2021 Term 4 Week 3   |   20.10.2021

TAS Talks Term 4 Week 3

01. From the Principal


Last week Armidale faced extreme weather with a tornado destroying parts of the town and its surrounds. At TAS we were lucky to escape with only minor damage. I am aware that some of our families did not fare so favourably. I do hope they are well on the road to recovery. Once again, the strength of the TAS community has been demonstrated through the number of those who stepped up to help them out and those who continue to be engaged in the restoration efforts across Armidale.

As we look towards formally farewelling our Year 12 cohort next week, we find ourselves in the middle of a changing of the guard at TAS in terms of student leadership. Prefects and Co-curricular Captains were officially appointed last week and House leaders will be appointed next week. While some students have official leadership roles, it is the responsibility of the whole senior year cohort to lead the School. They set the tone through their words and actions for their own peers and younger students, all the way down to the pre-Kindergarten students.

The role of our elected student leaders is to represent and guide their peers in positively influencing the entire school. While it is an incredible honour to be recognised by election, leadership can be challenging, particularly as a student. Standing up as a leader requires the courage to make difficult decisions as well as easy ones and puts students in a position where they may face criticism.

These early days for our new leaders are critical for them to decide what they stand for and to plan the year ahead. They have made a commitment to serve the School with passion, open-mindedness, and humility. School spirit and having a presence across the Middle and Junior Schools are high on their agenda and I have no doubt they, and their peers, will have a positive impact on the school that they love.

To finish, I must extend my thanks to all the families who have completed the vaccination survey sent out last week. While we continue to be in a fortunate position with no cases in Armidale, this information is incredibly helpful for our planning if circumstances change.


Dr Rachel Horton


Vaccination Clinic at TAS

Uralla Medical Centre is having an additional Vaccination Clinic at TAS on 29 October for students who have had the first vaccination on or between 17 September and 8 October.

The Medical Centre can book any student requiring their second vaccination into this second clinic. There is a 3-6 week period permitted between the first and second vaccination.

Rusden Street Practice is also having a clinic on 11 November.

Consent Form

Uniform & Book Shop – TAS Merchandise

With the Class of 2021 about to be formally farewelled, the Uniform and Book Shop is delighted to announce the delivery of the first items in a range new quality crested merchandise, featuring the TAS and the new OAU crests.

On Valedictory Day (29 October), the departing Year 12s who have applied to join the Old Armidalians’ Union will be presented with their gifts of memberships – either the formal OAU tie or sterling silver pendant. From that time, they are also eligible to purchase other OAU merchandise, including beautiful circular premium grade stainless steel cufflinks ($69) and a unisex OAU cotton rugby jersey ($89), both of which arrived just last week. Due for delivery in coming weeks are the new informal OAU silk tie ($45), OAU crested silver charms and OAU women’s silk scarves (prices tbc).

We are also having a fire sale of the old OBU caps (pre 2016) for $5 – a bargain way to keep the sun off your face!


As of this week the Uniform and Book Shop is being operated by Mrs Lou Barrett. The School thanks Fiona Van de Poel for the wonderful job she has done with the shop for the past two years and wishes her well for the future.

The slightly revised opening hours of the Shop are below.

Monday: Closed

Tuesday: 8am – 4pm

Wednesday: 12pm – 4pm

Thursday: 8am – 4pm

Friday 12pm – 4pm

For any queries, email uniform@as.edu.au


02. From the P&F


P&F Meeting - This Wednesday night

The P&F Puddings are ready for purchase. Puddings can be ordered online here https://www.trybooking.com/BUEZP

To collect your puddings, we have arranged for Covid-bubble drive-by collections at TAS on the following dates:

  • Year 12 Parents – Friday 29 October (Year 12 Valedictory)
  • Junior School Parents – Wednesday 1 December (JS Speech Day)
  • Middle/Senior School Parents – Thursday 2 December (Speech Day)

And finally, for those wanting to support this year’s pudding season, we really need more donations of brandy.
Please contact the P&F Exec on pandf@as.edu.au to arrange.


Golf Day – Friday 22 October

Golf Day is this Friday. Golf, Lunch, Drink & Enjoy.

Tickets can be purchased online here https://www.trybooking.com/BTLIT

Golf Day is for beginners through to the more golf-serious among us. It promises to be fun with a team format across 9 holes. Player tickets are $49 while lunch-only tickets are $29.

NSW Government Public Health Orders will be in place for the golf course & clubhouse.

Contact the P&F Executive

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


Mr Paul Gaddes
P&F President


03. From the Director of Studies


Year 12

As we approach the final week of Year 12 classes, I trust that Year 12s have found the revision and activities prepared by their teachers to be beneficial and they have been able to balance this with some of their own individual study. I encourage all of Year 12 to have read the recent letters from Mrs Wark and a reminder that if they are at school, they are attending their timetabled classes. I will be speaking to Year 12s next week about their HSC arrangements and expectations during the Exams and the Examination period.



I have begun running sessions in various groups around the school to complete ICAS competition papers. As we have to run these managing COVID restrictions and year group bubbles, these will take longer to complete than usual. I will email individual students with times over the coming weeks.


Subject Changes

Mr Taylor (Careers Advisor) is starting to receive requests about subject changes from individuals, and below is an outline of the process involved with dropping subjects from Year 11 into Year 12. Firstly, you cannot leave a subject until the Year 11 course has been completed. This is still the case for many of your subjects as there are still assessments due this term.

Secondly, students who wish to pick up an extension course, (Maths, English, History, Music etc…) are generally processed first. If you are thinking of picking up an extension course you need to speak to the subject coordinator ASAP. They will then send Mr Taylor a list of possible candidates and we will process them now (Weeks 1-3). It is not an automatic given that you will be allowed to pick up the extension course. Each course has a standard of work they require for students to progress to the extension course. Please talk to the coordinators.

Thirdly, Mr Taylor will need Year 11 reports to be complete for the subject change process to happen. This will not be done until Week 4, so the process won’t be able to start change of 2-unit subjects until this time. Mr Taylor will send out a reminder Week 3 and start making appointments. Part of this process is the need to contact parents. Please be patient.

If you wish to make an interview about possible career direction/choices this can be done after the subject changes have been processed.



The form for submitting electives for Years 8,9 and 10 has now closed. If there are changes to Electives, these need to be emailed to dos@as.edu.au
Mr Luke Polson
Director of Studies


Year 10 HSIE and Year 12 Economics students gained special insight into the role and workings of the OECD thanks to a Zoom workshop with Old Armidalian James Mohun (2012) yesterday. As part of their studies in Year 10, students have been investigating the topic ‘Wellbeing’, and looking at the role that the OECD has had in contributing to the development of human wellbeing, particularly in developing countries. The history and the objectives of international organisations such as the OECD are also studied in 12 Economics, and so it was particularly interesting for our Year 12 students to hear about possible study options and career paths from someone who has done so much over the last nine years.

James, who worked with the organisation in Paris while studying a Masters in Public Policy (Politics) at Sciences Po, touched on issues such as public sector innovation, digital and open government, international development and some of the key challenges in designing effective public policy. He also spoke about his career path from TAS where he had once dreamed of working for the UN and encouraged students to “imagine the possible”. James recently returned to Australia and is now a Public Policy Analyst at the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet. We thank James for sharing his time, knowledge and experience with our students.

Mr David Toakley
HSIE Coordinator


04. Wellbeing

A moment with Mack

A moment with Mack – Part 3 of the Self-Reg series

This week we are going to explore the concept of stress. The term ‘stress’ has, over time, developed a strong negative connotation. Perhaps even just reading the word STRESS makes your body tense up! Particularly when it’s in capitals and italics…

The term stress is usually associated with things that are challenging, overwhelming, or generally bad. Things like: too much to do and not enough time, money issues, conflict. For our children, it could be doing well at school, a lot of assessments in a short time, exams, getting into trouble, breaking or losing something special. As it happens, this is only one type of stress and it isn’t quite the full story.

Let me introduce you to the work of Walter Bradford Cannon and he is really the ‘father’ of Self-Regulation in many ways because he developed a theory about stress. He explains stress as anything that makes us burn energy in order to maintain internal balance.

Imagine if you will, that as humans, we run a little like a fridge…… Fridges have an internal thermostat, and are ‘set’ to run at a particular temperature and this is considered the ‘optimum temperature’, or homeostasis. Whenever the door is opened, this changes the internal temperature, moving it out of the ‘optimum’ temperature zone and the motor in the fridge has to turn on and run to try and get back to the optimum temperature. When the door is closed again, the fridge can get back to the optimum temperature more easily. When the door is left open for too long, it often ‘beeps’ so you close the door and temperature regulation can happen.

So, it turns out that as humans we are much like fridges in that we have an internal sense of calm and when we are in this calm space we can engage in things easily – like socialising, learning, working, thinking. There are the 5 Domains (doors) in our lives that can be opened and impact our internal state – they are biological, emotional, social, prosocial, and cognitive ‘doors’ (outlined above). What opens the doors are considered stressors. A stressor can be positive or negative, obvious or hidden. These stressors alter our internal state and can make engaging in things like learning, thinking, working, socialising, more difficult. For example, your child might be trying to work in class, but it’s really hot, the fans are noisy, they don’t really understand the new concept they are meant to learning and the teacher is in a bad mood and is yelling a lot, plus its near lunchtime and s/he is really hungry because they slept in and didn’t eat breakfast. On his/her mind is an argument they had with a friend yesterday and they haven’t had a chance to talk with their friend yet, AND the family dog is sick and has been at the vet’s for a couple of days…….. all these domain doors are opening, resulting in finding it difficult to concentrate on learning!

Can you see all the domains and stressors at play here? Now what you will learn is how to reframe behaviour and begin to notice the difference between stress behaviour and misbehaviour, then how to identify the stressors and how to reduce them where we can, then what things you and your child can do help restore energy.

It’s important to note here that not all stress is bad. There is such a thing as ‘positive’ stress, this is a situation when the stress promotes growth (personal growth) and creates more energy than it burns. For some people, hanging out with friends would be positive stress, for someone else, being with others may be negative stress. The point here is, that stressors are as unique as we are. There is no list of ‘avoid these, these are bad’ and ‘do this, this is good’, it is something different for all of us. My list would look a lot different to your list of things that are stressors and things that restore energy.

Interestingly, depending on our internal energy and tension, some situations can be overwhelming or be energising, depending on where we are on the Thayer Matrix (pictured below). If we’re low energy/high tension, worries can be overwhelming. If we’re high energy/high tension or high energy/low tension, worries feel more like challenges. They can be negative stress or positive stress, depending on our own tension and energy levels. So when we are feeling a little ‘off’ it’s good to reflect on why we are feeling like this and why now – Why? Why now?

The other point is that we don’t want to get rid of stress completely, we actually need a certain amount of stress to motivate us to do things.

We naturally move through different stages of arousal throughout the day, you will notice that different things require different levels of exertion, what is important here is that we recover at the end of the day, so we are calm and relaxed and go to sleep to restore and recharge.

Ms Alix Goudge


05. From the Director of Co-curricular


Inter-House Speaking

The Inter-House Speaking took place this week and I commend those students who represented their Houses. Their willingness and ability to stand-up in front of their peers and speak for four to six minutes is truly amazing. Special congratulations to Ross House represented by Hudson McAllister who won the Senior Inter-House Competition and Broughton House represented by Daniel Emmery who won the Middle School Inter House Competition.

Points are awarded to each House which go towards the Clemson Cup for Inter-House Debating and Public Speaking which also go towards the overall Inter-House Cup.

A special thank you to Dr Horton who adjudicated the Senior School speeches and Mr Harrison who adjudicated the Middle School speeches.

Summer Training Program

Starting next week (Week 4) we will be reintroducing our Summer Training Program for all TAS students 15 years and under, and students who are 16+ who have been double vaccinated (A survey link has been sent home for parents to register their 16+ child’s vaccination status, should they choose to do so). There are a number of modifications and limitations as we progress with Level 3 Restrictions. However, given that these activities are a part of our normal operation we are able to offer a range of activities during Term 4. A Training Schedule will be published in the coming days.


NIAS Mountain Biking

The 2022 NIAS Mountain Biking applications have now opened. The trial date for the MTB squad is confirmed for 30 October at the Tamworth MTB Park.

Eligibility – Girls and boys turning 12 to 17 years of age in 2022 (born 2005 to 2010)

For more information or to apply athletes can head to


2022 NIAS Netball

The 2022 NIAS Netball applications have now opened.

Trials are confirmed for Sunday 14 November and will be taking place in Tamworth.

Eligibility – Girls turning 15 or 16 years of age in 2022 (born 2006 or 2007)

For more information or to apply, athletes can head to


Armidale Basketball Association

Armidale Basketball Association – 2021 Term 4 Aussie Hoops Want to learn great ball skills?

Register and turn up to the Aussie Hoops session for rookie players 5 -10 years 10 – 11am Sundays from 24 October to 12 December (8 weeks) at ‘The Den’, Armidale Secondary College (Butler Street South). Both new and returning players should register online at www.aussiehoops.com.au.

At the home page, click on ‘Register now’; enter 2350 in the postcode Search box, then click on the location ‘Armidale High School’. This takes you to the registration page. The cost for new players is $100 for the 8-week term (includes basketball, personalised training singlet and backpack) while returning players will pay $65.



Mr Huon Barrett
Director of Co-curricular

Public Speakers take to the lectern

Pathos, humour and persuasion were used to great effect in Inter-house public speaking held on Tuesday.

The format took the lead from the GPS/CAS Lawrence Campbell Oratory Competition, with speakers being given four phrases or words and then choosing one to interpret as they wish – and that they did, literally, laterally and laudably. Commencing the Senior School competition, Bridget Burnett (Tyrrell) urged us to never forget the sacrifice of servicemen and women and the Anzac legacy in ‘There is a light that never goes out’. Three speakers selected the word ‘Elephant’: Georgia Donoghue (Broughton) explored superstition and optimism; Fred Kearney (Abbott) regaled life lessons from his Kindergarten performance as a bull elephant, while Will Gilpin humorously pondered the reasons why elephants would make better teachers than humans. Sofia Paris (Croft) presented a thought-provoking study of modern times, exploring social media in ‘Under the thunder’, before Hudson McAllister rounded things out with a passionate call to arms for society to overcome inequality and injustice in ‘It is a truth universally acknowledged’.

In Middle School, Samuel Krishnan (Ross House) opened proceedings with a thoughtful speech about overcoming obstacles and helping others with ‘Over the fence’ – a phrase also selected by three other speakers. Steven Hopwood (Croft) took the audience on a journey as a young boy questions preconceptions when he ventured into the overgrown garden of an elderly neighbour; Emily Ussher imagined a world without fences, while for Abbott, Millie Coupland’s discussion on teen angst encouraged Middle School students to not ‘sit on the fence’ and commit to new things. Sophie Rogers (Tyrrell) showed how recent history shows life is not always about being ‘On the sunny side of the street’ and urged the audience to acknowledge the reality of the dark side and choose to avoid its pitfalls, while in a lyrical speech of the same topic, Daniel Emmery (Broughton) combined emotion and evidence, evoking the community support for those affected by last week’s tornado in Armidale as embodiment of the sunshine of human spirit and connection.

Congratulations to all speakers who showed courage and confidence in their manner, and originality and conviction in their matter. In the end, though there could only be one winner: well done to Hudson McAllister (Green House) and Daniel Emmery (Broughton) for winning the senior and Middle School competitions respectively.

The Senior School competition can be viewed here:



The Middle School speeches can be watched here (with apologies for wind-affected audio):



Mr Tim Hughes
MIC Debating & Public Speaking


06. From the Creative Arts Coordinator


This week our afternoons are filled with auditions for the 2022 TAS Production Rhinoceros. There has been great interest from the student body and that means our auditionees will need to be well-prepared and committed if they have their eyes on the lead roles. By next week we will be able to announce the cast and commence our initial Zoom rehearsals developing and refining the script.

Earlier in the week we ran interviews for the show’s student leadership positions. On the strength of those discussions and their written applications, it is with great excitement that I announce the student leaders working on Rhinoceros:
  • Assistant Directors – Charlotte Brunyee & Bridget Burnett
  • Movement Choreographer – Chelsea Bourke
  • Stage Manager – Sam Ball
  • Assistant Stage Manager – Hugo Catterall
  • Assistant Technical Director – Hugo Catterall
  • Vision Programmer – Max Guppy
Next year’s production will see more student involvement in the creative process than ever before and we hope that this will inspire new levels of engagement and enjoyment in the project.

Mr Andrew O’Connell
Creative Arts Coordinator

07. From the Head of Middle School


When they need to present well, our students do so, and they do so very well. We’ve had Inter-house Public Speaking this week and the speakers, despite being only 13 and 14, acquitted themselves admirably. It was an outside, Covid-careful affair, and the audience was appropriately distanced, as were the speakers from each of the houses. The latter proved themselves ready, rehearsed and really good: topics were set, chosen and delivered in an entertaining manner and I enjoyed their adjudication. They were recorded for your viewing and I encourage you to watch and listen to them (the link can be found in the Co-curricular section of TAS Talks). I think you’ll be impressed.

I was at boarding prep again last night and there were staff members in every room and students were busy working well on general classwork and set prep. I know that assistance is provided for Literacy and Numeracy in boarding. Because of health regulations, such assistance is less easy to manage for students in the Hub during the day, but if, for any reason, you want some assistance for your children, please call Mrs Frost or your child’s Homeroom teacher and we’ll do our best to assist you. Term 4 is always busy but it’s a work term and students need to be working productively.

I mentioned the following in my recent TAS Talks inclusions, but its importance is such that it warrants further mention here. I also hasten to add that I recall mentioning some of the positive observations attached to the issue of uniforms. It’s good that jumpers and general winter gear are gone, and very good that khakis are back for the boys. Still, all summer uniforms can look smarter too when boys wear garters and girls have their jewellery and hair ‘right’. Honestly, if they’re to be worn at all it’s important that uniforms are worn properly. Over the next week, the staff will be checking on issues and if boys need garters, arrangements can be made through Mrs Frost’s office for their purchase. Girls of course will be made aware of the jewellery and hair issues – as in fact, all students were made aware in Homeroom lessons over the past two weeks.

For those of you whose children don’t chew gum, stop reading now. Look, gum chewing is ‘not on’ – that has been mentioned each week this term, as well. I’m the ‘bunny’ who, for whatever reason, tends to step on it when it’s carelessly thrown away and I hate doing this. The issue is easily ‘fixed’ – students aren’t to chew gum at school. Please help us to help them in every way that you can.

We’ve had rain: more has been forecast; it will come. I think we’ve all had it. But I know people are gearing up for harvest – a bumper crop for some of you I’m thinking. If your family is one that’s preparing for it, I hope the weather doesn’t spoil things – you do not deserve this.

That’s it for the week.


Mark Harrison
Head of Middle School

08. From the Head of Junior School


Safe of Social Media - Kirra Pendergast

Earlier in the year, staff and some parents were fortunate enough to hear and benefit from sessions provided by Kirra Pendergast, the founder of the first consulting firm in Australia that focussed on Cyber Safety. Kirra will be speaking to our Year 3 to 6 students on Thursday 28 October in two Zoom sessions that will enhance their understanding of the measures that we all should be taking in our digital world, especially while using the internet.

Kirra is an expert on the topic of Cyber Safety and shares her own experience with serious cyberbullying, to thousands of people each week. Kirra presents to students K-12, teachers and parents at schools across Australia and New Zealand. She is also working with elite sports teams, speaks at legal seminars, government and business events, and conferences.

Our sessions will be via Zoom and, as such, they will be open to parents as well. They will also be recorded so they can be viewed at a later time. In addition to this, there will be a separate session for Junior School parents from 7.30 pm – 8.30 pm, followed by a Q&A session.

Having heard the no-nonsense approach that Kirra takes when addressing the challenges of engaging with social media, I highly recommend these sessions to you. There will be more information coming your way soon, but please note this in your diary so you do not miss it.


Junior School Sport

Junior School is still waiting for information about how and when School sport will recommence. We will be in touch with you all as soon as we can to share this with you all.


TAS Bear – Week 3

With no assemblies and gatherings possible this term, we continue to plan ahead to determine what format our end of year celebrations, including Speech Day, will take. We are hopeful that we will know more very soon.

In the meantime, TAS Bear has been very clever, sneaking about Junior School and observing our students in class and he has made up his mind where he would like to be all this week…..and you can find out as well by following this link as well. https://youtu.be/gSZDmMUw1Qc


School Spirits

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


Rayyan Shahid, Heidi Secker, Mishkah Alrdadi, Patrick Kim, Hasadi Wicks, Anna Trevaskis, Georgia Flynn, Hunter Crane, Daniel Mo, Freddie Post, Sienna Nelson-Straub, Evelyn Brownlie, Humjot Sandhu, Ethan Downes, Mohammed Alrdadi, Katie Flynn, Toby White, Izzie Glover, Oliver Robb and Harriet Coupland.


Happy Birthday

Wishing Hunter Crane and George Drain a very happy birthday for this week.


Mr Ian Lloyd
Head of Junior School

Week 4
Thursday 28 OctoberSafe on Social Parent sessions (times tbc)

IB Primary Years Programme (PYP)

This term both our Transition and Kindergarten classes will explore new units of inquiry.

Our younger years approach inquiry through exploration of their environment which, promotes play, discovery and investigation. The teachers of Transition and Kindergarten ensure there are carefully planned ‘play’ opportunities for their classes where learning is holistic and integrates social, emotional, physical and cognitive development.

Transdisciplinary ThemeCentral Idea
TransitionWhere we are in place and timeJourneys can lead to new experiences and opportunities


KindergartenHow we express ourselvesCreativity allows for expression





Transition commenced their unit by relating their holiday experiences to their class mates. This was followed by them using their creativity to make a painting of their journey.





George Quast and Rory Watts pulling the sword from the stone. Kindergarten have been talking about what makes a really good story and used ‘Arthur and The Sword in The Stone’ as their first focus text.

Mrs Veronica Waters
PYP Coordinator

Community Notices