Handbook

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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.

Introduction

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
Principal

 

College Hours 8.15am - 2.30pm
College Office Hours 8:00am - 3:00pm
Address 85 Hambledon Rd, Schofields
(We will be located on a temporary site in the grounds of St John Paul 11 Catholic college until 2020)
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 Education 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’.

SantaSophiaCrest

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

Term 1
Monday, 29th January, 2018 - Staff
Tuesday, 30th January, 2018 - Students return

Access a copy of our student daily timetable


Start Finish Description Duration
8.18am 8.30am Prayer/Reflection & Homeroom 15 minutes
8.30am 9.30am Session 1 1 hour
9.30am 10.30am Session 2 1 hour
10.30am 11.00am Recess 30 minutes
11.00am 12.00pm Session 3 1 hour
At 12.00 noon each day, our community stops to pray The Angelus Prayer together
12.00pm 1.00pm Session 4 1 hour
1.00pm 1.30pm Lunch 30 minutes
1.30pm 2.30pm Session 5 1 hour
2.30pm 3.00pm Students dismissed to bus bay area

 

The canteen is available for ordering of lunches and the general purchase of food and drinks. Students must bring in the correct amount of money and write their lunch order on a brown envelope. The lunch orders will be delivered to the canteen and picked up before recess and lunch each day.

 

Santa Sophia will share canteen facilities with St john Paul II College. Lunch Orders will be taken each morning after Homeroom for the canteen to prepare, The orders will be delivered in time for morning tea and lunch. Two students will collect lunches from the canteen each day.

 

Ordering Uniforms

All uniform orders must be processed directly with OZ Fashions uniform suppliers. Their contact details include:

115 - 127 Parramatta Road
GRANVILLE NSW 2142
Phone: 9897 3121
Fax: 9897 3222
Email: mail@ozfashions.com.au
Web: www.ozfashions.com.au

George Arida General Enquiries
Mobile: 0405 411 158
george@ozfashions.com.au

Joe Arida School Wear
Mobile: 0417 488 163
joe@ozfashions.com.au


During School Term

MONDAY, TUESDAY & FRIDAY - 8:30am - 10:30am
WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY - 2:30pm - 4:30pm

The Uniform Shop will be open for purchase of new and used clothing as well as the mandatory official school backpacks and sports bags, at the above times. If you are unable to visit the Uniform Shop in person other options include: completing an order form and submitting it to the Uniform Shop via the College Office, emailing your order to clcbj23shop@parra.catholic.edu.au or phoning the uniform shop on 9852 0528.

Terms of Trade: Cash, Mastercard, Visa and EFTPOS

 

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.

Uniform

  • Navy/Fuchsia/White Santa Sophia sports polo shirt
  • Navy Santa Sophia sports shorts
  • White Santa Sophia sports socks
  • Navy Santa Sophia sports cap
  • Navy Santa Sophia backpack
  • Navy Santa Sophia tracksuit in cooler weather
  • Lace-up athletic sports shoes/joggers

Grooming

  • Students are to be neatly and cleanly dressed at all times.
  • Hair is to be kept neat and tidy, off the collar, of consistent natural colour; any extremes of fashion are not permitted. Examples of styles that are not permitted include lines, undercuts, rat tails, mullets, shaved heads or any excessive shaping with gel.
  • Girls’ hair that is longer than shoulder length is to be tied back, off the face and out of eyes.
  • Ribbons, clips and hair ties must be plain, single coloured and either black, navy or white only.
  • Boys should be clean shaven.
  • Nails should be kept clean and neatly trimmed. Nail polish is not permitted.
  • Make up is not permitted.

Jewellery

Students may wear only the following items of jewellery:

  • A wrist watch
  • A chain with a cross or religious medallion worn under shirt
  • Girls may wear one pair of sleepers or small, plain, round studs in the ear lobe only. Facial piercings are not permitted.

 

The Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians, signed by all Australian Ministers for Education in 2008, recognises the importance of family, school and community partnerships. Parent engagement in learning has been a key focus area in the Australian Government's schooling policy reforms to improve outcomes for all Australian students. Santa Sophia Catholic College recognises and encourage the central role of parents and families in supporting children's learning, development and wellbeing.

How Can You Contribute?
Parents and families are a great support to their children's academic achievement and wellbeing. Parental involvement can occur at school, usually the focus is on school-based activities such as attending events or volunteering in class, or at home, creating a supportive and structured environment for their child to continue their learning at home.There is strong evidence linking parent engagement with improvements in academic achievement for children of all ages.

Volunteers
Volunteers make a significant contribution to students and our community. All volunteers are required to complete an online undertaking form that confirms expectations in relation to behaviour whilst volunteering at schools. This undertaking form also seeks to determine the suitability of volunteers by requiring them to declare that they do not have a criminal history involving children. A link to this training is available at: http://childprotection.parra.catholic.edu.au/volunteers.

Some volunteers may also require a WWCC. The 'Building Child Safe Communities - Child Protection Information for Volunteers' will determine whether a WWCC is required. The online training module is to be completed every 2 years.

Some reminders

  • Parent helpers must complete a 'Building Child Safe Communities - Child Protection Information for Volunteers' for and undertake an 'Online Training Module' that can be accessed from the school website. The school will be notified of completion. Parent helpers need to complete this course every second year.
  • Visitors to the school are to report to the school office on arrival and wear identification while on the premises. Visitors not wearing identification will be asked to report to the office.

  • Parents or visitors are not permitted to visit classrooms or walk around the school unless they are working in an official capacity.

  • Teachers are to maintain responsibility for each child in their class by knowing their whereabouts at all times. When parent helpers are working with children they are to remain in sight of a class teacher.

  • Teachers are not encouraged to take children to classrooms during breaks. If children are required to be with teachers out of class time, children should be in groups of at least 4-5.

Child Protection Training must be updated every two years. It is the individual’s responsibility to ensure their training is up to date.

 

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:

  • School assemblies
  • School website
  • Notes to parents (physical or electronic)
  • School i-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 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 our faith, hope and love each day.

We make this prayer through Jesus Christ Our Lord.

Amen

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.

 

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.

 

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 CEDP 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 CEDP 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 CEDP 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.

 

All parents are warmly invited to attend our assemblies. Assemblies will be held fortnightly are an opportunity for students to showcase their work.

 

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. For this reason, if you know in advance that your child is to be absent, please send a hand written note or email explaining the circumstances.

If it is apparent a student will be away, a telephone call to the College office informing of the circumstances is appreciated. If your child is absent without notice, please telephone the school as soon as possible and send a hand written note or email bearing the date your child was absent and the reason for the absence when your child returns to school. If a student is going to be absent before the official start of term holidays, or after holidays have finished, a written letter of notification to the Principal is required from parents, prior to the planned absence, explaining the reason for the absence.

If your child will require extended leave that is planned, written notification of your intention to take extended leave is required. You will then be required to complete State Government exemption paperwork which must be formally approved by the Principal. Once approval is given, you will receive the original paperwork and the school will keep a copy on file.

In summary

  • 1-9 days absence: Parents must notify the School Principal by mail or email (written).
  • In the case of extended leave (10-99 days) parents are to request permission from the Principal in writing. If permission is granted an exemption from school form will be issued; if it is declined (not in the best interest of the child) a letter will be sent to parents by the Principal.
    •  

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 commences at 8:15am
  • Supervision of students commence at 8:00am.

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 concludes at 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.

 

The School Opal card gives eligible students free or discounted travel between home and school, using the train, bus and ferry services you nominate in your application. To be eligible for a School Opal card, students may need to live a minimum distance from their school.

Years 7-12 (Secondary) 2.0km straight line distance or 2.9km walking.

For more information in relation to the School Opal Card phone 131 500 or visit transportnsw.info/school-students.

Bus

Students should move quickly and sensibly to buses on dismissal. The school buses depart shortly after dismissal each afternoon from the bus bay area in front of the school on Hambledon Rd. Students are responsible for their belongings. Teachers are rostered to supervise children catching the bus. It is the student’s responsibility to move to the bus waiting area quickly after dismissal to avoid missing the bus. If students miss the bus, they need to report to the office to contact parents to arrange alternative transport home.

Walking/Parent Pickup

All students who walk home are to use pedestrian crossings and leave the school grounds in a timely manner. If parents are picking up children, they may use the designated Kiss & Drop areas.

 

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

General

  • 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 Education Diocese of Parramatta, 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 CEDP 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.

You are requested to complete forms
Do so immediately and return to your child’s teacher or the College office as required.

Your child is not well
Keep your child at home and inform the school on their return by a written explanation. 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. Primary and secondary 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 2.00 pm so that a message can be passed onto your child. Parents please note that supervision in the primary school is strictly from 8.15 am until 3.35 pm. Supervision in the secondary school is from 8:15 am – 3:30 pm (Bus duty area only).

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 by telephoning the office to make a mutually convenient appointment time.

You need a copy of an excursion form or general correspondence
Download the paperwork from the College website or collect a copy from the reception at the College office.

 

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 it is an expectation that all classes commence and conclude their day with prayer, as well as engaging in The Angelus prayer at 12 noon.

 

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 student 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.

 

If a student uses personal devices inappropriately or against teacher directive, for the first offence, the student will be required to lodge the device at the office and collect it at the end of the school day. Parents will be notified that this has been required.

A second offence will result in the automatic lodgement of the device in the office for five school days. Subsequent offences will require a parental interview to discuss the management of the device.

NB: Devices for audio or visual recording purposes are not to be used by students at any time without permission from a teacher. This protocol applies to both learning and break times.

 

The College’s position on mobile phones in the secondary school is that they are a valuable source of personal security and a potentially powerful addition to 21st Century tools for learning. Therefore personal electronic devices are permitted at school and are to be managed appropriately by the students when not in learning sessions. In learning time however, students’ misuse of mobile phones can be a source of distraction and will be managed as learning tools under the direction and discretion of the teaching staff. Students are not to use their mobile phones to contact parents via SMS or any other means if they are injured or unwell. An assessment will be made by qualified first aid office staff and then a decision will be made about the need to notify parents.

During the school day, urgent telephone calls home should be made through the usual procedures in the College office.

 

Students are provided with a secure locker and therefore money and valuables should not be left in bags. Each student is allocated a locker but it may not be used until the student supplies a combination lock. The lock will be placed on the designated locker. Where possible, however, valuables should not be brought to school to minimise risk of loss or theft. Students are expected to place their bags, books and equipment in their locker at the start of each day. They should only carry what is required for the lessons up to the next break time. Lockers should not be accessed between lessons.

 

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.)

 

The normal school rules for jewellery and makeup­ apply. Clothing should be neat, modest and appropriate. Closed-in footwear is to be appropriate.

 

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. All unclaimed items will be given to the clothing pool after being displayed at particular times during the term.

 

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.

 

All secondary students are issued with a College photo I.D. card that contains an identity barcode for library/photocopying access rights as well as the student’s date of birth. This card remains the property of the College and must be returned if the student’s enrolment is terminated.

 

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.

 

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.