2020 Term 3 Week 2   |   29.07.2020

TAS Talks Term 3 Week 2

01. From the Head of School


Usually at this time I would be reporting on a number of holiday activities, ranging from rugby tours, football tours, the Forensic Science Camp amongst others, but of course under the current set of circumstances none of these events took place. There were however some opportunities for our students that did occur – our GPS shooting teams went into their preparation camp during the last week of the holidays and I thank all those staff students and parents that gave up their time to make the camp an unqualified success. Jim Pennington also conducted a bike riding activity specifically targeting students who are engaged in the Duke of Edinburgh awards program.

I would like to offer my congratulations to the students who comprised our GPS shooting team who performed very well, particularly given their youth and relative lack of experience. I offer particular congratulations to Lachlan Hey who was selected in the Combined GPS representative shooting team – this is a fine achievement.



Our GPS Athletes will be travelling to Sydney this week to compete in what is one of the most prestigious student athletic competitions, which will be conducted under strict COVID protocols. I would like to offer my thanks to Jim Pennington who is the GPS convener of this event and who has worked with all of the GPS schools, developed a number of scenarios and he has been willing to change the format a number of times at very short notice. We can never underestimate the time he has devoted, to provide all of the students concerned, the opportunity to compete, particularly our Year 12 TAS students and those from the other schools.

It was very gratifying for me to be wandering around the various grounds located in Armidale over the weekend to observe our students playing their respective sports in teams representing TAS. As routine as this may sound, it is very important for our students to be engaged in this aspect of the life of the school. As each day unfolds we are monitoring developments with how these new COVID outbreaks are developing and I believe we are quite fortunate that we can maintain a semblance of normality given our location.


Alan Jones

Notice Board

Medical Centre

Dear Parents - could you please return the Meningococcal ACWY Vaccination Consent Forms for Year 10 that were sent out at the end of last term.
Vaccinations will take place on Thursday 30 July.
Thank you,
Sr Jenny Murray


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. Further details will follow in TAS Talks next week, and students will receive specific activity briefings on Tuesday 4 August.
Rather than DPCU Camouflage uniform, those students participating in TASCU activities should instead wear ‘civvies’ on Activities Day 1 (long trousers/jeans, collared shirt, hat & jumper, sturdy footwear).

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

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

MAJ (AAC) Angus Murray
Officer Commanding TASCU

02. Calendar of Events

Week 2
Wednesday 29 JulyTAS P&F Meeting ( ZOOM at 7pm) email pandf@as.edu.au to get the link.
Week 3
Friday 31 JulyGPS Athletics Championships – Sydney (TBC) No Spectators
Week 4
Friday 14 AugustActivities Day #2 (At TAS)
Week 5
Monday 17 August – Friday 28 AugustHSC Trial Exams



03. From the P&F


P&F Meeting Tonight - ZOOM ONLY

We have a P&F meeting tonight and would love for you to come…  Please note the change of venue.

Normally we would have this in the Lower Maxwell Room but we are hosting a ZOOM ONLY meeting tonight instead.  The meeting will start at 7pm and if you would like to Zoom with us please contact us on pandf@as.edu.au to get the link.

Items on the Agenda include Christmas Puddings and brainstorming some small friend and/or fund raisers 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 to you. Hope to digitally see you then!



Contacting the P&F

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

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

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


Mrs Rachael Nicoll
P&F President

04. From the Director of Studies


ICAS Competition Entry 2020

A letter has been sent to all families in all Years 2-10 regarding ICAS competition entries for this year. A copy of this letter is linked below. In 2020, students have the opportunity to participate in ICAS Science, ICAS English, ICAS Mathematics and ICAS Spelling Bee from Years 2-10. The cost of each assessment is $15.95 including GST. If you would like your child to participate in any of the subjects listed above, you will need to visit the online Parent Payment System to make a direct payment to UNSW Global.


Please visit: https://shop.unswglobal.com.au/pages/pps and enter the code: WFA554


Important: Please enter your child’s name accurately into the System as it will appear on their ICAS certificate. Students must sit assessments designed for their year level and registrations must be completed by Sunday 2 August.

Year 12 Trials

Year 12 students have been provided with a copy of the timetable for the Trial HSC Exams. The School has made the decision to move the trials back to Weeks 5 and 6, to accommodate the disruptions that have been experienced this year. This timetable takes into consideration other tasks that were due to occur in Week 6. We wish our Year 12 students all the best as they prepare for these upcoming exams. A copy of the timetable for these exams is below.

Years 6-10 Assessment Calendars

The following calendars outline the more formal assessment tasks that are scheduled during the year to assess students’ learning. These are published to help families, students, teachers and boarding staff be more aware of the workload that our students face. Please see below copies of these calendars for Years 6-10 for the remainder of the school year. Teachers will continue to informally assess student learning during lessons so they can adjust their teaching program to suit the students in their class. Students will receive formal notification at least two weeks prior to these tasks which outlines what is required to be done and, where possible, marking criteria and/or revision advice. The table below indicates the week when the task is due, the subject, brief details of the task and whether the task will be completed at home or in class.

Extended Day

The extended day program will resume in the The Hub for students in Years 11 and 12 only. A decision on other year groups will be made over the coming weeks.


Mr Luke Polson
Director of Studies

05. From the Director of Co-curricular


Interhouse Debating

Both Croft and Abbott traded blows in a high quality Senior debating final yesterday. Despite Croft House tugging on the heartstrings of the audience and the adjudicator Ms Taber, persuading us that parents should receive an extra vote per child in elections, it was the clinical argument of Abbott House that won the day. For those interested, the Senior debate can be watched via the link below:


In the Middle School debate, between Broughton and Croft, you will be pleased to know that TAS will NOT be abolishing the uniform as Croft House convinced Mr Harrison – if not the entire audience, that the TAS uniform should remain.

All speakers spoke with supreme confidence and reflected the rising standard of this competition. I commend all those who participated and thank Mr Hughes and Miss Lo for their continued drive and support that has elevated debating within the school. The success of the event is also testament to the support and commitment of house captains, staff adjudicators and the IT staff for allowing all students to experience the event.

Events Update

We are still reviewing events week by week and day by day. If you have any questions, please contact the MIC of your sport / activity or email dcc@as.edu.au.


None – at this stage


Local Sport

Football, Hockey & Netball continue.

Boys Rugby commences this Friday 31 July

Girls Rugby – commences next Friday 7 August

All sports aim to minimise spectators and will require you to social distance, practise good hygiene and register if you do attend. Players and spectators are not to linger after their game. More details will be communicated directly to players and parents by MIC’s of each sport, including game times.


GPS Athletics

TAS will only compete at the Senior Championships (including some Intermediates running up) this Saturday, 1 August. I extend my thanks and congratulations to Mr Jim Pennington, as GPS Athletics Convenor, for his perseverance and commitment in a constantly changing environment. There are very strict regulations and safeguards in place for this event and no spectators are permitted, however, all will have the opportunity to view the event through livestreaming at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sht9c4JxUlo&feature=youtu.be

It has been a challenging preparation for the team and I join the wider TAS community in wishing them the very best.


Mr Will Caldwell
Director of Co-curricular


Abbott, Croft take inter-house debating honours

Solid preparation, sound reasoning and engaged clashes of ideas were hallmarks of the Inter-house Debating grand finals held yesterday.

In the senior final, the Abbott House team – with two of the three speakers in Year 9 – had a close win by just four points over a Year 12 Croft House team, successfully arguing against the proposition ‘That this house believes parents should receive an extra vote per child in elections.’ While the Affirmative argued that the proposition would result in a more democratic representation of the needs of young people over the voice of big business and a focus on families, the Negative team argued that this would put children at risk of exploitation and favour one social unit over another. The senior debate (and the presentation of some student awards) can be watched on Youtube here: https://youtu.be/4a4xmlTJaY4

In the Middle School matchup Broughton (Affirmative) put the notion ‘That TAS should abolish its school uniform’. Croft successfully countered the proposition, with debate highlights including quality speaking and intelligent, logical and entertaining rebuttals.

Congratulations to not just the winning teams but all who took part in this year’s competition, which was more widely supported than ever before.

Thanks to Ms Taber and Mr Harrison for adjudicating the debates and to the technical team for their assistance in livestreaming the senior debate from Memorial Hall to two other venues where Year 9 and 10 were gathered and broadcast the Middle School final from the Hoskins auditorium (with Year 8 and Year 6 present) into the foyer where it was watched by Year 7.


Mr Tim Hughes
Debating Coordinator


Pictured are the Senior School inter-house debating grand finalists (l-r) Jaden Carroll, Lachlan Reiss-Wears, Rick Nutt, Colby Hanes (Croft House), Lucy Ball (Chair), Jack Nivison, Fred Kearney, Wiley Wright and Sancia Ridgeway (Abbott House)





Shooter selected for Combined AAGPS team

The selection of Lachlan Hey (Year 11) into the Combined Athletic Association of Great Public Schools Rifle Shooting team was a highlight for TAS at this year’s AAGPS championships held at Hornsby Rifle Range on 21-22 July.

Shooting in the event for the third year, Lachlan particularly impressed in the 500m stage of the Rawson Cup on Monday 21 July, being the highest scorer of the 64 competitors from eight schools, with seven bullseyes including five V-Bulls.

Meanwhile on the second day Lachlan’s younger brother Rowan (Year 10) secured four V-Bulls to come equal top in the Buchanan Shield, a 300m eight-shot deliberate stage followed by an eight-shot snap application with the target turned away every five seconds. TAS was unplaced in each of the three matches, the third being the NRA Shield shot at 600m on the first day of competition.

With the vast majority of last year’s squad comprising Year 12s, this year’s TAS team was a smaller and much younger outfit, the 11-shooters including only one Year 12 student and four, in just Year 9. It was a tough season for the young team with preparation interrupted for months by COVID-19 restrictions.



The shooting team is grateful for the coaching assistance of Mr Mark Morton at a training camp at Wollomombi Rifle Range held the weekend prior to the competition, and to Qld state shooter Mr Rob Bondfield (an Old Armidalian) who attended throughout. Once again Sydney Boys’ High School generously lent its boat shed to accommodate the TAS team.

Unfortunately ongoing coronavirus restrictions means the Combined AAGPS team will be a Merit team only with the cancellation of the annual Josephson Shield competition against representative under 25 shooters from district rifle associations and universities teams that usually takes place the weekend after the GPS championships. The members of the team were presented with their GPS blazer patches at a ceremony after the final match.


Mr David Lawrence
MIC Shooting



06. From the Creative Arts Coordinator


This year that seems paradoxically to be both the fastest and the longest year of our lives has brought us to Term 3 and what is – under normal circumstances – crunch time for our HSC Creative Arts students. But in a number of ways all the courses have changed, requiring great resilience and fortitude from students and teachers. Fortunately, these are core traits of the TAS community and we have seen them handling the changes with such courage. As the Drama, Music and Visual Arts students embark on their showcases and preparations for practical examinations or project marking I wish them the very best and cannot wait to see what they have accomplished.

It seemed like the great Middle School project that would never be, but it is with tremendous excitement (and relief) I can announce that Jane and the Giant Peach will go ahead this term. Of course, COVID has changed the game, and so those students will be presenting the work as a filmed Radio Play. Our actors will be blazing an untrod trail for the school and my hope is under the watchful eye of Mr Wheatley they’ll discover new possibilities for the Creative Arts. Best wishes to all involved and keep an eye on TAS Talks and social media pages for updates on their work.

On behalf of the Creative Arts students and staff, I want to thank Mrs Donna Jackson and Mr Tim Hughes for their hard work last term with TAS Times and the amazing opportunities to showcase videos of student work and interviews. It is my hope that we’ll keep using these new platforms to share the incredible things happening in our classrooms and co-curricular activities – adversity breeds innovation and from these challenging circumstances, I know the Creative Arts will rise bolder and brighter than ever.


Mr Andrew O’Connell
Creative Arts Coordinator

07. From the Head of Middle School


In his audio report for TAS Talks, Head of Middle School Mark Harrison reports on the final of the Middle School inter-house debating; shares students’ thoughts on changes to the girls’ winter uniform; advises of the need to dress appropriately and looks forward to what lies ahead. Please click on the button to hear his report.


IB Middle Years Programme (MYP)

The MYP provides a number of opportunities for students to make authentic connections between the classroom and the world in which they live. To support students in their learning, a number of Approaches to Learning (ATL) skills are explicitly and implicitly embedded into the day-to-day learning experiences of students in Middle School. Specifically, in PDHPE this term Year 6 will focus on self-management skills and reflect on their strengths, limitations and set realistic goals. Whilst in English, Year 7 students will develop their creative thinking skills, and explore the importance of empathy when working collaboratively with their peers. Over in Music, Year 8 students will progress their communication skills and expand their ability to use multimedia resources in their research and draw connections between a number of different sources. The inclusion of these skills across all subject areas helps students “learn how to learn”, whilst also equipping them with the skills that will aid them in their life outside of and beyond school.


Ms Rachel Holford
Acting MYP Coordinator

08. From the Head of Junior School


Arrival and Collection

It has been very reassuring to watch our students arriving and departing school so safely and efficiently each day, particularly when the weather was less than accommodating on Monday. It seems that we have settled into a good routine and less time is now lost from class as a result.  It remains imperative for this system to continue (and we must be on continual alert) that we remind everyone of the necessity to give way to all pedestrians. I have had two reports where this was not the case and I have discussed this with the School Executive. Again, please use your family name tag on your windscreen (for ease of recognition and departure) and ensure that everyone remains safe on campus.


Weekend Sport

We are very appreciative that weekend sport has now started again for most. Each sporting association has different regulations for parents and supporters and it is important to be thoroughly aware of the expectations. If you have doubts, please talk to your coach and/or contact the appropriate association for further assistance and advice. Our staff must keep very accurate rolls for contact tracing. Please communicate with your coach in advance and help us ensure these rolls are accurate.


End of Year Musical Productions

It has been a long time coming, so I will hint now that the announcement for the End of Years production(s) will be made…..next week in TAS Talks. Planning has been understandably complicated this year but the wait is almost over. Stay tuned.


TAS Bear

Lastly, TAS Bear arrived back this week with something particularly special on his mind. All our students will have seen his chat with me on video by now, but you might be interested to see which class he will be travelling to this week and why…..



Mr Ian Lloyd
Head of Junior School



School Spirit Awards

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

Elsie Nexo, Anna Trevaskis, Raseel Alazizi, Patrick Bourke, Boyd Rogers, Maya Slade, Humjot Sandhu, Layla Abu Assab, Bonnie Blanch, Toby White, Zana Ross, Jack Wood, Harry Brownlie and Chloe Dennison.


Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to Layla Abu Assab, Daniel Ivannikov, Mishka Alrdadi, Ethan Downes and Seth Wickramathilake this week.



IB Primary Years Programme(PYP)

Transition Reflection:  Attributes of the Learner Profile

Our Transition teachers aim to provide a program whereby  learning experiences value social-emotional learning (SEL) This aim is in place so that our youngest students in Junior School learn to express and manage emotions whilst making connections, relating to others and being able to reflect upon themselves as learners. An IB education encourages inquiry, and helps children make sense of the world.

“For young learners, focus on what is relevant and engaging for children at this time, and support learning through the ongoing development of the approaches to learning (ATL) and attributes of the learner profile-international mindedness. What does it mean to be knowledgeable, open minded, balanced and caring? Be driven by the learner rather than the curriculum.” IBO 2020

Transition children have recently reflected upon the IB learner profile attributes and completed some artworks, which evidence this growing knowledge.


AttributeWhat does this look like in our transition classroom?
InquirerStudents have a thirst for knowledge and are very curious. Asking lots of questions!
KnowledgeableStudents know about their learning environment and can start to deal with problems they may experience.
ThinkerStudents solve problems and can make some independent decisions.
CommunicatorStudents find ways to express themselves confidently.
PrincipledStudents behave in a responsible manner.
Open-mindedStudents are ready to learn and try new things.
CaringStudents can share and collaborate with their friends.
Risk-TakerStudents are flexible and are able to manage change.
BalancedStudents have fun playing, learning and socialising.
ReflectiveStudents think about what they have achieved and think about what they would like to do next.


Mrs Veronica Waters
PYP Coordinator


Junior School Sport


 The weekend saw a wonderful start to the Junior netball season. Our Kindergarten and Year 1 netball players enjoyed their first game despite the drizzly conditions. They listened carefully to learn their positions and showed off some excellent passing and catching skills.

The TAS Go team were brimming with excitement as they faced their first game of the season (and first game ever for most of our players!) They showed committed defence skills with their arms up and communicated enthusiastically with one another on the court. Special mention must go to Pippi Goudge for her big shooting effort with a ball that just did not want to go in!

Mrs Anna O’Connor



U7 Tigers

TAS Tigers arrived at Rologas Fields full of excitement and energy ready for their first game of football for the season on Saturday morning. It was heartening to see the skills and determination displayed by all team players. The players all focussed on trying to pass the ball and with prompting spreading themselves out on the field. Hunter Crane scored the first goal of the season and was well supported by his teammates Ted Draney, Toby Whysall, Duncan Klabe and Rory Secker. Special mention to Rory Secker who stepped up and played two games as the T-Rex team was short of players. Thank you to the Draney family for providing refreshments at half time.

Mrs Veronica Waters



U8 Tornados

We had an exciting but freezing start to the 2020 season with a match against the Guyra Spooks. Our little team of 10 was very glad to be out there playing. For most this was a return to the old team, and we welcomed Janesh in what was his very first game of football. All players had a strong game with some really fantastic passing and defence.

Baxter, Janesh, Rudra and Humjot all took their turn in goals and each of them worked hard to keep Guyra’s ball out of the nets. Janesh made a very athletic save, booting the ball out of the goals, but this was followed by another quick strike by Guyra which forced its way past him.

Due to strong defence on our part and active teamwork, Guyra’s goals were kept low and our team went on to score six goals of our own thanks to Will and Ethan who both scored three each. Rupert, Ellen, Baxter and Xander all had very strong attempts at goal but were thwarted by a strong Guyra defence. A special mention to Evelyn who assisted in a strong pass into the box for Ethan to drive the ball into the nets. Such great teamwork!

It was a fantastic game; thank you to the team and to their families for supporting them.

Mrs Gill Downes





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