2022 Term 1 Week 6   |   09.03.2022

TAS Talks Term 1 Week 6

01. From the Principal


We are lucky to have many amazing staff at TAS; and often students, families and indeed their own colleagues are not aware of their stories. This week at assembly, we were delighted that Miss Hannah Lo, a valued member of our HSIE department, agreed to deliver the International Women’s Day address. Miss Lo has recently returned to TAS from a sabbatical studying at Oxford University. She gave an inspirational speech about the strength she draws from the courageous approach to the life of her grandmother who grew up during the Chinese Civil War and the example her father set while she and her siblings were growing up.

The theme of International Women’s Day this year is Break the Bias. As a co-educational school, equity is at the forefront of our minds on a daily basis and many of our students continually engage in activities to challenge and break down gender bias. Miss Lo thoughtfully finished by asking every student and staff member to contribute to this by not only personally celebrating the achievements and contributions of men and women equally, but by extending their networks, reaching out and role modelling inclusivity to those who need guidance.

This week a number of staff have also begun the TAS Regional Tour, meeting with and speaking to alumni, current and future families. It is wonderful to see our regional towns thriving and to talk about the opportunities and challenges that arise from this. While we have not visited any flood-affected areas, of course, the devastating impact of the floods has touched many in our TAS community, motivating students and staff to look for ways to help those affected. Details on one initiative supporting the North Coast Flood Appeal can be found further down in TAS talks.


Dr Rachel Horton

02. From the Deputy Principal


It has been wonderful to have all of Year 9 and 10 students back on campus this week. As a tight knit community, there is a sense of wholeness now that we are all back together. As we start the second half of the term there is also a renewed appreciation for life on campus and optimism of what can be achieved in the next five weeks.

Individually, I hope that all students appreciate how important the next five weeks are in terms of their academic and personal growth. With the inevitable challenges and disruptions of a new year now largely behind us, it is time to turn the effort into results.

This week I would like to acknowledge the work of our student leadership groups; specifically our School Prefects and the Student Representative Council (SRC). Our Prefects have represented themselves and the School with distinction this year, setting high standards for themselves and others as they seek to make an impact in 2022. With a highly successful Valentine’s Day fundraiser raising over $550 to engage a guest speaker for students later this year. The group are exceptional role models to all and I applaud them for their tireless efforts to make the student experience at TAS a positive one.

Similarly, our SRC has been looking for ways to make a meaningful contribution to the School and community. Based on the SRC’s recommendation, a Mufti day has been set for this Friday to raise money for the Northern NSW and Lismore Floods. This is a credit to their collective effort and their socially conscious approach. Rather than solely seeking the traditional ‘gold coin donation’ the drive to collect much needed practical items such as bedding, hygiene products and non-perishable food items is an excellent student initiative.

I continue to be astounded by the generosity of the TAS community and look forward to seeing what we can compile together between now and Friday.


Mr Ray Pearson
Deputy Principal

TAS Regional Tour

The TAS Regional Tour attended by Dr Horton and senior staff has kicked off this week and we are enjoying meeting families across regional NSW to discuss a TAS education for their children.

During these visits, TAS is hosting drinks for current parents and alumni from 5.30-7.00 pm in the following towns. Tamworth and Gunnedah have been emailed invitations, with Scone, Inverell and Glen Innes invitations on their way soon.

  • Monday 14 March – Tamworth
  • Tuesday 15 March – Gunnedah
  • Thursday 24 March – Scone
  • Wednesday 30 March – Inverell
  • Thursday 31 March – Glen Innes

Thank you to our Moree and Narrabri families who enjoyed drinks with us earlier this week.

We look forward to seeing you in your home town soon.


Mrs Jo Neilson
Enrolments Registrar



Please note that we currently have NO Casual Boarding vacancies in the Girls Boarding Houses.

Casual boarding can be for a single night or several weeks. It is proving to be increasingly popular. The cost of casual boarding is $80 per night inclusive of linen, dinner and breakfast.

Space is limited and may not always be available at the times required. Please assist us by providing a minimum of 24 hours notice and completing an online casual boarding application by using the link below or if you have any queries, please contact Mrs Veronica Lucas on (02) 6776 5800.


New navy PE / sport tops
The new navy PE/sport TAS polo tops have arrived and will be ready in the Uniform Shop from Monday 7 March. These will supersede the current white PE / Sport polo tops with the transition to the new navy polo tops by the end of 2022.

All remaining stock of new white polo tops (large / XL / 2XL sizes only) will be sold at the clearance price of $10.00, with any preloved white polo tops $7.00.

Just a reminder that the TAS Uniform Shop opening hours 2022 are:
Monday 10am - 4pm
Tuesday 10am - 4pm
Wednesday Closed
Thursday 10am - 4pm
Friday 10am - 4pm

UNE Vaccination Clinic

The University of New England (UNE) will offer free Pfizer vaccines against COVID-19 for 5-11 year-olds through an approved drop-in clinic on Sunday 27 March at the UNE Medical Centre, 110 Butler Street, Armidale.
CLINIC DETAILS: 9am - 4pm Sunday 27 March
5-11-year-old only
1st & 2nd doses are available
No appointments required
Medicare is not compulsory, although please bring your card if you have one. This is a COVID safe event. Please limit attendance to one parent per child.
To find out more please click on the link below.

North Coast Flood Support

After the most devastating floods on record, the people of the North Coast need our help. More than 3500 homes are uninhabitable, families have lost everything, it’s time to reach out. So, this coming Friday 11 March please wear something red, to acknowledge your support.

In lieu of a gold coin donation, please bring toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, underwear, socks, pillows, blankets, phone chargers and canned food. Please bring in as much as you can and drop these goods in Reception or the PE Office. This is our chance to help those who are at their lowest ebb.

Mr Jim Pennington

03. Calendar of Events


Week 6
Wednesday 9 MarchBrent Sanders Presentation ( Year 9-11)

P&F Meeting (7 pm)


Thursday 10 MarchYear 7 & 8 Vaccinations


Saturday 11 MarchNSW Rowing Schoolboy/Schoolgirl Regatta – POSTPONED

Sydney OAU Lunch

Sunday 12 MarchNSW Rowing Schoolboy/Schoolgirl Regatta – POSTPONED
Week 7
Monday 14 MarchTAS Regional Tour – Tamworth
Tuesday 15 MarchTAS Regional Tour – Gunnedah
Wednesday 16 MarchP&F Meeting (7 pm)



04. From the P&F


Next P&F Meeting - 16 March

Next week’s P&F meeting will be face to face in Upper Maxwell as well as via Zoom. A large part of the agenda will be preparations for the upcoming TAS Rugby Carnival. All are welcome and we would really appreciate your contribution.
Join the Zoom meeting at:

  • https://as-edu.zoom.us/j/2155172798?pwd=MnJBci9YeEJIendXNlZFdXIyUzlHdz09
  • Meeting ID: 215 517 2798
  • Password: TAS22

Talented Parents

While we are all extremely talented parents (!!), the P&F is currently calling for parents who have their Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) or are coffeeshop Baristas, and may be able to assist at P&F events throughout 2022.

Please respond to the P&F Exec team on pandf@as.edu.au if you can volunteer.


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

05. Round Square


Round Square Postcard - Okinawa, Japan

On Wednesday afternoon, Robin Henry, Jack Lucas, Sophie Rogers, Steven Hopwood and I participated in a Virtual Round Square Postcard event hosted by Amicus International in Okinawa, Japan where we focused on the idea of ‘Masks around the world’. Over 95 students from 15 schools and six different countries including Pakistan, India, South Africa, Rwanda, and Armenia attended the Zoom session and we talked about and answered some questions about this topic.

Everyone agreed on the importance of wearing masks and it was interesting to hear from students of each country explaining their COVID situation in regards to the numbers of cases and vaccination levels. The Host school was able to explain how the wearing of masks in Japan has been a normal experience for many decades, so the compulsory wearing of masks hasn’t been an issue.

I would like to thank Mr O’Connell and Mr Moore for organising this event and I highly recommend participating in Round Square conferences as it’s a fun way to connect with people all over the world and share your own thoughts and ideas.

By Isabella Lucas

06. Boarding


White House - 'Buzzer Beating Fun'

Unfortunately for the White House boys, the Samson Challenge, to be held in Lismore, was cancelled due to the most recent floods. This was disappointing; however, Saturday was a great day to play indoor basketball and visit the movie cinema in town.
Great thanks must go to Mr Ken Secker, Heidi Secker, Rory Secker, and the White House boarding staff who took part in an organised basketball fixture located in the school gym. With the use of the scoreboard, we were able to experience a high-quality match that went down to the wire. Teams were mixed with Year 7/Year 8 White House boys, Rory Secker, and TAS staff, with a great deal of fun, had by all. The experience was made so much more enjoyable when Jack Farrell, Year 7, shot a three-pointer right on the buzzer to tie the match! The look on the boys’ faces after the siren was a highlight and everyone walked away on a high. The enthusiastic involvement and sportsman-like behaviour made up for missing out on the scheduled ‘mud run’.
Not long after the basketball game, Ms Cassandra Hammond took a mixture of White House and Dangar House boarders to the movies. From all reports, the new ‘Batman’ movie was extremely entertaining, while a visit to McDonald’s on the way home capped off a great finish to the day. All the girls and boys appreciated Ms Hammond’s management and company during the outing.
Looking forward to the second half of the term, further activities for the Middle School boarders will be arranged. From my perspective, it has been fantastic to see the kids positively take part in organised games, and also display gratitude towards the boarding staff.


Mr Jamie Brauer 
Head of White House

07. Academic

Japan Foundation Yōkoso (welcomed) to TAS

The Languages Department was delighted to host five representatives from the Japan Foundation on 23 February, who worked with students and staff on a range of activities to promote and support the teaching of Japanese. Stage 5 students participated in cultural quizzes to receive Japanese prizes and had the opportunity to learn new Japanese words through listening and reading tasks, while Year 8 students asked and answered questions in Japanese. A highlight was the presentation to Bethan Palfreyman, Holly Dauparas and Olivia Lockett of their trophy for winning the Foundation’s national Video Matsuri competition last year! The visit wrapped up with an after-school PD session on Japanese teaching, attended by teachers in the Armidale area.


Mr Allan Moore
Languages Coordinator

08. Challenge and Adventure


TAS Triple Crown

Welcome to the juggernaut known as the TAS Triple Crown for 2022, nothing can stop its energy!. This year sees a slightly revamped formula, as we look to find or create events that support our community, provide the requisite challenge and are as COVID proof as possible. We are planning on four events for 2022, and those who complete three of these during their time at school are awarded the Triple Crown; completing them in one year earns a student a coveted Gold Triple Crown! If you can do all four in a single year, it’s an Awesome Foursome!

Our first event this year is The Coffs Ocean Swim (2km) https://oceanswims.com/event/coffs-ocean-swim/

This has developed into a ‘must do’ event for so many TAS students, staff and parents. Notwithstanding the fact that the vast majority of our pupils are from regional NSW, in 2019, there were exactly 100 TAS students (and six parents) who swam the 2km, quite an impressive statistic and this represented a third of all entries. Held in the safety of the harbour near the Coffs Jetty, the swim is incredibly well organised and is supported by all SLS Clubs along the Coffs Coast.

The approximate cost of this event is $100 which includes entry, transport, breakfast and lunch.

As restrictions are easing, I am pleased to be able to offer this experience to all TAS students, staff and parents. Please come along and swim, supervise or cheer for your child!

Should you wish to avail yourself of this epic opportunity, please register your Expression of Interest by Sunday 13 March.

If you have any questions, please contact me via email at jpenning@as.edu.au


Mr Jim Pennington
Adventure and Challenge Coordinator

09. From the Director of Co-curricular


Congratulations to our First XI Cricket team who played in the Armidale District Cricket Association Second XI Semi-Final on the weekend. Whilst Hillgrove proved to be too strong on the day, as I reflect on a somewhat disrupted season there were many positives which we can be proud of. The Captain Hudson Eichorn and Vice-Captain Oliver Ledingham continued to encourage our younger players and to see them develop during the course of the season can be partly attributed to their leadership and guidance. Mac Orr, Liam Hunt, James Phelps, Gus White, Ben Cox and Jeremy Carter have all played their last game for TAS and I commend them for their ongoing support and years of service to TAS Cricket. The game of cricket requires skill, ongoing training, time and patience but it also can evoke feelings of disappointment. Personally, I love what team sports offer and cricket is no exception. As a team, we share in the success but we also have the opportunity to encourage and support each other during the tough times. All teams go through highs and lows. The highs are easy and the lows are an opportunity to reflect and see what we can do differently in order to improve.



Music continues this week in preparation for the Armidale Eisteddfod. I have attached a link to the music ensembles and drama rehearsals. If you are looking to join an ensemble please contact Leanne Roobol.

Term 1 2022 TAS Ensemble Schedule


Mr Huon Barrett
Director of Co-curricular

10. From the Head of Creative Arts


After several years of COVID-19 hammering the Arts, the Creative Arts department at TAS is fighting back! To make up for a lack of access to live performance and theatre we have purchased access to the National Theatre’s video archive, and throughout the year we will be streaming some of their best works on the big screen for all to enjoy. From powerful dramas to hilarious comedies, productions for our Senior students right down to puppetry and musicals for the little ones, we want these evenings to be a real community event and celebration of the Arts for all students, family members, and staff.

The first National Theatre showcase will be on Friday 18 March at 7pm, screening the hilarious One Man, Two Guvnors starring James Corden. A laugh-out-loud comedy full of slapstick action, zany characters and ridiculous dialogue, it was a smash-hit in both London and New York in 2011. The show is recommended for ages 12+ as it does feature some adult references.

We’ll be running the bar for snacks and drinks to keep the mood festive. It’s a free event but we do need to know numbers for our planning, so please RSVP here: https://www.trybooking.com/BXXGJ

Mr Andrew O’Connell
Head of Creative Arts



11. From the Head of Middle School


Upcoming Excursions

A reminder to parents and carers to please complete the consent forms for the Year 6 Canberra Excursion and the Year 7 Excursion to Bonville. We are in the process of finalising the arrangements for these excursions.

Year 6 Canberra

Link to the Initial Letter: Year 6 Canberra Letter

Link to Consent Form: https://publications.as.edu.au/year-6-excursion-to-canberra/

Year 7 Bonville

Link to recent letter: Year 7 Camp Registration Letter

Link to Consent form: https://publications.as.edu.au/year-7-camp-at-bonville/

Link to Registration from for Coffs Coast Adventure Centre: https://ccac.venueregistrations.net/2004-year-7

Further details about the upcoming Bivouac held on 24 and 25 March (particularly information for Year 6 and 7) is expected to be sent to parents next week.

Mufti Day

This Friday, 11 March, all students are encouraged to wear mufti clothes to school, wearing something red, to support those affected by the recent widespread flooding and the relief efforts underway. Further details about this initiative can be found elsewhere in TAS Talks, including the items that can be donated.



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. 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 – lpolson@as.edu.au

For Day Students arriving and departing from school, the best option for drop off and collection is the area outside of Gate 2 (Douglas Street). Please ensure that you are not dropping off or collecting your children in the staff car park. A teacher is on duty in the Middle School for supervision from 8:20am.

Mr Luke Polson
Head of Middle School

Middle Years Programme

We are well over halfway through the term, and we have been able to give out many MYP Learner Profile awards, for so many wonderful things. This week, three of our Middle School boys received a Caring award for all of their wonderful volunteer work they have been doing helping out with Kindergarten ball skills on a Monday afternoon. It is great to see some of our students giving back to the community.

The award system is based upon the IB Learner Profile is made up of 10 attributes that are the fundamentals to being an engaged learner. The attributes are:


MYP Learner Profile Award Winners

Angus Benham – Knowledgeable award

Olivia Bolch – Risk Taker award 

Alice Howlett – Reflective award and Inquirer award

James Leahy – Principled award 

Hamish Pengilley – Caring award

Zachary Ridley – Caring award

Ruben Salvador – Communicator award

Luke Schmude – Inquirer award

Freddie Street – Risk Taker award

Sam Swain – Caring award

Wylie Tombs – Open-minded award


Mrs Rachel Piddington
MYP Coordinator

12. From the Head of Junior School


Armidale Show Entries

We think it is important to support local endeavours in Armidale and so we were chuffed to learn that several entries in the Armidale Show came away with prizes and awards, particularly in the creative arts section. In particular, though, the joint effort by our Year 4 students in gaining the first prize in a category that was well patronised and very competitive was an outstanding result. Congratulations to Mr Norrie and Year 4.


In addition to this, I would like to acknowledge the efforts of Josh Bourke (pictured left), whose age was no barrier when achieving the U17 Champion District Boy rider, the Champion Open Boy rider under 13 years and Champion Junior stock horse. What a great effort in terms of persistence and dedication (as well as first prize with his entry in the individual painting section for his age. Well done Josh.


Flood Appeal – Wear something Red (Friday 11 March 2022)

As the country becomes galvanised to help those in need as a result of the terrible floods, our staff and students are joining together with our MS/SS counterparts to contribute to various fundraisers, especially for those from our community in and around the Lismore area. More details will be available today as one of our senior leaders, Charlotte Brunyee, outlines the details of how we can help. Students will be asked to bring to school items that are now in very short supply including: toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, underwear, socks, pillows, blankets, phone chargers and canned food. More will be revealed today but please stay tuned for more details which will be emailed to you all soon.




Year 2 Assembly – Live streamed

Please take the time to have a look as Year 2 present their assembly this week, and see TAS Bear find himself a new home – https://youtu.be/5H7znY9JVdc


School Spirits

Congratulations to the following students that received School Spirit Awards last week:
Sonny Salvador, Gabriel Lees, Henry Post, Jayden Chen, Wilbur Drain, Bella Widders-Major, Ruby Archer, Finley Boyce, Arthur Rylands, Anna Trevaskis, Alexa Wood, Duncan Klabe, Ruby Rice, Daniel Mo, Oliver Maxwell, Hunter Crane, Lara Thavapalasundaram, Myles Wright, Evelyn Brownlie, Nancy Ma, Ethan Downes, Cecilia Price, Hamish Molina, Lewis Percy and Bonnie Blanch.


Happy Birthday

Many happy returns to the following Junior School students celebrating birthdays this week: Alexander Dubois, Kaitlyn Baker, Archie Stockings, Xavier Nozad-Kahriz, Scarlett Shortt, Alexa Wood, Robert Murray and Katie Flynn.



Mr Ian Lloyd
Head of Junior School

Upcoming Events
Thursday 10 MarchLife Education Van
Wednesday 16 MarchYear 1 Assembly – 2.45 Memorial Hall ( Live streamed)
Wednesday 23 MarchKindergarten Assembly – 2.45 Memorial Hall ( Live streamed)
Monday 28 MarchJunior School Parent Teacher interviews (TBC)
Tuesday 29 MarchJunior School Parent Teacher interviews (TBC)
Wednesday 30 MarchYear 4 Assembly – Memorial Hall (No parents – Live streamed)
Junior School Parent Teacher interviews (TBC)

IB Primary Years Programme

Approaches to Learning

One of the key elements that is part of the Primary Years Programme is approaches to learning. The approaches to learning (ATL) are an integral part of an IB education and complement other elements of the programme such as the learner profile, knowledge, conceptual understandings and inquiry. Junior School teachers foster and support the development of these skills by providing opportunities to explicitly teach and model these skills, which are all part of the authentic learning experiences students engage with on a daily basis.

There are five interrelated approaches to learning as shown in the diagram below:

Embedded within the ATL are digital literacy skills, which are explicitly taught by the TAS Hub Coordinator Mr Arndt and classroom teachers alike. These skills are an invaluable resource for information gathering or processing, as well as for critical and creative thinking, communication and collaboration. 

Our aim is to combine the ATL and the attributes of the learner profile to develop students who become self-regulated learners who we encourage to:

  • set goals for learning
  • ask big questions that are open-ended
  • reflect on learning
  • be motivated and persistent learners
  • self-reflect and asses as they learner 
  • adjust their learning process where necessary.

(Zimmermand and Schunk 2001;deBruibet al. 2012; Wolters 2011).

It is important to note that whilst the PYP offers an inquiry-based approach to learning, that each of the ATL skills are explicitly taught to enusre students are equipped with the ‘skill set’ required to be independent leaners.


Mrs Veroncia Waters
PYP Coordinator

Junior School Sport


We welcomed back our Year 5 students from isolation this week, as a near full-strength TAS lineup attended The Den. A special mention to Oliver Maxwell for displaying solid ball control and dribbling in a game that was a mix of basketball and hot potato, with exceptional speed in which it was played.

Although I do love the eagerness in which our teams are going about the game, the full-throttle approach has brought us a few minor injuries. We will look at some techniques at training this week to bring up other offensive opportunities.

Save the date: Saturday 26 March, we will have our end of season gathering at the TAS Basketball court. More information to come over the next week.


Mr Ken Secker
JS Basketball Coach



General Information about Junior School Winter Sports -Terms 2 & 3

Junior School Policy re Participation in Sport

All students in Year 3 and above will participate in sport. Students in Years Kindergarten, 1 and 2 do not have to participate but are encouraged to do so. If students in Year 2 or below do participate, they must commit to the sport (including training sessions) for the season. During the winter terms, students will have one training per week in each sport. For winter, training will be on Monday afternoons from 3:45 – 5 pm for most sports. Students provide their own clothing, footwear, mouth guards and shinpads. Registration and competition fees will apply to all sports and will be debited to parents’ accounts.

Please consider all requirements when choosing a sport for Winter:

Gymnastics (Only K/1)

We are very happy to be able to continue our Monday afternoon sessions at the Armidale Gymnastics Centre. Gymnastics will only be available for Kindergarten and Year One children during Winter.


Training – Mondays

Games – Saturday mornings

Cost – $100 – $120 approx.

Equipment required – Shinpads, Football shirt from clothing pool.

Where – Armidale (occasional games in Walcha, Uralla and Guyra)

Teams – From U6 – U12

Football follows the small-sided rules with younger teams having fewer players and smaller football fields.



Training – Mondays

Games – Saturday mornings

Cost – $110

Equipment required – netball uniform from TAS

Where – Armidale Lynches Road Netball Courts- 11 am Saturdays

Teams – Netta (5-7 yrs) Set (8-10 yrs) Go (9-10 yrs with at least one year experience)

Netta – 5-7-year-olds –Netta is a skill-based session

Set – 8-10-year-olds. Emphasis is on participation, trying out learned skills, the learning of new skills and sharing the play with others in the team. The rules are modified.

Go – 9-10-year-olds. A further steppingstone to playing unmodified netball, developing skills learned. The rules are still modified to an extent, games are played on hard courts with lowered rings.



Training – Wednesday afternoons. A bus will take children out to UNE hockey turf for training between 4-5 pm, parents will need to pick up from UNE at the conclusion of training at 5 pm.

Games – UNE hockey turf

Monday 4 pm – U11 Boys/mixed (TAS minibus will take players to UNE – parents to pick up before 5 pm at UNE)

Saturday – U8 and Girls

Cost – U8 – $45

U11 – $130 approx.

Equipment required – Stick (school sticks are available), shin pads, mouthguard, TAS hockey socks and TAS sports uniform.

Please contact Mrs Tania Ball (tball@as.edu.au) for any more information.

Community Notices