2020 Term 1 Week 2   |   05.02.2020

TAS Talks Term 1 Week 2

01. From the Head of School


Coast Weekend

Coast Weekend presented 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. The perfect beach weather added to the mood of the weekend and it was good to see such good atmosphere and fun being had across the houses.

At the same time under much more trying conditions, the Year 7 camp at Pindari went ahead. This is the first time that we have provided the opportunity for all of our Year 7s to begin their school journey as a group. The very hot weather and the scheduled activities created a real sense of having to unite and support each other and the beginnings of many friendships were formed. Day students and boarders combined in groups to work through a variety of scenarios and they have returned to the school very much united.

I would like to thank all of the staff who accompanied the students and assisted them to achieve the outcomes we were seeking as a school.

I have since encountered a number of Year 7 groups wondering about the school researching the history of previous Headmasters and finding out as much information as they can with regards to the school since its inception in1894. They have been delightful to deal with and were very engaged in the tasks they were set. I am very much looking forward to hosting our Year 7 Lunches with the Head of School in the coming weeks.

On a broader front, this will be a week for our students to again become accustomed to the routine of the timetable, regular classes and sporting commitments. I was very pleased with the structure of our Student Administration Day last week as it enabled all of our students to be made aware of what their commitments will be for the year, as well as allowing us to provide a warm and extended welcome to our new students, our returning students and our boarder parents through a variety of functions and organised activities.

I look forward to the remainder of the term with great excitement and anticipation given what I have seen so far.


Alan Jones


Notice Board

Cadet Leaders Course 2020

The Armidale School Cadet Unit Leadership Course in 2020 is to be conducted in two modules:

Module 1: 15-17 February (Sat evening/Mon); theory topics at Thalgarrah Education Centre.

Module 2: 22-24 February (Sat afternoon - Mon); in the field at ‘Jeogla Station’, Jeogla.

The course is designed to provide theoretical and practical instruction for prospective leaders in order to prepare them for an appointment as a Corporal, Sergeant or Cadet Under Officer in various roles within the school’s cadet unit.

TASCU’s annual leadership course is a valuable step in the development of leadership skills and experience for TAS students and is open to students in Years 9 to 11 in 2020 who have participated in the cadet program in 2019.

The online nomination form for this course can be accessed through the link below and should be accompanied by a parent/guardian permission form, also available in the link.

Nominations close 10 February 2020.

A.D. Murray
Major (AAC)
Officer Commanding TASCU


Casual Boarding

Casual boarding can be for a single night or several weeks. It is proving to be increasingly popular. The cost of casual boarding is $80 per night inclusive of linen, dinner and breakfast.

Space is limited and may not always be available at the times required. Please assist us by providing as much notice period as you can and complete an online casual boarding application by using the link below or if you have any queries, please contact TAS Reception on (02) 6776 5800.

Daily Absence

If your child is to be absent from school for any reason outside application for exemption requirements, including arriving late or leaving early, please advise the appropriate Administration Assistant (see below), explaining the reason for absence by phone, email, or write a note before 10.00am that day. In addition, a written note confirming the circumstances of the absence is required within seven days.

Sickness in excess of four school days requires a doctor’s certificate detailing the nature of sickness and duration of sickness.

Junior School: Phone 6776 5817 or by email

Middle School: Phone 6776 5819 or by email

Senior School: Phone 6776 5800 or by email

More information about absentees and extended leave can be found using the link provided.

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

Boarders' Travel

Reminder to please return to Mrs Veronica Lucas in Reception your Application for Free Rail Boarders Pass and Application for Subsidised Travel.

Walcha Late Bus Service
TAS operates a ‘late bus’ to service day students living in the Uralla/Kentucky and Walcha districts. This service operates from Monday to Thursday during the school term. The bus departs TAS at 5.15pm. Dropping off students at McRae’s Corner, Uralla, at 5:45pm, Walcha Showground at 6.05pm and Walcha Caltex Service Station at 6.08pm. There is a $7.00 charge per student per journey which will be billed to the student’s account.

02. Calendar of Events

Week 2
Wednesday 5 FebruaryP&F Meeting (7pm)
Thursday 6 FebruaryPhoto – Catch up day
Saturday 8 FebruaryDrama Excursion to Sydney
Sunday 9 FebruaryDrama Excursion – Sydney
Week 3
Monday 10 FebruaryDrama Excursion – Sydney
Tuesday 11 FebruaryDrama Excursion – Sydney

Swimming – Butterfly & IM events (6.30pm)

Wednesday 12 FebruaryDrama Excursion – Return to Armidale
Thursday 13 FebruaryJunior School Swimming Carnival
Warcries and 200m Freestyle events
Friday 14 FebruaryMS/SS Swimming Championships

03. From the P&F


Well we are already into Week 2 already and students, parents and the P&F have a very busy term ahead of us… But busy is good.  Please keep your eyes peeled for information in TAS Talks, emails from Liaison Parents and our Facebook Page over the next few weeks to find out what is going on.

If you would like a chance to say hi to anyone on the P&F or meet some new people then I urge you to come to your child/children’s Swimming Carnival and/or Warcries Night. These are always a great day for parents and kids alike.


Liaison Parents and Facebook

The Liaison Parents for each year group are listed below.  These people are the first port of call for queries, social events, Year Group Facebook posts and help the P&F co-ordinate manpower and help for various events throughout the year. Hopefully LPs will say hello to you – otherwise feel free to get in contact with them and introduce yourself.




Mandy McDowell

Di Wood

Tilly Brauer

KindergartenEmalene Gemmell

Sarah Rice


Year 1Maartje Tory

Lynn Secker

Year 2Kate Stephen

Bruce Dennison


Year 3Belinda Banister

Melanie Fillios

Maartje Tjory

Year 4Lisa Miller

Kari Maitz

Year 5Sonia Broun

Kate Blanchard

Year 6Amanda Tydd

Kel Ward


Year 7Anna Simmons

Susie Crawford

Year 8Veronica Lucas

Hannah Crawford

Year 9Simone Pearce

Deb Michell-Smith

Year 10Karen Morgan

Peta Moore


Year 11Diane Lambeth

Rochelle Tubb

Karen Kermode

Year 12Sarah Nivison

Pip Benham

Sam Ferguson



Junior and Senior Swimming Championships

During the Swimming Championships (Junior School – Thursday 13 and Senior Friday 14) 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 some pocket money) and a little bit for the adults.

Suggested baked/food items include cupcakes, biscuits, cake and slices (cut into single serve portions), jelly cups, watermelon if it’s hot, savoury goodies, gluten-free and dairy-free items (with labelling and a list of ingredients).  However, please remember all items should be nut free.  If you bring in a container that you would like returned, please clearly mark it with your name and collect it after the carnival.


Stall times are:

JUNIOR SCHOOL (Thursday 13)
8am – 9am Set upAnyone who wishes to help
9am – 10amYear 1
10am – 11amKindergarten
Morning Tea 10.45 – 11.15am approx
11am – 12pmYear 4
12pm – 1pmYear 3
Lunch 12.15 – 1.45 approx
1pm – 2pmYear 5
2pm onwards and pack upYear 2


8.30– 9.30am Set upYear 10
9.30 – 10.30amYear 7
10.30 – 11.30amYear 9
11.30am – 12.30pmYear 8
12.30 – 1.30pmYear 12
1.30 – 2.30pmYear 11
2.30 onwards and pack upYear 6


Welcome BBQ on Warcries Night – Thursday 13 March from 5 – 7pm

On the night of the Middle/Senior School Warcries 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 Warcries… Come and join us, meet some new people and prepare yourselves for the competition that is TAS Warcries…


TAS Rugby Carnival

TAS will be hosting our annual under 12 rugby carnival during the middle weekend of the school holidays (Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 April).  The P&F is in charge of lunches for the 1000 plus players and coaches and providing a canteen for all the supporters.  It’s a mammoth job but heaps of fun and is a chance to showcase TAS and Armidale to people from all around Australia.  If you would like to help us organise this awesome event please let us know.


P&F Meeting Tonight!

Our first P&F meeting will be on tonight Wednesday 5 February at 7pm in Lower Maxwell Room – turn left inside the entrance to the Main School and follow the noise.  All are welcome and we’d love to see you there.  Drinks and nibbles are provided.


Mrs Rachael Nicoll
P&F President

04. From the Chaplain


Purchased at a Price 1 - Peter 1:18-19

Have you ever bought something and then not used it? Well, there’s at least one sort of product where that happens all the time, and the marketers know it. Home-gym equipment! This is the ‘tummy trimmer’, the ‘fat-fighter’, the ‘gut-gouger’, the Orbitrek, the Physitron, the Ab-cruncher, the Ab-slide the Ab-doer. In this wonderful world of television shopping, never have so many, paid so much, for something they will use so little. At this time of year, when new year’s resolutions are starting to fade, tummy trimmers sit in their boxes in the corners of garages while Ab-crunchers used once gather dust under beds. Bodyflex: “where losing is winning!”, “where results are now!”  Where you can do it all at home, right in front of the telly!”. But of course Bodyflex’s resting place is behind the telly….

This is another way that we are not like God. When God pays for something he really wants it. God never loses interest in something he’s bought. God has bought us, and the price of that purchase was the blood of his Son. Is God an impulse buyer, who has bought us only to lose interest in us? No! God cares about us, about how we live and he bought us for a purpose. The price was high—it’s one thing for you to pay $199 for an Ab-cruncher you’re never going to use but it’s totally absurd to think that God would pay for us with the precious blood of his Son and do the same. There are hundreds of unused Ab-crunchers sitting in garages—that’s a waste. But Christians sitting around unchanged by God’s mercy and love and forgiveness — that’s offensive.

God hasn’t just saved us from something, he’s saved us for something. This series is all about honouring God who bought us at a price. If you are a Christian, if we claim to be a Christian school, we need to realise that he didn’t just save us from something, he’s saved us for something— he’s saved us from the penalty of sin for an intimate relationship with him.



You’ve seen the Larson cartoon: first pants then your shoes? In the Christian life we must first put our trust in Jesus and be forgiven. Then we must put on the character of Jesus and be transformed.


Mr Richard Newton

05. From the Director of Pastoral Care


Coast Weekend

Last weekend staff and I had the pleasure of taking all our boarders and 70 day students from years 8-12 to various locations on the coast where they had a chance to mingle in a relaxed environment. It was an important time for renewing friendships, making new ones, and particularly for our boarding community, for residential staff and students to get to know each other.

As always, I was flooded with praise from park residents and staff who were blown away by the calibre and character of our students as they observed them in the pool and around the grounds. 

The leadership from Years 11 and 12 was excellent, and it was great opportunity for younger students to see how they should be interacting with each other as they get older. It is very rewarding to see older students working with younger students, it gives them some perspective and is a reminder that they are a part of something bigger than themselves.

I’d like to thank all staff who attended the trip, without whom excursions such as Coast Weekend would no be possible.

Mr AJ Whalley
Director of Pastoral Care

Coast Weekend - a student perspective

Coast Weekend 2020 was a great experience for the many returning, and new Year 8 boarders. Not only did it help reconnect relationships that may have depleted over the holidays, but it was a bright sunny weekend full of early bacon and egg rolls and late-night movies. Passing through the hills with Will Ledingham’s tunes blasting throughout the coach was a great way to make the drive pass by. When we rocked up to the Big 4 Park, racing off the bus to jump on the big pillow and climb around in the park for a much-needed outburst of energy, before grabbing a pizza and retreating to our cabins. The next morning, we had an action-packed day at the beach, jumping out of the road of stingrays and playing touch on the beach, as well as going to grab lunch at the plaza and have a much needed break, catching up with plenty of other familiar faces, then going back to the pool to chill out. That night, we hopped on the coach to go to the cinema, with some expert parking from our bus driver Jan. After getting back to the cabins and hitting the hay early, we woke up to have one more visit to the beach before rushing off the bus to see the water slides at the Big Banana. Whether it was going down the raft on the slide and trying to get up on the corners, or grabbing a slushie and having a rest, it was a great way to spend the remainder of the trip. I would like to thank Mr Brauer, Mr Drain as well as all the duty staff for putting up with us. I would also like to thank Sister Kate, as well as Jan for the great bus trips. I would highly recommend this weekend to everyone and would like to reassure you that the weekend was full of smiles and laughter and is an all-round great experience.

Henry Kirton
White House (Year 8)

On Friday afternoon we left Armidale to head to Urunga on the coast. The Year 8 girl boarders were taken to Urunga and we stayed in a resort. We participated in group activities like stand up Paddleboarding, Kayaking, swimming in the river, chilling at the beach, playing in the pool at the hotel, cooking dinner together, sharing stories on the deck and jumping on the trampoline. Coast weekend for us as Dangar captains was a great opportunity for all of the new boarders as well as the old boarders to catch up after a restful holiday. We had heaps of time to bond with the older boarders as well with time for shopping at Coffs Harbour.

On Saturday we headed out to Sawtell and we did some stand-up paddleboarding and we also went Kayaking in the Boambee River. It was lots of fun and it took a lot of skills to be able to balance on the stand-up paddleboard. We also played games in the kayaks and on the paddle boards. We went to town and got lunch then we went to the beach to chill out and have a swim and the surf rough but lots of fun.

On Sunday we went to Park Beach Plaza for shopping and lunch then we headed back up the mountain.

Bella Crawford and Alice Bourne (Year 8) 
Dangar House

06. Round Square


International Conference - Thailand

Expressions of Interest are still open for the Thailand international conference in 2020 and our conference website has all the information and online booking forms – https://publications.as.edu.au/our-schools/middle-school/round-square/round-square-international-conferences-2020/
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 Miss Fletcher and Mr Currell.
Finally, if students are considering an exchange in 2020 they are encouraged to chat with Mr O’Connell or Mrs Anna Gayner to start getting that organised. 


Mr Andrew O’Connell
RS Representative

07. From the Director of Studies


Extended Day Program

The Extended Day Program for those students who wish to use The Hub at the start and/or end of the school day is underway. This space provides students with a safe and supervised space to complete homework, assessments or extra study and revision. The Hub is supervised at all times during the extended opening hours and staff on duty are available for general guidance with homework and assessments.
From this week, extended day hours will operate and The Hub open from 7:30am – 9pm Monday-Thursday and from 7:30am – 5pm on Friday.
At this stage, Maths tutoring is available on a Wednesday and Thursday evening from 7-9pm.  Further subjects will be added to the timetable over the next few weeks and details of these will be published to students and through TAS Talks.


Mr Luke Polson
Director of Studies


Meitoku Exchange - Japan

In Term 4 last year I had the pleasure of having an exchange to Japan, where I stayed in Kochi at Meitoku Gijuku School. I flew in on the 14th of October and was one of 11 exchange students and the only boy. The students at Meitoku quickly showed me the calm, organised ways of school life as well as the rowdy bustle of dorm life, and I quickly grew fond of the freshly cooked meals served by the school dining hall.

During school days we had regular Japanese lessons as well as the participating in a variety of lessons with the other students. After school every student must join a club activity. I chose Karate which involved practice every afternoon until dinner. Our weekends were packed with activities, and we saw a number of temples and shopping malls as well as the amazing Japanese castles.

By the end of the trip it was tough saying farewell to Japan, but throughout the whole exchange the hospitality I was shown made me feel at home, and the only things I ended up missing about Australia were Vegemite and steak. This was an incredible experience and I highly recommend current Year 10 students studying Japanese to participate on this exchange in Term 4 this year. If you are interested in this exchange, please talk to Mr Moore or myself.


Lachlan Hey



08. From the Director of Boarding


Mr David Drain, Head of Boarding

Meeting the parents and boarders throughout the afternoon and evening of Tuesday 28 January I felt a sense of anticipation and excitement for the year ahead. I appreciate this can be a difficult time for both parents and students, old and new, but am confident that once all boarders settle into their daily routines, they will start to enjoy the many opportunities available to them here at TAS. I enjoyed talking to a number of parents at the Borders Welcome Drinks that evening and immediately felt a sense of collegiality and positivity amongst the boarding community.

I have spent time in all six boarding houses over the past week and left each house confident that the house staff will all do a tremendous job. We welcome three new Heads of House: Catey Curtin (Acting Head of Girls Boarding), Julie Crozier (Acting Head of Girls Boarding) and Doug Fawcett (Head of Croft House) and one new Deputy Head of House, Charlotte Mack (Dangar House) into their roles. I am excited to be solely in the Director of Boarding role this year and am extremely fortunate to be working with such inspiring and passionate boarding staff.

Evening prep started well last week with all Years 9 and 10 boarders, from this week, completing prep from 7.15pm – 9.00pm Monday through to Thursday in the Cash Building classrooms and for one hour of a Sunday evening in boarding houses. The weekday evening prep ensures consistency across the four senior boarding houses and allows students to engage in supervised group work with students from other houses. From this week Middle School boarders will continue to complete evening prep in the Middle School classrooms from 6.30pm – 7.30pm Monday to Thursday. Years 11 and 12 boarders continue to complete evening prep in their rooms. There is still the opportunity for all boarders to attend the library, for additional academic support, from 7.00pm – 9.00pm Monday to Thursday.

The annual Coast Weekend was another huge success with all boarders enjoying their time away at either Urunga, Sawtell, Coffs Harbour, Sapphire or Emerald Beach. The Coast Weekend is a great opportunity for staff and students, particularly those new to houses, to develop stronger relationships in a fun and relaxed setting. Feedback from both the students and staff was the weekend was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

Please remember that you are most welcome to contact me or your Head of House at any time should there be any aspect of your child’s boarding experience you would like to discuss. We are all looking forward to a fantastic Term 1 and are very keen to assist you in any way we can.

I am looking forward to seeing many of you at the Warcries and Swimming Carnival during Week 3. For those new to TAS this is a great opportunity to see first-hand the unique spirit and camaraderie of the TAS boarders.


David Drain
Director of Boarding


09. From the Director of Co-curricular


Sports Cancellations due to Weather

Any decision to cancel or relocate sports due to weather will be made on a sport-by-sport basis. The decision will be communicated to students by the MIC (via email/TeamApp) one hour prior to training/competition – otherwise events will continue as normal.

Middle/Senior School Swimming Championships – Week 3

Tuesday 11 February, 6:45-8:30pm:
50m Butterfly and 200m IM events (competitors only)
Wednesday 12 February, 3:45-5pm:
Warcry Practice –There will be no sport on this day and all students are expected to attend a final practice with their House.
Thursday 13 February, 6:45-9:00pm:
200m freestyle events, Open Medley Relay and the House Warcries  Competition.
Friday 14 February 9:00am – 4:00pm:
All remaining events (see schedule attached below)

Event Schedule 2020

Students are encouraged to swim in as many events as possible. They need to be able to swim at least 50m to swim in the various events. Most students should be able to compete in the 50m freestyle, backstroke and breaststroke.
The 50m butterfly, 200m freestyle and 200m individual medley are all more ‘specialist’ events and only those students who are reasonably capable of doing these events should compete in them.

There will be 160 seats on pool deck on Thursday night for the war cries. Forty of these seats will be reserved for parents of Year 12 students until 6:30pm, at which time they will be open to all spectators. Remaining spectators can view the events from the doors on the western side of the pool or the south western corner.

On Friday 14 Feb, competitors for the first event of the day (Boys U12 50m freestyle) should report to the marshalling area (southeast corner of the gym) by 8:45am. All remaining competitors and House members are to be seated by 8:50am.

Starts will be ‘over the top’. ie the swimmer in the pool at the end of the previous race remains in the water (and holds onto the lane rope) until the next race has begun whereupon the swimmer immediately exits.

There are a huge number of heats to get through so no false starts are allowed. 
If you ‘false start’ you will still be allowed to swim for a ‘time’ but will not gain any points for your House or age championships in that event.


BBQ Lunch will be provided for all parents & students.

Dress will be House polo shirts and blue shorts. Day students may travel to and from TAS in the above clothing (plus shoes). All competitors must swim in TAS swimmers.

All competitors will wear a House swim cap. These will be provided to all students to keep. This will make it much easier for spectators to identify which house each competitor is in.

Because of the chlorine in the pool water, competitors are strongly advised to wear goggles.

You may not colour your hair, nor write on your body with a texta pen (except on the House Warcries Competition night).
 Except for water, no food or drink may be consumed in the pool area.
 Students may not leave the Sports Centre area without permission from their respective Heads of House.

Times swum in these Championships will be used to determine which students will be selected in TAS teams to compete at NCIS carnival (plus PSSA for Year 6 students).

Tea and coffee is available all day at the P&F cake stall.


Active Kids and Creative Kids

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.


Tour de Rocks

On Wednesday in Assembly, Mr Pennington invited students to take up the challenge! The Tour de Rocks raises much needed funds for Cancer research, whilst offering a personal growth experience within a wonderful community atmosphere. This year the Tour is during term time. This opens the door for some students who are otherwise unavailable during holidays. However, it does preclude Year 11 and 12 from being involved, due to the number of Assessment Tasks to be held in this period. I trust that there will still be a large TAS contingent and I encourage you to register an expression of interest using the following link https://publications.as.edu.au/tour-de-rocks/


Music Ensembles & Practice Times

Boarders’ practice times 2020

Music Ensemble Schedule 2020


Mr Will Caldwell
Director of Co-curricular

2020 New Zealand Rugby Development Tour

A wonderful opportunity exists for boys in Year 10 and 11 in 2020 be part of the New Zealand Rugby Development Tour.  TAS has been taking development squads to the South Island of New Zealand since 2005. Tour activities include skiing, jet boating, tours and coaching sessions with Crusaders coaches and players.

The cost for players is approximately $4200. Most meals, transport to Sydney, return flights, travel insurances, travelling and playing kit, along with all the tour activities are included in this approximate cost. The tour leaves Armidale on Wednesday 24 June 2020, returning to Sydney on Friday 3 June 2020.

We currently have three places available for this tour – if your son is in Year 10 or 11 and new to TAS, they are most welcome to join the tour if playing rugby this year.  Those attending are expected to be part of Opens rugby teams during their schooling at TAS. If you have any questions, please contact Mrs Rachael Edmonds at redmonds@as.edu.au


Mr AJ Whalley
Director of Rugby

10. From the Head of Middle School


Middle School is off to a slightly revamped start in 2020, partly assisted by the wonderful opportunity for students to make new friendships and renew existing ones, at Pindari Adventures (Year 7) and the Park Beach Coast Weekend (Year 6 and 8 boarders). It’s important that students have as many opportunities as possible to be together – at the beginning of the year especially.

I travelled to Pindari, between Inverell and Ashford, with all of our Year 7 students and five other staff. Some activities they were treated to were really enjoyable and these, combined with the continued forging of new friendship groups, very reasonable food and the exciting opportunity of preparing same enabled people to work together in an environment as far away from classrooms as possible. The time away was simultaneously tiring and refreshing: we were fortunate to have it and it’s an orientation weekend we need to continue to have so that all have opportunity to work together as Middle School people. Thanks go to Mrs Jo Benham, Sr Jenny Murray, Mr Jonathon Woodbridge and Mr Allan Moore – for their assistance, forbearance and kindness – our Year 7s were so lucky to have your expertise. In fact, this could be the Middle School mantra at the moment for practically all matters Middle School-related. Thus far, your children are faring well and I’m both happy and relieved to be able to report this to you. For those of you who are boarding parents and, especially for those who have had some challenging calls, remember this: tears are normal, being a manifestation of the regard your children hold you in – simply they are being normal and they miss you and, as parents, you need to take comfort from the these combined facts. Remember though, we are here and, especially at the moment, we’re here for whole families. If you have queries just contact us.


We’ve done ‘firsts’ of pretty much everything now and as the weeks progress these new experiences will become routines that are familiar and, increasingly, easy to navigate. Be assured we’re keeping an ear to the ground and we’ll keep you fully informed of information you need to know. At our Middle School staff meeting, we’ll discuss your first afternoon with us in Hoskins next week prior to the swimming events. Our student leaders also have discussed your imminent arrival and how best they can assist you, particularly those of you who are new to TAS. Needless to say perhaps, but we are looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible, then. It’s more important in fact that your children see you at the carnival: the combined facts that you’ve not changed, rented out their bedrooms or found others to look after are important to these young people. As important for you, I imagine, is the fact that your children are not significantly changed – with the exception of being a little more resilient, perhaps.


Mr Mark Harrison
Head of Middle School


Pindari Adventures - Year 7

11. From the Head of Junior School


Junior School Welcome Barbecue

Many thanks to the large number of families that enjoyed the first social occasion of the year for Junior School. I was disappointed that it didn’t rain….we seem to be losing our touch and I was sure that I saw clouds gathering at one point. To see our school (and the New England) looking so green again, I guess we can be excused. With swimming and athletics carnivals on the horizon, I look forward to being able to catch up with many of you then.


The Three Steps

Showing empathy, compassion and respect for the needs and feelings of others requires awareness and at the end of the day, practice. As part of our PYP, we emphasise the ‘The Three Steps’ at school. I have covered this already in Personal Development classes and we would like you to discuss this at home and help all our students improve their understanding.

The philosophy is for the children to realise that they can make a difference themselves in some difficult situations, while allowing them to have the support they may need in others. We explain that it is OK to miss step 1 or 2 if behaviour is dangerous or very serious, but it encourages them to make a decision and take some ownership of the situation confronting them as well.

Rather than simply going to “tell” the teacher, we encourage children to say:

  • Step 1 – “Please stop doing/saying that. I don’t like it.”
  • Step 2 – “I’ve asked you to stop. If you do it again, I will go and talk to a teacher.”
  • Step 3 – “I am going to talk to a teacher.”

We encourage students to talk to the teachers, rather than “tell”. In doing so, students have the opportunity to retain some of the responsibility for “fixing” the situation. Of course, this skill is a difficult one. So, please discuss this strategy with your children at home and perhaps let them have a practice with you when you have the chance. If we all develop a similar approach to such situations, I am sure it will pay dividends in the long run.


Prefect involvement in Junior School

I have been so impressed with our senior student leaders this year. Having met with the Prefect body last week, they were in Junior School yesterday introducing themselves and then working with Year 5, mentoring them as they make preparations of their own to nominate as House Leaders. They will be at each assembly throughout the year and have some very good surprises up their sleeves and I thoroughly look forward to their increased involvement.


Supervision in Junior School

A quick reminder please, that the daily supervision in Junior School begins at 8.15 am. If children are arriving earlier for clubs or other teacher-supervised activities, they must remain there with the teacher at all times.

And after school, we have had a growing number of unsupervised students as well. It is important that this does not happen while they wait for other activities (sport, late collection etc) and we will request that the After School Care service is used to minimise the risks. You will have noticed increased fencing in Junior School as we continue to work to improve this area for all our students while they are in our care.

Dogs in Junior School

While we understand and (mostly) enjoy the presence of dogs at school (and Mac, our companion dog is a great case in point) I have had a number of requests for the School to consider the wisdom of dogs being on school grounds. There is real difficulty in determining when dogs are safely at school and when they are not. And, as a regional school, we have many children who are comfortable with dogs but I know some are not. While in the past, there has been tacit approval for dogs to be brought to school, the Companion Animals Act prohibits dogs being on school grounds without the principal’s permission. To avoid any unfortunate situations and to minimse risks for both our children and our canine friends, we ask that dogs are no longer brought to school. We thank you for your understanding and support.


Happy Birthday

Happy birthday to Cecilia Price and Anna Trevaskis for your special days this week.


Mr Ian Lloyd
Head of Junior School

Junior School Upcoming Events

Week 2
Tuesday 4 FebruaryK,2 & 4 Information Evening
Wednesday 5 FebruaryYear 5 Assembly – (Hoskins 2.45pm)
Thursday 6 February1,3 & 5 Information Evening
Week 3
Wednesday 12 FebruaryYear 4 Assembly – (Hoskins 2.45pm)
Thursday 13 FebruaryJunior School Swimming Carnival
Week 4
Wednesday 19 FebruaryYear 3 Assembly – (Hoskins 2.45pm)
Thursday 20 FebruaryPSSA Swimming – Armidale
Week 5
Monday 24 FebruaryYear 5 to Lake Keepit – depart at 8:45am from Front of School (Flagpoles)
Tuesday 25 FebruaryYear 4 to Lake Keepit – depart at 8:45am from Front of School (Flagpoles)
Wednesday 26 FebruaryYear 3 to Lake Keepit – depart at 8:45am from Front of School (Flagpoles)

No Assembly

Thursday 27 FebruaryYear 2 to Lake Keepit – depart at 8:45am from Front of School (Flagpoles)
Friday 28 FebruaryAll return from Lake Keepit – return at 3.00pm to Front of School

Primary Years Programme

Inquiry in Action

All classes have been eager to commence their new Units of Inquiry (UOI) and some classes have already been out and about in the community to enhance their knowledge.

The table below outlines the transdisciplinary theme each class is currently focussed on along with the central idea that will help students to develop conceptual understandings. All units of inquiry will provide opportunities for students to reflect and take action to enhance their understanding or to address any local or global issues they may find out about.


Year GroupTransdisciplinary ThemeCentral Idea
TransitionWho we are
Relationships with those around us help shape us as people
KindergartenWho we areEveryday we learn more about ourselves and our families


Year 1Who we arePeople share their feelings, beliefs and values through cultural traditions


Year 2Who we areConnections people have with places


Year 3Sharing the planetLiving things need to adapt in order to survive


Year 4Who we areCultural backgrounds influence beliefs, values and action


Year 5Sharing the planetManagement of the environment to produce food and fibre



Junior School Sport

Junior School Swimming Carnival

All nominations are now due to your child’s teacher. If you have not done so, please bring the nominations in asap as we are finalising races this week.

We are looking forward to a fun filled swimming carnival next Thursday, 13 February so please put this in your diaries. We always require timekeepers for the day, so if you are able to help out, even for a short time,  please email Mrs Christine Wright at cwright@as.edu.au

Children are required to come dressed to school in their house coloured t-shirts for this event. Swimmers may be worn under their sports uniform for ease of changing ready for events. Our day commences promptly at 9:00am with the Open 200IM girls and boys event.

Please see the attached Program of Events for the day. Times for breaks will be as follows, however, these times can alter slightly due to the nature of the day.

Recess:            10:30-11:00am
Lunch:             12:15-1:00pm


Swim Event Schedule


Summer sports

Our summer sports program commenced this week. Children are required to wear their sports uniforms to sport and may wear these to school on their particular sports day.


Mrs Christine Wright
JS Sports Coordinator


Pottery with Rick & Suzanne Hatch

Rick and Suzanne Hatch are again offering a series of after-school classes in Clay work. The goal of the classes is for the children to have fun while developing imagination, hand skills and the ability to solve problems with creative flair.
Two classes will be offered this term: the Tuesday class is for children of all ages. It will be taught by both Suzanne and Rick. It will have an enrolment limited to 12 students.
The Thursday class is limited to six students and will be taught only by Rick. This class is for older and more experienced students.
If you are not sure which group best suits your child, or if you have any other questions, feel free to contact Rick as per below.
  • Where: Art Room 1 of the Hoskins Centre at TAS.
  • Children may arrive any time after 3:20pm. The latest arrival time is 4pm. Class finishes at 5pm.
  • Commencement: Classes begin on Tuesday, 11 February and Thursday 13 February. We have six weeks of lessons, then a week off for firing, then a party on 31 March and 2 April.
  • The cost is $ 160.  this includes materials, instruction, and firing costs.
Enrolment : email  Rick on weemalapot@yahoo.com.au  or phone on 6772 5371
Rick Hatch


Community Notices