Santa Sophia Catholic College Newsletter

August Newsletter - Term 3, Week 5

Welcome Address by Mark De Vries


Principal's Corner

"Tell them from me" survey results

Last term we invited staff, parents and students to complete an online survey (Tell Them From Me) to provide our leadership team with feedback on how we could bring about positive and practical change to our school.

The TTFM (Tell Them From Me) survey measures have been developed by Dr. Doug Willms, in consultation with international subject matter experts and leading research. Amongst other things, the survey measures student engagement, well-being, classroom climate, and other factors known to affect learning outcomes. Information is captured from students, parents and teachers to inform school policy and practice. The results from the survey are now available to share with our community.

Student survey results:

Strengths: High level of social engagement through participation in sport; Institutional engagement is good judging by the lower than average truancy rates; Students feel safe at school; Less than average number of bullying incidents; advocacy and expectations for success.

Areas for development: Positive homework behaviours

Staff Survey Results:

The staff survey  results indicate that the leadership team does support the teachers; that there are high levels of collaboration between teachers; and that the learning culture of the school is above average; that the school uses technology to support the learning, and that the schools involves the parents in their child’s learning. Areas for development include: including students with special needs and the use of data to inform learning and teaching,

Parent Survey Results:

The parent survey provides feedback to the school leadership on their perceptions of their children’s learning experiences at the school.

The results of this survey were: The communication with parents is very good and that parents are made to feel welcome and are kept informed; Parent participation at school is good with parents talking to teachers and attending meetings; and that both parents and the school support the learning at home.

Parents also feel that the school supports their child behaviour through effective bullying policies, and ensuring that children are including and feel safe at school.

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.


We request our current and future parents to attend this exciting and valuable Term 3 Parent Education Network Event on Wednesday 18th September on "Raising your child in a digital world" with Dr Kristy Goodwin - one of Australia’s leading digital wellness and digital parenting educators.

Parents will understand the latest risks to kids’ online safety (including current cyber-safety threats, pornography exposure, introduction of phones and social media), as well as the health and learning implications for kids growing up in a world of screens. 

Kristy will share her simple formula to calculate healthy screen-time limits and will arm parents with a host of strategies and ideas to prevent techno-tantrums and to help kids develop healthy technology habits.

RSVP here:


RSVP for our Parent Event with Dr Kristy Goodwin on 'Raising your child in a digital world'

Introducing Georgia Fitzalan - New Kindergarten Teacher joining our staff for 2020

“Teachers who love teaching, teach children to love learning.”

My name is Georgia Fitzalan and I am delighted to be joining the Santa Sophia Catholic School community next year!

I am a passionate young teacher who has taught Kindergarten for the past two years. I am dedicated to educating the whole child, helping students to develop resilience, instil compassion and to experience authentic student engagement within the classroom. Seeing children work towards their personal learning goals and challenge themselves is a privilege for me as an educator. Within a Catholic school, I work to be a daily witness of Christ for the children in my care.  

I enjoy playing basketball, dancing, teaching a Dance Ability class and spending time with my family. I look forward to meeting you all and working in partnership to achieve ‘wisdom through faith, hope and love’.

God Bless.

Ms Musgrave will assume the role of Instructional Coach which will involve mentoring Ms Ganac and Ms Fitzalan as well as running our intervention program for Year 1. 

Kindergarten News and Farm Excursion

by Ms Reyes

To begin investigations in Term 3 we looked at what we already knew about animals. We discovered we had many questions and interests about what animals need to survive. Armed with questions we set off to a local, working farm to conduct research. What better way to satisfy our curiosities than experiencing the farm ourselves!

With great excitement we started our day with some real farm work. First we assisted Farmer Belinda to milk Sassy the Friesian cow. Everyone had a turn in softly squeezing the udder’s teats and catching the milk in the bucket. It was hard work but Kindy was up for the challenge!  We also learnt how the fat black pig stays cool in summer. Our next job was to get close and personal with animals in the barn, learning about the responsibilities of a hen and a rooster.  We also carefully held many baby animals including a duckling, a kitten (baby rabbit), and a chick. 

After this we went outside to feed the hungry animals their morning tea! The llama, goats, alpacas and sheep were very hungry. They were snatching the food out of our hands! A few little farmers were nervous to start but quickly overcame their concerns and got to work! 

Our last job was to give the baby animals their bottle of milk. The children carefully held the bottle of warm milk as the eager kid goats and lambs wagged with excitement. This was a much-enjoyed job by both kids. We proved very useful and eager farmers. 

Our day at the farm was a rich learning experience that provided great discussions with keen excitement. It was a fantastic learning opportunity that left many exhausted on the bus ride home. We are very excited to get back to school and research our many questions. We will turn to books and technology to help find our answers. In some cases our peers will become our teachers as they share their learning and information.

Santa Sophia Feast Day

On Thursday 1st August, Santa Sophia Catholic College celebrated their Feast Day. It was a wonderful day of prayer, community building and celebrations.

The day started with parents, kindergarten teachers and students joining the secondary school at Schofields.

The school community learned about the life of St Sophia and prayed for her intercession. Kindergarten sang beautiful hymns and shared what they had been learning about the similarities of St Sophia and Our Lady. 

After the prayers, all students and teachers went on the bus to the 'Ultimate Centre' at Northmead, where they had a great day of fun and excitement at the play centre.  

Slam Poetry Incursion

By Mrs Kihi

 Students in Stage 4 English began Term 3 with a project titled, ‘Speaking Out.’ In this project, students will be looking closely and critically at poems, more specifically, poems that bring to light some of the real world concerns that surround us today.

As an entry event to the project, a poetry workshop was organised for the students on Tuesday, 30th July. The workshop was run by Pola Fanous, the 2018 Reigning Slam Poet Champion for NSW. Pola performed some of his poetry to the students and discussed with them the art of spoken word and why he uses poetry as a means of expression. Pola had even written poems for the students which explored his ideas on some issues he believed were real world concerns. His performances demonstrated for our students that poetry is indeed, a beautiful and artistic representation of a person’s passions, hopes, desires and concerns. It was clear from the workshop that poetry is not meant to just be written, but to be heard.

Pola’s performances and insights into poetry were an invaluable experience for the students who will move into their own study of poetry. Our students will study poems that explore the concept of justice and look at compiling a portfolio of writings based on the poetry.

Combined TAS and Science Project

By: Erica Pisani Year 7 2019

Last term Santa Sophia’s Stage 4 students were learning about Engineered Systems, which is a series of components that work together to perform a function. We learnt this through creating our own Rube Golberg machine which was a fantastic way to demonstrate our learning of materials and their components. We also had to list the different types of forces, motion and energy.

This project required us to make our own Rube Goldberg Machine in groups of three. We had to demonstrate force, motion and energy in our  Rube Goldberg machine. We learnt our surface knowledge for example what force, motion and energy is or what our materials were made of. We then designed our Rube Goldberg machine and decided on our materials. We thought of different obstacles and our end result - what we wanted to accomplish. 

I really liked making our Rube Goldberg Machine and how it was a combined project, as we learnt about a lot of aspects in both Science and TAS areas and were able to show and demonstrate our learning in the Rube Goldberg Machine. I also liked how we got to bring our own materials from home and experiment with our Rube Goldberg Machine. 

I was able to learn a lot in the two subjects. In Science, I learnt about household materials and what they were made of. I also learnt about compounds, elements, metals, non-metals and metalloids. In TAS I learnt about the different types of forces, for example, gravitational force, contact, frictional force and tension. In both aspects, I learnt about how a Rube Goldberg machine works and how it functions. For instance, one component needs to start the following component and so on until it reaches the end goal. 

Feast of the Assumption College Mass

On Thursday 15th August we celebrated the Feast of the Assumption with a College Mass with Fr Peter Williams. It was a wonderful Mass to celebrate this special Feast Day with Kindergarten also in attendance. We had beautiful music thanks to Mrs Kihi and Mr Williams. Thank you to all involved and the parents who attended.

The students enjoyed a special afternoon tea treat after the Mass to commemorate this special Feast Day! 

Sports News

By Mr Faccin

Sports Coordinator

This term will be the busiest time for Santa Sophia out on the sports field. In week 1 our Junior Girls netball went to represent the College at the PDSSSC Netball Gala Day. This was a very challenging day where we played against some much larger schools. In light of that, our girls showed tremendous spirit and improved greatly from the previous year.

This term we have the PDSSSC Dance, Oztag, Basketball and Futsal Gala days with trials for the teams being held the start of week 5. In week 6 we have 17 students attending the PDSSSC Athletics Carnival. 

During recess and lunch time we are proud to offer our students access to various sporting equipment and game options to keep them engaged with their peers.

We have noticed however the treatment of this equipment is being abused by a small majority where items are not being returned and as a result other students are missing out on opportunities.

Students are more than welcome to bring their own balls to school however they are responsible for any loss or damage to the equipment. 

We have been provided the draft calendar from PDSSSC and NSWCCC for the 2020 year and will be releasing our sports development plan for 2020 in Term 4. I would like to encourage any parent or family/friend member who is a coach, referee, umpire or official who would like to assist in developing our 2020 teams to reach out to the school so we can utilise the gifts, skills, and wisdom of our community. 

Father's Day Breakfast and Liturgy

All Father's are invited to attend our Father's Day Breakfast and Liturgy on Thursday 29th August at 7:30am at our Hambledon Rd Campus. 

For Kindy families attending at the Senior campus - you will need to make your own way to and from the venue with your child/ren. If you are not attending it is school as per normal. 

Please RSVP to


Dates for your Diary

Thursday 29th August

Father's Day Breakfast & Liturgy - 7:30am

Friday 30th August

PDSSSC Athletics Carnival

Monday 2nd September

PDSSSC Basketball gala day (boys)

Wednesday 5th September

PDSSSC Futsal Gala Day

Monday 9th September

PDSSSC Oztag Gala Day

Monday 16th September

PDSSSC Basketball Gala Day (girls)

Wednesday 18th September

Special Parent Event: 7pm - 9pm on "Raising your child in a digital world" with Dr Kristy Goodwin. RSVP here:

Friday 20th September

NSWCCC Athletics Carnival

Thursday 26th September 

Last day of term for students