MR ALAN JONES
The activities week that I have written about in the last couple of editions of TAS Talks is now complete and our students are back in the comfort of home or their boarding house. The memories will still be with them though, and I am sure that most parents will have heard about the week already. All that I saw, particularly at Surf Life Saving and the cadet program around Nymboida was impressive, with the students pushing themselves and working together well. It is my hope that many of our cadets will take up the opportunity to participate in the Cadet Leadership Course that is scheduled for February next year.
Whilst the season launch happened some weeks ago, the real action for our rowers will take place at their rowing camp in Grafton this coming weekend. The experience of rowing and race preparation beyond our home ground at Malpas Dam will be a real test of resilience after what has been an extraordinary year. I would like to offer my thanks to our rowing coach Will Caldwell, who leaves at the end of this year, for all that he has done with the rowing program since 2011. Such is the measure of the man he will be attending and coaching in Grafton with our rowers this weekend.
My congratulations to Michael Cornford, Arlene Fletcher and in particular Andrew O’Connell, who has barely slept since he decided to take on this project. The effort from this group of staff and all of the children involved to produce our ‘world premiere’ today is impossible to quantify. The fact that Andrew, as head of Creative Arts absolutely refused to cancel this Junior School production, speaks volumes of his belief in the benefits of being involved in the Creative Arts for our youngest of students. I am very much looking forward to my first viewing.
It may seem good sense to leave the best creative arts event to last in the school year so that the finish is a crescendo of high-quality performance. At TAS our preference is to end on stage with a focus on mass participation, fun and a bit of competition to go with it. The Cash Cup yesterday filled that bill admirably, with creativity a plenty, and certainly the best quality and entertainment from any Cash Cup in recent years. I offer congratulations to all who threw themselves into the competition this year and to Tyrrell House in particular who came away winners with some very clever material.
I look forward welcoming our live stream audience as well as our two very different special guests to the Junior School Speech Day this morning and the Middle and Senior School Speech Day tomorrow morning. Our special guest at the Junior School Speech Day today was old Armidalian– Gus Gordon who is an illustrator and writer of books for young people. At the Middle and Senior School Speech Day we will welcome Peter Baines, who amongst many of his achievements was leading international identification teams into Indonesia and Thailand following acts of terrorism and the 2004 South East Asian Tsunami.
Head of School
|Wednesday 2 December||Junior School Speech Day – Live Stream|
|Thursday 3 December||Speech Day – Live Stream|
|Week 1, 2021|
|Monday 25 January||Staff Day|
|Tuesday 26 January||Australia Day Holiday|
|Wednesday 27 January||Staff Day/Boarders Return|
|Thursday 28 January||School Resumes|
MR LUKE POLSON
MRS RACHAEL NICOLL
The P&F would like to wish all TAS families and the wider TAS community a very merry Christmas, a happy New Year and a safe and restful holiday break. Coping with COVID has made 2020 a difficult year and we hope that 2021 is better for everyone. Take time to enjoy your families, have a breather over the Christmas break and we look forward to seeing you all next year.
We would also like to say a huge thank you to Alan Jones and the rest of the TAS staff, the TAS Board, Liaison Parents, families and students for everyone’s excellent handling of all things COVID. These have been unprecedented times and whilst we may not have seen each other in person very much this year we still belong to a wonderfully supportive community. So, thank you to all and bring on 2021!
Please, please, please don’t forget to collect your pudding from Reception by the end of Speech Day Thursday 3 December (before 5.00pm) – that’s tomorrow! If for some reason you are unable to collect your pudding, please contact the P&F before 5.00pm Thursday on firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can sort out a way to get your pudding to you to enjoy during the Christmas season.
We will be making a donation of uncollected puddings first thing Friday morning (if there are any) so please, please collect them or contact us before this.
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 out now.
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 email@example.com
Mrs Rachael Nicoll
Mr Angus Murray
On Saturday afternoon all of the Year 9 cadets left TAS on route to Nymboida to start the annual cadet camp for 2020. The week involved various activities such as canyoning, kayaking, trekking, swims in the Nymboida River, laser tag and platoon games. These activities were a great experience for students to be put outside of their comfort zone, and to challenge themselves to show what they can achieve when they are surrounded by supportive peers and encouraging friends.
One of the unique activities that B-Company undertook during the week was a solo night. With all of the equipment and rations required to fend for ourselves, cadets were placed in a location and spent roughly 16 hours alone. This was a great test of mental strength, as many of us had never done anything like this before. It was a great time to be able to just sit and think by yourself, and in Mr Murray’s words “Be alone with your thoughts”.
Activities week is a terrific opportunity to develop new friendships and build platoon spirit. Whilst it was hard, long and tiring, at the end of the week you realise what you have accomplished and it shows that with a bit of courage, anything is possible.
– Fred Kearney and Emily Buntine, Year 9 SRC representatives
A-Company departed school grounds at midday on Sunday to arrive at Nymboida mid-afternoon. After breaking off into the three platoons, each group was faced with different challenges each day consisting of trekking, kayaking, lilo trekking, and mountain biking. These challenges took up the majority of each day and required cadets to test themselves both physically and mentally. Physically, the distances covered where fatiguing and the conditions added an extra element of grit to the experience. Mentally, cadets needed to convince themselves that they could persevere and be resilient when the physical demands started weighing on them.
As senior cadets in the TASCU, the leadership demonstrated to younger cadets was outstanding throughout the week, with many of A-Company’s members socialising with the younger years and supporting them through their experiences. The platoon games on the final evening was a great way to wrap up the week and find out who the most dominant platoon was in a friendly, competitive and highly entertaining mix of physical and creative activities.
Annual camp is an incredible experience and I am thankful for the opportunity as a TAS student. This sentiment was shared by the majority of TAS students on the final night, with smiles all around and an acknowledgement that we can push ourselves physically and mentally and enjoy ourselves while doing it.
– Ben Rowe, Year 10 SRC representative
As the sun rose in Sawtell throughout the week, so did the Surf Life Saving students, ready to do a daily run and swim along the beach. Afterwards we prepared patrol – setting up the equipment needed for the day (flags, rescue boards, tubes etc) and cooked breakfast. With a belly full of bacon and egg rolls, we were ready to begin our practical activities, involving practicing tube rescues, paddling out against the waves and practising first aid on the sand – all necessary for the achievement of our Bronze Medallion.
The morning was by far the most physically demanding few hours every day, however, what was almost as difficult was pushing our mental capacity and staying awake for the theory sessions in the afternoon which involved learning correct radio communications and signals, as well as practising our CPR. We had the privilege of rejuvenating ourselves with an hour or so of free time each afternoon, where we would go into Sawtell for an ice-cream and to socialise. This relaxation would soon end when Mr Pennington would take us onto the beach for another hour of exercise – whether it was running up stairs or sprinting in the sand – it always pushed us to keep challenging what we thought were our limits.
The Surf Life Saving program was an incredible experience. The volunteers at Sawtell Surf Live Saving Club were so passionate and knowledgeable, teaching us an incredible amount from their years of experience on the sand and in the surf. The week, for both myself and my peers, was an experience we will never forget. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to push myself both physically and mentally while being in a very supportive environment. All of this would not have been possible without Mr Pennington, Mrs Chick, Mrs Tutt and all of the Sawtell Surf Life Saving Club volunteers who made this week so special. Thank you to all.
– Keeley O’Connor, Year 11 SRC representative
MR WILL CALDWELL
It is a recurring theme at TAS that “whatever doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger”; students stretch their limits and adapt. After a week of intense activities, most students (and staff) took a well-deserved rest. However, the cricketers played through the scorching heat, the rowers trained and the triathletes competed in the Schools Challenge. The first XI victory typified the grit and resilience that are the hallmark of a TAS student and the success of the Triathletes proved that the body can overcome almost any obstacle. Meanwhile our Middle School debaters who compete in the grand final of the National Virtual Debating Competition this afternoon, show that TAS students show commitment, right to the end.
For some the stage is an escape. For others, it is an opportunity to shine. Yesterday’s inter-house creative arts competition allowed all houses to share their talent, showing creative flair, musicianship and visual arts. It was a fitting way to celebrate a busy term and a challenging year; to laugh and have fun.
I commend and thank all the House Leaders for their drive and commitment. It was pleasing to see the level of engagement and enthusiasm across all years. Whilst Tyrrell House deserved their victory, the standard across all houses was outstanding, entertaining the audience and impressing the judges – overcoming the constraints of COVID to produce a superior product.
I am sure that some of the enjoyment of Cash Cup is in the fact that it heralds the end of our school year and beginning of summer holidays. Whilst this time provides a concentrated period of development for our rowers and the cast and crew of the 2021 production ‘Sweeney Todd’, it also offers the chance to recover, spend time with family and friends, and re-connect with those parts of our lives that perhaps are neglected during a busy term.
Take the time now to reflect on your accomplishments and growth over the past year, cherish the challenges and the lessons learned, be thankful for every gift you have received and have a safe, happy and restful Christmas.
On a personal note, thank you to the many members of the TAS Community who have allowed me to be a part of their lives. I have played in so many wonderful teams – and teams within teams. I have countless wonderful memories and I will miss you all. My very best wishes to you and let us hope that 2021 is a time of peace and rejuvenation.
Mr Will Caldwell
Director of Co-curricular
There’s nothing like taking things right to the end, and for our Year 7/8 debaters, that means the grand final of the National Virtual Debating competition, later today! On Monday morning last week before setting off to Nymboida, Bella Fernance, Daniel Emmery, Jack Coddington and Samuel Krishnan faced Mamre Anglican School from Sydney, in the semi-final. Being assigned the Affirmative, team successfully argued that ‘That computers are a better teaching tool than books’. Identifying three main stakeholder groups – students, teachers and those who create the content, the team affirmed that for each group, computers allowed for masses of content to be available more widely; allow content to be adjusted to overcome learning disadvantage, and provide an opportunity for researchers and others to share content with students whereas books are costly to produce.
The result put the team through to the grand final against Loreto Normanhurst this afternoon. Whatever the outcome, they will be not just be the first Middle School team to be part of this competition, but the first TAS team to be grand finalists. It has been a wonderful journey for this team and indeed all our debaters who have been part of the competition and TAS is grateful to the NSW AIS for facilitating it.
Mr Tim Hughes
MR MARK HARRISON
I am very pleased to report that pretty much everything for all year groups is done and that your children are well, though from the looks on faces, especially at Monday’s Carols Service in the Hall and then the Cash Cup, on Tuesday afternoon, understandably tired, actually. What am I saying about only your children being tired – we are too! Such tiredness is not entirely attributable to the activities just completed – it’s more the manifestation of a year just ‘done’. The good news is that we’ve days to go and, on this note, I hope all goes well for everyone.
Academic work does continue – ‘loose ends are being tied up’: Year 6 Bush Skills, Year 7 Rangers and Year 8 Cadet gear is being returned progressively this week; practices for music, Cash Cup and Speech Day (tomorrow) will occur and of course boarding students have already begun the clean-up in their houses. Further, my strong advice to all in the last two Assemblies indicates that this clean up extends to all students as the academic area needs a very thorough clean up as well. In short, while general activities have ceased, they’re all replaced by new ones in preparation for the Christmas break.
Now that the Year 6s are back from their week’s activities in Buccarumbi, and that the Year 7s and 8s have returned from Nymboida, we’re looking forward to the end of this week. Your children are looking forward to seeing you soon and I’m looking forward to the fact that you’ll be seeing them at home for the year’s longest vacation.
Again, special thanks go the Year 6, 7 and 8 staff for their meticulous organization of the many and varied activities that our students enjoyed throughout the week away. On behalf of all, I want to thank these people for their support of your children not only during the term’s, but the year’s penultimate school week! (Wow, sounds like a fragment from Poe, doesn’t it) These people, and in fact all staff who supported them, are deserving of a long, restful holiday break. There’s no other description for it – the combined organization of the week by all staff members was excellent – no mean achievement, especially considering the weather conditions, being mid 30s to 40s again this year.
After several years at TAS, as both Homeroom Advisor and MYP Coordinator, Ms Rachel Holford leaves us to relocate to the Central Coast. Her excellent teaching method complements vital and willing assistance to the cause of co-education in the Middle – indeed, as Rachel’s teaching extends beyond our borders, the wider school. Rachel is a wonderfully smart person and we’ve been very lucky to have her here.
2020 has been ‘full’ and I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support of us. Overall, it’s been very productive, and I believe we’ve only been able to achieve what we have because of amazingly hard-working staff and boys and girls all of whom have been accommodating. Of course, there have been occasions when, for whatever reason, ‘things’ have been tricky, but these situations have been managed well enough and all they do is confirm that we’re normal. To be perfect all the time is almost impossible – especially when we remind ourselves that we’re dealing with young adolescents.
So, we’re just about to embark on the year’s longest holiday break: whatever it is you do and wherever it is you go, I hope your time with family and friends is productive, restful and safe. Be of good cheer and have a happy holiday. Again, now that we’re back from flimsy cover from the elements, here’s to further, good, soaking rain.
Good wishes to all,
Mr Mark Harrison
Head of Middle School
MR IAN LLOYD
2020 has been an amazing year. With Junior School Speech Day completed by the time you read this, many of you will have heard the words spoken there, and from myself and the Year 5 students who had the opportunity to speak on behalf of their fellow students. There have been many to thank for the year; let’s hope a year like no other. But, on reflection, there has been many lessons learned and much to gain from what we have all been through.
My thanks to everyone for the positive and hands-on support our community has afforded our Junior School. The busyness of the year has been tangible but the students have had a fine year and this is reflected in their end of year reports which will be mailed to you by the end of the week.
Andrew O’Connell and Arlene Fletcher have worked miracles to get the Aladdin Jnr movie finished. Much has been said of the magnitude of this project …I would like to focus here on the selfless attitude of all the staff involved. Our students have loved being involved in this production and I know that they will love the movie. With the assistance of Michael Cornford and Jessie Kininmonth, the hours given for the benefit of our children should be recognised. All the editing has been done in the hours scrambling between their other school duties and this has not gone unrecognised. We thank them for their work and wish them a very, very relaxing and happy holiday.
Sadly, as he retires, we farewell Mr Tim Scott from our staff after an extraordinary career at TAS and years of service to our Junior School. I was honoured to have spoken at his farewell yesterday and there is simply not the time or space to list all his achievements here. Suffice to say, he has added a unique dimension to our classrooms and our children’s learning. He became the teacher of the unprogrammable…
When a unit of work was planned, Tim would grab the concept and take it further, so much further than others could – he has a rare a talent and an ability for pushing the boundaries and exciting the imagination of primary aged children. He offered our students coding, engineering and chess, he used 3D printers in classrooms, he went on his hands and knees in our classrooms demonstrating the effects of friction and gravity on moving objects, he organised and led our students in the in 4 x4 Schools Competition, he constructed and placed and a working beehive in a Yr 3 classroom!! There was nothing Tim was unable to consider and usually nothing he was unable to attempt for the cause of a good learning opportunity….
When Tim Scott enters a Junior School Classroom there is a buzz of excitement, of the unknown, that something exciting is going to happen. He is knowledgeable, skilful and multi-talented but with this there comes a patience, an awareness and after many years of working with young people, an experience of what to do to inspire learning. He is a born teacher and the profession will miss him as we will miss him in Junior School.
Miss Arlene Fletcher is also leaving us and she will be sorely missed. Her enthusiasm and positivity has been incredible as she took on our junior music and PE classes and found a way to get the job done as Musical Director for Aladdin. What a trooper! She leaves with our true admiration of the breadth of talent she demonstrates in all she does (including being one of Australia’s top ranked female firefighters!) and the passion she shows for her love of teaching. I would like to thank Ms Polly Harvey for so ably replacing Mrs Hawksford in our Yr 3 classroom for the last 3 weeks of term. She has managed this wonderful class with expertise and I know they have enjoyed her teaching and enthusiasm in the classroom. We also farewell our Teacher Assistant Ms Josie Stibbard, who will be beginning her teaching career next year and thank her for the excellent role she played in our classrooms. Our Gappies, unknown to many of our parents but not to our students, are all departing this year. They become an integral part of our team and this year has been no exception. They have been an absolute delight and we will miss them all. So, to Jaimie, Ed, Oli, Liz, Lizzie, Oaty, Linus, Lucy and Jessie, thank you.
Well, thank goodness we were able to sneak in this wonderful day, and again, what fantastic support everybody displayed on the day by bringing in a bike or scooter?! It was huge and such great fun. Mrs Wright has us all well organised for the Triathlon and the results are published below. Again, our thanks go to her for organising such a great event, and to a large group of Yr 7 students who were fantastic assistance throughout the day. Without their help it would not have been the success it was.
|Week 1, 2021|
|Monday 25 January||Staff Day|
|Tuesday 26 January||Australia Day Holiday|
|Wednesday 27 January||Staff Day/Boarders Return|
|Thursday 28 January||School Resumes|
Congratulations to the following students for receiving School Spirit Awards in Week 6:
Umraj Nirmaan, Patrick Kim, Boyd Rogers, Eva Cook, Mehleen Sandhu, Xander Dell, Baxter Carruthers, Lachlan Wood, Ellen Adams, Sophie Banister, Cecilia Price, Joshua Bourke, Layla Abu Assab, George Drain, Xavier Stephen, Lucy Taylor, Jack Wood, Peter Thompson, Salam Alkhathami and Cormac Downes.
Happy Birthday to Chelsea Miller and Harvey O’Brien for your birthdays last week and best wishes to the many Junior School students who have birthdays between now and when school resumes for Term 1 2021.
Andrian Zhang, Humjot Sandhu, Stella Whalley, Boyd Rogers, Artie Rylands, Oliver Robb, Sansa Ranawake, Jack Maitz, Daniel Mo, Marcus Robb, Oliver Maxwell, Bronte Polson, Lachie McDowell, Andi Li, Richard Ma, Eloise Leary, Xavier Leary, Sam Ford, Patrick Kim, Baxter Carruthers, Duncan Klabe, Cooper Lacey, Rhidima Das, Hugh Blackwell, Wilbur Drain, MJ Blanch, Tommy Blanch, Modi Alazizi, Andrew Alkhouri and Saleh Alrdadi.
And finally for TAS Talks 2020, I hope you have a fantastic break. We, in Junior School, have enjoyed another very rewarding year and your children have made it so. I thanked them today in our Speech Day and I hope they are feeling good about all themselves. It is always beneficial to reflect on the year. We did so during our last staff meeting and it has been one of outstanding achievements, both in the challenging times and the not so challenging. Have a wonderful, safe and very relaxing holiday and, on behalf of all the Junior School staff, Merry Christmas.
Mr Ian Lloyd
Head of Junior School
Students in Years 4 and 5 combined on Friday morning and put on their thinking caps to write raps that communicated a clear message about Bike Safety. These were also shared with our guest speaker Mr Bullen.
Bike Safety Rap
Don’t be silly on your bike!
Where a helmet that you like.
Riding without a helmet is dangerous for your head.
Check your bike before you ride ahead.
Check your breaks before you go
Be careful on your bike so . . .
You don’t crash on the road!
Be careful of cars.
Or you will go over your handlebars.
Make sure your bike is strong before you ride.
Ride on one side of the road.
And don’t go off on your own!
Your safety is very important on your bike!
Don’t you crash
Or you’ll be mash!!!
By Hugo Broun, Marcus Robb, Sophie Brett and Lucy Taylor
Keep Safe on Your Bike
You never ride your bike without a helmet
We don’t care about velvet
If you don’t check your bike
You might end up in a spike
You have to check where you’re going
Otherwise you may be flowing
Always check where you park
Otherwise it may be dark
Those are our bike safety tips
Unfortunately we don’t have any clips
-Minnie Chick, Oliver Robb, Cameron Carruthers, Salam Alkhathami
Ride your Bike Safely
Brain damage is really bad,
Wear a helmet or you’ll be sad!
If you crash your bike you will cry,
Over the handlebars you will fly!
If ya tires are not pumped,
Ya gonna get dumped!
Put your helmet on tight,
If not you’ll get a fright!
Fix your brake
Or you’ll be a pancake!
Adjust your seat
Or you’re in for an unpleasant treat!
Make sure your chain is oil soaked,
Otherwise you’re gonna get croaked!
Be careful of pedestrian Kevin
Otherwise he’ll go to Heaven!
Bike safety is really serious
Don’t crash or you’ll be delirious!
Brain damage is really bad
Wear a helmet or you’ll be sad!
Harry Brownlie, Edwina Newton, Arthur White, Xavier Stephen and Saleh Alrdadi
MRS VERONICA WATERS
The past 18 months has seen our Junior School reflecting on our journey as an IB World School offering the Primary Years Programme (PYP). The evaluation involved the entire school community and enabled the IB to make an assessment as to whether or not we have successfully met all the IB standards and practices in order to remain accredited as an IB World School. The evaluation process also enabled the Junior School to develop a clear plan and outline our steps for future action.
The evaluation visit was conducted remotely over 3 days and was a very thorough process whereby all stakeholders were interviewed and evidence that we had submitted evaluated with detailed feedback provided.
As our result of our evaluation, we have been provided with an extensive written report, which indicates whether our school is meeting each standard and practice. The report provided commendations on practices that address the Programme standards and practices in ways that solve challenges faced by the school and/or show outstanding implementation. The report also provides recommendations for practices where further development is required.
It gives me great pleasure to report that, “ The quality and depth of the documentation and information supplied to the IB for evaluation was outstanding.” (Steven Wishart IB World Schools Manager – Australasia/Asia)
The feedback provided from our Australasia representative also includes the following comment:
“Congratulations on the number and nature of commendations achieved within the report. These represent practice which exceeds the requirements of the programme and indicates significant areas of strength within the school. It is evident that programme implementation and management is of high quality, serving the needs of the school community. Recommendations have been provided to support ongoing school improvement over the next evaluation period. “
Overall we received a number of commendations, areas where we exceed requirements in the following practices:
We also received the following recommendations:
The evaluation report has provided us with some clear direction and will be a useful tool to use as we develop our Action Plan for 2021.
Mrs Veronica Waters
A hockey match was played between TAS and PLC hockey teams in The Armidale School’s indoor hockey stadium on 20 November 2020.
The match was very much one sided where TAS team was crushed by 6-1 goals. It was an extraordinary display of hockey skill by the TAS team and young player Cecilia scored her first goal for TAS.
1st Bronte Polson, Raymond Wang, Bridei Stewart
2nd Carla Price, Artie Rylands, Xavier Nozad Kahriz
3rd Alexa Wood, Anna Trevaskis, Chloe Chen
Year 1 Teams
1st Duncan Klabe, James Taylor, Neave Drain
2nd Emi Fawcett, Eloise Leary, Oliver Maxwell
3rd Paddy Bourke, Eva Cook, Liam Hoad
Year 2 Teams
1st Dom Leary, Nancy Ma, Humjot Sahdhu
Year 2 Individuals
1st Baxter Carruthers
2nd Lachlan Wood
3rd Will Dennison
Year 3 Teams
1st Josh Bourke, Harry Fawcett, Aamer Alaziz, Mohammed Alrdadi, Sahib Singh
2nd Edward Gillman, Kaitlyn Baker, Pippi Goudge, Hamish Molina
3rd George Drain, Andrian Zhang
Year 3 Individuals
1st Casper Cook
2nd William Cooper-Fillios
3rd Joshua Bourke
Year 4 Teams
1st Rhidima Das, Izzie Glover, Arabella Blanchard
Year 4 Individuals
1st Zana Ross
2nd Arthur White
3rd Cameron Carruthers
Year 5 Teams
1st Cormac Downes, Marcus Robb, Xavier Leary
2nd Sam Ford, MJ Blanch, Saleh Alrdadi
3rd Rafferty Tonkin, Andrew Alkhouri, Tommy Blanch
Year 5 Individuals
1st Hugo Broun
2nd Joe Fenwicke
3rd Harry Brownlie
Sarah Heagney Memorial Trophy: Hugo Broun and Chloe Dennison
Mrs Christine Wright
Junior School Sports Coordinator