DR RACHEL HORTON
After settling into Term 1, the pace of school life has increased over the past week. The swimming carnival last week was a spirited and hotly contested event across Junior, Middle and Senior Schools. I was particularly impressed with the high levels of participation at all year levels and the passion shown by all students to be a part of the event.
While many Junior School students are at Lake Keepit for their annual camp, a large number of our Senior School students have also attended a four-day Cadets Leaders Course under some additionally challenging weather conditions. Yesterday also saw the recognition of academic achievers in a themed assembly.
All of these activities epitomise what TAS stands for, personal growth through challenge; every student spending time outside of their comfort zone, be that by swimming fifty metres as a recreational swimmer to represent their House, by testing their navigation and personal management skills in the rain through the cadet program, or by persevering at difficult classroom subjects to achieve all-round academic excellence.
Following announcements regarding COVID-19 restrictions in schools this week, I will send a separate letter confirming arrangements for the coming weeks shortly.
I would, however, like to take this opportunity to reinforce the requirement for any student displaying symptoms to stay home and take a test. If a student with symptoms is still negative with a RAHT, a PCR test should be taken due to its increased sensitivity.
To finish with some good news for parents of Middle and Senior School day students; from next Monday they will again be able to have lunch in the TAS Dining Hall.
Dr Rachel Horton
MR RAY PEARSON
As we rapidly approach the halfway point of Term 1, it is timely to pause and reflect on how each of us is individually approaching the start of 2022. It is important to know whether we are achieving what we had set out to accomplish at the start of the year.
When setting goals, we often default to an outcome before factoring in the effort needed in the process to achieve. For example, going from a ‘C’ to a ‘B’ in English, making the Firsts or getting a 95+ ATAR are all great outcome goals but they are not going to happen by sheer luck. This week, I encourage all to reflect on what they are hoping to achieve and consider the effort required along the way to get there.
Twenty years ago last week, Steven Bradbury won gold at the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics when all other competitors crashed out on the final corner. While ‘doing a Bradbury’ has become a saying commonly linked to luck, Bradbury’s outcome had very little to do with luck. Steven Bradbury was a professional skater for 12 years prior, trained for countless hours, represented Australia in the four Winter Olympic Games and beat the four-time world champion in the quarter-final before claiming gold in the Olympic final. As Bruce Lee once said “You have to create your own luck. You have to be aware of the opportunities around you and take advantage of them.”
In my short time at the School, I have quickly come to realise that TAS offers opportunity. Opportunity is a stepping stone to success but it is up to the recipient to make the most of the situation. Regardless of what is achieved, it is the effort that will not only be the determining factor in the outcome but also the characteristic required for success in any pursuit.
If outcome goals were the basis of whether 2022 would be a success or not for you, look to place effort in the process to maximise the chances of success. For our students, the formula is relatively simple: maximise learning during class time, train hard during sports practice, revise and get ahead during prep time. If we can get the effort and balance right, there will ultimately be more ‘free time’ for socialising and play. The trick is, you have got to put the work in before you get the opportunity to experience success.
Mr Ray Pearson
The TAS Regional Tour attended by senior staff will be kicking off in a few weeks, meeting families across regional NSW to discuss a TAS education for their children.
During these visits, TAS will be hosting drinks for current and past parents and alumni from 5.30-7.00 pm in the following towns, with families to be sent an email invitation with RSVP details this week:
We look forward to seeing you in your home town soon.
Mrs Jo Neilson
|Saturday 26 February||King’s/PLC Regatta Sydney|
|Sunday 27 February||King’s/PLC Regatta Sydney|
|Monday 28 February – Tuesday 1 March||Year 11 and 12 Geography and Textiles Excursion|
|Wednesday 2 March||CIS Triathlon|
|Sunday 6 March||Copeton 6 Hour Mountain Bike Challenge|
|Clean up Australia Day|
MR PAUL GADDES
Year group liaison parents are undoubtedly your most important P&F contacts.
Over the past weeks the P&F have been working with the LP team to help them settle in for 2022. Thank you to our returning LP-coordinator Soph Wright who has focused on the Middle and Senior School LPs, while Melanie Fillios has focused on the Junior School LPs.
A large thank you to LPs past and present for their energy and attention to continually build community at TAS. Here is a reminder of who the LPs are for your respective year groups:
|Pre-Kindergarten||Alexandra Edwards, Sarah Rice, Tenille Redwood|
|Kindergarten||Jess Sykes, Jo Crowley, Lisa Post|
|Year 1||Amanda McDowell, Di Wood|
|Year 2||Emalene Gemmell, Thara Ranawake|
|Year 3||Maartje Tory, Lynn Secker|
|Year 4||Bruce Dennison|
|Year 5||Belinda Bannister, Carmel Reilly, Melanie Fillios|
|Year 6||Caroline Coupland, Kari Maitz, Kate Stephen|
|Year 7||Claire Whitehead, Sonia Broun|
|Year 7 Dangar House||Linda Croker|
|Year 7 White House||Mandy Swain|
|Year 8||Ali McDouall, Nichole Gaddes|
|Year 9||Han Coddington, Tina Skipper|
|Year 10||Liz Rogers, Sarah Nivison, Veronica Lucas|
|Year 11||Dave Paris, Mel Carter|
|Year 12||Elise Petty, Jane Palfreyman, Liz Egan, Pip Benham|
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 at email@example.com
Mr Paul Gaddes
MRS SEONIA WARK
It was a great honour to be able to celebrate the achievements of students in Years 6-11 in 2021 in this week’s assembly. Many students received an Academic Medallion or Colours in recognition of their academic endeavours in 2021. As part of this assembly, a video of students and staff in all areas of the school was created to demonstrate the wide variety of dreams we have for careers When We Grow Up. The key message was for students to persevere, find things that they enjoy and/or excel at, but most importantly: keep the doors open – don’t limit our options as our dreams can change. I encourage you to speak to your child about the dreams that they may have but also to share yours.
Having now been in class for a number of weeks, many students may be heading towards their first assessments of the year. Students will have been emailed a copy of their assessment calendar for the year and parents are able to access these through the TAS website Parent Portal ( https://publications.as.edu.au/parents/ ). These calendars are provided to assist families with planning activities outside of school and for boarding parents to have a better idea of what is happening here at school – we know that some teenagers are not always the best communicators!
A reminder to Year 11 parents and carers that we are hosting the first Q&A session for parents this coming Monday at 5:30pm. An invitation has been sent out via email and we ask that you RSVP so that we can gauge numbers. Dr Horton, Mr Pearson, Ms Chick and myself will be present to update you on matters related to Year 11 as well as to answer your questions.
MR DAVID DRAIN
The Annual TAS Swimming Carnival is one of my highlights of the year and Friday’s edition didn’t disappoint. While the efforts of Mr Huon Barrett and Mrs Rachel Edmonds deserve special mention for coordinating such a large event separately across Middle and Senior School for the first time, I would particularly like to acknowledge all the boarders for their efforts in the pool across Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Friday. All three houses were well represented, across all events, and as a result I am confident a large number of individual age champion awards will be awarded to boarders. Special mention to the Abbott, Croft and Tyrrell House Leaders who tirelessly ensured all house cards were completed in a timely manner and all boarders were well informed of their responsibilities on the day. This was a huge commitment by the house leaders, to manage this along with their other school responsibilities, over the past two weeks. Refereeing 10 games of inter-house touch football, across Years 9 – 12, on Friday morning allowed me to witness first-hand the collegiality of our students across the six boarding and day houses. This has been a trademark of TAS during my nine years at the school and I was impressed to see it remaining alive and well.
The 2022 Coast Weekend dates have been confirmed, with all boarders from Years 8 – 12 departing TAS at approx 5pm on Friday 1 April and returning to TAS by midday on Sunday 3 April. The earlier arrival time back to TAS is to ensure the boarders have ample time for any final revision or preparation for assessments either due or to be sat during Week 10. Accommodation arrangements for the respective boarding houses will be communicated by Heads of House to their houses over the coming weeks.
The Year 7 boarders will attend the Year 7 Camp from Friday 1 April – Sunday 3 April. Mr Luke Polson will provide more information regarding this camp over the coming weeks.
Mr David Drain
Director of Boarding
The number of students competing at the MS and SS Swimming Championships was outstanding. A feature of TAS is the willingness of the students to ‘have a go’. This was clearly evident on each of the evening carnivals and on Friday at the main event. The revamped format of a half-day carnival and inter-house games was enthusiastically embraced, and I commend the staff on their adaptability and the way with which they sought to make this new format a positive experience for all students involved.
During the course of the day, a number of records were broken. I congratulate those students for their hard work and achievement.
Overall point score results, age champions and division champions will be awarded in the Week 5 Assembly.
Winter sport choices take place this week during Advisor. Students are expected to choose their winter sport by the end of the week. In the coming weeks, we will confirm numbers and training sessions (Winter Training Schedule). Students will be able to choose a second sport if they can meet the requirements of each sport (training sessions and games) and we are able to staff the demand for coaches and managers.
NCIS Hockey Trials notes have been circulated by Mrs Ball and Mrs Steddy. If you are interested in attending the trial please return the note to Mrs Ball by Friday 25 February.
Mr Huon Barrett
Director of Co-curricular
Bridget Burnett (Year 12) represented TAS and the Armidale Rotary Club in the Rotary Public Speaking Inland Semi-Final in Moree on Sunday, against seven other students. Her prepared speech was a passionate advocacy to not only continuing to observe Anzac and Remembrance Day, but broadening the recognition to include the role of women and Indigenous soldiers who had been historically been sidelined in the conventional narrative. For her impromptu speech: "Tomorrow I am going to…" do sports!
Bridget narrowly missed out on placing in the finals but is to be congratulated on an outstanding effort. Thanks to Miss Hannah Lo for supporting and accompanying Bridget on the day.
MIC Public Speaking and Debating
MR ANDREW O'CONNELL
This Saturday 26 February is our big Working Bee for Rhinoceros. We’ll be working hard to complete the set and make huge gains on the 24-odd rhinoceros heads we need for the show. We’re calling on all members of the TAS community – students, parents and staff – to come along in some old clothes and sturdy shoes to help get things together. We’re starting at 9am and hope to wrap before lunch. You don’t need to bring anything with you but if you had an impact driver it might make the set come together that much faster!
Mornings in the Music Centre are sounding very melodic, with our ensembles hard at work and our choirs recommencing next week. Please chat with Ms Roobol, Mr Collett or Miss Low if you would like to know more about getting involved in those groups. We look forward to a Twilight Concert near the end of Term 1, which will also be a great performance opportunity for our students with peripatetic lessons to build their instrument and prepare for exams and the Eisteddfod.
The Technical Production Team is starting to gear up for Rhinoceros, but it is not too late for students to get involved with that group. That team learns how to use the technical equipment in the theatre, set up lights and sound and projection, program shows and operate events and performances. Swing down to the Hoskins office to find out more if that interests you.
Mr Andrew O’Connell
Head of Creative Arts
MR LUKE POLSON
My thanks to all the parents across Years 6-8 who were able to attend the online information sessions last Thursday. It was a great opportunity to discuss the year with you all and give you the chance to ask questions. We will distribute a recording of each session to relevant year groups in due course. In the meantime, please see below a copy of the slides used in each presentation and copy of the 2022 Middle School Handbook. As always, if you have a question or concern at any stage, please reach out to us.
Please remember that staff and students cannot attend school if they are showing any symptoms of COVID-19. These include fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, loss of smell/ taste, muscle/joint pains, diarrhoea, nausea/vomiting, extreme tiredness, unexplained chest pain or conjunctivitis (eye infection).
If symptoms occur at any time, your child should not attend school and should undertake a rapid antigen test. If a rapid antigen test is positive your child should isolate as someone who has tested positive to COVID-19. If you cannot access a rapid antigen test, you can attend a PCR (nose and throat swab) testing clinic. Even if your child tests negative they must not attend school while displaying any symptoms.
Please ensure that students are completing their twice-weekly COVID-19 RAHT survelliance 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 – firstname.lastname@example.org
I am pleased to inform you that from next Monday 28 February, day students in Middle School (and Senior School) will be able to return to the Dining Hall for lunch. Students will be required to scan their barcode as they enter the Dining Hall. From Monday, day students will also be welcome to eat recess that is provided by the School. Thank you to all for your cooperation with us as we manage the relevant COVID-19 restrictions.
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.
Mr Luke Polson
Head of Middle School
As many of you will be aware, in Year 8 our students get to participate in the MYP Community Project. For those students who came though TAS Junior School, this is the Middle School version of the PYP Exhibition! The idea of the Community Project is that students will complete a significant piece of work over an extended period of time and will present their work in late Term 3 to the wider school community.
MYP projects encourage students to reflect on their learning and the outcomes of their work – key skills that prepare them for success in further study, the workplace and the community. MYP projects are student-centred and age-appropriate, and they enable students to engage in practical explorations through a cycle of inquiry, action and reflection.
The community project focuses on community and service, encouraging students to explore their right and responsibility to implement service as action in the community. The community project gives students an opportunity to develop awareness of needs in various communities and address those needs through service learning. As a consolidation of learning, the community project engages in a sustained, in-depth inquiry leading to service as action in the community. The community project may be completed individually or by groups of a maximum of three students. The community project provides an important opportunity for students to collaborate and pursue service learning. All of our Year 8 students have already started brainstorming their project ideas and interests, ready for the year ahead. I look forward to updating you in the future on this.
This weeks MYP Learner Profile award winners:
Mrs Rachel Piddington
MR IAN LLOYD
On day three here at Lake Keepit, the report is all good. As is usually the case each year, the excitement has given way to the realisation that we are here for a reason and the students are really getting into the swing of it. Learning to step out of the comfort zone (with a little less sleep than accustomed to) is a challenge and it is very satisfying seeing those that strive to be the best they can be. As always, we thank our dedicated staff for their efforts and we look forward to returning to catch up on the activities our younger students have completed while Year 2 to 5 have been at Lake Keepit.
Best wishes to Maya Slade and Raymond Wang who both celebrate birthdays this week.
Mr Ian Lloyd
Head of Junior School
|Wednesday 23 February||Year 3 to Lake Keepit|
|Thursday 24 February||Year 2 to Lake Keepit|
|Friday 25 February||All return from Lake Keepit|
|Kindy and Year 1 Excursion to Sport UNE|
|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|
|Wednesday 16 March||Year 1 Assembly – 2.45 Memorial Hall|
What a fabulous day we had last Thursday as we enjoyed the Junior School Swimming Carnival. It was wonderful to see the amount of enthusiasm, sportsmanship and friendship that was displayed during the day. Well done to everyone for participating in both swimming and novelty events. Thank you to our Year 5 students for assisting with the novelties as well as leading our House groups throughout the day.
Rofeta Cup Winner (Highest Pointscore)