Santa Sophia Catholic College Newsletter

September Newsletter - Term 3, Week 10

Welcome Address by Mark De Vries

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Principal's Corner

Naplan Results

Due to technical difficulties in accessing our College's NAPLAN Results 2019 using the SCOUT program, the NAPLAN Results Analysis will be distributed early next term. I apologise for any inconvenience that this decision may cause our families.

School Fees - A note from our Principal

There are several important school fee matters that I have to bring to your attention:

Firstly, the signatories on enrolment forms are jointly and severally responsible for payment of school fees.

Secondly, you are required to notify the Principal in writing with 10 weeks notice before a student leaves the school-otherwise a full term's fees will be payable.

If you have any questions about these matters, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Please contact Cassandra Powell, if you are experiencing difficulties.


Staff Presentations at the ACSA National Conference

Our College was invited by ACSA (Australian Curriculum Studies Association), to present at the National Conference in Melbourne.

As you can imagine we were very proud of being given this wonderful opportunity to showcase our learning journey before a national audience.

Ms Musgrave and Mrs Kalocsai presented a workshop on ‘Exploring the use of qualitative data to develop Assessment Capable Learners,’ and showcased best practice in ‘exploring the use of data and research to enrich learning and feedback to ensure all students achieve at least one year’s growth, every year.'

Ms Magistrado and Mr Castellino presented a workshop on ‘The three phases of Learning: Surface, Deep and Transfer’ used by our College to empower students to become independent learners who can enquire, connect and apply their knowledge critically and creatively to real-life and relevant contexts. ​

Our presenters received very positive feedback from the audience, who were very impressed by the teaching and learning happening at Santa Sophia.

Kindergarten News

This term, Kindergarten has continued to defy our expectations with their wonderful enthusiasm and growth displayed in all of their learning!

We have been exploring the lives of many of the Saints and have been particularly inspired by Saint Francis of Assisi. His love of animals and devotion to his faith has inspired us to be living saints in the way we care for living things. Investigations initially began with inquiry and research into farm animals, but rapidly expanded into research on pets, arctic animals, zoo animals, Australian animals and endangered animals. We have explored many ways to care for the wonders of God’s creation just like Saint Francis!

Students have continued to explore their fascination of living things by listening to a variety of informative texts during shared reading. The students particularly enjoyed learning about the life cycle of frogs. The students’ engagement has been wonderful and they have been excited to share many interesting facts about the different animals they have learnt about. 

One of our hard-thinking Mathematics units this term was working with division and multiplication strategies. Students were challenged to work out how many things we could equally share at a party. Would there be enough party hats? How many lollies would we each get? Would we all get a party blower? But most importantly would it be even; would everyone get the same amount? There is no better way to ensure everyone is dividing evenly than using real lollies — no one wants to miss out!

Kindergarten have also enjoyed transferring their learning from Investigations into their Mathematical units. Students designed and measured the surface area of their own zoo and also enjoyed exploring the capacity of large pipes to help save ‘Alexander the Duck’ after he fell down the hole!

The students have thoroughly enjoyed having Mr Harb in the space, especially during Art. Most Tuesdays, there was a showdown between Mr Harb and Miss Musgrave’s teacher models. As both teachers and students creatively expressed their talents of drawing animals, a competition ensued … which teacher had the best artwork? The competition was fierce, but needless to say, the best artist always came out on top!

As the term draws to an end, we have taken the time not only to celebrate the children’s learning but to celebrate the special moments in our lives. We welcome back Mrs Ibanez and congratulate her on celebrating the Sacrament of Marriage to Mr Ibanez. The children enthusiastically welcomed her back upon her return with open arms!

We are looking forward to Term 4!

Literacy and Numeracy Week

by Mrs Kihi

To celebrate National Literacy and Numeracy Week, a number of activities and games were planned for the students in the high school during Week 7. Students participated in daily literacy and numeracy puzzles and went searching around the school for Mr Knight and Mr Castellino’s ‘Golden Numbers.’

Students participated in a ‘Stop Everything and Read’ session as well as a ‘Numeracy Ninja’ game that encouraged the students to find time in their busy schedules to dedicate time to both literacy and numeracy. Staff and students also battled it out with a Literacy and Numeracy Quiz Competition!

There were a number of competition winners throughout the week.

Congratulations to the winners of our Six Story Word Competition: 

1st Place: James Achten

Runner Up: Charlotte Rowe-Dunn

Congratulations to the winners of the Daily Numeracy Challenge:

1st Place: Jessica Bollard

2nd Place: Michelle Giglio

3rd Place: Vito Galati

Congratulations to Reyad Makdessi who won the Estimation Game.

Well done to all our competition winners!


By Mrs Kihi

On Thursday, 12th September, the College came together to learn about RUOK Day. The day was centred around the College’s core value of love and focused on the idea of respect and care for others.

In homeroom, students learnt about ways to look after each other’s mental health and wellbeing, as well as their own. Students learnt about how to identify signs when their friends are down, and also how to sensibly ask, “Are you ok?”

Students also worked together to create an ‘RUOK’ wall that contained positive signs of encouragement, written by the students, for the students.

The ‘RUOK’ wall will remain up as a visual symbol of how we as a College can work together to show love and care to members in our community who are going through a difficult time.

Dr Kristy Goodwin Parent Education Network Event

On Wednesday 19th September we hosted Dr Kristy Goodwin for our Term 3 special Parent Education Network Event. Dr Kristy shared invaluable tips ranging from dealing with technology tantrums, practical strategies for technology use at home, cyber safety and more. She covered the science behind why kids react the way they do when it comes to technology issues and offered guidance and ideas to help parents manage various issues without having to ban all tech use. 

Some of the parents from our College had these comments to share:

"I wasn’t sure before attending that I would get much out of the night but WOW was I wrong. So interesting and informative. I learnt so much! Thanks to all involved."

"Kristy was a fabulous, knowledgeable and engaging speaker. Thank you Kristy and Santa Sophia!"

We highly recommend visiting her website and her blog section for parents here:

Our next Parent Education Network event will be our Term 4 meeting where parents are invited to join in a discussion with Principal Mark De Vries on Wednesday 6th November at 7:30pm the Hambledon Rd Campus. 

Italian Cooking Incursion

by Miss Rubbo

To broaden our students’ experience of Italian language, food and culture, Year 8 participated in an Italian Cooking class with Chef Luca Roncari and his team. This was part of their Term 3 project "Mangiamo!". Students took part in an interactive hands-on cooking and eating class conducted at school. The students made two traditional Italian dishes from scratch, Salame di cioccolato and Pasta Fresca. The students actively participated in the day and it was a fantastic opportunity to try something hands-on and new!

Students described their favourite part of the incursion:

"The Italian incursion was enjoyable for many reasons, and it was hard for me to pick one part as my favourite. After thinking,  I found that my favourite part of the incursion was enjoying the food after we made it (with the help of our guests), because of the quality of it. I personally was not expecting the pasta to be as delicious as it was, and I’m proud of what we managed to accomplish. Being able to create pasta from scratch (which was a first-time experience for most of us) was a truly fulfilling experience. To conclude, the Italian incursion was an extremely fun experience for all the Year 8's, and I can confidently say that we all enjoyed every part of it".– Mia Crescini

“It was good to be hands-on and try something new. I really enjoyed trying to figure out what to do and which word went with whichever action. It was a good learning experience.” – Mikalya Muscat

“My favourite part of the excursion was preparing the pasta. I liked mixing and kneading the best because we got to learn different techniques to prepare the dough. This involves making sure the dough is evenly rolled out, not adding too much flour, not over kneading and how to knead the pasta. We also had to make sure we cut the pasta into thin slices making sure they weren't too thick because we needed them to cook in 30 seconds.” – Nikisha Kumar

PDSSSC Dance Gala Day

By Mrs. Duffield

On Friday 23rd August 2019, eight Santa Sophia dancers did a remarkable job representing the school at the PDSSSC Dance Gala day which was held at the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre in Penrith.

Here, they competed in a group contemporary piece, a group jazz piece, as well as a junior solo performance (which was choreographed and performed by Zarah Giles).

Antonia, Aleida, Maddy Rose, Zarah, Ananya, Charlotte Santos, Chloe and Sarah Gauld worked tirelessly in the lead up to this competition and during rehearsals where they did everything themselves; from choreographing their own performances to organising their costumes. This showed great commitment, independence and teamwork which really shone through on the day. 

The standard was high on the day where all schools performed exceptionally well and showed positive support and encouragement to the other competitors. It was a fantastic day and it is very exciting to see the creative and performing arts growing at Santa Sophia through such dedicated and skilled dancers.

Giants GSW Excursion

By Mr Knight

Year 7 students became "Giants" for the day during our recent excursion to the GWS Giants AFL training centre at Homebush.

Students were given a behind the scenes tour of all the people and departments who work together in this AFL franchise.

On our tour we were fortunate to see the nutrition station, medical and strapping areas, weights and fitness rooms, relaxation and mental health space, as well as the opportunity to have a kick on both the indoor and outside training areas.

Students completed leadership activities and took part in some science and mathematical problems such as measuring their lung capacity, the reach test, a sprint test and other measurement activities.

Visual Arts Incursion

by Kiera Gaul

On Friday 6th September, the Year 8 students had an incursion for their Visual Arts project. They spent all day creating stop motion videos with clay and enjoyed the privilege of using professional cameras and software. They were joined by Stewart from Digi Ed who was very helpful in giving instructions and advice to the students. All of the groups had a completed video by the end of the day!

I think the most enjoyable part of the day was looking back at our hard work and seeing it all come together. It was fun watching our work back on the computer after having a great idea and trying it out. Of course there were some occasions where some ideas didn’t quite work out and we needed to re-film them, but we just tried again and eventually finished our video.

This incursion was helpful and very fun. It was good to spend time with each other and create something interesting. It has already helped some of the Year 8 students in other visual art assignments and will continue to in the future.

Father's Day Liturgy and Breakfast

We were delighted to welcome many fathers to the Father's Day Liturgy and Breakfast on Thursday 29th August. This was a chance to honour and celebrate their role in the lives of their children. The morning started with a short liturgy including a song by Kindergarten who also presented their fathers with a handmade gift. A special presentation video was shown with photos of students with their dads followed by a delicious breakfast for all to enjoy. Thank you to all the dads who attended. 

Geography Excursion

By Mrs Kalocsai

Stage 4 students are studying the interconnections between people and places and how we can manage these places for their sustainability. On Tuesday 24th September, students visited The Metro, Rouse Hill Town Centre and Stanhope Leisure Centre to explore sustainable living, transport, recreation and trade. Their observations during the excursion will assist them to write their final recommendations for their own sustainable city.

Sports Report

By Mr Faccin

Sports Coordinator

Term 3 has clearly been our busiest and most successful term of sport. This term we had representative teams in Netball, Dance, OzTag, Basketball, Futsal as well as the Athletics team all represent the college at various PDSSSC events.

Our Netball girls were challenged on the day playing against some very experienced and tough schools however with the limited resources to train in the lead up they showed tremendous spirit and improvement throughout the day. The dance girls represented the college with complete distinction choreographing their own dances in the Jazz and contemporary sections. The girls also sourced their own outfits and rehearsed throughout their break times to ensure they would stand out.

Both our boys and girls futsal teams achieved a first when they won three of their round robin games only to just miss out on a place in making the finals and playoffs. On the back of our futsal teams both boys and girls Oztag teams competed against some very experienced and challenging schools and came away learning a great deal about team work. It was great to see how our teams improved throughout the day. Our boys and girls basketball teams while struggling with some of the height of other teams also demonstrated  great values of dedication, commitment and humbleness in defeat.

At the end of Week 6 twenty students went away to the PDSSSC Athletics carnival where they faced some very challenging conditions in the wind and the rain. Our runners performed exceptionally well with the highlight being Kenneth Tjhin who placed second in the Boys 12yrs 1500m. A massive thank you to Mrs Keyvar to also volunteered throughout the day providing support to all the students and working on the long jump stand with Mr Harb throughout the day.

Our representative sport for 2019 concludes at the end of this term and much of the opportunities provided to the students couldn’t be without the teachers and parents supporting them. Each of the teachers Mr Knight, Mr Castellino, Mr Magann, Mrs Boddy, Miss Magistrado, Miss Rubbo including our casual teachers Mr Harb and Mrs Duffield took on additional time and duties supporting our students running training sessions where possible, taking them to the gala days and carnivals. Thank you also to Ms Powell for her work in ensuring that team fees and transport were organised and Mr De Vries and Mrs Kalocsai for supporting the various activities throughout the year.

At the start of the year I challenged as many students to participate in at least one sporting team or sports carnival event. 55 students represented the college this year at various sporting events with a further 26 students setting or breaking a school record.

Representative sport next year looks to be very promising with nearly 25 different opportunities for representative sporting teams being offered. Sport isn’t always about being the best and not everyone wishes to compete at competitive levels. That is why we work to organise and allow students to participate in different activities throughout the school day during their break times as well as provide as many options as possible for sporting activities each fortnight.

Next year as we grow we will require some assistance in coaching and  officiating at different competitions and we warmly invite any parent or family member who has expertise or experience in the various sports to support our students in being a coach or official. If you are interested please contact the school office.

Last Day of Term & Christmas Mass: Wednesday December 18th


Dates for your Diary

Monday 14th October

First day of Term 4

Friday 25th October

Grandparents Day

Tuesday 29th October

Year 7 2020 Orientation Day

Year 7 2020 Information Evening 6-7pm

Friday 1st November

All Saint's Day Mass

Saturday 2nd November

Uniform fittings, 8am - 12pm

All Soul's Day

Wednesday 6th November

Kindy 2020 Orientation, 9am - 11am

Saturday 9th November

Uniform fittings, 8am - 12pm

Monday 11th November

Remembrance Day

Wednesday 13th November 

Kindy 2020 Orientation, 9am - 11am

Wednesday 20th November 

Kindy 2020 Orientation, 9am - 11am

Parent Education Network meeting, 7:30pm

Wednesday 18th December 

Last Day of Term 4 and Christmas Mass