MR ALAN JONES
Welcome to the new school year to all our returning and new students, parents and staff. We begin the year with 115 new students and the growth in numbers that continues is very pleasing to see. This comes at a time when many in our community have been impacted by bushfire and continue to be impacted by the drought. The significance of the commitment that this represents is substantial. We have all been very pleased to see the rainfall that has rejuvenated our landscape and we pray that it will continue to fall.
I made comment at our first assembly yesterday that this is a significant time for all those who are new here and perhaps particularly those who have joined us as boarders for the first time. What we all have in common though, students and staff alike, is that we have experienced a first day at TAS and that engenders a natural empathy for our new students and I am confident that they will be welcomed in the best traditions of our student body.
Coast Weekend will present the perfect opportunity for those new students and those joining a new house to establish the friendships and relationships that are so important in these first weeks of school.
Whilst most of us were enjoying the Summer break with family a good number of our students were involved in school activities and our staff have enjoyed hearing reports on the success of these at our meetings over the past week. Those activities included a rowing regatta and camps at Taree, the cricket festival for our First XI in Toowoomba, the Forensic Science Management Camp at TAS in preparation for the full camp for Year 8s in the middle of the year, and most recently the annual production camp for the cast and crew of our school musical for 2020, ‘The Wizard of Oz’. Students can look forward to hearing reports on these in coming assemblies.
There have been individual successes and special experiences too, including Lily Neilson, Rohan Lawrence, Tom Ball and Lennox Neilson’s selection in NSW age hockey teams and in particular, Lily Nielson’s selection in the Under 18 Women’s National Indoor Hockey Squad.
Additionally, a number of our singers were selected to work with the national Gondwana Choirs with Armidale having one of the highest representations of strong singers in Australia.
2019 HSC and the Academic Year Ahead
As most parents will now be aware, our 2019 HSC cohort set the bar high and presented a strong role model for our HSC students this year. This was another very strong performance and I offer the students and their teachers collective congratulations on the results that reflect the purposeful way they approached their senior studies. Our 2019 school Dux was Henry O’Neil with an ATAR of 97.95. Henry heads to the University of Sydney to study Engineering/ Commerce this year.
As we begin the new year we welcome back several staff who were on leave at the end of last year. Ian Lloyd (Head of Junior School) and Mark Harrison (Head of Middle School) return from long service leave in Term 4 last year and I offer thanks again to Luke Polson and Gill Downes who took on their respective roles.
Congratulations to Jacinta Coates on welcoming a daughter over the holidays.
We welcome a number of new academic staff as the new year begins, including eight new teachers:
Mrs Seonia Wark has taken on the role of Deputy Head of School and Mr Luke Polson has taken on the role of Director of Studies. Ms Gill Downes is the Assistant Director of Studies. I look forward to working with this team in what I anticipate will be an exciting year for the school.
Head of School
|Friday 31 January||Houses depart for Coast Weekend|
|Saturday 1 February||Coast Weekend|
|Sunday 2 February||Coast Weekend|
|Wednesday 5 February||P&F Meeting (7pm)|
|Thursday 6 February||Photo – Catch up day|
|Saturday 8 February||Drama Excursion to Sydney|
|Sunday 9 February||Drama Excursion – Sydney|
|Monday 10 February||Drama Excursion – Sydney|
|Tuesday 11 February||Drama Excursion – Sydney|
Swimming – Butterfly & IM events (6.30pm)
|Wednesday 12 February||Drama Excursion – Return to Armidale|
|Thursday 13 February||Junior School Swimming Carnival|
|Warcries and 200m Freestyle events|
|Friday 14 February||MS/SS Swimming Championships|
MRS RACHAEL NICOLL
The TAS Parents and Friends (P&F) would like to give a big welcome to all new and returning parents, students and staff. 2020 looks to be another standout year for school and the P&F and we can’t wait to say hi to everyone. It was lovely to meet some new parents and some old friends on Tuesday evening at the Railway Hotel and we look forward to hosting more events throughout the year – watch this space!!
The P&F consists of a core group of executive and committee members, year group Liaison Parents and the wider parent community. Over the next few weeks we will be using TAS Talks to explain who we are, what we do, how you can help and any other interesting information we can think to add.
If you have any queries about things P&F related please feel free to contact the Executive. This consists of:
Rachael Nicoll – President – sons in Years 9 and 11
David Lawson – Vice President – sons in Year 11
Fiona Nash – Treasurer – son in Year 9
Sophia Wright – Secretary – son in Year 9, daughters in Years 6 and 4
We can be contacted by email firstname.lastname@example.org or calling school reception or Rachael on 0418 980 662. Alternatively, we have a Facebook page (join us using the keywords TAS Parents and Friends).
Each year group has Liaison Parents… These are people who ‘know the ropes’ around TAS and are the ‘first port of call’ for people wanting to know what is going on in your year and at school. LPs are the heart of the Year group communities, help new families settle in, organise fun year group events and act as a conduit from the P&F including asking for baking and helpers at various P&F events throughout the year.
Each Year Group has their own Facebook page. These are closed groups for parents to catch up on what’s happening. Please search for TAS Year 12 and the year that your child will graduate from year 12. For example, my son is in Year 12 in 2021 so that year’s Facebook page is TAS Year 12 2021.
TAS Talks next week will have more information about who your Liaison Parents are.
During the Swim Carnivals (Junior School – Thursday 13 and Senior Friday 14 February) the P&F operates a Cake Stall. Our sport carnival cake stalls raise a significant amount of money for the P&F and this money is used to make TAS better for our children so if you could support this worthy cause by baking or buying some yummy food and helping on the stall it would be appreciated. Anything will be gratefully received and can be dropped off to the P&F stall near the swimming pool prior to the start of your swimming carnival. Remember this cake stall is mainly for the kids to buy things to munch on (so don’t forget to give them a little spending money).
Stall times for both Junior School and Senior School Carnivals will be in next weeks TAS Talks.
On the night of the Middle/Senior School War Cries the P&F will be hosting a BBQ under the Junior School Covered Area from 5-7pm for all families that are not involved in the Middle School Introductory Evening. Sausage sandwiches will be $2 and soft drinks and water will be available so that you don’t starve during War Cries… Come and join us, meet some new people and prepare yourselves for the competition that is TAS War Cries…
Our first P&F meeting will be on next Wednesday 5 February at 7pm in Lower Maxwell Room – turn left inside the entrance to the main school building and follow the noise. All are welcome and we’d love to see you there. Drinks and nibbles are provided.
Mrs Rachael Nicoll
MR RICHARD NEWTON
Reading the ‘news’ in the Australian edition of the Daily Mail online, I came across an article that looked more like an ad for Specsavers. I read of “A pilot who taxied his jumbo jet the wrong way down an airport runway prompting him to get his eyes tested.
Another man confused his hearing aids for cashew nuts because of his ailing vision (I guess its the waxy texture). He later needed hospital treatment to retrieve them from his stomach.”
There is no doubt having decent eyesight will make enormous difference in our ability to function well in life.
This seems to me like a good topic of conversation in the year 2020. 20/20 obviously is the term used by optometrists to describe the sort of vision we all want.
So, here’s the question, what is your vision in 2020?
Maybe you envisage yourself winning the swimming carnival or killing it on stage in the musical or being popular or the best looking on the beach this weekend.
According to the reading, the same reading that you will hear many times this term and throughout your time at TAS, if we set ourselves those ‘visions’, those ambitions, yet, do not have love, they will count as zero. Nothing we achieve this year, no matter how noble, if it’s done without love, it will count as nothing. According to the Bible, and therefore, according to God, the only way to get 20/20 vision this year is if we love. However, this does not mean romantic love, in fact in the original language, that’s a completely different word. No, this is love to the unlovely, love that costs, love that’s unconditional. To love like this is to understand that we have first been loved, loved unconditionally, loved by God, even when we didn’t love Him, loved with a big love that cost him His only Son.
Will your 2020 vision look like that?
Mr Richard Newton
MR ANDREW O'CONNELL
MR LUKE POLSON
Welcome to all our new students and parents and welcome back to those returning to another busy year at TAS. As the new year begins, it is important to know who you should go to discuss your child’s academic progress.
The TAS Advisor system is a unique opportunity to develop relationships and support between the student and their Advisor. Advisors meet with their students for 20 minutes each Monday to Thursday. If you have any concerns about your child whether it be pastoral or academic your first contact should be with your child’s Advisor.
Students in Years 11 and 12 who wish to change subjects should meet with Mr Mark Taylor to discuss options. A subject change form needs to be completed and signed by the teachers involved, the Advisor and parents, before this is approved. Mr Taylor is also the person to see in regards to career options and university information.
In regards to Disability Provisions, Mrs Regina Pollard is the person to contact for Years 6-8 and Mrs Wendy Hill for Years 9-12. All subject/elective changes need to finalised by the end of this week. After this, changes to 9/10 electives will not be possible. Students in Year 9 and 10 will choose Semester 2 electives at the end of Term 2.
All students should use their School Diary to note when assessments and homework is due and to prioritise and organise their time wisely. Please encourage your child to make full use of the diary. As students move into their senior school years it is important they start early in their preparation, organisation and focus. Teachers are happy to make themselves available if a student requires extra help. The student should approach the teacher to organise a suitable time.
TAS will once again operate the school’s Extended Day Program for those students who wish to use The Hub at the start and/or end of the school day to complete homework, assessments or extra study and revision. The Hub is supervised at all times during the extended opening hours. Please be aware that for Week 1, The Hub will close at 5pm. From Week Two, extended day hours will operate and The Hub open from 7:30am – 9pm Monday-Thursday and from 7:30am – 5pm on Friday. A tutoring schedule will be published once it is finalised.
I look forward to working with you and your children in this role.
Mr Luke Polson
Director of Studies
MR WILL CALDWELL
Each week we hope to keep you up to date with what’s happening at TAS. The events and achievements, the lessons learned and the opportunities for growth. TAS is a busy place, however, the more connected we become the more resilient we are and the better we cope with the challenges that life throws at us.
Hopefully students found yesterday’s sports admin session helpful and are excited about the term ahead. If you have questions or concerns, I invite you to contact the staff member in charge of the activity or the Director of Co-Curricular’s office. All contacts, schedules and information can be found on the TAS website: https://publications.as.edu.au/life-at-tas/co-curricular/sport/co-curricular-life/
All events will be held in the TAS pool during Week 3 of term.
Middle School/ Senior School Events will commence Tuesday 11 February with the 50m Butterfly and the 200m Individual Medley, commencing at 6:45pm.
Arguably the highlight for spectators will be the 200m freestyle and House warcries on Thursday 13 February, commencing at 6:45pm. With the judges placing great emphasis on unity, Houses will be working hard to include all new students and make everyone feel a part of this special event.
The main event will commence at 8.50am on Friday 14 February. Day students are required to meet at 8.30am on Wakefield for roll call.
Junior School Championships will be held on Thursday 13 February, commencing at 9am.
A full Schedule of Events will be published in next week’s TAS Talks and a warm invitation is extended to all families to share in this event – with special encouragement to attend Thursday night’s warcries.
All students are expected to wear TAS bathers or leg suits (not board shorts) and will be provided with a House swimming cap. Lunch will be provided for all students, staff and supporters on the main day.
The NSW Government provide TWO $100 Active Kids vouchers and a $100 Creative Kids voucher to parents/guardians of school enrolled children. The vouchers can be used for registration and participation costs. Please go to www.sport.nsw.gov.au/activekids to apply for your Active Kids voucher and
https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/apply-creative-kids-voucher for your Creative Kids voucher.
The procedure for using vouchers varies across activities. Please contact the staff member in charge of your activity for clarification.
Mr Will Caldwell
Director of Co-curricular
Dropped at mid-on while yet to score, Cotter Litchfield went on to make 121 and lead the TAS First XI to a win over Sydney’s St Ignatius College Riverview in one of the highlight matches of the Independent Schools’ Cricket Festival, held in Toowoomba on 12-17 January.
Winning the toss and electing to bat, TAS finished its innings at 6/309, with Cotter’s century including 17 fours and three sixes. In reply, Riverview racked up 4/200 in the 38th over but were all out for 227 just five overs later.
The win against the defending trophy holders came on the back of the first game against Shore School on the first day of the competition, in which Cotter’s younger brother Harry top-scored for TAS with 78, partnering with Sam Skipper (59) to steady the batting after some early losses (3/48 in the 17th over), and helping propel TAS to a total of 217. Shore made a strong impression at the crease and were 2/161 after 34 overs, with victory in sight. However outstanding bowling from Zac Clarke (6/36 off 10 overs) contributed to Shore losing 8/26 in nine overs and were all out for 187.
Having dispensed of two GPS Sydney teams, TAS then went on to face festival newcomers West Moreton Anglican College. TAS lost the toss and the decision by WMAC to bat tested the TAS bowlers stretched by two days of competition, WMAC defeating TAS 174 to 125.
Accumulated fatigue continued to be a factor for TAS on day four against hosts Downlands College who won the toss and sent the southerners in to bat. While getting off to good starts, the opening order failed to build large scores and TAS went from 3/186 to being all out for 210, Downlands taking the game at 4/212 in a rain-interrupted match.
TAS finished second in the competition with players Cotter Litchfield, Toby Smith, Sam Skipper and Zac Clarke all being named in the Merit Team of the Carnival. TAS will host the carnival in 2021.
It was inspiring to witness the development of both individuals and their crews over the course of the recent break. The squad of 16 rowers, four coxswains, six coaches and support staff attended two camps at Grafton and Taree – both combining with regattas. For the majority this was their first racing experience, with the remainder having rowed one season, so it is not surprising to see significant improvement. However, at Grafton we were satisfied if they managed to complete the 2000m course without incident, whilst at Taree all crews were in the hunt for medals; coming home with three gold, three silver and three bronze.
Over the three days of competition the squad’s 20 rowers and coxswains took to the water in 15 events in varying conditions.
Making a podium debut at a regatta was a TAS First VIII, with Yann Garrivet, Henry Pitman, Nick O’Neil, Lucas Cotterell, John Moore, Jack Sewell, James O’Brien, Oliver Kearney and cox Lily Etheridge crossing the finish line in second place in the final of the Men’s C Grade Eight over 1000m.
The TAS First IV (John Moore, Jack Sewell, James O’Brien, Oliver Kearney, cox Bronte Garcia) secured gold in the Men’s C Grade Coxed Four (1000m) and took silver in the Men’s U19/U21 Four (2000m).
The TAS Second IV (Yann Garrivet, Henry Pitman, Nick O’Neil, Lucas Cotterell and cox Lily Etheridge) won gold in the Men’s D Grade Coxed Four (1000m) and bronze in the Men’s U19/U21 Four (2000m).
Achieving a bronze medal in the both the Men’s C Grade Coxed Four and a silver in the Men’s D Grade Coxed Four (1000m) were the TAS Third IV (Alex Hall, Stewart Williams, Rocco Louis, Oliver Cook, cox Bronte Dagg).
Bringing home a Gold medal in the Women’s D Grade Quad Scull were the TAS girls Quad (Hannah Neilson, April Draney, Eliza Ward, Eli Cotter (O’Connor Catholic College) and cox Sophie McRae). The crew also secured Bronze medals in both the Women’s D Grade Four and the Women’s U19 Quad Scull over 2000m.
In another first, TAS also fielded a crew in a Mixed A Grade Eight, but was unplaced.
While all the rowers should be pleased with their results, more importantly was the way they developed their teamwork and character. TAS crews will next to take to the water in competition at the Sydney Rowing Club Regatta on 22 February.
MR ANDREW O'CONNELL
In January, a number of TAS students attended the National Gondwana Choral School at the University of NSW in Sydney. This amazing opportunity for singers was only achieved through a successful audition process and students had the chance to work with talented singers from across the country as well as work on newly commissioned works and with renowned conductors and composers. It is remarkable what two weeks of intensive music training does to students’ confidence, musicality, vocal range and ability. National Choral School comprised two weeks of rehearsals as well as elective ensembles and other musical activities and excursions and students all had the chance to make new friendships and be amongst their musical ‘tribe’ in a stimulating environment. The very talented TAS students who attended Gondwana Choral School were: Eloise Gooch, Abbey Thompson (Year 8); Essie Lindeman, Anouska Byrne (Year 9); Will Mackson (Year 10), Alex Gibson (Year 11) and Erin Page (alumni).
MR MARK HARRISON
Well, we’ve begun: Day 1 passed, as expected, with real pace, renewed energy and a very reasonable level of enthusiasm. New students will continue to navigate timetables, routines, school geography, including trips to the Senior School and lunch lines. All are adjusting to bell times, as well. And bells: I was away last term and have come back to music instead of a bell. I don’t mind it either because it’s less invasive, somehow.
Last night (Wednesday) all boarders attended their first Boarders’ Chapel and then prep in the Boarding House. From all accounts, all went really well and, as I’m suspecting, if you’re reading between the lines, the students (including day students) are especially busy and this is the best way of managing a new school for most and a new year for all. I hope the orientation schedules were satisfactory for parents and students. Of course, we’re in this together and again I encourage you to communicate with us. At the beginning of any year this kind of orientation is for you as much as it is for your children. For so many, this is a first: at a new school, with new people, new expectations and learning experiences, especially. So, let’s help one another out. If we continue to communicate, we’re bound to be doing the best we can by those young people you’ve entrusted to us. I enjoyed meeting so many of you again on Tuesday afternoon at our information times.
I went to lunch, lunch duty, dinner and chapel yesterday: these ‘occasions’ presented themselves as opportunities for me to talk to Dangar and White House students and also to our day students and I want you to know, considering the fact that all things are new, we seem to be making the right kind of progress: this progress is of the steady kind, so you must bear with us. To ensure progress you can assist us greatly. Talk to your children and let us know of matters you think we should know about. It would be foolish of me to think that these young people will tell me everything, so I’m counting on you for your support.
Well, this weekend will find the Year 7 students going to their Pindari Orientation Camp, and a good number of the Year 8s will travel to their respective Coast Weekend venues. We’ll have more to report to you about these experiences next week.
Till next week, then.
Mr Mark Harrison
Head of Middle School
MR IAN LLOYD
Welcome back to TAS Junior School for 2020. What a wonderful start to the year we have had (with the wonderful rain!) , as I met new students and those returning and was able to hear the stories from the holidays. I may have missed one or two, but I saw no tears and only smiling faces both in the classroom and playground at lunch so I am hoping it has been a good start for all. Australian students spend the second greatest amount of time in primary education out of all OECD schools. It would be fair to conclude that the students’ relationship with their teacher and the parents’ relationship with the school is vital for success. Please stay in close contact with your teachers and each other to continue this smooth transition into the year.
Starting (back) at school is a challenging process and you will hear me talk regularly of embracing challenge. You will hear this consistently from all of us here at TAS. I spoke to all the children on Tuesday about ‘The Three Steps’ we use here to resolve conflict and I will talk more of this next week. In itself, it is a challenging process but one, when used effectively, has huge advantages for our children, both now and in the future years.
I encourage you all to make the most of our open door policy to visit, contribute to and become a part of our classrooms and our school community. At times, we will email en masse – if you have not received anything from us yet, please contact Junior School Reception on 67765817 or email@example.com
I look forward to catching up with you all soon.
The School has been in contact with both the NSW Departments of Health and Education relating to our procedures for dealing with the Coronavirus. You will have received a mailout from the School relating to this and the procedures now in place for all our students. We are in contact with all our families who may have been impacted and are closely monitoring the situation as it relates to all our students at TAS. Please feel free to contact me at any time and we will discuss this together with the School Medical Sister, Ms Jenny Murray.
New to our staff this year are Mrs Grania Fawcett (Year 2), Mademoiselle Nowa Saeed (French Assistant), and Gappies Lizzie Richards, Maria Villa, Linus Anari and Jamie Short. Please make them feel very welcome when you meet them. Our specialist teachers remain largely unchanged and include Mr Tim Scott (Learning Enhancement), Mrs Leasa Cleaver (Drama, Learning Enhancement), Mr Jim Pennington and Miss Arlene Fletcher (PDHPE), Dr Inga Brasche and Miss Arlene Fletcher (Music), Mr Allan Moore (Japanese), Mme Victoria Perrin-Baker and Miss Chloe Prado (French), Mrs Jo Benham (Christian Development).
We extend a very warm (and hopefully briefly dry) invitation to the Junior School BBQ, to be held this Friday in the Junior School covered area. It is a great way to start the school year together with a BBQ and refreshments provided, ensuring an opportunity for all our families to catch up after the break. Please bring the whole family along between 5.30 and 8.00 pm and we look forward to joining together then.
Please note the following points:
Each week, a class hosts the weekly Junior School Assembly, an opportunity to join as a school to recognise and celebrate achievements in and around our School. We welcome all our parents and friends along to these assemblies but especially when your child’s class is hosting. The structure of our assemblies this year will encourage performances and the active sharing of our classroom work in a lively and exciting way. We hope you will be able to join us from time to time.
As you may be aware, there will be some uniform changes introduced this year, transitioning to 2021. Older uniform (as seen in the photos) may be able to be worn throughout 2020.
For girls, the new summer dress is now available. The winter uniform consists of the striped winter shirt, navy ribbon and grey dress (pinafore for Year K- 2 only). The formal uniform will consist of the grey skirt (pinafore for Year K- 2 only) with white shirt, tie and grey stockings. Black shoes should have a leather upper with laces from Year 3.
For boys, summer uniform is unchanged. Ties should only be worn for students in Year 3 and above. Black shoes should have a leather upper (with laces from Year 3). The winter and formal uniform for boys is also unchanged, however all students from K–5 will wear a tie. Blazers are only to be worn by Year 5 students.
During Week 5, classes from Year 2 to 5 will be spending some time at the Sport and Recreation Centre at Lake Keepit as part of their annual excursion. This has become an important part of our educational offering and provides a wonderful opportunity for our children to challenge themselves in a safe and exciting outdoor setting and as such, all students are expected to attend. Further information will be sent out soon to the parents of those participating.
Happy Birthday to all the Junior School students that celebrated their birthdays during the Christmas break. The first Birthday wishes for the 2020 go out to Boyd Rogers.
Mr Ian Lloyd
Head of Junior School
|Thursday 30 January||Class and ID Photos|
|Friday 31 January||Welcome BBQ (5.30pm – Junior School Undercover area)|
|Tuesday 4 February||K,2 & 4 Information Evening|
|Wednesday 5 February||Year 5 Assembly – (Hoskins 2.45pm)|
|Thursday 6 February||1,3 & 5 Information Evening|
|Wednesday 12 February||Year 4 Assembly – (Hoskins 2.45pm)|
|Thursday 13 February||Junior School Swimming Carnival|
Welcome back to our summer sports season. As we continue on from last year, most of you will be aware of what team or sports group you are in. Most coaches remain the same as last year and should have been in contact with you this week in regard to games for Term One. All sports training will commence in Week 2. Basketball games do not commence until 17th February.
If you are new to our Junior School and are interested in joining a team or playing a sport this term please contact Mrs Christine Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org so she can arrange this for you.
Information about all summer sports can be found on the TAS website.
All children will bring home a swimming nomination form this week. Children may nominate in as many events as they wish to, however, if your child can swim 50m they must enter the 50m event only (not the 25m and the 50 event) The 25m events are organised for those who cannot swim 50m.
Please return all swimming nomination forms to your class teacher by Monday, 3 February.
More information about our Junior School Swimming carnival will be in next week’s TAS Talks.