Wellbeing and Pastoral Care

At Santa Sophia, our Wellbeing and Pastoral Care approach is focused on the education of the whole child, who is made in the image and likeness of God.

This approach is underpinned by our understanding that a sense of wellbeing and connectedness in schools promotes the optimal development of the student as a whole, which in turn, contributes to their academic and social success. The relationship between the student and teacher is at the heart of pastoral care.

All staff members actively promote student wellbeing at Santa Sophia. More specialist wellbeing support is provided by the Wellbeing Leader, the primary school counsellor and the secondary school counsellor.

Wellbeing Leaders with students on RUOK Day


Positive Behaviour Support For Learning (PBS4L)

As part of the school wide wellbeing focus, Santa Sophia Catholic College strives to build a warm, connected, safe and cooperative learning environment guided by the Positive Behaviour Support For Learning (PBS4L) framework. The College has established its core values of Wisdom, Faith, Hope and Love and these values are at the centre of our behavioural expectations.

PBS4L is an evidenced based framework that is founded on eight essential features that must be present school wide for effective and positive implementation. These include having

  1. A common purpose & approach to discipline
  2. Leadership support and guidance of PBS4L within the school
  3. Clear behaviour expectations
  4. Behaviour expectations that are explicitly taught
  5. Positive behaviours that are acknowledged
  6. Incorrect behaviours re-taught with logical consequences as needed
  7. Monitoring of behaviour through data collection & analysis to guide interventions
  8. Effective classroom practices incorporated in the professional development of all staff


The purpose of PBS4L is to develop effective school-wide systems and practices that are informed by data to get more positive outcomes for students both socially and academically. The fundamental principle behind PBS4L is that behaviour is learnt and therefore can be taught.

It is important to understand that PBS4L is a universal framework that is relevant for everyone within the school. It is not just for students with additional needs, though these students will likely need higher levels of support within the framework.

PBS4L is a transparent framework that encourages parent, student and teacher voice. It is a collaborative community effort aimed at encouraging more positive social and learning behaviours within our school community to maximise student wellbeing and learning outcomes.

Santa Sophia’s PBS4L behaviour expectations matrices for Primary and Secondary are below.

In All Settings Whole School Behaviours (K-12)

(Faith in God, faith in myself, faith in others; being a gift to others)

  • Encourage others
  • Share knowledge to help others
  • Seek help from others when needed
  • Show reverence during prayer
(Optimism for the future)
  • Be open to new ideas when working with others
  • Challenge myself by setting and working towards social and academic goals
  • Adopt a growth mindset
(Respect and care for God,
the environment, myself and others)
  • Care for the environment
  • Care for all property (own, others and school’s)
  • Treat myself and others with respect and dignity (use kind words, be inclusive and accept others’ differences)
  • Keep hands and feet to self
  • Wear uniform correctly
(Holy Wisdom - Seeing the world through God’s eyes,
good judgment)
  • Use good judgment in decision making
  • Follow all teacher instructions, expectations and procedures
  • Use technology appropriately by following school expectations
  • Stay focused and complete all tasks
  • Be punctual and prepared for learning (right place, right time)

Acknowledging positive behaviour

At Santa Sophia, we recognise positive student behaviours in a number of ways. This includes verbally praising students explicitly, using non verbal cues (e.g., thumbs up, smiles, nods) and/or putting a Santa Sophia stamp on their chart (primary)/diary (secondary) when we observe the behaviours stated in the relevant matrix above. When students accumulate a set number of stamps, they may trade these in for a reward of their choice from a reward menu designed by the students in conjunction with their teachers (e.g., 10 mins free time at a designated time, a special privilege, invitation to morning tea, teacher's helper, free time with a friend, etc). These different methods help to engage and motivate students and to understand what behaviours are valued in the school community so these positive behaviours become more frequent and practiced. The stamp system is re-commenced each calendar year.

When students are observed to be more consistently following the College values and expectations of behaviour, a teacher may nominate them for a PBS4L certificate to recognise consistent effort or achievement in a particular area. These certificates are more difficult to attain than a stamp as each teacher nominates only one or two students a fortnight. Once a student receives five certificates, they will earn a Principal's Bronze Award, 10 certificates earns a Principal's Silver Award and 15 certificates earns a Principal's Gold Award with a gold badge. The certificates are recorded on the school database and accumulate over the student’s entire time at Santa Sophia. Students who have accumulated a number of certificates in their school life at Santa Sophia, have objective evidence that they have consistently adhered to our school values (as per matrix above) and are therefore identified to be potential leaders within the school community. Please see the flowchart below for a summary of the positive behaviour recognition systems.

Santa Sophia PBS4L Rewards Flowchart

Discouraging negative behaviours

Just as we aim to re-teach student academic errors, we also aim to re-teach incorrect or problem behaviours. When a correction is being made by a teacher, the correction should be calm, consistent, brief, immediate and respectful. If a prompt, redirect, re-teach, the provision of a fixed choice or a student conference has not been successful in addressing the problem behaviour, the teacher may provide a logical consequence designed to help the student re-learn the more appropriate behaviour. For example, if a student was misbehaving to avoid classwork, a logical consequence might be to stay in briefly at recess/lunch to complete the missed work. Another example might be that if a student is constantly off task during small group work, the student may be given the fixed choice to either stay on task with the group or complete the task as an individual. If the student corrects their behaviour, they can stay working with the group. However, if their behaviour remains problematic, the teacher will make the choice and provide the logical consequence (i.e. working on the task individually).

Any behaviour that is considered Major (deliberate actions that are persistent or offensive/dangerous to the physical and/or emotional wellbeing of self/others) will have fewer steps and have Leadership involvement due to the serious nature.

Below is a summary of the decision making flowchart around behaviour concerns.


Families are important members of the school’s community.

When schools and families work together to communicate effectively and respectfully toward the common goal of helping a student, it is much more likely to be a successful intervention.

  • Families have valuable insights and information about how their children learn best and what help they might need.
  • School staff can help families support their children at home in learning and in developing academic, social-emotional and behavioural skills.
  • Families may benefit from learning how to use similar strategies to PBS4L at home for teaching and supporting their children's social and behaviour skills.

To support students and families in wellbeing, the school has a number of other initiatives that are run by the Wellbeing Team within the school:

  • Individual school counselling for students and parents
  • Small group counselling for students needing specific social skills training
  • Small group counselling for students experiencing high levels of anxiety
  • Parenting seminars for primary school parents
  • Consultancy around wellbeing and behaviour issues for both parents and staff
  • Ongoing professional learning provided to teachers in regards to mental health issues, wellbeing, behaviour support, disability support
  • Collaboration with external professionals as needed
  • Extensive collaboration with the school Diversity Team
  • Facebook Live sessions around wellbeing topics

If you have any questions or comments around any of the Wellbeing initiatives, please contact Anoushka Houseman (Wellbeing Leader) on the school number 88016200 or email at ahouseman@parra.catholic.edu.au.


Come and see!

We’d love a chance to show you how learning works for young people at Santa Sophia Catholic College. Our dedicated teachers plan the learning in detail to help each child do his or her best. Come and see learning in action today!