2020 Term 3 Week 7   |   02.09.2020

TAS Talks Term 3 Week 7

01. From the Head of School


Last weekend was a wonderful opportunity for me to get out and about and enjoy some spring weather and attend a number of sports to witness the engagement and enthusiasm of all our students who participate. It underlines to me how important team sports are to the majority of our students and that training for competition during the week and then being able to play their chosen sport on the weekend is, and will always be, an integral part of The Armidale School education. It has never been our policy to wrap our students in cottonwool and the experience gained on the rugby field, the netball court, the hockey field and the football field relates more to having a ‘go’ than any expectation you have to be the best player. Of course the skill development that takes place in the junior years into the senior years should enhance the overall experience and I have been really pleased to have been able to watch all of our senior students representing their school this winter season demonstrating real passion and commitment as well as pride wearing the blue and white.

I now move on to some staffing matters – it is with the utmost regret that I announce the fact that Mr Will Caldwell and his wife Anna, (Head of Senior School at PLC), have decided to relocate to Sydney. All of you who know Will know that his service to the school has been exemplary, selfless and dedicated. I will obviously say much more about him we farewell him at the end of the year.

Our senior nurse Ms Jenny Murray has also resigned after 15 years of tireless commitment to her role in the medical centre and I take this opportunity to thank her in this forum for all that she has done for the school in her time here.




HSIE teacher, Miss Hannah Lo will be taking a sabbatical from The Armidale School to study an MBA at Oxford University from mid-September this year. This is incredible opportunity for Hannah and we congratulate her on being selected, from what I understand was a very thorough process, and she has indicated her desire to return to her teaching at TAS in 2022.

We welcomed Year 12 back to the classroom on Monday after 2 weeks of Trial HSC exams which, when they get their results, will hopefully point them in the direction they need to take to be able to make the most of the time remaining for revision and planning for their study. It is most important that they endeavour to make the most of the availability of staff and to utilise their time in the most practical way they can. This is no easy task given the distractions that always surround the final few weeks of their last term at the school. Hopefully the planned lunches with the Head of School will not be one of those major distractions and I am really looking forward to hearing about their plans for the future in a world that is very different to the one we all anticipated.


Alan Jones



Notice Board

Cadets - Passing Out Parade

Passing Out Parade
Friday 11 September 2020

Passing out Parade for all cadets shall be held on Adamsfield on Friday 11 September (Week 8) commencing at 2.00 pm.
The parade and rehearsal are compulsory activities for all cadets.

Uniform is DPCU Ceremonial – Slouch Hat and Black Belt. Uniforms will be ironed by the school laundry staff and stored at school. Undershirts may be worn, provided they are khaki/olive green in colour or not visible on parade.

Passing Out Parade Rehearsal & Preparation Schedule

Week 7
• Tuesday 1 September - Sword Drill practice at lunchtime 1.25 – 1.55pm for CUOs
• Tuesday 1 September - Afternoon 3.30 - 5.00pm Whole Cadet Unit (incl band)- Adamsfield. No sport training for cadets.
• Wednesday 2 September - Afternoon 3.30 - 5.00pm Whole Cadet Unit (incl band)- Adamsfield. No sport training.

Week 8
• Monday 7 September - Afternoon 3.30 - 5.00 pm Whole Cadet Unit (incl band) – Adamsfield
• Tuesday 8 September – Afternoon 3.30 - 5.00 pm Year 12 passing out rehearsal – Adamsfield
• Wednesday 9 September - Afternoon 3.30 - 5.00 pm Whole Cadet Unit – Adamsfield. No sports training.
• Thursday 10 September - Afternoon 1.30 - 5.00 pm Whole Cadet Unit – Final rehearsal on Adamsfield.

No Pd 6&7 classes or sport training.

Friday 11 September - Passing Out Parade –– Cadet Unit – 11.40 am – 3.30 pm

Cadets required from 11.40am P4/5 for hat & belt issue, lunch and dress inspection – form-up at 1.35pm.
Parade commences at 2.00pm.

MAJ (AAC) Angus Murray
Commanding Officer

02. Calendar of Events

Week 8
Wednesday 9 SeptemberP&F Meeting (7pm)
Friday 11 SeptemberPassing Out Parade (Year 12 parents only)



03. From the P&F


Christmas Puddings

The famous TAS P&F Christmas Puddings are still going to being made this year – At this stage Covid-19 won’t be stopping TAS families from enjoying a lovely Christmas Pudding on Christmas Day.

The pudding bake is coming up at the start of Term 4 and prior to that we need heaps and heaps of brandy to soak the fruit in – this is what gives the puddings that spectacular taste!!  We have had an amazing number of bottles donated so far, but we these are exceptional puddings and we still need more.  If you can donate a bottle of brandy please either drop it in at Main Reception or contact Pudding Co-ordinator Camilla Dubois on pandf@as.edu.au

The date for the pudding bake has been booked – if you’re free and would like to help on Saturday 17 or Sunday 18 October 2020 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.

We will be selling Christmas Puddings online this year (more to come in the following weeks).  However, if you want to get in first so that you won’t miss out, you can put your name on the waiting list now by sending an email to pandf@as.edu.au

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


P&F Meeting – Wednesday 9 September 7pm on Zoom

We have a P&F meeting on Wednesday 9 September and would love for you to come. Normally we would have this in the Lower Maxwell Room but we are hosting a ZOOM ONLY meeting next week instead. The meeting will start at 7pm and if you would like to Zoom with us please see the link below or contact us on pandf@as.edu.au if you have trouble joining the meeting.

ID: 95598677802
Password: 866670

Items on the Agenda include Christmas Puddings and continuing to brainstorm some small friend and/or fundraisers for the rest of the year that will enable groups to get together within the constraint of Covid-19. Obviously, it’s BYO wine but we would love to chat with you.  Hope to digitally see you then!


Mrs Rachael Nicoll
P&F President

04. From the Director of Studies


Year 11 Exams

Year 11 exams will be held in the week beginning 14 September. Students should be receiving these notifications this week. Below is a link to the Year 11 exam timetable.

Year 11 Timetable

Year 10 into 11 Subject Choices

Information has been sent to students and families this week about selecting subjects for Year 11 and 12. All of this information can be found on this website: https://publications.as.edu.au/year-10-and-11-subject-selection/ I have enjoyed speaking with families via Zoom and a number of students at school. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions with this process.

Stage 5 Electives and Year 8 into Year 9 Information

Information has been sent to students and families this week about selecting their electives in Years 9 and 10. All of this information can be found on this website: CLICK HERE.

There are a number of opportunities to meet with me via Zoom to discuss this elective program and answer any questions that you may have about it. Details to book these sessions can be found on the website.


Mr Luke Polson
Director of Studies

05. From the Director of Co-curricular


Summer Sports Choices

All students, Years 5-11, will be selecting summer sports this week. Please read the information attached and discuss this choice with your child. We recognise how important it is for students to be involved in co-curricular activities and we are so grateful that we continue to have the opportunity to participate in sport. We will be hoping that this continues yet we recognise that some activities may be affected by COVID restrictions. We will remain flexible and ready to adapt to any situation and keep you informed of any changes.


Please see attached the schedule for School Photos. This is an important historical record of life at TAS and I would urge all students to ensure that they arrive at Memorial Hall five minutes before the scheduled time. A description of what to wear will be emailed to all students with this schedule.

Photo Schedule 2020


Mr Will Caldwell
Director of Co-curricular

Debaters affirm their skills

The juggernaut that is the AIS National Virtual Debating Competition is well underway, with nine of 15 debates across the term now completed.

Post-Trial HSC optimism may have played a part, but the Year 12 team surprised themselves with a win over Canberra Girls’ Grammar on Monday, successfully arguing ‘That government funding for non-government schools should be reduced’. Rather than taking a populist line questioning the right of non-government schools to any taxpayer funding, the team proposed a model that there should be a redistribution of funding across the non-government sector. The win against the school that has fielded the national champions for the past three years, was certainly a morale booster for the team (Lucy Ball, Rick Nutt, Jack Nivison, Jaden Carroll) and will set them well for their final general round debate against O’Connor, next week.

If the Year 12 win was somewhat of a surprise, so too was the loss of the Year 11 team in their first debate against Newcastle Grammar School (‘That we should ban volunteer tourism’, TAS being Neg). It was a better outcome for their second debate against Snowy Mountains Grammar last Friday, successfully affirming the topic ‘That all vaccinations in Australia should be mandatory’ against Snowy Mountains Grammar School. An expansive case went beyond COVID and explored the right to protected health of a community outweighing the individual right to oppose vaccination, where it could be harmful. Well done to Alexander Gibson, Henry Moore (awarded best speaker of the debate), Hudson McAllister and Georgia Donoghue.

Meanwhile in the Year 9/10 division TAS is now top of its pool after Wiley Wright, Fred Kearney, Bridget Burnett and Emily Buntine defeated The Hills Grammar School yesterday afternoon taking the Affirmative ‘that Olympic drug cheats should be banned for life’. The result followed wins over O’Connor in Week 4, Mamre Anglican School in Week 5 (Wiley, Fred, Hugo Catterall, Georgia Day-Caldecott) and a forfeit in our favour last week.

This afternoon, it is the first of three debates for a Year 7/8 team, with TAS Middle School making its debut in this competition. All the best to Bella Fernance, Sam Krishnan, Jack Coddington and Daniel Emmery.

Finally – the TAS debating mob wish Miss Lo all the best as she leaves us this week for her sabbatical year and a half studying an MBA at Oxford University. She has already joined the prestigious Oxford Union debating society and we would like to think we may be able to watch her take part online. We thank her for her valued contribution to TAS Debating and look forward to everything she will bring back from her experience in 2022!


Mr Tim Hughes
Debating Co-ordinator

06. From the Creative Arts Coordinator


And with that, the HSC Drama students have completed the practical component of their course with the NESA examinations of their Individual Performances yesterday. Jugging their preparation with a delayed Trial period, the students did a wonderful job that highlighted their resilience in the face of adversity. They should all be very proud of their achievements (their teacher definitely is) and breathe a sigh of relief with that part of their studies completed.

HSC Music and Visual Arts both have key deadlines approaching that are sure to keep those students busy in the next two weeks. This Friday 6pm we have Final Note, a showcase of HSC Music 1, 2 and Extension Music pieces. At the moment we can only have students in attendance but I know they will all be excited to see the great many performances we haven’t been able to enjoy as frequently as normal. A ticketing link has been sent out today so make sure you secure a ticket before they are all gone, or look for the live stream link connecting the TAS community with those fabulous performances. Because of COVID we won’t be holding the Masterstroke exhibition this year – but never fear, a new digital platform is being organised to share the HSC Visual Arts pieces with audiences. Check TAS Talks next week for more information.

The Middle School cast of Jane and the Giant Peach approach their video recording deadline with just two weeks remaining. Mr Wheatley and Ms Jessie Kininmonth have been doing an excellent job preparing those students and I can’t wait to see what they can do in the radio play format. All things going to plan we should be able to premiere that work before the end of term to celebrate 20 years of Middle School and I wish our performers all the best.

Lastly, I want to congratulate the small but dedicated group of students who are part of our Technical Production Team. They did an excellent job on their project TAS SIDESHOW on Friday and should be proud of their frenetic efforts. My congratulations and acknowledgement also go to Mr Michael Cornford for leading and teaching that group with such passion and commitment.


Mr Andrew O’Connell
Creative Arts Coordinator

07. From the Head of Middle School


As I’ve previously indicated, these new look TAS Talks are more user-friendly and inclusive than their predecessors: of interest to you (and to all of our students) will be the Student Inclusions that appear below my brief comments.

Terms rarely slow down at TAS; rather, they characteristically tend to quicken. All students are busy, many continue to do assessments, and some, like our Year 8 cohort, are gainfully employed readying themselves for the Passing Out Parade in a fortnight. Overall, everyone is busy, and this is preferable to its opposite state. However, I’ve received some concerned comments about management of time. Regardless of the concern, we can address issues that we are made aware of – but we need to be aware of them so that students can avoid these issues from escalating into problems. Concerns can be pastoral, sporting or academic, so keep an eye out and let us know if you’re detecting possible ‘fraying of edges’ as the term moves closer to the holiday break.

I had one of my regular meetings with Mrs Wark earlier this week – we discussed general student matters. In particular, we are pushing the uniform issues again. While I think Middle School students are managing life pretty well in this regard, we did agree that we all need to focus on shoes. Shoes look better when polished. I expect day students have polish at home and I know that we have polish and brushes at school. Together we need to address uniform standards. I mentioned this matter at our most recent Assembly; we also mentioned the fact that chewing gum at school is ‘not on’. There, it’s done – it’s out.



I think this an appropriate time to mention positives, too. Again, Senior School staff have commented favourably on our Year 8s and their marching practices for the parade in two weeks. As well, our debaters have been very busy preparing to to acquit themselves well in the upcoming virtual debating competition.

We need to balance positives with negatives – always. Our people are young, they’re growing, the world they’re living in is fraught with challenges that ours never even conceived. For example, only last year the COVID news and consequent global spread was not on anybody’s radar – despite its effects impacting so much of our normal discourse. In a nutshell, we need to work together more now than ever. You’ve received advice from governments, letters from our school and recommendations from different states about restrictions. The bottom line here is that everything is different for us. If we, having the experience to cope with change, ever struggle a bit with it, then kids must have more of a struggle. However, obviously lacking our experience, their struggles can manifest themselves in ‘weird and wonderful’ ways – and I guess this is one of the reasons why we should be aware of their management of their worlds. I have meetings with individuals and small groups every day and I’ll continue to do this because I need to do it. I’m starting to have more one-on-one communication with families, too. As I’ve implied, this is a good thing because ‘together’ is the only way to go.

Now I’ll leave you to read the student contribution below.


Mr Mark Harrison
Head of Middle School

Hello everyone!

I hope you’re having a great term.

Everyone in Middle School has been very busy recently with service activities, schoolwork, sport, Passing Out Parade rehearsals two afternoons each week, drama activities and virtual debating. I think everyone should be congratulated on the enormous effort they’ve put in over the past couple of weeks.

Keep it up guys, we only have a few weeks left, so let’s end this term on a high note.

– Bella Fernance, Head Girl

08. From the Head of Junior School


School Photos – Friday 4 September (Uniform requirements)

On Friday 4 September, Junior School will have their School photo for 2021. Delayed because of the disjointed year, arrangements have been made to enable this group photo to be taken quickly and safely.

The uniform for the day should be worn to school, with students changing if they have another activity to attend. Boys should wear full formal uniform (white shirt) including the blue knitted pullover and ties for all year groups. Blazer for Year 5 boys. Girls should wear full winter uniform including blue knitted pullover and no neck ribbon.  Navy blue ribbons only i.e. no coloured hair accessories. Blazers should be worn by all Year 5 students. Please ensure all students have polished shoes and clean presentable uniform. (If students do not own a tie, they will be supplied with one at school with arrangements then made to purchase one).


Summer Sport Choices

Mrs Wright has included information about the selection of summer sport for next term. While circumstances remain ever-changing, please read this information which can be found at the bottom of TAS Talks and discuss with your children which summer sport they would like to choose. Forms will be sent out to all families soon.


TAS Bear




We welcome Ms Josephine Stibbard to TAS Junior School as she completes a Professional Placement on Year 1. Ms Stibbard is well known to us in Junior School as a teaching assistant and occasional After School and Vacation Care program worker.


Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to Aamer Alazizi, Hassan Almokhtar, Nancy Ma and Ryne Wilkinson who all celebrate this week.


School Spirit

Congratulations to the following students that received School Spirit Awards last week:

Raymond Wang, Ivy Rice, Ruby Rice, Emi Fawcett, William Minter, Levi Watts, Lucie Stephen, Pippi Goudge, Sahib Singh, William Cooper-Fillios, Cameron Carruthers, Harriet Coupland, MJ Blanch and Richard Ma.


Mr Ian Lloyd
Head of Junior School




IB Primary Years Programme (PYP)

Junior Classes Commence new PYP Units of Inquiry

It is hard to believe just how quickly one unit finishes and another commences. Despite this our aim is that inquiries are rigorous and ongoing in nature. We hope that wonderings and big questions will be asked as students reflect on their learning journeys.

(Our early years classes will continue to inquire into their current themes unit the conclusion of Term 2.)


Year GroupTransdisciplinary ThemeCentral Idea
Year 1Where we are in place and timeKnowledge of history and culture influences our appreciation of family


Year 2Where we are in place and timeCommunities are enriched by their history.


Year 3How we organise ourselvesAgricultural processes used to grow plants and raise animals


Year 4How the world worksChanges to The Earth’s surface impact living things


Year 5Who we areFactors that influence identity and behaviour



Mrs Veronica Waters
PYP Coordinator

Junior School Sport



Last weekend we played soccer at Harris Park. It was a warm, sunny morning which was a very nice change to the weekend before. It was so great because we won our first game of the season. Lucas, Cam, Josh, and Casper managed to score our four goals and they were all greatly supported by the rest of the team.

I think we played the best we have played all year. We passed well and went up the sidelines. We also crossed the ball from the sidelines back into our players so they could take a shot. Overall, I think we had a really great game. It was so much fun and we really want to thank Mr Newton and Mr White for their support. Mrs Hardin thinks Cam might have a future sponsorship with NIKE after this mid-air header.

 By Xavier Stephen (Year 4)



It was a tough game on Friday. We were two players down with our key players Sam Ford and Levi Watts away. Our two goalies, Cormac Downes and Saxon Muirhead defended the goal well but the opponent team was too good.

Harry Brownlie, Joe Fenwicke and Hugo Broun were exceptionally good strikers, weaving in and out of the City Blues players, the team that we were playing that day.

I think that I played defence really well, sometimes with Hugo Broun, but I need to improve on short/long corners and slowing the ball down. Though we tried our hardest, the City Blues won 3-2.

By Ryne Wilkinson (Yr 5)



Saturday was a perfect day for netball! Eva and Neave represented TAS fantastically in their Cherry Bombs team. The improvement the two girls have shown this season is astounding. Well done Eva on scoring a goal!

The TAS Go team were up against fierce competition but did not lose energy and commitment in the face of tough opponents. We spent this week at training practising creating space away from our defenders and then swiftly making use of it when it is our turn to catch the ball. Every game gives us something to celebrate and something for us to work on to improve our skills and the TAS Go girls have proven themselves to be committed players at training and on the weekends no matter what the scorecard says!

Mrs Anna O’Connor


Summer Sports Term 4, 2020

Please read the information here about Summer Sports for Term 4.

Summer Sports

Community Notices