Start of Term Newsletter Term 3 2022

TERM 3, 2022

From the Principal

Dear Parents,

A very warm welcome back to Semester 2 to all our families, and a particular welcome to those families who are new to TAS this term. With school events back in full swing, we look forward to seeing many of you in person over the next few weeks. To those impacted by the recent flooding events, our thoughts are with you. Please let the School know if we can be of assistance in any way.

Term 3 promises to be another busy term filled with opportunity and challenges in and outside of the classroom for our students. Some of the key events this term include the Middle School Production of Horrible Histories, GPS Shooting and Athletics, the first Old Armidalians Reunion Weekend for a number of years, and the TAS Cadet Unit Passing Out Parade. For our Year 12 students, the term will culminate with Valedictory and I would like to wish all of the students and their families the very best for their final term at TAS.

For the start of Term 3 I have a number of staffing updates to share:

  • After a short time at TAS, Mr Miguel Nunes handed his resignation in at the end of last term in order to be closer to his family in Queensland. We wish him all the very best in his future endeavours.
  • We are pleased to welcome Mrs Elaine McKellar, teacher of Science and STEM, back to TAS after parental leave.
  • We thank Mr Ben MacDougall for his work in Mrs McKellar’s absence and are pleased to announce that he will remain at TAS as a teacher of Science and Mathematics.
  • Miss Lara Nicholls joins us as a Kindergarten teacher while Mrs Anna O’Connor takes maternity leave. Miss Nicholls is an incredibly talented teacher who moved to Armidale from Queensland over the break to start her full-time teaching career with us at TAS. She has already spent considerable time familiarising herself with the School and the region and we are delighted to have her with us.
  • Mr Harry Dobson joins TAS from Western Australia as a teacher of HSIE. Mr Dobson is an experienced teacher with a strong track record, having taught in schools in both the Netherlands and Australia including Guildford Grammar School. He is passionate about politics and cricket is keen to immerse himself in the full life of the School, to which he will no doubt contribute greatly.
  • Dr Morag Stone joins TAS as a Year 6 teacher. Dr Stone has extensive experience in a number of Queensland and New South Wales Independent schools and we are glad that she will be with us until the end of the year.
  • Mrs Anna Gayner is well known to the TAS community and over the break moved into a newly created role as Senior School Administration Assistant. Mrs Gayner will use her expertise to provide support in a number of crucial areas across the Senior School.

Finally, I must continue to mention COVID-19, albeit briefly. We have currently removed all restrictions at TAS other than the requirement to isolate for 7 days if you test positive and to test daily and wear a mask if you are a close contact of a positive case. Given the high levels of COVID-19 and influenza currently in the community, however, it remains imperative that any students with symptoms do not attend school. We currently have good supplies of RAHTs and would be happy to pass these on to any families who require them, on request.  As always, if cases continue to rise or health advice changes, the School may introduce additional measures at any time.


Dr Rachel Horton

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From the Deputy Principal

Dear Families,

I trust that you all had an enjoyable break and quality time with family and friends. I am particularly excited to meet our new students and families commencing this semester and extend a warm welcome to all on behalf of the TAS community. Please find below some important notices and reminders to prepare for the Term ahead.

As we continue to see positive cases of COVID-19 recorded in the community, it is important that the school maintains an up to date register of students who have tested positive. If your son or daughter did contract COVID-19 over the holiday break or do so during the term, can you please ensure the school is informed with details of when they tested positive via the following contacts:
Junior School: Ian Lloyd
Middle School: Luke Polson
Senior School: AJ Whalley

To commence the term, students will not be required to wear masks during assemblies.

Rules and Regulations
With a continued focus on ensuring high standards, please find below important reminders on the student dress, appearance and use of mobile phones expectations:

Winter Uniform (Terms 2 & 3)
The school uniform comprises the striped senior blazer for students in Years 11 and 12 and blue school blazer for students in Years 6 to 10. Boys wear a grey shirt, school tie, grey socks, grey trousers, school jumper and black laced shoes. For all formal occasions a white shirt is worn instead of the grey. Years 6-10 girls wear a grey skirt or grey pants, TAS long sleeved blouse, black knee-high socks or black stockings and navy blazer.

For formal occasions the girls wear a white long-sleeved blouse and skirt with the school tie, black stockings and navy blazer. Year 11 and 12 girls wear a navy skirt, the white formal blouse, school tie, black knee-high socks or black stockings and the striped senior blazer. The navy school jumper may be worn at all times depending on the weather.

Beanies are not to be worn as part of the School Uniform. They can be worn when attending outdoor co-curricular sporting events in extreme conditions.

All MS/SS Students must wear their blazer for Tuesday morning Assemblies.

The Wearing of Student Uniform
i. Ties should be worn so that the collar button is done up and does not show (boys and girls)
ii. Shoes should be polished at all times
iii. Full school uniform must be worn in public between school and home (day students)
iv. Within the school, blazers do not have to be worn except at formal occasions or Tuesday Assemblies. The grey jumper may not be worn outside school as an outer garment
v. Extremes of hairstyle are not permitted (see dress regulations above).

vi. Jewellery

  • Watches can be worn (Smart Watches may be asked to be removed for the purpose of academic integrity or confiscated if being used inappropriately)
  • Necklaces are not to be worn, except for those that have religious significance. These should be discreetly tucked underneath the uniform.

Boys – Any jewellery worn must not be visible
Girls – No facial jewellery is permitted.

  • Girls in Years 6-12 can either wear one pair of small gold, silver or pearl studs or small gold or silver sleepers. However, girls may be asked to remove these during some sporting or co- curricular activities for health and safety reasons.

Mobile Phones
Mobile phones are not to be used between the hours of 8:40 and 3:30pm (including lunch and morning tea) or any other time when it is inappropriate. Therefore, they should not be used at times such as prep, in class, assembly, chapel, concerts and the like. At these times, phones should be switched off.
Phones will be collected at entry to an assessment and returned at the completion of the assessment.
At the discretion of the School, the student will have their phone confiscated if they are using it during the school day without permission. In the first instance the phone will be confiscated overnight, the second time for three nights and the third time for a week.

More information can be found on the parents and student portals via the School website under Rules and Regulations.

I wish all students and families a wonderful Semester 2 and look forward to seeing all students arriving back for classes next Tuesday.


Mr Ray Pearson
Deputy Principal

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From the Director of Studies

Welcome back to Term 3. I hope you have had a lovely break with your children and that you managed to stay warm. This term is a very exciting one for Year 12 as they have lots of ‘lasts’ and we will all have an opportunity to say good luck and goodbye as the term comes to an end.

Term 3 Timetable
We start the term with a new timetable for all students and these are available now through Edval online (current students do know how to access this). I ask students to remember to check online daily for their timetable as we often have to change the allocated room for a lesson.

Year 9/10 Electives for Semester 2
Year 9 and 10 students will see what electives they have been allocated for this semester with these having been allocated based on their preferences. It is impossible for all students to get their first preferences and there will be no changes made unless for exceptional circumstances. In this case, discussions with Mr Lane will be the first necessary step. Please be aware that most classes are full and we will not be able to exceed our set limits for any reason. Of particular importance to understand is that Year 9 students may well find that their third preference has been utilised – these students will soon be in Year 10 and it is more likely that they will get their first or second preferences at that time.

Year 11 2023 Subject Selection Information Session
A final reminder to families that we are holding a Year 11 Subject Selection Information Session and Subject Fair in the Hoskins Theatre from 4-6pm on Monday 18 July.

Year 12 Trial HSC and Major Works
Finally, Year 12 enter their final semester of learning at TAS. A reminder to all families that the Trial HSC timetable was distributed at the end of last term and these exams will occur in Weeks 5 and 6. Details regarding the expectation for study during those weeks and the support available from staff will be outlined closer to the time.

However, a new initiative is commencing this year to support their study leading up to these exams. Starting this coming Sunday afternoon, The Hub will be open for Year 12 students only so that they can have supervised study for three hours (the length of most of their exams) from 2-5pm. I strongly encourage students to take advantage of this time as they progress towards working in an exam-like situation for this length of time.

Mrs Seonia Wark
Director of Studies


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From the Director of Boarding

Dear Boarding Parents and Caregivers,

I trust this finds you well and that you are enjoying some time at home or away with family. Term 2 was another busy term at TAS with Examinations, Assessments, Parent/Teacher Interviews and Activities Days across year levels. We welcomed the winter sporting season which instils crucial skills such as teamwork, time management and persistence throughout the boarding community. The Long Weekend presented the boarders with a great opportunity to spend time away with family and friends and to re-charge for the final two weeks of term.

The boarding houses once again competed admirably throughout the term in the inter-house competition with Croft House winning the boys Cloisters Race and Tyrrell House winning the Senior Debating in an entertaining final in front of the school in the Memorial Hall.

This term I am looking forward to our first Boarders Formal Dinner in over twelve months to be held on Wednesday evening 3 August. The Formal Dinners are important occasions for the boarders and boarding staff to come together in a formal setting and listen to inspiring words from our boarding leaders. Term 3 is a busy Term for our Year 12’s and 11’s with the Year 12 Trial Examinations during Weeks 5 and 6 and Valedictory festivities during Week 10 and the Year 11 Yearly Exams during Week 9.

I have a few points below that I would like you to be across before the commencement of Term 3. Please also discuss these with your child/children before they return.


While we are enjoying the return to pre-COVID routines across boarding, to ensure this continues please be aware that should your child/children be experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms they are not to return to school for the commencement of Term 3 until they have recovered.


While many boarders wear their school and sports uniforms impeccably, a small number of boarders continually fail to meet the school’s uniform standards. Simple standards such as the correct coloured socks and belt and polished shoes for the boys and adhering to the school’s jewellery policy, skirt length and polished shoes for the girls need to be adhered to, as a minimum, at all times. The only hats/caps to be worn with the school uniform are TAS hats or caps and when competing in sports the full TAS sports uniform must be worn.

Please ensure your child/children return to TAS with appropriate clothing for our weekly Boarders’ Chapel and an appropriate haircut. Should there be any confusion regarding the uniform expectations please check the school website or discuss with your Head of House.

Mobile Phones

While I appreciate the importance of mobile phones to communicate with boarding staff, family and friends, boarders only need one phone, with minimal data, to do this. Should additional technological devices, other than the one mobile phone and school-issued laptop, be needed at school please communicate this directly with your Head of House before the commencement of Term 3. All technological devices are to be handed to the staff on duty of an evening and stored in boarding house offices. The exceptions to this rule are the Year 12 boarders.


While I appreciate the convenience of this arrangement for a number of you, this privilege has always been for Year 12 students only and will remain a Year 12 privilege for the foreseeable future. Current Year 11 Boarders will be allowed their vehicles at TAS, parked at their own risk and under several strict conditions, once their Year 12 privileges commence. This is usually mid to late Term 4 once all the current Year 12s have vacated their boarding houses after their HSC Examinations have concluded.

Term 3 Return

Monday 18 July is an Academic Staff Day and as a result Heads of House are involved in academic matters throughout the day until 3.30 pm. Boarding houses will be open and staffed from 1.30 pm. Should you wish to discuss any matter directly with your Head of House they will be available in their respective houses from 3.30 pm.

Year 12 Trial Exams and End of Term Dinners

Further to Mr Ray Pearson’s letter dated 27 June 2022, the arrangements in place for the Year 12 boarders during the Trial Examination period will be communicated to them by Week 2 Term 3. Should Year 12 boarders wish to remain at school at any stage during the Trial Examination period, normal school rules will apply. Boarding houses will be open for Year 12s during the school day from 2 pm Friday 19 August and all of Week 2 of the Examination period.

Please keep in mind the Year 12 house dinners, with parent attendance, will be held off-site on the evening of Thursday 22 September. Invitations to these dinners will be sent during the term.

Weekend Recreation Activities

Ongoing discussions have been had at Heads of House Meetings regarding the need for more regular activities of a weekend. While the Inflatable will continue to operate each Sunday afternoon for the Middle School Boarders, this term each house will coordinate one-weekend activity during Weeks 2 – 7. These activities will be finalised during Week 1 and advertised in boarding houses and TAS Talks. The Heads of House and I will discuss the attendance at these activities late Term 3 to then finalise the Term 4 Weekend Activity Program.


Mr David Drain
Director of Boarding

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From the Director of Pastoral Care

Welcome back to a new school term and the start of Semester 2. As we plunge straight back into our co-curricular commitments, I would encourage parents and carers to keep a close eye on levels of fatigue as the term unfolds. This flu season has been particularly bad and many students have been ill over the past months, with both flu and COVID-19 symptoms lingering for longer than expected in many cases. Please reach out to your child’s Advisor or the Head of their Boarding House if you have any concerns about fatigue or stress. It is much easier to get students back on track when we tackle issues early.

Among the growing list of things parents need to be aware of are signs of ‘perfectionism’ amongst teenagers. Perfectionism is usually characterised by excessively high personal standards and overly critical self-evaluations. Consistent perfection is unrealistic and its pursuit can negatively affect wellbeing, with increased stress and anxiety a common symptom. Signs of perfectionism include: being overly cautious and unwilling to take risks – for fear of failure, setting unrealistic goals and being upset when they are not met, a firm belief in there only being one way to complete a task, critical of other people’s failure, defensive or overly sensitive to criticism, difficulty making decisions or prioritising, a sense of failure if another person completes a task better than they do, repeating tasks over and over just to get them right or ‘perfect’.

So, what can parents do to support some of these tendencies?

  • Focus praise on the effort not the result
  • Discuss famous failures (history is littered with people who failed multiple times before they succeeded. Research your child’s favourite athlete or idol and discuss the failures they have had in their lives)
  • Encourage healthy risk taking and ways to digest failure that is supportive
  • Encourage self-compassion instead of self-criticism (ask them what advice would they give to a friend if they were in the same situation)
  • Identify what can be controlled and divert energy away from the things we have no control over
  • Constantly role model that parental love/approval/acceptance aren’t conditional on performance. It’s the effort that matters.

Thank you for your ongoing support. Please do not hesitate to contact Advisors or Heads of Boarding Houses if you have any concerns. We want our students to thrive and open communication plays a major role in achieving this.


Mr Adam (AJ) Whalley
Director of Pastoral Care

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From the Director of Co-Curricular

I hope you have had time to recharge and refresh over the holiday period. My most recent TAS Talks (Term 2, Week 9) highlighted the many and varied activities that took place in Term 2. Term 3 will continue to challenge students in a variety of ways. I encourage students to make the most of their opportunities at TAS this term and remember, you only get out of it, what you put into it.

Over the holiday period our GPS Shooting team prepared for the AAGPS competition, to be held in Week 1 of Term 3. A big thank you to Mr Lawrence, Mr Murray, Mr Hey and Mr Bondfield for preparing the students at the TAS Shooting Camp at Malabar.

After representing the Country at the NSW Selection Trials at the end of the last term, Stirling Munsie (NSW Junior 18s), Eugene Campbell and Fred Kearney (Barbarians) were all selected to play in their respective teams at the Australian 18s Championships in the second week of the holidays. A fantastic achievement and reward for their excellent performances in the Country team.

As we prepare for Term 3, we look forward to the continuation of co-curricular activities including sports, creative arts, music, debating and public speaking and the Activities program. The winter sports program will resume training and games in Week 1, as published in the winter sports training schedule. Students are reminded that sport is compulsory, and sports uniforms should be worn to each training session (unless otherwise advised by their MIC) and games. It is a student’s responsibility to communicate any intended absence from sport. This should be done either in person or via e-mail prior to the training session or game, with a valid reason. In accordance with Public Health Orders, students will not be able to attend co-curricular activities if displaying any symptoms of illness, and/or if directed to isolate themselves under PHO.

Please find links for:

  1. Winter Sports Training Schedule
  2. Music Ensembles 

Term 3 Scheduled Events


Sunday-Sunday 10-17 July GPS Shooting Camp

Week 1

Monday-Thursday 18-21 July GPS Shooting

Friday-Sunday 22-24 July TAS Reunion Weekend

Saturday 23 July TAS v The Scots College (Rugby)

Week 2

Tuesday-Wednesday 26-27 Photo Day

Thursday 28 July NCIS Netball

Saturday 30 July TAS v Shore (Away)

Week 4

Saturday 13 August TAS v Riverview (Away)

Week 5

Monday 15 August Activity Day

Week 6

Monday 22 August Passing Out Parade Practice 3.45-5.00 pm

Wednesday 24 August NCIS Rugby 7s

Thursday 25 NCIS Athletics

Week 7

Tuesday 30 August Passing Out Parade Practice 3.45-5.00 pm

Tuesday 30 August MS Production Performance (Boarders)

Wednesday 31 August Passing Out Parade Practice 3.45-5.00 pm

Thursday/Friday/Saturday 1/2/3 MS Production Performance 6.30-7.45 pm

Thursday-Monday 1-4 September Schools National Cycling Championships

Saturday 3 September GPS/CIS Athletics Training

Week 8

Wednesday & Thursday 7/8 September Passing Out Parade Practice 3.45-5.00 pm

Friday 9 September Passing Out Parade

Saturday 10 September GPS/CIS Athletics Training

Saturday 10 September Rugby Opens Dinner

Week 9

Saturday 17 September GPS Athletics

Saturday-Sunday 17/18 September New England Theatre Sports Championships

Week 10

Tuesday 20 September CIS Athletics


Mr Huon Barrett
Director of Co-curricular


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From the Head of Middle School

I would like to offer a warm welcome back to everyone as we commence the second half of the year. This term we welcome a number of new families to Middle School and I hope that you all settle into TAS well.

Last term we announced that Year 6 will be double streamed from the beginning of Term 3. I am pleased to be welcoming Dr Morag Stone to our teaching team, who will be teaching both Year 6 classes in English and Science. Dr Stone commenced her career in medicine, before being inspired to pursue a career in education. She is passionate about teaching and providing opportunities for all students to reach their full potential. Dr Stone has extensive experience teaching in independent schools both in New South Wales and Queensland. She has a particular interest in teaching literacy and we welcome her to our teaching team for the remainder of the year. Additionally, we welcome Mr Harry Dobson, teacher of HSIE, to TAS from Western Australia. Mr Dobson will be teaching HSIE to one of our Year 6 classes and two of our Year 7 classes, as well as being an advisor to 7.01 along with Mrs Piddington. This term we also welcome back Mrs Elaine McKellar from maternity leave. Mrs McKellar will be teaching Maths and Tech to Year 7, as well as being an Advisor to 7.03.

We commence Term 3 with a new timetable for all students. With the staffing movements that have occurred over the holiday break, there are extensive changes and there may be some teacher changes with some classes. Please ensure that you have checked this carefully prior to term start. It is now currently live in Edval Online.

This term is shaping up to be a busy one, with a number of events planned. These events include:

  • July 26 and July 27 – School Photos

  • August 6 – Middle School Open Afternoon. This event is open to all Middle School students, both current and prospective.

  • August 15 – Activities Day

  • August 30 – September 3 – Performances of the Middle School Play, ‘Horrible Histories’.

  • September 7 and 8 – Year 8 Creative Arts Immersion Workshops

Finally, I would also like to draw your attention to the Middle School Open Day  – Where Adventure meets Education that will be held on Saturday 6 August from 1 pm – 4 pm.  This event is for all current and prospective families to enjoy a day of adventure, fun, creative arts and STEM activities.  It will also be an opportunity for all new and current families to meet Principal Dr Horton and Deputy Principal Ray Pearson, enjoy lunch or afternoon tea and learn more about your child’s educational opportunities during the middle years at TAS. More details will be available in the coming weeks and I would encourage you all to attend this special event.

I wish everyone well for the term ahead.

Mr Luke Polson
Head of Middle School


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From the Head of Junior School

A very warm welcome to our new families in Junior School this term and to all those returning, I do hope you have all had a safe, refreshing and relatively warm break, somewhere…. Please remind yourselves of the school’s COVID-19 requirements (they are spoken about elsewhere in this newsletter) and are published on the School website. While we have been increasingly returning to normal day-to-day operations, regulations still apply if a positive test is returned. Please contact us at school if in any doubt. We will continue to monitor all students’ health very closely and ask those who are displaying any flu-like symptoms to stay at home.  For now, welcome back to Term 3 and all the excitement it brings.

Congratulations to Mrs and Mrs O’Connor
Congratulations to Tom and Anna on the birth of their daughter, Phillipa Anne, on July 3. Pip is one very cute baby and Mum, Dad and the whole family are doing very well. Anna is looking forward to bringing Pip to school to introduce her to us all; soon.


We warmly welcome Ms Lara Nicholls to TAS as she begins her time with us covering Mrs O’Connor’s maternity leave in Kindergarten.

Lara comes from Brisbane, where she was employed at both St Aidan’s Anglican Girls School and St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School focussing on early education and she is looking forward to working south of the border! She also holds a dual degree in Communications and Arts from the University of Queensland, where she majored in French, as well as Writing and Public Relations. Since February 2022, she has been completing further private study to enhance her French language proficiency to possibly enter a LOTE teaching role in the future. As a hobby painter, she loves looking for creative and unique ways to enhance her teaching practice.

Last term, we farewelled three of our Gappies – Victoria Brain, Hugh McCormick and Harri Dimdore-Miles.  We have four new gappies arriving in the holidays – Lexi, Libby, Sonia and Freddie all coming from UK and while I have no details about them at the time of writing, I am hoping that we will all catch up with them very soon!

Winter Uniform – please dress students appropriately, especially for sport

The complete winter uniform is available at the Uniform Shop. Please ensure you purchase or replace any items as required. We will be requesting that all students are dressed appropriately, especially while this cold weather is with us, particularly for sports training.

Sports Training

Sport and sports training will begin next week, especially for those playing Wednesday Hockey so please ensure you are ready to start next week.

Arriving at School…and being unsupervised in the playground

It is timely to mention again that the Junior School playground is not supervised before 8.10am each day. While there may be occasions when children need to arrive at school earlier than this, it should only be for an activity that would have the appropriate supervision. We are keen to avoid the increasing number of early arrivals who then have to be asked to sit in the Junior School Reception area until the appropriate time.

In addition to this, while we understand the pressures of getting children off to school in the mornings, the morning routine at school is an important one. It is widely recognised that children benefit from playing with friends in the playground before school. It is also disruptive when late arrivals occur once a lesson has started. If your child is late please escort them to the Junior School Reception desk prior to heading to the classroom and sign them in, as it is likely that they have been reported absent.  We thank you for your ongoing support.

Mr Ian Lloyd
Head of Junior School

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