2020 Term 3 Week 3   |   05.08.2020

TAS Talks Term 3 Week 3

01. From the Head of School


Term 3 has traditionally been a very very busy term with events taking place for students from every year group. By the time the Week 3 TAS Talks edition rolls around I would be reporting on any number of events that have taken place. On the one hand, it is most unfortunate that these events are unable to take place while on the other hand, it is essential that we look at these moments from a glass half full perspective – the school is open, the boarding houses are operating, classroom lessons are taking place and students are participating in local sporting fixtures. We are continually planning how to manage each week and how we will incorporate all the traditional activities that take place this term into the calendar for benefit of all of our students.

There has already been plenty of excitement for the students in our local winter sporting competitions and there is much more of this to come. I was proud and pleased to see our small and courageous athletics team compete at Olympic Park on Saturday in the 125th running of the AAGPS Athletics Carnival.

I would like to thank our very own Jim Pennington who was the convenor for this carnival and for working extremely hard to create this opportunity for not only TAS students but the students of all of the GPS Schools, particularly those Year 12 students who are signing off on their athletic careers. It is an experience most of will never know and given the circumstances this year, whatever the result was, each of those individuals will remember it for a lifetime and I assured them all were most inspired by their efforts. Amongst some very good results the gritty performances from Sam Jones to finish third in both the Open 800m and 1500m Championships and Nick O’Neil placing second in his 100m heat were highlights and emotional moments for all in the TAS contingent. I would like to also offer my thanks to the TAS staff who accompanied those students –  Will Caldwell who drove the bus and is our Director of Co-curricular, David Drain, Michael Keenan and Will Waterson who mentored and coached the athletics throughout this shortened season.

Alan Jones

Notice Board


The Armidale School Cadet Unit (TASCU) – Activities Day 1 (14 August 2020)

Activities Day 1 will be conducted on Friday 14 August. Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, Australian Defence Force cadet activities have not returned to normal across Australia at this stage. In this environment, TAS cadet activities will consequently be conducted as TAS school-organised activities, though with a similar internal leadership structure. Further details will follow in TAS Talks next week, and students will receive specific activity briefings on Tuesday 4 August.
Rather than DPCU Camouflage uniform, those students participating in TASCU activities should instead wear ‘civvies’ on Activities Day 1 (long trousers/jeans, collared shirt, hat & jumper, sturdy footwear).

These activities remain compulsory events for all students as part of the TAS Activities Program.

B Company (Year 9 and leaders)
A reminder of the email sent to B Company cadets by Mr Lawrence requiring the return of a P650 form allowing them to take part in a TAS Rifle Club activity. These forms (or a current minors permit) should be signed and returned with parent/carer photo ID to TAS MIC Shooting Mr David Lawrence via email dlawrenc@as.edu.au by Wednesday 5 August. Alternatively, a hard copy can be handed in to TAS Reception.

MAJ (AAC) Angus Murray
Officer Commanding TASCU

02. Calendar of Events

Week 4
Friday 14 AugustActivities Day #2 (At TAS)
Week 5
Monday 17 August – Friday 28 AugustHSC Trial Exams



03. From the P&F


Catching up with people - COVID-19 Pandemic style

The current state of the pandemic means it doesn’t look like Liaison Parents or the P&F will be organising any large get-togethers for year groups or the rest of the parent cohort anytime soon.  Organising fun things to do is a key part of the P&F and we are sorry that our usual functions are just not on the horizon for this year. However, staying in touch in these (almost) unprecedented times is vital to our personal wellbeing and I would encourage all of us to find ways to do so.  It does mean that families of TAS will have to think outside the square a little to stay in touch with everyone, especially boarding families.   Wracking my brains I’ve come up with a few options – let me know if you can think of more – so far options include:

  • Taking turns to be the supporter for your kid/s sports teams. Remember all the COVID-19 rules for each sport and to socially distance but you can still join in the camaraderie from the sidelines.
  • Having small get togethers in pubs, clubs, cafes or people’s homes. I know we can’t have big groups but even catching up with a few friends or meeting some new ones is good for the soul.
  • Running a ZOOM meeting – How about getting together with the rest of your year group and running a Zoom ‘coffee time’ or ‘wine time’. The P&F can help with contact details for people and we can also aid in setting up ZOOM meetings if you wish.
  • Joining a sports group or team – maybe go on a Sunday morning bike ride with friends or take up a new sport. TAS has several sports that are open to parents if you wish to play with your kids or test the waters at a new sport in a fun atmosphere.



Contacting the P&F

If you want to know what’s going on in the P&F join us on Facebook!  We regularly post updates on what we are doing, what events are coming up and any other useful information that comes to mind.  We have our own Facebook page – use the keywords TAS Parents and Friends and then ‘like’ us.

Don’t forget each year also has their own Year Group Facebook Page… These are closed groups for parents to catch up on what’s happening… Please search for TAS Year 12 and then the year your class will graduate from Year 12. For example, this year’s Year 12 Facebook page is TAS Year 12 2020.

Finally, if you have anything you would like to raise with the P&F please either contact your Year Group Liaison Person or any member of the Executive or send us an email on pandf@as.edu.au

Mrs Rachael Nicoll
P&F President

04. From the Director of Co-curricular


GPS Athletics

It was a rare privilege to be at Sydney Athletic Centre on Saturday to witness TAS boys competing at the 125th AAGPS Athletics Championships. As a school, we should be immensely proud of the team for both their performance and their manner and bearing.

In a time where such opportunities are scarce it is a credit to Jim Pennington, as the GPS Athletics Convenor, and his team, that the event was able to take place. I join many others in congratulating Jim and thanking him for his perseverance and commitment under very trying circumstances.

The atmosphere was very different to past years with athletes abiding by strict regulations and no spectators cheering them on. Yet it intensified the focus on the athletes themselves and those few watching on, in an official capacity, were treated to something quite special that they will treasure forever – I know I will. I congratulate all members of the team and commend Jim’s report to you.


Local Sport

You can feel the energy and excitement as all our local competitions gain momentum. After months of isolation it is great to see boys and girls active again. We want to keep it this way and I urge parents to support the guidelines stipulated by each sporting association. I sympathise with parents who are impacted by the restrictions on spectators and we will do our best to share the action via Team App and social media.

Managing Head Injuries

Our knowledge and understanding of Head Injuries continues to grow. We are much more aware of both what constitutes a potential head injury and its potential to cause concussion or a more severe injury to the brain. Potential head injury or concussion must be considered possible whenever a person receives an injury to the head, either from a direct blow or indirectly.


Concussion Management

The 6 steps to concussion management applied to all sports at TAS are:


Any player with signs or symptoms of a potential head injury or concussion must be removed from training and playing and not return to sport or physical activity on the same day.


Any player with signs or symptoms of a potential head injury or concussion must see a medical doctor as soon as possible. This doctor should have experience in the management of concussion.


Players diagnosed with concussion must rest until all signs and symptoms of concussion have disappeared.


The concussed player must first recover from all concussion signs and symptoms at rest and return to activities of normal daily living before starting hard physical exercise.


Follow the graduated return to play protocol; after being able to participate in normal daily life, progressing to contact training then returning to games after receiving clearance from a medical doctor.


Mr Will Caldwell
Director of Co-curricular

GPS Athletics

2020 was the 125th running of the AAGPS Athletics Championships and despite these crazy times, nothing could stop the largest school-age athletics meet in the Southern Hemisphere. The changes were immense, however, with the Championships spilt across two days and three sessions with no spectators and  families and friends watching via live stream.

TAS Athletics Captain Sam Jones, competing in his sixth successive Championships, was his typical self. Driven, competitive and a leader by example. Sam placed 3rd in both the Open 800m (in a blazing 1:59) and 1500m, led the 4x400m and anchored the 4x100m, a massive day indeed! Vice Captains James O’Brien and Remy Taylor, also contesting their sixth Championships, continued their fine standard, racing in the sprints and both being integral members of the 4x400m and 4x100m relays. John Moore raced to a huge PB in the 800m and hammered the 4x400m, whilst Toby Newcombe threw the Shot, sprinted the 100m and then ran the back straight in the 4x100m.


Louis Cannington (Year 11) took on the 800/1500m double with aplomb, running PBs in both events against some deep competition. Joe Kermode blitzed his 400m, setting another PB, with Nicholas O’Neil taking 4th and 5th fastest times in the 100m/200m (again in PB territory). Toby Hall destroyed his 3000m PB, slashing 30s off his best to record an awesome 10:10m. Isaac Gerdes and Liam Hunt, both in Year 10, stepped up to the Seniors with Isaac running in the 17s 100m and Liam in the Open 400m. These boys then both backed up to run the 17s 4x100m, a fantastic effort!

The performances of these young men have maintained the TAS tradition at GPS Athletics, racing with vigour and heart, respectful to your fellow competitors and taking pride in your performance. Special thanks to Coaches Mr Keenan, Mr Drain and Mr Waterson and my gratitude to Mr Caldwell for his unwavering commitment to TAS Sport at anytime. Thank you to Mr Jones, spending the day with the boys, supporting them throughout.


James Pennington

The TAS 4 x 400m relay team – James O’Brien, Sam Jones, John Moore and Remy Taylor

The TAS AAGPS Athletics team: (back row l-r) Tobias Hall, Nick O’Neil, Joe Kermode, Louis Cannington, Liam Hunt, Isaac Gerdes, (front) Toby Newcombe, John Moore, James O’Brien, Sam Jones, Remy Taylor

05. From the Creative Arts Coordinator


We weren’t sure if we were going to get there but next Monday at 6:30pm the HSC Drama students will present CurtainUP, a showcase of Individual Performances and their Group Devised project. It has been a bumpy ride for those Year 12s but we are very excited for them to have a chance to share their hard work with an audience. To ensure we are COVID-Safe there are audience restrictions and for students and staff attending you need to lock in a (free) ticket here: https://www.trybooking.com/BKUPE. Please be aware that some pieces contain strong language and adult themes. For those who cannot attend we will be live streaming the event, with stream details emailed out on the day.

Middle School have commenced their work on the videoed radio play version of Jane and the Giant Peach. There have been some changes to the cast because of  student clashes and so please find attached the revised cast list, with particular mention going to Isabella Page who will be taking on the titular Jane. Those students have a month of rehearsals ahead of them before they step in front of the camera and we wish the whole team the very best for their preparations.

Finally, I encourage Junior School students and families to have a look at Mr Lloyd’s section in TAS Talks as he has an exciting announcement about the 2020 Junior School Musical!


Mr Andrew O’Connell
Creative Arts Coordinator

06. From the Head of Middle School


The voice of our students

This week, rather than ‘hear’ from me – or indeed read my words – two Middle School students have shared reports from some of their activities at TAS. I commend them to you, along with some wonderful news about Music in Year 6.

Mr Mark Harrison


Football – 14As

Sport is back on for this term and the 14 As rugby team travelled to Tamworth to play the first game against Calrossy 14 As. We drove out the TAS gates at 4:15 on Friday afternoon and headed for Tamworth. It was a great trip and all the boys were pumped and ready for the big game. We travelled on the bus with the 16s as well as they played after us, with our game starting at 6:15 at Tamworth Magpies’ main field. We had a quick warm-up and not long after we ran on the field. TAS  chose to kick off and not long after, Calrossy crossed for the first try. At 15-5 at half time to Calrossy, the boys were eager to get back out there and take the comeback some great tries by Dan Smith, Lochie Gerdes, Tommy Burnett, Angus Ditchfield, Dan Morgan and two goals by Lochie Gerdes helped steal the win and we came out winners 29-15. All the boys played extremely well and thanks to all coaches, staff, and parents that could be there to support us. This week we play at Inverell.

Brock Galvin


Life in White House

It has been great to be back in the boarding house again. The main thing that has changed because of COVID-19 is that we have to have our temperatures taken. It has also been great to see faces in the boarding house every day and getting a hello. Everyone has fitted right into the boarding house community. I think everyone in the boarding house has enjoyed coming back and getting right into sports training and is looking forward to playing in competitions. We were all pumped for our first games this week and are all looking forward to the term ahead.

Abbott White


Year 6 on Strings

COVID-19 restrictions have impacted on the School’s Music program, including substantial changes to the ability to use and share instruments and singing no longer possible, Year 6 Music teacher Dr Brasche developed a program which investigates Instruments of the Orchestra. As a result of the positive response from Year 6 as well as the maturity and interest they demonstrated with the topic, Dr Brasche will be running a String Program for Year 6 this Term 3. This is a fantastic opportunity for all Year 6 students to learn an instrument and have the experience of playing a string instrument in a small class ensemble.

TAS is extremely fortunate to be well resourced in having enough string instruments for each student to have their own instrument for the term. This allows for the practical aspect of music to continue, without the risk of contact transmission from sharing instruments. With luck, Year 6 will have the chance to showcase their musicality, ensemble and practical skills in music once conditions allow for their first public performance.


IB Middle Years Programme (MYP)

As Week 4 approaches, we look forward to a visit from the IB to discuss the progress of the MYP program here at TAS. The visit will provide an opportunity to discuss the successes of our program with leaders from the IB, as well as look toward future plans for the MYP in Middle School. The visit this year will occur in an online capacity due to the ever-changing climate in which we find ourselves. We are eager to welcome our visitors and spend time reviewing our program; albeit in a virtual capacity.

Ms Rachel Holford
Acting MYP Coordinator

07. From the Head of Junior School


Junior School End of Year Productions

As promised, we are now in a position to announce the details for our end of year production. Precipitated by the COVID circumstances, the decision has been to significantly modify any performances to allow for a safer but equally rewarding opportunity for all students to be involved in some form of production at the end of 2020. This has been a complicated conversation and we hope that all our families understand the need for a good deal of caution as we consider the likelihood of having an audience, being able to sing in choirs and groups, assembling in larger cross class groups and the combined impact of these factors. We can announce the following, knowing that the landscape is changing all the time.

Years 3, 4 and 5 will perform Disney’s Aladdin the Musical Jnr. in a production that will be created in parts and filmed. This will occur leading up to and throughout Term 4 Activities Week – November 23 to 27, with the date of the grand premiere to be advised. While the production will be on a smaller scale with auditions and rehearsals being held according to the appropriate requirements, it will continue to be a great opportunity for families to rally behind the children to create props and costumes. We will be making the most of this opportunity to create a truly unique experience for all those involved!

For Transition to Year 2, there will be an End of Year Musical Concert, produced and filmed using the same processes and also held in Activities Week. Both these productions have the full support of the entire Creative Arts Department and the whole School and we thank all the staff that have been involved in this process so far. We are delighted that they continue to fully support what has become such an integral part of the Junior School offering. More information will be coming home very soon.


Weekend Sport

What a brilliant weekend it was to be out and about, watching our girls and boys enjoying their Saturday sport. There are a couple of great reports to read at the end of our Sporting section and I am quickly editing photos from those games that I attended, reflecting just what a great time was being had by all. I look forward to being able to see more of this in the future as we hopefully maintain this steady return to normal sporting activities.


Arrival and Departure of Students

We are aware of some congestions in the Chapel St carpark on Mondays as students depart after sport. We will be addressing this soon but, in the meantime, we ask for your patience while it is reviewed. Please remember that junior teams with players in Year 3 and below should be collected just before 5.00 pm and those in Years 4 and 5, after 5.00 pm. It is important that cars are not parked along the footpath or remain stationary as others are trying to pass. If your child is not visible or standing ready for collection, we ask that cars continue through the roundabout and repeat the circuit.


TAS Bear



Mr Ian Lloyd
Head of Junior School


Happy Birthday

Many happy returns to Harriet Coupland and Liam Hoad who share a birthday this week.


School Spirit

Congratulations to the following students for receiving a School Spirit award this week:

Umraj Nirmaan, Mishkah Alrdadi, Cooper Lacey, Freddie Post, Ted Draney, Will Dennison, Baxter Carruthers, Cecilia Price, Aamer Alazizi, Mohammed Alrdadi, Sophie Brett, Chelsea Miller, Saleh Alrdadi, Joe Fenwicke and Sam Ford.


IB Primary Years Programme(PYP)


Kindergarten has commenced Term 3 exploring the transdisciplinary theme ‘Sharing the planet’ through the central idea: ‘Changes in the environment impact humans and other living things’.

This unit will allow our Kindergarten students to learn about and develop their beginning research skills. Aiming to develop within the students a conceptual understanding of the environment.

Their lines of inquiry, which will develop their understanding and knowledge of the central idea are:

  • An inquiry into different environments
  • An inquiry into basic needs and uses of living things
  • An inquiry into seasonal changes impact the environment and living things

In order to promote learning, guided inquiry requires skills to be explicitly taught regarding to how to research and investigate ‘big questions’ the students may have.  The research skills that Kindergarten will focus on, under the careful guidance and modelling from Mrs O’Connor,  include the following ‘I’ statements:

  • I ask inquiry questions
  • I use my scientific eye
  • I find information from different sources
  • I record and present ideas clearly

The research skills taught built upon as the students move through their primary years learning journey.

Mrs Veronica Waters
PYP Coordinator


Junior School Sport


The second week of netball season and the Junior TAS players were a force to be reckoned with! Carla and Bridei made a big contribution to the Netta victory with their excellent passing skills! Neave and Eva were looking very comfortable with the Cherry Bombs this week and have learnt the positions really well. No one would believe that the TAS GO team were yet to have a training session this term as their teamwork and defence skills were out of this world! The girls arrived with energy and enthusiasm and it spread on the court and among the spectators too! Their communication skills and precise shooting led them to a heart-warming win over PLC!

Mrs Anna O’Connor


U11 Hockey

The TAS under 11s hockey team played against City Yellow on 31 July. They showed great teamwork, skills and passed the ball a lot. Ryne Wilkinson has made great improvements with his game, particularly in defence. Cormac Downes is improving his game as a new player and is positioning himself well on the field. Joe Fenwicke is passing well and demonstrates great skill in attack. Sam Ford is good as always and Hugo is passing the ball well and is attacking brilliantly. Saxon Muirhead who is new to the game is passing well and setting up goals for others. Harry Brownlie continued playing well in attack.

The TAS team has been focusing on sharing round the ball and allowing others the opportunity to get a goal. The successful teamwork on the day led TAS to a victorious win.

Harry Brownlie (Yr 5)







U10 Blue Football

Last weekend the weather was absolutely fabulous and the crowd on the sideline was providing some excellent moral support for the mighty Under 10s! There was something a little special about this game! As our numbers had been low the previous week, Mrs Hardin had invited three Year 3 players to join our team. Our new players were Toby White, Casper Cook and Joshua Bourke and they were absolutely fabulous! We even had some keen Year 2 subs (Baxter Carruthers, Rupert Newton and Lachlan Wood) waiting on the sideline … just in case we needed them.

There are two people who I think deserve an honourable mention this week. First, is Cameron Carruthers, the goalie, who made some extraordinary saves. Second is Joshua Bourke, (playing a whole year above his age group) who did extremely well for a newcomer!

I feel like one of the team’s strengths is passing. The team is always looking for the player in the best position to pass to and working together. Something I feel the team needs to be working on is finding the best place to score goals. We took a lot of shots, but sadly missed most of them. In the end the score was 5-0 to our opponents.

I would like to thank the team for their best game ever!

By Oliver Robb (Year 4)

Community Notices