MR ALAN JONES
Tonight, our P & F will gather for the final time this year in the Hoskins Foyer at 7pm. This will be an opportunity to both look ahead and reflect on what has been a very different year for the P & F. I know they are very excited to be able to finally meet in person at the school and tonight will allow us to offer thanks to those who have continued the great work of this group throughout the year and in particular, it will be a chance to offer thanks to the P & F Executive who have led and have been behind the funding decisions that have benefited our students. I look forward to celebrating with them as their work and commitment to TAS remains undaunted.
The end of the year brings creative arts and performance to the fore and a good number of our students, from right across the school, are being involved.
Our Virtual Debaters continue to compete and will have their chance to shine in the next round of finals in the National Virtual Debating Competition and I wish all our speakers well.
Other students will be preparing to entertain in different ways as Junior School prepares for their production of Aladdin. I cannot thank Andrew O’Connell in particular, Arlene Fletcher and Michael Cornford for all of their dedication and excellent work to make this production happen in a very new and untried format because of COVID restrictions and I know students and parents alike are looking forward to the end product.
Middle and Senior school students have been rehearsing and preparing for the annual Inter-house Cash Cup Creative Arts Competition that will take place when they return from Activities Week. There will be one final morning of rehearsal and performances will begin at 1.30pm on Tuesday 1 December.
As I wrote last week, this coming week is the culmination of the outdoors program for the year and something that we invest in heavily. Almost all of our teaching staff and a good number of support staff will be in the field with our students, this reflects their collective belief in its importance in the building of our character development curriculum. Every Old Armidalian I know, through generations, has memories of their experiences in the Activities Program and of Activities Week in particular, and I have never heard a past student say that they regret their participation – even those who admit they did not delight in the prospect at the time, and there will still be some now, who can readily see the personal benefits that the program gives them. This is because it is through experiences of stepping away from our comfort zone that we are able to test our boundaries and find character traits that perhaps we did not know we had. This is the reason for our program and why we commit to it, rather than taking an easier path. It is an experience that is central to being a TAS student and I am looking forward to sharing it with our students in the bush and at the beach next week.
Head of School
|Wednesday 18 November||P&F Meeting (7pm) Zoom|
|Friday 20 November||Year 10 Dinner|
|Monday 23 November||Activities Week|
|Wednesday 2 December||Junior School Speech Day – Live Stream|
|Thursday 3 December||Speech Day – Live Stream|
MRS RACHAEL NICOLL
If you haven’t already bought a fabulous P&F Christmas Pudding, then I’m sorry to say you have missed out. Please accept our apologies but we’ve had a wonderful response and they are all gone.
If you did manage to buy one, please don’t forget to collect it from Reception between Thursday 26 November and Thursday 3 December. Any puddings not collected by end of day on Thursday 3 December will be donated.
If for some reason you are unable to collect your pudding during these dates please contact the P&F as soon as possible 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.
Liaison Parents have a vitally important role in being the ‘first port of call’ for people wanting to know what is going on in their year and at school. The P&F could not operate without them. So that we can hit the ground running next year and make sure all new families in 2021 feel the love and support right from day one, we would love to have all our Year Group LPs for 2021 sorted before the end of this term.
We are always seeking more Liaison Parents. Even if your Year Group already has amazing LPs there is always room for more. Being an ‘LP’ is not an arduous job –primarily it is to be a conduit for P&F matters to parents, a great way to make new friends and a wonderful way to foster a sense of community within your year, particularly when new families start at TAS. Arranging the odd Year Group get together in a Covid-19 world, possibly managing your Year Group FaceBook page, organising year group helpers for sports day cake stalls and finding someone (not necessarily yourself) to potentially organise a year group stall at TAS@Dusk or any other large P&F event is basically what’s required. Essentially, think of yourself as a year facilitator… you don’t need to be an ‘old hand’ to take it on – you just need to be able to befriend your year group.
If you are interested in becoming a Year Group Liaison Parent for 2021 or would like to know more about the role, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Our final P&F meeting for the year and Christmas farewells are on tonight Wednesday 18 November at 7pm in the HOSKINS FOYER We would love for you to come and help us raise a glass to the end of 2020.
Mrs Rachael Nicoll
MR AJ WHALLEY
During an online professional development course I recently completed, I came across a very interesting webinar regarding the impact of social media and its impact on teenagers. It was hosted by Dr Michael Carr-Gregg, a high-profile psychologist who has spent considerable time researching the effects of technology on the teenage brain. Unfortunately, I was not able to download the video, so I thought I would provide you with the parts I found most interesting.
So social media…… is it all bad?
It obviously plays a huge role in the lives of many Australians, in fact 40 percent of the world’s population uses a social media platform of some kind. 80 percent of Youtube users are teenagers and Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are used by over 70 percent of teenagers.
Developmentally, one of the biggest predictors of wellbeing amongst adults and teenagers is connectedness. People who have a strong sense of connection (strength of connection not necessarily number of connections) are far more likely to experience positive wellbeing. Social media provides an environment for teenagers to stay connected with each other.
One in four young people experience significant mental health challenges. The average age these problems begin to manifest is 15. Social media platforms can function as a place of support, especially for those without traditional support networks or people to reach out to for issues such as sexual orientation, anxiety, depression and bullying.
Social media allows young people to experience different perspectives on world-wide events and opens their eyes to real-time events on a global scale. There are unlimited amounts of content being shared, some of which can be very harmful, but the sharing of information can provide opportunities for collaborative learning, further technological skills and enhance communication skills.
There is no doubt that there are some positives to social media use, but there are skills that need to be learned in order to navigate the content safely and positively.
COVID has amplified some of the darker sides to social media use in Australia. Instances of cyberbullying, image abuse and sexual exploitation have tripled during the COVID period. Over 100 charges have been laid against online predators between March and September this year, up from 673 for the same period last year. Arrests made by the AFP relating to online grooming have increased 120 percent compared to last year.
There have been too many tragic stories of adults and teenagers who have taken their lives as a result of being trolled on social media. Sleep deprivation is a common issue that was explored by the University of Glasgow last year. The study found, the more young people use social media of an evening, the later they go to sleep and the more likely they are to wake up during the night. This was primarily a result of the blue light emissions and participants experienced difficulty concentrating in class. It is recommended that devices be shut of at least 30 minutes before bed to eliminate the blue light emissions and engage the body’s circadian rhythm.
There is a distinct lack of privacy over social media for many teens. Talking and oversharing of information to absolute strangers can be very dangerous, but the overwhelming problem with social media use is when teenagers use social media to compare themselves.
Young people are twice as likely to subject themselves to unrealistic images than adults, at a time when they are vulnerable because of the intense physical and psychological development taking place. The odds are stacked against young people who can fall into the habit of pressing their proverbial noses against the window, watching those people who are leading allegedly amazing lives. It’s the compare and despair phenomena. Kids are constantly viewing content they know they can’t live up to, so are constantly losing a game they cannot win.
As a society, we reward achievers with respect and validation. Unfortunately, there are more and more young people experiencing greater despair than validation because of the time they spend comparing their uncut lives to another person’s highlight reel. They become way too critical of themselves and experience a heightened feeling of envy and pressure to live up to those around them. Teddy Roosevelt said that ‘comparison is the theft of joy’, over 100 years ago………how applicable this comment is today.
Reality can be lost in social media but as parents, we need to teach our children to be resilient online. You need to recognise that young people projecting images of themselves in order to gain validation is unhealthy. It will not end well if we allow comparisons with others to be the driver of self-esteem.
The Office of the eSafety Commissioner is a great place to start. Go to the parent’s section of the website https://www.esafety.gov.au/ and check out some of the suggestions. Establishing reasonable limits including curfews, regular monitoring (physically or digitally), establishing standards, encouraging face to face interaction, are all good ways to reduce heightened anxiety or digital dependence.
Dr Michael Carr-Gregg acknowledges that you need to pick your battles when it comes to raising children, but this one is a big one that needs addressing. It’s not a question of whether or not social media is good or bad. The reality is, that it will be a part of teenage life and parents need to focus on the use being positive, intentional and safe.
Mr Adam (AJ) Whalley
Director of Pastoral Care
Annual Camp represents the culmination of the year’s training and will be conducted over the period 21-27 November at Nymboida. Q Store & Advance Party will depart Friday 20 November. Signals Platoon & B Coy will depart on Saturday 21 November, A & C Coys on Sunday 22 November. As a mandatory part of the outdoor education program at TAS, the expectation is that all students will attend.
Please click on the button below to view the full details for Annual Camp 2020.
ANNUAL CAMP 2020
Mr Angus Murray
Depart Monday 23 November 2020
Return Friday 27 November 2020
Mr J Pennington (0419 250 984), Mrs G Chick, Mrs D Tutt, Mr N Murphy
Sawtell Surf Lifesaving Club (Boys)
Sawtell Caravan Park (Girls)
To travel – School sports (PE) uniform – Full school tracksuit if necessary, white shirt, blue shorts, white socks, sports shoes, hat, water bottle (to be carried onto the beach), swimmers (board shorts are not allowed for lifesaving activities; rashies and caps provided), towel.
SLS: Swimmers, hat, water bottles, towels. Pens, Manual and Workbook. Casual clothes including covered shoes. Sleeping bags and roll up mattress, pillows, Swags (boys only), toiletries, long pants and a collared shirt (female equivalent, no short skirts, for dinner Tuesday night), training gear. Please do not bring laptops or speakers etc.
Year 7 will be heading to Nymbodia for the first three days of Activities Week (23 – 25 November). The remaining two days will be held back at TAS
(26 – 27 November).
The expectation is that students will be part of the Activities Week for the full five days, day students will not be returning home during the final two days at TAS unless there are exceptional circumstances.
Similar to Bivouac, students will need to bring 2 x bags:
All students have received this information in Activities briefing.
If any day students take medication or suffer from hayfever etc, and you would like to pack medication, then please put it in a named envelope to hand into Mrs Pollard. Students must not carry their own medication unless required to do so (e.g. Epipen/asthma inhaler). Boarders medication will be collected by staff.
All teachers will have teacher first aid packs with them, which will include allergy tablets, panadol, band-aids, inhalers etc. As well as a full first aid kit for the group.
Mr Stephen Thompson
MR WILL CALDWELL
Due to so many events being postponed due to COVID, we have reached this point in the school year where everyone is scrambling to squeeze in events. This may seem a chaotic way to finish the year, however, we are grateful for every opportunity and it is great to see students rising to the challenge.
Last week our Year 7/8 Debating team won their way through to the semi-finals in the National Virtual Debating Competition, to be held next Monday. Earlier this week our Year 9/10 team lost in a competitive semi-final debate against Scotch College. It is a wonderful accomplishment for both teams to get this far and I congratulate all involved and commend Tim Hughes’ report to you.
Meanwhile, our cricketers enjoyed the rare opportunity to play inter-school fixtures. Our First XI fell four runs short of St Columba’s total of 184 in the Douglas Shield whilst our U15 team met their match against a strong and more experienced team from Scone Grammar in the Wiburd Shield. Thank you to Will Waterson for all his organisation and Mark Taylor for his support.
Our musicians returned to the stage last night in front of a small but appreciative audience in Memorial Hall. Creative Artists have been some of the hardest hit throughout the pandemic. It takes tremendous discipline and commitment to continue practising without the opportunity to perform and I thank the music and peripatetic staff for their constant encouragement and perseverance.
Tunes echoing over the sound of leather on willow and calm and calculated rebuttals. All this as we prepare for a week of activities as a final crescendo. Chaos? Yes – but we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Mr Will Caldwell
Director of Co-curricular
Just 30 minutes after the completion of Bivouac, six slightly dishevelled and fatigued but nevertheless keen runners, jumped on yet another bus and headed off to Gloucester. What for? The Gloucester Half Marathon and 10km. Three students were running as part of their Marathon Athlete Elective Unit and three others, well, it’s fun to run! After an early start on Saturday morning, sensational conditions greeted the runners as they lined up on the start line, in the heart of the Gloucester Memorial Park. A multi-loop course provides some continuity and allows runners to pace themselves reasonably accurately. Charlie Carter led the squad over the Half Marathon’s 21.1km running a formidable 1:55:54, displaying not just the benefits of his training, but an amazing drive and tenacity. Not far behind was his classmate and fellow Tyrrell House stalwart Charlie Steele, who hammered out a magnificent final 5km, finishing his first ever Half.
Not to be outdone, Samuel Bourke, who, due to COVID was unable to run his Half Marathon in first semester, drove himself relentlessly to the end, knocking out a tremendous run to finish in a smidgin over 2hrs. In the 10km, big Fred Kearney was awesome, punching out a solid 53:24. Jack Hoppe showed some amazing grit in the shadow of a serious knee injury from Term 2, to finish within striking distance of Fred. Not long after Jack’s grand performance, William Swain, himself having his own training regime hampered by a dodgy knee (as he grows, nonetheless!) proved to be merciless in his focus to the finish, crossing the line with glee.
Mr James Pennington
Having won six debates with no losses, the Year 9/10 team have bowed out of the National Virtual Debating Competition on Monday following their first defeat, in the semi-final against Scotch College, Melbourne. Debating the Negative ‘That art should be free from censorship’, the team (Bridget Burnett, Fred Kearney, Hugo Catterall and Wiley Wright) built a strong case that a classification system was a form of censorship that served society well; that young and vulnerable people did not have the capacity to make sound decisions whether to consume art or not based on their own moral codes, and that governments had a duty of care to the welfare of society generally that was a more important right than the right of unrestricted expression. Despite having perhaps the stronger matter, the experience and sophisticated technique employed by Scotch – probably one of the top three schools in this national competition – secured them the points in a debate described by the adjudicator a being of high quality and “very close”.
Next Monday morning – just before heading off on Activities Week – it is the turn of our Year 7/8 team who are in their semi-final against Mamre Anglican School, Sydney. Bella Fernance, Daniel Emmery, Samuel Krishnan and Jack Coddington earned their place after a sound win over Calrossy Anglican School on Wednesday, successfully Affirming ‘That we should ban all violent video games’. Best wishes to them for their preparations.
The competition has been a wonderful journey for our debaters who have learnt much along the way from each other and the different debating styles of other schools.
Mr Tim Hughes
MR MARK HARRISON
It’s difficult to believe (not to mention, daunting to know) that we only a few weeks away from the whole school Speech Day. The Term has been accelerating at a fierce pace and the fact that we’re still in one piece indicates that we’ve been fairly successful in its overall management.
Academic reports are now well underway and the process of their being entered as I write this to you has begun. I’m in the process of managing my Middle School ones and my mood is calm because, again, I’m reading teacher comments about students who have done their best to navigate the exam days. What is immediately clear is that many have studied effectively and well and that their success is deserved. The exams, written the week before last, have constituted a significant goal our students have worked towards. Again, further to my previous communications with you on this topic, I endorse the system of exam periods at certain times for Middle School students. By the time our people reach Senior School life they’ve already begun to develop coping mechanisms that equip them for their academic futures.
The other important aspect of reports is that they catalogue wider curriculum achievement. Clearly most have been busy with sports and an increasing number are availing themselves of opportunities in many areas. it’s so much healthier to be busy than it is to be bored. It’s also affirming to be working in a school where the social, emotional and physical growth patterns of students are catered to and complemented by their academic needs.
Week 7 heralds a mass exodus with the Year 6, 7 and 8 students travelling to Annual Camp. Activities Week these days gives students the chance to engage in a range of activities that allow them to be in mutually dependent exercises and others that encourage them to develop individual strengths. The students are fully supported by seniors and staff.
On Thursday of this week, we will welcome Year 5 parents to an information afternoon via Zoom. Schooling nowadays is definitely a shared responsibility and requires easy and sensible parent and staff, both academic and boarding, communication. It’s imperative that we table ideas and concerns as they relate to the young adolescents we co-manage. We need to be fully cognizant of the fact that we’re dealing with people who, in every way, are growing very quickly and who, as a result, need a number of mutually dependent support systems. Since they are, in effect, our future this is the least we can do for them in their preparation for it.
Something a little different for you – as part of their English Unit, the Year 8s have been writing. Sit back and enjoy some poetry. This term they have been studying the Romantic Poets. As the Romantics often wrote about nature, students in Mrs Murray’s class were asked to write a poem about an aspect of the natural world. I wrote one, too.
The birds are natural dominators of the sky;
They twitter and flitter and only God knows why.
They dance and sing,
As if they were kings.
Because up in the air they are everywhere,
Up in the sky so high.
Birds are sometimes called pests,
But that’s because they try not to rest,
For to sing is a bliss,
For which they’re not remiss,
For the sound of a song is ever so strong,
Up in the sky so high.
Eventually, the birds go to sleep,
In which they don’t make a peep
For the first time in ever
Which is practically never,
The sky is silent and peaceful, the stars ever increase
Up in the sky so high.
A land of night, and starry skies,
Mountain tops of snow.
Forest glades ever green,
Halos of light, aglow.
Feel the thunder of endless waterfalls,
A pounding, throbbing beat.
Calls and cries of animals,
Plants thriving in the heat.
A flash of lightning, thunder cries,
See the sky, a stormy wonder,
A raging tempest of dark and light,
Rends the earth asunder…
The sky crackles with energy,
Lightning, a midnight sun.
Thunder, rolling in waves all around,
Rain pounding, a constant drum.
Merciless wind, a howling gale,
Battering at the land.
Biting cold, freezing the lakes,
Waves tossed high on the sand.
The storm cries out in fury,
Howling at the sea.
A land being torn to pieces,
Earthly chains set free.
The horizon ends with the poplars,
A line, sentinels, all quiet,
Just touched by the breath of a breeze,
And ignorant, perhaps oblivious
To the frenzied undertones of the House.
A car occasionally perverts the silence,
And temporarily humbles boisterous frogs,
Cavorting in the unseen, mud-luscious ponds
That sprinkle from Croft dam.
The nets are quiet, too.
Not boasting of the in swingers
Or the cover drive
That usually people them
A birth-marked moon
Glances as its sheets of cloud disperse,
And it palely competes with the indifferent
Toilet lights that shed feathers of moths.
The dog track, ringed with its insidious gems of light,
And patronized by its dutiful four-legged sprinters,
Distracts me from the natural.
And the dogs, with tongues, pink and wet,
Eager to jump from their jaws,
Drop saliva onto dry dust
Pocked with paw prints.
A garbage bin at the cricket pitch dully glints,
And alone, it waits for morning,
With its team of starch-white admirers,
Eager to hit it with red leather balls.
Quiet night, tranquil, humanized, calm,
Sanctuary for the dreamers
Keep your mysticism.
What we don’t understand, we can know in our own way
Mr Mark Harrison
Head of Middle School
MR IAN LLOYD
You will have received a letter outlining the End of Term arrangements. It is very unfortunate that we are not in a position to open up the School to our wider community and this has significantly impacted upon these events. However, as mentioned, we have a wonderful series of festivities which will bring the 2020 school year to a memorable finish, some of which will be live-streamed where possible. This information is available by clicking HERE.
It is timely then, to acknowledge the work of the Creative Arts Department, especially Mr Andrew O’Connell, Ms Arlene Fletcher and assistants Jessie Kininmonth and Mr Michael Cornford. No doubt they will receive due accolades in time…. but what they have achieved is extraordinary, so I thought I would start now….
The concept for a movie was borne out of the challenges that COVID presented; but in itself, what a challenge it has been?! All those involved, however, will tell you they have enjoyed the process as much as you will the final result. When you consider this, it is one of the most impressive projects I have seen in my time in Junior School and I congratulate all involved.
Hearty congratulations to those who participated in the following competitions and thanks to Mr Gordon Arndt for his organisation.
Harry Brownlie for Sapper – a diary-based account of a soldier’s experience in World War 2
Cormac Downes for Darth’s Dream Car – an original story from the world of Star Wars
Zana Ross for A Girl And A Mouse – a Kafka-esque tale of discovery and metamorphosis
Matilda Polson for A Journey Through Time – an exploration of history through a magical timeline
Rory Secker for his Orca letter and wonderful illustration
Elsie Nexo for her creation and description of her Curious Creature
Harriet Coupland for Where The Wild Things Are
Cormac Downes for Dragon
Congratulations to the following students for receiving School Spirit Awards last week:
Chloe Chen, Alexa Wood, Ivy Rice, Toby Whysall, Emi Fawcett, Daniel Mo, Liam Hoad, Evelyn Brownlie, Maya Slade, Levi Watts, Matilda Polson, Mila Nexo, Casper Cook, Harry Fawcett, Lucas van der Werf, Mila Wright, Andrew Alkhouri, Xavier Leary and Rafferty Tonkin.
|Wednesday 18 November||Transition Assembly – Hoskins Centre 2.45pm (staff & students only)|
|Thursday 19 November||Orientation Day|
|Monday 23 November||Activities Week|
|Wednesday 25 November||Final Assembly – Hoskins Centre 2.45 pm|
|Friday 27 November||Year 5 Dinner|
|Tuesday 1 December||Pool Party – Monckton Aquatic Centre 9.30am – 11.00am|
|Wednesday 2 December||Junior School Speech Day – Special Guest, Mr Gus Gordon|
|Aladdin Jnr Premiere and end of year party|
William Minter is the only Junior School person celebrating this week, so Happy Birthday wishes to you, William.
Mr Ian Lloyd
Head of Junior School
We are so pleased to be able to hold our annual Bike Day and Triathlon next Friday 27 November. Bike Day will commence at 9.00 am with activities involving obstacle courses, long-distance rides and bike safety sessions. Our Triathlon will commence at 2pm after walking the course at 1:30. Lunch will be as normal on the day.
Kindergarten and Year 1 children will all be involved in a team event, whilst students in Years 2 and above will have a choice of either entering as an individual or as part of a team.
Following are the distances each year group will have to complete as part of the Triathlon.
|Kindergarten||1 lap||½ lap||½ lap|
|Year 1||1 lap||½ lap||½ lap|
|Year 2||2 laps||½ lap||½ lap|
|Year 3||2 laps||1 lap||1 lap|
|Year 4||3 laps||1 lap||1 lap|
|Year 5||3 laps||1 lap||1 lap|
Please ensure your child has their bike in good working order ready for the day, along with their bike helmet, drink bottle and hat. Children will wear sports uniform for the day with their house coloured t-shirts.
It is always a pleasure taking this group of gymnasts to their lesson. They display beautiful manners to the bus drivers and their instructors. All children listen attentively to instructions and try hard to master a variety of skills.
This week we rotated through four activities.
Next Monday 23 November will be our final lesson for this term.
Grania Fawcett and Veronica Waters
This week in hockey, TAS Navy played the Waldorf Wondersticks. It was a great game with a great result- 5-1 to TAS. Lachie played well as goalie in this game, Lucie made sure they had to work hard for their goal and Cecilia and Humjot continue to bring their best to this game as they strive to be better each week. The whole teams’ skills are improving every week due to communicating with each other and working together.
The other team was winning and Zana kept on getting ball so it would not go in their goal. We nailed our short corners! Everyone was going so well even though we were losing, everyone had high hopes. We were passing for so long then Harriet shot from the other end of the field and it went through the crowd and we were are crossing our fingers! It hit the pole and it missed! We all got couldn’t believe it, it was devastating, but we didn’t lose our hope! At the end we were so happy with how we played that we didn’t know we lost.