MR ALAN JONES
As I write, our Junior School students from Year 2 to Year 5 are at Lake Keepit for their annual excursion and camp. The purpose of this trip, above the excitement and fun of being away from home with friends, is much like that of our outdoor education program for Middle and Senior School students. Presenting challenge in the outdoors has long been a central pillar of the TAS experience and it is key to our aspirations for character development and this experience for our youngest students is the beginning of that. The activities through the camp, which varies in length depending on age, range from initiative and team building exercises to problem solving and adventure activities, with the emphasis being on presenting the new and unfamiliar to contend with.
Over the past two weekends some 40 students have been immersed in leadership training that has deliberately tested them physically and mentally in ways that will prepare them to take on responsibility for others in the field. All the reports I have heard from both parts of the course have been very encouraging and I congratulate all who have been willing to step forward and show their courage and confidence in their own abilities.
As the Armidale cricket season begins to wind up with finals in the coming weeks, our First XI have continued their Douglas Shield campaign, with a convincing win against Carinya on Friday last week in the quarter final. Reaching this level of the competition is a fine achievement and I wish our players well for their upcoming games.
Starting today in Scone, the Enrolments Registrar Jo Neilson, Director of Boarding David Drain and Director of Development Cressida Mort and I will head out on the first leg of the Regional Country Tour. This trip around the home country of many of our boarding families is the opportunity to meet with parents and students considering TAS for 2021 and sometimes beyond and to meet socially with our school community in their backyards. This year the tour will take in Inverell, Glen Innes, Scone, Tamworth, Moree, Narrabri and Gunnedah, with both enrolment interviews and evening social functions in each of those towns and I hope to see as many of our current families and former students there as can possibly make it.
By now most of you will have hopefully read a letter regarding the Board’s decision yesterday, to remove the statue titled ‘The Spark’ that is in front of the Hoskins Centre. The reasons for this are outlined in the letter and I encourage you to read it if you have not already done so. Needless to say, the School continues to take most seriously any allegations of historical abuse and we again urge our community to come forward to us, or police, if they have any knowledge or concerns.
|Thursday 27 February||TAS Regional Tour – Scone|
|Friday 28 February||TAS Regional Tour – Tamworth|
|Thursday 5 March||NCIS Swimming|
TAS Regional Tour (Inverell)
|Friday 6 March||TAS Regional Tour ( Glen Innes)|
Kings/PLC Regatta ( Departs 3.30pm)
|Saturday 7 March||Kings/PLC Regatta|
|Thursday 12 March||Bivouac|
|Friday 13 March||Bivouac|
|Wednesday 18 March||P&F Meeting (7pm)|
|Thursday 19 March||Year 6&7 Parent/Teacher Interviews (Hoskins Foyer)|
|Friday 20 March||Wizard of Oz (7pm) Hoskins Centre|
AAGPS Head of the River
Year 6&7 Parent/Teacher Interviews (Hoskins Foyer)
|Saturday 21 March||Wizard of Oz (7pm) Hoskins Centre|
|Sunday 22 March||Wizard of Oz (1.30pm Matinee) Hoskins Centre|
AAGPS Head of the River
MRS RACHAEL NICOLL
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 School Community nor for student issues that should be taken up with staff. 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 tonight 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 email@example.com
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
Two heads of department. Two people who are bitter rivals. Their departments are right across the courtyard from each other, they spend each day with an eye on each other from their respective balconies, keeping track of each other’s popularity. One has a full head of hair, the other has great stories from a bygone era. One gets a Band 6 in the HSC and smiles in triumph at his rival. But when the other receives a High Distinction in the statewide, no worldwide competition, they look on with bitterness. One of these teachers gets an opportunity to make a wish and it’ll be granted. But here’s the twist, because here’s how the offer’s put to him: “I’ll give you anything you ask, but whatever you get, your competitor will get twice as much. Maybe you’d like to be massively rich? You’ll get it, but they’ll be twice as wealthy. Do you wish to live a long and healthy life? You can, but their life will be longer and healthier? What is your desire?” The man frowned, thought for a moment and then said, “Here’s my request … strike me blind in one eye”.
Here’s why envy is even more deadly in some ways than greed. If greed’s creed is “I want more”, envy’s is “I want you to have less”. “I’m not just obsessed with my own happiness, I resent yours”. Why? Because I’ve put myself at the centre of the universe. So, everything’s about me. Which means I can’t just say, “Good for you”. I find myself saying, “I wish that was me”.
The problem with envy, like all sin, is that it puts me at the centre. So, you’re forever looking at people and saying: “that should be me’”.
The truth is: there’s only one place we can look and say that, the cross of Jesus. Forget your neighbour, your brother, your workmate, your friend. Look at Jesus – hanging there on the cross and say, “that should be me”.
Rather than calling out “it’s not fair” over what we haven’t got, we should be stunned at what we do get from God: forgiveness! This really isn’t fair.
Envy is not just a deadly sin it gives birth to all sorts of other sins. Envy divides us, sets us apart and against one another. Envy leads to competitions, put-downs, gossip, hatred.
When we look at everything through Jesus’ death, we’re driven to serve others not ourselves. As we trade in our green lens for a Jesus lens our view changes, we have all that we could ever want, what could be more precious than forgiveness? Or eternal life? Or being a child of God? John says that because Jesus died for us we should die for each other. We’re not rivals or competitors, we’re fellow beggars at the foot of the cross, this leads to costly generosity, not envy. (Js 3:16).
Mr Richard Newton
MR LUKE POLSON
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 and establish these routines.
Years 6 and 7 Parent Teacher Interviews Parent Teacher Interviews will be held for Year 6 and 7 students on Thursday 19 March and Friday 20 March. Interviews with teachers will be held in Memorial Hall. Parents will receive an email in the next week containing a personal code and information on how to book times with your child’s teachers. If you do not receive the email please check your second email if you have one – otherwise contact Mrs Vickey O’Brien – vobrien@ as.edu.au or phone 6776 5806.
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.
Early Morning Program (7:30am – 8:45am Monday to Friday for Years 6 to 12)
Students in Years 6 to 10 who are attending various commitments before school or who arrive at school early are now able to check into The Hub from 7:30am to work quietly or read. Students or families do not need to provide notification before they attend and there is no cost for this supervision. If students wish to attend breakfast in the Dining Hall then they are to swipe in using their Student Card and the associated cost will be added to their TAS Account. There is no specific academic support available to students at this time of the day. This gives students a safe and quiet place to work on their own.
The Hub will be staffed from 4 to 6pm. The staff will be overseeing students working quietly in The Hub and assisting them with organising and completing their homework. They will be able to give general guidance, but is not there to provide specific tutoring in areas of concern. As with the early morning program, there is no cost for students accessing this support, nor do they need to book in.
The Hub will be open for all students in Years 9 to 12 to work quietly until 7pm. There is no subject specific academic support available during this time, however The Hub is supervised by staff who can give general guidance as required. Both day and boarding students are not required to book in, nor will they be charged for this access.
Students are able to access dinner in the Dining Hall after 5:30pm and can do so by swiping their Student Card at the door. The cost associated with dinner (approx. $6 per meal) will be added to their TAS account. Boarders are to sign out of their boarding house and return when required.
The Hub is staffed by a trained teacher from 6 to 9pm. In this time, staff will be overseeing students working quietly in The Hub and assisting them with organising and completing their homework. They will give general guidance, assist in researching and referencing but is not providing specific tutoring in areas of concern. There is no cost for any senior student accessing this support nor do they need to book in. Boarders are to sign out of their boarding house and return when required.
Day students accessing specific tutoring sessions will be charged $15 per day, with the exception of day students in Years 9 and 10. Tutors will keep rolls and the charges associated with these sessions will be added to TAS accounts each month. It is best, though not compulsory, for us to know if you want your child booked into these tutoring sessions. Families can do this by contacting Vickey O’Brien (firstname.lastname@example.org or 6776 5806) for more details.
Boarders attending these sessions must sign out of the house in the normal manner and return by the required time. There is no additional cost for boarders as out of hours’ support is already part of the Schedule of Fees for 2020.
At this stage, tutoring is available in:
Mr Luke Polson
Director of Studies
MedEntry is a company who offer courses on how to complete the UCAT entry requirements for the medicine-based courses in preparation for the UCAT exam. A course will be conducted at TAS on 21 March in the PDHPE classrooms. For more information and registration details go to the following link. https://www.medentry.edu.au/
Dr Edward Boyapati from MedEntry has offered to give a presentation to students, parents and anyone interested in UCAT, interviews, pathways into medicine on the Friday the 20 March, at 3.30pm . I will be asking the Year 11 and 12s for expressions of interest for his kind offer.
For more details on UCAT courses and dates, please go to the website below. https://www.ucat.edu.au/
The University of Newcastle Department of Rural Health (UONDRH) will be conducting the annual Health Careers Forum for North West New England Secondary schools for Years 10, 11 and 12 students who may be interested in a career as a health professional. The invitation is also extended to parents and carers of the students attending.
The forum will include presentations and workshops by academics, clinicians and current UONDRH students from health disciplines including; Medicine, Nutrition & Dietetics, Physiotherapy, Medical Research, Occupational Therapy, Pharmacy, Mental Health, Medical Radiation Science, Nursing and Speech Pathology.
Currently, I have 20 students who have put their names down to attend. This equates nicely to a school bus load so the cost will be minimal. I have asked for any further expressions of interest but did not receive any further names. Students will be leaving TAS at 7.15am and will return to TAS by 1.00pm. Students will need to wear full school uniform with blazer.
Mr Mark Taylor
MR WILL CALDWELL
Please find attached a list of Winter Sports Choices. We encourage students to discuss their choice with both parents and advisors before making their selection. We need all selections in by next Tuesday 3 March and appreciate you taking the time to have this conversation. If you have questions specific to the sport please contact the MIC of that sport. For general enquiries email email@example.comWinter Sports Choices
We have streamlined our approach to photos by scheduling all group photos in Term 3, on 3 – 4 September. A schedule will be published closer to this date.
For many of our rowers last Saturday, at the Sydney Rowing Club Regatta, was their first taste of rowing on the Olympic course. The three Boys’ Fours competed against other GPS Schools in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd IVs before combining to race in the Men’s Open Eights. Our girls Quad raced in the Under 19 Quad and the C/D Women’s Quad. All crews had the opportunity for close racing as well as being exposed to the next step up. They benefited from the experience and have now set a benchmark and can set some goals for their respective Heads of the River later this term.
Mr Will Caldwell
Director of Co-curricular
TAS Rugby continues to grow in 2020 with the continuation of games in the GPS competition along with the inclusion of teams in the New England competition. Games will be played in Armidale, Tamworth and Inverell, with two games played in Sydney for the GPS competition. Our season opens on 21 March 2020 in Tamworth with the First XV playing before the Waratahs v Bulls game at Scully Park.
Please click on the link below for the 2020 Rugby draw.
2020 Rugby Draw
Buses will transport all teams to and from all games, and supporters are welcome to attend all games.
For more information regarding TAS Rugby, please read the Winter Sports Information in this edition of TAS Talks.
Mr AJ Whalley
Director of Rugby
MR ANDREW O'CONNELL
It is with great excitement that we announce this year’s Middle School Play, Roald Dahl’s beloved James and the Giant Peach. All students in Years 6, 7 and 8 are invited to audition next Monday and Tuesday afternoon. More information about the show, the audition booklet and the link to book your audition can be found here: https://publications.as.edu.au/james-and-the-giant-peach/
Mr Andrew O’Connell
Creative Arts Coordinator
MR MARK HARRISON
The Armidale Middle School is absolutely delighted to see the return of the Middle School Production, this year with one of our new staff member, Mr Andrew Wheatley, at the helm. With over 20 years of teaching experience and plenty more in the dramatic field, the Middle School is very excited to have its own production once again.
This year’s production will be James and the Giant Peach, although, to be fair, it may turn out to be Jane and the Giant Peach. Auditions will be held on Monday 2 and Tuesday 3 March, after school in the Hoskins Centre and there are roles for all levels and abilities, as well as all areas of performance. Click HERE for more information.
We’re going to be treated to a Piano Trio (Piano, Violin and Cello) for Junior and Middle School students at TAS:
It’s that time of the year again: we’ve all been here long enough to form opinions, have a tendency, occasionally, to be tired, can be a little apprehensive about our first Activities Day (a week away now), are managing sports and other co-curricular activities. As indicated in the past, talking to students, especially when they’re tired, a bit distressed or frustrated can be challenging but, ultimately, one of the most beneficial aspects of my job. Already I’ve spoken to parents, separately, begun to visit classes in the senior and creative and performing areas of school and, most importantly, am speaking to students daily. We’ve discussed assembly etiquette, being at lessons on time, garters (ongoing to the point of too many repetitions, I believe, so I’m acting as efficiently as I can to avoid further repetition).
It’s beneficial because, having been here longer than most students, I can advise them, counsel them, direct them to others better equipped than I am to advise them. So, I want you to speak to your children and tell them to come to us if they’re concerned about aspects of school life. Note here I’ve written aspects – as our student leaders indicated to you on the Warcries Night, let’s deal with issues before they become problems. I also want to speak to them when they’re happy – listening to them can actually make my day. They’re really interesting to speak to when they’re relaxed. So, I’m not referring specifically to formal interviews; rather, I refer to those talks I have every day with individuals who come to the office to speak to me. The fact that they are beginning to arrive of their own volition is encouraging for me.
As I indicated last week, we’re continuing to make progress. Classes are, as a general rule, both settled and reasonably happy places. Now, as I indicated to you on Warcries Night, the Middle School can be simultaneously frustrating and fascinating – largely because of its juvenile ‘inhabitants’. But, I enjoy the Middle School: yes, students can be naughty at times, will be naughty at others, but I’ve not met many bad ones over the years. The body can grow faster than the brain and all available energy is expended on physical growth. The form this disengagement can take is disengagement with self – and it must be pretty confronting when you’re so young and realise that, at times, you’re your own worst enemy. We adults need regularly to remind ourselves of what life was like for us when we were so young. In fact, I spoke only today to our School Sister, Chaplain, Counsellor and Director of Pastoral Care about these issues. In order to find their place in relation to others, especially their peers, they are going to make mistakes, learn from them (with our help, of course) and become better as people as a result.
We’ve reached that ‘pointy’ part of term. Students are very busy and this is as it should be, but they’re showing, as I’ve indicated, signs of weariness as well. Please, when speaking to them, would you acknowledge this fact and advise your children that sometimes when we are tired we say and do things to others that people, for whatever reason, take exception to… In fact, if there’s nothing pleasant or positive to say, especially, say nothing at all. This is one of those lessons we all learn as we grow up and now’s the time for our students to start learning it or having it reinforced. One of the surest signs of increasing maturity is the ability to accept others for who they are, regardless of our personal opinions – on the proviso that those others don’t interfere with our enjoyment of ‘self’. There’s so much variety in the Middle School and, within reason, I want to keep it this way.
This year in sport we have already had some great events that have occurred. They include the swimming carnival which we had some great results and NCIS hockey for which we had some outstanding achievements. We also have some big events coming up including NCIS swimming and the athletics carnival, so look forward to these events. We are also looking forward to past Olympians coming to Armidale. We students are very lucky.
Brock Galvin, Sports Leader
Mr Mark Harrison
Head of Middle School
Now making one’s bed every morning may seem to be, for some, a simple task. However, once completed, know that you have just completed a task that has a beginning and an end. This can be important in that it gives you a sense of completion. The task doesn’t have to be making your bed each morning. It could be anything that is doable. From this small completed task comes forth a movement away from the status quo. Surprisingly it can lay a foundation, however small, from which you can build bigger things over the course of the day. Even if your day does not end well, you can always go back to that small task you completed in the morning. The underlying idea is that by achieving small things and developing good habits students will achieve a ‘small win’ that they will want to continue by developing other good habits.
One of the good habits that I would encourage all students to set out to achieve in the weeks and months ahead is to be organised and disciplined with respect to homework. Whether it be an extension task that stretches the concepts students have learned in class, preparation for an assessment task or simply consolidating learning and revising content covered earlier in the year, the benefits of additional study and meeting deadlines are clearly established.
To support students in this, the Learning Hub is the one-stop place for students to access support, tuition and small group teaching beyond the classroom. It is a great place to sit and work, as help is there when needed. The Learning Hub is open for Middle School students from 7:30am – 6.30pm.
Inquiry is an integral part to learning, and students taking ownership of that learning. Learning is not simply memorising facts and regurgitating knowledge; it’s using skills to think critically and problem solve. In order for students to delve deeper into their learning, and inquire into each subject area, they need to think about the Key Concepts that are being covered in that unit. The concepts are the keys to unlocking inquiry. By asking and creating conceptual questions, students to view ideas through different lenses.
There are 16 Key Concepts that are explored through the MYP:
|Perspective||Relationships||Systems||Time, place and space|
These concepts have an essential place in the structure of student knowledge. They require students to demonstrate levels of thinking that go beyond facts or topics. Concepts are used to formulate the understandings that students should retain in the future; they become principles and generalisations that students can use to understand the world and success in further study and in life beyond school.
Mrs Rachel Piddington
MR IAN LLOYD
I am writing from Lake Keepit this week and having arrived yesterday, I am already acutely aware of the benefits that can be achieved by taking children out of their comfort zone. For some, this is a first; travelling away from home for the first over-nighter can be daunting enough, but to be dealing with the lack of familiarity that is Keepit and all it has to offer can be tough. I am heartened to have such full attendance and I know that on their return, you will hear the stories that indicate the experience has been very beneficial. (Quote of the day….”I did it…I paddled all the way there and back all by myself!”) Priceless. Click HERE to view photos.
I look forward to hearing about the great activities that our younger students in Kindergarten to Year 2 have experience on our return on Friday.
I am really pleased to see our Senior School leaders appearing regularly in our assemblies. They have been organising themselves to present TAS Bear each Wednesday to the most deserving class and by doing so, have begun a connection between the senior and junior schools that will continue to develop and grow. We will be promoting this relationship wherever possible and I thank them for their efforts.
Next week, you will receive a detailed email about the Parent Teacher Interviews and the booking process we use. Please watch for this email as it will include a specific year group password to login. If you do not have success, please call your class teacher or Junior School Reception.
It is really pleasing to see that our representative swimming team continues to be so well supported and that our PSSA team performed creditably last week. Their behaviour was outstanding and I am happy that they represent the school so positively.
Congratulations to the following students for receiving School Spirit Awards at last week’s assembly:
Carla Price, Elsie Nexo, Raseel Alazizi, William Minter, Rupert Newton, Humjot Sandhu, Sahib Singh, Sophie Banister, Minnie Chick, Chelsea Miller, Xavier Leary and Saxon Muirhead.
Birthday wishes to Raymond Wang, Maya Slade and Izzie Glover for your special days this week.
Mr Ian Lloyd
Head of Junior School
|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|
PSSA Swimming Carnival Results – Thursday 20 February
We had a very successful day at the Monckton Aquatic Centre last Thursday, at the annual PSSA Swimming Carnival. All children competed well, displaying great sportsmanship and enjoying the day. We had some impressive results, including a first place in our senior boys’ relay.
Full results will be in next week’s TAS Talks.
Well done team.
Mrs Christine Wright
JS Sports Coordinator
The Year 4 Basketball team had another great game on Monday night. The students worked well at calling for the ball and tried hard to move around to find some free space. Collectively, they noticed not everyone was getting an equal turn with the ball so imposed a 3-pass rule, ensuring they passed the ball at least three times before attempting to shoot a basket. Oliver has shown a significant confidence improvement and is causing lots of jump balls and turn overs. Jack is working hard finding space and constantly keeping on his player during defence. It was a close game the whole way through unfortunately ending in a loss to TAS but the students are looking forward to taking on the town teams again next week.
Miss Alice Woodhill