2021 Term 2 Week 1   |   21.04.2021

TAS Talks Term 2 Week 1

01. From the Head of School


Dear Parents

Welcome to the new term, to returning and new students and families alike, after what I hope has been a refreshing and rewarding break over the past fortnight.

For a good number of our students the break from classes did not mean a separation from school activities and some of these activities will be presented in upcoming assemblies and editions of TAS Talks.

Most will be aware of the TAS Rugby Carnival that took place on the last weekend of the break. Inclement weather could have played havoc with our arrangements, but I was very pleased to see that the carnival was a comprehensive success. It is a showcase for TAS and with the ground looking immaculate, a chance to show off our boarding facilities, excellent catering, tight and slick management throughout and amazing community support, it offered a proud moment for our School. The accolades for all of this are shared widely, amongst the management team, the grounds, housekeeping and catering staff and the many parents and students who contributed so much through the weekend and I offer the special thanks of the School to all involved for such an incredible effort.

Whilst Anzac Day will land this Sunday, TAS again will be represented by our Ceremonial Guard under the command of Rohan Lawrence and provide catafalque party at those services held in and around town.

I look forward to seeing the school come together on mass next Tuesday for the School’s Anzac Service. This is an important opportunity for us to show our respect for the service and sacrifice of those who have gone before us at TAS and it is a compulsory event for students. Parents are most welcome of course and should gather in front of the Memorial Hall for a prompt start at 7am. Our guest of Honour will be Dr Peter Gaden who completed Year 12 at TAS in 2000.

Most unusually for the school, Week 1 will finish with two days of our Activities program where most of our students will be off site, thoroughly involved and engaged in their year appropriate programs and I will report on this event next week.

Winter sport begins this weekend and I wish all players well as they settle into new teams, develop new friendships and relationships in that process and set their sights on goals for the season ahead. This will include the first travel for our rugby teams as they meet Kinross Wolaroi School from Orange on neutral ground at Coonabarabran and I thank all involved for their commitment in making this possible.

Mr Alan Jones
Head of School


02. Calendar of Events


Week 1
Wednesday 21 AprilNCIS Football ( TAS)
Thursday 22 AprilBivouac
Friday 23 AprilBivouac
Saturday 24 AprilKinross vs TAS (Coona)
Sunday 25 AprilAnzac Day
Tuesday 27 AprilTAS Anzac Day Service (7am)
Wednesday 28 AprilMiddle and Senior School Athletics Carnival

P&F Meeting (7pm)


Thursday 29 AprilYear 8 Parent/Teacher Interviews

Federation Cup Debating

Friday 30 AprilCloister Relay
Saturday 1 MayTOCAL Field Days
Sunday 2 MayTAS 100km Endurance Bike Ride

TOCAL Field Days

03. From the P&F


Welcome back to Term 2

I hope everyone had a lovely Easter and a safe, enjoyable and relaxing holiday break.  We jump into Term 2 with bivouac this week, followed by ANZAC day, Senior School Athletics Carnival, P&F AGM and the Cloisters Relay next week.  Phew! So, keep your eye out for emails and Facebook posts from TAS and the P&F on what is going on.  Also, if you aren’t quite sure what happens for each event and want to know more, your Year Group’s Liaison Parent or Facebook Page is a great place to start.


TAS Rugby Carnival

The TAS Rugby Carnival went off with a puddle or several on Saturday and then mud underfoot on Sunday, however was still a fabulous weekend of rugby and bonhomie.  My sincere thanks to all the parents and volunteers who served food, sorted out player lunches, made coffee and barbecued up a storm. Given how cold and damp it was, we managed to pull off a wonderful event under trying conditions and I appreciate everyone’s help.  Special thanks must be given to David Lawson and The Armidale Motel for providing the silver bullet caravan and zillions of coffees and hot chocolates to cold, wet customers, and to Subway, Moxons, Jackson Quality Meats, Coles and Woolworths for their ongoing support.


Senior School Athletics Carnival – Wednesday 28 April

The rescheduled Middle and Senior School Athletics Carnival is next Wednesday.  Parents are welcome on the day, so feel free to come down to Wakefield and watch the track and field events.

The P&F will be running a canteen behind the gym on the day – look out for our tent. In these COVID times we will not be having a ‘cake stall’ but we will be selling packets of chips, chocolate bars, sweets, soft drinks and water.  Please save your fabulous home baking for another day.  We hope that by next year we will be completely back to our normal cake stalls but in the meanwhile, it will just be nice to catch up with you all.

If you could help with the canteen, it would be appreciated.  The allocated times for year group parent helpers are:


8:30 – 9:30 amYear 9
9:30 – 10:30 amYear 10
10:30 -11:30 amYear 11
11:30 -12:30 pmYear 12
12:30 – 1:30 pmYear 6
1:30 -2:30 pmYear 7
2:30 -3:30 pmYear 8


AGM Meeting – Wednesday 28 April at 7pm

We are having our Annual General Meeting next Wednesday 28 April at 7pm.   This meeting will be in Upper Maxwell Meeting Room – and on Zoom.  At this meeting all positions on the general Committee and The Executive (President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary) will be declared ‘open’ and we will vote on the new 2021/22 positions.  We are still seeking nominations for positions as several members of the Executive will be standing down next week.

If you are interested in being involved, a nomination form can be collected from Reception or downloaded from the P&F webpage.   Please note that you do need to be a ‘voting’ member of the P&F to vote and/or stand for a position but forms will be available at the meeting or on the Parent Portal P&F page https://publications.as.edu.au/pf/ so don’t let that stop you.

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.

After the AGM we will hold a normal meeting. Meetings, including the AGM, are open to all and we would love to see you.  To help you get in the mood, drinks and nibbles are provided for those that attend the meeting in person… if you’re on Zoom then it’s BYO…


Mrs Rachael Nicoll
P&F President


04. From the Director of Studies


Year 8 Parent Teacher Interviews

Parent-Teacher Interviews for students in Year 8 will be held next week on Thursday 29 – Friday 30 April. This is an opportunity for you to discuss your child’s progress. All parents will receive an email containing their web code to book interview times. If you do not receive this email with parent-teacher information, please contact Mrs Vickey O’Brien – vobrien@as.edu.au or phone 6776 5806.



After a year’s break due to COVID, NAPLAN will recommence early next term. The National Assessment Program is an annual assessment for all students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9. It tests the types of skills that are essential for every child to progress through school and life. The tests cover skills in reading, writing, spelling, grammar and punctuation, and numeracy.
NAPLAN in 2021 will be held from 11 – 13 May, with reports available to parents generally in September. This year’s NAPLAN tests will be completed on paper and hand-written. From 2022 TAS will move to the online completion of these assessments. Whilst teachers won’t be teaching directly to these tests, you can expect some form of practice in preparation for these assessments to be completed in class or for homework. The timetable for NAPLAN is below.


YearDay 1 – TuesdayDay 2 – WednesdayDay 3 – Thursday
Year 3Language conventions: 45 minutes

Writing: 40 minutes

Reading: 45 minutesNumeracy: 45 minutes
Year 5Language conventions: 45 minutes

Writing: 40 minutes

Reading: 50 minutesNumeracy: 50 minutes
Year 7Language conventions: 45 minutes

Writing: 40 minutes

Reading: 65 minutesNumeracy: 65 minutes
Year 9Language conventions: 45 minutes

Writing: 40 minutes

Reading: 65 minutesNumeracy: 65 minutes


Mr Luke Polson
Director of Studies


Geography Excursion - Term 1

Slipping away from the classroom into the ‘real world’ is a mandatory (and enjoyable) part of Geography studies. Late last term Year 12 spent a jam-packed two days in cotton country in the Wee Waa/Narrabri area, learning a great deal about this economic activity for their HSC studies. Hosted generously by the Kahl family (Old Armidalians) on their property ‘Glencoe’, we also visited the Auscott Gin, Australian Cotton Research Institute, Cotton Seed Distributor and the Cotton Research Development Corporation where Dr Ian Taylor (father of Josh, Yr 11) rounded off our trip with some useful data on the political, organisational and social aspects of the industry. Vast quantities of great information was gathered and almost everywhere they went, Year 12 were offered employment opportunities when they finished their exams! Thanks to Mr Toakley for driving.


Ms Fiona Taber
Year 12 Geography


05. Leadership, Service and Adventure


The Armidale School Cadets: Bivouac 1 (22-23 April)

Bivouac 1 conducted by The Armidale School will be held from tomorrow, Thursday 22 – Friday 23 April. Cadets have received a full briefing on their activities and required equipment on Tuesday 30 March and again yesterday, Tuesday 20 April.

All cadets will camp overnight tomorrow night Thursday 22 April in the vicinity of Mt Duval (B & C Company) or Malpas Dam (A Company). Of particular importance is the necessity for cadets to be prepared for cold weather and students’ own non-cadet issue cold weather jackets may be worn in the evening in the event of cold weather.

Cadets will assemble at TAS Adamsfield for parade on Thursday 22 April at 8.40am.

Activities will cease and cadets released on completion of parade at 3.30pm Friday 23 April.

The activities will be conducted as follows:


A Company

Kayak touring, mountain biking and trekking.

B Company

Night Harbour, fieldcraft, trekking, navigation and kayaking.

C Company

Night Harbour, fieldcraft, trekking, navigation and canoeing.

Cadets should note the below packing list as a minimum for overnight bivouac. There may be additional equipment required by platoon leaders for cadets. These will have been discussed at the activities briefings.

Back Pack & Webbing (issued)

Compass*                                                   Hootchie (issued)

Spray jacket* / raincoat*                   5m hutchie cord/rope*

Kidney Cup* (issued)                           Pegs x 4* (issued)

KFS set*                                                      Ground sheet (issued)

Water bottles x 2 (issued)                 Sleeping bag & mat*

Towel (small)                                           Olive Green thermal or cotton undershirt*

Notepad (in plastic bag)*                   Jumper (issued) and/or other cold weather jacket

Torch + spare batteries*                    Water gear (swimmers, shirt, shorts & shoes)

Plastic bag for wet gear                      Bush Hat* (issued)

Sun screen & insect repellent (tube or roll-on only)

Change of underwear & socks

Toilet bag  (toothbrush + paste etc)


*Available for purchase from TAS Clothing Shop (open until 4.00pm today/Wednesday & at 8.00am tomorrow/Thursday)

In particular, all students should ensure they have adequate warm clothing, including a jumper, warm clothing and a thermal undershirt. Sleeping bags should be appropriate for the New England autumn climate.

All participating students will be issued with all required equipment by the TAS Q-Store. If this equipment is lost or damaged, it must be replaced at students’ own cost. Many items in the list above can be purchased from the TAS Clothing Shop and have been selected specifically for their suitability for TAS Activities use and reasonable cost. Clothing that has been outgrown can be replaced at no charge at Q-Store by arrangement with the School Quartermaster.

If cadets have questions about their activities, they should in the first instance approach their platoon leader for more information.


MAJ (AAC) Angus Murray



Dear Parents and Carers,

All of Year 7 will head out to Dumaresq Dam/ Kirby Station for their first overnight camp on Thursday 22 April. Students will return by 3.20pm on Friday 23 April, so regular transport home can happen.

All students will need to arrive at school for 8:45am on the Thursday morning.

All Year 7 had a briefing at the end of last term, to go through the required things to pack, as well as the activities that they will be doing. I have also attached the packing list here, so that you can help support your son/daughter with their packing. Please ensure that all equipment packed is clearly labelled with student’s names. Rangers shirts and hats will be issued during the first week back.

Students will have access to the Rangers Canvas page which contains copies of the above documents about the Activities days. They will need to first accept the invitation at the top of the Canvas page when they sign in.

No technology is to be brought on any of the activity days over the year. However, day students may leave their phone in a named envelope/ziplock bag with Ms Frost in the Middle School office and will be able to collect it on the Friday upon return. Any technology taken on camp will be confiscated.

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 told to do so by a nurse (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.

If there have been any changes to your child’s medication or health needs over the holidays please update the Medical Centre with the details.

Kind regards,

Mr Stephen Thompson
OIC Rangers

Surf Life

06. From the Director of Co-curricular


What a wonderful community we have at TAS. After a year off due to COVID restrictions, the past weekend saw the return of the TAS Rugby Carnival. Ten regional teams converged on Armidale to be a part of the previously hugely successful event. Whilst, the numbers were significantly less than previous years, the experience for those ten teams was amazing. A big thank you to the Parents and Friends Association, TAS staff, grounds team, housekeeping and kitchen staff who worked tirelessly to ensure another successful TASRC.

Congratulations to our First XV rugby squad who over the holiday period attended a Rugby Camp in Orange. Our boys joined with Shore, Canberra Grammar School and Kinross Wolaroi School to train and play games at KWS. Whilst our boys went down to Canberra Grammar School First XV in the Friday fixture they performed admirably, developing their skills for the season ahead. I was particularly impressed by their work ethic, positive attitude and overall excellent behaviour. In addition, I would like to thank Mr Adam Whalley, Mr Doug Fawcett, Mrs Rachael Edmonds and Mr Michael Edmonds for their involvement in the camp.

Congratulations to Aiden Tighe and Archie McMaster who competed in an Australian Silver AMT/Junior Tennis Tournament in Inverell over the holidays. They won three tough 2-set matches to win the U12s boys doubles tournament, a wonderful achievement.

Winter Sport commences this term. Please ensure you are familiar with your training and match requirements. If you have concerns or questions about your sport please contact your MIC of that particular sport in the first instance.

Winter Sports Schedule


The MS/SS Athletics Championship – Wednesday 28 April

It is with great pleasure that we can welcome parents to the event and I ask that you all abide by the event COVID safe plan with sign-in on arrival using the QR code, social distance and please do not enter the track or field events during the course of the day.

Athletics Schedule


The Cloisters Inter-House Event for Years 7-12 will take place on Friday 30 April at lunchtime.


Mr Huon Barrett
Director of Co-curricular

TAS Rugby Carnival

It was easy to see why it takes a global event, such as a pandemic, to pause the TAS Rugby Carnival in 2020, having witnessed Year 5 and 6 players from around regional NSW gathered for this year’s bragging rights.   This was rugby at its very best against some of NSW’s most talented U12 players in challenging weather conditions.

The assembled TAS team had some experienced heads, as well as some pupils who wished to see what all the fuss was about by picking up a rugby ball for the very first time.  The team was ably led by Year 6 student Jack Wood and the team’s aim of the weekend was to improve the execution of skills, tactics and techniques, but most importantly have a lot of fun in the process.  Their tenacity and confidence grew in every second they played and at times started to develop nice running patterns and have a decent playing shape.  By the final game, the team also started to execute their kicking strategy.  The set-piece scrum and line outmatched every opposition team encountered and the determined TAS defence was even noted as a highlight of the tournament by the guest of honour and future Head of The Armidale School and rugby referee, Dr Rachel Horton.  Unlike many teams at the carnival this year, the competing TAS team was mixed.  For many girls and boys, this was their first taste of rugby, their skill development and growth in understanding of the game was exponential.  Hopefully, this will lead to a lifelong involvement in the game.  The end of the TAS Rugby Carnival witnessed a lot of tired TAS players in their very wet and dirty TAS colours baring smiles from ear to ear.  Hugo Brown was awarded the TAS team’s ‘Player of the Tournament’ due to his cool, calm and collected performances and positive mentoring of his fellow players.  I look forward to seeing the Year 5 players returning next year to build on their achievements from this year.


Mr Doug Fawcett
TASRC U12s Rugby Coach


07. From the Head of Middle School


Welcome to the New Term

Hallmarks of the new Term: as outlined in this week’s meetings at school, it’s effectively the same length its predecessor, furiously busy with winter sports (remember that co-curricular events begin this week and weekend commitments will start this week as well), ‘assessment-packed’ and, I hope for all, it’s going to be rewarding. I’m looking forward to it and want students to be engaged with it as well. The holiday, not surprisingly, has not felt longer than two short weeks. However, I hope your time with our shared ‘charges’ was both relaxed, and I know that for many it was damp, and this is a real bonus for us.

I enjoy being in the Middle School because all staff are in a position where we can actually do something about making life for these Middle School people more engaged, productive, rewarding and ultimately, more enjoyable. Personal experience is a great teacher. It’s been said before but its importance warrants repetition: the busier these young adolescents are the better, eventually, they will be. Of one thing about TAS we can be reasonably certain: there’s rarely a day that passes without something being ‘on’ and we actively encourage our girls and boys to do the ‘head-first thing’ and, only then, to reflect on the completed activity. Reflection on ‘missed opportunity’ can be a fruitless exercise. If your children have indicated that they’ve not been doing enough to keep themselves actively engaged, then I have (we all have) ‘missed’ something that’s important to them. Encourage them to talk to us. By all means, you talk to us as well. You’ll note that we are beginning to have more activities per kind favour of Mrs Benham, so it’s a case of ‘watch this spot.’

As indicated, this term is partly characterised by formal assessments. We’ve already spoken to some parents about these and would be happy to field enquiries about them. I want each student’s experience of them to be as palatable as possible, meaning that questions and concerns must be addressed before the assessment due dates. So, don’t be hesitant to call or send an email to us, especially if you do have concerns. It’s our job, as far as possible, to allay your concerns about assessments as well. Our students, of course, will be receiving information that relates directly to their management and completion of all tasks. The best advice anyone can give to all is ‘work well and do your best’. Don’t worry, between us, we’ve considerable experience dealing with preparation, management of time and execution – of formal assessments, of course.

It’s your bounden duty to tell me, too. I assure you, there’s plenty of opportunity for boys and girls to feel a personal sense of satisfaction and if yours have a feeling of ‘isolation’, for lack of better terminology, just tell me. I say this in a lot of my interviews with children – they have a right to be happy at school and we have a responsibility to assist them. Having said this, it isn’t our job to instruct students in all that they do – they’re old enough to take responsibility for themselves, in a number of areas, and to make wise decisions. We can help of course if they seek advice. But, it’s definitely my / our job to let them know what’s available to them at TAS.


It is our responsibility, however, to control aspects of life with which students do experience difficulty. As well you know, laptop use is available and its sensible use is vital to success in so many areas of life, both in and outside school. Something we’ve tried (in earnest, I assure you), in a number of ways over a number of years, too, actually to deal with is games use and we’ve not been especially helpful to you or those we share – young adolescents. Much as we have tried, we still have, reasonably regularly, to deal with the playing of games at school. Students should not play games, especially age-inappropriate ones and the only way that we can ‘produce the goods’ in terms of our Duty of Care requirements is, finally, though not so reluctantly, to ban them. Consequently, we have blocked admin functions from Middle School Laptops. I also add that our IT and boarding staff are liaising to implement measures to assist with ‘down time’ in houses. No doubt it’s your job, those of you who are day student parents, to devise ‘systems’ so that your children, too, can happily occupy themselves at home. We’re looking forward to being able to assist the needs and interests of your children further and we know that we will be able to do so with your support that I trust will continue.


Mr Mark Harrison
Head of Middle School

08. From the Head of Junior School


Welcome back to Term 2 and all the excitement it brings. I hope you have all been able to have a wonderful break and are now looking forward to the challenges of the onset of the winter terms. I look forward to catching up with you and your children and the stories that they will be sharing about their holidays. With COVID restrictions further relaxing, we are truly blessed to be living in this wonderful place.

Junior School Traffic variations – Arrival and Departures.

You will have received a letter from me outlining the changes for our students who arrive and depart in cars. The new system worked very well yesterday but I know there will be issues that arise until we settle into a routine. Your feedback is welcome as we continue to make this area as safe as possible. If you have questions or did not receive the letter, please let us know.

It is vital for the success of this new system that all cars display their Family Name clearly on the passenger side sun visor. If you need spare signs made, please contact JS Reception.


We welcome Mrs Gaye Piper who is teaching Year 4, replacing Mrs Veronica Waters as she takes her well-earnt Long Service Leave. We also welcome Mr Toby Vaughn, who will be assisting us in various classrooms and on the football fields as a coach.

TAS Rugby Carnival

I was unfortunately not able to attend the TAS Rugby Carnival for the first time this year with family commitments, but the reports have been wonderful to hear. I know that all our students acquitted themselves very well and had a great time. They were: Arthur White, Xavier Stephen, Archie Tonkin, Harriet Coupland, Libby Ditchfield, Minnie Chick, Cameron Carruthers, Jack Maitz, Zana Ross and Jack Wood.

Winter Uniform

Most items of the winter uniform are now available at the Clothing Shop and I would like to thank Ms Fiona Van de Poel for the tireless work she has given to the improvements in both the Shop itself and the appearance of our uniform. As is our policy, summer uniform may be worn if preferred until the end of week 2 when it will become necessary to wear the full winter uniform.

Late to school

It is a well-known and researched fact that happiness at school is a foundation of both academic and social success and we strive to create an environment that promotes this each and every day. For children to have maximum opportunity to socialise before school, please arrive in time so they may spend time in the playground with their friends. Arriving late prevents this and it becomes a real issue when children tell us they are sad when they miss out on playground play before school.

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to Heidi Secker and James Gillman who both celebrate their birthdays this week.



Mr Ian Lloyd
Head of Junior School

Week 1
Wednesday 21 April
Week 2
Tuesday 27 April

Wednesday 28 April

Thursday 29 April

TAS ANZAC Day Service – 7.00 am

No Assembly

Snake Tails Presentations   9.00 – 10.30

Week 3
Wednesday 5 May

Thursday 6 May

Year 5 Assembly – Hoskins Theatre – 2.45 pm

State da Vinci Decathlon Years 5 & 6 (online)

Week 4
Tuesday 11 May

Wednesday 12 May

Thursday 13 May                 

Assembly – Hoskins Theatre – 2.45 pm

Junior School Sport

General Information about Junior School Winter Sports

Junior School Policy re Participation in Sport

All students in Year 3 and above will participate in sport. Students in Years Kindergarten, 1 and 2 do not have to participate but are encouraged to do so. If students in Year 2 or below do participate, they must commit to the sport (including training sessions) for the season. During the winter terms, students will have one training per week in each sport. For winter, training will be on Monday afternoons from 3:45 – 5pm for most sports. Students provide their own clothing, footwear, mouth guards and shin pads. Registration and competition fees will apply to all sports and will be debited to parents’ accounts. Your Active Sports vouchers may be used for Winter Sports and need to be emailed to Mrs Sandra Lasker at Junior@as.edu.au

Please consider all requirements when choosing a sport for Winter:


Training – Mondays

Games – Saturday mornings

Cost – $100 – $120 approx.

Equipment required – Shin pads, Football shirt from clothing pool.

Where – Armidale (occasional games in Walcha, Uralla and Guyra)

Teams – From U6 – U12

Football follows the small-sided rules with younger teams having fewer players and smaller football fields.



Training – Mondays

Games – Saturday mornings

Cost – $110

Equipment required – netball uniform from TAS

Where – Armidale Lynches Road Netball Courts- 11am Saturdays

Teams – Netta (5-7 yrs) Set (8-10 yrs) Go (9-10 yrs with 1 year experience)

Netta – 5-7 year olds –Netta is a skill based session

Set – 8-10 year olds. Emphasis is on participation, trying out learned skills, the learning of new skills and sharing the play with others in the team. The rules are modified.

Go – 9-10 year olds. A further stepping stone to playing unmodified netball, developing skills learned. The rules are still modified to an extent, games are played on hard courts with lowered rings.



Training – Wednesday afternoons; A bus will take children out to UNE hockey turf for training between 4-5pm, parents will need to pick up from UNE at the conclusion of training at 5pm.

Games – UNE hockey turf

Friday 4pm – U11 Boys/mixed (TAS minibus will take players to UNE – parents to pick up before 5pm at UNE)

Saturday – U8 and Girls

Cost – U8 – $45

U11 – $130 approx.

Equipment required – Stick (school sticks are available), shin pads, mouthguard, TAS hockey socks and TAS sport uniform.

Please contact Mrs Tania Ball (tball@as.edu.au) for any more information.

Community Notices