MR ALAN JONES
This week has seen the conclusion of the 2020 winter sporting season as players from netball, rugby, hockey and football have gathered together to celebrate their seasons and honour the achievement of players. There has been plenty to celebrate this term and the events already held and those planned are highlighting that. I offer congratulations to all those that have contributed so well including coaches, managers and parents, as well as players and hope that the fact we were even able to participate in the competition was enjoyed by all. Of particular note are the 16A Rugby teams – undefeated season, the First XI Hockey girls – undefeated season and the TAS First XV grand final win last Friday.
For our students we want sport to be a part of their development as they learn the lessons that come from winning and losing and develop personal traits and values like commitment, teamwork, resilience, good sportsmanship and how to celebrate the camaraderie that makes school sport so special. All of those things have been front and centre through the past winter season and that has been wonderful to see.
As I write our senior students are in the process of saying their farewells to TAS and all that school life means, for some, after 14 years with us. Lessons are now over, assessments complete and major works submitted. After the much anticipated slow procession through the respectful silence of the School lining the drive and the Valedictory Service and lunch tomorrow, all that will be left is the exams themselves. I have already heard many say how sorry they will be to see this strong, united and thoroughly positive Year 12 group leave us, but they go with our best wishes and a knowledge that they leave behind a valuable legacy created through their example. I look forward to being able to offer the thanks of the school to them during this week and to wish them every success and happiness for the future.
One of the projects carried on by the current Year 12 student leaders, has been developing a new school song to be used at events where students are representing their School. As the Year 12 gift to the school, two large boards inscribed with the words of this new song Invictus Maneo (“I remain unbeaten” – an inspiring and pertinent message of resilience and hope) and the rugby warcry To The Old Boys, have been installed in the Covered Way. This is a wonderful embodiment of school spirit and really lifts the amenity of this space. In addition, the group has gifted a smart leatherbound Valedictorians Register which will be signed by our leavers for the first time tomorrow, and for many years ahead. I thank all students and their families for these gifts which will remain a wonderful legacy.
Finally, I want to wish the entire TAS community all the very best for the upcoming holidays, it is a break we all certainly need and deserve and hopefully, Term 4 will mean a return to a more normal routine. Safe travel and please stay well.
|Thursday 24 September||Valedictory Day ( Live Streamed)|
|Middle School 20th Anniversary Celebration ( Live Streamed)|
|Monday 12 October||Boarders Return|
|Tuesday 13 October||Classes Resume|
MR RICHARD NEWTON
Over the weekend I watched an extended news report on the thawing of Permafrosts in Siberia, and the general havoc that it’s causing. Not surprisingly global warming is being blamed. I suspect most rational people believe that is the likely cause. Most people are convinced that Global Warming is a thing, at least most people believe that caring for the environment is a good idea. It’s just that a lot of us don’t really want it to impact our own lifestyle. So, we’re slow to recycle or we limit aeroplane travel or …
The same is true with COVID-19. We pretty well universally agree that this has been a devastating virus that has ravaged the world in recent months. Yesterday’s Herald reported that Britain is again in trouble with rapidly rising rates of infection. Britain’s health minister said:
“The nation faces a tipping point and we have a choice,”… “The choice is either that everybody follows the rules … or we will have to take more measures.”
Trouble is, people know this virus is bad, they just don’t want to be limited personally, so governments have to make threats to encourage behaviours that will stem the spread.
Even in sensible and measured Australia some have been refusing to abide by the lock down laws, we have people objecting to being told what to do – even though we know what this virus is capable of, even though we know how the virus can spread.
Here is the thing, we hate being told what to do, we hate the idea that we may not be in charge, we do not want to yield to anybody or anything or have our own lifestyle impacted. We want to do as we please. So, as a result our actions don’t always match our words. Whether it’s global warming, the spread of disease or faith in God.
According to McCrindle Research and the ABS, not only does most of Australia identify with Christianity, but more than half (55%) of the population believes in God, as defined as the Creator of the universe, the Supreme Being. Another 10% or so believe in some sort of spiritual being.
I am not sure how well that statistic reflects this room, it may be more, it may be less. But be sure to hear the point from the passage, belief alone does not indicate the health of the relationship. I believe in Donald Trump – it doesn’t mean we’re mates.
Faith is a verb. It’s a doing word, it denotes complete trust and dependence, it means you will trust God for your eternal salvation and for your life this side of the grave, this sort of faith will be shown in action – my prayer for us all, is that we’ll be action men and women.
Mr Richard Newton
MRS RACHAEL NICOLL
Another term has come and gone in what has become a very unusual year. In a couple of weeks, we’re into Term 4 and suddenly it will be Christmas.
The P&F would like to say thanks to all the Year 12s and their families for their help throughout their time at TAS and we wish you good luck with your HSC and into the future. Late 2019 and all of 2020 have been a difficult period to be in your final year at TAS and you have all handled the tumultuous times with grace, resilience and fortitude. We hope that your end of school festivities can be held after the HSC finishes so that you can finish your years at school with the celebrations you deserve. However, celebrations are short and friends and memories are forever – and you undoubtedly will have many wonderful memories of your time at TAS and have made lifelong friends along the way. Hold on to these, forget the rest, and look forward to the future. Also, remember that the P&F stands for Parents and ‘Friends’ so please keep in touch.
To all other TAS families have a relaxing, fun and safe school holidays and we look forward to seeing you ready to go for Term 4 and whatever it holds for us.
The famous TAS P&F Christmas Puddings are still going to being made this year and the dates for the pudding bake has been booked – if you’re free and would like to help on Saturday 17 (baking) or Sunday 18 October 2020 (wrapping) let us know. Places are limited and COVID-19 restrictions will apply but we would love to see you there. However you will need to register with the P&F beforehand, so send us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org. Whilst we would love to see you, unfortunately, we will not be able to accept helpers who just turn up on the day.
We are only making a limited number of puddings this year so if you wish to get one please order early!! They are already selling fast….
In these COVID times, the P&F is only selling puddings online this year. They are still $25 each and can only be ordered and paid for on TryBooking. https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=655022&. They will also only be available for collection (after ordering) from Reception between Thursday 26 November and Thursday 3 December. Any puddings ordered but not collected or not sold by end of day on Thursday 3 December will be donated.
If for some reason you are unable to collect your pudding during the dates given above please contact the P&F and I’m sure we can sort out a way to get your pudding to you so that you can enjoy it during the Christmas season.
Mrs Rachael Nicoll
MR LUKE POLSON
As the term draws to a close, I would like to express my thanks to all in the TAS community for the term we have just had. Collectively all of your efforts have helped to ensure that we have been able to maintain full continuity of all of our teaching and learning programs across the school. Importantly, our Year 12 students have completed their courses and exams. As our senior students are in the process of being farewelled by the school, I would like to commend all of them for their resilience and persistence through a year that has thrown a number of challenges their way. The way they have handled changes to HSC assessment tasks, changes to major works and performance pieces and dealt with all that has come with COVID is admirable.
The school year is coming to an end for our current Year 12 students. Once all the festivities end it will be time for students to start an organised revision plan and study program. A good way to start is to do past HSC papers – there are a number of these on the NESA website. Quizzes may also help – give notes to parents or friends and get them to test how much you know. Write notes – review , review, review. It is important that your study plan is right for you. HSC Exams begin on Tuesday 20 October and conclude on Wednesday 11 November. The exam timetable can be found on the NESA website. Teachers will be available in the lead up to the exams – particularly in Week 1 of Term 4 – to assist students with their last minute preparation. Students should ensure they email teachers to arrange a suitable time. Good luck to all Year 12 students as you prepare for exams, during your exams and life beyond TAS.
Mr Luke Polson
Director of Studies
MR WILL CALDWELL
Yesterday provided the opportunity for all houses to compete in a variety of Sports and Public Speaking. With one of the Senior topics being “If winning isn’t everything then why do we keep score”, it was fitting that all houses fought hard to win whilst Year 12s took the opportunity to celebrate years of competing side-by-side with their mates.
While the Athletics Carnival was cancelled due to the pandemic, an inter-house relay was able to be held on Adamsfield this morning as part of Valedictory Week activities. Croft House took out the sub-junior and junior boys divisions, Broughton won the girls, while Tyrrell was victorious in the senior boys. With the main Sulman building in the background the scene was reminiscent of the earliest depiction of sporting life at TAS – photos of the 1911 athletics carnival taken by GL Taylor of ’Terrible Vale’ Kentucky. It was a lovely coincidence that among the cheering students at the first such event on the front field for decades, was GL’s great-grandson Edward Boydell, whose mother Mrs Jane Boydell has kindly lent her grandfather’s album to TAS to copy for the Archives, and GL’s great great great nephew Remy Taylor who was in the winning Tyrrell team.
I commend all houses for their efforts throughout the year and congratulate Croft House who, lead by a diverse and talented Year 12 cohort, dominated the trophies this year.
Winners of Inter House Trophies:
As we farewell our Year 12 cohort, I would like to thank them for their incredible contribution to the co-curricular program at TAS. They have been exemplary ambassadors for the school – throwing themselves into their sport, their music, their public speaking and their drama. Their leadership has inspired others and they have left behind a legacy of tenacity and resilience.
This is also a momentous occasion for our Year 12 parents who have sacrificed so much to support their child over the years. The hours on the sideline, behind a BBQ, building a set or sewing a costume, driving to a game, waiting for a bus or simply being there – including online, in this extraordinary year. Your support makes all the difference – thank you!
We are optimistic that, with continued care and caution, summer sports will proceed as planned. Please find below the Training Schedule and Coaching Allocation for Term 4. There may be some minor changes as information flows in from sporting associations, however, this provides a guide for you to plan other commitments.
Thank you to those students who have already volunteered to assist with coaching. Any other students who are interested are encouraged to email email@example.com
My best wishes to all teams playing this weekend. Whatever the outcome, be thankful that you have the opportunity!
Mr Will Caldwell
Director of Co-curricular
It’s been a massive term for debating and public speaking at TAS, with students pondering, arguing, humouring and reflecting, in competitions from inter-house to GPS and nationally.
The group round fixtures in the National Virtual Debating competition concluded for TAS last Wednesday with Year 7 debaters Jack Coddington, Samuel Krishnan and Daniel Emmery winning their third debate, against Parramatta Marist High School and in doing so booking a berth in the national knockout finals. It was also the last debate in the group round for TAS held during this term, with our teams winning 11 of their 15 clashes and the Year 9/10 team also through to the finals. The Year 12 team just missed out, tieing with Canberra Girls Grammar and PLC Perth each having two wins and a loss but on count back, coming third by just a single point out of 1200! The competition has been a wonderful opportunity to develop new skills and experience different approaches to this important skill.
Then on Friday night Lachlan Reiss-Wears represented TAS in the Lawrence Campbell Oratory Competition the public speaking competition for GPS/CAS Schools. Under this format, students are given three topics from which to choose one, and then have 15 minutes to come up with an eight minute speech. No resources such as internet are allowed. For his chosen topic ‘Believe you can and you’re halfway there’, Lachlan said the hardest part of making change for good is altering our own behaviour, rather than simply joining social movements and expecting others to be the facilitators of change. The competition was conducted online using both Zoom and a simultaneous webinar, in a high pressure environment – the experience of which Lachlan drew on yesterday for the Senior inter-house public speaking competition (‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times). Mr Jones had a tough job separating the six competitors, with Lachlan (Croft House) taking the honours but taking nothing away from his fellow orators Lucy Ball, William Braham, Georgia Day-Caldecott, Hudson McAllister and Jack Nivison.
Simultaneously, Year 6-8 students were inspired, informed and entertained in the Middle School competition, in which speakers chose one of three supplied images to interpret as they wished. Congratulations to Sophie Rogers of Tyrrell House; well done also to Ashton Scales, Will Gilpin, Bella Fernance, Millie Coupland and Bailey Miller for their courage and participation, and thanks to Mr Harrison and Mr Wheatley for their adjudication.
Both competitions were filmed and can be viewed online via the following links:
Mr Tim Hughes
Debating & Public Speaking Coordinator
MR ANDREW O'CONNELL
There are two new co-curricular Drama opportunities starting next term. For students in Years 9 – 11 we will be running Comedy Club, which is a chance to experience improvisation and theatresports, sketch comedy, joke writing and delivery, and stand up comedy. We’ve already arranged for a Sketch Comedy workshop with Improv Theatre Sydney and will have a guest speaker in the way of Mr Cook sharing his experience as a standup comic. For students in Year 6 – 8 we’re putting together a Theatresports team to compete (via Zoom) in the Theatresports Schools Challenge – that will be an ongoing activity every Wednesday for the whole term so if you would like to be involved please let me know – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mr Andrew O’Connell
Creative Arts Coordinator
MR MARK HARRISON
Public Speaking was held today in Hoskins and I had the dubious pleasure of adjudication – thankfully I was able to confer with Mr Wheatley. Why dubious? Our students’ presentations were really good and, but for Mr Wheatley’s sage advice, I would have had difficulty deciding the order of merit. There’s no doubting it – when Middle School students have to perform, acquit themselves, wax lyrical and manage in a way about which you’d be proud, they just do it. Our speakers were, in terms of House appearance: Ashton Scales (Abbott); Millie Coupland (Broughton); Bella Fernance (Croft); Bailey Miller (Green); Will Gilpin (Ross) and Sophie Rodgers (Tyrrell). House points are still being finalised in preparation for the final Year 12 Final Assembly, so, excuse me, I’m hesitant to give places at this stage. You’ll read about this part of our final week elsewhere, so I’m not about to steal someone else’s thunder. It wasn’t just the speakers who shone, it was an audience whose age bracket, at the end of a fairly taxing term for everyone, did not lend itself to anything more than very reasonable management of self. Mr Hughes, our Debating and Public Speaking co-ordinator, has kindly given me welcome news about another of our successful initiatives this term: the inaugural Middle School involvment in the National Virtual Debating Competition. And yes, it is a national competition! Our students have acquitted themselves admirably in this area, as well, and I’m proud to be associated with the following Middle School students who’ve deservedly made their way to the knockout finals stage: Harriet Crawford; Jack Coddington; Daniel Emmery; Bella Fernance; Sam Krishnan. Sometimes it feels like the wheels are wobbly in this place (a timely and very normal reminder that we are dealing with this reasonably challenging age group), but excuse the extended metaphor, the Middle School axle is strong! The strength is so apparent, especially in the tenth week of this term. Do you want to know another of the strengths of these young adolescents? Each one, from Years 6 – 8, has completed and delivered a home-made Good Luck card to a Year 12 students. All Year 12s received their cards this morning. Hopefully there’s some pictorial proof of this herein. Why? Because our people wanted to make the Year 12 students’ final day of classes (ever) to be just that much more enjoyable in what must, for them, have been a very curious year, indeed.
Our 20th birthday celebrations will take place this Thursday and our staff and students have been preparing for it. As indicated, it will be live-streamed and you can watch it at home. We’re looking forward very much to being able to finish our third term on such a good and celebratory note. It will be a Middle School affair because our student leaders will host the celebration: what better way to do something like this in our Round Square and full IB part of TAS. Student voice is so important and, of itself, this should be celebrated.
Speaking of home, it’s time that your families were together again: the term has been long and it’s also been ‘full’ in so many ways that at its beginning we could not have forecast such activity. I’m not lamenting one moment’s activity here – on the contrary, we are all very lucky that sport, debating, public speaking, assemblies and other COVID-careful meetings could take place. But each of these activities has taken place, effectively without you – and I can assure you, your children have felt this strange ‘tyranny of distance’ as keenly, I expect, as you have felt it. Enjoy them, make them rest and prepare them as best you can for the final term of 2020. To date, it hasn’t been an easy year in a number of ways; in others, as indicated, we have been very fortunate in Armidale. Here’s hoping we remain fortunate!
Until next term, then
Mr Mark Harrison
Head of Middle School
MR IAN LLOYD
It is with real pleasure that I report back to you all that the International Baccalaureate PYP Evaluation has been completed and while a final report will take some time to be prepared, we are extremely satisfied with the initial feedback received. In summary, the IB Team reported that Junior School had made enormous strides to further develop our standards and practices and had achieved real successes, as demonstrated by the quality of the evidence submitted and their sessions with all school leaders, staff, students and parents.
It was an exhaustive process over three days and over 30 Zoom meetings. They reported back to us about the school’s confidence when applying the PYP principles and the pervasiveness of the programme throughout all areas of the Junior School. The attention to detail, the plan for the future and the resourcing of and for the programme also received commendation. The strong culture of collegiality and protocols in place for planning and collaboration gained very favourable mention as did the facilities of the school, especially the Hub and its vision for the future.
Above all else, it was the students’ contribution that highlighted the growth of the program and the significant gains made over the last number of years. We have been told that the real test for the program lies with the combined student response. The students interviewed were, apparently, very impressive. “Amazing!” was the word Di used and, in a way, I wish I had been a fly on the wall to have listened to them all!
None of this came as a surprise really, nor that the staff in Junior School handled the experience with such expertise and professionalism. Once again, the leadership shown by Veronica Waters and the support from the entire School and our community deserves mention – without this we would certainly not enjoy the strong position in which we now find ourselves.
Now that is all said and done, I was discussing the Evaluation with TAS Bear and he was so happy; very impressed by everything he heard and saw. I have to say it was his suggestion and even though I was unsure at first, I think his idea to spend time in the staffroom with Mrs Waters and all the teachers over the holidays is a wonderful idea. We are fortunate enough to have a Staff Day (no students) on Friday this week so TAS Bear will be able to catch up for a chat with us all on Friday afternoon in the staffroom, when all our planning and preparations for Term 4 are complete.
Yesterday, Years 3, 4 and 5 were very fortunate to have Mr Tim Hughes join them for Chapel. He was able to explain the stories behind the five sets of windows that have been installed over the last 90 years in the building, especially the stained-glass windows and it was fascinating to hear their history and interpretation once again. It was also pleasing that some students were able to point out details in the windows that had gone unnoticed. We thank both Mr Newton and Mr Hughes for their ongoing time and support.
You will have received a letter explaining that after a recent review of our Out of School Hours Care and the Early Childhood regulations for both After School Care and Vacation Care, a decision has been made not to continue the Vacation Care program in its present format. Unfortunately, this will mean there will not be Vacation Care provided at TAS during the upcoming holidays. We apologise for this inconvenience and we will be in contact in the near future once all options have been investigated. Our normal after school program for sport practice, clubs and homework will continue as usual next term and we will be in touch with more information after the holidays with further updates.
And finally, please enjoy the school holidays that are almost upon us. It will be an important time for us all to rest. Coming out of winter and feeling the warmth returning to the day has already brought out the spring in the steps of our students. Term 3 is always a difficult one, exacerbated by the end of a long(ish) winter and the challenges of a disjointed and unpredictable COVID environment. We have all done very well to get through it and I hope the break is a safe and refreshing one for you all.
Mr Ian Lloyd
Head of Junior School
Happy birthday to the following students that celebrate their special days between this edition of TAS Talks and the first edition next term: Bonnie Blanch, Sahib Singh, Xavier Stephen, Lucas van der Werf, Jack Wood, Sophie Brett, Cormac Downes, Daisy Hammond, Rudra Tandon and Toby White.
Congratulations to the following students for receiving School Spirit Awards last week:
Artie Rylands, Elsie Nexo, Rory Secker, Mehleen Sandhu, Paddy Bourke, Ellen Adams, Xander Dell, Andrian Zhang, Joshua Bourke, Edwina Newton, Oliver Robb, MJ Blanch, Hugo Broun and Andi Li.
Congratulations to the following students for receiving School Spirit Awards this week:
Tobias Holland, Hassan Almokhtar, Ruby Rice, Hunter Crane, James Taylor, Mila Nexo, Harry Fawcett, Xavier Stephen, Lucy Taylor, Arabella Blanchard, Richard Ma and Marcus Robb, Dominic Leary and Daniel Bayne.
Please find attached our draft list of summer sports choices with team lists, training and game days along with coaches for each group. Please check that your child is in the correct sport and inform Mrs Christine Wright, by email (email@example.com) if there are any questions or concerns.
Our training will commence in Week 2 next term with game times and commencement dates to be advised early in the term. Please ensure you read TAS talks Week 1 next term, for any changes or information on game times.
Dance will commence the first Wednesday back in Week 1.
If your child has not indicated a sport for next term and would like to join a session, please email me this week. Both tennis and swimming are full, however, due to COVID restrictions on numbers.
Looking forward to an exciting and fun-filled summer season.
Enjoy your holiday break.Summer Sports
Mrs Christine Wright
Junior School Sports Coordinator
What a fantastic end to the season! The TAS netballers brought everything they had on the weekend to show off the dedication and improvement they have made over the season.
Carla joined the Net team and it was lovely to see the friendships that have formed over the season. Mehleen was able to once again join Eva and Neave in the Cherry Bombs for the final game after spending much of the season injured. Neave Drain scored a goal for her team and the crowd went wild.
The GO girls looked just the part in their pigtails! The loud cheers were booming from the sideline which kept the players spirits high. Even though we didn’t come away with a win, finishing second in a season where most of our players were trying netball for the first time is a huge achievement and all girls should be most proud of themselves!!
Mrs Anna O’Connor
What an exciting game of soccer the TAS Tigers played on Saturday morning.
They have made tremendous growth as a team and their understanding of the game, overall ball skills and techniques have all developed. Especially notable is their ability to dribble and to receive and play the ball with increased control and confidence.
It was exciting to watch the team look for passing opportunities and to see observe them thinking before just kicking the ball. The team demonstrated growth with their ability to attack and defend the ball.
I would like to thank all the parents who have provided balanced support and an array of refreshments for the players throughout the season. I would also like to personally thank Jessie who supported the team in my absence.
Mrs Veronica Waters
U8 TAS Tornadoes
Thank you to the little band of Year 2 Footballers for a wonderful season! I am so grateful to them for their tenacity and sporting nature and it has been a great year of developing skills as well as lots of fun and laughter. In our final training session, each member of the team took turns being the squad’s personal trainer giving us drills and reps to complete. I woke up the next day after training with very sore abs – I think this was due to how hard I laughed at training rather than the exercises but either way it was a wonderful example of how well the team works together and how fitness and sport can be such an enjoyable experience for all of us!
Our final few games have been really great with Ellen scoring her first goal of the season and making a fantastic save last week. Bax, Will and Ethan have continued to have strong games; the three of them work so well together moving down the pitch and passing to one another. Will’s deft dribbling of the ball has improved even more across the season and he has scored some really impressive goals. Bax’s generosity of spirit and resilience (even when his boot flies off mid game) has been lovely to witness; he is an exemplary sportsman. Ethan’s constant work on the pitch makes him a great asset to the team and it is so good to see him stay actively engaged for the full 50 minutes; his skills are always improving. It has been wonderful to see Eve assisting several goals this season with her clever passing and her tenacious defence; her ability to stay on her opponent has been most impressive.
Janesh had his first season this year and he has worked really hard on improving his skills, some highlights include his newfound ability to boot the ball down the fill length of the pitch, and his impressive skills in goalkeeping; he is a natural! Humjot and Xander have both made some real progress in controlling the ball and moving it around the pitch; these kids bring so much to the game. Rudra has spent more time out of goals in the second half of the season and is working hard on his defence and attack skills. Rupert had a turn at goals in our last game and did a really good job of getting between the ball and the goals; besides his emerging football skills, Rupert’s singing at training is one of my favourite things to look forward to on a Monday. A big thank you to all of the parents and grandparents who come along each week and are always so supportive, and to Rev Newton for his expertise and guidance; I am so grateful he is there to give a hand.
Best wishes for a relaxing break,
Mrs Gill Downes