Our Approach to Learning

Santa Sophia provides an alternative to traditional schooling and progresses young people through a developmental and student-centred approach to learning.

Santa Sophia Catholic College is a preschool to post-school where rather than placing children in classes based purely on their age, students transition at their own pace through four ‘schools’:

School of Genesis

AGES 3 TO 5 (Early Childhood)

Santa Sophia Catholic College Box Hill School of Genesis


School of Curiosity

AGES 6 TO 9 (K-4)

Santa Sophia Catholic College Box Hill School of Curiosity


School of Connect

AGES 10 TO 14 (Year 5-8)

Santa Sophia Catholic College Box Hill School of Connections


School of Challenge

AGES 15 TO 18 (Year 9-12)

Santa Sophia Catholic College Box Hill School of Challenge





Learner capabilities: preparing for the future workplace

Santa Sophia Catholic College aims to develop the following capabilities in our students, which are of the highest priority in all workplaces:

Holy Wisdom, Literacy, Numeracy, Personal (Intra) and Social (Inter), Digital Intelligence and Enterprise Skills (Collaboration, Critical and Creative Thinking, Presentation Skills).

The learner capabilities have been intentionally included as core learning at Santa Sophia, as we want to give our students the very best foundation to be successful in the workplace and life in general.

Each of the learner capabilities are assessed in all years of learning and are reported on.

For more on our educational framework, see The 'Santa Sophia Way'.





Our Learning Framework

Santa Sophia Catholic College is a Pre-Post school which ultimately wants all students to gain wisdom through faith, hope and love. The college's learning framework aims to articulate the importance of transference of knowledge and skills which meets the needs of the 21st century world which we live in.

Since Santa Sophia has four transitional schools contained in the one college, there will be specific pedagogical practices used by teachers which align with the different developmental stages of the students (Play Based Inquiry, Guided Inquiry, Rigorous Learning Focused Projects and Blended Mastery). Each pedagogical practice is founded on the Principles of Inquiry Learning. An inquiry model of learning, places the students at the centre of the learning process, which encourages curiosity, relevance, choice, reflection and makes connections to the world we live in.




Our teaching is up-to-date

Our children’s adult lives will be very different from our own. Technology is changing everything including the way they will work. Students at Santa Sophia make use of technology as a learning and reflection tool. Primary students learn to use the Seesaw app as a platform to upload their work and reflect on their learning. Students in the secondary school create a digital portfolio where they upload their work from different subjects and reflect on their learning. Parents have access to their child’s Seesaw account and digital portfolios so that their child’s progress in class is always made available to them.

Learning today is so much more than facts and figures. We’re focused on developing strengths that students need now and in the future - communication, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and so much more.

We believe at Santa Sophia Catholic College that God has blessed everyone with particular gifts and talents. One way to encourage student interests is through the Year 7 Personal Interest Projects. In this program, students elect an area of interest that they are passionate about and work on a project for the term with special mentoring from a teacher who has expertise in that area. Students have the opportunity to complete four projects in Year 7.





We'll make this work for you and your child

Santa Sophia Catholic College acknowledges that every child is different and therefore there are a number of initiatives which aim to give all children of different interests and talents, the best path to be successful in life.






Industry skills program

From Stage 4 onwards, all students will attain at least two nationally recognised qualifications as part of the Self-Directed Learning (SDL) program, including:

  • Certificate I Access to Vocational Pathways
  • Certificate II Skills for Work and Vocational Pathways

Pathways and Partnerships Program

In year 10, the Industry Skills Program provides students with a variety of flexible and personalised pathways into a potential career.

Students may elect to undertake an Industry Internship in order to gain valuable skills for work in a particular industry or they may also elect to undertake the early commencement of a Stage 6 Vocational Education and Training (VET) course, which counts towards their ATAR at the end of Year 12.

Diversity Learning Program

The diversity learning program at Santa Sophia is to ensure that all student’s learning needs are met. All work in class is differentiated according to surface, deep and transfer learning and there are also initiatives such as:

  • Personalised plans for students who need support
  • Gifted and talented program which consists of enrichment programs and accelerated courses

Reading Recovery

Reading Recovery is a short-term intervention program for first graders experiencing difficulty with early reading and writing. Specially trained teachers work individually with students in daily 30-minute lessons lasting 12 to 20 weeks. The program effectively supplements classroom learning and works towards students developing grade-level expectations and an ability to work independently in the classroom.

Extending Mathematical Understanding (EMU)

This initiative is for students who have been identified as having gaps in their mathematical understanding. The EMU program offers intensive numeracy learning opportunities focussed around ‘hands-on’ mathematical activities. The program duration is normally 20 hours.





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