2019 Term 2 Week 7   |   12.06.2019

TAS Talks Term 2 Week 7

01. From the Acting Headmaster


A Welcome Break – The long Weekend

Last weekend was one of the quietest of the year in terms of school activities and I know that this was welcomed by many. As I have commented before Term 2 is a hectic and demanding one as Eisteddfod, exams, winter sporting demands and other special events all come together over what seems just like a few weeks. So, as teachers settled into the happy task of writing reports, it was a chance for our students to take a deep breath and relax a little. Coming at the end of exams for Years 6 to 10 and the fact that so many of our students were involved in the Farrer fixtures last Thursday evening, I know that this was especially good timing for those students. With three weeks of important term time still ahead, I hope that the break has refreshed minds and bodies and that all are in good shape to make the most of the time through to the mid-year break.

I spoke to the students in Assembly with regard to maintaining the high standards that are expected of them and the first step is taking pride in the school uniform and adhering to the basic rules that apply to the wearing of the uniform. I emphasised the fact that our Year 12 must still set the example and how influential they are in setting the tone of the school. A discussion I think that is quite timely given these senior students have basically one term and a bit left in their school lives.

Our rugby teams travel to play Sydney Grammar this weekend and it will be an exciting round of fixtures as each of our teams is matched with the Grammar equivalent. It will also be another busy weekend for our footballers, netball teams, hockey players et al and I know they will be grateful for any support on the sidelines.


Mr Alan Jones
Acting Headmaster

02. Calendar of Events

Week 7
Wednesday 12 JuneP&F Meeting (7 pm)
Thursday 13 JuneFiji Parent Information Night
Saturday 14 JuneRugby vs Sydney Grammar School (Sydney)
Week 8
Monday 17 JuneInter-House Debating (all week)
Saturday 22 JuneRugby vs King’s (Sydney)


Year 8 Pencil Drive for FIJI

This term Year 8 students in Technology have been using their skills on the sewing machine to construct some colourful pencil cases in the hope of filling them with all things stationery.
They would love your donation in our Pencil Drive to be able to fill these before sending them off with the Year 8 service trip to Fiji at the end of the year.
A box will be sitting in Middle School Reception for all stationary donations.

Miss Emma Channon

Student Services

End of Term 2 free rail and charter coach bookings are now CLOSED.

Thank you to those that have made their bookings, your tickets will be issued once we receive the information from the booking agent. Please do not assume that your child is automatically booked onto the end of the term and beginning of term coach service. If you have any queries, please contact Mrs Veronica Lucas at travel@as.edu.au

*Reminder: School Drive Subsidy applications should be submitted now if not already. Eligibility criteria and application forms can be found via the link below.

Exemption from Attendance

A reminder that a parent or guardian must apply for an exemption from school attendance if they wish to take their child out of school temporarily by completing an Application for Exemption from Attendance form (see link below).

Students must attend school regularly until an exemption has been approved.

Exemption from attendance at school is often sought because of:

  • Elite Arts or Elite Sporting Events (CIS, NCIS etc.)

  • Family travel or holidays

  • Medical or health appointments

  • Employment

  • Disability or behaviour problems requiring part time exemption from school

  • Other circumstances that warrant an exemption eg. Work Experience, Political Rally, etc.

Exemption from Attendance Form

Round Square - Year 8 Exchange Opportunities

As is usually the case, Year 8 students are able to go on exchange to Round Square schools within our Australia and East Asia region. This is usually done in pairs for a period of two weeks but there is flexibility. A confident Year 8 student is welcome to exchange on their own.

Currently we are looking for two boys to exchange with Scotch College in Perth from around 19 October to 2 November. Two of their boys will be coming to us the following two weeks.

We also have an exchange opportunity with Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School in Western Australia for boys or girls.

Of course, your interest may go beyond these schools and you should check out the Round Square website to see other Round Square Schools that are on offer. https://www.roundsquare.org/our-schools/

Please see Mrs Barnier or Mr O’Connell if you are interested.

03. From the P&F



Come and help us spend the money you’ve helped us raise at the Funding Meeting tonight in the Maxwell Meeting Room at 7 pm.

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 – forms are available at the meeting or contact us on pandf@as.edu.au



If you are thinking of holding a BBQ or canteen for any TAS sporting group, event or co-curricular activity the P&F may be able to help with organising this.



TAS has a lot of children, parents, teachers and OAU members that play hockey for the TAS Hockey Club.  If you would like the opportunity to support our senior players then this Sunday is a great chance to do so.  All of our Senior Teams (Men and Women) play this Sunday – Game times are:

  • 9am – Women 3rd Grade vs Harlequins – Turf 2
  • 10.30am – Men C Grade vs United – Turf 2
  • 12noon – Men B Grade White (Boys) vs United – Turf 1
  • 12noon – Men B Grade Blue (Teachers/Parents) vs City – Turf 2
  • 1.30 pm – Women 2nd Grade vs Guyra – Turf 2
  • 3pm – Men A Grade vs Ex-Services Club – Turf 2


Mrs Rachael Nicoll
P&F President

04. From the Director of Pastoral Care


Batyr is back!

We are excited to continue our partnership with Batyr that has been running since 2015. This year’s format, now including Year 9, offers programs for students from Years 9-12. Each year group uses key speakers, workshops and breakout sessions to focus on a different aspect of mental health and aims to empower young adults to make informed decisions about their own health. There will also be a parent forum on Wednesday evening, where TAS parents will have the opportunity to ask questions to a panel of mental health professionals.

  • Monday 24 June: 8.45am to 3.45pm Batyr Standard Program with Year 10
  • Tuesday  25 June: 8.45am to 3.45pm Batyr Standard Program with Year 9
  • Wednesday 26 June: 9.30am to 11am Stressed Out with Year 12
  • Wednesday 26 June: 2.00pm to 3.30pm Look Out For Your Mates with Year 11
  • Wednesday 26 June: 7.00pm to 8.30pm TAS Parent Forum

All sessions including the Parent Forum will take place in the Hoskins Centre.


Mr AJ Whalley
Director of Pastoral Care

FIJI Service Trip - Pencil Drive

This term Year 8 students in Technology have been using their skills on the sewing machine to construct some colourful pencil cases in the hope of filling them with all things stationery.

They would love your donation in our Pencil Drive to be able to fill these before sending them off with the Year 8 service trip to Fiji at the end of the year.
A box will be sitting in reception in Middle School for all stationary donations.


Miss Emma Channon



05. From the Director of Studies


Library Extended Day and Academic Support

The Library continues to be open before and after school for students in Years 6 – 12 who want a safe and quiet space to complete homework and revise their days’ classes. The Library is supervised and the staff on duty are available for general guidance with homework and assessments.
Specialist tutoring is also available in the evenings from Monday – Thursday from 7 pm – 9 pm – see table below.


Mrs Seonia Wark
Director of Studies



Year 6-84pm-5pm


4pm – 5pm


Year 9-107pm-9pm

(General assistance)


(General assistance)

Year 9-127pm-9pm

Maths (All levels)


Maths (All levels)

English (All levels)

Year 11-127pm-9pm

(General assistance)


(General assistance)

06. From the Development Office

07. From the Director of Co-curricular


Farrer Wrap Up

Last Thursday was the perfect preface to the Long Weekend, with many parents supporting teams in 22 games across nine activities. At the end of the day the fixture was drawn at 11 wins apiece; Farrer retaining the Dick Hodgson Shield but TAS coming away with the Guy Levy Challenge Shield after a well-deserved victory in the First XV clash.

The match, under lights, was the culmination of an afternoon of competition that also included basketball, chess, debating, football, table tennis, tennis, clay target shooting and mountain biking.

The first shots of the competition were fired at Loomberah Gun Club, with Farrer taking the points. TAS out-debated their opponents in both junior and senior divisions, won the table tennis, were narrowly defeated in chess, took out senior and junior Mountain Biking and shared the spoils in football after a hard-fought 1-0 victory by the TAS First XI. In a tight fixture, the opens basketball was won by Farrer whilst TAS won the senior tennis. The rugby fixtures were split with TAS winning the 13Bs, 15s, Thirds and Firsts.

Thank you to all the staff who assisted with managing the event and to Farrer for their organisation and generous hospitality. We look forward to hosting them at TAS in 2020.


Inter House Competition

Congratulations to Green House who took out the Inter-House Futsal last week, narrowly defeating Croft House in an exciting final.  It was well contested by all houses and representative of just how close the house points score is this year – only four points separating all six Houses in the Hickson Cup and only seven points Overall.

Next week it will get serious as Houses argue their point in the Inter-House Debating. This is an opportunity for students to refine their skills or develop new ones and has been the foundation of a flourishing debating program at TAS. I would encourage students to either take up the challenge or be a part of the audience. A schedule for preliminary rounds will be emailed to students. The Finals will be held in the final assembly for Senior School (Tuesday 25 June) and in period 6 for Middle School (Thursday 27 June).


Armidale Eisteddfod

After four weeks of memorable experiences and entertaining performances, this Sunday 16 June sees the finale of this year’s Armidale Eisteddfod. Year 8 Acapella ensemble, Michael Harrell and The Rolling Oates will feature in the Gala Concert at NECOM at 2 pm. All are welcome to attend.

Congratulations to the many students who participated in this year’s Eisteddfod. We look forward to publishing the results in next week’s TAS Talks. If you haven’t done so already, could you please send through your results to redmonds@as.edu.au so we can recognise your efforts and achievement.


Grammar Fixture Information


CIS Representation

Congratulations to Miller Harwood on his success as part of the CIS Hockey team and his selection in the NSW PSSA team. It is a wonderful achievement and reflective of Miller’s hard work and commitment along with the high standard of the Hockey at TAS and in the New England. Miller now joins eighteen other TAS students who qualified to compete in the CIS Cross Country in Sydney tomorrow – the largest contingent on record. Our best wishes go to all members of the team.

Mr Will Caldwell
Director of Co-curricular



It’s that time of year again, and the North West Equestrian Expo at Coonabarabran is done and dusted! The students performed exceptionally well this year, some great team wins and some excellent individual results. Whilst it was freezing the 13 riders from TAS rode well and represented the school with great enthusiasm.

The Polocrosse finals were particularly exciting to watch. They were postponed due to lightning and thunder and were eventually played amongst a cloud of mist in freezing temps on Sunday night. Our Division 2 team came first, comprising Michael Paul, Darcy Heffernan and Sam Osborne. Old Armidalian Sam Finlayson was in the umpire’s saddle. Other highlights are listed below.

  • Zac Finlayson (Year 7) played with the very competitive Division 1 team and managed an impressive 4th. Zac also placed 5th in the time trials.
  • Michael Paull 17yr and over Age Male Champion and 17yr & over Reserve Sporting Champion
  • Darcy Heffernan 16yr sporting champion, 2nd One Day Event 60cm, 2nd flag, 4th barrels, 3rd bend, 2nd keyhole, 7th overall dressage
  • Harry Davidson 4th 80cm Showjumping
  • Oliver Ledingham 3rd 115cm showjumping and 4th Combined training 95cm
  • Jack Davidson 10th 95cm one day event
  • Josh Armstrong 3rd Pentathlon
  • Chloe Garcia 7th 95cm Combined Training
  • Charlotte Pease 7th 80cm Combined Training
  • Mary Flannery and Oliver Ledingham 5th pairs
  • Jack Davidson 5th in pair
  • Josh Armstrong, Jack Armstrong and Zac Finlayson 4th in team penning.

Michael Paull 17+ Age Male Champion


08. From the Creative Arts Coordinator


Today TAS hosts the New England Regional Shakespeare Carnival, with a number of school challenging each other to discover who will represent our region in Sydney at the end of the term. We wish all those performers, dancers, musicians and filmmakers the very best and hopefully we’ll have some exciting announcements to make next week.
My apologies to the eager students of Junior School, I may have jumped the gun a couple of weeks back in declaring the announcement of the Junior School Musical was imminent. But I’m feeling much more confident that this is the week we shall hear what exciting project they will be working on this year (though still not so confident to name the show here in case I ruin the surprise). I know Mrs Cleaver is keen to get people thinking about auditions and I look forward to releasing more information about this project.
Next Monday the Stage 5 Drama class, Comedy: Make ‘Em Laugh, will be staging their work Hansel and Gretel Goes Wrong in Hoskins at 5 pm. All are invited to attend to see what they’ve been busily working on and rehearsing this term and it promises to be a very fun show. We also hope to do a preview for Middle School Period 7 on Monday before presenting to their audience of friends and family.
The Eisteddfod results have continued to roll in with the final weeks drawing the competition to a close, though the spectacular Gala Concert will see some TAS students returning to the stage this weekend. Below are some results for individual participants and to all who have been involved in this gargantuan competition, particularly our incredible teachers and peripatetics, my hearty congratulations on all you’ve achieved.
And finally, the Hoskins Centre will be a very busy place over the next month. This Friday we have the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow – for the adults in the TAS community if you haven’t already grabbed yourselves a ticket be quick as they’re practically sold out. Then we have the Melbourne City Ballet performing Alice in Wonderland on the final Friday of the term. And then ADMS  moves immediately into the space for the classic musical Singin’ in the Rain – tickets for that show are available through the ADMS website.

09. From the Head of Middle School



Last Thursday I went to Farrer – and I really enjoyed myself. I saw fragments of 13s and 14s rugby, football, the Junior and Senior debates, and even one of the Opens games and, as I said, I enjoyed myself. Our people acquit themselves admirably in public and I’m grateful for this, particularly when you consider that they’ve just completed their mid-course exams, managed, with varying degrees of success, more than half a brutally busy term and had achieved the above without our having afforded them time to reflect on everything they do. We’re so good at keeping them busy, but we need to be better at giving them time to reflect on the busyness of their lives. A mid-term break is a step in the right direction, of course – but there’s more we need to do for them in this regard. This is something that has been discussed in Executive meetings – but seeing these people perform so well, because we expect so much of them, drives home the fact they are so young and so tired and rather than just discuss measures that will assist them, we need to actually do something more for them. So, I’ll keep you posted – we will do something more for them. I’m glad of the recent break: I didn’t do much (walked dogs, spoke to family) and enjoyed that fact that, in not doing much, I could reflect on this term. It’s been fabulous, this term – and the break has provided enough recharge time to enable reasonable enough ‘sailing’ to the end of the first semester.


Continuity and change

Again, at our Middle School staff meeting last and this week’s Town Meeting, I found myself saying that Middle School students can be simultaneously ‘fascinating and frustrating’. Here, I want to elaborate on the fascinating side of your children: one of the most challenging and, ultimately, enjoyable aspects of my job is student interview. I’m not referring to a formal interview either; rather, I refer to those talks I have every day with individuals who come to the office or to our staff room to speak to me. The fact that they often come of their own volition is encouraging for me. Also, one of the most affirming parts of this job is the increasing time lately I spend talking to our student leaders: while they are set down as formal meetings, they rarely are; in fact, they are as relaxed as they are informative and really helpful for me. These boys and girls are invested in the Middle School: they want ‘the best’ for their peers and it is encouraging for me to witness their unfettered approach to pretty much every topic we talk about. Last week the favourite, came up again. It’s the uniform of course, and the fact that a ‘few’ (their words) minor adjustments (my words) could help our people take greater pride in appearance. Regardless of the outcome (our SRC rep, Jasper O’Neil will take the gist of our discussion to the next SRC meeting) I actually got a ‘buzz’ (who says this, these days – the expression equates with quaint, I think) from the fact that they give enough of a damn about our uniform to want to discuss it. Well, back to the main point, these sessions enable me simply to be myself and it is as important for me to let them know me as a person as it is for them to be people who, at this age when critical thinking becomes ‘real’, want to question me, express views unashamedly and simply be heard. This critical thinking stage is fascinating, isn’t it: they are developing the capacity to speak and reason as we do, but what they lack of course is our life experience.

Why am I telling this to you? I am pleased that Middle School people can actually feel comfortable enough to want to talk to us. These people need to come to speak to me as a person, not just as a teacher. Our job, first and foremost, is to provide an environment that needs, as much as is practicable, to parallel the home situation. It’s an environment that must be characterised by trust; an environment that’s relevant and one in which young adolescents feel able to speak freely to us about issues that concern them. We must look out for the needs and interests of young people who, by virtue of age and inexperience, will make mistakes. I think mistakes must be a normal part of life here – the fact that they are daily occurrences suggests ‘normal’. On the proviso that they are confident enough to admit to having done the wrong thing and that they’ll do their best ‘not to do it again’, then I’m confident that what we’re trying to do in terms of assistance is succeeding.

As I indicated last week, despite the combined facts of the pace and length of the term and the mid-course exams, we’re continuing to make progress. Classes are, as a general rule, reasonably settled and happy places. I enjoy the Middle School: students can be silly and apparently thoughtless at times, but I’ve not met a bad one yet. In order to find their place in relation to others, especially their peers, they are going to make mistakes, they are going to learn from them (with our help, of course) and in time they are going to become better people as a result.



We’ve reached that ‘pointy’ part of a term. After the Queen’s Birthday Weekend students remain very busy and this is as it should be, but, as indicated herein, they’re showing signs of term-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 life lessons we all learn as we grow up and now’s the time for our students to start learning it by having the concept reinforced. I’ve indicated in Town Meetings and semester reports 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. Your job, of course, is to continue to help me help them.


Mr Mark Harrison
Head of Middle School


10. From the Head of Junior School


Vacation Care – Available for the Term 2 holidays

TAS will once again be providing Vacation Care throughout the Term 2 holiday period. You should have been emailed the program this week so please let us know if you did not receive it. I have attached it to TAS Talks and it will be every bit as good as the Term 1 program.  I would like to thank Jacinta Coates and her team for once again, putting together this fantastic holiday program. Organisation is greatly helped if we know numbers well in advance so please contact us at oshc@as.edu.au or junior@as.edu.au to make your bookings once you receive the program.


TERM 2 Program


Shark Tank

We have become aware that a number of financial deals are going down in the playground between students. While applauding the entrepreneurial spirit, money in the playground invariably causes difficulties in the long term. Given this, we are asking that no money is brought to school for use inside school time (other than when specifically requested). This includes the canteen where some students have been purchasing lollies during recess breaks and immediately after school. I have spoken to the canteen about this and I do not want children to be disappointed by being refused service if they are not accompanied by their parents or when their money goes missing. Unfortunately, it is far easier simply not to bring money to school in the first place. To that end, we have also simplified the Canteen Service whereby students have their lunches delivered to Junior School where they can be collected from Mrs Lasker.


School Spirit Awards

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

Cooper Lacey, Eloise Leary, Pip Ogilvie, Matilda Polson, Layla Abu Assab, Rebecca Billingsley, Libby Ditchfield, Cameron Carruthers, Jack Wood, Xavier Stephen, Joe Fenwicke, Lucas Hu, Mitchell Evans, Angus Tydd and Sinclair Little.


Happy Birthday

We have two kids celebrating their birthdays this week so our wishes go to Eva Cook and Dominic Leary for their special days.


Mr Ian Lloyd
Head of Junior School


Junior School Upcoming Events

Week 7
Wednesday 12 JuneYear 3 Assembly including Dance Club Performance – Hoskins Centre (2.45pm)
Week 8
Wednesday 19 JuneTransition Assembly – Hoskins Centre (2.45pm)
Week 9
Wednesday 26 JuneYear 5 Assembly – Hoskins Centre (2.45pm)
Thursday 27 JuneClasses conclude at 3.30pm
Friday 28 JuneStaff Day – No students
Term 3, Week 1
Monday 22 JulyStaff Day
Tuesday 23 JulyClasses resume


Thank you to all parents who have been ordering from the Scholastic brochures. The latest brochure from Scholastic (no. 4) is now available and orders should be placed through the Scholastic LOOP order website by Tuesday 18 June 2019, to allow orders to arrive back at school before the end of the term.

Please follow the instructions on the order page in the brochure, or follow the prompts on the website.  Should you wish to pay by cheque, please place your cheque and order form in an envelope in the red letter box at the Junior School office.  Should you need any assistance, please contact me at nramazan@as.edu.au.

Mrs Natalie Ramazani

Library Assistant

Junior School Sport

Football Round 6 ( 15 June)

TAS T-RexRologas 410am
TAS TigersRologas 510am
TAS TriceratopsRologas 311am
TAS TornadoesNE Sportground 210am
TAS WhiteRologas 169am
TAS BlueRologas 179am
TASRologas 1510am
TAS BlueDangarfield10am
TAS BlueUralla 811.10am

Community Notices