2021 Term 1 Week 5   |   24.02.2021

TAS Talks Term 1 Week 5

01. From the Head of School


Junior School to Lake Keepit

Junior School students from Year 2 to Year 5 are at present at Lake Keepit for their annual excursion and camp. The purpose of this trip, above the excitement and fun of being away from home with friends, is much like that of our outdoor education program for Middle and Senior School students. Presenting challenges in the outdoors has long been a central pillar of the TAS experience and it is key to our aspirations for character development and this experience for our youngest students is the beginning of that. The activities through the camp, which varies in length depending on age, range from initiative and team building exercises to problem solving and adventure activities, with the emphasis being on presenting the new and unfamiliar to contend with.


TAS Regional Country Tour

Starting today in Maitland and Newcastle, the Enrolments Registrar Jo Neilson, Director of Boarding David Drain and I will head out on the first leg of the Regional Country Tour. This trip around the home country of many of our boarding families is the opportunity to meet with parents and students considering TAS for 2022 and sometimes beyond and to meet socially with our school community in their backyards. This leg of the tour will also take in Scone and Tamworth, with Inverell, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Moree, Gunnedah, Narrabri and Glen Innes on the itinerary next month.



Last Friday we were able to acknowledge the P & Fs donation to the revitalisation of our gym with the installation of new basketball backboards, electronic scoreboard and clock and fresh paint throughout the gym. The evening commenced with a game between some very enthusiastic Junior School students, was followed by a thoroughly entertaining class between Staff v Students, then drinks with the P&F Executive in Hoksins before an invitational First VIII basketball match between TAS and Farrer. The atmosphere was enthusiastic and exciting.

The school is extremely appreciative of the P & F’s ongoing support for the school.


Mr Alan Jones
Head of School


02. Calendar of Events


Week 5
Wednesday 24 FebruaryTAS Regional Tour – Maitland & Newcastle
Thursday 25 FebruaryTAS Regional Tour – Scone
Friday 26 FebruaryTAS Regional Tour – Tamworth
Week 6
Tuesday 2 MarchTAS Regional Tour – Inverell



TAS Rugby Carnival - 17&18 April

The Armidale School Rugby Carnival is the largest Under 12s rugby carnival held in Australia. Each year this event attracts over 1000 young rugby enthusiasts and their coaches, along with committed families and supporters, who make the journey to Armidale.

In 2021 the TASRC will be held over the weekend of 17 & 18 April. However this year due to COVID restrictions, to ensure the safety of our community it will be a NSW regional event only – no interstate or metropolitan teams.


TAS Regional Tour

Discover what makes TAS the one for all when we come to your town.

If you would like to schedule some time when we visit your region, please contact our Enrolments Registrar, Mrs Jo Neilson on 0425 222 317.

  • Maitland / Newcastle – Wednesday 24 February

  • Scone – Thursday 25 February

  • Tamworth – Friday 26 February

  • Inverell – Tuesday 2 March

  • Coffs Harbour – Wednesday 10 March

  • Port Macquarie – Thursday 11 March

  • Moree – Tuesday 16 March

  • Narrabri – Wednesday 17 March

  • Gunnedah – Thursday 18 March

  • Glen Innes – Monday 22 March


03. From the P&F


TAS Rugby Carnival

The TAS Rugby Carnival is coming up at the end of the April holidays on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 April. Although we’re not quite sure how this is going to look given Covid this is still a big event for TAS and the P&F and we will be seeking volunteer helpers closer to the date.  Alternatively, if you would like to help organise it please send us an email at pandf@as.edu.au

More information will be sent out through TAS Talks, emails and Facebook in the next few weeks as it comes to hand.


P&F Meetings

We have two main meetings a term – usually these are held in the Lower Maxwell Room at 7pm on a Wednesday night – we are also Zooming these meetings.  Meetings are open to all and we would love to see you there.

Our next meeting is 17 March.  In Term 2 our meetings are set for 28 April (AGM) and 16 June (Funding meeting).

If you would like to know more about joining the P&F Committee or Executive (President, Vice President, Treasurer, Vice Treasurer, Secretary) please send us an email pandf@as.edu.au or give me a call on 0418 980 662.

Also, if you have any good ideas for spending some of our hard-earned funds please contact us.  We’d love to hear from you. Last year we funded new basketball backboards and a scoreboard for the gym and a new microwave for White House. Due to Covid and a lack of fundraising events, we won’t have as much money available this year but if you have any good ideas please let us know.


Mrs Rachael Nicoll
P&F President


04. From the Director of Co-curricular


Summer Sport

This week I continued to get a feel for TAS Sport. I have enjoyed watching the Open Basketball teams strut their stuff at the Den on Monday night. The Firsts Basketball team closed out a solid victory against the fired up Blind Welders team. It was an absolute pleasure to watch the Girls Futsal on Wednesday night where the Black, Orange and Yellow teams performed exceptionally well as they took on O’Connor and PLC at the PLC Gym.

One of the many highlights last week was the highly anticipated TAS v Farrer Firsts Basketball game at the TAS gym on Friday evening. Congratulations to the TAS team who won a hard fought game 54-48 and a special thank you to Ken Secker for organising the event and the P & F who through their fundraising effort have contributed significantly to revamping the gym.

Congratulations to Toby Inglis who has been selected to race in the Avantias Pro Road Cycling Racing Team. This team will compete at the highest level in Australia and is a reflection of Toby’s ability, determination and commitment to the sport of cycling.

Sadly, attendance at sport has been poor in some areas of the program. I reminded students in assembly this week (as I did in Week 1) of their obligation to attend sport.

In particular, students have an obligation to ensure that they are:

  • On-time and present at each training session and it is expected that if a student is unable to attend a training session or game then they should meet with or e-mail their Coach and MIC, prior to that session, to explain their intended absence.
  • Well presented, students are expected to wear TAS Sports uniform to training sessions and games at all times.

Winter Sport

Winter Sport selections will be taking place next week. During Advisor students will have the opportunity to register for their Winter Sport.

Sports include:

Rugby (Years 7 – 12)Rugby (Years 7 – 12)
Squash (Years 9 – 12)Squash (Years 9 – 12)
Shooting (by invitation only)Shooting (by invitation only)


Community Sport

The Australian Cricket Association (ACA) Masters Cricket Tour will be coming to Armidale on February 25 and 26 for a jam-packed two days of events!

Australian cricket greats Greg Matthews, Julia Price and current Melbourne Renegade, Josh Lalor, are just some of the exciting names set to be part of the tour, which will include a huge T20 match between Armidale’s own team and the Masters, and a Sporties Night meet and greet at the Armidale Golf Club.

For more details Click on the Link.

ACA Masters

New England Junior Rugby Representative Teams – for those players interested in trialing for a representative team please see the information below. A reminder that School Rugby takes priority over external rugby commitments.

For more details Click on the Link

New England Zone Rep Rugby


Mr Huon Barrett
Director of Co-curricular



05. From the Creative Arts Coordinator


First up, some news from the pie front. We’re forging ahead with Sweeney Todd, though changes have been made to the show to work within the COVID restrictions that are limiting singing in schools. We’ve had to cut the band, but fortunately the incredible talents of Mr Dunham will accompany students alongside some pre-recorded material. And the Ensemble will not be singing, though already our choreographer Ms Cook has created some incredible movement pieces to fill the gaps. This Thursday the cast get to experience the fun of the trapdoor, and on Saturday we will have our final Working Bee from 9am. The other major change is that we will only be doing three performances in Week 9, with ticketing information released next week. As we head into the last month of rehearsals please support and encourage our performers, it is a very challenging time, but we still have an incredible performance on our hands.

Junior School Drama Club is back up and running! We have Hoskins filled with creative energy each Tuesday and Thursday afternoon. Please contact Junior School Reception for more information or learn how to enrol your child in that activity.
Our assemblies have already been graced with exceptional Music performances and there are many more on the way (including a Sweeney Todd preview before Week 9). Please speak with the Music staff if you want to perform (though I am sure they will be actively seeking volunteers) and while you’re at it have a chat about all the other Co-curricular groups and opportunities available.


Mr Andrew O’Connell
Creative Arts Coordinator

06. From the Head of Middle School


Steady as she goes...

It’s that time of the year again: we’ve all been here long enough to form opinions, have a tendency, occasionally, to be tired, can be a little apprehensive about our first Activities Day (not so far away now), are managing sports and other co-curricular activities. As indicated in the past, talking to students, especially when they’re tired, a bit distressed or frustrated can be challenging but, ultimately, one of the most beneficial aspects of my job. Already I’ve spoken to parents, separately, begun to visit classes in the senior and creative and performing areas of school and, most importantly, am speaking to students daily. We’ve discussed assembly etiquette, being at lessons on time, garters (ongoing to the point of too many repetitions, I believe, so we’re acting as efficiently as I can to avoid further repetition).  It’s beneficial because, having been here longer than most students, I can advise them, counsel them, direct them to others better equipped than I am to advise them. So, I want you to speak to your children and tell them to come to us if they’re concerned about aspects of school life. Note here I’ve written aspects – let’s deal with issues before they become problems. I also want to speak to them when they’re happy – listening to them can actually make my day. They’re really interesting to speak to when they’re relaxed. So, I’m not referring specifically to formal interviews; rather, I refer to those talks I have every day with individuals who come to the office to speak to me. The fact that they are beginning to arrive of their own volition is encouraging for me.

As I indicated last week, we’re continuing to make progress. Classes are, as a general rule, both settled and reasonably happy places. The Middle School can be simultaneously frustrating and fascinating – largely because of its juvenile “inhabitants”. But, I enjoy the Middle School: yes, students can be naughty at times, will be naughty at others, but I’ve not met many bad ones over the years. The body can grow faster than the brain and all available energy is expended on physical growth. The form this disengagement can take is disengagement with self – and it must be pretty confronting when you’re so young and realize that, at times, you’re your own worst enemy. We adults need regularly to remind ourselves of what life was like for us when we were so young.   In fact, I spoke only today to our School Counsellor, Chaplain, and the Directors of Boarding and Pastoral Care about these issues. In order to find their place in relation to others, especially their peers, they are going to make mistakes, learn from them (with our help, of course) and become better as people as a result.

Middle School Weekend - Friday 5 and Monday 8 March

Especially because you could not visit at Swimming Carnival time, boarders’ families have been encouraged to use the TAS Middle School ‘long weekend’ to catch up after the first six weeks of school. This period can be used by the families of day students as well – all you need do is let Mrs Frost know about absence at the end of Week 6 and beginning of Week 7. I hasten to add that we know there will be families of day and boarding students who will not be able to make use of these days away – so, we will be ‘open for business’ of course, but class sizes will be smaller for these two days (Friday 5 and Monday 8 March)

Almost half-way

We’ve reached that ‘pointy’ part of term. Students are very busy and this is as it should be, but they’re showing, as I’ve indicated, signs of weariness as well. Please, when speaking to them, would you acknowledge this fact and advise your children that sometimes when we are tired we say and do things to others that people, for whatever reason, take exception to… In fact, if there’s nothing pleasant or positive to say, especially, say nothing at all. This is one of those lessons we all learn as we grow up and now’s the time for our students to start learning it or having it reinforced. One of the surest signs of increasing maturity is the ability to accept others for who they are, regardless of our personal opinions – on the proviso that those others don’t interfere with our enjoyment of ‘self’. There’s so much variety in the Middle School and, within reason, I want to keep it this way.


Mr Mark Harrison
Head of Middle School

07. From the Head of Junior School


The Round Square

Kurt Hahn’s vision in the 1920’s was to educate for character and compassion and his work was the foundation for the formation of the Round Square Organisation, a group of schools who have as their foundation, six pillars or IDEALS of Internationalism, Democracy, Environmentalism, Adventure, Leadership and Service. “Soft skills” as they have become known such as those found in the PYP Learner Profile are highly sought after by those wanting to become well rounded, active global citizens…..

The Junior School Excursions Week, for the whole school, has evolved into a group of activities that fosters these skills. At Lake Keepit, in a beautiful setting (especially this year!), students are led through a wide array of activities that challenge. Last Monday and Tuesday night, saw Year 5 and then Year 4 settle into camp, some better than others, but all will benefit from the activities they encounter. I look forward to seeing all our students down to Year 2 arrive out here and enjoy the experience first-hand.



Music in our Assemblies

Last week’s assembly was really like no other. The musical additions were, in my experience unparalleled and I thank the staff for organising such an outstanding display of musicianship. Mr David Brown showcased what it is to play a brass instrument by playing ‘Call to the Post’ through a plastic tube and funnel. Our students were spellbound by the beauty of Emily Thompson playing the violin and William Cooper-Fillios without notice, playing a piece he performed to achieve an A+ in his recent AMEB exam. It was a very special assembly.

PSSA Swimming

I was very impressed with the demeanour of our PSSA team who suffered the cold conditions last week at the Armidale Town pool, suffering the chilly conditions throughout the day. They acquitted themselves so well; the results are published in the sport section but as I have always felt, their enthusiastic participation reflects the strength of character promoted by the discipline of representative sport.


Engineers complete their 4×4 Challenge

Last year Junior School students, Cormac Downes, Andi Li, Saxon Muirhead, Peter Thompson and Rafferty Tonkin – aka ‘The Rock Doctors’ – began working on their entry, as part of the TAS Junior School Engineering Club. With COVID forcing the cancellation of the Sydney based State final, organisers instead sent out identical obstacle courses to each participating school to film the team going through its paces. You may have read in The Armidale Express, that they have high hopes to reach the State final. Mr Tim Scott, despite retiring last year, was in again assisting the boys finish the challenge and their fantastic achievements, as reported by NBN News last night, can be viewed here.

We congratulate them all.




Junior Basketball

Last Friday, two teams of very keen basketballers led the way onto the newly refurbished courts in the gym. What a fantastic game was had by all from our youngest players Heidi Secker and Cade Rogers right through to our more experienced. Minnie Chick even surprised herself as she kept scoring baskets throughout the game. Congratulations to everyone involved and a heart thanks to our P&F who contributed so generously to this project.  The players were: Sophie Brett, Pippi Goudge, Edwina Newton, Oliver Robb, Mila Wright, Rory Secker, Heidi Secker, Boyd Rogers, Cade Rogers, Paddy Bourke, Hunter Crane, Freddie Post, Harry Fawcett, Emi Fawcett, Casper Cook. Photos of the game can be found on the school’s website gallery.




Junior School Winter Jackets

Please contact the Clothing Shop for more information about our new winter jackets which are now available.


School Spirits

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

Wilbur Drain, James Gillman, Cade Rogers, Chloe Chen, Carla Price, Hunter Crane, Duncan Klabe, Ruby Rice, James Taylor, Rupert Newton, Nancy Ma, Baxter Carruthers, Alexander Dell, Jacqui DuBois, Bonnie Blanch, Rhidima Das, Oliver Robb and Libby Ditchfield.


Happy Birthday

Many happy returns to Maya Slade and Raymond Wang who both have birthdays this week.


Mr Ian Lloyd
Head of Junior School

Week 5 (Excursion Week)
Wednesday 24 FebruaryYear 3 to Lake Keepit (No Assembly)
Thursday 25 FebruaryYear 2 to Lake Keepit
Friday 26 FebruaryAll return from Lake Keepit
Week 6
Wednesday 3 MarchYear 3 Assembly – Hoskins Theatre 2.45pm
Week 7
Monday 8 MarchParent / Teacher Interviews
Tuesday 9 MarchParent / Teacher Interviews
Drama Club – Kindy – Year 2 (Hoskins Drama classroom)
Wednesday 10 MarchYear 2 Assembly – Hoskins Theatre 2.45pm
Thursday 11 MarchDrama Club – Years 3-5 (Hoskins Drama classroom)
Week 8
Wednesday 17 MarchYear 1 Assembly – Hoskins Theatre 2.45pm

Junior School Sport

TAS White

The hockey game this week was a good game even though we lost we still had a good game. PLC Armidale played well and I hope they enjoyed the game just as much as we did. The first goal that was scored was an amazing goal by Harriet Coupland and then not that far after that goal she scored again with the help of Zana Ross. Then Zana scored a goal with the help of everyone. At half time we went back on and Zana scored another goal and it was amazing then a player on the other team scored. I went in mid, Zana went goalie, Harriet and Izzie were strikers and the other team scored a couple more goals. We lost but our team really enjoyed the game.

Libby Ditchfield Year 5







Basketball – Red vs Black

With all of Year 5 on camp, we had one brave girl who joined the town team to play a fabulous game of basketball. Pippi Goudge confidently navigated around the court displaying improved dribbling skills, superb defence skills and more importantly was able to position herself in key spots. This enabled her to have a lot of opportunities to handle the ball.

Pippi was a star this week in her attitude and improved skills.


Mrs Lana Hawksford

Community Notices