2021 Term 2 Week 7   |   02.06.2021

TAS Talks Term 2 Week 7

01. From the Head of School


There is much happening in the lives of the students at The Armidale School across a range of age groups this week. With regards to the Eisteddfod, it is an opportunity for our musicians to perform. The TAS Middle School String Trio, TAS Piano Trio, TAS Clarinet Trio, TAS Junior School String Ensemble, TAS K-6 Ensemble and the TAS Camerata will all be on show. I would like to wish all who will be performing the very best and hopefully some reward for their very hard work.

The Middle School drama production will be presented this Thursday and Friday and I am very much looking forward to their interpretation of Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes. Also, on the Creative Arts front we have a group of students heading to Sydney under the guidance of Mr Andrew O’Connell for the next stage of the NSW Shakespeare Festival and it is a credit to all of them to be selected for this next round.

Our Year 12 students are travelling to Sydney to attend the annual Careers Expo. In what is a crowded Year 12 calendar they will be able to cast a discerning eye over the full gambit of post school options from universities to apprenticeships, with a range of seminars to complement direct contact with exhibitors. While such huge breadth of choice might seem overwhelming, it does provide our students with a concreted experience to contemplate what the future might hold. Choices will change over time of course, and a good number will have to wait to see what doors their HSC will open but hopefully the experience will see our senior year group focussed, purposeful and looking ahead.

I would also like to mention a service opportunity and one that can continue for life and that is blood donation. The Australian Red Cross Life Blood is calling out for anyone who is over 18, feeling fit and well to come forward and donate blood. Last year many of our students who had reached the age of 18 put their hands up to join The Armidale School Life Blood Team and I would particularly like to see some of our current student leaders setting this example again and inspiring our younger students.

This week I have travelled to Gunnedah and Tamworth with Dr Rachel Horton and enjoyed the parent gathering in Gunnedah last night and Tamworth tonight.

On a more sombre note, as you may have heard in the media, yesterday a former TAS teacher was convicted of historical sexual assaults that occurred in the 1960s. We have been working with students from this era to bring the perpetrator to justice and hope it will now enable the victims who courageously came forward, to heal. While I will be communicating more about this with you all in due course, suffice to say it is a reminder that we continue to encourage past victims of abuse to come forward to the School and police, and that any forms of abuse should be called out and reported.


Mr Alan Jones
Head of School


Regional ‘Goodbye, Hello Tour’

We are looking forward to having drinks with current and past boarding parents and alumni during the regional heartland ‘Goodbye, Hello Tour’ with Mr Alan Jones and Dr Rachel Horton over the coming month (same dates as the afternoon tea above).

If you haven’t already RSVP’d, please do so using the BOOK NOW! button located below.

Armidale and metropolitan events will occur next term prior to Mr Jones retirement at the end of Term 3.


Afternoon Tea with Dr Horton

NSW Regional Boarding families - do you have friends who are considering TAS for their son or daughter? If so, let them know they can meet Dr Rachel Horton, our new Head of School when she tours regional towns in the coming weeks.

Wednesday 9 June – Walcha
Tuesday 15 June – Scone
Thursday 17 June – Inverell

Please encourage your friends to come for afternoon tea with Dr Horton at the venues listed here. Booking link below.

Boarders Travel

Please follow the link below to the online booking form for the end of term travel (Friday 25 June) and the start of term travel (Monday 19 July).

These chartered coach services are provided free to students travelling between their home and school – not interstate home destinations. Booking is essential and it would be greatly appreciated if bookings could be made by the due date Friday 21 May and on the form provided.

Cancellations can be made up to three (3) days prior to travel. Students should be mindful of the 2 suitcases (25kg each) limit. Arrangements can be made through a carrier for extra luggage.

Senior Concession ID cards are also available from Reception for students that are over 16 years of age. This ID card entitles students to travel at child’s fare.

If you have any queries regarding travel, please don’t hesitate to contact Mrs Lucas in TAS Reception.

Mrs Veronica Lucas



Week 7
Wednesday 2 JuneThe Goodbye, Hello Tour – Tamworth
Thursday 3 JuneSydney Careers Expo – University of Sydney
Middle School Production -Revolting Rhymes
Friday 4 JuneSydney Careers Expo – University of Sydney
Middle School Production -Revolting Rhymes
Saturday 5 June-Sunday 6 JuneNSW Shakespeare Carnival – Sydney
Week 8
Tuesday 8 June‘Safe on Social’ Presentation (Parents) (Hoskins 7pm)
Wednesday 9 June‘Safe on Social’ Presentation (Students)
Thursday 10 JuneFarrer MAHS visit
Boarders depart for long weekend
Friday 11 June – Monday 14 JuneLong Weekend – no classes
Monday 4 JuneBoarders return
Tuesday 15 JuneClasses resume


02. From the Director of Studies


Participation in ICAS Competitions 2021

TAS will be participating in the ICAS Assessments again this year. ICAS is designed to target students’ higher-order thinking and problem-solving skills in English, Science, Mathematics and Spelling. This year, parents will need to register and pay directly with ICAS if they wish for their child to take part in any/all of these assessments. TAS will then facilitate the sitting of these papers in late August, during the scheduled sitting windows. The schedule for these competitions can be found below. These assessments are suitable for students wishing to extend themselves academically and take up the challenge of competing in an international assessment.


Please refer to the letter sent to all families today regarding ICAS for further details on how to complete these registrations. Please send an email to dos@as.edu.au if you require any assistance with these.


Meetings with Year 12 Students

I am enjoying the opportunity to meet with Year 12 students to discuss their final year of schooling and how to approach the weeks ahead. This has provided a valuable opportunity to discuss the student’s intentions for 2022 and beyond and provide support where we can with various University applications and Entry Schemes. I encourage any remaining Year 12 students who haven’t requested a meeting time to let me know and I look forward to speaking with them.

Year 10 into 11 Subject Selection

The process for Year 10 students to choose their subjects for Years 11 and 12 will begin later this term. Prior to the holidays, students will receive a subject handbook and will be asked to make the initial preferences for subjects over the winter break.

To assist with this process, there will be several Information Sessions held.

The dates for these sessions are:

Tuesday 22nd June – 7:30pm for Prospective and new Families to TAS (via Zoom)

Wednesday 23 June – 6:30pm for parents of Year 10 students. This will be held at TAS immediately following Year 10 Parent-Teacher interviews.

Thursday 24 June – 11:40am. All of Year 10 will be attending this session and any parents are also invited to attend.


Stage 5 Electives for Semester 2

Students in Years 9 and 10 have now completed their elective choices for Semester 2. The online form for these choices is now closed. Any student who wishes to change their elective choices for next term need to send an email to dos@as.edu.au

Students will be advised of their electives for Semester 2 in the final week of this term.


Mr Luke Polson
Director of  Studies


03. From the Director of Pastoral Care


'Safe on Socials' Presentations

Next week TAS will host Kirra Pendergast, founder of Safe on Social, who will facilitate a number of workshops for staff, parents and students. Kirra’s presentations will focus on the ever-changing digital world our students live in and address issues such as:

  • Online safety and using social media with awareness
  • Terms and conditions of use and what they mean
  • Keeping your personal information private
  • Online stranger danger and what grooming might look like and what to do
  • Group Chats and strategies to manage them better
  • Posting and sharing photos and the law
  • Sexting and image-based abuse and the law
  • Respectful online relationships and consent
  • How to create a positive digital footprint
  • Cyber-bullying, online harassment, and how to report it
  • Known scams, hoaxes, deepfake, fake news, and misinformation
  • Identity theft
  • Legal responsibilities
  • Privacy settings
  • Online gaming safety
  • Strategies to build resilience

TAS staff will participate in workshops next Tuesday 8 June followed by a parent presentation commencing at 7pm. This session will be recorded, and the link sent out to families who are unable to attend this event. Students will participate in age specific workshops on Wednesday 9 June. Parents, please ensure you rsvp to reserve your seat to the Parent information session on Tuesday evening by following https://publications.as.edu.au/safe-on-social-media/

Mr AJ Whalley
Director of Pastoral Care



04. Round Square News

Round Square Conference at MLC, Sydney

Two weeks ago seven Year 9 students and a Year 10 student headed to Sydney for a statewide Round Square conference at MLC School, Burwood. It was a really exciting opportunity to participate in as it was one of the first Round Square events to take place since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. There were six NSW Round Square schools there, and during our time at MLC we had an awesome time making new friends and collaborating with different people from all around the State. The conference was based on the theme of ‘reigniting the flame’ and the Round Square IDEAL of service. We got the opportunity to present our ideas in groups with kids from other schools and listen to presentations from speakers from the Big Issue magazine and the Hats for Homeless organisation.

Over the weekend we played many group games and participated in activities, explored the city and went on an Aboriginal ferry tour of Sydney Harbour.  From the conference we expanded on our knowledge of the issues centred around homelessness in Australia through going on a service-orientated scavenger hunt. We also made beanies for the Hats For Homeless organisation, that supports marginalised Australians.

We would like to give many thanks to Mr O’Connell and Miss Prado for taking us on the trip and to Mrs Gayner for her work helping organise the conference behind the scenes.

Bella Fernance & Tommy Burnett

05. From the Director of Co-curricular


Sport continued over the weekend and for our rugby players it was the final trip to Sydney for the season. Taking on Joey’s is never easy and it was pleasing to witness some excellent match-ups across the age groups. In most cases our teams took on Joey’s C teams and when we put that into perspective (Joeys has G’s in most age groups and 200 boys per year group, TAS has Bs and up to 50 boys) the teams did incredibly well. A special mention to our 13As who had a good win 31-12. A BIG thank you to Joey’s and Scots for the fixtures over the past two weeks and a heartfelt thank you to Joey’s and Shore who have hosted us over the past 2 weeks. Their generosity has certainly added to our experience and for that I am very grateful.

Once again we look forward to competing against Farrer on 10 June for The Dick Hodgson Shield. An afternoon of sport where our students compete in a variety of sports. A copy of the draw can be found below.

Click HERE for the schedule of the Farrer fixtures


The Eisteddfod continues this week, TAS has organised transport and logistics for these events only. All individual event entries are up to families to organise and should liaise with teachers and boarding houses in regard to event times and travel arrangements.

Click HERE  for the Eisteddfod schedule


Mr Huon Barrett
Director of Co-curricular

06. From the Creative Arts Coordinator


The Hoskins Centre is going to be filled with revolting children this week as Middle School prepares to take the stage with Revolting Rhymes. Roald Dahl’s wicked retellings of famous nursery rhymes will be brought to life by an enthusiastic ensemble cast and supported by our Technical Production Team in new and exciting ways. There are only two performances, this Thursday and Friday 6pm, and tickets can be found here: https://www.trybooking.com/BRQEP.

The Eisteddfod continues to march forwards, with the focus shifting from singing and choirs to our instrumentalists. All the best to the many individuals, bands and ensembles participating in the coming weeks and particularly to the teachers and peripatetic staff supporting our students.
In just two weeks the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow will roll into Hoskins for a night of wild entertainment. As usual, I’d recommend that for this event our parents leave the kids alone as the hilarious comedy often strays into more mature territory. Tickets can be found here (https://www.trybooking.com/BRBVH) and get in quick for a night of live and local comedy!
Mr Andrew O’Connell
Creative Arts Coordinator

The ensemble cast of Revolting Rhymes

Director Mr Wheatley with assistants, Bridget Burnett and Felix Hruby



07. From the Head of Middle School


Eisteddfod and Middle School Production

The 2021 Eisteddfod season has begun: individual and collective performances will continue over the next weeks and Middle School students are gainfully employed across all categories. I know our creative and performing arts staff are very busy organising trips to the Old Teachers’ College and UNE’s Lazenby Hall. So keen are some that their performances include Armidale-based commitments and those further afield. Obviously, when we can, staff travel to various performances to support our people. One Eisteddfod ‘stand out’ at this stage is Year 7 student Steven Hopwood who has performed both here and his hometown of Gunnedah: already he has received vocal recognition with four firsts, one second and, considering his relatively new ‘senior’ status, second most promising vocalist for the secondary student section in his performances.

Roald Dahl’s classic Revolting Rhymes is the chosen Middle School production for 2021. Such performances don’t appear miraculously out of the ether: I know our people have spent many hours, after school and on weekends, preparing for their performances under the direction of Mr Andrew Wheatley. Their public debut will be this coming Thursday and, on your behalf, I wish them well: it’s important to add that the back stage, sound and lighting complements comprise Middle School students pretty much exclusively, too. If you can be in attendance, then I urge you to buy your tickets and enjoy your evening in the Hoskins Centre.


As a logical step in any planning process regarding middle schooling, it’s important that key players, our current students, have a say in “what’s good, what’s important, what’s not, and, importantly, what could be so much better” in the planning process for future development. These people are still young enough to be fiercely idealistic and have quick burning passions and I seriously believe that that we can learn from them. We want your children to begin to ‘take the initiative’ in terms of communication in a more active way during their time in this part of our school. As well, so many of these people are unflaggingly creative and inquisitive, confident but not arrogant. As indicated to staff in our meetings, I’m happy about the prospect of working more closely with all people for whom I’m directly responsible.

Something that should make our time together universally worthwhile is a workplace that encourages the collaborative efforts of boys, girls and staff. The only realistic and sensible way to ensure such an atmosphere is to invite their comments in a place that encourages the level of confidence necessary for each student to be resourceful and to have a ‘voice’. It’s your job to encourage your child to ‘speak up’ in a respectful manner; ours is to ensure that the level of respect is ‘followed through’ and reciprocated. Yes, I know that this style of environment is the ideal and am aware that we’re dealing with young adolescents for whom school life, in particular, can be characteristically challenging, indeed, daunting. I also know that if we don’t continue to try to effect such an environment here in Middle School, then we’re not doing the right thing by these young people as it’s our collective brief, as staff and families, to ensure that they’re happy and, as such, resilient enough to meet the greater challenges, independence and responsibilities of their future in the Senior School.

Mr Mark Harrison

From Middle School’s production Revolting Rhymes








Steven Hopwood and awards from the Armidale and Gunnedah Eisteddfods






08. From the Head of Junior School


Weekend Sport

Travelling around last weekend to watch some sport brought home to me, just how fortunate we are to live in such a beautiful part of the world. Yes, the breeze got up a bit in the afternoon, but that did not dampen our netballers’ spirits as they rose to the challenge up at Lynches Road. It was an impressive day of competition and please keep an eye out for photos that will be uploaded onto the TAS website. I would like to thank all our parents, particularly the many who were on the sidelines, not only for your support (and in some cases coaching and expert guidance…) but for your balanced and considered encouragement for our budding stars. It is clearly evident on the field.

And while I am at it, we have two budding young referees who have had their first start last week, I believe. It is never easy being the adjudicator, the person in the middle, the umpire or referee, so hats off to Izzie Glover and Sophie Banister for taking up this challenging but very rewarding role.

Ivy Rice…with plenty (or no) options

Umraj Nirmaan – weighing up his options…

Janesh Wijewarna, Evelyn Brownlie, Zander Dell & Casey Tighe – One in all in!










Eisteddfod reports

Congratulations to all our students who have gathered their courage and performed (and competed) in this year’s Eisteddfod. I have received wonderful reports about their many successes, highlighting the notion that it is always somewhat confronting learning to perform in front of an audience. Well done to all our participants – we will endeavour to list you all towards the end of the season.


Zana Ross and Harriet Coupland – 1st Disney Songs  singing “Can’t Wait to be King”

Kaitlyn Baker – 1st Vocal solo, folk song or ballad (12 and under) singing ‘The Star of the County Down’ & 3rd in the Vocal solo, Musical theatre, Operetta, Disney film and television (12 and under) singing ‘Don’t cry for me Argentina’.




Children’s Author – Eric Carle

Eric Carle’s books are a teaching resource I rely upon regularly. Sadly, he passed away on May 23 after a magnificent career. As a small tribute, Mr Arndt and the Junior School would like to update the PIT Gallery in the HUB with a showcase of some of his work.  We would also like to hold a “Bookmark” colouring contest and place the winning entries on display.

The bookmark colouring template will be made available via homeroom teachers or in the HUB.  Students can work on their entries at home, in class as time allows or in the HUB at lunch.  Entries can be submitted at any time and the contest will close at the end of Week 8.  Book prizes will be awarded to winning entries. Students can talk to their teachers for further information, and we thank Mr Arndt for this initiative, and we thank you, Eric Carle for all you brought to us.

Participation in ICAS Competitions 2021

You will have received a letter from the Director of Studies, Mr Luke Polson, indicating that TAS will be again participating in the ICAS Assessments again this year. ICAS is developed by UNSW Global, a wholly owned subsidiary of UNSW Sydney with over 35 years’ experience in educational assessments.

ICAS is designed to target students’ higher-order thinking and problem solving skills in English, Science, Mathematics and Spelling. This year, parents will need to register and pay directly with ICAS if they wish for their child to take part in any/all of these assessments. TAS will then facilitate the sitting of these papers in late August, during the scheduled sitting windows. These assessments are suitable for students wishing to extend themselves academically and take up the challenge of competing in an international assessment.

Please refer to the letter for further information, or contact Junior School Reception.

School Spirits

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

Scarlett Shortt, Heidi Secker, Talon Allsop, Bridei Stewart, Tobias Holland, Carla Price, William Minter, Lara Thavapalasundaram, Toby Whysall, Oliver Maxwell, Ellen Adams, Janesh Wijewarna, Baxter Carruthers, Humjot Sandhu, Jose Ugwumba, Sahib Singh, Nate Blair-Pevitt, Layla Abu Assab, George Drain, Oliver Robb, Libby Ditchfield and Xavier Stephen.


Happy Birthday

Best wishes to Ari Ah-See, Daniel Bayne, Alex Feng, Hamish Molina who all celebrate birthdays this week.


Mr Ian Lloyd
Head of Junior School

Week 7
Wednesday 2 JuneYear 1 Assembly – Hoskins Theatre – 2.45 pm

TAS Junior String Ensemble – Eisteddfod

TAS K-6 Ensemble – Eisteddfod

Week 8
Wednesday 9 JuneYear 4 Assembly – Hoskins Theatre – 2.45 pm
Transition 2022 Interviews
Thursday 10 JuneClasses conclude for Long Weekend
Friday 11 JuneStaff Day
Week 9
Monday 14 JunePublic Holiday
Tuesday 15 JuneClasses Resume
Wednesday 16 JuneYear 2 Assembly – Hoskins Theatre – 2.45 pm

TAS K, 1, 2 & 4 Choral Speaking – Eisteddfod

Friday 18 JuneActivities Day

Yr 5 Thalgarrah Excursion

Week 10
Wednesday 23 JuneYear 2 Assembly – Hoskins Theatre – 2.45 pm

(with Dance & Drama Club)

Thursday 24 JuneJump Rope for Heart

Classes Conclude

Junior School Sport



On the weekend Sophie Banister and Izzie Glover umpired the ‘Go’ game between ACSC and PLC. We loved the experience and hope to umpire again soon. One of the things I learnt is that if a ball rolls onto the court or someone is injured, we call time and they have 30 seconds to get off the court. It was hard to call the obstructions and contacts because the ball was moving a lot. We had shadowers which are people that have umpired before who are there helping you learn as you go. I’m umpiring on the weekend with Sophie and I hope we enjoy it just as much as we did the first time.

Izzie Glover (Year 5)

Izzie Glover – Can referee…can play!

Sophie Banister – Same!











TAS Blue Netball

TAS Blue faced the Vipers again on the weekend. Five weeks ago, their height and skills made our jaws drop…maybe we have grown in the past few weeks, or perhaps our confidence and trust in our own ability has boosted, but the Vipers did not appear quite as scary this time around! The sideline was buzzing with comments about how much the TAS team has improved in the past few weeks and if it weren’t for the third quarter, where the Vipers had some highly skilled shooters, the score would have more accurately reflected that improvement.

Special mention must go to Mila and Minnie who scored beautiful, seemingly effortless goals! At training this week, we worked hard on catching the ball on the go, never standing still and finding space away from our opponents. Bring on Saturday against the Diamonds!

Mrs Anna O’Connor


Set Netball

The Set Team turned out for another sunny, but chilly, Saturday morning at Lynches Road. While the wind was a bit nasty, the players were spurred on by Mr Lloyd’s appearance on the sideline! Neave again proved her prowess in defence, while Lara’s agility and reading of the play created some great opportunities in the mid court. Chloe’s growing confidence and snappy reflexes also helped turn the ball over on several occasions, but the Pandas were too good in the end, taking the win 2-0.

Anna Trevaskis (Year 1)



Under 12s

Saturday morning at 11:15am saw the U12s TAS football team take on U12s Westside FC in a high quality game. Both teams played very well with Westside taking the win 5-3. The TAS team is slowly working better together and passing much better despite the hat-trick scored by Archie Tonkin being the only 3 goals scored from TAS. All in all, a promising game for the rest of the season.

Mr Andrew Kirk



Bright sunshine and cool conditions welcomed the TAS Triceratops at Rologas on Saturday, as the team looked to get their season back on track after some recent narrow losses. The 9am start suited the Triceratops with a number of early arrivals allowing an extended warmup focusing on shots at goal, trapping the ball and passing. The consensus in the pregame huddle was to play field position by utilising long range kicks at any opportunity.

Lachie McDowell and Wilbur Drain were busy from the kickoff and implemented long rang range kicks at any opportunity. Their left and right foot combination also worked well on the edges confusing the defence and allowing strong early field position. Elara Polson’s focus and tenacity on the ball resulted in a number of crucial turnovers disrupting many of the oppositions attacking raids. James Gillman’s support play continues to impress and his positive communication on the field, particularly around re starts, ensured all players knew their role. Daisy Hammond’s soft touches and ability to link with support players in crowded situations is testament to her determination to stay involved.

The decision to play 5 on 5 against a well drilled Uralla Badgers may have worked against us in the end as their strong teamwork and our lack of fitness showed in the second half. While gallant in defeat the Triceratops know what needs to be worked on at training this week as they look to regroup and score some much-needed goals next Saturday.

Mr David Drain


The talk of hot coffee and a default win came to a grinding halt, as the Guyra Lil Caspers made their late appearance to take on the full strength TAS Tigers.  The Tigers started the game strong, bouncing back from the loss last week.  Chasing the ball hard, attacking and challenging the goal. The orange and white uniforms of the Lil Caspers looked like witch’s hats, as our attack was relentless. George weaved past them to score an amazing goal and we went to the half time break scoring all of the goals (including theirs).

While we ate our oranges and cemented our second half plan, it was noticed that Guyra were devouring fistfuls of lollies. When we then returned to the pitch, there appeared to be nothing “Lil” about the Caspers anymore. In a scene that resembled Teen Wolf, the Caspers came out bigger, better and faster, and piled on the goals – They were no longer the friendly ghosts.  As their sugar energy came crashing down, the Tigers showed great grit and determination and capitalised by Daniel scoring a late goal.  Everyone played so well and have improved a lot. The only substitution we will make for next week is lollies rather than oranges, if that’s OK, Mr Lloyd? The Tigers may not have won on the scoreboard, but we definitely would have won if it was a cartwheel contest.

Mr Ken Secker



The TAS Tarantulas had a strongly contested 5-3 loss to a strong North Armidale Red Roosters team. However, we showed some incredible improvements from round 1 where they had a 9-0 loss to the same team. This improvement came from some strong teamwork skills, such as passing and positional play which they have been working on at training. Evelyn Brownlie in particular, showed amazing improvements in her game, making her the MVP this week.

Mr Toby Vaughn




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