Santa Sophia Catholic College Newsletter

April Newsletter - Term 1, Week 10 2021

Welcome Address by Mark De Vries

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Enrolments now open: please let your family/friends know

Building Update

Celebrating diversity on Harmony Day

Harmony Day - a day of welcome, inclusivity and diversity, was celebrated on 17th March (also St Patrick's Day). It was a wonderful opportunity to bring our school community together to celebrate the diverse cultures in the College. This celebration helped students to see that our differences are valued and respected within our community. It was wonderful to see the cultural pride that our students demonstrated in both the primary and secondary schools.

Read more here.

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Open Days lead to inundation of enrolments

A school with a difference!

Our Open Days in March were almost fully booked out within a week of opening up the bookings. After hosting hundreds of families at our Primary and Secondary campus over two days, we were inundated with enrolments for 2022.

Read more here.

Sisters of the Immaculata visit

We were so blessed to have the Sisters of the Immaculata all the way from Tasmania visit Santa Sophia Catholic College over two days, Thursday 25th March with primary students and Friday 26th March with secondary students. With a team of young missionaries, they shared their personal faith testimonies as well as stories of courageous Saints of our Church such as Saint John Paul II, Saint Maximilian Kolbe and Saints Lucia, Francesco and Jacinta.

Read more here.

THE YARD dance on youth themes

Santa Sophia was grateful to host THE YARD on Tuesday 23rd March. This was the final show of Shaun Parker & Company's school tour. THE YARD is an award-winning anti-bullying program that explores through the art of dance and music, the themes of bullying, social exclusion, peer pressure and resilience.

Read more here.

World Engineering Day with the Air Force

On World Engineering Day, Santa Sophia and other CEDP students, teachers and professionals visited the RAAF Base Richmond, gaining exposure of the complex engineering capabilities and support functions in the Australian Defence Force.

Read more here.

ADF share wide range of opportunities

On Friday 19 March, we welcomed members of the Australian Defence Force to the College who presented to Stage 5 (Year 9 and 10) the wide range of career and study opportunities available in the defence industry, including engineering, aviation, medicine and health and cyber security pathways. 

Read more.

Push, pull and build: Billy Carts incursion

Kindy students had a fantastic experience during their Billy Carts incursion learning about pushing and pulling, simple machines, traffic signs and teamwork.

See more photos here.

Primary Update

by Primary teachers

We are so proud of the Kindergarten students who have completed their first term at big school! This term the students have learnt how to add numbers, make patterns and we have explored 2D and 3D shapes in Mathematics. The Kindy students have been learning about what good readers do and the strategies they can use to problem solve when reading. In Writing, the students have discovered how they can use the letter-sounds they have been learning to write words and record our ideas! How clever are they! This term has seen lots of play based learning where the students have formed friendships and developed their social skills through the problem solving, questioning and critical thinking they have engaged with during Investigations. A highlight for the children was bringing in their 'moving toy' and sharing and exploring the different ways they can move with their peers.

In Year One, we have been learning about so many exciting things! In writing, we are learning about persuasive texts using high and low modality words, linking it with our space investigations topic to write about what we think is better - day or night.  In reading, we're learning about strategies to make us good readers, by asking ourselves, "Does it sound right? Does it look right? Does it make sense?" We had such an exciting term learning about space and the changes in the Earth during Investigations. To finish off the topic, students created videos for different real life scenarios, needing to dress up and act out what they would do in certain situations. For example: a birthday party, in winter, while it is raining! What would you need to bring with you, and why? How can you prepare for changes in the Earth? In Religion, we are focusing on our driving question "Who is Jesus?", learning about the person of Jesus, his miracles and his teachings. In Maths, we started with solving tricky number problems, as well as learning about how to make and interpret patterns. We've even started skip counting to make number patterns. Year One students were being excellent mathematicians when it came to Multiplication and Division. The students had to 'share' Easter eggs evenly in groups and had to explain their thinking. We then looked at chance and data where students collected class data on their favourite fruits! Would you believe that mango is a top favourite in Year One? We have had such a busy and exciting term and both Miss Messina and Ms Espiritu are so proud of the efforts of each student.

The students in Year Two have enthusiastically engaged in learning experiences where they inquired, discovered and deepened their understanding of various minibeasts. They have also been writing information reports to produce and present facts about their favourite creature. In Creative Arts, they have designed and created a diorama that represents the habitat of their chosen minibeast. In Religious Education, students have been developing the concept of how they can show love towards their neighbour through the teachings of Jesus. They have also learnt about the Liturgical Season of Lent and have prepared for the celebration of Easter. In Mathematics, Year Two students have really enjoyed problem solving to measure the length, perimeter and area. They have learnt how to estimate and measure using informal units - like their shoe, paddle pop sticks and square counters. They have also been applying their addition and multiplication strategies to find the total perimeter and area in an efficient way. 

After a term full of joy, laughter, learning and inquiring the children are looking forward to a well deserved break! They have been trying new things and really challenging themselves. Have a blessed Easter and we look forward to seeing you all next term.

Sport Update

It's been a big term for sports with Swimming and Cross Country carnivals, PDSSSC Gala Days and Selection trials, and NSWCCC Championships.

Summary of Achievements

Participation in Gala Days: Touch Football, Rugby League

PDSSSC Swimming: Jack O'Brien, Bailey Thorne, Molly Mills, Max Turner, Chelsea Davidson, Lachlan Hollier, Grace Hodgkin, Sairam Dalta, Elli Thornley, Aiden Carle, Madi Morgan, Chiara Chauci, Holly Keyvar, Kurt Seget

NSWCCC Swimming: Bailey Thorne, Lachlan Hollier,  Jack O'Brien. 

NSW All Schools Swimming: Congratulations to Bailey Thorne (Year 7) for qualifying for the NSW All Schools 50m Breaststroke and Jack O’Brien (Year 7) who qualified for the NSW All Schools 100m Freestyle

NSW All Schools Golf: Congratulations to Toby Farrar (Year 8) for performing outstandingly at the NSWCCC Golf Tournament and qualifying for the NSW All Schools Golf Tournament.

Formation Update

by Mr Michael Pastoors

It’s no secret that our staff, students and their families have been through a lot in 2020 and 2021. Our school has built a wonderful culture around prayer in and out of the classroom, which is most evident in the way students and staff have worked together to build community and support those in need.

This year we have continued to deepen our partnership with the Our Lady of Angels Parish by inviting the parish’s youth workers, Jazz and Julen, into the primary and secondary campuses to discuss their role and upcoming youth events. 

During Harmony Week which we recently celebrated, we shared prayer petitions in other languages and honoured St Patrick’s feast day by reciting the Breastplate of St Patrick. 

In preparation for Holy Week our students have expressed excitement at their roles in a live Stations of the Cross on Holy Thursday this week. 

Santa Sophia has and will continue to work with the parish priest Fr Carlos and Fr Omar to keep Mass, adoration and the sacrament of confession available for our staff and students.

Message from Fr Carlos

Dear Friends in Christ,

Holy Week is the week which precedes the great festival of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday, and which consequently is used to commemorate the Passion of Christ and the events which immediately led up to it. The interval between Palm Sunday and Easter Day is known par excellence as Holy Week.

The memory of last year’s celebration of Holy Week is still so fresh in our minds. Many of us couldn’t help but think that this was indeed a “different” version of it. This year, however, we are so blessed here in Australia, as we are able to hold all of our beautiful ceremonies, almost like a normal year! We are so grateful to God for this great opportunity to be close to Him during this special time of the year.

I look forward to seeing you soon, and in the meantime, I wish you all a very fruitful celebration of the Easter Triduum. Happy Easter!

In Jesus, Mary and Joseph,

Fr Carlos

If you would like to organise a time to meet with Fr Carlos you can make an appointment using the Parish Office number: 8883 4063

Easter Mass Times:

Good Friday (2/4): 10:00am - Stations of the Cross

Good Friday (2/4): 3:00pm - The Passion Liturgy

Saturday Easter Vigil (3/4): 7:00pm

Easter Sunday (4/4): 8:30am, 10:00am, 11:30am & 5:30pm


Good Friday - 10:00am onwards

Booking is essential:

Wellbeing Update

by Mrs Anoushka Houseman 

We continue with our weekly wellbeing checks for our students using the Pulse Digital Wellbeing system. We are getting some useful data which not only allows us to be responsive to students needs when they request help or are feeling down but it also allows us to get a good idea of the overall sense of wellbeing and connectedness within our school community. Even though we have had to once again go to Remote Learning due to the recent floods in Week 9, Pulse allowed us to continue monitoring student wellbeing which allows us to reach out to students who indicate they are struggling.

We have continued running our Anxiety group and Social Skills group for some of our students. These groups have provided a space for students to learn new skills as well as develop a sense of comradery and peer support.

Arlo, our school Wellbeing dog, continues to bring happiness to our Santa Sophia community. He had a great time greeting people at both Open Days (primary and secondary) and is looking forward to his next school visits. He is planning to attend on NAPLAN days next term to help reduce any anxiety some students may experience about the testing. Most of all, he is looking forward to our move to Box Hill when he will be able to have a more regular presence within our school.

Diversity Update

from the Diversity Team

Supporting students with Writing

Over the past few weeks students who need extra support with getting ideas from their minds on to paper have been introduced to the CoWriter extension. This is a predictive writing app which helps give you words and phrases you are intending to use as you type. It also has speech recognition allowing students to talk their answers and it is converted to text. The school has purchased a license for this and it is available for all students to use. 

Writing time is a handwriting online app that Santa Sophia Primary uses to teach correct letter formation. It is both interactive and engaging and allows students to complete activities online to enhance letter formation and handwriting skills. 

Supporting students with Reading

To help students access texts we have introduced the Read Aloud extension that uses text-to-speech technology to convert webpage text to audio. It is a great tool as it highlights the text as it reads and has easy functions for pausing for note taking purposes. This is a free extension and can be downloaded by anyone who may prefer to listen as they read along. 

Supporting students with Maths

Monster Maths is an app used in the Primary School which allows students to listen to a voice over narration with mathematics problems. They then solve the problems on the app. This includes basic mathematics problems and extension mathematics problems. 

Gifted and Talented

Thank you to all the students who applied for the Gifted and Talented Program. Congratulations to the following students who were successful in gaining a position in the program this year: 

Hannah Martin, Chanel Zammit, Marcella Galati,  Adhiraj Laroyia, Darcy Zahra, Makiah Arora, Mitchell Edwards, Kripa Ghimre, Lilli Hopkins, Isabella Ponturo, Cassandra Smith, Vito Galati, Vesta Shirmohammadi, Jessica Bollard , Anthony Theodosiadis, Mikayla Muscat

One of the projects the group will work on throughout the year is Establishing and Running a Business. The Academy of Entrepreneurs ran a workshop for these students to help them understand how to look to solve problems to come up with great business ideas. We are excited to see this project unfold over the course of the year. 

Santa Sophia Connect: Encouraging and understanding your child's literacy and numeracy at home

Thank you for attending our Santa Sophia Connect via Facebook live on Monday 15 March on the topic of 'Encouraging and understanding your child's literacy & numeracy at home'. We had over 120 live viewers join us and we appreciated those who engaged and submitted their questions. You can watch a replay of the session here.

Getting real with industry professionals: Engineering

Through our partnership with Engineers Australia, we organised a one to one Zoom call for our student who is passionate about pursuing engineering as a post school career.

Read more here.

Learn more about post-school options and pathways at our Careers portal here.

Inside the Happy Families Parent Membership


1.  Quick Tip: The Vicious Cycle:  Quick Tip videos are short snippets of Dr Justin explaining the most important principles of positive parenting.


2. Family Night #9: Courage

The idea of this ‘family night’ is to bring everyone in the family together to laugh, play, and learn together. It should be explained that this is a family discussion. Launch into it with your quotes, and then create the conversation based on content that appeals to you, and that is relevant to the ages of your children.



Dates for your Diary:

Wednesday 31 March

- Santa Sophia Connect: Effective strategies for managing time and homework

Thursday 1 April  | Term 1

- Last day of school

Friday 2 April - Good Friday

Saturday 3 April - Holy Saturday

Sunday 4 April - Easter Sunday

Tuesday 20 April  | Term 2

- First day of school