Start of Term Newsletter Term 3 2023

TERM 3, 2023

From the Principal

A very warm welcome back to Semester 2 to all our families, and a particular welcome to those who are new to TAS this term. With another busy term planned, we look forward to seeing many of you in person over the next few weeks. Some of the key events this term include the Middle School Production of Fight with All Your Might the Zombies of Tonight (, the annual Old Armidalians’ Reunion Weekend 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:

  • We welcome Mrs Shane Moffitt to TAS as Head of Dangar & Moyes and as a teacher of HSIE and English
  • Miss Jess Suann, known to a number of our families already through her music tutoring, joins the Junior School as a part-time teacher of music
  • Mrs Donella Tutt has been appointed to the position of Assistant Director of Teaching and Learning
  • Mrs Tania Hardin has been appointed Head of the Diverse Learning Department.

It is wonderful to be able to offer morning tea and lunch as an option for our Day students and equally rewarding to see so many take advantage of the service. The cost of this convenient option has remained stable for quite some time, but in Term 3, due to significantly increased food costs, it will increase to $9. We are proud of the quality and range of food offered in the TAS Dining Hall, but I am aware that students do not always come home with a comprehensive explanation of what is on offer. For those parents who do not know what choices are available, an example of a weekly lunch and dinner menu can be found HERE.


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.

Rules and Regulations

With a continued focus on ensuring high standards, please find below important reminders on student dress, appearance and behaviour.

Winter Uniform (Terms 2 & 3)

The school uniform comprises the striped senior blazer for students in Years 11 and 12 and the 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 a grey.  Years 6-10 girls wear a grey skirt or grey pants, TAS long-sleeved blouse, black knee-high socks or black stockings and a 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 (or navy pants), a white formal blouse, school tie, black knee-high socks or black stockings and a 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

  1. Ties should be worn so that the collar button is done up and does not show 
  2. Shoes should be polished at all times 
  3. Full school uniform must be worn in public between school and home (day students) 
  4. Within the school, blazers do not have to be worn except at formal occasions or Tuesday Assemblies.
  5. Extremes of hairstyle are not permitted.

Boys’ hair is to be neat and tidy, of an acceptable length (Number 3 blade +) and there must be no artificial colouring. Extremes in length (i.e. long fringes, mullets, shaved sections above ears etc.) along with facial hair are not permitted. 

Girls’ hair is to be a natural colour and be both clean and well-kept. It must be worn off the face and neatly tied back if shoulder length or longer. Ribbons should be navy or white from the Uniform Shop. Extremes in length (i.e. shaved sections) are not permitted. 

  1. Make-up is not to be worn at school. 
  2. 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 and not be seen. 

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. 

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

Classroom Expectations

To complement the high standards we expect of our students in presenting with pride, additional focus will be placed on our expectations in the classroom this semester. With the goal of ensuring a positive learning environment for all, clear expectations will be outlined to all students and staff and reinforced consistently. As we continue to set the bar high for our students, a focus on being organised, respectful, and polite will be front and centre. 

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

The Armidalian magazine – back copies available

The School has an excess number of back copies of The Armidalian magazine from the years 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 to give away. These magazines will be available for collection from Big School all next week, including by boarders’ parents when dropping off their children on Monday. The 2021 edition has been mailed to the Year 12 parents of that year group and otherwise is available online.


Mr Ray Pearson
Deputy Principal

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From the Director of Teaching and Learning

Term 3 is an exciting time for academics with its opportunities for students to demonstrate their learning and put their study skills into practice. Towards the end of the term, Year 8 will sit their examinations for core subjects (Week 8), giving them the important opportunity to prepare for timed, unseen tasks, and as such, become familiar with assessment under examination conditions. The following week (Week 9), Year 11 students will complete their End of Course Examinations in Memorial Hall. The week will consist of them sitting their six exams over the five days; students who study an extension subject will sit a seventh exam that week.

Term 3 will commence, next week, with our Year 9 and 10 students moving into their new elective classes. All Stage 5 students can now check their timetables to confirm their class placement. Year 12 will continue the rigorous process of preparing for Trial HSC Examinations which take place in Weeks 4 and 5 this term. The timetable for Trial Exams will be published to students this week so they can begin planning their month-long preparation. This is a time to focus on their final school-based assessments contributing important marks to their HSC results.

Later this week, the 2023 Year 12 Winter Study Camp will take place with TAS staff, local tutors and Sydney-based company, Elevate Education, all coming together to offer a rich three-day program for our Year 12s. Thank you in advance to the staff for their time and for the students as they polish and hone their skills in this important period of their Year 12 program.

A reminder that this coming Monday, 17 July, Hoskins Centre will host the Year 11 (2024) Subject Information Evening for our current Year 10 students and their families. (This is the travel day for boarders and houses will be open from 1 pm.) The afternoon will begin in the Hoskins Theatre at 4 pm with a short welcome and introduction followed by subject booths running in the foyer giving families the opportunity to discuss subjects with teachers, Heads of Department, and senior students. This marks the first stage of our Year 10 students gaining the important information required for them to make discerning choices about their pattern of study for 2024. I look forward to seeing our Year 10 families there; for those of you who cannot make it, the welcome will be recorded, and I encourage you to contact your child’s Advisor to begin conversations about subject choices.


Mrs Gill Downes
Director of Teaching and Learning


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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 recharge for the final two weeks of term.

The boarding houses once again competed admirably throughout the term in the inter-house competition with Abbott House winning the Boys Cloisters Race, Tyrrell House winning the Senior Debating in an entertaining final in front of the school, Tyrrell House winning the ‘House Trophy’ for points per house member and Abbott House winning the “House Championship Trophy” for overall House winners at the Annual Athletics Carnival.

Term 3 is a busy term for our Year 12s and Year 11s with the Year 12 Trial Examinations during Weeks 4 and 5 and Valedictory festivities during Week 10 and the Year 11 yearly exams during Week 9.

I have outlined 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 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 to be worn with the school uniform are TAS hats and when competing in sport 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 for this purpose. 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 in the evening and stored in boarding house offices. Exceptions to this rule are the Year 12 boarders.


This privilege has always been for Year 12 students only and will remain a Year 12 privilege for the foreseeable future. From Term 4 current Year 11 Boarders will be allowed their vehicles at TAS, parked at their own risk and under several strict conditions. The car privilege commences once all the current Year 12’s have vacated their boarding houses after their HSC Examinations have concluded.

Term 3 Return

Monday 17 July is an Academic Staff Day with all Heads of House involved in academic matters throughout the day until 3.30 pm. Boarding houses will be open and staffed from 1.00 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.

Head of Dangar/Moyes

After an extensive recruitment process, Mrs Shane Moffitt has been appointed the Head of Dangar/Moyes Houses from the commencement of Term 3. Mrs Moffit is an HSIE teacher and brings considerable experience in both girls’ and co-ed education sectors across independent and catholic schools in Australia and the United Kingdom. Her most recent appointments have been at Presbyterian Ladies College Armidale and O’Connor Catholic College. Her strong pastoral focus, interpersonal and communication skills, genuine caring nature, and enthusiasm for the role were evident throughout the interview process.

Mrs Moffitt is excited to commence this role and will join her husband David, who is our Head of Science and son Sebastian at TAS.

Year 12 Boarders Trial HSC and HSC Examination Guidelines

These arrangements were communicated to all parents of Year 12 boarders on 28 March. All Senior Boarding Heads of House have discussed these arrangements with their respective Year 12 boarders.

Year 12 Boarding House Dinners

Please keep in mind the Year 12 Boarding House Dinners, with parent attendance, will be on the evening of Thursday 21 September. Invitations to these dinners will be sent during Term 3.


Mr David Drain
Director of Boarding


Boarding Activities

Please see below the proposed activities for the first five weeks of Term 3. Some activities might change due to weather or TAS co-curricular commitments. Activities from Week 6 to Week 9 will be communicated halfway through the school term. Thank you.

  • Week 1 – ‘Movie Night’, Belgrave Cinema – Saturday 22/7.
  • Week 2 – Armidale Golf Club ‘9 Holes Ambrose’ – Saturday 29/7.
  • Week 3 – Tamworth Shopping Trip – Saturday 5/8. 
  • Week 4 – Ten Pin Bowling, Armidale Recreation Centre – Sunday 13/8.
  • Week 5 – Robb vs Tamworth Rugby, Bellevue Oval – Saturday19/8.

Mr James Brauer
Head of White House
Boarding Recreation Officer


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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 few months, with 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. 

You would be aware that students in Years 9-12 have moved away from using paper diaries to digital calendars and other organisational tools. For most students, being organised helps them to feel like they are in control of their school life. Organisation helps students meet academic deadlines and maintain some control over the busy schedules so many of our students have. A lack of organisation can lead to increased stress, less productivity and a reduction in general wellbeing. On the other hand, being too organised can have very similar effects. I try to encourage students to be as organised as they need to be, in order to make their life easier. If students can run their own race, they will be less likely to compare themselves to others, and as I have written previously, comparison is the theft of joy.

As parents, you have all made some form of digital conversion from when you were at school. Many of you would be right across the digital organisational tools that are out there to help with work and lifestyle organisation. I would strongly encourage you to sit down with your child over the holidays and chat about how they keep themselves organised and maybe offer some advice on what works for you. 

I know Mr Ardnt has been working tirelessly in the Hub creating a suite of resources that will help students with their organisational skills. He is more than happy to sit with any student to discuss the Google Workspace and Canvas software used at TAS, and show students how they can utilise these tools to their benefit.  

I do hope your child has had a restful break and is ready for the term ahead. Please don’t hesitate to contact their Advisor or the Head of their Boarding House if you have any concerns.


Mr Adam (AJ) Whalley
Director of Pastoral Care

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From the Director of Co-Curricular

After a busy and fulfilling co-curricular program in Term 2, which included our amazing Senior School Production Legally Blonde, the Eisteddfod – which highlighted our strengths in music, an activities day, the commencement of winter sport and representative carnivals in swimming, cross-country, hockey and football. In addition, TAS hosted Sydney Boys’ High School, Farrer, NEGS and Calrossy in a range of sports, as well as Riverview, Grammar and Trinity. Our debaters commenced their competitions, the equestrian team competed in Coonabarabran at the North West Equestrian Expo and we enjoyed success in Mountain Biking at the NSW All Schools Championships. Given the enormity of Term 2 activities, I hope you have had time to recharge and refresh over the holiday period.

Over the holiday break our GPS Shooting team will be preparing for the GPS competition, to be held in Week 1 of Term 3 in Sydney, at the Hornsby Range. A big thank you to Mr Lawrence (MIC of Shooting) for his organisation and preparation of the team. In addition, our First Netball team toured the Gold Coast and I thank Mrs Rachel Piddington (MIC of Netball) for her dedication and organisation over the holiday period.

As we prepare for Term 3, we look forward to the continuation of co-curricular activities including sports, creative arts, music and the activities program. All co-curricular activities will resume training and games in Week 1, as published in the winter sports training schedule and extra-curricular schedule.

Students are reminded that attendance is compulsory at co-curricular activities, 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 an activity. This should be done either in person or via e-mail prior to the training session or game, with a valid reason.

A final reminder that photo days take place in Week 2 and will require you to have the correct uniform for each photo.

Please find links for:

Extra-Curricular Schedule

Winter Sports Training Schedule

Photo Schedule

Term 3 Scheduled Events
Friday & Saturday 14-15 JulyGPS Shooting Camp
Week 1
Sunday – Thursday 16-20 JulyGPS Shooting Hornsby Range
Saturday 22 JulyTAS v The King’s SchoolRugby Away
Week 2
Wednesday & Thursday 26-27 JulyPhoto Day
Thursday 27 JulyNCIS Netball
Saturday 30 JulyTAS v St Josephs CollegeRugby Away
Week 3
Friday – Sunday 4-6 AugustOld Armidalians’ Reunion Weekend
Saturday 5 AugustTAS v SHORERugby Home
Week 4
Wednesday 9 AugustMiddle School Play Preview – Fight with All Your Might the Zombies of TonightHoskins Centre
Friday & Saturday 11-12 AugustMiddle School Play – Fight with All Your Might the Zombies of TonightHoskins Centre
Week 5
Monday 14 AugustActivities Day
Wednesday 16 AugustNCIS Athletics (Junior & Senior School)
Week 6
Monday 21 AugustPassing Out Parade Practice3.45 pm – 5.00 pm
Thursday 24 AugustNCIS Rugby 7sTAS
Saturday 26 AugustHomeless Sleepout
Sunday 27 AugustArmidale Junior Rugby Carnival
Week 7
Tuesday 29 AugustPassing Out Parade Practice3.45 pm – 5.00 pm
Wednesday 30 AugustPassing Out Parade Practice3.45 pm – 5.00 pm
Thursday 31 AugustNCIS Mountain Biking Event
Week 8
Wednesday & Thursday 6-7 SeptemberPassing Out Parade Practice3.45 pm – 5.00 pm
Friday 8 SeptemberPassing Out Parade2.00 pm – 4.00 pm
Saturday 9 SeptemberRugby Opens Dinner
Week 9
Saturday 16 SeptemberGPS Athletics
Week 10
Tuesday 19 SeptemberCIS Athletics


Mr Huon Barrett
Director of Co-curricular


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From the Head of Middle School

Welcome to Term 3! I hope the Winter break has treated you well and that everyone has enjoyed the break to routine and is feeling refreshed and recharged to commence the term ahead. Please see below some key information as we start the new term.

Changes to Year 8 Homerooms

As previously emailed to parents and carers at the end of Term 2, class lists have been changed for 8.02 and 8.03. This follows some enrolment changes in both of our Year 8 mixed ability classes. Over the holiday break, we have made changes to these lists. This is to ensure that both classes are appropriately balanced to ensure a successful second semester. The change of semester is the best time to do this, with the changes from History to Geography across all classes and with the completion of a number of units of work across both classes at the end of the term. This list will be available for students on Monday 17 July. All students are encouraged to check their timetables prior to the return of school so all students are aware of classes and timetables for Semester 2.

Exams and Assessments

This term, Year 8 teachers will be supporting our Year 8 students as they prepare for an exam block to be held in Week 8 of Term 3, and more information will be provided to students and families through class teachers. Students in Year 8 can expect four scheduled exams during this time: English, Mathematics, History/Geography and Science. The purpose of having a formal examination block for Year 8 is to begin to equip students with the necessary skills to be successful in managing an exam period and allow for a smooth transition into Senior School next year. There will still be assessments for all subjects in Term 4 as part of the Year 8 program.

Years 6 and 7 do not sit a formal examination block. Rather, students will sit a variety of assessment tasks in scheduled class times.

Leave Requests

If your child is to be absent from school for any reason, including arriving late or leaving early, please advise Mrs Robyn Frost at or (02) 6776 5819 explaining the reason for absence by phone, email, or written note before 10.00 am that day.

Please be reminded that students are expected to attend school for the full period of the term. If, however, a family wishes to apply for leave for exceptional circumstances, an Application for Exemption from School form MUST be completed by a parent or carer and permission sought from the Head of Middle School prior to the leave being taken – this can be done by mail or email:

Arrivals and Departures from School

For Day Students arriving and departing from school, the best option for drop off and collection is the area outside of Gate 2 (Douglas Street). Please ensure that you are not dropping off or collecting your children in the staff car park. A teacher is on duty in the Middle School for supervision from 8:20 am.

Classroom Expectations

This term, an emphasis on being organised, respectful and polite will be the focal point for all we do. As Mr Pearson included in his section of this newsletter, to compliment the high standards we expect of our students in presenting with pride, additional focus will be placed on our expectations in the classroom this semester. With the goal of ensuring a positive learning environment for all, clear expectations will be outlined to all students and staff and reinforced consistently. I look forward to your support with this. I encourage all students and families to read Mr Pearson’s section of this newsletter to ensure that everyone is familiar with the uniform expectations for the term ahead.

I wish everyone a successful and rewarding Term 3. I look forward to seeing all of our students back at school on Tuesday. Please ensure that all students are wearing formal school uniforms for the first day back.


Mr Luke Polson
Head of Middle School

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From the Head of Junior School


In our last Junior School assembly for Semester 1, our students were encouraged to focus their time and effort on those things that they themselves have some element of control over (their ‘circle of control’), rather than perseverate upon incidents, decisions, or actions that they could never reasonably influence.  We hope that they have done just that over the mid-year holiday break – they are bound to have had a more productive and enjoyable few weeks, as would their families if this were the case!

We look forward to welcoming all Junior School students back to school on Tuesday 18 July. While we appreciate the challenges in preparing for a full day at school, especially during the colder winter months and at the end of a lengthy period of time out of regular routine, we seek your support in ensuring your child/ren is/are at school and ready for learning to commence by 8.40 am.

Late arrival to school disrupts the all-important start of daily routines for both the individual students involved as well as their class group and inevitably disrupts the teaching and learning occurring from the moment classes commence. A host of helpful advice is available online for those who experience difficulties in the morning. The website provides practical suggestions that many may find helpful.

Any families who intend to extend their child(ren)’s holiday period beyond the start of term are reminded that it is both a school and regulatory requirement that any anticipated absence be approved by the School in advance. The first stage in this process is the completion of the Application for Exemption from School form which should then be submitted to the appropriate administrative office, depending on the area of the school in which the child/ren is/are enrolled. For Junior School students, this form should either be emailed to or handed to Mrs Lasker at the Junior School Reception.

Semester 2 will see all Junior School classes introduce the Bounce Back! Social and emotional learning (SEL) program to explicitly teach wellbeing and resilience skills to help students ‘bounce back’ and cope with the complexity of everyday life. Bounce Back is an acronym for:

Bad times don’t last. Things always get better.
Other people can help if you talk to them. Get a reality check.
Unhelpful thinking makes you feel more upset.
Nobody’s perfect, not you and not others.
Concentrate on the positives (no matter how small) and use laughter.
Everybody experiences sadness, hurt, failure, rejection and setbacks sometimes. They are a part of life. Try not to personalise them.

Blame fairly – how much of what happened was because of you, how much was because of others and how much was because of bad luck or circumstances?
Accept the things you can’t change but change what you can first.
Catastrophising makes your worries worse. Don’t believe the worst possible picture.
Keep things in perspective. It’s only one part of your life.

We are excited to share more information about both this program and how you may be able to reinforce the lessons taught at home in our upcoming TAS Talks articles.

The Junior School assemblies are an absolute highlight of the week for many and are certainly eagerly anticipated by our student body, whether or not they are presenting. Please note that these assemblies will now occur in rotation in the last lesson of the day on Fridays, commencing at 2.45 pm. We anticipate live-streaming these once again, with support from our Year 5 cohort and will share both the overview of the upcoming assemblies and the links to these in the next edition of TAS Talks.


Mr Scott Chittenden
Head of Junior School

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