MR ALAN JONES
It was a pleasure to have so many parents with us last Thursday evening and Friday for both the Middle School information sessions and the swimming carnivals.
The swimming carnivals and Warcries Night play an important role in bringing houses together early in the year and highlighting, especially for students who are new to TAS, that the spirit of mass participation that we value so much is something that everyone can enjoy. That spirit was certainly alive and well last week and I congratulate every student who threw themselves into that with such enthusiasm, whether competitively or otherwise.
While many of our boarders took the opportunity for time at home with family after a busy first three weeks of school, others were testing themselves away from the school. Our rowers are now at the business end of their season as they compete in the first of several regattas at the Sydney International Regatta Centre this weekend.
Also, some 40 cadets will continue with their leadership course at junior, Sergeant and CUO levels and this commitment from so many is very heartening to see. They will be out in the field again this weekend and I wish them well and look forward to hearing the reports of their activities.
We wish all our cricketers the very best of luck in the quarter final of the Douglas Shield against Carinya in Tamworth this Friday.
|Thursday 20 February||NECOM Composition Workshop (Year11/12)|
|Friday 21 February||Sydney Rowing Club Regatta|
Douglas Shield Cricket (Tamworth)
|Saturday 22 February||Cadet Leaders Course (Practical)|
|Sunday 23 February||Sydney Rowing Club Regatta|
|Cadet Leaders Course|
|Monday 24 February||Cadet Leaders Course|
|Thursday 27 February||TAS Regional Tour – Scone|
|Friday 28 February||TAS Regional Tour – Tamworth|
MRS RACHAEL NICOLL
Thank you so much to everyone that baked or bought goodies for the Swimming Carnivals or helped on the stalls or BBQ. Both days were very successful and it was wonderful to see such great TAS community spirit. The amount of baking that was donated was amazing… and believe it or not it all went!
Our sports carnival cake stalls (and the Warcries BBQ) raise a significant amount of money for the P&F and this money is used to make TAS better for our children so your support is greatly appreciated.
If you are in Middle School or Senior School and are missing a container please pop into main Reception or contact Mrs Veronica Lucas on 6776 5800 or firstname.lastname@example.org or for Junior School please contact Mrs Sandra Lasker on email@example.com
You may have been contacted by your Year Group Liaison Parents to let you know about our Facebook pages… Each year has a Closed Facebook Group for parents and carers (no students please). If you haven’t been contacted please still join up…
The Facebook groups have been named according to the year that the group will be in Year 12. ie. TAS Year 12 2020, is the current Year 12, right down to TAS Year 12 2033, which is the current Transition class. So search for these in Facebook and join the fun!!
These are a way of building community within a cohort and an easy way for LPs and parents to communicate with each other about school and group activities. These pages can also be used for information sharing, such as reminders about whether formal uniform is required the next day, uniform or sporting gear trading, supporting families experiencing ill health or crisis, or as a way to meet new people.
Key information from the P&F will still be sent via Liaison Parents through email as well but we encourage all parents and carers to use your Year Group Facebook Pages as a friendly way to quickly keep in touch.
Please use these groups wisely, they are not for promoting products or events that are not relevant to the TAS community, nor as a vehicle for discussing student matters. Comments should be polite, inclusive and relevant, or they may be deleted.
Also, don’t forget that the P&F have our primary Facebook Page as well (search TAS Parents & Friends).
The TAS Rugby Carnival is coming up in the middle of the April holidays on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 April. This is the biggest event of the year for TAS and the P&F and showcases TAS far and wide – we have well over 1000 kids, coaches and managers to feed each day – plus their families … phew!!!
If you can help or bake or both for this event it would be much appreciated. The Rugby Carnival is in the middle of the holidays so if you are going to be round we would love if you can help.
More information will be sent out through TAS Talks, emails and Facebook in the next few weeks.
Our first planning meeting for the Rugby Carnival will be on next Wednesday 26 February at 7pm in the Archdall Room (opposite the doors to the Dining Hall). If you think you can manage BBQs, help organise food and drink or generally would like to be involved in organising this event please come along or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Other events will be advertised throughout the year via email, TAS Talks and on Facebook.
We have two main meetings a term – usually these are held in the Lower Maxwell Room at 7pm on a Wednesday night. These meetings are open to all and we would love to see you there.
Mrs Rachael Nicoll
MR RICHARD NEWTON
What do you think of when the word gluttony is mentioned?
Maybe it’s more of who than what. Maybe you think of Homer Simpson or King Henry the Eighth or the wafer guy from Monty Python?
But the Roman Emperor Vitellius, takes the cake (so to speak). Infamous for his wasteful ways and endless banquets, he seemed to live only for the act of stuffing his considerable face.
According to reports, “everything that could creep, fly, or swim, and could boast a delicate flavour when cooked, was pressed into the service of the emperor.”
In fact there is a rumour that Romans created a special room, a ‘vomitorium’, in which to throw up their food, so that they could make room to eat more. The belief that the Romans indulged in this practice, stemmed from the unbelievable greed of Vitellius. The disgusting story is even told that the imperial glutton was in the habit of taking an emetic to empty his stomach, that he might begin a fresh course of gluttony.
Is that all gluttony is? Eating too much? Being overweight?
Ecclesiastes gives us a bigger definition of gluttony: not just empty stomachs – but empty souls. Ecclesiastes Chapter 4 talks about God setting eternity in our hearts, that God has made us with a sense of longing, a yearning for fulfilment, a hunger for satisfaction, a kind of a spiritual vacuum: empty souls. The 4th century theologian Augustine called it a ‘God shaped hole’. And the point is, God’s the one who put it there, so only God can fill it. God made us, made us for relationship with him, so we have an in-built wiring to need God, we’ll never be satisfied outside of him. But the problem is that we’ve taken our God-shaped whole and tried to fill it with all sorts of other things. Instead of being hungry for God, we’ve become hungry for just about anything else. We’ve become gluttons. Hungry people, but trying to fill up on junk food, rather than something sustaining. Trying to fill the place that only God should occupy but filling our souls instead – with rubbish.
Here’s the real problem of gluttony. It’s not just that we crave junk food for the stomach. It’s that we crave junk food for the soul. The real problem of gluttony isn’t just empty stomachs, but empty souls, not heart attacks, but broken hearts. A problem only God can fix.
Mr Richard Newton
MR DAVID DRAIN
The annual Warcries evening is always a good indicator of school and house spirit, particularly among the boarders, and this year’s event didn’t disappoint with all houses putting in polished performances. Congratulations to all houses, particularly Tyrrell House who were the deserving winners on the night.
The Swimming Carnival is a great opportunity for students, family and friends to come together in a competitive yet social setting and highlights the unique camaraderie of TAS students. I enjoyed talking to a number of parents throughout the day who all enjoyed being able to watch their children compete while catching up with friends old and new. The sportsmanship of all students was evident throughout the day and credit must go to the house leaders who ensured the support from the grandstand was always positive. All three boarding houses were well represented across all events with Tyrrell House winning the coveted points per house member and overall points shields. It was pleasing to see the mass participation, synonymous with Tyrrell House, continue this year. The highlight of the day for me is the relays, and this year didn’t disappoint. The record-breaking Croft House Senior Boys 6 x 50 metre team was a great team effort breaking the 10-year-old record by the smallest of margins. Croft House followed this up with a come from behind win in the famous ‘Tooth and Nail’ relay which saw John Moore power home over the final 25 meters to secure a memorable win.
With the Warcries and the Swimming Carnival now over, it will be back to normal evening routine over the coming weeks. Evening prep for Middle School is 6.30pm – 7.30pm and Senior School 7.15pm – 9.00pm Monday to Thursday. All houses have one hour of evening prep of a Sunday evening. Can I ask all parents and carers to avoid calling their son or daughter during evening prep as it is vital that this time is used as productively as possible. Allocated time is given to all boarders to call family and friends of an evening.
It is always pleasing to see a large number of boarders utilising the wonderful facilities we have here at TAS of a weekend. The pool is open and supervised by trained staff of a Saturday and Sunday afternoon with the popular inflatable regularly used of a Sunday. On my walks around the campus of a weekend I am impressed by how many boarders are involved in informal games of tennis, basketball, touch football and cricket. Great friendships are forged amongst the boarders during these times of a weekend. Please be aware that all house staff are monitoring technology use, particularly of a weekend, and encouraging all boarders to balance their academic, sporting and social commitments.
I remind all Middle School Boarders parents/carers of the upcoming Closed Weekend (Friday 6 – Monday 9 March). A letter was sent out regarding on Friday 7 February.
Mr David Drain
Director of Boarding
MR ANDREW O'CONNELL & MRS ANNA GAYNER
MR WILL CALDWELL
The success of a carnival can be measured by many criteria. However, at TAS, we place the level of participation above all others. I congratulate all those that broke records, were awarded age or division champions, or swam a personal best and applaud everyone who had a go.
The Champions were spread across the Houses, however, the title of 2020 House Swimming Champions for both ‘overall point score’ and ‘greatest number of points per house member’ went to Tyrrell House. Giving them the trifecta, on the back of a victory in the Warcries competition on Thursday night.
Croft House took out the Tooth-and-Nail in a nail-biting finish and also secured the Harwood Cake Shield for overall points in House Relays. It was fantastic to see the enthusiasm and passion from all Houses and the camaraderie that exists between them.
The success of the day is testament to the motivation and commitment from House Leaders and the support and dedication from TAS staff and the wider TAS community. I thank all for their efforts both on the day and in its preparation.
Please click on the links provided below to access swimming results.
Mr Will Caldwell
Director of Co-curricular
Last Sunday Round 4 of the Armidale Triathlon Series was held and it was a welcome return to action for the TAS Triathletes. With 38 students spread across the short/long and teams events, there was a positive presence in blue and white. Sam Jones continued his great run of form, taking out the overall Short Course race, with Oliver Griffiths second and Clancy Roberts, third. Amongst the ladies, Eryn Benham won the female Short Course, a mere seven seconds ahead of Isabella Gooch. In the Long Course, Toby Hall was first across the line in a very impressive effort. Backing up from a massive week of swimming domination, Karen Baker stepped up to the Long Course and raced with aplomb to secure a solid finish. The teams of Annabelle Pennington and Millie Coupland; Maddie Simmons, Georgia White and Eve Johnstone, and Mosie Wright/Tempe Macarthur-Onslow/Harriet Crawford all displayed great enthusiasm and verve throughout their races.
Mr James Pennington
Public speaking and debating season has kicked off to a great start, with wins in the 2019 Tri Schools’ Shield postponed series 3 debates on Monday going to the TAS Year 7 and Year 8 teams.
Congratulations to all debaters who competed across the year groups, it was a solid effort from you all.
On another note-
TAS Speakers has started starting from 8.00am every Friday morning. TAS Speakers is a great way to improve your confidence, speaking ability and manner – or even get a go at presenting your own speech for any events.
Lucy Ball and Lachlan Reiss-Wears (captains)
MR ANDREW O'CONNELL
Mr Andrew O’Connell
Creative Arts Coordinator
MR MARK HARRISON
To mark our twentieth year of operation, last Thursday night’s Middle School Parent and Family Information session was held in the Memorial Hall and while I spoke to the large audience (including our students, there were well over two hundred people in attendance) I did so only in ‘top and tail’ fashion. The other adult, our MYP Coordinator, Mrs Rachel Piddington, also spoke, but for less than four minutes. Our status as a Round Square School is now complemented by full International Baccalaureate implementation: the principles of each clearly champion the wisdom of student ‘voice’: accordingly, honing their public speaking skills in this forum, our Year 8 leaders completed most of the information sessions for Middle School students and their families. They were good, really good – especially in their first foray to public speaking life and those of you (must have been most of you) who were there showed, per spontaneous applause, your appreciation in the best possible way.
Amongst other things, on Thursday I referred to the challenge of our staff brief of ‘looking out’ for the needs and interests of the 11 – 14 age group, being one characterised by a massive spike in social, emotional, moral, spiritual and definitely, physical growth. Certainly, the brief is a challenging one, and it is so, regularly. As I’ve indicated previously, ‘fast and furious’ would seem to be the best adjectives to characterise the pace and variety of Middle School activities. Also, on Thursday the combined expertise of our Year 8 student leaders provided another outlet for these people. The ideas were their own – all I did was help edit and arrange their information. Mrs Frost, in inimitable fashion, busily prepared all visual information you saw and, in very little time at all, put together, with the expert advice and support of Mrs Donna Jackson, the individual Year level booklets for all families. These booklets were also sent to all families in electronic form, having been emailed to you on Friday afternoon.
All people were busy last week, regardless of age. As we were preparing for our presentation to you, everyone was also preparing for the Warcries (also on Thursday night) and then the Middle and Senior School Swimming Carnival on Friday. Thank you, while I admit to having done so unashamedly, I encouraged you, wherever possible, to attend these sessions. For many boarding families these occasions must have constituted your first actual contact with the boys and girls: for our young people, three weeks can be a long time, so it was ‘time to catch up’, encourage and listen to your children. We realise that for our rural families the Armidale trip must have been made in between feeding of animals and we also appreciate your efforts. Certainly, there was much news to tell and I know the Middle School people were looking forward to your arrival at the end of last week, in particular. All had been attending their Senior Houses for War Cry sessions and such activities were necessary to the development of their perceptions of ‘community’. The House and Swimming Captains made Middle School students feel welcome in their respective Houses – I know this for a fact because I’d been shadowing them to witness the various activities. As was the case over the last few years, while the students’ capacity (I refer to students of all ages, not just our shared charges) to ‘hold a tune’ is questionable, the volume is nothing less than impressive and I hope you, too, enjoyed the carnival.
Despite the conventional wisdom associated with keeping all new and returning students gainfully employed, it would be supremely naïve to think that none is missing home. As indicated last week, while their reactions are as various as their individuality, missing home is natural and considering this feeling is an affirmation of ‘things familiar’ and people they know well and trust, it is, as I’ve indicated, actually a very normal reaction and something we expect. To their credit, the boarding staff and all Homeroom Advisors have been tremendously busy and supportive: I went to White House last week to find so many staff, including Mr Jamie Brauer, on duty, assisting with academic work and, perhaps more importantly at this stage of the year, just talking to the boys about their day. I’ve been sitting with the day and boarding girls at lunch and this next week want to visit our girl boarders in Dangar. The Year 8 students in White and Dangar also deserve special mention: they’ve shown the new ones how to manage house routine, are generally knowledgeable, good humoured and sensible in terms of advice given to their peers. In short, the signs of a healthy, successful start to the year are real ones. Still, if there’s something that families feel we should know to facilitate the settling process, please be sure to contact Homeroom staff, Mrs Frost or me. This message is as relevant to day students’ families as it is to boarding ones.
The next two weeks are important and they mark further change: as the term progresses at an inexorable pace, summer sports, as will be advised in an upcoming full school assembly, will be making way for early winter options: Athletics schedules, for example, will begin for us soon as, while swimming carnival activity is the initial bookend for the early part of the term, athletics will bookend the last part of it. Lunch time cricket and tennis sessions will be fewer for some because debating season, as was forecast during this week’s Town Meeting Assembly is about to begin. In fact, the first outing of Tri-Schools Debating (postponed from last year) was held earlier this week. And, all the while, boarding and day house activities continue as do classes, prep work, assessment task preparation and more meaningful (in terms of consistency) engagement in academic activity. Further, the fact that this last Monday welcomed to our TAS Scholarship and Open Day prospective students for 2021 is sure proof that that the term is ‘flying’. This day was very productive – we’re grateful for this level of interest against the backdrop of continuing weather difficulties experienced by so many families, regardless of geography.
Thank you for coming to TAS last week: we’re ‘in this’ together of course and our communication needs to be frank. You were frank last Thursday and Friday when I saw you and you were also helpful in terms of comments you have made. As indicated, our student-driven parent information session went very well, as did the light dinner and refreshments part of the evening. The Warcries, as predicted, were characterised by enthusiasm and volume and I feel sure that some managed instances of melodious function.
Stop Press: One of our new students, Georgie Blanchard, has misplaced her Ross House sports uniform. Georgie’s name is clearly marked on most of it. If any one of you knows the whereabouts of Georgie’s Ross House gear, please contact Mrs Frost as soon as possible.
Mr Mark Harrison
Head of Middle School
Academic honesty and integrity is an essential component to student achievement at The Armidale School. At TAS, we believe that promoting and expecting academic honesty is a specific example of the demonstration of the IB learner profile attribute ‘principled’. The school’s community (teachers, administrators, parents/guardians) will all model academic honesty and support students in their development of being ‘principled’, and being academically honest. We truly believe that a commitment from our whole community can facilitate the development of academic honesty amongst our students.
In the next few weeks, students in Middle School will start to receive assessment notifications across various subject areas. During advisor time, teachers will be going through the school’s Academic Honesty Policy with students, to familiarise them with the document. This policy is available on the school’s website for those who may be interested.
2020 is the first year that our Year 8 students will be participating in the Community Project. For those students who came though TAS Junior School, this is the Middle School version of the PYP exhibition! The idea of the Community Project is that students will complete a significant piece of work over an extended period of time and will present their work in late Term 3 to the wider school community.
MYP projects encourage students to reflect on their learning and the outcomes of their work – key skills that prepare them for success in further study, the workplace and the community. MYP projects are student-centred and age-appropriate, and they enable students to engage in practical explorations through a cycle of inquiry, action and reflection.
The community project focuses on community and service, encouraging students to explore their right and responsibility to implement service as action in the community. The community project gives students an opportunity to develop awareness of needs in various communities and address those needs through service learning. As a consolidation of learning, the community project engages in a sustained, in-depth inquiry leading to service as action in the community. The community project may be completed individually or by groups of a maximum of three students. The community project provides an important opportunity for students to collaborate and pursue service learning.
Mrs Rachel Piddington
MR IAN LLOYD
The excitement is growing in those classes heading off to Lake Keepit next week but I note that some students and families have not been fortunate enough to have the experience that venues like Lake Keepit provide. I encourage all our parents to discuss this opportunity with their children in preparation for what can be an exciting, yet challenging time. TAS and the Staff at Keepit have designed a program that is fun, highly appropriate for the range of development and beneficial is so many ways. Over many years, we have seen the benefits of children extending themselves in a safe environment, yet full of adventure. Being away from home can be difficult at first, but being with friends and having outdoor time with their teachers allows students an opportunity not possible at school and in the classroom environment. For most, returning home is full of stories about wonderful stories of friendships made, an opportunity not to be lost…..
We also wish those staying at TAS a very exciting week of local excursions to the town pool and Sport UNE. It will be a very exciting week.
I take my hat off to Mrs Hawksford and the Year 3 class for their fantastic research into the machinations of a working beehive. What a wonderful opportunity for the children to see a hive in action and to be able to observe the process firsthand as they can, now the hive and the bees are in place. Our thanks go to Mr Scott for again adding another, wonderful dimension to our learning.
What a great pleasure it is to see the interaction between our classes as they engage with other age groups to read to each other. Each week, a number of our classes get together to share the love and joy of reading….. a fulfilling exercise on so many levels.
Again, I thank all our parents and friends for supporting our Junior School Swimming Carnival, some on the side-lines, some volunteering to hold stop watches and some attempting to pervert the course of fair competition when they swam by changing lanes, deliberately obstructing swimmers and swimming underwater (in the Parent/Gappie v Year 5 relay). What a close relay it was, the students pipping the adults out by a touch – I believe they set a new record?! It was another great day and, as usual, so well organised by Mrs Christine Wright and her troops behind the scenes.
Congratulations to the following students for receiving School Spirit Awards at last week’s assembly:
Anna Trevaskis, Hassan Almokhtar, Neave Drain, Ruby Rice, Daniel Mo, Janesh Wijewarna, Evelyn Brownlie, Lucie Stephen, Layla Abu Assab, Joshua Bourke, Cameron Carruthers, Xavier Stephen, Richard Ma and Arabella Blanchard.
Many happy returns to Mila Wright and William Dennison for your special days this week
Mr Ian Lloyd
Head of Junior School
|Wednesday 19 February||Year 3 Assembly – (Hoskins 2.45pm)|
|Thursday 20 February||PSSA Swimming – Armidale|
|Monday 24 February||Year 5 to Lake Keepit – depart at 8:45am from Front of School (Flagpoles)|
|Tuesday 25 February||Year 4 to Lake Keepit – depart at 8:45am from Front of School (Flagpoles)|
|Wednesday 26 February||Year 3 to Lake Keepit – depart at 8:45am from Front of School (Flagpoles)|
|Thursday 27 February||Year 2 to Lake Keepit – depart at 8:45am from Front of School (Flagpoles)|
|Friday 28 February||All return from Lake Keepit – return at 3.00pm to Front of School|
|Wednesday 4 March||Year 2 Assembly – Hoskins (2.45pm)|
|Thursday 5 March||NCIS Swimming (Alstonville)|
|Tuesday 10 March||Parent Teacher Interviews|
|Wednesday 11 March||Parent Teacher Interviews|
Central Idea: Living things need to adapt in order to survive
Lines of Inquiry: Adaptations of living things Comparing life cycles of living things Survival of living things
The amazing Year 3 class have started the year off with a bang! They have been on two excursions: The Natural History Museum and Archaeology Lab UNE and Thalgarrah Environmental Centre.
The PYP unit they are investigating comes under the transdisciplinary theme ‘Sharing the Planet’. Through these thought provoking excursions Year 3 were able to explore and see firsthand the key concepts of change and causation. Students asked big questions, which focussed on adaptations, evolution, predator/ prey relationships and were able to inquire into various animals whilst out and about.
The class is currently inquiring into behavioural and physical adaptations. To keep the class buzzing with excitement, they have also included a beehive in the classroom for the students to observe a natural cycle and to witness how adaptations work.
Mrs Veronica Waters
A huge thank you to our parents and friends who helped to make the day such a success, by stepping up and helping in many areas during the carnival, from the cake stall to the timekeeping to swimming with their children in the Parent-Year 5 relays. This family participation is what makes our Junior School carnival so successful.
Thank you also to the many children who eagerly and excitedly participated in many events on the day. The enjoyment from the novelty events to the more arduous races was evident on many little faces!
Official results from the day are as follows:
Rofeta Cup Winner (Highest Point score girl): Sophie Banister
Macready Cup Winner (Highest Point score boy): Joe Fenwicke
Children have been nominated for events at our local PSSA meet this Thursday. Please ensure you have indicated to Mrs Wright whether you are catching the TAS minibus on Thursday morning at 8:00am or meeting us at the Monckton Aquatic Centre. The day commences with the Open 100 Free and marshalling at 9am
Children need to bring $4.00 cash for entry along with morning tea and lunch. There is a kiosk at the swimming centre if required.
If your child qualifies for our Independent Swimming Carnival in Alstonville they will receive information from Mr Jim Pennington shortly.
Mrs Christine Wright
JS Sports Coordinator
The Year 4 basketball team had a great first game on Monday. The team worked well together and were constantly looking to pass the ball to one another. The TAS team worked well dribbling the ball and trying hard to cause a turnover. Chelsea’s shooting has improved so much over the season and Izzie was working hard with her dribbling. Oliver worked well with his team and was always open and ready for the next pass. All in all, it was a great first game back. We are very excited to continue to watch the Year 4 team improve their skills over the term.
Miss Alice Woodhill
TAS Year 5 played Armidale City on Monday night. It was a tight match with great attacking and defending from both teams. TAS played very well as a team, using all their players with consistent subs. Xavier Leary shot up and down the court passing well placed passes with Andy Li and Marcus Robb ready to receive. Stand in player, Paige from Ben Venue was a valuable team member and worked well with Sam Ford, who was always ready for the rebound and dribbled his way down the court to set up many a goal. Early in the second half Andrew Alkhouri also lobbed a magnificent goal to score TAS’s way into the lead.
Joe Fenwicke shot two clean goals from outside the circle to take TAS into the lead and winning the game 26 to 23.
Mrs Gaye Piper