2021 Term 2 Week 9   |   16.06.2021

TAS Talks Term 2 Week 9

01. From the Head of School


Our final weekend for the term will be a big one for TAS sport and I know that many across Middle and Senior School are looking forward to it.  Once again Sydney Boys’ High will do us the much-appreciated courtesy of travelling to Armidale en masse to compete in Basketball, Football, Tennis, Shooting and Rugby, staying two nights with us. This broad set of fixtures presents a Gala Day at home for us, and it has become a real highlight of our sporting calendar. The commitment from Sydney High to come to us each year and bring players for multiple sports stands out as representative of a wonderfully collegial character. As an Old Boy of Sydney High, I am looking forward to welcoming them very much and offer our collective thanks to their players and coaches alike.

Sport for our girls also continues and in and around their specific commitments they will be offering their support for our boys in all their matches against Sydney High. I can only commend them for their sense of community, their dedication to their own sports and their willingness to give up their Saturday to be a part of this Gala weekend.

Tonight, our P & F will come together at 7 pm in the Lower Maxwell Room for their second meeting of the term and a major item on the agenda will be the allocation of P & F funds to projects for the year. Amongst the proposals to be considered will be new equipment for Junior School, additional sewing machines for the various textile electives and equipment for the weights room in order to make it more space-efficient. Much goes into the raising of P & F funds each year with huge generosity from many and this meeting is the chance to see the impact it will make for our students. All are welcome to attend and be a part of the process.

Finally, and significantly Tom Forsythe and Sam Skipper played in combined GPS Rugby sides in Sydney last week as part of the representative championships. Both boys played for GPS White against NSW Country under 18s where TAS was also represented by Year 11 student Stirling Munsie. This was a fantastic experience for all three boys, and they have expressed to me how much they enjoyed playing at this level. Meanwhile this week, Fred Kearney has been training with the GPS Presidents XV (under 16s) in Sydney and has been selected into the GPS Presidents’ A team. Mr AJ Whalley was co-coach of the GPS Seconds, and they were successful in their match against CAS Seconds – 26 to 17. My congratulations go to Mr Whalley as well as the four boys who have achieved this level of representation.


Mr Alan Jones
Head of School


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


Motor vehicle regulations

With students in senior years striving to achieve their L or P licences, students and parents are reminded that no L or P plater drivers of any age are permitted to drive a vehicle into the school grounds, including the beginning and end of term when boarders are departing/arriving at school. This is particularly important in high pedestrian areas such as the main entrance from Douglas St, Brown St and the Chapel St turning circle. This is outlined in the School Rules and Regulations that can be found on the website, in both the Parents and Students Portals.

Other driving regulations are outlined below.

Motor Vehicles

A day student may drive to school provided he/she and their parents have provided the ‘Permission to Drive to School’ form in duplicate, available from Front Office or the school website. Students are to park in Douglas St or Mann St only. The vehicle is not to be used between the commencement of the school day and 3.30 pm (unless permission has been sought for Late Arrival/Early Leave in the case of Year 12 students). The vehicle is not to be brought on to school property.

Students are forbidden to drive other students in their cars without the written permission of the parents of the passenger, which should then be submitted to the Deputy Head of School.

Boarders are not to have the use of a motor vehicle in Armidale unless parents have presented a case for a good cause and the Deputy Head of House has approved. A separate Boarders Drivers form is available from Front Office and the website. Approved boarders will be directed as to the appropriate parking locations on campus.

Thank you for your support.

Blood Donations

Join The Armidale School Lifeblood Team today and book your appointment today to help keep Australia’s blood supply flowing! Our friends at Australian Red Cross Lifeblood are calling out for anyone who is over 18 and feeling fit and well to come forward and donate blood. Last year The Armidale School made 20 donations – let’s see if we can beat that in 2021!

Register to become a blood donor on the Donate Blood app or online using the link provided below. Make sure your profile is linked to The ArmidaleSchool Lifeblood team for your donation to go towards the team tally and let’s make a difference together.

If you would like to become a Lifeblood Team champion, please speak to Jacki at the Medical Centre

From the Medical Centre

We get many requests for individual immunisation history statements. Often students or staff need proof of having their flu vaccination to enter nursing homes to see relatives and ask the medical centre to give them proof of having had their vaccine. As of this year, all flu vaccines given in the Medical Centre are entered onto the Australian Immunisation Register where people receiving vaccines can check their own vaccination history (please see the attached PDF flyer on how to do this).

It is important that parents know that once their child is 14 years old that their child needs to create their own MyGov account to access their own immunisation history statement. The new Medicare Express Plus app is fantastic, but again parents cannot see their child’s immunisation history statement on this app if they are over 14 years of age, so I would encourage children to have this app also. Now that the flu vaccines have been administered, the Medical Centre can no longer help with these requests due to access.

Please REMEMBER to use the school holidays to review your child’s Asthma Action Plan with their doctor, especially if your child is noticing they are using their reliever more frequently, or they are starting to feel like it does not help as much when they do use it.

Thank you,
Vanessa Cullen (RN)


Week 9
Wednesday 16 JuneP&F Meeting (7pm)
Thursday 17 JuneRegional Visit – Afternoon Tea & Function in Inverell
Friday 18 JuneTAS Firsts Basketball vs SBHS

Activities Day

JS Forensic Science Excursion

Saturday 19 JuneTAS vs SBHS (at TAS)

TAS Foundation AGM ( Upper Maxwell Room)

Farewell Dinner for Head of School, Alan Jones

Week 10
Tuesday 22 JuneSS Inter-House Debating final
Wednesday 23 JuneYear 10 Parent/Teacher Interviews
Thursday 24 JuneMS Inter-House Debating final

Classes Conclude

Friday 25 JuneStaff Day


02. From the P&F


P&F Meeting - Wednesday 16 June 7pm

Our next general meeting is tonight. All are welcome and it would be great to see you there. Meetings are open to all parents. The meeting will be held in Upper Maxwell (just upstairs from where we normally meet).

Drinks and nibbles are provided for those attending in person, with Zoom operating for those who wish to join remotely (TAS P&F Zoom Meeting; Meeting ID: 215 517 2798; Password: 160621).

Funding requests are on the agenda – among many other items. The proposed agenda can be found on the TAS Website Parents Portal https://publications.as.edu.au/pf/

The most recent past meeting minutes can be found on the TAS Website Parent Portal – so you can keep track of our activity or swat up before attending the meeting. The 2021 AGM meeting minutes are there also.  https://publications.as.edu.au/pf/


Sydney Boys High School Visit

The Sydney Boys High School visit is this weekend. It’s looking like a great visit with Basketball, Football, Shooting, Tennis, and Rugby all on the draw. Come and support the teams, meet other parents and … eat.

The P&F will operate a barbecue and canteen on Saturday 19 June to feed the players, coaches and onlookers. Bacon & egg rolls will be available to start the day, followed by hamburgers and steak sandwiches around lunchtime. The coffee van & canteen will operate all day for drinks and nibbles.

For those who have already registered to volunteer – thank you. For those with free time between watching their favourite teams play, please wander down to the P&F Canteen behind Middle School and offer your help.


End of Term Meet Ups

As we near the end of Term 2, keep an eye out for communications from your Year Group Liaison Parents. Many of the Year Groups are holding a social meet up event at a local venue. Take the chance to form relationships with other parents and celebrate the end of Term 2.


Contact the P&F Executive

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

03. From the Director of Studies


Year 10 Parent Teacher Interviews

Year 10 Parent Teacher Interviews will be held next Wednesday 23 June (2 pm – 6 pm) and Thursday 24 June (2 pm – 5.30 pm). Parents will receive the link and web code to make teacher bookings today.

Parent Information sessions will also be held on Wednesday 23 June at 6.30 pm with a repeat session on Thursday 24 June at 11.45 am – all Year 10 students will also attend this session. These sessions will give students and parents information on moving into Year 11 and 12 and the HSC years, making subject choices and expectations in the senior years.

ICAS Assessments

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.


ICAS AssessmentSitting Window
WritingMonday 9 August 2021 to

Friday 13 August 2021

Digital TechnologiesMonday 9 August 2021 to

Friday 13  August 2021

EnglishMonday 16 August 2021 to

Friday 20 August 2021

ScienceMonday 23 August 2021 to

Friday 27 August 2021

Spelling BeeMonday 23 August 2021 to

Friday 27  August 2021

MathematicsMonday 30 August 2021 to

Friday 3 September 2021


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.


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 22 June – 7:30 pm for Prospective and new Families to TAS (via Zoom)
  • Wednesday 23 June – 6:30 pm for parents of Year 10 students. This will be held at TAS immediately following Year 10 Parent-Teacher interviews.
  • Thursday 24 June – 11:40 am. All of Year 10 will be attending this session and any parents are also invited to attend.


Mr Luke Polson
Director of  Studies


04. Leadership, Service and Adventure


Cadets - Activities Day 1 (18 June)

Activities Day 1 will be held on Friday 18 June. All cadets have attended an activities briefing on Tuesday 15 June and have been informed about the required equipment. Cadets must assemble on TAS Adamsfield in DPCU uniform at 8.40am and will be dismissed following the final parade at 5.00pm on Friday afternoon.

Parents of students or student leaders in B Company have received via email a permission form for school firearms safety training. It is important that these forms (or a current Minor’s Permit) are returned to the school either by mail or by email to MIC Shooting Mr David Lawrence in order for your child to participate in these School-organised (non-Australian Army Cadets) activities.

There will be no overnight activities.


A brief outline of the activities to be conducted is as follows:


A Company

  • 1 & 2 Platoons – First Aid training at TAS with external provider
  • 3 Platoon – UNE Climbing wall, Mountain biking training.


B Company

  • 4 & 5 Platoons – Firearms safety training (TAS Rifle Club conducted activity, not AAC), navigation and general fieldcraft
  • 6 Platoon – abseiling, first aid and general fieldcraft.


C Company

  • 7 & 8 Platoons – abseiling and general fieldcraft
  • 9 Platoon – Navigation, fieldcraft and bush cooking.



MAJ (AAC) Angus Murray
Officer Commanding TASCU


Students will be at school for the day. Lunch and morning tea will be provided by the TAS kitchen.

Where: Meet in homerooms at 8.45am

What to wear: Rangers gear (Shirt and hat) plus jeans with joggers

What to Bring

  1. Diary
  2. Pen/pencil
  3. Water bottle
  4. TAS Swimmers
  5. Towel
  6. Spare set of clothes to swim in (eg. Shirt and shorts)
  7. Bag for wet clothes

What we will be doing

  • First aid skills
  • Navigation skills
  • Swim survival skills
  • Team initiative games

Students will be finished before 3:30 pm for normal afternoon transport home.


Mr Stephen Thompson

05. From the Director of Pastoral Care


Last week TAS engaged the services of Kirra Pendergast from Safe on Social to upskill staff, students and parents on the ever-changing world of social media. The sessions were very well received and there have been plenty of further discussions around this space. We were able to record Kirra’s parent session which can be accessed via the Parent Portal

Here you will also find a number of ‘cheat sheets’ for parents to help navigate a range of topical cyber issues.


Mr Adam Whalley
Director of Pastoral Care



06. From the Director of Co-curricular


This week we host two schools at TAS. On Thursday Trinity Grammar Prep School will stay with us and play our Under 12 teams in Football (2.30 pm Adamsfield) and Rugby (3.30 pm Backfield). On Friday we welcome Sydney Boys High School for our traditional SBHS GPS fixtures in rugby and also in basketball, football, shooting and tennis. Thank you in advance to the P & F Association who are working hard behind the scenes to ensure the students are well-fed and ready for competition.

Please see a copy of the draw for this weekend below.

In addition, the Inter-House Debating Competition for Middle School and Senior School started this week. Houses were divided into two pools and will compete in two debates before the top team in each pool will debate in the final next week in Assembly. I wish all our debaters well as they perform in front of their peers.


Mr Huon Barrett
Director of Co-curricular

CIS Cross Country

The annual CIS Cross Country Championships certainly provided the necessary challenge – rain, wind and mud, the friends of Cross Country!

A ripping team of 28 TAS students (the largest on record) relished such appropriate conditions, with some sensational performances achieved throughout the day. Toby Hall yet again performed on the big stage, running into a terrific 18th place over the 8km Open distance, with teammate Louis Cannington only minutes behind. Younger sister Olivia Cannington, along with Lauren Earle, displayed the benefits of their consistent training, placing 28th and 33rd, respectively in the 16 years. Charles Hunter continues to fly, running into 23rd position in his first CIS Cross Country. Ashlee Morgan was 13th in the 12 years, Zana Ross placed 18th in the 11 years, Emily Ussher 20th in the 13 years and Isabella Crawford 23rd in the 15 years.



Full Results:

TempeMacarthur Onslow53



Mr Jim Pennington

07. From the Creative Arts Coordinator


Next Wednesday 23 June the Stage 5 Drama class ‘Comedy, Make ‘Em Laugh’ will head across to The Armidale Playhouse to perform their madcap work A Mystery Play That Goes Wrong. All members of the TAS community are encouraged to come and see the free show, with the curtain rising at 5pm. A bus will depart Big School at 4:45pm and while tickets are free they need to be booked (for COVID reasons) at http://www.trybooking.com/BSFDY.

Both the Armidale Eisteddfod and the Armidale Dance Eisteddfod have allowed our performers to showcase their incredible talent and they have earned significant accolades. The Armidale Eisteddfod Gala Concert is this Sunday 20 June at the Old Teacher’s College. My congratulations to all those students who have participated in these two events, and in addition to all those parents, teachers and peripatetics behind the scenes encouraging and motivating them.

Last night we had our first professional touring production since 2019 with a raucous night of comedy thanks to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow. It was such a joy to have the Hoskins Centre filled with visitors and the comedians put on a great night of adult entertainment that highlighted why it is such a beloved event. For those parents and friends of the school who missed out, you’ll have the chance to see more exceptional standup later in the year when we host the Sydney Comedy Festival tour.

As the end of the term draws near the Hoskins Centre prepares for the Armidale Drama & Musical Society to bump in their production of Mamma Mia. Performances will run throughout the school holidays so if you’re around I encourage you to get in quick and enjoy this dazzling show filled with hit after hit. Tickets can be found on the ADMS website or their Facebook Page.


Mr Andrew O’Connell
Creative Arts Coordinator

08. From the Head of Middle School



Our people acquit themselves very well on many occasions – especially so, it’s clear, in Eisteddfod events and sports. If you don’t know Matilda Morse, you soon will I think – as a dancer more than as a student, though, I hasten to add, she’s a good student, as well. Following closely Steven Hopwood’s distinguished performance in speech and drama, Matilda does her school (her parents and herself) proud as a dancer. Competition this year has been fierce and Matilda has acquitted herself very well, having the greatest number of ‘records’ of any individual in her group at the Eisteddfod. This girl needs acknowledgement because she’s the kind of person who ‘hides her light under a bushel’ – on behalf of everyone in the Middle School I congratulate Matilda for her string of wins this year. Official notification and scores are as follows:

Matilda Morse – Year 8 competed in the recent New England Dance Eisteddfod 3-6 June 2021.
Matilda competed in classical, modern and contemporary solo sections and placed in each of her events.
4 x first
2 x second
1 x third
1 x Highly Commended

The hours of hard work and dedication required to achieve these results also enabled Matilda to win the 14 years classical championship.


Again, Miller Harwood and Luke Schmude have excelled in sport, having won silver in the State U15’s hockey competition as part of the New England Hockey team. The achievements of these young people are varied, but they are happily acknowledged by us as they are achievements above and beyond their school commitments.


Inter-House Debating

If you consult our TAS Calendar, you’ll know that the end of the long weekend heralds the beginning of Inter-House Debating. I enjoyed the Stage 5 one yesterday and I’ll be adjudicating the Senior one today – but I do know our Middle School students are firing because of the popularity of debating in the Middle School. This comment needs context: we want our students to speak their mind; it’s our job to teach them to do so in a way that others (usually us, as staff and parents) want to listen to them. Respectful conversations and measured responses are what we hope for and, reasonably regularly, these are what we get. Well, debating is a form of mental sport: fitness is important, and this requires training. Debating is the forum for adjudicating the results of preparation, sensible experimentation and willingness to be a team player. We want all young people to try out, too. Speaking skills can launch career paths – it’s our bounden duty to ensure that we start the process early so that no one is terribly nervous or paralysed by fear about public performance. Even if they never become world-beating debaters, all these people still need to speak. Can you imagine the horrendous potential of speaking on one of the best days of your life – your wedding day – if you’ve never had to make a speech before? Ah, in case you’re wondering, I’m fully aware of the significance of this comment: this is the 21st Century – all people, regardless of gender, have the right to speak on their wedding day.


Weekend, winter and families

The last longer weekend was good: everyone is back, and all our people are better equipped to manage the last two weeks of term. Terms here are always busy: young students need to be because busy’s opposite is bored and ours are very normal adolescents – when they’re bored, they’re tricky, and I don’t need tricky, right now.

Winter arrived in earnest – several weeks ago, now. We’ve even had a peppering of snow and this is marvellous because, reminiscent of days gone by, such snow marks a return to normal in Australia’s highest city. Because of the extreme nature of this cold, students must dress appropriately. I know some of you are from Guyra and Walcha – colder places – and that some students claim they ‘don’t feel cold’ but this has never prevented their getting colds. I want you to send them to school with a jumper, please. I know this measure won’t prevent a cold per se, but it will help everyone out, ultimately.

As you know, last week was tough. This week is also tough for so many. This Thursday will be especially tough for one family, in particular. We’ve been carefully keeping an eye on Middle School students. And, from keeping a close eye on them, I need to make one comment about these shared charges of ours: equanimity is the best description I can think of right now. Their capacity to look out for one another buoyed so many adults who are responsible for them. As I indicated, the last weekend was so important for as many children as possible – they needed to be with their families.


Mr Mark Harrison
Head of Middle School



09. From the Head of Junior School


NAIDOC Week celebrations with Bing Binni

NAIDOC Week celebrations, this year with a theme of “Heal Country”, are held across Australia in the first week of July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities, but by Australians from all walks of life. The week is a great opportunity to participate in a range of activities and to support our local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. The week generally falls in our holiday period so we have taken the opportunity to use this Friday to present activities that celebrate the First Nations people of our area. In addition to this, we welcome Fiona Lovelock and Bruce Cohen who will be working with our senior classes piloting a program called “Bing Binni” – educational workshops for schools based on authentic aboriginal principles of Identity, Culture and Connection. They will be guiding us through developing understanding of the Acknowledgement of Country, learning about the Yarning Circle, and some rock art activities. We welcome them to TAS and thank them for their time. I look forward to reporting back to you about this activity next week.


Safe on Social Presentation

For those who have yet to see this presentation, it is now available on the TAS website and is a very valuable resource. Kirra Pendergast has been booked to present to Junior School parents and students later this year and we will confirm the details with you as soon as they are in place.



Zana Ross has continued her fantastic form when attending the Combined Independent Schools Cross Country running in a large 12 yrs group of very competitive runners, achieving a creditable 18th position. Archie Tonkin and Kevin Tighe also competed and all of them did incredibly well, an indication of the hard work and training that have been putting in. Congratulations to them all on this fantastic effort.


No Sports training in Week 10

Please note in your diaries that there will be no sports training in the last week of term, giving players and coaches a well-earned rest.


School Spirits

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

Wilbur Drain, Daisy Hammond, Ivy Rice, Alexa Wood, Artie Rylands, Hugh Blackwell, Ted Draney, Roman Sue, James Taylor, Daniel Bayne, Baxter Carruthers, Matilda Polson, Rupert Newton, Mohammed Alrdadi, Sophie Banister, Cameron Carruthers, Archie Tonkin, Jack Wood, Arthur White and Lucy Taylor.

Mr Ian Lloyd
Head of Junior School

Week 9
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 10No Sports Training
Wednesday 23 JuneYear 2 Assembly – Hoskins Theatre – 2.45 pm

(with Dance & Drama Club)

Thursday 24 JuneJump Rope for Heart

Classes Conclude

Term 3
Week 1
Monday 19 July

Tuesday 20 July

Wednesday 21 July

Staff Day/Boarders Return

Classes Commence

Kindergarten Excursion to Thalgarrah

Community Notices