DR RACHEL HORTON
Students and staff at TAS have now settled into a familiar rhythm with the routine of classes, co-curricular activities and organisation for the fast-approaching swimming carnival taking place.
Last week the traditional Year 7 lunches with the Principal started for 2022. This year I invited Mr Pearson to join us to give him another opportunity to get to know the students and also for them to meet him in a small group scenario. We have both been delighted by the conversations had and the questions asked. These have ranged from discussions around favourite sports, pets at home, holiday destinations and the merits (or not!) of homework, to artwork, conspiracy theories and what elective subject everyone would teach if they were a teacher. We certainly have a passionate, engaged and enthusiastic Year 7 cohort and those students who are new to TAS this year appear to have settled in well.
Everyone who takes up a career in teaching does so because they care about and enjoy spending time with young people. They hope that they might be able to have a positive impact on the lives of young people and inspire the next generation. I am no different and time spent with students is always the highlight of my day. This year I am very happy to have an Advisor group and I am loving being back in the classroom teaching Chemistry. On Saturday I also took the opportunity to join around 35 of our mountain bikers for one of their training sessions. It was a slightly chilly morning but everyone warmed up quickly and the trails at the Piney were in great shape. We are lucky at TAS to have such immediate access to venues for adventure sports and activities and it was wonderful to see so many students with some really impressive skills on their bikes.
I anticipate that I will be able to provide further updates to any changes related to COVID-19 in the next 2 weeks. In the meantime, thank you for your ongoing vigilance for any symptoms in your children and the twice-weekly testing. There is no doubt that this has minimised the impact of COVID-19 on the School over the past few weeks.
Dr Rachel Horton
MR RAY PEARSON
In my first speech to the student body, I spoke about a range of events to be excited about and the many opportunities for students to immerse themselves in this year. I highlighted that every new year presents an opportunity to positively reinvent yourself in how you are viewed and what you achieve. In reviewing what I said, there was only one explicit expectation outlined to students. To be kind to one another.
Kindness is something I believe strongly about and I encourage all to test its impact. It is more than just a ‘warm and fuzzy’ concept. In being kind, stress levels are reduced, dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin hormone production increases, for both the giver and the recipient. This is special, but kindness goes well beyond the physiological. I recently re-read Hugh van Cuylenburg’s book The Resilience Project: Finding Happiness Through Gratitude, Empathy and Mindfulness and I recommend it to all. It focuses on the concerning trend of mental health challenges for young people in Australia and the need to intervene. Through a range of lived experiences and sound research-based support, van Cuylenburg highlights the positive impact kindness has on mental health and the fulfilment it brings.
As our students progress through their schooling journey they will inevitably learn from mistakes and develop their own personal value systems. I look forward to supporting students in becoming the best version of themselves and developing high expectations around their relationships and interactions with others. Be assured that the message of kindness has and will continue to be a common and consistent theme in my addresses to the student body. The information and expectations are clear, the measure of the type of person we are is in how we treat each other.
Every person can demonstrate kindness every day. To take on this challenge will not only strengthen our community, it will also enhance the student experience and be a positive contributor to happiness and overall mental health. Have a great week and be kind to one another.
Mr Ray Pearson
|Thursday 17 February||MS Parent Information & BBQ|
|JS Swimming Championships|
|Friday 18 February||MS/SS Swimming Championships (Year 12 parents only)|
|Saturday 19 February||Cadet Leaders Theory Course|
|Sunday 20 February||Cadet Leaders Theory Course|
|Monday 21 February||Scholarship and Open Day|
|Junior School at Lake Keepit – All Week|
|Cadet Leaders Theory Course|
MR PAUL GADDES
Thank you to all who attended the first P&F meeting of the year either in person or via Zoom. That was a great start to 2022.
It was a busy meeting with a discussion around key events for P&F involvement through 2022.
Hopefully you can attend some of our future meetings to stay tuned to P&F activity:
As with every year, through 2022 the P&F will get involved alongside many school events to support the TAS community and raise funds to benefit the students.
The larger events on the calendar for this year are;
We will form sub-committees around each of these events to make sure they are well organised and executed.
Please respond back to the P&F Exec team on email@example.com with your preferences if you can volunteer for any of the above events.
If you have anything you would like to raise with the P&F Executive, please send us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr Paul Gaddes
MRS SEONIA WARK
It is has been so lovely to see TAS ‘back to normal’ in the last few weeks. Students are busy juggling classes, co-curricular, family commitments, and their social lives. Week 3 commences with the majority of the initial changes to timetables and classes now being sorted. There can be no more movement with Year 9 or 10 elective choices but Year 11 still have some time to confirm their senior classes. Students considering changing a Year 11 subject are to see Mrs Wark by the end of this week.
Zoom has enabled many things to occur over the last few years that would have looked very different without it and we were lucky as a school community to be able to maintain connections with students remotely. Simultaneously running a class face-to-face whilst managing Zoom lessons is a much more complicated scenario. Whilst we are able to manage this for the students absent from school due to COVID isolation requirements, this is not something we can offer for students absent for other short-term absences.
We realise that students miss work when at home and strongly encourage them to catch up once they are in a position to do so. Talking with their teachers and advisor will help them manage how to do this. Much of the work covered in class is now posted on Canvas and students are able to access that resource at any point.
Following on from the previous point, academic support is often sought after at this time of the year. I would encourage students to utilise the tutors available Monday to Thursday evenings in the Hub. These tutors are Old Armidalians who study at UNE and are able to offer support in English, HSIE, Maths and Science. This support is available for boarders and day students who may wish to return to school in the evening. Please speak to Mr Arndt for more information.
As mentioned in the start of year communication before school returned, parent-teacher interviews will take on a new format for 2022 in the Middle and Senior Schools.
Years 6, 8, 10, and 12 interviews will be occurring on the last day of Term 1 (8 April) followed by Years 7, 9, and 11 on Tuesday 26 April. These days have been chosen to coincide with the pick-up or return of boarders to the school and early in the year to address any concerns. We are trialling running multiple year groups in one day to ease the travel and time demands, as well as the impact on working parents/carers.
It will be important to prioritise those teachers that you wish to see on the day and those that, perhaps, could be left to email or phone correspondence at a later time. Some teachers, teach multiple classes across several year groups and therefore their interview times will be in high demand. If parents are not able to meet face-to-face on these days then they will have the option to speak with the teacher on another day. Further information will be coming out by Week 6 for you to book appointment times.
In the coming weeks, Year Group presentations for Years 9-12 will occur via Zoom. This will be a chance to hear from some of the staff dealing directly with your child. The session will be a mix of presentations as well as Q&A. Information will be emailed directly to parents/carers approximately a fortnight prior.
Assessment calendars for the Middle and Senior Schools are being collated at the moment and will be distributed to students over the next week. Parents will be able to access these from the Parent portal on the TAS website. Please utilise this information in helping plan the terms ahead. Any queries should always be forwarded to your child’s advisor in the first instance.
The level of engagement and involvement from our students in the co-curricular program is pleasing to say the least. The Mountain Biking Team are back racing at UNE, cricket games at TAS, futsal starts this week at PLC, basketball games are back at The Den in the Armidale Basketball Association and the rowers are preparing for their first regatta of the season to take place at SIRC in two weeks.
With basketball games resuming this week there have been some changes to the Summer Sports Schedule. Please familiarise yourself with the updated training schedule.
Tuesday 15 February night events 5.45 Warm-up 6.00pm-8.00pm Participants ONLY
Thursday 17 February night events 5.45pm Warm-up 6.00pm-8.30pm Participants ONLY
Friday 18 February – ONLY Year 12 Parents are invited to attend the SS Swimming Championship 12.30-3.30pm. We respectfully request that you spectate on the JS side of the pool and wear a mask.
MS Swimming Championships Warm-up and Roll Call 8.30am first event 8.45am conclude 11.30am
MS Inter-House Games 12.30pm-3.30pm (Sports Uniform with House Shirt)
SS Inter-House Games 8.45am Roll Call -11.30am (Sports Uniform with House Shirt)
SS Swimming Championship Warm-up and Roll Call 12.15pm first event 12.30pm conclude 3.30pm
Starts will be ‘over the top’. ie the swimmer in the pool at the end of the previous race remains in the water (and holds onto the lane rope) until the next race has begun whereupon the swimmer immediately exits.
There are a huge number of heats to get through so no false starts are allowed. If you ‘false start’ you will still be allowed to swim for a ‘time’ but will not gain any points for your House or age championships in that event.
Dress will be House polo shirts and blue shorts. Day students may travel to and from TAS in the above clothing (plus shoes). All competitors must swim in TAS swimmers or navy/black race swimmers.
All competitors will wear a House swim cap. These will be provided to all students to keep. This will make it much easier for spectators to identify which house each competitor is in.
Because of the chlorine in the pool water, competitors are strongly advised to wear goggles.
You may not colour your hair, nor write on your body with a texta pen. Except for water, no food or drink may be consumed in the pool area. Students may not leave the Sports Centre area without permission from their respective Heads of House.
Times swum in these Championships will be used to determine which students will be selected in TAS teams to compete at NCIS carnival.
Please find a link below to the winter sport choices. This document serves as a guide to the sports on offer and the level of commitment. Training days have not been finalised for winter as we need to consider staffing commitments and ground allocation (depending on the number of teams). Winter Sport choices will take place next week during Advisor.Winter Sports
Mr Huon Barrett
Director of Co-curricular
Ruby Straker, Isabella Banister, Ruby Hyland, Isabella Henderson, Jordie Cullen, Alexander Scanlon-Dawson, Ellie Cullen and Sophie Banister – yep, we think swimmers! This sensational group of athletes have started the year with a “splash” heading to Gunnedah and Tamworth over the last couple of weekends to compete in the Speedo Sprints, the New England North West Area Championships and numerous other carnivals representing Armidale Alligators.
Highlights have included Ruby Straker and Alexander Scanlon-Dawson achieving Runner Up status in their respective age groups in Gunnedah, Jordie Cullen and Isabella Henderson earning $CASH at the Speedo Sprints, with PBs and NSW Country Qualifying times galore amongst the whole crew. The TAS Swimming Carnival is in for a shake-up!
The Alligators are happy to welcome new members. Club Nights are Wednesday 6.00pm at TAS Aquatic Centre.
Mr James Pennington
On Saturday students enjoyed a morning of riding at the Piney as part of their training program. A very welcome addition to the ride was Dr Horton, who came as a guest coach on the senior student’s group. Everyone enjoyed the fun and challenging nature of the trails and are looking forward to the next ride out there.
Results from Monday night’s Summer Series Race #2 can be found here https://my.raceresult.
Again, all TAS students rode well, some showing strong competitiveness while others just enjoy the opportunity to ride with friends and as part of a wider community event. These races are preparing students well for our bigger events this term, the Copeton 6 Hour on 6 March and the NEMTB/UNE 12 Hour on the 2nd April.
Lastly, we wish Year 11 student Toby Inglis the very best of luck as he competes at the National Mountain Bike Championship XCC and XCO races in Moderna, Tasmania this Thursday and Saturday. Toby has been training hard leading up to this event and is in a strong position to achieve fine results. We also wish TAS coach, Katherine Hosking well as she aims to defend her under 23 Women’s National Championship jersey.
Mrs Jo Benham
MIC Mountain Biking
MR ANDREW O'CONNELL
It is great to once again hear the sounds of students hard at work in the Music Centre basement, Hoskins Centre, and Memorial Hall in the mornings and afternoons. Our ensembles and bands are back underway after far too long hampered by COVID restrictions. We have had a rich heritage of singing and musicianship here at TAS and I encourage all students to approach Ms Roobol, Ms Low, or Mr Collett and find out how they can get involved.
Mr Wheatley is rallying the theatresports troops together for afternoons of improvising, comedy and a whole mess of fun – send him an email or find him in the Hoskins office to find out more. We’re hoping to have an inter-school Theatreports competition later this term and it will be a fantastic starting activity for that group.
And Rhinoceros is finding a comfortable routine, with volunteers assisting on Monday, cast meeting several times a week and every Sunday, and the Technical Production Team meeting with Mr Cornford each Thursday lunch and Friday afternoon. There are so many ways to be involved in the show – other than merely enjoying it from the audience seats – and we’d love any help we can get. Come chat with any of us in the Hoskins office and we’ll find a way for you to contribute onstage, backstage, or in the preparations.
Mr Andrew O’Connell
Head of Creative Arts
MR LUKE POLSON
Tomorrow night, we would like to give you the opportunity to hear from the Middle School Staff and allow you the chance to ask questions about the year ahead. As previously announced, tomorrow afternoon, we will be hosting three separate Zoom Sessions:
I will speak to each year group at these sessions, as well as Mrs Rachel Piddington (MYP Academic Coordinator) and each Year Advisor.
The links for these sessions have been emailed to all Middle School families today. There is no need to RSVP for these sessions – please just log in.
Now that the term is underway, it is important to note the arrangements for Middle School students who are absent from school and the circumstances in which online learning will be available. Students who are away sick for a day or two of school will be encouraged to speak to their teacher on their return and find out if there is any important information that was missed. There is no expectation of learning from home in this situation. For students with longer absences due to COVID-19, such as isolating and provided the student is well enough, they will be supported with materials to learn at home. In Middle School, this will predominantly be through our School’s Learning Management System – Canvas. Middle School teachers will be arranging separate Zoom sessions with students individually if required to answer questions and discuss the content, as opposed to a Zoom session for each class. This is to allow students to ask questions and have content explained to them and the resources better targeted to be used through Zoom. Students are also encouraged to email their teacher if at any stage they need assistance.
Please ensure that students are completing their twice-weekly COVID-19 RAHT surveillance testing. This occurs on a Monday and Wednesday morning before students attend school. RAHTs for the following week will be distributed on a Friday. If your child doesn’t have a RAHT to complete, please let us know and we can arrange one to be completed at school. A reminder please that if your child returns a positive test result, or is currently isolating due to a household contact testing positive, please ensure you email me directly – email@example.com
Mr Luke Polson
Head of Middle School
It is lovely to see many of our students settled into school life, and utilising all of the facilities that we have on offer. Just a reminder that Middle School students can attend the Learning Hub from 3:30pm – 5pm on a Monday to Thursday to complete any homework or assessments. The Learning Hub is supervised by teachers, who may be able to assist students with their work. It is a quiet place to sit, and a great environment for this type of stuff to happen.
Over the last two weeks, I have had the pleasure to hand out the first of our Middle School Learner Profile awards for 2022. These awards are based upon the IB Learner Profile, and display the attributes and dispositions that we would like to see in all of our students.
The recipients this fortnight were:
Mrs Rachel Piddington
MR IAN LLOYD
We are very pleased to announce the House Leaders for this year and congratulate all of Year 5 who participated in the lead up to the voting process by presenting to the rest of Junior School. This is no easy feat for most and it marks a significant moment in their school journey. I congratulate the following students, while reminding all those in Year 5 that they have a major role to play in determining the direction of our School. During Assembly today they are speaking about their goals for the year and I know they have selected three very exciting areas on which to focus throughout the year. More to come!
Jacqui Du Bois
Layla Abu Assab
The excitement is almost palpable as the departure dates to Lake Keepit for our Year 2 to 5 classes rapidly approaches. All teachers have been talking to their students and while they may be some concerns about travelling away, some for the first time, the benefits from such an experience are many. Upon return, the photos and stories tell the stories….and I will let them do the speaking. Rest assured, after many years of adjusting the program, we are confident this will be one of the highlights of the year for those involved. If you have any questions, please contact your classroom teacher or Reception.
Please be reminded that we continue to RAHT test students at home on Monday and Wednesday in Weeks 3 and 4 in order to remain vigilant towards the health and well0being of our school community. We are aware of a number of families who have been exposed to COVID and we have been communicating with those concerned. Please contact the school if you have any questions or concerns.
It is with great pleasure that we acknowledge the following result in last year’s ICAS Assessments. In this well-established and highly competitive test and the following students have had outstanding results. We congratulate them all.
I hope you will be able to view the first of our assemblies for the year using the following link. The Year 5 students who are hosting this week’s assembly are very excited to be able to join together for such an occasion.
The following link to the live stream was emailed to you recently:
Many happy returns to Grace Crowley, William Dennison and Sonny Salvador for a fantastic birthday.
Mr Ian Lloyd
Head of Junior School
|Wednesday 16 February||Year 5 Assembly – 2.45 Memorial Hall (Livestreamed for parents)|
|Thursday 17 February||Junior School Swimming Carnival (Staff and Students only)|
|Monday 21 February||Year 5 to Lake Keepit|
|Tuesday 22 February||Year 4 to Lake Keepit|
|Wednesday 23 February||Year 3 to Lake Keepit|
|Wednesday 2 March||Year 3 Assembly – 2.45 Memorial Hall|
|Wednesday 9 March||Year 2 Assembly – 2.45 Memorial Hall|
Life Education Van
|Thursday 10 March||Life Education Van|
A day of fun and adventure was had by Year 3 when they went to Thalgarrah to learn about Indigenous Australians, especially relating to the Anaiwan people. The students learned about the importance of fire and were lucky enough to cook and eat some freshly baked potatoes from their hard labour of collecting dried grass, leaves, sticks and logs. A range of artwork was drawn on the ‘Scar Tree’, a Red Gumtree using charcoal. Many laughs could be heard when we embarked on the nature play area. It was questionable who had more fun, staff or students!
Later in the afternoon, students created shelters using the nature around them. Their imagination was fierce during this activity, as our Instructor Matt was amazed with the students’ interior design process and maybe the lack of shelter qualities. However, with a bit more guidance we were ready for ‘The Block’ reveal. To conclude our Thalgarrah trip we all got to hold the python and our appreciation and connection to our environment was strengthened.
Mrs Lana Hawksford and Mrs Grania Fawcett
This week I will outline what units of inquiry are being covered in each of our classes to commence the school year. For those families new to TAS our school offers the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme. This involves our teachers planning transdisciplinary units of inquiry, which have been carefully mapped to ensure all NESA outcomes have been covered and taught across each year group/stage. I will explain the essential elements of the programme in the weeks to come.
Each of the year groups works under a Transdisciplinary Theme, which they explore through a big idea-the Central Idea. The Central Idea is then unpacked through Lines of Inquiry, which are conceptually founded.
|Year Group||Transdisciplinary Theme||Central Idea||Lines of Inquiry|
|Transition||Who we are||Relationships with those around us help shape us as people||Our interactions in different environments at school |
My actions affect myself and others
The people we interact with
|Kindergarten||Who we are||Connections we have in the world||Places we live in and belong to |
Looking after things we care about
|Year 1||Who we are||People share their feelings, beliefs and values through cultural traditions||How and why people celebrate |
Similarities and differences between global celebrations
The importance of family traditions in shaping beliefs and values
|Year 2||Who we are||Connections people have with places||Places located in Australia |
People’s connection to places
How families change and remain the same over time
|Year 3||How we express ourselves||Indigenous peoples understanding of the world is heard through art and stories||The traditional aboriginal way of life |
Different cultures express themselves through the creative arts
Ways in which we can reflect on, extend and enjoy our personal creativity.
|Year 4||Who we are||Communities and cultures differ across the world||Each culture has its own beliefs and values|
Australia is a multicultural society
Our beliefs and values may influence action taken
|Year 5||Where we are in place and time||Migration is a response to challenges,|
risk and opportunities
|An inquiry into: Migration |
Why people and animals migrate
How migration changes environments
Mrs Veronica Waters
What a great start to our Term 1 Summer sports program. It was wonderful to see many children enjoying their chosen sport on Monday afternoon. Please keep an eye out for emails from your child’s coach in relation to continuing games. Ensure you are ready to pick up at the allocated time for your child’s sport, with your name clearly displayed on the passenger visor. Please email your child’s coach with any concerns or questions.
We are disappointed that we are still unable to invite our parents to this year’s swimming carnival but would like you all to know that we will be taking many photos which will be published as soon as we can after the event. Live streaming on the day is also not possible, due to technical issues with equipment in an indoor pool environment, and staffing.
Children are to wear their swimmers and sports clothes to school on Thursday, ready for our annual Junior School Swimming Carnival. Our Year 5s have been busy organising some House spirit activities in preparation for our carnival. Please ensure your child has plenty of snacks for the day, including recess and lunch. A water bottle is essential.
Monday 14 February, there was love in the air… the love of basketball. The smiles were from ear to ear, as the basketball competition started at The Den.
The Year 3 and 4 teams did a phenomenal job of listening to the coaches and referees, as they suited up for the first time in their new basketball jerseys.
The Year 5 team matched up against a significantly taller Year 6 team. It was a slow start, but a fantastic effort to come back in the second half, with some outstanding dribbling and shooting by the TAS team.
It was great to be back at The Den. Great work by all players.
Mr Ken Secker