2021 Term 2 Week 2   |   28.04.2021

TAS Talks Term 2 Week 2

01. From the Head of School


Dear Parents

Last Thursday and Friday the activities program for 2021 commenced for all students in Years 6 to 11. This program is a deliberately structured and sequenced course of activities that are designed to stretch our students’ abilities through challenge and enable them to build leadership skills along the way. From Bush skills in Year 6 to Rangers in Year 7, Cadets for Years 8 to 10 and a choice of Cadets, Surf Life Saving, Rural Fire Service or general service in Year 11, the level of challenges, skills development and leadership opportunities grows as our students do. The activities program is the cornerstone of our character development curriculum and investment of twelve school days each year in it reflects how important it is to us. There is a realisation of course, that while some students will be looking forward to the program and getting into the bush, other students may see the prospect as daunting. As always, we encourage those students to look beyond their trepidation and to remember that the challenges are designed to be accessible to all and while they may be testing at times, they will look back on their achievements with a sense of satisfaction.

While the rest of middle and senior school were being tested in the field, Year 12 were preparing for the challenge of the HSC in the first of the Year 12 study days. This program is designed to complement and supplement the work done in each subject by focussing on generic skill development and habits that will assist academic work across the board. Topics will be as diverse as essay structure, memorisation techniques, how to develop study habits and keeping life balance. I encourage all year 12 students to make the most of these sessions throughout the year by building on the advice given into study routines for the two and a half terms remaining.

Our winter sporting season is well underway but unusually this week our middle and senior school students will be immersed in athletics today, all gathering to cheer on their houses in competition on Wakefield. Our exciting Cloisters Run will take place this coming Friday. In fine TAS tradition these are mass participation events and I wish all students competing well in their events.

This Sunday, in place of the annual Tour de Rocks event, there is a 100km cycling challenge which has been organised by Jim Pennington and I am well aware there are a good number of parents, students and TAS staff who will be participating. I wish everyone once again all the very best and it is imperative that the spirit of challenge lives on within our community, despite the fact that COVID restrictions have meant the cancellation of some major community events.


Mr Alan Jones
Head of School


School Attendance

Absence or late arrival
Attendance is recorded each period of every school day. As a parent or caregiver you are responsible for ensuring your child attends school every day, including sport and activities days unless your child:

  • has an unavoidable medical or dental appointment (preferably these should be made after school or during holidays)

  • is required to attend an exceptional or urgent family circumstance (such as attending a funeral)

  • is sick, or has an infectious illness.

Daily Absence
If your child is to be absent from school for any reason, including arriving late or leaving early, please advise the appropriate Administration Assistant (see below), explaining the reason for absence by phone, email, or written note before 10.00 am that day. In addition a written note confirming the circumstances of the absence is required within seven days.

Sickness in excess of four school days requires a doctor’s certificate detailing the nature of sickness and duration of sickness.

Junior School: Phone 6776 5817 or by email

Middle School: Phone 6776 5819 or by email

Senior School: Phone 6776 5800 or by email

Students arriving late to Junior School must be accompanied by parents and report to Junior School administration.

Students arriving late to Middle School must sign in or out in the book located in the Middle School staff room. Middle School students needing to leave the school grounds for medical or other appointments during the normal school day (8.30am-3.30pm) must sign out accordingly.

Students arriving late to Senior School must sign in or out at Reception and collect a ‘Late Slip’ to give to their teacher. Senior School students needing to leave the school grounds for medical or other appointments during the normal school day (8.30am-3.30pm) MUST sign out accordingly.

Exemption from Attendance
A reminder that a parent or guardian must apply for an exemption from school attendance if they wish to take their child out of school temporarily by completing an Application for Exemption from Attendance form (see link below).

Students must attend school regularly until an exemption has been approved.

Exemption from attendance at school is often sought because of:

  • Elite Arts or Elite Sporting Events (CIS, NCIS etc.)

  • Family travel or holidays

  • Medical or health appointments

  • Employment

  • Disability or behaviour problems requiring part time exemption from school

  • Other circumstances that warrant an exemption eg. Work Experience, Political Rally, etc

Mrs Veronica Lucas
Reception Manager

June Long Weekend charter coach bookings

The deadline is imminent for coach bookings for the Queen’s Birthday holiday.

The school is closed during this break so if you wish to take advantage of the free charter coaches provided by the Student Transport Scheme please complete the booking form using the link below by Friday 7 May to indicate your particular requirements.

Travel dates are: Friday 11 June and Monday 14 June.

This time continues to be the busy period for the TrainLink staff responsible for arranging holiday charters for all boarding schools in NSW, therefore please be patient.
Reminder that School Student Concession Cards are available for students aged 16 years and over If intending to travel on public transport in future from the Main Reception.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact Mrs Veronica Lucas on vlucas@as.edu.au


Parents/Guardians of Year 10 students,

Please sign and complete the Consent form for Meningococcal ACWY Vaccination form ASAP and return it to the TAS Medical Centre.

The vaccinations will be the first week of May and will not be done unless the ORIGINAL form that was sent out is returned completed and signed.

If you did not receive a form please contact TAS Reception on 6776 5800.

Thank you
Jacki Fletcher
Senior Nurse

02. Calendar of Events


Week 2
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


On Anzac Day at the Dawn and main Anzac services in Armidale and at Dangarsleigh Memorial, and then again on Tuesday at the School Anzac Service, TAS students honoured those service men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice. Special guest at the School service Dr Peter Gaden (OA 2000, RAN Ret’d) shared reflections from Anzac Day at school and aboard HMAS Melbourne and encouraged everyone to take the ANZAC spirit with them in service to others.


To read Dr Gaden’s speech, CLICK HERE


Additional photos (and some video) from the Dangarsleigh, Central Park and TAS services can be found in the photo gallery on the school website.  CLICK HERE

03. From the Chaplain


Anzac Day - Lest We Forget!

Yesterday TAS celebrated ANZAC day, for us here at TAS. Although, the memory of those who have gone to war is never far from our minds, this hall is filled with the names of those we ought to remember, we start each assembly with ‘one’ we should not forget. We should remember!

Lest we forget!

This is so right, so proper for us to do, why should we sit back and enjoy the freedoms we experience, that came at such a cost, the cost that someone else bore, without remembering them?

This refrain ‘lest we forget’ is taken from Kipling’s poem that I will read to you now, see if you can spot what it is that Kipling would have us primarily remember?

God of our fathers, known of old,
Lord of our far-flung battle line,
Beneath whose awful hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine—
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

The tumult and the shouting dies;
The Captains and the Kings depart:
Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

Far-called our navies melt away;
On dune and headland sinks the fire:
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

What is it that Kipling is urging us to remember?

The context is the poem was written during the Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897. However, rather than being a celebration of the Jubilee, the poem went against the mood of the time, instead it was intended to be a reminder of the temporary nature of the power and dominion of Empires such as the British one. Kipling argues that boasting was inappropriate and vain in light of the permanence of God.

Who should we remember? God!

The phrase “lest we forget” is taken from Deuteronomy 6:12 “Then beware lest you forget the Lord which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt”. Salvation out of the hands of the Egyptians.

And, of course this salvation points forward to the ultimate sacrifice and salvation found in the cross of Christ,  this is what we must never forget, lest we forget!


Mr Richard Newton
TAS Chaplain

04. From the P&F


AGM Meeting Tonight Wednesday 28 April at 7pm

We are having our Annual General Meeting tonight 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.

If you interested in being involved, a nomination form can be collected from Reception or downloaded from the P&F webpage https://publications.as.edu.au/pf/.   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 our website 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. All 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


05. From the Director of Studies


Year 9 Parent Teacher Interviews

Parent-Teacher Interviews for students in Year 9 will be held in Week 4 – Thursday 13th – Friday 14th May. 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. Reports will be 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 next term 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


Upcoming Dates this term:

Exam Week for Years 9 and 10: Week 6 (24 May – 28 May)
Year 11 Parent Interviews: Week 6 – Thursday and Friday 27 and 28 May
Year 10 Parent Interviews: Week 10 – Wednesday and Thursday 23 and 24 June.


Mr Luke Polson
Director of Studies

Music Matters

Do you love Music? Join a TAS Ensemble, Sing or Learn an Instrument

A reminder that with another term commencing, there is an opportunity for students to join one of our many TAS Ensembles or to have lessons in voice or on any instrument of their choice. Students are welcome to pop down to speak with one of the instrumental teachers or with Ms Roobol, Mr Collett or Miss Low in the Music Centre. Take a look on the TAS Website for more details about the offerings in music.  

Twilight Concerts at 5:30pm and at 6:30pm on Tuesday 11th May in Hoskins Centre Theatre

TAS will be hosting two Twilight Concerts on Tuesday 11th May in Hoskins Centre Theatre at 5.30pm, followed by the second concert at 6.30pm. These Twilight Concerts will provide the perfect opportunity for students to perform for an audience before the Armidale Eisteddfod commences later this term.

Students, if you would like to participate in the Twilight concert, please speak with your instrumental or vocal teacher and they will register you to perform. Likewise, parents can let Mrs Rachael Edmonds on music@as.edu.au know if your son or daughter would like to register to perform and we will add them to the program.

Please indicate if you need an accompanist, as Mr Warwick Dunham will be available for both concerts.

TAS Ensembles and the Armidale Eisteddfod

TAS Ensembles have already commenced rehearsals for Term 2. With the Eisteddfod coming up soon, we expect all members of our ensembles to be present at their scheduled rehearsals!  


Come and join the TAS Community Choir!

Students, Parents, Staff and friends are all invited to join us in singing “The Sound of Our Home” at the Armidale Eisteddfod at 6pm on Tuesday 25th May (non-competitive event).

This fabulous piece by Paul Jarman & Bonnie Nilsson “is about home – the home that music provides not only us, but our students, our children, our community and our world”.
Please email Ms Leanne Roobol on lroobol@as.edu.au if you are interested. Rehearsals will be held on Monday 6:00 – 6:45pm in the TAS Music Centre Basement. If you are unable to attend rehearsals, we will send out a copy of the music and a recording to allow you to rehearse at home.

We look forward to singing with you!

Ms Leanne Roobol
Director of Music


06. From the Head of Middle School


National Finalist Team in Engineering Australia Foundation Competition (2020-21)

Year 6 students

As a carry-over from last year, and ably ‘driven’ by former staff member Mr Tim Scott, was the deserved award to Year 6 students who reached the prestigious status of National Finalists in The Engineering Australia Foundation. We received notice of this ‘win’ at the end of Term 1. Our Middle School Academic Leader, Jack Coddington, read out the names of recipients of these awards during this week’s Town Meeting and I was more than happy to award Certificates and Medallions to the very proud group of students. Those who achieved such distinction were: Team Manager – Cormac Downes; Chief Engineer – Peter Thompson; Assistant Engineer – Rafferty Tonkin; Designer – Saxon Muirhead; Assistant Designer – Andi Li. On behalf of all I congratulate this intrepid and industrious group and, on their behalf, I extend grateful thanks to Mr Tim Scott who happily attended TAS last term to help these boys finish their team designs and submission.

Activities Week 1

All three year groups attended the year’s first Activities sessions last Thursday and Friday: I’m pleased to report that all those who engaged in Bush Skills, Rangers and Cadet exercises came back, too. The Year 7 and 8 students were out overnight and arrived back on Friday afternoon, having completed a raft of activities which, from every report we received, was as enjoyable as it was successful. The Year 6 students were equally as busy, of course, but their first ‘overnighter’ will come later in the year. I was lucky to be with both Year 6 groups and can confidently report that this new Middle School band of students worked collaboratively, happily and easily – I’ve told them since, several times now in fact, that being with and assisting them was a pleasure.

ANZAC Service (Week 2)

We had the School commemoration and remembrance service early on Tuesday and it was really pleasing to note so many in attendance, both day and boarding students, from Years 6, 7 and 8. It was good also to catch up with a number of parents just prior to our Anzac Day breakfast. Also good was the weather – well, it was amazing really because, in spite of the month, it was just cool enough to the point of being fresh and it was misty, but cold it was not. However, considering the welcome showers of rain over the last weeks, I think the last vestiges of reasonable warmth will decrease at a rapid rate.


The winter season sports programme has begun with the mass exodus on Saturday of rugby teams travelling to Coonabarabran. I believe those who went were excited and know that all felt the competition against Kinross was challenging. Regardless of final scores, it’s always encouraging, I guess, to know that improvements can be made on both individual and team levels. To be honest, the most encouraging aspect of the weekend was the fact of it: for the first time in more than a year our people could happily and safely leave campus in large groups and simply enjoy themselves in sport. These young people must feel a palpable sense of relief at being able, finally, to go out and enjoy themselves fully.

Fundraising – Cancer

This next piece has been written, with the able encouragement and assistance of our Service Leader, Tempe Macarthur-Onslow, by one of our Year 7 students. Apart from the bold section at the end, Tempe and I have not edited it: it ‘speaks for itself’ and its inclusion here is not only a recommendation of its writer but a mark of her calibre as a person.

My name is Robin Henry, and I am 12 years old. I live on a farm near Quirindi, NSW.

I am half Dutch and have inherited beautiful blonde hair, which I have decided to donate to create a wig for children who have gone through chemotherapy and lost all their hair.

Although I am only 12, my family members have experienced their fair share of cancer stories.

My mum lost both her grandmother and Aunty to cancer.

In 2019, while on a great family holiday in Bali with my 13 and 15 year old cousins from Holland, Merel, the 15 year old cousin, found a little lump in her armpit and within weeks she was diagnosed with cancer.

Her treatment was horrible, and she lost all her hair. I am so grateful that she has made a full recovery.

At the moment my beautiful Omi (my Dutch grandmother) is going through Chemotherapy and has lost all her hair, as well.

This family story has inspired me to donate my hair to create a wig and raise money to go to the Cancer Council.

At some stage this term (probably in the middle) I would like to set up a stall selling cookies and cakes at school in order to donate more money to the Cancer Council.

Thank you for reading my story.

Robin Henry – Middle School Girls’ Boarding

Mr Mark Harrison
Head of Middle School

07. From the Head of Junior School


Arrivals and Departures – Important Updates

Thank you for working with us so patiently as we refine the arrivals and departures for our Junior School Students in the Chapel St Turning Circle. The School Executive has been brought up to date with the systems this week and we are working to improve it every day. As we saw on Monday, displaying your Family Name Tag on the sun visor helps everyone though the system more efficiently. If you need another, please ring Mrs Lasker.

Please note: Teachers will be on morning duty at the Chapel St turning circle from 8.15 – 8.30 am only. Outside these times, if required, please walk your child to the playground where further supervision and assistance will be available. Afternoon departures will remain unchanged until further notice.

We are currently working on some timetabling to enable us to separate infants and primary students and on Mondays, our juniors from our seniors. Until then, please know that we are all doing what we can to ensure our children’s safety. Please continue to let us know how we might improve the system and remain vigilant, cautious (and calm!)



Joshua Bourke (Yr 4) and his horse Mistake, had great success over the holidays. At the NSW State Sporting and Camp drafting Championships in Walcha over Easter,  Joshua claimed two State sporting titles and received a number of minor placings, finishing 3rd overall in the under 11’s. The following weekend, he played in the under 11 NSW Polocrosse team at the Covid Cup in Albury where his team was undefeated and Joshua was awarded best number 2 of the tournament. Well done Joshua on some terrific results.


And very well done to Minnie Chick (Yr 5) who gamely stepped up to the microphone at our ANZAC Day service and read The Ode. She did beautifully.


Yr 11 Service in Junior School

It was so good to see some Year 11 students assisting in Junior School last week, as part of their Service Program. All 13 of them took to the task of assisting in our classrooms and their help was warmly welcomed. They were enthusiastic and did a wonderful job and we would like to thank them for their efforts over the 2 days.



Junior School Cross Country – Friday 30 April

It may not be for everyone, but the art of long-distance running is not lost. Our children benefit from participating in activities that take them outside their comfort zone and long-distance running certainly does that. In the Sports Section, you will see information about this year’s Cross Country. I hope you can be with us on the day.


Mother’s Day Luncheon – Friday 7 May

Please mark in your diaries the date for our Mothers’ Day Luncheon, to be held next Friday 7 May from 12.25 in the Hoskin’s Centre Foyer. There will be lunch provided for parents and a wide range of special activities which will conclude at the end of lunch. Our classes have been busy coming up with some wonderful ideas to ensure this will be a special time for the wonderful women in our student’s lives. An invitation will be sent out this week so please contact the school to ensure we have the correct numbers for catering purposes.


Illness at School

With the cold and flu season on its way, it is important for the school community to be aware that when children develop any sort of cold or flu-like symptoms, we encourage parents to err on the side of caution and keep the germs away from school. Children who have vomiting or diarrhoea during the evening or night should not come to school for at least 24 hours from the last symptom. It is very difficult to manage sick children at school and we feel the best place for children who feel unwell is at home until they are well enough to deal with the demands of school. Thank you for your assistance and support with this. As for COVID, we will contact parents to collect their children if we feel they should be at home.


Absentee advice

If your child is unwell and can’t come to school, please notify the Junior School via email to junior@as.edu.au or phone 6776 5817 before 9.00 am. If your child will be away for a day or more, please complete the Exemption from School form which can be found on the School website link attached:


It is a NESA requirement that we have correct information on students’ whereabouts.


No Drama Club

As you will see in our calendar, this Thursday’s Drama Club has been cancelled due to circumstances outside our control. We apologise for any inconvenience.

Happy Birthday

Best wishes to Casper Cook for a very happy birthday this week.


Mr Ian Lloyd
Head of Junior School

Week 2
Wednesday 28 April

Thursday 29 April

Friday 30 April

No Assembly

Snake Tails Presentations   9.00 – 10.30

JS Cross Country 2.00-3.30pm

Week 3
Wednesday 5 May


Thursday 6 May

Year 5 Assembly – Hoskins Theatre – 2.45 pm

No Dance Club

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
Week 5
Wednesday 19 MayKindergarten Assembly – Hoskins Theatre – 2.45 pm
 National Simultaneous Storytime 11.00am
 No Dance Club

Junior School Sport

Football Teams

Please find attached the team lists and coaches for this year’s Football teams. Your team coach will be in contact with you before the first games this weekend.

Football teams 2021


Cross Country – Friday 30 April

Our Junior School Cross Country afternoon is this Friday 30 April. All children will be participating in this event commencing at 2 pm and need to wear their TAS sports uniform.  The course, varied for our different age groups, will start and finish on our Back Oval near the McConville Centre. Parents are most welcome to come along to watch and support the children.

With the exception of those attending NCIS, Children (8-12 Yrs) who come 1st, 2nd or 3rd in their race, will be given the opportunity to compete at the PSSA competition at UNE Bellevue Oval in Armidale next Tuesday 4 May.  If your child receives an invitation and they are keen to participate I will need permission notes returned to me on Monday 3 May.  Spectators are welcome to Bellevue Oval, however must remain in the spectators’ section during the day.



TAS Blue 

It was a gloriously warm day to start our netball season on Saturday. It was tricky to start the season with a game rather than a training session, but the girls took it in their stride and played with unwavering enthusiasm and energy! Now that we are playing in the primary division, we are using a bigger netball, taller rings and some very experienced opposing teams. Elsie Teng and Bonnie Blanch played their first-ever netball game and did so well keeping up with the rules and the fast pace on the court, well-done girls! Although we went down on the weekend, the love of the sport was felt and that is the most important thing for the long season ahead!

Mrs Anna O’Connor


Community Notices