2021 Term 2 Week 4   |   12.05.2021

TAS Talks Term 2 Week 4

01. From the Head of School


Our recent assemblies have provided us with not only the opportunity to hear performances from our HSC Music students as they present pieces that they are intending to perform in front of the HSC examiners, we have also witnessed performances from students in other year groups. The composure, professionalism and quality have all been very impressive indeed. I am looking forward to hearing the forthcoming reports on the recent Year 6 excursion to Canberra, the TAS 100km bike ride and the awarding of Silver Colours, Gold Colours, Honours and special Commendations for Summer sports. From my perspective it is most gratifying that our students are part of such a thriving school community.


Congratulations are due to Stirling Munsie who, on the back of last weekend’s Country Rugby Championship (CRC) where he was one of a number of TAS boys in the New England side, has been selected for the NSW Country Opens Rugby Team to play in tournaments later in the year. Rising to this level of competition is a significant and special achievement and I am sure that all across the school will join in wishing Stirling well for the representative season ahead.


As mentioned last week, this week all students in Years 3, 5, 7 & 9 sit NAPLAN literacy and numeracy tests over three days. I have encouraged all of our students to endeavour to do their best in these tests so that we are able to extract diagnostic information that is accurate and reflects the abilities of our students in the areas of literacy and numeracy that are nationally benchmarked.

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

Uniform and Book Shop

The Uniform and Book Shop will be closed on Wednesday 12, Thursday 13 and Friday 14 May.

Normal operating hours will resume next week:
Monday 12noon-4:00pm
Tuesday 8.00am-2:00pm
Wednesday 12noon-4:00pm
Thursday 8:00am-2:00pm
Friday 12noon-4:00pm

Ms Fiona Van de Poel
Uniform Shop Manager

02. Calendar of Events


Week 4
Friday 14 MayDubbo Boarding Schools Expo
Saturday 15 MayDubbo Boarding Schools Expo
Monday 17 MayShakespeare Carnival (Regional)
Friday 21 May – Sunday 23 MayRound Square Mini-Conference – MLC Sydney
Saturday 22 MayRugby v The Scots College (Sydney)
Tuesday 25 MayThe Goodbye, Hello Tour – Moree
Wednesday 26 MayThe Goodbye, Hello Tour – Narrabri


The Goodbye, Hello Tour

The Goodbye, Hello Tour begins

As previously advised, the TAS community will have the opportunity to farewell retiring Head of School Mr Alan Jones and welcome the 15th Head, Dr Rachel Horton, at various events around the region. Current and past parents and alumni who live in the areas being visited, were emailed on 30 April. It would be appreciated if those wishing to attend could reply as soon as possible, via the link below. Armidale and metropolitan city events will be held in Term 3 and dates communicated in due course.

RSVP here

Tuesday 25 May – Moree

Wednesday 26 May – Narrabri

Tuesday 1 June – Gunnedah

Wednesday 2 June – Tamworth

Wednesday 9 June – Walcha

Tuesday 15 June – Scone (inc Maitland)

Thursday 17 June – Inverell (inc Glen Innes)

03. From the P&F


New Executive for 2021/22


The P&F consists of a core group of volunteer executive, committee members, and year group liaison parents joined by the wider parent, guardian and friend community.

Our purpose is to foster an environment that enables an inclusive community to support life at TAS. We are about providing opportunities for the community to engage with each other around our children’s growth and education. We are about raising funds which can be allocated back to projects that benefit our children.

If you haven’t had the chance already, reach out to the P&F and let us know your ideas. Let us grow the community. Let us know how you can assist.

Year group liaison parents are undoubtedly your most important P&F contacts – here is a reminder of who they are for your respective year groups – click on their name for their email address:


TransitionLisa Post

Jo Crowley

KindergartenAmanda McDowell

Di Wood

Year 1Emalene Gemmel

Thara Ranawake

Year 2Maartje Tory

Lynne Secker

Year 3Bruce Denison
Year 4Melanie Fillios

Maartje Tory

Year 5Kari Maitz

Suzy Ross

Year 6Sonia Broun

Kate Blanchard

Year 7Hannah Crawford

Nichole Gaddes

Year 8Anna Simmons

Susie Crawford

Year 9Lisa Johnstone

Sarah Nivison

Year 10Belinda Banister

Sandy McNaughton

Year 11Peta Moore

Pip Benham

Year 12Vicki Louis

Di Lambeth



Please join us to determine where the money we have raised in the past year should be allocated within the school for the benefit of the student life. Meetings are open to all parents.

Alternatively, if you wish to put forward a proposal for the use of funds please send these to Mr Jones as soon as possible so all proposals can be evaluated prior to the meeting.

Funding proposals should be costed, justified and seek to help a significant proportion of school. Any proposal should also be for things that are tangible, something that school wouldn’t normally pay for and on the ‘really nice to have’ list.  If you have any queries about the funding process, please contact me on pandf@as.edu.au



If you have anything you would like to raise with the P&F Executive, please send us an email on pandf@as.edu.au


Mr Paul Gaddes

P&F President


Co-curricular Life

Spring Ridge Cup

On the morning of Saturday 1 May, seven shooters arrived at TAS and bussed it to Spring Ridge Shooting Range for the Spring Ridge Prize Shoot. On our arrival we had a quick practice at the 600 yard range. On Sunday morning shooting began at 8.30am sharp, the first range being 500 yards. Georgia Donoghue shot the highest score in C Grade at this range with a score of 49 with 5 V-bulls. Moving on to 600 yards, the most difficult range, we each had two shoots with Alex Hall winning the highest C Grade shooter for both of these shoots with 49 and 2 V-bulls and 46 with 3 V-bulls. Everybody shot amazingly, with special mention to Ruby Mills who had not shot 500 or 600 yards before but shot fantastically. It was an extremely fun weekend, and to finish it off TAS took out the top three places overall in C Grade, with Alex Hall placing first and winning the Tyro award, Rowan Hey second and Georgia Donoghue third. Many thanks to Mr Lawrence, Mr Hey and Mrs Donoghue for making this event possible.

Georgia Donoghue and Alex Hall

Captains of Shooting





04. Leadership, Service & Adventure

Mufti Day - Dolly's Dream

“It doesn’t cost anything to be kind”

This Friday, 14 May is “Do it for Dolly Day” https://dollysdream.org.au

This year our focus will be on an Act of Kindness. Whilst everyone experiences the ups and downs of life, taking a moment each day to show some kindness to another, can be enormous. We never truly know what someone else is thinking, their world might be in a state of disarray, yet they do not show this side to anyone. A simple act of kindness could change their day. Students in Middle and Senior School are to wear blue (Dolly’s favourite colour) and bring in a gold coin donation. This money will be collected by the Prefects at Friday’s Assembly and will be used to support children and their families in Regional Australia who are suffering the effects of bullying.


Mr Jim Pennington
Coordinator Challenge & Service

05. From the Creative Arts Coordinator


Last night saw the return of our beloved Twilight Concerts, with two showcases highlighting Junior, Middle and Senior musicians, vocalists and ensembles. It is wonderful to have the Hoskins Centre once more playing home to student showcases, just like it has been a treat to have musical items in our school assemblies. Congratulations to all the student performers, their accompanists, the peripatetic teachers working behind the scenes and our fantastic Music teachers Ms Leanne Roobol, Mr Thomas Collett and Miss Charlotte Low for driving the evening. It was an enormous night of Music and what is clear to all is that our performance culture has survived the impacts of 2020 and our students are keen as ever to take to the stage.
All reports are that the Middle School preparations for Revolting Rhymes are going well. Best wishes to Mr Wheatley, his assistant directors and the rest of the cast and crew as they prepare this ambitious stage production. Tickets will go on sale in the coming weeks so keep your eyes out for that announcement!
Each Tuesday and Thursday afternoon we have the Junior School Drama Club working hard refining their performance skills – if you would like your student to be involved in that activity please see the Junior School Reception. And the Middle School Theatresports team continues to hone their skills each Wednesday afternoon – contact Mr O’Connell for more information. Finally, our Technical Production Team is getting ready for their work on Revolting Rhymes but they could always use the extra helpers so please contact Mr Cornford to start learning the craft and skills of technical design and operation.


Mr Andrew O’Connell
Creative Arts Coordinator

From the DIrector of Music

TAS Community Choir

Come and join the TAS Community Choir!
We have commenced rehearsals for the TAS Community Choir. We  are inviting students, parents, staff and friends to join us in singing ‘The Sound of Our Home’ at the Armidale Eisteddfod at 6pm on Tuesday 25 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 6:00pm – 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!

Opera Australia in Concert 

New England Conservatorium of Music are hosting Opera Australia at the Armidale Teachers’ College on Thursday, 20 May. Experience some of the most famous arias of all times performed by Opera Australia’s brightest young stars accompanied by a 10 piece chamber orchestra, in a performance described as ‘opera without the boring bits’. 
Due to popular demand, NECOM are offering a 5:30pm concert, with a repeat performance at 7:30pm. Pre- and post-show, guests will be able to experience the pop-up Opera Bar located on the balcony of the Armidale Teachers’ College.
The full program, details and tickets can be found on the NECOM website:  https://necom.org.au/opera-australia-in-concert/


Ms Leanne Roobol
Director of Music


06. From the Head of Middle School


Communication – mostly with your children

Now that the dust has settled considerably, I’m finding it relatively easy to speak to students on a one-to-one basis and I’m enjoying the experience, not so much in the office as a matter of fact, but outside at the appropriately named ‘round table’, or in the grounds. They’re generally relaxed enough now to speak honestly, too. With the majority, these talks are as informal as they are brief. Sometimes they’re discussions about food, boarding, schoolwork, rugby, netball, skateboards (I don’t like skateboards very much, but a lot of your children do, so I listen dutifully) and home. Invariably, they love this latter topic. I’m even getting to know the names of some new students’ wider family members, too. So, all in all, life here is becoming ‘normal’ for all, remains challenging for most, in the best possible way of course, and increasingly easy for some. In short, they’re continuing to settle well and, apart from aberrant food wrappers, the odd gum chewers, and paper planes / rockets (launched from the upstairs rooms) a few students leave around the grounds, I’m happy with their progress here.

Now, I want to revisit an earlier point from past TAS Talks: being a mere mortal, I don’t always ‘get it right’ so, if there’s something you’re aware of that could assist me to address concerns you have about your child’s wellbeing, then I want you to call me rather than wait for me to call you. Mrs Julie Crozier, Mr Jamie Brauer and I talk reasonably regularly each week, so our awareness of boarders’ needs is, in my view, good, and our management of them, also, is good. The proposed after school activities initiative with Mrs Jo Benham, if it gets off the ground, will make their lives even better still. But day students have needs as well and I urge you to avail yourselves of the opportunity to speak to me if and when you want or need to do so. I hasten to add that I speak regularly with Mr AJ Whalley, as well. We need to learn in this place and over the years I’ve learnt to listen. You pay for this experience and you’ve the right to be heard. Last Friday evening was point in case: I went to the boys’ games at the Plain Street fields in Tamworth. So many wider family members were there. I like talking to you at these times: they’re relaxed times; your children are generally relaxed too, because they’re enjoying themselves; you’re watching your children playing sport, so you’re happy, as well. Yes, I like talking and listening to you at these times.

In fact, it’s essential that we communicate because, as indicated in past TAS Talks instalments, it’s so much easier to manage issues than it is to address problems. The people we deal with are too young to be burdened by many problems anyway and the more we adults talk, the less likely is the situation where problems may arise. Problems have the capacity to impinge on the enjoyment of skateboarding, netball, sitting under trees (sometimes with a good book), careering around ovals and other life-necessities of early adolescence. We all know that when they get to eighteen, there’s no way on earth that anyone will let tomorrow’s adults turn back the clock – so, let’s help them to enjoy themselves and learn to support one another in the ‘here and now’. Let’s ensure that that they just learn and laugh together.

I want to acknowledge Mrs Regina Pollard who has pretty much single-handedly managed the Middle School part of the 2021 ‘leg’ NAPLAN organisation. The Year 7 cohort began in earnest yesterday – and we didn’t have a hitch. This hitch-less operation suggests Mrs Pollard’s faultless communication with so many others up to the time of this battery of diagnostic ‘tools’. Mrs Wendy Hill and Mrs Lorna Ahern are the other two members of this successful trio and we should also acknowledge their wider school NAPLAN success.


The next section comes from the Canberra excursion that our Year 6 cohort enjoyed last week. These events don’t appear miraculously out of the ether: Mrs Kirsty Brunsdon has worked tirelessly since last year, actually, to ensure the smooth running of operations, particularly in a centre where COVID 19 restrictions are just relaxing now. On your behalf and on the behalf of all Middle School staff, I want to thank Kirsty and Mr Jordan Lane for their intrepid efforts with our Year 6 students in our nation’s capital last Week.

Mr Mark Harrison
Head of Middle School

Year 6 Canberra Report

On May the 3rd, Year 6 departed for Canberra with teachers Mr Jordan Lane and Mrs Kirsty Brunsdon. Despite the tedious, energy sapping 11 hour journey, we hopped off the bus, full of enthusiasm for the coming week. Our accommodation was very comfortable, with amazing food, and we were ready for the next few days.

We participated in many enjoyable activities such as the Australian Institute of Sport, which had many fun activities and simulators related to sport; both Old and New Parliament Houses which gave us a fascinating insight into our Federal Government and The Arboretum, which had an epic playground consisting of radical equipment and some beautiful gardens with many varieties of plants. Another excellent activity was the Dinosaur Museum which we visited at night. This place was a phenomenal experience. It was informative, interesting and had a great gift shop. Mrs Brunsdon even bought Mr Harrison a coffee mug from here, so that he doesn’t need to borrow hers in future.

Overall, the experience was very informative, entertaining and enjoyable, and we all had a wonderful time. We recommend this excursion very much to future year groups. We wish to sincerely thank Mrs Brunsdon and Mr Lane for all the effort that has gone into preparing this excursion, and for an exceptional experience.

Peter Thompson and Cormac Downes
Year 6 



07. From the Head of Junior School


Mother’s Day in Junior School

What an excellent occasion last Friday lived up to be, as we were able to join to celebrate all the wonderful women in our children’s lives. Thank you, everyone, for making this such as success. Both our teachers and students worked very hard to make this a success and from the number of fantastic photos, it appears that this certainly was the case. There are many photos and we will post them on the school website as soon as we can.


Do it for Dolly

“It doesn’t cost anything to be kind” – Bring a gold coin to school.

This Friday, 14 May is “Do it for Dolly Day” https://dollysdream.org.au

This year for our whole school, our focus will be on performing an Act of Kindness for someone else. Whilst everyone experiences the ups and downs of life, taking a moment each day to show some kindness to another can be enormous. We never truly know what someone else is thinking, their world might be in a state of disarray, yet they do not show this side to anyone. A simple act of kindness could change their day.

Students in Junior School will be allowed to wear a small blue accessory or item of clothing to wear with their normal uniform, (Dolly’s favourite colour) and bring in a Gold coin donation. This money will be collected by the School and will be used to support children and their families in Regional Australia.


A Fantastic Twilight Concert

It was a genuine pleasure to attend the Twilight Concert last night in the Hoskins Centre. I have always admired the courage of performers who accept the challenge of fronting an audience. Not only this, but the quality of their performances was also exceptional….

Whether singing a solo or playing the violin or performing duet with piano and cello, there was a broad representation from Junior School on the Hoskin’s stage. Congratulations to the following (and their wonderful teachers) for their efforts: William Minter, Daniel Mo, Harry Fawcett, Layla Abu Assab, Lachlan Wood, Jack Maitz, Xavier Stephen, Jack Wood, Mila Wright and Archie Tonkin. Keep an eye out for photos from the concert that will be loaded onto the School website photo gallery, in coming days.



Illness in Junior School

Unfortunately, we are experiencing a good deal of illness in Junior School at the moment, particularly sore throats and coughing. If you have any doubts about your children’s health, please consult your doctor. Several children have been asked to have COVID tests and this unfortunately is set to continue. Under any circumstances, we believe it is always wise to err on the side of caution if you feel your child is not well by keeping them at home. We ask any child who has been vomiting or had a temperature, to remain at home for 24 hours. from the last signs of illness.   If your child is absent, could you please send an email to the Junior School at junior@as.edu.au or phone 6776 5817.

Grip Leadership

I was very pleased to see that the GRIP Leadership session have once again resumed and that we were able to have 12 of our Leaders present on Monday. It is a very worthwhile exercise and they will no doubt, benefit from the experience of sharing their ideas with others and bringing new initiatives to their own school. I hear their involvement and behaviour was exemplary and I congratulate them and thank Mrs Fawcett for assisting them throughout the day. A report follows later in this edition of TAS Talks.



Zana Ross has proven herself a very able athlete in many fields and once again she has excelled in winning her 11 years Girls Cross Country event at NCIS Carnival. Reported last week by Mr Pennington, Zana finished very strongly in her race and we congratulate her.

School Spirit Awards

Congratulations to the following students that received School Spirit Awards last week: Ari Ah-See, Maggie Wood, Ed Benham, Chloe Chen, Kieran Ahern, Elsie Nexo, Rory Secker, Freddie Post, Duncan Liam, Daniel Bayne, Ethan Downes, Maya Slade, Bonnie Blanch, Arabella Hodges, Hamish Molina, Casper Cook, Zana Ross, Lucas van der Werf, Minnie Chick and Mila Wright.


Happy Birthday

Levi Watts, Cameron Carruthers and Olivia Whysall all celebrate birthdays this week so best wishes to you all.


Week 4
Wednesday 12 May


Thursday 13 May                 

No AssemblyNAPLAN


Week 5
Wednesday 19 MayKindergarten Assembly – Hoskins Theatre – 2.45 pm
 National Simultaneous Storytime 11.00 am
 No Dance Club
Week 6
Monday 24 May

Tuesday 25 May

Wednesday 26 May


Friday 28 May

Life Education Van

Life Education Van

Life Education Van

Yr 3 Assembly – Hoskins Theatre – 2.45 pm

Children’s Literature Festival

Week 7
 Wednesday 2 JuneNo Assembly

No Dance Club

GRIP Leadership

On Monday 10 May, the Year 5 SRC and Student Leaders went to a GRIP Leadership conference. All students were involved in a range of activities that would enhance their leadership skills. The conference was highly interactive which engaged and motivated our student leaders. Students setup their action plans, focussing on what they wanted to – invent, introduce, implement and improve. It was an absolute pleasure taking these students out for the day.  Their manner and overall behaviour was exceptional.

Mrs Grania Fawcett
Year 5 Teacher

Junior School Sport

It was great to see the start of many games this weekend for our Junior School children. Please ensure you are aware of where to locate your child’s draw each week.

For our Football players, please ensure you continue to look at the UNE website, alternatively you can download the Team App to receive the draw and any updates that occur.


UNE Football draw

Go to the following link. A map reference can also be clicked on once you locate your game.


TAS Tornadoes Under 8

It was a beautiful Armidale Autumn morning last Saturday and the Tornadoes arrived excited and keen to play against the North Armidale Red Devils! With a name like that, we knew we were in for a challenging game. At training, we had focussed on trying to play a little more in our position and watching the ball carefully as we played which certainly paid off. To begin with, we were having a little trouble getting the ball in the goal, however, it wasn’t long before Rory scored our first goal. This buoyed our enthusiasm and as we subbed on and off the field Rory kept up his form and scored another three goals. Casey also landed a goal in the second half, but it was not so much the goal scoring that impressed the coaches, more the evidence of what we had practised at training and exceptional teamwork and sportsmanship displayed by all on the field.  A special thank you to Mr Blackwell for overseeing the subs, Mr Maxwell for umpiring and Freddie and Eloise for happily volunteering to play with the Under 9s. This enabled all players to have a good amount of play time. It was a wonderful round all up for the almighty Tornadoes!


Mrs Tania Hardin and Mr Darren Maxwell





TAS Triceratops

It was a sunny Saturday morning in Guyra as the TAS Triceratops took on the Mighty Guyra Sprites.  Smiles and relaxed faces were all in form as dads thoughtfully put the finishing touches to Mother’s Day.  Mums, dreaming of the day to come.  Sleeping in.  Breakfast in bed.  That perfect gift.  And quietly taking to the pitch, the Triceratops.  Down two players and Coach Drain, who was selflessly giving up his Saturday for an Executive meeting with a catered lunch.  None of it phased the Triceratops as they rallied together to take on the Sprites, putting on a clinic of flawless listening and honed skills.  Echoes of “Go for goal,” “Do you need a rest?” and “Find coach” could be heard, but none of it louder than the joy of eager faces, stalwart competition and exemplary TAS sportsmanship.  A veritable clinic on how to enjoy a game.  That we came away with a victory, a beautiful note for what was, a beautiful Saturday morning amongst friends.

Mr Gordon Arndt


U8 Hockey

It may have not been the result we wanted, but the Under 8s played with spirit and gusto, whilst adjusting to the rules of a new sport.

This week the team needs to focus on their spacing around the field and ensuring their hockey stick is close to the ground when giving chase. The team should be praised for their positive attitude that they display in training and at hockey games.

Mrs Grania Fawcett




Community Notices