or the explanation has not been accepted, the school will record the absence as unexplained or unjustified on the student’s record. The school will not be able to accept explanations which are not received within the 7 day timeframe. 

If your child is taking an extended leave of absence (5 or more days), parents are to request approval by completing an extended leave form.

Justified reasons for student absences may include:

  • being sick or having an infectious disease
  • having an unavoidable medical appointment
  • being required to attend a recognised religious holiday
  • exceptional or urgent family circumstances e.g. attending a funeral

Note the following reasons are Unjustified:

  • Slept in
  • Traffic
  • Running late
  • Missed the bus
  • At home
  • Taking sibling to school

Why do I need to notify the school if my child is absent?

Parents/Carers of children aged 5 to 17 years are legally required to ensure their children attend school every day or provide an explanation if they are absent. Notifying the school and providing an explanation for your child’s absence will fulfil this legal responsibility.

The safety and wellbeing of students are the highest priorities for schools. Parents need to know if their child is not at school, and schools need to know when and why a child is absent. Notifying the school of your child’s absence helps ensure the safety and wellbeing of all children in school.

What is your responsibility?

  • Ensure your child attends school every day.
  • Notify the school immediately if your child is absent.
  • Provide an explanation for any absences within 7 days.
  • Make sure the school has your correct contact details so that you can receive attendance information about your child.


When a student needs to leave school early, a written note from a parent is required on the morning of the day the leave is to be taken. The parent/guardian must go to the school administration office to sign the student out of school early. For the safety of all children, parents are not to go directly to the learning space to pick up their child. Students will then be escorted to the office for their parents to collect them. Students will not be permitted to leave the school premises unless accompanied by a parent or other adult nominated by the parent.


Absenteeism is defined as a pattern of habitual absence from school for any reason. While absences are sometimes unavoidable, we want to ensure parents and students are aware that even occasional absences can quickly add up and that attending school every day is important to their child’s education. Just one or two days absence a month can add up to nearly four weeks of a school year. Research indicates that attendance patterns are established as early as Year 1 and are likely to continue throughout a student’s school career. Students who regularly attend school are also more likely to complete Year 12. Early intervention strategies are key to ensuring that we can prevent absenteeism before it can put students at risk.

SMS Notifications

The College will send SMS Notifications to parents if their child is absent from or late to school. The message will read:

Dear Parent/Guardian, your child (name) has been marked absent on (date), or 
Dear Parent/Guardian, your child (name) was late to school on (date)

Parents are then asked to reply to the message with a reason for the absence with:

Parent name, student’s first and surname, date and explanation.

When you reply to the SMS Notification, this means there will be no need for you to provide a letter with written explanation, with the exception of a medical certificate. Your response must explain the child’s absence, the SMS must be sent from the phone which has received the message from the College. The response should also be sent as soon as possible after the original message has been received. This process allows the College to be sure that the child is absent with good reason. If a response is not sent from the SMS, the College will require a letter of explanation for the absence. If no letter is received, the absence will be recorded as “unexplained”.


Punctuality is expected from all students.

School Starting Time

  • School of Curiosity, K-4: 8:10am;
  • School of Connect and Challenge, 5-8 and 9-12: 8.00am;
  • Supervision of students commence at 7:40am.

Any student who arrives after the commencement of classes will be marked as absent. Students who arrive late to school must attend the administration office and be signed in. Recording late arrivals and early dismissals in class rolls is a mandatory requirement and a parent signature is required on all late passes.

School Finishing Time

  • School of Curiosity, K-4: 2.30pm;
  • School of Connect and Challenge, 5-8 and 9-12: 2.30pm;
  • Supervision is provided until 3.00pm or if a bus is late until such time as all students have safely departed the school grounds.



View transport procedures


Bus Routes

Quick links: 

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

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 (see below map)


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.

You can apply for a school bus here - Apply for a School Travel Pass.

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.

Pick Up/Drop Off

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

The Secondary (5-11) 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 4.




Riding a Bike/Scooter or Walking to school

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 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 riding/walking FROM SCHOOL should exit the school via Gate 3.

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. Please read the attached fact sheet for your perusal:    Safety on wheels - Information for parents and carers.


Parking for visitors

Visitors should park on the adjoining streets. There are many available spots around the school. There is no on-site parking for parents.

Picking up students during the day

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.


Learning Spaces

Students are responsible for the cleanliness and good order of the learning spaces under the direction of the teachers. Any damage to rooms or equipment will be paid for by the person causing the damage. Students are not to operate the fans, heaters and air conditioners. Students are not to be in learning spaces during learning sessions, recess and lunch times unless supervised by a teacher.

School Grounds

Students should make every effort to keep the grounds free of paper and other refuse by making use of the bins provided. The school encourages students to recycle rubbish wherever possible. The trees and gardens should be carefully protected.


Working at home, or 'homework', is a purposeful and deliberate extension of student learning. It is work that is connected to what students are learning to do, or learning about, at school. At times it may involve researching or preparing for learning that is to take place, whilst at other times it involves practice of skills learnt at school.

Homework is helpful when

  • It provides the opportunity to consolidate what has been learnt at school
  • It is tailored to the needs of students
  • It allows for the fact that children learn and work at different rates and have different needs
  • It is set within the child’s zone of proximal development, facilitating success and thereby increasing a child’s confidence with regard to learning
  • It is engaging (involving a range of physical, creative, oral and written tasks)
  • It develops productive long-term habits of learning and planning; and
  • It gives students choice, encouraging, motivating and nurturing their natural curiosity.

Homework is set in accordance with the school’s Homework Policy. Our policy can be accessed from our 'Policies and Procedures' page.

The best homework is always work that engages the child in deep learning experiences. Students are given homework for a number of reasons depending on the year level. Through homework students:

  • learn to learn – they learn to be self starters and self organisers
  • make connections between the real world and their learning
  • prepare for the next day
  • revise the current work
  • use wider resources than may be available at school.

When students do homework, parents learn about:

  • What students are learning
  • Whether students are learning
  • About the quality of their learning
  • About the growth and development of their children.

There are different types of homework such as:

  • Reading for pleasure – books, novels, magazines, newspapers
  • Preparing oral presentations
  • Completion of class activities
  • Revision exercises
  • Research tasks – interviewing, searching, sorting, note-taking
  • Creating and designing activities and tasks.

Parents can help with the routine of homework by:

  • Setting priorities and routines
  • Supporting students as they start
  • Providing a place & space that is efficient and work-smart
  • Turning the TV, or other distractions, off until homework is done
  • Praising effort not result. Comments such as “you’re working well tonight” or “that’s great” are often very useful in the early stages of motivating a child to persist with homework.

Making sure students complete small homework activities routinely. They build the skills needed for formal assessment tasks

  • Helping students organise themselves – calendars and planners
  • Checking your child’s homework, concentrating on the good points
  • Keeping an eye on how long homework takes. Talk to your child’s teacher if you feel your child’s homework seems to be taking too long to complete.
  • Don’t do the actual homework for them or it will be your learning, not their learning!
  • Talking to the teacher if there are problems.

If the homework cannot be done a note should be written to your child’s teacher explaining the circumstances.

Assessment tasks often form a significant part of student learning at home. As parents we can help students manage assessment tasks:

  • Start as soon as possible
  • Read the task aloud with your child
  • Read the criteria or guidelines for the task really carefully
  • Seek answers to questions about the task or the guidelines from the teacher
  • Spend time exploring the possibilities of the task but let your child decide the task direction
  • Look in the relevant workbooks, textbooks and handouts that the student has so you can see the context for the task
  • Research early
  • Use technology wisely
  • Use the diary guidelines for plagiarism and bibliographies

If a student is absent on the day a task or project is due or an examination is to be held, the student will make sure that:

  • the office is notified by 8:30 am by a parent/caregiver clearly on or before the due date.

The following information should be provided:

  • student’s name and the name(s) of the task or tasks that will be missed because of the absence. This message will be given to the relevant Team Leaders.
  • a doctor’s certificate is produced on the next day of school attendance. This must be given to the office and it will then be given to the relevant Team Leaders.

The Team Leaders will:

  • determine whether it is appropriate to give the same task, a similar task, an estimate mark or whether a zero mark should be awarded. Failure to notify the office on the day an assessment is due will generally result in a mark of zero
  • Advise parents in writing when a zero mark has been awarded


  • Homework will not necessarily be the same for every child in the class. Just as children are taught in the classroom based on their needs, their homework will also be set with this in mind.
  • Homework should not be a source of worry or frustration for the pupil, teacher or parent. Students are encouraged to complete the assigned work to the best of their ability and to seek their teacher’s help if they are having any difficulties. Homework is of little value to the child if the parent completes it. Please help and encourage your child, but allow him/her to do his/her own work.

Role of the Teacher

  • Set homework that is relevant, purposeful and appropriate to student needs
  • Ensure that students have a clear understanding of tasks set; and
  • Provide feedback to students.

Role of the Student

  • Take home all items necessary for the completion of homework
  • Complete prescribed homework to the best of his/her ability; and
  • Seek help from the teacher if experiencing difficulty.

Role of the Parent

  • Create an environment that facilitates completion of homework
  • Encourage a positive mindset (praise effort and growth)
  • Listen to reading and discuss texts read (where appropriate)
  • Offer help when necessary; and
  • Report any difficulties to the teacher, including difficulty of work or excessive time taken.


The College enforces a very strict Hands Off Policy which simply states that no student is to make any kind of physical contact with any other student or their property.


The Catholic Schools Parramatta Diocese, acting on behalf of the Trustees of the Catholic Church, Diocese of Parramatta, is accountable for enrolment decisions under the Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act (1992) and Disability Standards for Education (2005).


The College is a 'Smoke Free' zone - this applies to the entire community. Smoking at or bringing cigarettes to school, any school activity or school function is strictly forbidden. This also applies to any time that a student is in school uniform regardless of whether they are actually on the school premises.


Should any student have or be suspected of having or being under the influence of a legal or an illegal substance, the CSPD Policy, Resources and Procedures for Matters Involving Students and Illegal Substances (1999) will be implemented with regard to procedural fairness and legal requirements. If any student is found to have brought illegal substances onto the College campus, parents will be notified immediately and suspension and exclusion may result as well as possible police involvement.


You change your address or home/work/mobile telephone numbers
Notify your child’s teacher and attend the College office immediately to complete a “Notice of Change” form so that our student records are up to date and you can be contacted in the event of an emergency. 

Your child is not well
Keep your child at home and inform the school via attendance notes on the Compass Parent Portal. Parents are asked not to send their child to school when he/she is not well - children get very distressed when they are sick, and they also run the risk of infecting others. If your child is well enough to return to school, but still requires medication, an ‘Authority to Administer Medication’ form needs to be filled in at the College office, stating the dosage and times medication is to be administered. Similarly children on maintenance medication also need to provide the school with details.

You are not at home during school hours
Please ensure you have supplied the school with an Emergency or work contact phone number.

You wish to collect your child early
Please send a note to your child's teacher advising what time you need to collect your child. Students should present themselves to the student foyer at that time. When collected, College reception staff will mark the roll accordingly. K-4 and Years 5-11 parents must come to the Administration Office to sign their children out. Please do not arrange to meet your child in the school carpark.

Your child loses a school uniform item
Check the lost property box located in the student foyer. Please ensure that all items of clothing, drink bottles, lunch boxes, etc are clearly marked with your child’s name.

You will be late collecting your child
Please contact the College office by phone, before 2.10 pm so that a message can be passed onto your child. Parents please note that supervision in the School of Curiosity (K-4) is strictly from 7.30 am until 2.50 pm. Supervision in Years 5-11 is from 7:45 am – 3:00 pm.

You wish to see the Principal
Please liaise with the administration staff to schedule an appointment with the Principal.

You wish to see your Child’s Teacher
A request for an interview can be made via the student diary or emailing your child's teacher via the Compass Parent Portal.


Santa Sophia’s Behaviour Management System will be developed using the PBS4L framework.

What is PBS4L?

  • Stands for Positive Behaviour Support For Learning
  • It is a framework not a program so it will look a bit different in every school setting so we can make it more relevant to our school community
  • It has 8 essential elements that are evidence based and highly researched within both the secondary and primary school context.

The 8 essential features for successful social and learning outcomes include:

  • Having a common philosophy and purpose
    This means that the school’s mission is clear and the philosophy or approach to discipline is instructional – ie., it is all about teaching and re-teaching appropriate behaviour through engaging with the student. It is not punishment focused. Consequences of problem behaviour are logical and the purpose of consequences is to re-teach and provide more support to encourage more appropriate behaviour.

  • Leadership 
    The Principal and staff lead the framework but ensure that there is strong effective communication and feedback between staff, students and parents. All stakeholders within the community must have a voice.

  • Defining Expected Behaviours 
    Have a clear shared understanding of what appropriate behaviours are valued at Santa Sophia and what these behaviours look like in all contexts of the school.

  • Teaching Expected Behaviours 
    Teachers must teach students the behaviours they want to see enacted in the school. Teachers will teach what the expectations of behaviour are, model what the behaviour looks like through both examples and non examples, provide a space for students to practice doing that behaviour and then encourage and reinforce displays of this appropriate behaviour.

  • Encouraging Expected Behaviours
    Need to have a variety of ways to be able to encourage positive behaviour in students. These include building positive relationships with all students, praise and having motivating reward systems to acknowledge positive behaviours that are being targeted within the school.

  • Responding to Problem Behaviours 
    A consistent, graded and respectful response to problem behaviours by teachers. Teacher responses to problem behaviour should follow a pre-defined flowchart that has been established that is clear and fair and respectful.

  • Review, Data and On-Going Monitoring
    Data is regularly collected by teachers to indicate any problem locations in the school, establish any trends with particular problem behaviours or students. This may lead to a particular school focus or intervention to provide additional supports to reduce or eliminate these problems – all tracked by data to determine whether an intervention is effective or not.

  • Effective Classroom Practices
    Teachers will continue to get professional learning to provide them with the most up to date and effective practices to engage students effectively in learning and to minimise and effectively manage problem behaviours that detract from learning time.

Everyone has a voice in PBS4L – students, staff and parents.

Same behaviour expectations for all – e.g., treating all with respect.

Teaching behaviour in the same way we teach academics – we don’t berate students who make academic mistakes but we need to need to guide, re-teach and provide support to help solve the problem.

Purpose of the framework

  • to reduce behavioural problems in a proactive way and therefore increase time for instruction and learning
  • to help all students feel connected to the whole school community
  • to increase wellbeing
  • to reduce absenteeism
  • to create a positive school climate
  • to maximise learning

Students learn appropriate behaviour in the same way they learn to read... through

  • instruction
  • practice
  • feedback, and
  • encouragement.

Positive Behaviour Support 4 Learning incorporates

  • High expectations
  • Unique school path
  • All voices being heard
  • Strong leadership

Overarching Values

  • Respect for Self
  • Respect for Others
  • Respect for the Environment

Students who have difficulty in meeting the expectations of the College community are given every opportunity to see the inappropriateness of their actions and are supported in their efforts to modify their behaviour. The support measures provided by the College to students who have difficulties with the guidelines are:

  • Counselling of the students by College staff (the College counsellor may become involved if it is deemed necessary)
  • Time out­ for the student to reconsider his/her actions. This may take the form of removal from the playground, isolation from the learning spaces or detentions after school during which the student may be expected to contribute some form of community service.

At all times, there is a recognition of the importance of relationships as a foundation to learning and all staff take primary responsibility for establishing a rapport with their students and their families with whom we are in partnership. There is a strong commitment to regular communication between home and school as a foundation for students achieving their personal best.


The class teacher is the initial point of contact for parents.

The class teacher must be informed if your child:

  • has to wear glasses
  • has a hearing aid
  • is under medical treatment
  • is going to be absent for an extended period of time. Written notification is required for extended leave and all requests for extended leave must be submitted to the Principal for approval
  • requires medication - medication documentation is required to be completed at the College office
  • needs to be collected from school early (a note must obtained from the College office)
  • has a medical appointment during school hours
  • has recently experienced a major upset (eg: family break-up, death of a relative, moving house, etc).

Children must be collected by a parent or authorised friend from within the school grounds. Parents will be asked to nominate regular carers on the “Home Pick Up Arrangements” form. Parents must advise the class teacher and College office of any change to normal arrangements.


All excursions and incursions undertaken by students are linked to educational outcomes. Signed parental permission is required for external excursions. Students are not able to attend any excursion without written consent. Medical details are required to be completed in-full on excursion permission notes at the request of the College.


As a Catholic College, the study of religion is an important part of the curriculum. Children are educated in the teachings of the Catholic faith and the values of the Gospel. As with all Catholic schools in the Diocese of Parramatta, the Diocesan Religious Education program called Sharing Our Story is used. This program incorporates elements of scripture, the life of Jesus, Catholic doctrine, reflection and prayer.

Students regularly participate in school and parish masses and the sacrament of reconciliation. The College RE program is designed to complement and add to the Parish Sacramental programmes. The prayer life of the school is integral throughout our day both inside and outside the classroom with the daily praying of the Angelus at noon being a central part.


As a Catholic school community we prioritise providing students with an opportunity to connect with Jesus Christ throughout their week at school.  All classes commence and conclude their day with prayer, as well as engaging in The Angelus prayer at 12 noon. 

In Primary, students attend Mass once a week.

In Secondary students are given the opportunity to participate in praying the Rosary once a week along with praying during Eucharistic Adoration and having regular opportunities for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. 


All staff believe in encouraging self esteem of children through celebrating their successes and identifying their individual progress. Comparison of children through grading systems does not enhance this philosophy and so it is paramount children are not compared to each other. Teachers provide planned and meaningful assessments of children’s learning for future learning.

Teachers will formally report to parents twice a year (mid year and end of year) using the A to E scale of achievement. Each KLA is reported on against specific learning outcomes using assessment rubrics. These outcomes are taken from the syllabuses set by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA). A Student Led Conference is offered mid year only and upon request at the end of the year, as a preferred way to more fully describe a child’s progress and development. Work samples are collected and shown at these interviews as evidence of your child’s progress and success.


The purpose of student-led conferences is to open the eyes of student to their own learning and to help them take personal responsibility for their progress.

At Santa Sophia Catholic College, we aim to give the learner increasing responsibility and ownership of their learning so they can develop into independent, life-long learners. One of the best ways we could involve the students in their own learning is to have them conduct and participate in a ‘Student-Led Conference’. This means that each child conducts a fifteen minute discussion with a family member/s and their teacher and be part of the discussion group.

During the conference process, students will report on academic progress, articulate goals, report on assessment data when appropriate, and share examples of work. We believe that the student-led conference process puts the responsibility for reporting learning where it needs to be and that is with the student. Our teachers have been supporting our students throughout the preparation process for the student-led conference.

You are always welcome to request an interview with your child’s teacher at any stage during the year. Teachers are keen to speak with you about any matter that affects your child. Informal discussions with parents supplement formal reports. These are done on a discretionary basis and at a mutually convenient time.

We ask, however, that you make an appointment. We know you will understand the importance of not disrupting the teacher for an interview whilst they are teaching or on playground duty, as teachers wish to give their full attention to the children. The Parent/ Teacher meeting needs to be at a mutually agreed and convenient time. Please contact the College office to make appointments to meet with the class teacher or send a note in with your child.


The College’s policy on mobile phones is about maximising the learning that happens in the school every day and minimising distractions to this. Additionally, the use of mobile phones by students during recess and/or lunch can also distract them from developing important face to face social skills. With so much time spent with technology, it is critical that students are provided with ample opportunities to be device free within their friendships.

Mobile phones are not to be used or accessed at any time by students upon entering the school grounds and until exiting the school grounds. f any staff member sees a student accessing their mobile phone, without express teacher permission, the student will automatically be required to give the device to the front office for safe keeping for the rest of the day. If there is an educational reason to use the mobile phone that has been sanctioned by the teacher, the mobile phone may be used for this particular purpose.

If a phone is used or accessed during the school day without teacher permission, the student will be required to give the device to the office staff for safe keeping for the rest of the day. The student will be required to pick it up from the office at the end of the school day after discussion with a teacher who will address the issue with the student and ensure the rules are clarified. If this happens on three or more occasions, a parent meeting will be required to gain your support in ensuring the policy is strictly adhered to by the student in the future.

View the current Mobile Phone Policy on the 'Policies and Procedures' page.

The following items are not to be brought to school at any time:

  • Liquid Paper
  • Metal rulers
  • Permanent felt pens or markers
  • Inappropriate items of jewellery
  • Precious items and valuables to minimise risk of damage or theft
  • Laser pens
  • Chewing gum
  • Aerosol cans (deodorants, perfumes, etc.)
  • Alcohol, vapes, cigarettes, and any illegal substances 


Mufti Day Requirements


  • Shoulders must be covered (i.e. no spaghetti straps or tank tops).
  • No shirts with a low v-neck or scoop neckline.
  • No gap should exist between the bottom of the shirt and the top of the pants when the student is sitting or standing. (no midriff tops)
  • Skirts/shorts/dresses must be of an appropriate length
  • Undergarments must not be seen through clothing (ie neckline, low-ride pants, holes in clothing)
  • Clothing must not be overly tight and always have some looseness  
  • No items of clothing with crude or rude language or imagery


  • All shoes worn must have a solid base (ie. no slippers or slides)


  • The normal uniform guidelines apply for jewellery, earrings, rings, nail polish and makeup.  


All items of clothing (including shoes) must be marked with your child’s full name. Drink bottles, lunch boxes, etc. must also be marked with your child’s name. It is imperative that parents carefully identify their child’s/children’s clothing in permanent ink.

The school has a lost property tub in the Student Foyer.  After being displayed at particular times during the term, all unclaimed items will be thrown out or given to the clothing pool (particularly at the end of each term and/or school year).


For students in the School of Connect (5-8) and School of Challenge (9-12), a Student Diary will be distributed on the first day of school. The diary includes important information and guidelines pertinent to many aspects of the expectations and requirements of each student of the College. Students are not to deface their diary and all lost, stolen or graffitied diaries must be replaced at your cost.


At the beginning of the school year each family and each student is required to read, agree to, sign and implement the Acceptable Use Agreement. Students will also complete the online module: 'How to use Technology to Support my Wellbeing and Learning' in the first two weeks of term.

Information about the 2022 Santa Sophia BYOD Program

Learning Technologies User Rights and Responsibilities Agreement 2022

Santa Sophia Catholic College is one of the parish schools of the Diocese of Parramatta. The Diocesan Schools’ Boards each year sets school fees, which are standard across the Diocese. These yearly fees are charged in the first three terms of the school year. School fees cover approximately 20% of recurrent costs in the school. The other 80% is funded largely through Government funding.

The Catholic Education Office (Diocese of Parramatta) decided, after community consultation, to establish a Diocesan School Family Levy that commenced in 1997. The levy is collected at the school attended by the eldest student in the family. In cases of hardship, families may receive a reduction of fees if their financial difficulties can be supported by the appropriate documentation.

Each school community determines its own internal fees to meet the costs of learning resources required to effectively implement educational programs. A Resource, Technology and Excursion/Incursion Levy is determined each year and a detailed account sent to parents in the first three terms of the school year together with the Diocesan fees.

As a parish school we exist to serve all Catholic families in the North West area of Sydney. The ability or inability to pay fees is never used as a criterion to determine if a family is to join our school community; nor is it used as a barrier against any child attending an excursion or participating in school activities.

See our School Fees page to learn more about the fees payable at Santa Sophia Catholic College.