2019 Term 2 Week 8   |   19.06.2019

TAS Talks Term 2 Week 8

01. From the Acting Headmaster


Eisteddfod Gala Concert

Last Sunday heralded the end of the Eisteddfod season for 2019 and it has been a big eisteddfod year for TAS students and staff alike. Some of the most successful results from that have been listed in previous editions of TAS Talks and I offer congratulations to all those mentioned and indeed all who performed over the last month or so. I also offer thanks and congratulations to our staff whose dedication has made those opportunities available. I know from the many comments I have heard from students, parents and other staff those efforts are noticed, appreciated and admired.


P & F Funding Meeting

The P&F meeting held last Wednesday evening was the funding meeting for 2019 and it was set aside to make decisions on how P&F funds raised over the past year were to be allocated to school projects that will directly enhance the experience of our students. I can only commend our P&F and supporting parents for all their hard work and dedication to the school and for having the best interest of our students at the very forefront of this decision making process.


Reflection Space

Construction has begun on the Reflection Space that was approved by the Board earlier in the year. The essence of the project, located in an area between the Croft Dam weir and the Chapel St car park, is to create a physical statement that recognises past sufferings, reaches out to victims, makes an apology to them and offers a place that attempts to build a new bridge between them and the School.

To be opened by Reunion Weekend, it will be a garden that all will be welcome to use to take time to reflect, especially those who have suffered themselves, and hopefully see a promise of hope as well as an apology for the past. Just as a time capsule planted at the opening of a building marks a point in time and a way of life, this space marks the moment that the School steps aside from its day to day celebration of the good to show that the other side of our history must be remembered too.



Mr Alan Jones
Acting Headmaster

02. Calendar of Events

Week 8
Wednesday 19 JuneInter-House Debating (all week)
Saturday 22 JuneRugby vs King’s (Sydney)
Week 9
Monday 24 JuneBATYR ( Year 10)
Tuesday 25 JuneBATYR ( Year 9)

Final SS Inter-House Debating (No Assembly)

Wednesday 26 JunePhilosothon NE (at TAS)

BATYR ( Year 12)

Thursday 27 JuneFinal MS Inter-House Debating

Classes conclude

Friday 28 JuneStaff Day

No Classes

Holiday Activities
5-14 JulyForensic Science Camp
Term 3
Monday 22 JulyBoarders return

Staff Day

Tuesday 23 JulyClasses resume


Uniform and Book Shop

Clothing Shop OPEN during holidays Friday 19 July
9 am to 5 pm

Open Monday 22 July
9 am to 5 pm

Tuesday 23 July
Normal hours resume

Mrs Vivienne Tearle

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

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

Student Services

The free rail and charter coach bookings for the end of Term 2 are now closed. It is still possible to book a ticket for rail and bus services but there will be additional costs involved.

All families who have contacted me regarding tickets for end of Term 2 and the beginning of Term 3 travel have all been booked.

I have taken over the student travel portfolio from Mrs Meg Sadler and as I am new to the role it is important that there is clear communication between us because I am not yet fully aware of boarder travel requirements. Please email me: reception@as.edu.au and be mindful of the travel deadlines.

If your child is over 16 years old they are required to travel on all public transport with a Senior Student Concession card which can be obtained from Reception. No parental signature is needed for this, it is very straightforward.

Mrs Veronica Lucas

03. From the P&F



We spent our hard earned money at our meeting last week… Around $25,000 was allocated in addition to the $30,000 that we have already donated earlier in the year to helping the Foundation renovate the Dining Room – that’s a lot of cupcakes and sausage sandwiches!!

Thanks to everyone who helped, baked, donated time, effort, prizes or gifts throughout the year.  Without you we wouldn’t be able to fundraise this money and use it for the betterment of TAS and our students. To be able to donate such a substantial sum of money to school reflects the amazing TAS community that we have and we truly appreciate all the help we receive.

Money was allocated to several projects throughout the school:

  • New cushions for the Chapel pews
  • An elliptical cross trainer for the gym
  • An upgrade to the mountain bike trailer
  • Some new shotguns for the TAS shooting program
  • Junior School Playground upgrade
  • Contribution to Year 12 gift of curved bench seats around the Lawrance Quad Memorial



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 pandf@as.edu.au



Please mark these dates in your diaries:

  • Saturday 27 July – Home Rugby and other sports versus Sydney Boys’ High School
  • Wednesday 31 July – P&F meeting
  • Saturday 3 August – Reunion Weekend including home rugby games against The Scots College


Mrs Rachael Nicoll
P&F President

04. From the Chaplain


Too far Jesus “You Fool!” Matthew 5:21-22

I have been called a number of things in my life, and I must admit that I have called other people some uncharitable things at times, but I have never said to anyone ‘Raca!’ Which is a good thing, otherwise I might be answerable to the Sanhedrin, which a bit like the High Court of Israel. However, that does not mean I am out of trouble. Jesus goes on to say that while ‘Raca’ might land me in front of the courts; to call someone a fool will land me in the fires of hell. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think its nice to call anyone a fool, but let’s face it there are far worse things they could be called, for example, you could say they support Liverpool or even worse the ‘Chookies’. In the end Jesus, I think you are going just a little too far with this one, to say ‘you fool!’ just doesn’t seem that bad.

But Jesus goes even further, he says, your anger doesn’t even need to be voiced, let alone acted upon resulting in bodily harm – even murder. You can just be angry, it can just be in your head, it can just be a feeling. Jesus is saying we can be tried and judged just for feeling something. Jesus, now you have gone way too far!


But what Jesus is pointing out is that the murderous act is driven by the angry thought. While we might look at ourselves and be content with our goodness and righteousness, God wants us to consider what is in our hearts not simply what is done with our hands or spoken from our lips.

Behind the offensive word is a hostile thought. It is there that the guilty process starts; and if the hostile thought is not killed off just as soon as the thinker becomes aware of it, then, while no earthly court can make a judgement on a person’s thoughts, the heavenly court can and does.

Our actions, our words even our thoughts matter to God.


Mr Richard Newton

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)


Brain Bee Challenge

Earlier in term, Mehdi Ahsan of Year 10 placed first at TAS in the Brain Bee Challenge, a competition organised by the Australasian Neuroscience Society to raise awareness of science, and in particular, neuroscience.

Medhi travelled to UNSW on 30 May to compete with the top 85 students from across NSW in Round 2 of the challenge. At this event, Mehdi placed 8 in NSW – congratulations on a marvellous effort!


NSW Schools Titration Competition – 1st Place

In the fortnight prior to Tuesday 4 June, Lucy Ball, Bronte Garcia and Alistair Le Surf were training hard in the chemistry laboratory in the art of titration. Titration is the art of chemical analysis using finely graduated glassware to perform acid-base neutralisation reactions. For two hours each training afternoon this team of three honed their pipette and burette-wielding skills to build their analytical precision.

The competition took place at UNE during the Booster Program and our team was very pleased to learn that they were placed first in the region. Congratulations to them and my thanks to UNE for hosting the competition.


Lucy Ball, Bronte Garcia and Alistair Le Surf at the Stokes Building Laboratory, UNE

Beaker – Top Shots on Prime News

Congratulations to Gordon McLennan (aka Beaker) our much-admired laboratory technician with a keen eye for photography. For the second time in four weeks has had his local images on Prime News. Gordon is currently preparing for the forthcoming TAS Forensic Science Camp.

Mr Alasdair Hey
Science Coordinator

A Frosty Morning at Rologas Fields by Gordon McLennan
















St John’s College UQ

Old Armidalian Liam Donaldson (2018) will be back at TAS on Monday 24 June to give students a presentation on residential life at St John’s College, University of Queensland. Liam is very keen to talk to as many students as possible and to convey his message. The meeting will be in Upper Maxwell, at 1.30pm and I encourage any Year 12 or 11 student who has been thinking about studying north of the border to attend to hear what Liam has to say.


Southern Cross University launches its STAR Early Offer program for 2020

Southern Cross University has a proud history of supporting schools from across our regions to transition students with the appropriate academic ability and talent into its range of undergraduate degrees. SCU’s STAR Early Offer program is a partnership with selected schools to match individual students to a course based on their level of academic achievement and likelihood of success.

This year SCU retains the three program levels, providing students with more degree options and to ensure you have a clear framework for recommending students from your school.

STAR Platinum – Students whom qualify at this level have unlimited access to any Southern Cross University degree including; Midwifery, Education, Engineering, and Law.

STAR Entry – Students whom qualify at this level of the program have access to all Southern Cross University degrees, excluding Midwifery, Education, Engineering, and Law.

STAR Pathway – This level of the program provides an access point to students whom for whatever reason may not have gained the academic outcome they had hoped for, but still desire to go to university.  If recommended for Preparing for Success (PSP) or Transition to Uni they will receive a conditional offer for a university degree based on completion of either of these pathway programs.

For further information please go to the link below.


Macquarie University Leaders and Achievers Early Entry Program

This program recognises students with strong academic results (Year 11) and commitment to extra-curricular activities which demonstrate leadership, community service and personal development.

If eligible, students will receive their offer prior to sitting the HSC. Scholarships will be automatically awarded to the best applications (up to $10,000 per year for up to four years).

For more details go to the link below.




Mr Mark Taylor
Careers Advisor


The Explorer Cadetship

From Thoroughbred Industry Careers:

“The Explorer Cadetship is the perfect Gap Year opportunity for those who love horses. In 2020 the first intake will commence in February and the program kicks off with a 12-week residential learning component of practical and theoretical training, followed by two paid work-experience placements; firstly at a leading racing stable and secondly at a leading stud farm (accommodation is arranged over the 12-months). For nine of the 12 months, cadets earn an income and Thoroughbred Industry Careers covers the tuition costs making the program very affordable. Whilst on work-placement, cadets are only placed with the best of the best in our industry!

Please see thoughts from one of our current Cadets, Katie Sharp on the program:

“Applying for The Explorer Cadetship program has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’ve gained a wealth of knowledge and have been given the best building blocks to build a career in an industry I love. I am beyond grateful to Thoroughbred Industry Careers for creating this program, where I have made life long friends and gained knowledge that I will take with me throughout my whole life and career.”


Applications are limited to 30 students per intake and applications will open in late October for the February commencement. Below is a flyer and a brochure and the website tbindustrycarrers.com.au has more details about the industry and the program. And just so you know we are guaranteeing four places to riders from Coona!”

If this program is of interest to you please contact Mrs Genevieve Chick on gchick@as.edu.au.


06. From the Development Office

07. From the Director of Co-curricular


TAS Blue

In the words of Kurt Hahn:

“There is more to us than we know. If we can be made to see it, perhaps for the rest of our lives we will be unwilling to settle for less”.

The TAS Blue award was developed with this philosophy in mind. The framework for the TAS Blue encourages students to serve, to lead, to challenge themselves and to discover themselves. As a result, they are better equipped to contribute to their world both now and beyond school.

Year 12 students have been invited to submit applications by Friday 9 August (see application form attached). All TAS students are invited to view the application and begin to translate these words into actions. The list of examples provided in the Application are not exhaustive and students are encouraged to engage in a diverse range of activities.

Please speak to Mr Pennington, Mr Whalley Ms Symons or myself if you are unsure about the process. Do not ask “would this qualify?”; this is not a tick-a-box exercise. If there is an opportunity to grow through the experience then have a go!


TAS Blue Application



Mr Will Caldwell
Director of Co-curricular

CIS Cross Country

The CIS Cross Country held at Eastern Creek is a massive event. With athletes coming from all parts of the state chasing honours, it never fails to bring out the best in each runner. This year TAS had their largest contingent of qualifiers, with 17 athletes making the journey to Sydney. The course is true cross country, varying conditions under foot, hills and a relentless pace always. All students ran sensationally well and its wonderful to see so many juniors pushing their way into the athletic ranks. Results: Girls 12 years Georgia White 57th, 13s Isabella Crawford 37th, Matilda Cullen 39th, 15s Karen Baker 53rd, Rosa Coady 54th, 16s Eliza Ward 33rd, Isabella Gooch 39th, April Draney 50th. Boys 12years Will Ledingham 28th, 13s Andrew Brennan 53rd, 14s Will Nash 61st, Max Guppy 66th, 15s Hudson Eichorn 66th, 16s Toby Hall 51st, Albertus Hattingh 66th, 17s Sam Jones 34th, John Moore 44th.

Year 9/10 Marathon Elective

Sunday 16 June saw the culmination of a semester’s worth of training for the Years 9/10 Marathon Elective Class. These students have been training for a half marathon in each lesson as well as every Friday morning before school for their long run. This cohort has been tremendous in their application and commitment to understanding what is required in order to successfully complete a half marathon. Running in the Bay2Bay Half Marathon, a beautiful course at Gosford with incredibly kind weather, the students set out for their final exam. Mac Orr took the honours with a very quick 1:29 which also earned him 1st place in his age group. From Mac onwards, students crossed with a pleasing regularity, with everyone completing the journey. An enormous sense of satisfaction, combined with the knowledge that hard work most certainly pays off!

Mr James Pennington

TAS City2Surf 2019

TAS City2Surf 2019, get your GUNSOUTFORTOMBSY

Parents, OAs, friends  – please come and run with Team TAS in 2019 to support Old Armidalian Richard Tombs. We are aiming to have our largest team yet, as we raise funds to help Tombsy and his family. Richard has been a sensational supporter of TAS for many years and now it’s our turn to step forward. With terrific support from our student body, we want to invite the entire TAS community to join us. Remind yourself that the body is still majestic and cannot be stopped. Run like Deek or enjoy a lovely Sunday morning walk, either way it’s for a great cause! A TAS GUNSOUTFORTOMBSY shirt is part of the entry as we show off our support. Please contact Jim Pennington (jpenning@as.edu.au) to sign up and join TEAM TAS.


08. From the Creative Arts Coordinator


At last week’s Regional Shakespeare Carnival we had our entrants in the Dance and Film categories selected to attend the NSW Shakespeare Carnival in Sydney. My congratulations to Samantha Crossle, Sancia Ridgeway and Lydie Taylor on their evocative Macbeth-inspired dance and Switt Tangpoolcharoen’s creative side view of the events of Macbeth. It was great to see all involved get so much out of the experience and I hope we will have even more involved next year.

On Sunday the Eisteddfod Gala Concert wrapped up Term 2’s largest Creative Arts event with a huge involvement from TAS students, staff and friends. My congratulations to everyone involved in the many weeks of the Armidale Eisteddfod in Music, Speech and Drama and I am sure it has been a valuable experience as you continue to grow and develop as musicians and performers. I would also like to give a special mention to all the valued peripatetic teachers whose tutelage and involvement in our ensembles, bands and choirs are so essential for the smooth running of the TAS Music program.

The Stage 5 Drama elective Comedy: Make ‘Em Laugh wrapped their semester of work with two performances of the class-developed play Hansel and Gretel Goes Wrong. We’ve received some excellent feedback and I congratulate all involved (particularly those who joined in to make the production a success) and thank Mr Cornford for his assistance with the lighting design.

I know there was huge excitement when Madagascar Jr. was announced as this year’s Junior School Musical by Mrs Cleaver at assembly. I know the team is working hard to get audition material together before the holidays to let our enthusiastic performers get very ready for auditions at the start of Term 3. Good luck to everyone and remember that being involved in any capacity will be a rich experience.

Mr Andrew O’Connell
Creative Arts Coordinator

09. From the Head of Middle School



Next year the Middle School will be 20. This age makes us one of the oldest Middle Schools in Australia. As a result of discussion at Middle School planning meetings over the last two weeks, you should know that we, as Middle School Homeroom teachers are preparing for the next stage of our development. As a logical step in any planning process, it’s important that key players in middle schooling, our current students, have a say in “what’s good, what’s important, what’s not, and, importantly, what could be so much better” in the planning process for future development.

These people are still young enough to be fiercely idealistic and have quick burning passions and I seriously believe that that we can learn from them. We want your children to begin to ‘take the initiative’ in terms of communication in a more active way during their time in our part of the school. As well, so many of these people are unflaggingly creative and inquisitive, confident but not arrogant. As indicated to the staff at these meetings, I’m happy about the prospect of working more closely with all people for whom I’m directly responsible. Something that should make our time together universally worthwhile is a workplace that encourages the collaborative efforts of boys, girls and staff. The only realistic and sensible way to ensure such an atmosphere is to invite their comments in a place that encourages the level of confidence necessary for each student to be resourceful and to have a ‘voice’. It’s your job to encourage your child to ‘speak up’ in a respectful manner; ours is to ensure that the level of respect is ‘followed through’ and reciprocated. Yes, I know that this style of the environment is the ideal and am aware that we’re dealing with young adolescents for whom school life, in particular, can be characteristically challenging, indeed, daunting. I also know that if we don’t continue to try to effect such an environment here in Middle School, then we’re not doing the right thing by these young people as it’s our collective brief, as teachers and families, to ensure that they’re happy and, as such, resilient enough to meet the greater challenges, independence and responsibilities of their future in the Senior School.

Yes, it’s brief this week.


Mr Mark Harrison
Head of Middle School

10. From the Head of Junior School


Adventure Playground

I have written the following letter to the many students in Junior School, but particularly to those in Mrs Hawksford’s Year 3 class, who recently bombarded me with their Persuasive Writing pieces….

Dear Students of Year 3,

Thank you for the wonderful letters that you wrote to me recently, requesting that Junior School consider your persuasive arguments for an Adventure Playground. I applaud the ideas and perspectives that you skilfully wove into your thinking. In fact, I was so impressed, I have copied Chelsea’s letter here for everyone to see. I also sent some letters to our Parents & Friends for them to consider. They loved them and as a result, they have generously decided to allocate us some money to make a start as soon as possible…so make a start WE WILL!

I will bring these ideas to our SRC meeting this Thursday and you are all welcome to come along and speak about your ideas. I am looking forward to seeing you there and making a start on a playground that we can all enjoy for many years to come.

Congratulations and well done,

Letter by Chelsea Miller

National Trust Saumarez Art Competition

Again, TAS was very pleased to have been in a position to support this art competition, run recently by the National Trust. The Competition recognised the role the White Family from the property ‘Saumarez’ near Armidale played by supporting the war effort in the First and Second World Wars. Our students found the subject highly challenging and we recognise the great art works they all contributed. Congratulations go to Josiah Baumgartner for coming 2nd and Sam Ford for coming 3rd in their respective sections.


Josiah Baumgartner’s thought-provoking image “Lest we Forget.”

Sam Ford’s image of a Slouch hat amongst the Poppy Fields

Out of School Hours Care – Vacation Care (July 1 – 19)

Please take time to make your bookings for the upcoming holidays as we are starting to organise excursions which require an indication of our numbers. Information about the Vacation Care program can be found at – https://publications.as.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/OHSC-Flyer-T2-Final.pdf


Arriving at School…and being unsupervised in the playground 

It is timely to mention again that the Junior School playground is not supervised before 8.15 am in the morning. While there may be occasions when children need to arrive at school earlier than this, it should only be for an activity which would have the appropriate supervision. We are keen to avoid the increasing number of early arrivals who have been asked to sit in the Junior School Reception area until the appropriate time.

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


School Spirit Awards

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

Rory Secker, Issy Law, Simon Hu, Daniel Bayne, Joshua Bourke, Ruben Higgins, Lucas van der Werf, Mila Wright, Andrew Alkhouri, Tommy Blanch, Ted Chick, Peyton Slade and Braith Westaway.


Happy Birthday

Best wishes to Raseel Alazizi, Mohammed Alrdadi and Will Ogilvie for their birthdays this week.


Mr Ian Lloyd
Head of Junior School

Holiday borrowing from the library

The coming holidays are the ideal time for children to catch up on reading.

Please note that children are able to borrow their usual two (2) books from the library for the holidays without a permission note but if they would like to borrow three to six books parents need to sign the permission note that is attached to this newsletter and hand it in to the library or email the library at library@as.edu.au



­­————————-Please return signed note to Library ————————–


Download Form


Mrs Lou-Anne Allen

Junior School Sport


The TAS Go netball girls were a united team unit on Saturday! They were calling out encouragement for each other, using secret plays to trick their opponents and getting the ball to their end in no time. If it were a game of two quarters, we would have smoked them but unfortunately PLC saved their best shooters for the end! We spent this week practising defending the goal so we are ready for our comeback this weekend! Special mention must go to Chelsea and Sophia- the dynamite duo on the shooting circle!


TAS U10s

TAS played a very competitive and high scoring game on Dangarfield last Saturday against the East Spiders. Despite losing the game by only two goals, our team put on a good struggle and managed to score four goals of their own. I would like to commend the very special performances by Hugo Brown and Harry Brownlie who were outstanding throughout the match in both attack and defence.

Kelvin Kamau




Last Saturday, TAS Blue versed Uralla Tigers at Uralla. Everyone played really well with special mention to Sinclair who displayed great ball skills, Mitchell for doing a fantastic job as goalie and Tom Rowe for helping us out when we needed another player. Our defence system was strong and it was rewarding to go home with a win of 4 goals to 3. A big thanks to Mrs Hardin and Mrs Ward for their great coaching skills and also to all the parents who drove us out to Uralla.

Angus Tydd (Year 5)


There was such a beautiful sense of community at the game in Uralla on Saturday. I felt a genuine buzz when I looked up a good ten minutes after the game had finished and saw parents and children still mingling and chatting away. Thank you to all for making my job as team manager of the ‘Mighty Blues’ such a joy and for your ongoing support.


Mrs Tania Hardin


Community Notices