2019 Term 1 Week 5   |   27.02.2019

TAS Talks Term 1 Week 5

01. From the Headmaster

Activities Day 1

This Friday will see the Activities Program for 2019 get underway for all students in Years 6 to 11. The Activities Program is a deliberately structured and sequenced course of activities that are designed to stretch our students’ abilities through challenge and enable them to build leadership skills along the way. From Bush Skills in Year 6 to Pioneers in Year 7, Cadets for Years 8 to 10 and a choice of Cadets, Surf Lifesaving or Rural Fire Service in Year 11, the level of challenge, skill development and leadership opportunities grows as our students do. The Activities Program is the cornerstone of our character development curriculum and the investment of 12 school days each year in it reflects how important it is to us. Some students will be looking forward to the program and getting into the bush, whilst others may see the prospect as daunting. I encourage all who may be looking ahead to Friday and beyond with trepidation to remember that the challenges are designed to be accessible to all and while they may be testing at times, you will look back on them with satisfaction.


Year 12 Academic Activities

While the rest of Middle and Senior School are being tested in the field, Year 12 will be preparing for the challenge of the HSC in the first of the Year 12 study days. This program of three days in first term and one day in each of the following terms is designed to complement and supplement the work done in each subject by focusing on generic skill development and habits that will assist academic work across the board. Topics will be as diverse as essay structure, memorisation techniques, how to develop study habits and keeping life balance. Some of this will come from special presenters from outside the School and some from our own senior staff and our Director of Studies, Seonia Wark, in particular. I encourage every Year 12 student to make the most of the sessions by building the advice given into study routines for the two and a half terms remaining.


Representative Sporting Success

TAS students have enjoyed some special success at the ‘next level’ of competition in both hockey and athletics over the past week. Those who have been following the growth of TAS hockey over recent years will not be surprised that the club had a big presence at the recent Hockey NSW Centre of Development regional carnival for 13 and 15 years age groups in Sydney. Over 15 players, all of whom had been training for the past eight weeks in Centre of Development squads, represented the Northern Inland Thunderbolts in the two teams, with Tom Ball being named the Northern Inland 13 years boys player of the tournament. With the winter hockey season just around the corner, prospects for the TAS Hockey Club are clearly very strong and I wish all players well as they look to the competition ahead.

In individual news, Eliza Ward competed strongly in the U17 girls 800m at the NSW State Junior Championships at Olympic Park. Reaching this elite level in athletics is a rare feat and I am sure that the experience was a memorable one for Eliza. She is to be congratulated as much on the dedicated training that led to this representation as she is for her performance itself.

Murray Guest




02. Notice Board

Uniform Shop

New Opening Hours:
Monday, Wednesday and Friday
1.30pm to 5.00pm

Tuesday and Thursday
7.30am to 2.00pm

Medical Centre

Parents of Year 7 students will have received Year 7 Vaccination packages in the last few days. Could you please complete these and return them to your child's teacher or the Health Centre as soon as possible please. Vaccinations will occur on the morning of Thursday 7 March at the Health Centre.

Student Services

Parents/Carers who are eligible for the NSW Govt subsidy for driving over 1.6 km to transport pickup point are advised to go to the link provided below. Advice is also available from Mrs Meg Sadler msadler@as.edu.au


Daily Absence
If your child is to be absent from school for any reason, including arriving late or leaving early, please advise the appropriate Administration Assistant (see below), explaining the reason for absence by phone, email, or written note before 10.00am that day. In addition a written note confirming the circumstances of the absence is required within seven (7) days. Sickness in excess of four school days requires a doctor's certificate detailing the nature of sickness and duration of sickness.
Junior School: Phone 6776 5817 or email junior@as.edu.au
Middle School: Phone 6776 5819 or email middle@as.edu.au
Senior School: Phone 6776 5800 or email absentees@as.edu.au
More information about absentees and extended leave can be found using the link provided.

03. Calendar of Events

Week 5
Thursday 28 FebruaryTwilight Concert ( Year 12 )
Week 6
Friday 1 MarchActivities Day 1
Rowers depart for Sydney
Saturday 2 MarchRowing (Sydney Rowing Club)
Sunday 3 MarchDouglas Shield Cricket (KWS)
Week 7
Monday 4 MarchDouglas Shield Cricket
Wednesday 6 MarchYear 10 Music Workshop (NECOM)
Thursday 7 MarchHSC Music Workshop
Year 7 Vaccinations
Friday 8 MarchActivities Day 2

04. From the P&F



You may have been contacted by your Year Group Liaison Parents to let you know about our Facebook pages… Each year has a Closed Facebook Group for parents and carers (no students please). If you haven’t been contacted please still join up…

The Facebook groups have been named according to the year that the group will be in Year 12. ie. TAS Year 12 2019, is the current Year 12, right down to TAS Year 12 2032, which is the current Transition class. So search for these in Facebook and join the fun!!

These are a way of building community within a cohort and an easy way for LPs and parents to communicate with each other about school and group activities.  These pages can also be used for information sharing, such as reminders about whether formal uniform is required the next day, uniform or sporting gear trading, supporting families experiencing ill health or crisis, or as a way to meet new people.

Key information from the P&F will still be sent via Liaison Parents through email as well but we encourage all parents and carers to use your Year Group Facebook Pages as a friendly way to quickly keep in touch.

Please use these groups wisely, they are not for promoting products or events that are not relevant to the TAS School Community. Comments should be polite, inclusive and relevant, or they may be deleted.

Also, don’t forget that the P&F have our primary Facebook Page as well (search TAS Parents & Friends).

P&F Email Address

The P&F now have an email address – if you would like to contact us please use pandf@as.edu.au – this will also be the main address we will send emails from in future.

Key Dates for 2019

  • Wednesday 27 March (all day) – Middle & Senior School Athletics Carnival – P&F Cake Stall
  • Friday 29 March (all day) – Junior School Athletics Carnival – P&F Cake Stall
  • Saturday morning 30 March – Middle & Senior School Athletics Carnival – Bacon & Egg Rolls BBQ Breakfast.

TAS Rugby Carnival – Save the Date

The TAS Rugby Carnival is coming up at the start of the April holidays on Saturday 13- 14 April. This is the biggest event of the year for TAS and the P&F and showcases TAS far and wide – we have well over 1000 kids, coaches and managers to feed each day – plus their families … phew!!!

If you can help or bake or both for this event it would be much appreciated. The Rugby Carnival does clash with Tour de Rocks this year so we would love if you can help.

More information will be sent out through TAS Talks, emails and Facebook in the next few weeks.

P&F Meetings

We have two main meetings a term – usually these are held in the Lower Maxwell Room at 7pm on a Wednesday night. These meetings are open to all and we would love to see you there.

  • Term 1 – 13 March
  • Term 2 – 8 May and 12 June
  • Term 3 – 31 July and 11 September
  • Term 4 – 23 October and 20 November


Mrs Rachael Nicoll
P&F President



05. From the Director of Studies


Parent Teacher Interviews

Year 6 & 7 Parent Teacher Interviews will be held on Thursday 14 March (3.30pm – 6pm) and Friday 15 March (2.30pm – 5.30pm). An email will be sent to parents late this week containing the link and password to book interviews with your child’s teacher.  Year 12 Parent teacher Interviews will be held in the last week of term – Thursday 11 April and Friday 12 April.

Please direct any queries in regards to Parent Teacher Interviews to Mrs Vickey O’Brien – 6776 5806 or email vobrien@as.edu.au


Stage 6 Assessment Policy

The Stage 6 Assessment Policy is on the TAS website for both students and parents. This document contains important information on the Assessment Program, Assessment Schedules and Notifications, Appeal Procedures, Academic Honesty and Malpractice. The link to this policy is HERE


Academic Support

TAS continues to offer academic support for students in Years 6 – 12 through the Extended Day Program.

Students are able to access the Library from 7.30am. There is no specific academic support available to students at this time of the day. This new offering is to give students a safe and quiet place to work on their own.

After school (3.30pm) the Library is also open for students wishing to work quietly on their homework or receive some general guidance with their homework and assessments. Specialist tutoring is also available in the evenings from Monday – Thursday – see table below. Day students accessing specific tutoring sessions will be charged $15 per afternoon. Tutors will keep rolls and the charges associated with these sessions will be added to TAS accounts each month. It is best, though not compulsory, for us to know if you want your child booked into these tutoring sessions.  Families can do this by contacting Mrs Vickey O’Brien (vobrien@as.edu.au or 6776 5806) for more details.  Boarders attending these sessions must sign out of the house in the normal manner and return by the required time. There is no additional cost for boarders as out of hours’ support is already part of the Schedule of Fees for 2019. Day students are able to access dinner in the Dining Hall from 5:30pm and will do so by swiping their Student Card at the door. The cost associated with dinner (approx. $6 per meal) will be added to their TAS account.


Year 6-84pm-5pm


4pm – 5pm



(General assistance)


(General assistance)

Year 9-127pm-9pm

Maths (All levels)


Maths (All levels)


From the Science Department

It has been a marvellous start to the year in the science department. I’ve been hearing trills of ‘Every Day is a Science Day’ coming from the Year 6 class and the sounds of busyness in the laboratories as experiments are excitedly conducted.

Our new science elective courses ‘Future of Food’ and ‘Robotic Medicine’ have been very well received. Eighty servo motors arrived the other day so that the creation of robotic arms can begin as did edible ink cartridges for cake icing sheets. So it’s ‘Full STEM ahead’.

It’s this time of year that we receive information about challenges and competitions and I want to inform the TAS community of some of these.


Australian Science Olympiads

I seek expressions of interest from Year 11 students in the 2019 Physics, Chemistry and Biology Olympiad Qualifying Examinations. Ideally I would like a team of three to four passionate science students from each subject area who will train in an attempt to qualify for the 2019 Olympiads. These challenging exams are not for the faint hearted – some of the two hour examination content is of a first year university level.

Students may also prepare for the exams by practising on Olympiads Online and trying out past papers. CLICK HERE

  • Physics Olympiads Exam –(14 August – registrations close 19 July)
  • Chemistry Olympiads Exam – (7 August – registrations close 19 July)
  • Biology Olympiad Exam – (12 August – registrations close 19 July)
  • The cost is $10 (plus GST) per student per exam.

Please see Mr Hey if you are interested in participation.

Brain Bee Challenge

In this challenge Sambavan Jeyakumar was placed 2nd in the NSW finals in 2016 and won a $20,000 scholarship to UWS.

This year I have appointed Medhi Ahsan as leader of a team of students who I hope will train hard for the 2019 Brain Bee Challenge. CLICK HERE

Round 1 is an online quiz which runs through March. Should you be interested in taking part, please see Medhi and we will aim to have you registered in the next week.


Aviation Update

Congratulations to the following past students of the Aviation Elective who, since last December have now gone solo or achieved their pilots licence:

  • Solo: Riley Simmons (Year 11), Henry Mitchell (Year 10)
  • Private Pilots Licence: Ben McElroy (Year 12)

Future of Food

On 19 and 21 February in two separate outings, students of the Future of Food elective travelled to the Blush tomato farm Guyra, Deano’s Black Mountain trout farm and Castledoyle Road Red Jewel Strawberry and Raspberry farm. I wish to thank the proprietors of these businesses for affording our students such a valuable experience.

Students are investigating modern farming methods and you may be surprised by some of the facts that they learned:

  • Glass housed tomato plants can grow up to 18 metres long.
  • The Guyra tomato farm glasshouses cover 10 hectares.
  • Rainbow trout take half as long to grow to maturity as Brown trout.
  • Yabbies are shipped live, in hibernation on ice.
  • One tissue culture of strawberry can produce 40 million plants.
  • Quarantine times for imported plants can be up to 18 months.

Thanks to the students of the class for these facts and a massive thank you to Mrs Chick for organising the excursions.


Mr Alasdair Hey
Head of Science


Art and Music Excursion - Sydney

An excited and talented group of art and music students journeyed to Sydney to get inspiration, extend understanding of their artistic process and gain insight into the standards and expectations required for HSC art and music.

Upon arrival we wandered through Eden gardens to experience artworks created by thirty local and international artists. This extraordinary exhibition incorporated the gardens, recycled materials, natural materials, living plants, water and air in beautiful, intriguing and thought-provoking artworks.  We sweltered in the humid conditions whilst Italian installation artist Marta Ferrancin explained her artistic practice and the development of her intentions highlighting the reuse of plastic items and science in art.

We settled into our accommodation freshened up and headed down to Circular Quay for dinner before attending the Encore! Concert at the Opera House.  The Concert Hall was filled with the family and friends of the 2018 top achievers and the atmosphere was thrilling with spontaneous cheering and enthusiastic clapping. Mind you the MC’s jokes were somewhat predictable and obvious.  Each performer astonished us with a unique performance showcasing their dexterity, mastery and passion, highlighting the many options there are for students doing the HSC music course.

The next day although we love Stuart the bus-driver and his driving, we decided to walk everywhere which was an exceptionally good idea as we managed 17 000 steps by the end of the day. Art students went down to The Rocks and the Museum of Contemporary Art to view the David Goldblatt and the ‘Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow’ exhibitions.

Time passes unnoticed when you are captivated by art. Meanwhile the music students visited the JMC Academy in Ultimo and were treated to a guided tour of the facilities, an explanation of the courses and insight into possible careers in the music industry. The technology available and utilised by modern musicians was a feature of the JMC Academy.

That night Stuart drove us to Kirribilli for a performance at the Ensemble Theatre.  David Williamson’s new play ‘The Big Time’ has at its core themes of jealousy, ambition and betrayal with some mobile phone humour thrown in for good measure. The students found the play accessible and interesting with some lively discussions occurring on the footpath after the curtain closed.

This excursion was vital for forming relationships and connections between the students and the students and the teachers.  We all got to be on our best behaviour and interact in important ways out of school. The experience afforded everyone the opportunity to contemplate new concepts, bounce ideas off each other, initiate strategies and commence planning for their own artistic and musical endeavours.


Mrs Fiona Xeros



Education USA

Below are some extracts from an email I received from Education USA.

‘There will be three (possibly four)  U.S. Universities visiting Sydney on 4 March. All of which are NCAA Division 1. The Universities are: Indiana University, University of Delaware, The University of Akron, University of Vermont (tbc).

The universities will be hosting an Evening Information Session for students and families on 4 March from 5:30pm – 6:30pm. The session will be located at NYU Sydney Campus, 157-161 Gloucester St, The Rocks.
Registration link: CLICK HERE. 

Further information on studying in the U.S can be found HERE.’



The University of Newcastle Department of Rural Health (UONDRH) will be conducting its Health Careers Forum for North West New England Secondary schools for Years 10, 11 and 12 students again in 2019.

Tuesday 5 March 2019

  • Morning Session              9.15AM – 11.30AM
  • Afternoon Session           12.30PM – 2.45PM

The forum will include presentations and workshops by academics, clinicians and current UONDRH students from health disciplines including; Medicine, Nutrition & Dietetics, Physiotherapy, Medical Research, Occupational Therapy, Pharmacy, Mental Health, Medical Radiation Science, Nursing and Speech Pathology.

We attended this forum last year with Years 10, 11 & 12 students which was very favourably received by those who attended.

Places are filling up quickly but seats are limited and priority will be given to Year 11s and 12s if demand exceeds the number of seats available.


QUT Newsletter

From time to time, as they arrive I will post a copy of the newsletters from the various universities and colleges. These generally contain up to date information about course entry and changes in course structures. They also give detailed examples of university programs and campus life.  Go to the link provided for more details. CLICK HERE.

PCA Cadetship

Professional Cadetships Australia have provided Year 12 students with cadetships in Business, Technology and Engineering for the past 12 years. Cadetships enable students to study in the various fields whilst being paid by a parent company. This can be very lucrative for students especially with the high cost of living away from home which many country students have to contend with.

I have posted most of the information regarding PCA on the school’s website on the Careers page or you can go to the link HERE  for more details.


University of Newcastle – New Steps

UON is offering a new course designed to assist students who have experienced adversity during their HSC year and did not get the ATAR entry they desired for University. It is a pathways course that specialises in developing the necessary skills for success at university.

For more information please go the link below which will take you to the school’s Career page.  CLICK HERE


Mr Mark Taylor


06. Leadership, Service and Adventure

Activities Day 1 - Cadets

Activities Day 1 will be held on 1 March, Friday of Week 5. Cadets were briefed on their activities and required equipment on Tuesday 26 February. 

Cadets conducting overnight bivouac (4 & 8 Platoons) are required to meet at TAS Adamsfield for parade on Thursday 28 February (tomorrow) at 3.45pm.

All other cadets will assemble at TAS Adamsfield for parade on Monday 4 March at 8.40am.

Activities will cease and cadets released on completion of parade at 3.30pm Monday 4 March.

The activities will be conducted as follows:

A Company

1 Platoon: Mountain Biking, Black Mountain to Armidale via Puddledock.

2 Platoon:  Kayak touring at Malpas Dam.

3 Platoon:  Abseiling in vicinity of Gara Gorge.

B Company

4 Platoon:  Night harbour and routine in vicinity of Newholme property (UNE). Trek to Dumaresq Dam.

5 Platoon: Kayaking & water activities at Dumaresq Dam.

6 Platoon: Abseiling in vicinity of Gara Gorge.

7 Platoon: Abseiling in vicinity of Gara Gorge.

C Company

8 Platoon: Night harbour and routine in vicinity of Peatfield’s Overflow.  Trek to Dumaresq Dam. Canoeing activities at Dumaresq Dam.

9 Platoon: Navigation & fieldcraft training at Kirby Station (UNE)

10 Platoon: Canoeing activities at Dumaresq Dam.

11 Platoon: Navigation & fieldcraft training at Kirby Station (UNE)

Equipment Requirements

Cadets conducting an overnight bivouac (4 & 8 Platoons) should note the below packing list as a minimum. There may be additional equipment required by platoon leaders for cadets. These will have been discussed at activities briefing.

Back Pack (issued)

Compass* Hootchie (issued)

Spray jacket* / raincoat* 5m hutchie cord/rope*

Kidney Cup* (issued) Pegs x 4* (issued)

KFS set* Ground sheet (issued)

Water bottles x 2 (issued) Sleeping bag* & mat*

Towel (small) Olive Green thermal or cotton undershirt*

Notepad (in plastic bag)* Jumper (issued)

Torch + spare batteries* Wet gear (swimmers, shirt & shorts)

Plastic bag for wet gear Bush Hat* (issued)

Sun screen & insect repellent (tube or roll-on only)

Change of underwear & socks*

Toilet bag  (toothbrush + paste, baby powder)

*Available for purchase from TAS Clothing Shop

All members of The Armidale School Cadet Unit (TASCU) will be issued with required equipment by the TAS Q-Store on joining the unit. If this equipment is lost or damaged, it must be replaced at students’ own cost. Many items in the list above can be purchased from the TAS Clothing Shop and have been selected specifically for their suitability for TASCU use and reasonable cost. Clothing that has been outgrown can be replaced at no charge at Q-Store by arrangement with the Quartermaster.

If cadets have questions about their activities, they should in the first instance approach their platoon leader for more information.


MAJ (AAC) Angus Murray
Commanding Officer Cadets

Activities Day 1 - Surf Life



  • Depart Friday 1 March 2019 at 6:30am from Brown Street
  • Boarders early breakfast at 6am.


  • Depart Sawtell Beach 1.30 pm
  • Arrive Brown Street at 4.30pm

Mr J Pennington (0419 250 984), Mr M Ball, Mrs G Chick

Friday: Arrive Sawtell approximately 9:00am.
Unpack bus.

  • 9.30 am – 10.30 am Beach Session 1
  • 10:30am – 12:00pm Beach Session 2
  • 12.00pm-1:00pm Beach Session
  • 1.30 pm Depart Sawtell
  • 4.30pm Arrive Armidale


Swimmers, goggles. Pens, Manual and Workbook. Casual clothes including covered shoes.
Sunscreen, insect repellent, toiletries.

To travel: School sports uniform – Full school tracksuit if necessary, white shirt, blue shorts, white socks, sports shoes, hat, water bottle (to be carried onto beach), swimmers (board shorts are not allowed for lifesaving activities; rashies and caps provided), towel.

Breakfast: Cereal/toast spreads at TAS
Lunches: Rolls, salad filling, sliced meat, fruit


Mr Jim Pennington

07. From the Director of Co-curricular



On Saturday 9 February, a group of TAS kayakers set off to experience the whitewater course at the Mann River. This stretch of river is where the Regional and National Slalom races are held annually, and was a great opportunity for our students to gain experience and confidence on the water.

The day consisted of gate practice, both timed and in teams, along with the general feel of being in moving water. With the experience of our instructors Michael Taylor and John Forsyth, the students learnt lots while also having a great day on the water. Assistance was also given by OA and experienced kayaker David Williams and greatly appreciated.

The next competition will be the Regional championships, held at the Mann River on the 23 – 24 March and I encourage anyone interested to email me expressions of interest for this event  to echannon@as.edu.au

Ms Emma Channon

NSW State Junior Athletics Championships

On Sunday Eliza Ward competed at the NSW State Junior Championships at Sydney Olympic Park. Racing in the U17 girls 800m event, Eliza powered through the first lap in 68s and despite a solid headwind home, held on for an 11th place overall in NSW. Her time of 2:23.38 was just shy of her PB and only 3s off a National Qualifying time. This was a fantastic performance from Eliza as she continues to build her fitness following a long injury lay off. The future certainly looks bright for this young lady!

Speakers Club launches next week

Building confidence at public speaking, developing debating skills and just pondering big philosophical ideas will be the focus of the revitalised TAS Speakers Club which kicks off next week.

Every Tuesday from 8.00-8.30am in upstairs Cash Building, Speakers Captains Phebe Hunt and Henry O’Neil, assisted by Ms Lo and myself will be on hand to help students from Years 6-10 develop thinking and communication skills so important for life.

Debating skills sessions will be a focus in the lead up to inter-schools debating competitions, with a particular focus on Middle School students.

Every term we hope to hold some special Philosophy/Critical Thinking sessions which will be led by Ms Boydell, who is currently teaching Philosophy as a Year 9/10 Elective, and assisted by Lachlan Reiss-Wears (Year 11). This will be suitable for students of all year groups and be good preparation for the Northern NSW Philosothon which TAS will host for the first time later this year.

Phebe and Henry will also be on hand to give feedback and assistance to students who wish to practice assessment tasks that require speaking in front of a class or a presentation for Assembly.

There’s no membership and students can attend whatever sessions interest them – information will be put on a noticeboard under Fisher Wing, advertised in TAS Talks and mentioned at Prefects’ Assembly.


Mr Tim Hughes
Debating & Public Speaking Coordinator


Mountain Biking

Over the weekend students from the TAS mountain bike team competed in a Mountain Bike Australia national cup race, hosted by New England Mountain Bikers and held at the SportUNE mountain bike trails. Day one consisted of short course XCC racing. This format sees riders race on a short, non-technical track for approximately 15 minutes, with the fastest riders enjoying a premium place on the following days’ XCO race start. Most of our students who raced over the weekend participated in this event, as it was a good introduction to competition at a national level. Everyone who did compete from TAS rose to the challenge and really did themselves and the school proud with their effort.

Some notable results were Ted Chick, Banjo Lawrence and Will Brett finishing first, second and third respectively in the under 13’s mens’ race. Toby Inglis finished 7th in the under 15 mens while Archie Chick placed 9th in the under 17s. The following days’ racing consisted of the longer XCO races, held on a longer, technical track. TAS was represented by Ted Chick, Banjo Lawrence, Blake Whitehill and Will Brett who all rode very well to finish first, second, third and fifth in this ordering the under 13s. In the under 15s race Toby Inglis finished in 8th place, while Max Rogers and Blair Eichorn placed well amongst their older competitors. Archie Chick, Riley Simmons and Jack Armstrong all rode well in the under 17s race with Archie finishing in a very respectable 7th place. The under 19s race was represented by team captain Duncan Chalmers and Toby McMaster who both put in a very solid ride for this event. Congratulations to everyone who participated over the weekend, you should be proud of yourselves. Full race results and photos can be found on the NEMTB Facebook page.

Mrs Jo Benham

The start of the U13s XCC race

08. From the Coordinator of Creative Arts


Oliver! in the Mall

On the weekend the cast of Oliver! took to the streets and gave two short teaser performances of the show at the Markets in the Mall. They attracted a large crowd and did a tremendous job of entertaining the audience, spreading flyers and partying with the band performing in the space. Thanks to Peter Torning for his wonderful photos from the day and to all the parents who helped ferry the cast down and back. There’s just three weeks until the show opens so make sure you are grabbing your tickets from trybooking.com/BAMXV

Tickets on Sale for Oliver! - Don't miss out!

09. From the Head of Middle School


Talking to People

It’s that time of the year again: we’ve all been here long enough to form opinions, have a tendency, occasionally, to be tired, can be a little apprehensive about our first Activities Day (this coming Friday, actually), are managing sports and other co-curricular activities. As indicated in the past, talking to students, especially when they’re tired, a bit distressed or frustrated can be challenging but, ultimately, one of the most beneficial aspects of my job. It’s beneficial because, having been here longer than most students, I can advise them, counsel them, direct them to others better equipped than I am to advise them. So, I want you to speak to your children and tell them to come to me if they’re concerned about aspects of school life. I also want to speak to them when they’re happy – hearing them can actually make my day. I’m not referring to formal interview either; rather, I refer to those talks I have every day with individuals who come to the office to speak to me. The fact that they are beginning to arrive of their own volition is encouraging for me. Yesterday, two visited me and we spoke about arachnids (a shared distaste) animals in general and sea life, cuttlefish, in particular.

As I indicated last week, we’re continuing to make progress. Classes are, as a general rule, both settled and reasonably happy places. The Middle School is simultaneously frustrating and fascinating – largely because of its juvenile ‘inhabitants’. But, I enjoy the Middle School: yes, students can be naughty at times, will be naughty at others, but I’ve not met a bad one yet. Last weekend I was away speaking with and listening to the school’s executive team. I spoke briefly about the potential for disengagement of young adolescents, both males and females: it’s not always the case of course (thank goodness we humans are not so predictable), but the body can grow faster than the brain and all available energy is expended on physical growth. The form this disengagement can take is disengagement with self – and it must be pretty confronting when you’re so young and realise that, at times, you’re your own worst enemy. We adults need regularly to remind ourselves of what life was like for us when we were so young.   In order to find their place in relation to others, especially their peers, they are going to make mistakes, learn from them (with our help, of course) and become better as people as a result.

Wow, half way already

We’ve reached that ‘pointy’ part of term. Students are amazingly busy and this is as it should be, but they’re showing, as I’ve indicated, signs of weariness as well. Please, when speaking to them, would you acknowledge this fact and advise your children that sometimes when we are tired we say and do things to others that people, for whatever reason, take exception to… In fact, if there’s nothing pleasant or positive to say, especially, say nothing at all. This is one of those lessons we all learn as we grow up and now’s the time for our students to start learning it or having it reinforced. I’ve indicated, in Town Meetings and in my talk at last year’s Final Assembly, that one of the surest signs of increasing maturity is the ability to accept others for who they are, regardless of our personal opinions – on the proviso that those others don’t interfere with our enjoyment of ‘self’. There’s so much variety in the Middle School and, within reason, I want to keep it this way.

It’s cloudy outside – “what do yer reckon the chances are, mate?”


Mr Mark Harrison
Head of Middle School



10. From the Head of Junior School


Lake Keepit

Next week Years 2 to 5 will be travelling to Lake Keepit and I encourage you to discuss this adventure with your children at home. I have been fortunate enough to travel away on many of these excursions and, particularly in this day and age, the opportunities provided are increasingly important for our students.

A good part of our taught curriculum includes developing independence in learning, developing a broad range of understanding across a balanced range of disciplines, exercising initiative and thinking critically to solve problems, clearly expressing ideas and information and being open to other perspectives.  Many of you will notice that this is a summary of some of our Learner Profile about which we speak so regularly.

More specifically however, I would like to focus on the attribute of demonstrating courage and the capacity to explore unfamiliar situations without uncertainty or hesitation. If we seek an environment for our children that promotes relevant and challenging activities, we can then realise just how important it is that our children travel to Lake Keepit and put themselves to the test.


Armidale Show & IPSHA Travelling Art Show

This Friday is our first Activities day, giving us a great chance to get some artworks under our belt, for exhibitions in both the Armidale Show and the IPSHA Travelling Art exhibition later in the year. The real opportunity on these days, is for our students to work together across year groups to collaborate on a common project. The first few activities of the day are spent like this before each class returns to their own room to complete a class project. I look forward to seeing such a happy and productive day in action.


Supervision in Junior School

A quick reminder please, that the daily supervision in Junior School begins at 8.15am. If children are arriving earlier for clubs or other teacher-supervised activities, they must remain there with the teacher at all times.

And after school, we have had a growing number of unsupervised students as well. It is important that this does not happen while they wait for other activities (sport, late collection etc) and we will request that the After School Care service is used to minimise the risks. You will have noticed increased fencing in Junior School as we continue to work to improve this area for all our students while they are in our care.


Our Champion Swimmers – at PSSA and NCIS

We have recently had our swimmers heading off for representative carnivals and you will see a list of achievements in our Sport Section as a result. When I was a Head of House, travelling to western NSW to interview prospective students, I was always keen to hear from those who were musicians, athletes or swimmers; they had already shown considerable persistence and self-discipline to achieve in their various fields. I congratulate our swimmers who have been training hard to represent their school and look forward to hearing of their continued success.


School Spirit Award Recipients – Week 4

Congratulations to the following students for receiving School Spirit Awards at last week’s assembly:

Freddie Post, Eva Cook, Neave Drain, Lucie Stephen, Levi Watts, Ruben Higgins, Andrian Zhang, Chelsea Miller, Arthur White, Harry Brownlie, Lucas Hu, Katie Hynes, Sam Vrkic and Angus Tydd.


Happy Birthday

Happy birthday this week to Izzie Glover, Maya Slade and Raymond Wang.


Mr Ian Lloyd
Head of Middle School


Junior School Upcoming Events

Week 5
Wednesday 27 FebruaryYear 1 Assembly  ( Hoskins Centre)
NCIS Swimmers depart at lunchtime
Thursday 28 FebruaryNCIS Swimming  (Alstonville)
Friday 1 MarchActivities Day 1
Week 6
Monday 4 MarchYear 5 to Lake Keepit – depart at 845am from Front of School (Flagpoles)
Tuesday 5 MarchYear 4 to Lake Keepit – depart at 845am from Front of School (Flagpoles)
Taronga Zoo Mobile T-3
Wednesday 6 MarchYear 3 to Lake Keepit – depart at 845am from Front of School (Flagpoles)
No Assembly
Thursday 7 MarchYear 2 to Lake Keepit – depart at 845am from Front of School (Flagpoles)
Friday 8 MarchAll return from Lake Keepit – return at 3.00pm to Front of School (Flagpoles)
Week 7
Wednesday 13 MarchLake Keepit Review Assembly – Hoskins Centre
Saturday 16 MarchNew England Festival (Formerly Autumn Festival)
Week 8
Monday 18 MarchActivities Day 3
Wednesday 20 MarchKindergarten Assembly (Hoskins Centre)

Primary Years Programme (PYP)

Transition Term 1 Unit of Inquiry

Transition have had a wonderful start to their year exploring the Transdisciplinary Theme ‘Who We Are’. They have focussed on settling into daily routines and getting to know their teachers, each other and the TAS school environment.

Their Central Idea or big idea that they have been exploring is ‘Learning takes place in different environments’.

The lines of inquiry, which have assisted them to unpack their central idea are:

  • The different ways that people learn
  • The ways schools are organsied
  • Our responsibility as learners

Mrs Veronica Waters

PYP Coordinator

Junior School Sport

Sport Policy

All students in Year 3 and above will participate in sport. Students in Year 2 and below do not have to participate but are encouraged to do so. If students in Year 2 or below do participate, they must commit to the sport (including training sessions) for the season. During the winter terms, students will have one training per week in each sport. For winter, training will be on Monday afternoons from 3:45 – 5pm for most sports. Students provide their own clothing, footwear, mouth guards and shin pads. Registration and competition fees will apply to all sports and will be debited to parents’ accounts.

Please consider all requirements when choosing a sport for Winter:


  • Training – Mondays
  • Games – Saturday mornings
  • Cost – $100 – $120 approx.
  • Equipment required – Shin pads, Football shirt from clothing pool.
  • Where – Armidale (occasional games in Walcha, Uralla and Guyra)
  • Teams – From U6 – U12

Football follows the small sided rules with younger teams having fewer players and smaller football fields.


  • Training – Mondays
  • Games – Saturday mornings
  • Cost – $110
  • Equipment required – netball uniform from TAS
  • Where – Armidale Lynches Road Netball Courts- 11am Saturdays
  • Teams – Netta (5-7 yrs) Set (8-10 yrs) Go (9-10 yrs with 1 year experience)


5-7 year olds (Netta is a skill based session)

  • Set – 8-10 year olds. Emphasis is on participation, trying out learned skills, the learning of new skills and sharing the play with others in the team. The rules are modified.
  • Go – 9-10 year olds. A further stepping stone to playing unmodified netball, developing skills learned. The rules are still modified to an extent, games are played on hard courts with lowered rings.



  • Training – Tuesdays at UNE between 4 and 5pm. A TAS mini bus will take players to UNE
  • Games –  U9 Saturday mornings
  •                    U11 Friday afternoons
  • Cost – U 9 – $45
  •               U 11 – $130 approx.
  • Equipment required – Stick, shin pads, mouthguards and Hockey uniform from clothing pool.
  • Where – UNE Turf
  • Teams – U9 and U1

Hockey New England will be doing Hookin2Hockey this year. This is a program for players new or in their beginning years to hockey.

It’s an 8-week program, costing $85 per player. This price includes a kit, bag,
stick, shin pads ball & top that is delivered to your address when you register.

HNE will be running Hook into Hockey on Friday afternoon’s from 4pm for U9’s & Saturday mornings 10am for U7’s. The program will begin on 4 May. This program is a Hockey Australia programme.

Following is the link for registration and information which should be up and running in the next week. CLICK HERE

Please contact Mrs Tania Ball for any more information on the Hookin2Hockey programme.


PSSA Swimming

Nineteen very eager competitors took part in the PSSA meet at the Armidale Aquatic Centre last Thursday. We had a tremendous day with all swimmers performing well and showing excellent sportsmanship throughout the day. Butterfly results were not available at the time of publishing today.

Some standout performances came from:


Miller Harwood    

  • 1st 100m Freestyle
  •  1st 11yr 50m Free
  •  1st 11yr 50 Breast
  •  1st 11yr 50m Back
  •  1st 11yr 50m Fly

Iles Baker  

  • 2nd 100m Freestyle
  • 1st 12yr 50m Free
  • 1st 12yr 50m Breast

Mitchell Evans

  • 2nd 11yr 50m Breast

Ted Chick

  • 3rd 11yr 50m Freestyle

Minnie Chick      

  • 3rd 9yr 50m Freestyle

Charlie Ward    

  • 4th 11yr 50m Freestyle
  •  3rd 11yr 50m Breast
  •  4th 11yr 50m Back

Joe Fenwicke  

  • 1st 10yr 50m Freestyle
  • 1st 10yr 50m Back

Hugo Broun     

  • 2nd 10yr 50m Freestyle

Sam Ford    

  • 2nd 10yr 50m Back

Senior Boys relay        1st (convincingly) with an outstanding performance by all boys.

Junior Boys relay        2nd with an outstanding final leg from Joe Fenwicke


Mrs Christine Wright

PSSA Swimming Relays

Community Notices