MR ALAN JONES
Last Wednesday evening our P&F held their annual general meeting and I am pleased to report that through a combination of good planning and generosity of spirit all positions on the Executive were happily filled with the incumbents in each position and I thank all those who have offered their services for the coming year. Our continuing P&F President, Rachael Nicoll, has reported on the AGM in this edition of TAS Talks, including the names of those continuing in their Executive roles. There was a good deal of discussion about the wonderful success of the TAS Rugby Carnival and I take his opportunity to once again publicly thank the tireless efforts of our P& F for their efforts.
It was a great privilege to host St Gregory’s College last weekend and it was a visit for which we were especially grateful. In recent years the TAS home season has been marred by the decision of some schools not to travel to Armidale and so having St Gregory’s with us last weekend was very much appreciated. I offer our special thanks to the St Gregory’s Headmaster, Mr Lee MacMaster as well as Mr Max Spencer from St Gregory’s and our Director of Co-curricular Will Caldwell in making it happen. As expected, the rugby was played in fine spirit with many of the games, being entertaining spectacles. This week we travel to Cranbrook as they played us in Armidale last year and the following week we will be hosting St Joseph’s College in the first round of our GPS fixtures.
This week all students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 will sit NAPLAN literacy and numeracy tests over three days. These tests have returned to their original function of providing diagnostic information on literacy and numeracy that is nationally benchmarked.
The month long journey of the Armidale Eisteddfod juggernaut begins this week with individual students participating along with some of our Ensembles. Next week it will be the turn of our choirs to perform and it will be a busy time for both students and our music staff. I thank them on behalf of all our musicians for their work and wish them well for the remainder of the Eisteddfod.
|Wednesday 15 May||Tri-Schools Debating (at TAS)|
|Thursday 16 May||Meningococcal Vaccinations (Year 10)|
|Friday 17 May||NCIS Cross Country|
|Saturday 18 May||TAS Rugby vs Cranbrook (Sydney)|
|Monday 20 May||Eisteddfod|
|Tuesday 21 May||Eisteddfod Choir Night (Lazenby Hall)|
|Wednesday 22 May||Foundation Meeting|
|Thursday 23 May||Year 11 Parent/Teacher Interviews|
|Friday 24 May||Junior School – Biggest Morning Tea|
|Year 11 Parent/Teacher Interviews|
|Saturday 25 May||Year 11 English excursion to Sydney|
|TAS Rugby vs St Joseph’s at TAS|
MR RICHARD NEWTON
I don’t know if you have in your group of mates, one friend who has the reputation for going too far. They always go over the top. Spare a thought for the disciples – Jesus’ closest mates.
Jesus always seemed to take the conversation over the edge. Take for example his discussion on the seriousness of sin. He says if your eye causes you to sin – gouge it out; if your hand causes you to sin, chop it off.
Is Jesus really calling people to mutilate themselves? Sounds like you might be going ‘too far’ Jesus!
Let me say – very clearly – don’t start chopping off your bits – what Jesus is saying is, take sin seriously, take eternal life seriously, take drastic action so that life may be held on to, and if sin is causing you to throw your faith away, make the cut. It might be that you stop watching that show or that internet site, make the break with that group of friends, do what is necessary to avoid sin. Value life.
You may remember Aaron Ralston the rock climber who become trapped when an 360kg boulder shifted, crushed his hand, and pinned him to the canyon wall. A movie was made about it.
Trapped and facing certain death, Ralston chose a final option using a multitool – a blunt one. He valued his physical life so much he painstakingly chopped his hand off so that he might be freed. He took life seriously.
As for the pain Aaron says, “overall, it was a hundred times worse than any pain I’ve felt before. At the same time, it was also the most beautiful thing I’ve ever felt.”
Jesus, the one who urges in this reading to take sin seriously – to love life, eternal life, he gave his own life, not just a limb, he gave it all so that we might live, he took sin seriously.
Jesus says take eternal life so seriously that you will go to extreme lengths to hang on to it, to hang on to the life that Jesus made possible through his own life and death, don’t allow your hold on things in this life – which pass away, to be tighter than your grip on eternal life that will never fade.
MRS RACHAEL NICOLL
At our AGM last Wednesday we said goodbye to three P&F Executives – Mrs Jo Neilson and Mrs Karen Morgan have stood down as Vice Secretaries and Mrs Melissa Jubb stood down after several years as Treasurer and Vice Treasurer. Jo, Karen and Melissa will be sorely missed.
Our new Executive for 2019/20 is now:
If you want to know what’s going on in the P&F join us on Facebook! We regularly post updates on what we are doing, what events are coming up and any other useful information that comes to mind.
We have our own Facebook page – use the keywords TAS Parents and Friends and then ‘like’ us.
Don’t forget each year also has their own Year Group Facebook Page… These are closed groups for parents to catch up on what’s happening… Please search for TAS Year 12 and then the year your class will graduate from Year 12. For example, this year’s Year 12 Facebook page is TAS Year 12 2019.
Finally, if you have anything you would like to raise with the P&F please either contact your Year Group Liaison Person or any member of the Executive or send us an email on email@example.com
In line with our Constitution if you wish to be on the Committee or Executive or vote at our meetings you must become a Voting Member. To be a Voting Member you just need to fill in the form that can be found on the website and send it to the P&F at firstname.lastname@example.org Forms can be filled in at any time, including if you pop in to a meeting.
If you don’t wish to be a Voting Member – don’t worry, if you’re a parent, you are automatically a Casual Member and can still come to our meetings and get involved.
Come and help us spend the money you’ve helped us raise at the Funding Meeting on Wednesday 12 June at 7pm in the Maxwell Meeting Room.
If you would like to come along and help us determine where the money we have raised in the past year should be allocated we’d love to see you there. Meetings are open to all parents… but to vote you need to be a Voting Member – just fill in that form!
Alternatively, if you wish to put forward a proposal for the use of funds please send these to Mr Jones as soon as possible so all proposals can be evaluated prior to the meeting.
Funding proposals should be costed, justified and seek to help a significant proportion of school. Any proposal should also be for things that are tangible, something that school wouldn’t normally pay for and on the ‘really nice to have’ list. If you have any queries about the funding process please contact me on email@example.com
Our next rugby home games are against St Joseph’s College on Saturday 25 May. We will be running our usual BBQ on Backfield (or in McConville if the weather is really bad). A coffee cart will be available behind Middle School as usual to ward off the chill.
MRS SEONIA WARK
Mrs Seonia Wark
Director of Studies
|4pm – 5pm|
Maths (All levels)
Maths (All levels)
English (All levels)
MR WILL CALDWELL
At times it is difficult to know the best way to support our children; when to push, when to step back, when to catch them, when to allow them to fall?
Knowing how to support your child’s coach is much simpler. It is important to remember that they have a job to do. We love the fact that so many parents are on the sideline at the game. However, we no more expect them to be on the sideline at training than to be at the back of our classroom. Please let the coaches coach; support them – trust them. They care about your child.
I have attached our Expectations of Parents below as a reminder of our shared values. Although, I think the sentiment is best captured by the following words of wisdom.
“Your child’s success or lack of success in sports does not indicate what kind of parent you are. But having an athlete that is coachable, respectful, a great teammate, mentally tough, resilient and tries their best IS a direct reflection of your parenting.”
My best wishes to all students participating in the Armidale Eisteddfod. I realise this is a big commitment on top of a busy schedule and will demand some careful time management. Could I please urge students to notify their teachers if they are going to be away from class -this will allow them to better support you.
Mr Will Caldwell
Director of Co-curricular
Phebe Hunt represented TAS in the Lawrence Campbell Oratory Competition last Friday, this year hosted by Sydney Boys’ High School. The 15 speakers from each GPS and CAS school were given 15 minutes to prepare an eight minute speech on one of three provided topics: ‘No-one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun’; ‘There’s nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so’ and ‘Same As It Ever Was’.
Phebe selected the third choice to speak passionately about the need for society to adopt gender blindness to overcome gender inequality. Previous competition winners have included Malcolm Turnbull, Nick Greiner, playwright Nick Enright and television personalities Andrew O’Keefe and Charles Firth, a reflection of the quality of candidates and the competition. Phebe was commended by one of the judges for the way she applied her strong content to the chosen topic. The clear winner was Sebastian Braham from Riverview who placed second last year and was one of three competitors backing up again. It was a terrific experience for Phebe and a terrific opportunity for TAS.
Following last week’s win by the Year 9/10 National Virtual Debating team over Canberra Girls Grammar by just one point, yesterday it was the exact reverse for our Year 11 team, who went down to last year’s national champions in a close and exciting debate. Arguing against the topic ‘That refugees should not be granted citizenship of their host country’, the TAS team of Jack Nivison, Lachlan Reiss-Wears, Rick Nutt and Lucy Ball put in an impressive show in what was not just their first debate together as a team, but also the first time Lachlan and Rick had participated in the skype-type format.
Meanwhile this afternoon TAS Middle School hosts NEGS and PLC in six debates for the first round of the Tri-School Shield. Full results next week.
Mr Tim Hughes
Debating and Public Speaking Coordinator
Girls rugby is going to feature again this winter season, with the opportunity being open to girls in Years 9-12. I am excited to be managing the team and we have organised a coach who has experience in playing, refereeing and coaching 7’s rugby.
Rugby will be a second sport, with training on Monday afternoons from 3.45 to 5pm on the cricket field for the remainder of the term in preparation for entering the local Armidale Friday night 7s competition in Term 3 (with Monday training continuing throughout the season). If you are interested in playing in Term 3 it is expected that you attend training all Term 2 so you can learn to play safely and develop skills and confidence to go into competition.
If you have sustained a concussion in the last 12 months, or from last season, a medical clearance will need to occur BEFORE you can train or play. Please contact me for further information about this.
I look forward to seeing anyone interested on Monday night with MOUTHGUARD, joggers are fine until you are sure you’d like to play, then football boots are required.
Ms Alix Goudge
MR ANDREW O'CONNELL
For all our dedicated supporters in the TAS community I hope you can mark in your diaries that next Sunday 26 May is our massive Working Bee to clean up the Hoskins Centre costume room. We’ve got some amazing costumes dating back decades but the area is in serious need of a fix-up. We’ll be hard at work from 10am so if you have a couple of hours to spare we’d love your assistance ensuring that future productions can continue to look incredible and the hard work of costume designers is properly looked after.
Next Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm we have the epic rock stylings of Steve Thorneycroft, Steve Tafra, Sarah Thorneycroft, Dave Van Tongeren and Warwick Dunham in Edge of Sky. It promises to be a spectacular display of musical wizardry with the awesome sound of epic 70’s and 80’s rock. Stunning new arrangements will bring to life the fabulous sounds of great bands like Sky, ELP, Pink Floyd and more. Jump online to grab yourself a ticket as this legendary show is not to be missed.
A reminder that the Middle School and Senior School Technical Production Teams meet every Thursday lunch in the Hoskins Centre with Mr Cornford. If you’re interested in learning about theatrical design or operating/crewing for live shows then come along (with your lunch in hand) and learn from our resident expert.
Mr Andrew O’Connell
Creative Arts Coordinator
MR MARK HARRISON
The Year 6 students are back: they’re safe and happy, though, clearly, tired. Mrs Brunsdon, Mrs McKellar and Mr Scott are back too; and they’re tired as well. However, tiredness is a small cost considering the experiences our students have had in their whirlwind week in Canberra. I’m hoping that we can report fully in next week’s TAS Talks about what, when, where and why our students did various activities in our nation’s capital the week prior to the Federal Election. On your behalf, I want to thank publicly our staff and the GAP students who accompanied said students on their annual excursion. It was strange without these people, you know. Our youngest students are bright in so many ways and having them here ‘makes for’ an enjoyable time for staff and, hopefully, for them as well.
I have one regret about last Saturday – I didn’t get to Lynches Road to see the netball. But, I did go to the games at school. The games were good, but the weather was horrendous. The lucky people were those on the field because their sport required movement. We adults shivered in the season’s coldest day to date: I’m not sure exactly how well this chilled autumn day augurs for the next term and a half, but do know that winter hasn’t forgotten to arrive. Apart from the weather in this instance, the good thing about speaking to you on these days is that your children are gainfully employed and therefore happy and clearly this happiness impacts your moods, because you were happy, too – as such, seeing you was enjoyable for us.
As you’re probably aware NAPLAN began today and since I’ve heard no comment to the contrary, I’m thinking the beginning was uneventful in the best way. TAS has been selected, again, as a ‘pen and paper’ school for this battery of testing for our Year 7 students – hence, my general comments last week about the necessity of pens, paper, rulers and so on. Simply, the onus is on our shared charges to do the right thing in re: having what they need every day, not just NAPLAN days. We need to be vigilant and they, correspondingly, need to take greater ownership of the day-to-day management of their affairs.
I had another student leader meeting today and, again, I need to reinforce how lucky we are to be looking out for the needs and interests of this young adolescent age group: they’re honest and unaffected in the best ways. What I enjoy most is the fact that our 13-14 year old leaders are quick to discern potential and actual problem areas in our daily operations. Their advice would do justice to that given by others twice their age. Specifically, they ‘get’ things / situations and even make suggestions about how best to deal with them. Their moral compass is more acutely aligned with the reality of the operations of their school than some adults give them credit and any adult who isn’t interested in what these people say and, more importantly, how they say what they think, is doing them a disservice. They have views about relationships, behaviours, routines, our uniform code(s), and staff and student interactions. They ‘sift through the dross’ in relation to these matters, often in uncomplicated ways that adults don’t, and their opinions are valuable.
Not surprisingly perhaps, we’ve only six weeks of term time remaining and there’s another, longer break on the horizon. But there’s much to be done before we reach it. As well you know, there’s a battery of exams. You also know that our Middle School students are receiving their major Study Schedules. What you need to know is that these things are little more than unappealing adornments, in the first instance, and, ultimately, millstones unless or until they are opened and used! Boarders are easy to help as boarding and teaching staff are in the habit of referring everyone to their use on a regular basis. Parents of day students need to be aware that the schedules are ‘out’ this week and I ask that you speak to your children about them and ask also how ‘best’ they are being ‘managed’ over the next fortnight. I will stress again, at our next Town Meeting Assembly on Wednesday, the wisdom of seeking clarification of any issue that causes concern.
In this amazingly (on a good day; frighteningly, on a stressful one) competitive world, we can ill afford a situation where boys and girls ‘run blind’ into an exam room. In a sense, no study renders an exam of little use, not to mention a waste of time. Surely, some of the major functions of an exam result are to indicate to staff and students the effectiveness of a study program as well as (being) a highlighter of areas of ‘difficulty’. Simply, we need to know how students are faring academically: all students should be given the opportunity to know what they need to do in order to fare better in the future. Success does not exclusively refer to a mark or a grade, either – this is product – only. Process, I believe, is as important and, in some situations, it can be seen to be more important. As well as pinpointing areas of expertise, of weakness, of the effectiveness of a study regime, an exam performance gives everyone a reasonably accurate measure of how our Middle School people perform under time conditions. Regardless of our line of work, we adults all have time frames to work within and deadlines to meet. A School exam experience is one that allows students to find out for themselves not only how they are managing their work, but also begins to equip them with the skills necessary to perform as well as they are able to in the future – at times when exam results can expand or limit future tertiary or job prospects.
We need your assistance here. If, in the lead up to the exam week, your children express concern, feel uncomfortable or make comments on issues that we should be aware of, please let us know. Similarly, as implied by my comments about process, this advice applies to the post exam reactions and experience(s).
Until next week then,
Mr Mark Harrison
Head of Middle School
MR IAN LLOYD
As the arrangements for the TEZ visit to TAS are now taking shape, we are keen to hear from parents who are able to host a student or two during their staff with us. We are down on numbers at the moment so we would really appreciate your support. If you have any questions about billeting, please contact us at School.
Reading the report from our students Tom Rowe, Charlie Ward and Sinclair Little, about their experiences over the Term 1 break, has reinforced the importance of ensuring our students have the opportunity to broaden their horizons. Their reflections, having visited another country and experiencing such cultural diversity, bring home the importance of embracing the opportunity to experience something outside our comfort zone. We are an increasingly multi-cultural school and I know this type of challenging excursion takes a great deal of time and effort. I am so thankful that staff give up their own valuable family time to support our students. It was a wonderful experience for all involved and I encourage you to read and take in their report.
As I circulated around the fields on Saturday (quickly being reminded that winter is not far away…) I was pleased to see the enthusiasm from all our players, particularly from some of our youngest players. And, as you’ll read in a report from Charlie Ward and Katie Hynes, it can be a lot of fun when you play teams from your own school. I guess this photo says it all, reminding us the key reason we play sport at TAS is to have fun while pursuing an activity that we enjoy, that is healthy in so many ways and develops our skills and interests outside the normal learning environment. Helping our players develop a love of the ‘game’ is important and I seek your support to promote the positive elements and sportsmanship we would all like to see in our children.
Through consultation with the Clothing Shop, the TAS Junior School uniform is undergoing some change. The philosophy behind this is to align the uniform across the school, making it more….uniform. Primarily affecting the girls’ winter uniform, in particular the skirt and pinafore, shirt and blue ribbon, all variations will be introduced over a number of years providing an extensive changeover period avoiding having to upgrade recently purchased uniforms. In the meantime, you can look forward to receiving a letter from Junior School which will have a number of photos that will depict the variations to make this completely clear. Until then, please contact Mrs Vivienne Tearle in the Clothing Shop on 6776 5900 or Junior School Reception.
Congratulations to the following students for receiving School Spirit Awards at last week’s assembly:
Abud Alshammari, Hunter Crane, Ted Draney, Lachie Wood, Sophie Banister, Kaitlyn Baker, Aziz Binmahfod, Minnie Chick, Oliver Robb, Sam Ford, Ryne Wilkinson, James Leahy and Hussain Majrashi.
Happy birthday to Salam Alkhathami, Sophie Banister, Lucy Taylor and Levi Watts for your special days this week.
In the April holidays, Sinclair Little, Tom Rowe and Charlie Ward joined Year 7 students, Alexandra Nivison, Isabella Crawford and Will Brett, along with Mr Luke Polson and Miss Emma Channon on the trip of a lifetime to Singapore and Indonesia. Following an enjoyable pre-conference tour in Singapore, the British School of Jakarta hosted us for a five day conference, ‘Journey to Java’. The conference was based on the Round Square IDEALS.
For internationalism we met many different people our age from other schools in different countries including China, Thailand, Indonesia. We also got to experience cultural activities such as cooking, puppet making, batik dyeing, music and language lessons.
Guest speakers came and spoke about the impact palm oil plantation is having on the baby orangutans and the health foundation they have started up. A wheel chair basketball player shared his inspiring story about the challenges he has overcome in his life to be where he is today.
For environmentalism, we went to the Taman safari zoo where we learnt about elephant poo paper, pandas, elephants, endangered Sumatran tigers and many more – we also got to pat baby orangutans which was amazing.
For adventure, we went to a village outside Jakarta in the highlands and planted rice and we also collected coffee beans and made coffee from scratch. It was very wet and slippery there and a lot of trekking but it was good fun.
For leadership, we went to a village and we played games with younger local children. In doing so we taught them how to play a few Australian games including limbo, soccer, Jenga, twister and many more. We also had the change to leave some games behind so they can continue to play after we left.
And finally for service we went to an organic farm called Yum Farm and helped plant vegetables and make fertiliser plus a heap of other activities.
Ali was lucky enough to be able to go and deliver food from the farm to elderly people who lived in the village that were in need. It was incredible to hear their stories and amazing to see the way they went about their daily lives.
By Year 5 students Sinclair Little, Tom Rowe and Charlie Ward and Mr Polson
Mr Ian Lloyd
Head of Junior School
|Wednesday 15 May||NAPLAN Reading|
Year 1 Assembly – Hoskins Centre (2.45pm)
|Thursday 16 May||NAPLAN Numeracy|
|Friday 17 May||NCIS Cross Country|
|Wednesday 22 May||No Assembly|
|Junior School Choirs perform in Eisteddfod|
|Thursday 23 May||Speech and Drama Eisteddfod|
|Wednesday 29 May||Year 1 Assembly – Hoskins Centre (2.45pm)|
On Saturday, both Under 12 teams started the season off by playing each other and we all had a great time. TAS Blue scored three goals in the first half TAS White scored one goal. Whilst it was a challenging game, with almost freezing temperatures and only one training session, everyone was keen to just have a go and try their hardest. Everyone talked to each other right throughout the game and he teamwork was amazing! When the bell rang for half time we enjoyed oranges and a quick drink before going back on for the second half. During the second half, TAS Blue played really well and managed to score the winning goals. After the game, both teams came together and congratulated each other for the great game that they had just played. Afterwards, a team photo was taken and then the teams broke up for a team talk. We all enjoyed playing soccer on the weekend and, at the end of the day, both teams went home feeling positive and ready for the season ahead. A special thank you to Mrs Ward and Mr Thompson for refereeing the game.
Written by Charlie Ward Year 5 (TAS Blue) and Katie Hynes Year 5 (TAS White)
What a great start to the season for two of our three Under 6 teams! On a very cold morning, with everyone turning up for their teams, all players showed a fantastic approach to the game, happily taking their turn off the field while showing off their considerable skills on the field. Hunter and Ted worked well together, especially when getting the ball from Simon, William and Daniel and the goals really started to mount up. From the T-Rex’s, their defence improved all the time with Toby Hugh and Freddie never stopping. Paddy, Boyd and Cooper all played their part in a game that went to all parts of the field! Congratulations to all on a wonderful start to the season.
Mrs Christine Wright
Junior School Sports Coordinator