2019 Term 4 Week 7   |   27.11.2019

TAS Talks Term 4 Week 7

01. From the Acting Headmaster


The amended Activities Week I have written about in the last couple of editions of TAS Talks, is proceeding apace. I would like to congratulate all staff involved for their efforts and organisation to provide a range of activities for the students based on and off campus. The cadet leaders’ courses scheduled for next year will go ahead as planned. These courses will determine who will take on specific leadership roles for the year. It is a rare opportunity for students at their particular stage of their cadet journey, to learn specific and targeted leadership skills at Corporal, Sergeant and CUO level that they can then take into the field. These are skills that can be carried into the future beyond the cadet experience and I offer my strongest encouragement to all parents of cadets to speak to their children about this opportunity.

Rehearsals for the Junior School musical Madagascar Jr. have been taking place at a frantic pace as the students and staff prepare the upcoming performances starting with today’s Matinee. Colourful costumes and makeup are a feature of the production and I am sure all involved cannot wait to get on to the stage. I offer special congratulations to all who have been involved thus far.


The focus for our Middle and Senior School students next week will be the Cash Cup with its emphasis on mass participation, fun and a bit of competition to go with it. By way of background, the Cash Cup was first presented by Alan Cash at the time of his retirement as Headmaster in 1982. It was originally an Inter-House competition comprising of photography, art, craft, and creative writing. That structure has morphed into the competition we have today in which each house produces an artwork, drama piece and mass musical item that is presented on the one afternoon, with some strict guidelines to guide the houses. In recent years it has attracted great interest and the production of the event, from the art to the music, drama and film pieces, sees a great deal of effort put into it.

I look forward to welcoming parents and friends of the school, as well as our special guest Ms Tanya Ha, to both the Junior School Speech Day and Middle and Senior School Speech Day next week.  Tanya is an award-winning journalist, best-selling author, broadcaster, science journalist and sustainable living advocate and is best known for her TV shows and popular environmental books. Both her presentations promise to be inspiring and I look forward to welcoming students, parents and friends on both days.


Alan Jones
Acting Headmaster

Notice Board

After School Care Program

TAS Junior School Out Of School Hours Care (OSHC) offers After School and Vacation Care for TAS students from Transition to Year 6 with a focus of bringing out the very best in girls and boys.

After School Care operates five days a week from 3:30pm - 6pm. 
The costing is as follows:
$5 per half hour, ( capped at $75 per week, per student)
Afternoon tea, supervised time for homework and play are provided.

To find out more and view the Term 4 program click on the link below.


2020 - School ID Photos

Individual School ID Photos will be taken in the first week of Term 1 in 2020.

You will soon receive a card with an individual shoot code, which will enable you to place an online order for photos through MSP photography.
While every student will have a photo taken, ordering is completely optional.

If you will have more than one student at TAS in 2020 and would like to have a sibling photo taken, please contact Mrs Anna Gayner on

agayner@as.edu.au for further information.

The SLAYA Awards

'The SLAYA Awards are an opportunity for our youth who are making a positive change in our community or have ideas to do so, to be recognised and acknowledged. Whether it’s a widget, an app, an artwork, a performance, a service or an installation – we’re open to suggestion on anything that gives us a message about what your future might be like and how you might influence that future for a better outcome.' Quote from Sustainable Living Armidale website.

Please follow the link below to access the entry form and terms and conditions.


02. Calendar of Events

Week 7
Wednesday 27  NovemberMadagascar Matinee (1.30pm) Hoskins Centre
Thursday 28 NovemberMadagascar Matinee (1.30pm) Hoskins Centre
Friday 29 NovemberMadagascar  Performance (6.00pm) Hoskins Centre
Saturday 30 NovemberMadagascar  Performance (6.00pm) Hoskins Centre
Week 8
Tuesday 3 DecemberCash Cup
Wednesday 4 DecemberJunior School Speech Day – Memorial Hall (9.00am)
TAS 125th Anniversary Dinner – 6pm
Thursday 5 DecemberMiddle and Senior School Speech Day – Sports Centre (9.30am)

Rowing Camp ( 5-9 December)

Friday 6 DecemberSchool Closed
Tuesday 9 DecemberRowing Camp concludes

03. From the P&F


Christmas Puddings

Our famous P&F Christmas Puddings are now available for sale.  Puddings are $25 each and can be paid for on TryBooking.com https://www.trybooking.com/BGIVL

Puddings can be collected from TAS Main Reception once they have been ordered. Depending on sales we may also have a few available at Speech Day.

We also have some scrumptious seville marmalade for sale in Reception. We may be selling this at Speech Day too.


End of Year Drinks – Thursday 5 December

A few of the P&F will be popping down to the Wicklow for end of year drinks after Speech Day.  We will be there from about 12.  If you’d like to join us to toast the end of the 2019 school year, please do.  Anyone is welcome – just pop on in.


Year Group end of Year Functions

A few year groups are having end of year get togethers on Wednesday 4 December in various places in Armidale.  Please contact your Liaison Parent or check your Facebook Page to see if your year is one of them.



Liaison Parents have a vitally important role in being the ‘first port of call’ for people wanting to know what is going on in their year and at school.  The P&F could not operate without them. So that we can hit the ground running next year and make sure all new families in 2020 feel the love and support right from day one, we would love to have all our Year Group LPs for 2020 sorted before the end of this term.

If you are interested in becoming a Year Group Liaison Parent for 2020 or would like to know more about the role please contact us on pandf@as.edu.au


Baking containers for collection

Thank you for your baking for Mr Guest’s Memorial Service, however please, please, please collect your containers from Main School Reception (Big School) as soon as possible.  If we recognised you as a Junior School family, your container may be in Junior School Reception.  If you cannot find it there, please check Big School. If containers are not collected by the end of Speech Day (Thursday 5 December) unfortunately they will be disposed of.


Mrs Rachael Nicoll


04. Round Square


This year’s Speech Day guest speaker is Ms Tanya Ha, an award-winning Australian environmentalist, best-selling author, science journalist and sustainable living advocate. She is also a media commentator on environmental issues and was recently a delegate to the Australia 2020 Summit. We have arranged time for interested Middle School students to meet with Tanya in Period 4 and Senior School students in Period 6 on Wednesday 4 December.  Students should watch out for a registration email from me.
Expressions of Interest are closing for the 2020 Korea international conference, and we are encouraging students in Junior School to sign up for the 2020 Thailand international conference. All the information and online booking forms can be found here (https://publications.as.edu.au/our-schools/middle-school/round-square/round-square-international-conferences-2020/) and below is a blurb explaining each of those opportunities.

Students aged 13 to 15 can go to South Korea in early March for the conference ‘Reverence for the past, aspirations for the future’. The conference will be particularly targeted towards Democracy, Leadership and Internationalism and will not only allow students to fully explore Korean history and culture, it will also provide the opportunity to collaborate with students from around the world. Applications are now open and more information is available from Mrs Pollard and Ms Lo.

Students aged 10 to 12 can go to Thailand in late April for the conference ‘Sustainable Siam – Sustainability & Equity’. This conference has a strong focus on Environmentalism, where delegates will learn about and work on sustainability projects and share ideas with students from across the globe on our environmental future. Applications are now open and more information is available from Ms Fletcher and Mr Currell.


Mr Andrew O’Connell

05. From the Director of Studies


Library and Extended Day

This week (Activities Week) the library is closed to all students.  The library will open in Week 8 (final week of term).
Monday 2 December 8:30am – 6:00pm
Tuesday 3 December 8:30am – 6:00pm
Wednesday 4 December 8:30am – 3:30pm
The library will not be opened on Thursday 5 December.
There is no further tutoring for Middle or Senior School students for the remainder of the term.


Mrs Seonia Wark
Director of Studies


ICAS Science Assessment

The ICAS Science Assessment went to digital delivery this year with mixed reception. Students had the option to participate and we have been very pleased with the results of a number of our science students.

High Distinction (Top 1% or participants)

Maxwell Guppy (9)

Distinction (Top 2% of participants)

Thomas Slack-Smith (8)

Guy Hardin (8)

Mehdi Ahsan (10)

Alexander Hall (10)

Congratulations to these students.

Mr Alasdair Hey
Head of Science


Modern Medicine Elective

The Modern Medicines elective class were extremely fortunate to have Dr Draney, a local GP, teach us about the art of suturing – using stitches to hold body tissues together.

Dr Draney provided us with a live demonstration of the procedure which the class followed – on bananas of all things – with a few interesting results and no fingers were stitched.

The activity provided us with insight to the extremely difficult procedures that doctors have to conduct on a daily basis, and personally gave me a newfound respect for these professionals.

After the practical activity, there was a question and answer section where Dr Draney shared the personal path into becoming a successful doctor. Many of the students enquired about the process of becoming a doctor, which were answered with fascinating and captivating anecdotes. Her passion for what she does inspired everybody and certainly provided us with an insight into a future career path that many of us may not have considered before.



The experience was extremely engaging and educational and provided everyone with something they will remember for a long time. On behalf of the class, I would like to give Dr Draney a massive thank you, for taking time out of her busy schedule to help spark a fascination for medicine in TAS students.

Medhi Ahsan
Year 10 Student

06. From the Director of Co-curricular


Cash Cup

All Year 6-12 students are involved in the interhouse creative arts competition (Cash Cup) next Tuesday 3 December. Students should come to school at the usual time of 8:45am, dressed in summer uniform and blazer for final assembly.  Students will then change into house uniform (navy shorts and house polo) to rehearse.
Performances will commence at 1:30pm in Memorial Hall and conclude at 3:30pm.
Best wishes to all houses – it is sure to be loads of fun!


Sport Week 8

There will be no sports training next week, although basketball will honour their commitments to games on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons and rowers will complete their 2000m selection erg on Monday afternoon.


Mr Will Caldwell
Director of Co-curricular

07. From the Creative Arts Coordinator


It is time for the amazingly enthusiastic Junior School actors to take the stage for Madagascar the Musical! While the costumes, makeup, set and lighting all look incredible, nothing can compare with the enthusiasm and joy of our young performers on the stage. Both casts have had an opportunity to do a final dress run of the show and this afternoon we have our first paying audience. My congratulations to Mrs Cleaver and her team, the Junior School teachers, the great many parent volunteers who have helped through the journey, and even the Year 10 Activities Week students who have volunteered with makeup. However most of all I wish our performers the very best for the production run, I know they are going to have the best time out there on the stage.

With this year wrapping up, we look towards 2020 and the Middle & Senior School’s The Wizard of Oz in Term 1. Information about the Production Camp at the end of January will be coming out soon and we hope that the holidays, while enjoyable, will be a time for those Principals and Supporting actors to get their lines and songs nailed down.

For all amazing parent, student and staff support of the Creative Arts this year I express my sincere thanks. Ours is an incredibly big and busy program and we can only do what we do with your help. We wish everyone a safe and restful break and encourage all to catch a show, watch a play, visit a gallery, take part in a holiday workshop, or just do anything that adds a little Arts to the break.


Mr Andrew O’Connell
Creative Arts Coordinator

08. From the Acting Head of Middle School


Activities Week 

With the unavoidable changes to our traditional Activities Week due to bushfires, the Middle School students have been involved in a range of rich and challenging activities and events this week.

Year 7 have been making Christmas gifts for Autumn Lodge senior citizens who do not have family; have been developing their crocheting skills to make baby blankets for Nymboida families affected by the fires; have visited the elderly at BUPA which was warmly received by the community there; and have been cooking for the Blaze Aid volunteers. The Rangers staff have organised these wonderful opportunities along with making placemats for Meals on Wheels and some physical activities such as mountain biking and PCYC rotations which have been welcomed by the students.

The Year 8 cadets have worked hard on creek clean up in town, have participated in a range of sporting challenges and rotations, and different groups have taken part in various other activities. Some of these initiatives include a visit to Minimbah, a fire clean up out at Guyra, and making mitts and patches for koalas injured in the recent and ongoing fires.

Our Year 6 students have been able to continue some of their Bush Skills Program with canoeing and shelter building out at Dumaresq Dam and some cooking which will take place later in the week. Our youngest students in the Middle School have faced some physical challenges and have been developing some of their creative skills in music and art.

Overall, it has been a wonderful week with our students being called on to develop broad skills and give back to their community. I offer my thanks for the many staff who have organised and facilitated such a rich program at short notice, offering our students a really meaningful alternative program during the obvious challenges of having to change our usual Activities Week plans. Thank you so much.

Final MS Assembly

Our Middle School Final Assembly will take place next Wednesday 4 December. This will involve a light lunch in the Middle School at 1.10pm followed by the formal assembly in the Memorial Hall at 2.15pm. All families are invited to attend this special occasion where we mark the important achievements of our young people; induct our 2020 Leaders; and farewell our fabulous Year 8 students. You are warmly invited to join our community for what will be a really lovely celebration.

Student work – some blossoming composers

A few weeks ago, Mrs Brunsdon, as part of a poetry unit in English, worked with Year 6 to compose some acrostic poetry. While this type of composition is an expected and natural fit for the types of skills the unit aims to develop in our students, the activity was especially fitting as it took place in the week that we said goodbye to Mr Guest. The students wanted to convey their feelings about The Armidale School and what it meant to be a student here by writing some poetry; the end products were really something special (and the English teacher in me was so excited). I am pleased to share some of these wonderful texts.


The Armidale School by Bailey Miller

Technology for the distinguished learning
Heroic war cries
Ecological environments

Agriculture experiences
Respecting the traditional elders of the land, the people
Massive amounts of homework
Indigenous cultures
Drama and arts
Achieving at the highest level
Lifelong learners
Engaging young minds for over a century

Successful athletes
Co-educational throughout the school
Helping produce successful students since 1894
Open-minded learners
Opportunities flying through the window
Linguistic learners


The Armidale School – By Gus Sevil

The happy environment
Helping students to learn
Engaging young minds

Amazing rugby grounds
Risk-takers are encouraged
Minds flowing with knowledge
Intriguing opportunities
Drama, music and art
Available new experiences
Listening and respect for learning
Environmentally friendly

Socialising with students at school
Co-educational throughout the school
Humongous support for all kinds
Outstanding teaching giving students opportunities
Open-minded kids, ready to learn
Loyal people throughout the school



The happy environment
Helping students to learn
Engaging young minds  

Adventures to be found
Ready to learn new things
Making well-rounded people
Identity embraced
Day by day we learn and play
Amazing activities
Lifetime experiences
Exploring everyday 

Showing the students talents
Caring attitude
Helping students to grow
Opportunities open to everyone
Offering a variety of subjects
Lifetime goals accomplished  

Thank you

Thank you for welcoming me so warmly to the Middle School this term as Acting Head while Mr Harrison has been on leave. I have thoroughly enjoyed this time and have really loved working with our Year 6, 7 and 8 students. The staff here in Middle School are a dedicated, hardworking and intuitive group of people and I am so grateful to have had this term with them. I hope all of our community – students, staff, and their families – have a great summer back home and that the break brings the rain we all need.

My kindest wishes to you all. Please contact me through Mrs Robyn Frost on 6776 5819 or via email at middle@as.edu.au if you need anything at all.


Mrs Gill Downes
Acting Head of Middle School





09. From the Acting Head of Junior School


Year 5 Dinner

It was my privilege to attend the Year 5 Valedictory Dinner last Friday night held in the Hoskins Foyer. It was an opportunity to celebrate the Year 5 Class of 2019 and wish them well for Middle School next year. My sincere thanks to all the parents and carers who assisted with the organisation and set up of this fabulous evening.



I hope you are all ready to ‘Move it! Move it!’

Our first performance of Madagascar kicked off today and the Junior School children are looking forward to performing the show for you over the coming few days. A reminder please RSVP to your child’s teacher for the function on Saturday evening and refer to the letter sent over the weekend regarding the specific details of the performances and what students need to wear.


Speech Day

Junior School Speech Day will be held in Memorial Hall at 9.00 on Wednesday 4 December and is expected to finish at 10.00 am. Please join us for Morning Tea in the undercover area afterwards from 10:15am. All students are to be at school by 8.30 am on Wednesday. Junior School is closed following Speech Day and the After School Care service will be available from 10.30am until 5.00pm and will be charged at the usual hourly rate. Please email oshc@as.edu.au if you wish to book your child/ren in. Dress for speech day is formal school uniform for boys and the summer dress for girls, with short white socks. Please be aware that Junior School concludes for the term following the Junior School Speech day and there are no classes on Wednesday 4 December or Thursday 5 December.

Junior School Carols Service

The Junior School Carols Service will be held on Monday 2 December, commencing at 2.00pm in the Hoskins Centre. All are welcome to attend.


Happy Birthday

Wishing a very Happy Birthday to Chelsea Miller this week.


I offer my genuine thanks to our dedicated staff here in the Junior School and I am so grateful to them for all that they do. Wishing you all a restful break and I hope the summer offers some well earned time with family. Thank you for a wonderful term. I have enjoyed working with you and your families.


Mr Luke Polson
Acting Head of Junior School

Junior School Upcoming Events

Week 7
Wednesday 27 NovemberNo Assembly

Madagascar Jnr Matinee (1.30pm)

Thursday 28  NovemberMadagascar Jnr Matinee (1.30pm)
Friday 29 NovemberMadagascar Jnr (6.00pm)
Saturday 30 NovemberMadagascar Jnr (6.00pm)
Week 8
Wednesday 4 DecemberJunior School Carol Service – TAS Chapel

Junior School Speech Day (9am-10.15am)

Morning Tea ( Junior School undercover area

School Concludes for 2019

Term 1, 2020
Week 1
Tuesday 28 JanuaryStaff Day
Wednesday 29 JanuarySchool Commences

Junior School Sports

Summer sport for the remainder of the term


  • Games – last game to be confirmed, most likely Saturday 30 November
  • Training – there is no more cricket training

Indoor Hockey

  • There are no more games or training sessions.


  • Games – last game Monday 2 December (TBC)
  • Training – last session will be Wednesday 27 November


There are no more training sessions this term.

Ball Skills

There are no more training sessions this term.


Sessions – last session will be Thursday 28 November


The final gymnastics session for 2019 commenced with the warm-up activity “Call the Action” and some guided stretching.

The rotation activities were:

  • Trampoline with Mrs O’Hara
  • Super wedge with Hunter
  • Locomotion, including crawling, on the beams with Bianca
  • Aerial tissue with Madame Perrin & Mrs Piper

The students are experts at moving around the circuit by now and were eager to try out the various activities. Tissue was a new activity for many of the students, and they were enthusiastic, and enjoyed the challenge of swinging whilst standing, as well as sitting.

For the final rotation, students reprised the super wedge, the beam, and the tumble tramp. The final fundamental skill for the Term was catching and throwing a ball in pairs.

The teachers have thoroughly enjoyed helping the students to develop their gymnastics skills this term, and we wish everyone very happy and restful holidays!


Horse Sports

Joshua Bourke in Year 2 competed for TAS at the Glen Innes High School Horse Sports last Friday.
Joshua and his horse Mortisha had a very successful day and were awarded many ribbons, including Champion 8-year-old – Highest Point Score.


Joshua Bourke and his horse, Mortisha





Year 3 and 4 basketball

Our 12 players went down to 11 players on Monday with Ruby leaving for the coast. The remaining players took to the court with gusto and focused on some of the drills we have been practicing on Wednesdays in training. They started to focus on marking their opposition player and passing to each other as they moved up the court. Monday’s game also had a focus on good sportsmanship and being nice to each other, which they did beautifully. It’s pleasing to see the improvements in the players as each week goes by. Andi has improved his passing and shooting, having a lot more confidence to take the shot instead of passing to another player; Marcus was so excited at getting several baskets and improving his moving up and down the court and Jack showed more physical activity and ran up and down the court more willingly. He is learning how to start dribbling around the court more easily and is listening to instructions given to him which is fabulous. Our last game is in Week 8. Please remember to give your child a water bottle for basketball as it gets quite hot in The Den. if you have not claimed your Sports Voucher you can use it for basketball and can claim a rebate from Judy Monahan if you have paid your registration already.

Mrs Kirsty Brunsdon and Miss Alice Woodhill


Indoor Hockey

The Hurricanes and Tornadoes

Last Friday, the TAS gym was once again a hive of indoor hockey activity as the TAS teams faced two PLC teams. The Tornadoes took to the court first and continued their calm and relaxed approach to the game. I was very impressed to see how they talked to each other and, most importantly, tried to learn from the advice the referee was giving them. It was nice for these young players to have a 3-0 victory. As for the Hurricanes, their team name described them well! It was a fast and furious game and an impressive level of skill from both teams was displayed. PLC put up some very strong defence, but our players kept their heads and played skilfully to take a 2-1 victory. All agreed that using the side boards to take the ball up the court was a skill that need some fine tuning and Lachie and Katie are drilling both teams on this skill as I type. Keep up the great work guys.


Mrs Tania Hardin


Community Notices