2020 Term 3 Week 4   |   12.08.2020

TAS Talks Term 3 Week 4

01. From the Head of School


Curtain Up

The first of our HSC creative showcases was staged last Monday evening and a small but energised crowd was on hand to enjoy the work of our Drama students. It was an eclectic and entertaining show. One group performance, presented by the whole class and individual performances rotated throughout the evening with the more mature content available in the drama curriculum for the Senior School session.

The Creative Arts practical examinations are distinguished from other HSC exams in being marked in front of peers, parents and teachers and there can be no doubt about the courage of these young performers as they go about and do their thing in front of their fellow students. Even in the face of this social and academic pressure, not to mention the hurdles and restrictions that COVID has placed on their preparation, their confidence, composure and creativity was quite striking and I congratulate them and their teacher Andrew O’Connell on the polished final products of their year.

HSC Trial exams

For our Year 12 students the coming two weeks are the beginning of the ‘business end’ of the school as they take their HSC Trial Exams. With the course work largely completed, these exams mirror the HSC exams to come in October and they will contribute significantly to final assessment grades and ATARs. This is a time of both pressure and opportunity and I wish every student well as they attempt to make the most of their studies over recent months. I can only commend this year’s cohort for their positive approach to their commitments in the face of considerable difficulty and changed circumstances.


Alan Jones

Notice Board

End of Term travel

The end of term travel (Friday 25 September) and the start of term travel (Monday12 October) online booking form link was emailed out last week. Reminder to please have it completed by Friday 21 August.

The chartered coach services are provided free to students travelling between their home and school – not interstate home destinations. Booking is essential and it would be greatly appreciated if bookings could be made by the due date (Friday 21 August) and on the forms provided via email. Cancellations can be made up to three(3) days prior to travel. Students should be mindful that there is a two suitcase (25kg each) limit. Arrangements can be made through a carrier for extra luggage.

Senior Concession ID cards are also available from Reception for students that are over 16 years of age. This ID card entitles students to travel at child’s fare.

Weekend travel bookings must be made before the Thursday prior to the weekend. All travel arrangements (except air travel) should be made with Reception. If you have any queries regarding travel, please don’t hesitate to contact Mrs Veronica Lucas - reception@as.edu.au.

Mrs Veronica Lucas

Daily Absence

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

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

Junior School: Phone 6776 5817 or by email
Middle School: Phone 6776 5819 or by email
Senior School: Phone 6776 5800 or by email

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

Driving regulations - L and P platers

Students and parents are reminded that no L or P plater drivers (whether they be students at TAS or another school) are permitted to drive a vehicle into the school, particularly through the main entrance from Douglas St. This includes the beginning and end of term when boarders are departing/arriving at school. Boarders with permission from the Deputy Head of School to have a motor vehicle at TAS can only drive it in and out of approved car parks (near Abbott and Croft Houses). This is part of our duty of care to our students and outlined in the School Rules and Regulations that can be found on the website, in both the Parents and Students Portals.

Exemption from Attendance

A reminder that a parent or guardian must apply for an exemption from school attendance if they wish to take their child out of school temporarily by completing an Application for Exemption from Attendance form (see link below).

Students must attend school regularly until an exemption has been approved.

Exemption from attendance at school is often sought because of:

  • Elite Arts or Elite Sporting Events (CIS, NCIS etc.)

  • Family travel or holidays

  • Medical or health appointments

  • Employment

  • Disability or behaviour problems requiring part time exemption from school

  • Other circumstances that warrant an exemption eg. Work Experience, Political Rally, etc.

Exemption from Attendance Form

02. Calendar of Events

Week 4
Friday 14 AugustActivities Day #2 (At TAS)
Week 5 & Week 6
Monday 17 August – Friday 28 AugustHSC Trial Exams



03. Academic

Year 9/10 Revolution and Innovation in Music

Year 9/10 Revolution and Innovation in Music is a Stage 5 elective music subject which is investigating the role of music in social and cultural change. So far this term we have been looking at Music and Race and have looked at music in the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, where protest songs adapted early gospel and church music and the sentiments of the Old Testament in order to protest racial inequality and injustice. We then moved to the revolutionary songs of the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. We have conceptually analysed the melodic and harmonic evolution of protest songs and performed and composed protest songs. On Wednesday 12 August we were extremely privileged to have a live chat with Nita Mungandjera, the daughter of a revolutionary in Namibia, Africa, and the class discussed the impact of music in freedom fighting and Independence as well as hear some of the revolutionary songs from that region. It was a particularly significant privilege given the unfriendly time difference between Armidale and Namibia (being 1am!). We look forward to ongoing relationship with our Namibian friends and TAS in the future.


Dr Inga Brasche


Dr Brasche and her Year 9/10 elective class engage with Nita Mungandjera in Namibia

04. From the Director of Boarding


With Term 3 now in full swing it has been pleasing observing the boarders, over the past three weeks, re-adjusting to their house routines so smoothly and embracing all the opportunities once again available to them at TAS. From evening prep to weekend sport, from inter-house debating to drama performances, the boarders are immersing themselves in boarding life and on a whole enjoying the challenges this presents.

Having two senior boarding houses contest the Senior Inter-house debating final and one contest the Middle School final was a true reflection of the diverse skills of our boarding community and epitomises the “have a go” attitude we are instilling. All boarders who took to the lectern during the inter-house debates should be proud of their achievements.

With weekend sport well and truly underway the boarders are enjoying the fulfilment, morale and bonding that comes with competing in team sports. This is an integral component of a TAS education with the benefits obvious for all to see particularly when talking to the boarders after their sporting commitments of a Saturday evening.

It was pleasing to welcome a large number of potential 2021 boarding enrolments into Dangar House for their experience overnight stay on Monday evening. Credit must go to both Ms Julie Crozier and Dr Charlotte Mack for their coordination of the evening and to the Dangar House girls for their warm welcome. We have been buoyed by the feedback from the visiting girls and parents which will hopefully translate into continued growth of Middle School Girls Boarding.

Finally, I enjoyed watching the Year 12 boarders involved in the CurtainUp HSC Drama performances on Monday evening. I am in constant awe of the broad range of skills on display from our boarders and commend all the Year 12s on their ability to manage their commitments across a broad range of areas. I wish them all the best of luck in their upcoming Trial Exams commencing next week.


Mr David Drain
Director of Boarding

05. From the Director of Studies


Year 12 Trial Exams

We wish all of our Year 12 students all the very best as they commence their trial exams next week. I spoke with all of Year 12 about these exams and the processes involved and I attach here a copy of the Student Expectations and Trials Timetable. Normal class will resume for all of Year 12 from Monday of Week 7.


Y12 Trials Schedule



Student Expectations

MYP Authorisation Visit

Today and tomorrow, TAS is hosting, through a Virtual Visit, staff from the International Baccalaureate who are looking through our progress to date with the implementation of the Middle Years Program. This visit involves a number of meetings with School Leadership, Coordinators, staff, students and parents. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those involved with this and particularly, Rachel Piddington and Rachel Holford for their leadership of this program.

Year 12 Resources

This week, Year 12 are beginning to receive a resource pack of books and resources to help with their revision in the lead up to the HSC. These resources include study guides and past paper books and will be a useful resource for them. These books are being provided to Year 12 through some Drought Relief Funding and as a result, parents will see a charge on their account for these resources, but this will be immediately reimbursed as a credit from this funding.

ICAS Exams

Thank you to those parents who have registered their students for upcoming ICAS Exams. The registrations for these have now closed and students will be informed over the next few weeks when these exams will be.
-ICAS Science will be completed in the week beginning 17th August
-ICAS English will be completed in the week beginning 24th August
-ICAS Maths and Spelling will be completed in the week beginning 31st August


Mr Luke Polson
Director of Studies

06. Leadership, Service and Adventure - Cadets


Activities Day 1 - Friday 14 August

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, ADF 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.  Students have received specific briefings on necessary equipment, and should consult their platoon leaders in the first instance if they are unsure.

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 and jumper, sturdy footwear).

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

Weather for this Friday includes the forecast of rain. Students should ensure they bring a rain jacket and jumper. If weather conditions are such that these activities cannot be safely conducted, they will be amended, which may include conducting altered activities on TAS grounds.

Passing Out Parade is scheduled for Friday 11 September. The schedule for rehearsals for this event is included here.


POP Schedule


A Company (Year 10 & leaders)

A Company will need to bring their DPCU camouflage uniform on Activities Day 1 to be collected by the TAS laundry. The uniforms will be washed and prepared for Passing Out Parade scheduled for Friday 11 September.


B Company (Year 9 & 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

07. From the Director of Co-curricular


Flexibility and Stability

Flexibility is the ability of soft tissues to lengthen correctly, allowing a joint to move through its optimal range of movement. Stability is the ability of the surrounding soft tissue to support a joint through that range of movement.

In the current climate we need both. We are flexible in our planning, willing to bend but not break, to change our approach without compromising the outcome. All the time maintaining stability; supporting each other and shining a light on the road ahead – no matter how uncertain.

Students have received an invitation this week to embrace the second leg of the Triple Crown – The TAS Kayak Enduro. This is an alternative to the Hawkesbury Canoe Classic and allows us to provide a similar level of challenge with less risk and greater certainty.

I thank all members of the TAS community for their support and flexibility during these challenging times. Your acceptance of the restrictions to spectators and your care and vigilance in protecting our community allows activities to continue. This is vital for the wellbeing of all students. I encourage you all to remain cautiously optimistic about the opportunities before us and use these as a focus and a source of motivation.



Passing Out Parade Practice and Sports Training

We are proud to celebrate the contribution and accomplishments of our Year 12 Cadets passing out on 11 September. To ensure that the drill is befitting of such an occasion, cadets will commence practising in Week 5. This will take priority over sports training. Every effort has been made to minimise the impact on sport.


Rowing Trials

Year 10 and 11 students interested in rowing this summer need to register a 1000m erg time next week (Week 5) on either Monday, Wednesday or Thursday, at 3:45pm on Wakefield.

Those who then wish to continue the selection process are required to do a 2000m erg in Week 6, on Wednesday 26 or Thursday 27 August at 3:45pm. Based on these results we will select a squad.

If you are interested but injured or if you have any questions, please email Mr Caldwell wcaldwel@as.edu.au


Mr Will Caldwell
Director of Co-curricular


In what was a shortened season with training affected by the coronavirus restrictions, TAS shooters came together in July for a training camp at Wollomombi Rifle Range ahead of the annual AAGPS competition at Hornsby Rifle Range. Here’s a link to a video from Lachlan Hey that captures some of the atmosphere.

A big term of debating begins

The AIS National Virtual Debating Competition got off the ground for TAS last week with our Year 12 team facing PLC Perth on the topic ‘That we should ban non-essential travel to countries with a poor human rights record’. Issues such as national sovereignty, corporate governance and ethical tourism were explored in an interesting debate, which was won by the westerners. In their second debate in the group round, held on Monday, the team was more successful against Bishop Druitt College (Coffs Harbour), soundly affirming ‘that community service should contribute towards your ATAR’.

Then yesterday it was the turn of our Year 9/10 team, debating for the first time together. Being given the Affirmative against O’Connor Catholic College, they successfully argued ‘that the Commonwealth Games should be scrapped’, supporting their case by exploring how the long-term economic cost, social inequality, environmental impact and cultural inappropriateness of a hangover of colonialism all outweighed the short term benefits.

Next week Year 11 enter the competition against Newcastle Grammar, and a combined Year 7/8 team, shortly after.

Overall, four teams will partake in 15 debates this term (COVID-permitting!) and all debaters are relishing the opportunity.


Mr Tim Hughes
Debating Co-ordinator


08. From the Creative Arts Coordinator


Monday night saw an incredible showcase of HSC Drama performances at the annual CurtainUP event. While it happened a little differently with COVID restrictions, we got to enjoy the same level of talent and polish we have come to expect from our senior students and with the powerful support of an awesome audience. From an amazing group devised piece chock-full of physical theatre and hilarious transformations to seven distinctly different monologues exploring a range of themes and styles, it was a night with something for everyone. Congratulations to William Braham, Lucas Cotterell, Jai Farrell, Cooper Gerdes, Colby Hanes, John Moore and Rick Nutt for dominating the stage (and the stream). And on behalf of those students, I’d like to thank Ethan Bellman, Hugo Catterall and Mr Cornford for their support on the night – as well as our surprise special guest Mrs Cleaver who popped back to support the boys after teaching them Drama in Year 11 Drama and for Term 4 of 2019.



While focused on the HSC, I want to wish all students of Drama, Music and Visual Arts the best as they complete their final assessments and sit the Trials. Performance examinations and submission dates are creeping very close and we know it will be a busy time, particularly for those doing more than one creative subject.

This week is the big one for Junior School and auditions for Aladdin Jr. By the end of the week we hope to have announced the cast and for all auditioning and receiving call-backs for Wednesday we hope you will be positive, enthusiastic, and happy to be involved no matter the part you get.

Way back in Term 1 Year 7 Art were doing batik. That project started to wrap as students went home and during that time Lachlan Sedon transformed his work into a fabulous cushion cover that showcases his design, which you can see in the photo below.


Mr Andrew O’Connell
Creative Arts Coordinator

09. From the Head of Middle School


This term is already one month old – time really does ‘not wait for anyone’ – ever. Students are fine: gainfully employed doing work; preparing for assessments; braving some cold weather; collectively celebrating the fact that Malpas Dam has risen to sixty percent of its capacity – and generally, they’re happy, I believe.

On Monday, Mr Pennington visited our various Year groups to present specially designed 1000km Challenge badges to a good number of Middle School students who completed this major exercise during the isolation period last term. The best aspect of the presentation, apart from the very healthy number of students of course, was the fact that these badges could be presented in person – and I was very happy to do this presentation in the Middle School precinct.

On Tuesday, we were lucky enough to have our first full Town Meeting in months and months: we were in Hoskins, year groups were appropriately ‘distanced’ and we were treated to individual and group performances by the Year 12 Music students. Their examinable ‘pieces’, comprising drums, piano, voice and wind instruments were excellent and our young people were complimented on their having been an appreciative audience. Many thanks go to Ms Roobol, Dr Brasche and Mr Dunham – this was a really pleasant way to be together (yet again).

In another respect, this week has distinguished itself in terms of its featuring ‘difference’. You may not be aware that, per kind favour of Mr Pennington and Miss Holford, our Year 7 students have been writing letters (largely of introduction at this stage) to residents of Autumn Lodge. The fact that so many of our senior citizens have responded is the cause of almost palpable excitement for these Year 7s, who’ve consequently been made to feel very special. They’re very young, our students, and may not fully realise that their efforts have caused others, being those to whom they’ve written, likewise, to feel special.  I hope we are able to continue this wider community connection: ours is not just a Round Square School, it’s now a fully functioning International Baccalaureate one, too. The young members of your family are ‘reaching out’, performing civic service (I daren’t call it duty, because the letters constitute a genuine and willing attempt by our people) to communicate with Armidale’s elders. On your behalf I want to thank Mr Pennington and Miss Holford, who, as you are probably aware by now, is our MYP Coordinator during Mrs Piddington’s maternity leave. Especially, I want to thank the Year 7 students: I’m not sure they realise how much their efforts mean to the Armidale’s senior citizens…and to us.

Our Academic Leader, William Gilpin has included the following message about our newest Middle School ‘tutor’:
Personally, as a year 8 student, my gratitude that Georgia Donoghue, a Year 11 Mathematics accelerant, has started tutoring students goes beyond measure. I am not the smartest person in the room (although I would like to believe that I could be) and I know a fair few other people aren’t, either. But what I do know is that tutoring is a fantastic way to boost your grades. I have a tutor, and he is really helping with my Math grades. Before I used to get a C, now I get B’s and even the occasional A !

I highly recommend getting Georgia as a tutor. We are all extremely happy that she is willing to help our Year 6 and 7 students, at a rate of two lessons a fortnight, and want to wish her the best of luck in her efforts to assist the Middle School. 

That’s ‘pretty much it’ for this week: we’re fine; we’re busy and, as indicated, we’re happy (enough).

Till next week.

Mr Mark Harrison
Head of Middle School

IB Middle Years Programme (MYP)

In the coming weeks, students in Middle School will begin to receive notifications in preparation for their upcoming Assessment Tasks. We encourage students to read their notifications closely, organise their time carefully and work closely with their teachers to prepare for these tasks. Assessment Schedules are published on both the Student and Parent Portals and provide an overview of the tasks that are approaching in the coming weeks and into Term 4. We look forward to working closely with students to assist them in their preparation for these tasks as well as witnessing their efforts.


Ms Rachel Holford
Acting MYP Coordinator

Year 6 and Year 1 collaborate

Mrs Brunsdon’s Year 6 Maths class have utilised their inquiring and thinking skills whilst creating a survey for the Year 1 students to complete. During their Data unit the Year 6 students decided to communicate with their younger peers to find out what activities they like to participate in when playing in the playground. The older students had to think about how they could word their survey questions to suit the younger students and allow them to gain the information they needed to complete their task. Both year groups loved the opportunity to get together and it was lovely to see the interaction between the two year groups.

Mrs Kirsty Brunsdon

10. From the Head of Junior School


Aladdin The Musical Jnr

Auditions for Aladdin have been moving along extremely well and our Head of Creative Arts and Producer, Mr Andrew O’Connell and Director, Ms Arlene Fletcher have been very impressed and please with the enthusiasm and talents of those who have had the courage to audition. Creative Arts is not for the faint-hearted and I applaud all those who have stepped up.


Sports training

We don’t always get the call for our training sessions correct (and Monday was a great example) , but I am glad in many ways that we persisted. Missing even one session can be costly in terms of teamwork and skill acquisition, so despite the cold wind and rain (was it sleet?), I was impressed with the way our students trained with gusto…even a smile on their faces. I had to take my hat off to the staff as well; it wasn’t pleasant out there – but to see the way training continued on despite the challenges, reflected just how much we are on track when we speak of confronting a challenge head on, with resilience and persistence. If ever there was a demonstration of these PYP attributes, Monday sports’ training was right up there.



Activities Day – Recycle, Reuse, Repurpose, Reduce (Wear your tidy casual clothes)

This Friday, along with Middle and Senior School, we will be hosting our Term 3 Activities Day with a difference. The focus this term will be sharpened by the work our SRC has been doing recently in planning to extend the recycling projects started some time ago by some of our younger students. We will be looking to promote recycling and reducing waste in various ways and enhance our understanding of sustainable living. This will be a SCHOOL UNIFORM FREE day and everyone is invited to wear neat casuals to accommodate a wide variety of activities both inside and out (if weather permits).


TAS Bear



Mr Ian Lloyd
Head of Junior School



Happy Birthday

Many happy returns to Arabella Blanchard, Patrick Bourke and Freddie Post who all have birthdays this week.

IB Primary Years Programme(PYP)

Year 1

Transdisciplinary Theme: How we organise ourselves

Central Idea: Communities provide services designed to meet people’s needs

Lines of Inquiry:

  • What communities are and which ones we belong to
  • The services that are created to support a community
  • Responsibilities of community members

Year 1 are now three weeks into their Unit of Inquiry and whilst inquiring into their local school community and the wider Armidale and regional community have been focusing on developing their approaches to learning. Approaches to learning are one of the four essential elements of the Primary Years Programme (PYP) and are skills, which are explicitly taught, modelled by the teacher or competent students and then explored and used by the students.

The table below outlines the skills the students are using throughout this six-week unit.

Thinking SkillsI use my brain
I stop and think
Communication SkillsI listen actively
I can speak clearly and confidently
Social SkillsI use my manners
Research SkillsI record and present ideas clearly
Self-Management SkillsI am organised

As can be seen these are valuable skills that will grow and develop as the students in Year 1 progress through their Primary Years Programme learning journey.


Mrs Veronica Waters
PYP Coordinator

Junior School Sport


TAS Tornadoes

The U8s had a cracking game on Saturday and gave the match their all despite the freezing weather. Our loyal parents watched on in the rain as our little team banded together to score four terrific goals. Ethan and Will both scored brilliant goals straight up the midline, and our big kicker Rudra came away with his first two points of the season.

Guyra was an excellent opponent with good sportsmanship and a firm defence. They got one point past our keeper but with the combined efforts of our goal keepers – Janesh, Baxter and Rudra – we were able to keep our opposition’s final score low.

Once more our team worked hard on defence with Evelyn, Ellen and Xander each playing their part in applying consistent pressure on the ball. Rupert, who sustained a firm graze to the leg, was brave and resilient, playing on and working hard for the team.

The Tornadoes conducted themselves with dignity and perseverance; it was a great match!

Mrs Gill Downes


TAS Under 10

There was a fabulous turn out to watch under 10s v Guyra this weekend. Even though it was raining and a little cold, it was a great game and our team kept warm running after the ball.

There were some fabulous saves from Arthur White, our goalkeeper, and Xavier Stephen’s footwork on the field ensured we put forward some great defence.

It was also a great game for Joshua Bourke and Caspar Cook, two of our fantastic Year 3 players. Despite all of this, Guyra played a tough game and in the end, they won 6-0.

A huge shout out to Toby White’s dad Jeremy for filling in for Mrs Hardin and doing a great job as our coach and referee.

Thanks also to all of our parents and friends for coming to watch us play.


Jack Maitz (Year 4)

Community Notices