DR RACHEL HORTON
With the Easter break on the horizon, there is still much to look forward to over the coming weeks including rescheduled sporting events, a Twilight Concert, Term 1 Bivouac and Year 7 Orientation Camp. I am also excited to let you know that information on a Term 1 challenge event for the whole community is expected to be released a little later this week.
Of course, opportunities to get involved in different activities at TAS don’t stop in the holidays. When my broader network of friends and connections heard that I was coming to The Armidale School, a huge number of them recounted to me their fond memories of playing, coaching teams, or bringing their own children to play at the TAS Rugby Carnival. I was amazed by how many people feel a connection to the School through this one annual event. It also felt quite fitting that my first proper visit to TAS last year was for the carnival.
This year, it will take place with numbers of participating teams back at pre-COVID levels. It is a huge, vibrant tournament bringing large numbers of visitors to Armidale. The P&F is absolutely integral in making it a success and are calling for your assistance. If you or your child(ren) can spare a couple of hours over the course of the weekend, please keep an eye on your emails this week and sign up. The TAS Rugby Carnival is a wonderful example of what can be achieved for our children and the broader community when everyone comes together to make it happen.
I would also like to let our community know that Mr Michael Keenan has tendered his resignation and will be leaving TAS at the end of Term 1. Mr Keenan has been a highly valued member of the PDHPE Department, an integral member of the Croft House staff and, most recently, Year Level Coordinator for Year 9. He will be greatly missed and we wish him the very best in his future endeavours.
Dr Rachel Horton
MR RAY PEARSON
Last Friday Dr Horton and I had the honour of attending an Old Armidalians’ Lunch hosted by the Sydney Branch of the OAU. With guests ranging from 94 years to 19, it was fascinating to hear the range of stories from over 100 Alumni of the School. Despite the many changes in both society and the School over the decades, there was a strong sense of connection evident. With a bond forged through a shared experience at TAS, age did not divide the room.
When I reflect on my own time at school, I distinctly remember wishing a lot of the time away. Looking forward to gaining independence and becoming an adult as quickly as possible so I could forge my own path in life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I could tell my younger self to pause more often, reflect regularly and appreciate the here and now more. What is special about TAS is that even if this time goes too quickly the opportunity to stay engaged with the School and friends remains because of the passionate and hard-working people in the OAU.
To see Old Armidalians embrace for the first time in a year or (many) more, to share stories about their time at TAS and be genuinely engaged with what has occurred in the time since they last met was nothing short of special. I was honoured to attend this event and spend time with some of our Sydney parents who shared my appreciation of the connection between those within the room. Our conversations focused on the special journey our current students are on and the amazing connections they are establishing that will last the test of time.
For our current students, the benefits of joining a strong and supportive ‘Old Scholar’ network may not feel relevant now or even immediately after graduating. The true rewards will come with time; when they are invited to reconnect with their peers and relive the positive memories of their school days.
Mr Ray Pearson
MRS SEONIA WARK
Having followed the same model of parent-teacher interviews for many years, and in response to many requests over that time, we are trialing a new system for interviews in 2022. These interviews are an important part of our ability to work together: student, staff, and home. A strong understanding of how a child is progressing, what areas they are finding difficult, and how to address this is critical for all involved. As such it is an expectation that students attend these interviews unless a parent specifically does not want them to do so.
We are trialling a new model for Parent/ Teacher interviews based on finding the most suitable days and times that better fit the busy lives of both day and boarding families.
Years 6, 8, 10, and 12 interviews will occur between 4 pm to 6 pm on Thursday 7 April as well as 8:30 am to 1:30 pm on Friday 8 April (the day that boarders will need to vacate the boarding house for the Easter holidays).
Years 7, 9, and 11 interviews will occur between 11 am and 6 pm on Tuesday 26 April (the day that boarders return to school for Term 2. Please note that classes resume for Term 2 on Wednesday 27 April).
Middle School interviews will be prioritised for core subjects and any additional interviews with teachers of other subjects are available upon request. Please contact Mrs Robyn Frost at Middle School if you need to organise these additional interviews.
All Parent Teacher interviews for all students will be 7 minutes in length and held in the Gym.
All visitors to the school will be expected to follow the COVID protocols that are in place at the time.
Mrs Seonia Wark
Director of Studies
Over the past few weeks we have been meeting families across regional NSW to discuss a TAS education for their children during the TAS Regional Tour attended by Dr Horton and senior staff.
During these visits, we have enjoyed hosting drinks for current and past parents and alumni in their home region.
The next drinks event is in Scone on Thursday 24 March with invitations emailed earlier this week. An Inverell event will be held Wednesday 30 March.
Thank you to our Moree, Narrabri, Tamworth and Gunnedah communities who have joined us to date.
We look forward to seeing you in your home town soon.
Mrs Jo Neilson
|Monday 14 March||TAS Regional Tour – Tamworth|
|Tuesday 15 March||TAS Regional Tour – Gunnedah|
|Wednesday 16 March||P&F Meeting (7 pm)|
|Saturday 19 March||NSW Schoolgirl Head of the River (Year 9)|
|Monday 21 March||Year 11/12 Geography & Textiles Excursion|
|Friday 25 March||TAS Regional Tour – Maitland|
|Saturday 26 March||NSW Schoolgirl/Schoolboy Head of the River ( Years 10/12)|
MR PAUL GADDES
This week’s P&F meeting will be face to face in Upper Maxwell as well as via Zoom – starting at 7:00 pm. 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:
With the TAS Rugby Carnival just weeks away we are calling for volunteers to help out on Saturday 9 April 2022 and Sunday 10 April 2022. The P&F will be open for business with BBQs, snack kiosks, coffee vans & home-baked goods.
We will need help each day with setup, cooking at the BBQ, selling at the kiosks, and cleaning up.
Please respond to the P&F Exec team on firstname.lastname@example.org if you can volunteer.
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
MR DAVID DRAIN
I write from Gunnedah, on the second leg of the TAS Regional Tour, thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to re-connect locally with our regional families after two years of disruption. I hope to continue to see several past, current, and future TAS families either during the interviews or the social functions as we visit Scone, Maitland, Inverell, Coffs Harbour, and Port Macquarie over the final three weeks of term.
It is with regret that the decision to cancel the 2022 Coast Weekend for Boarding and Day Houses has been made due to the logistical challenges associated with the continued road closures between Armidale and Coffs Harbour. The later than usual departure time of 5pm Friday, due to limited bus availability, and the midday Sunday return to enable boarders to prepare adequately for Week 10 assessments and assignments made the estimated 4.5 hour travel time between Armidale and Coffs Harbour too difficult to manage.
Plans are already in place for a TAS community event to be held on Sunday 3 April which all boarders will be strongly encouraged to attend.
Mr David Drain
Head of Boarding
MR AJ WHALLEY
TikTok has become an incredibly popular social media platform amongst teenagers where short videos that often follow a trend in behaviour, are uploaded for viewing globally. Most of the content on TikTok is totally harmless and can be quite entertaining, however, TikTok has quickly evolved as a platform for people to post themselves completing various fad ‘challenges’ that are trending. Similar to the Planking fad from 2011, people are challenged to record themselves performing acts that can be life-threatening, posing a particular danger to the underdeveloped adolescent brain that is seeking to gain attention online.
What can you do as a parent?
Mr AJ Whalley
Director of Pastoral Care
Bivouac 1, conducted by The Armidale School, will be held on 24-25 March, Thu-Fri of Week 8, Term 1. Cadets have received a full briefing on their activities.
All cadets will camp overnight on the night of Thursday 24 March in the vicinity of Mt Duval (B & C Company) or Malpas Dam (A Company). Of particular importance is the necessity for cadets to be prepared for the possibility of cold weather, and students’ own non-cadet issue cold weather jackets may be worn in the evening in the event of cold weather.
Cadets will assemble at TAS Adamsfield for the parade on Thursday 24 March at 8.40am.
Activities will cease and cadets released on completion of the parade at 5pm Friday 25 March.
The activities will be conducted as follows:
Kayak touring, mountain biking and trekking.
Night Harbour, fieldcraft, trekking, navigation and kayaking.
Night Harbour, fieldcraft, trekking, navigation and canoeing.
Cadets should note the below packing list as a minimum for overnight bivouac. There may be additional equipment required by platoon leaders for cadets. These will have been discussed at the Activities briefing.
|BackPack & Webbing (issued||Hootchie (issued)|
|Spray jacket* / raincoat*||5m hutchie cord/rope*|
|Kidney Cup* (issued)||Pegs x 4* (issued)|
|KFS set*||Groundsheet (issued)|
|Water bottles x 2 (issued)||Sleeping bag & mat*|
|Towel (small)||Olive Green thermal or cotton undershirt*|
|Notepad (in a plastic bag)*||Jumper (issued) and/or other cold-weather jacket|
|Torch + spare batteries*||Water gear (swimmers, shirt, shorts & shoes)|
|Plastic bag for wet gear||Bush Hat* (issued)|
|Sunscreen & insect repellent (tube or roll-on only)|
|Change of underwear & socks|
|Toilet bag (toothbrush + paste etc)|
|*Available for purchase from TAS Clothing Shop|
In particular, all students should ensure they have adequate warm clothing, including a jumper, warm clothing and a thermal undershirt. Sleeping bags should be appropriate for the New England autumn climate.
All participating students will be issued with all required equipment by the TAS Q-Store. If this equipment is lost or damaged, it must be replaced at students’ own cost. Many items in the list above can be purchased from the TAS Clothing Shop and have been selected specifically for their suitability for TAS Activities use and reasonable cost. Clothing that has been outgrown can be replaced at no charge at Q-Store by arrangement with the School Quartermaster.
If cadets have questions about their activities, they should in the first instance approach their platoon leader for more information.
LT (AAC) Johnathon Woodbridge
I wish to extend my thanks to the students, staff, parents, the SRC and the wider TAS community for their incredible support of the recent North Coast floods. A dual axle trailer load of supplies was delivered last week, and roughly the same will go down at the end of this week. The generosity of this community is both empathetic and powerful. In speaking with former students of TAS who now reside in both Ballina and Lismore, their gratitude is overwhelming. They have lost businesses, yet they remain optimistic, especially with the support now flowing into the region. The kindness shown to those on the North Coast is a true indication of our wonderful community.
Mr James Pennington
MR HUON BARRETT
As the summer season of sport enters the final weeks I commend our students for their commitment and positive attitude in what has been a COVID and rain interrupted season of sport. This weekend the Under 15 White Cricket team will play in the Grand Final against Hillgrove Colts at Elizabeth Park. We wish our young guns well.
Similarly, best wishes go to our Year 9 rowers who will compete in their Head of the River at Iron Cove in Sydney this weekend.
Next week we will publish the winter training schedule. Please take the time to read carefully and commit these training times to your calendar.
Mr Huon Barrett
Director of Co-curricular
While the Copeton 6 Hour Race was not attended as a TAS event due to the temporary COVID changes at school, a small group of students made their way to the event with their families on Sunday 6 March. Although the day produced many challenges, including a lot of rain, the students completed the race with fantastic results. The 11km track was no easy feat, with many technical aspects along the way. Results included:
Full results and photos can be found here https://www.facebook.com/
Mountain Biking Captain
Congratulations to Toby Inglis who won the 65km gravel race at Tenterfield over the weekend. The event was a sell-out across the three different distances, and Toby who was not allowed to enter the 100km event due to his youth, won the 65km event by an amazing 14 minutes!
Tom Dundon and Abbott White spent the weekend at a NIAS MTB training camp at SportUNE. Next weekend Abbott travels to Canberra to race in a National Cup Round at Stromlo, and so we wish him the best of luck.
Thank you to those families who helped at the NEMTB working bees over the weekend at the SportUNE trails. The trails are looking in great shape ready for the 12 Hour event on Saturday 2nd April.
The fine weather and a slight track variation was enjoyed by our students at Monday’s Summer Series race. Results can be found here https://my.raceresult.
Mrs Jo Benham
MIC Mountain Biking
TAS Ensembles have commenced rehearsals for the year, with all our ensembles now underway, with choirs commencing last week. Please find attached the TAS Extra Curricular Schedule which lists the scheduled ensemble rehearsals. Please contact the Director of Music, Ms Leanne Roobol firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about joining an ensemble, or learning an instrument.
Ms Leanne Roobol
Director of Music
MR LUKE POLSON
This year, we have been talking lots as year groups and in School Assemblies about kind and respectful relationships. Over the next week in advisor sessions, staff will be working with students on understanding their rights and responsibilities in terms of the Acceptable Use Agreement for IT at the school. Yesterday I spoke to all of the Middle School in our Assembly about the rise of social media and the importance of kind and respectful interactions online.
Last year, it may not surprise you that Zoom was the most downloaded app in Australia; nearly every school student and worker across the country was forced to download it at some stage. The crown of second place was taken out by TikTok. Young people have countless opportunities to engage with social media. There is no doubt that the sense of connection and interaction that comes from these platforms has its benefits. It gives us all the opportunity to engage virtually in a world that is bigger than what is immediately around us. This also comes with great responsibility. At times, it can feel as though it is impossible to keep up with the fast pace of changing social media usage and also for parents and schools to strike the balance between respecting privacy and independence of children, but at the same time, protecting their safety and wellbeing.
The ease of creating, posting and sharing content creates opportunities for everyone to have both positive and negative experiences online. The vast majority of users will use social media safely and experience its benefits, however, some will make negative choices using these platforms to put down their peers, say things they may not feel comfortable saying to someone’s face and unwittingly or insensitively share embarrassing images of other people without their consent. Collectively, we all have a duty to protect the wellbeing and safety of every student online and take concerns about online interactions seriously.
Yesterday, I encouraged all Middle School students who are active social media users to consider a privacy check up on their accounts and ask themselves the following questions: Are all of my accounts set to private? Do I know every person on my followers or friend list? If I share this video/image with a person, am I comfortable with that person then sharing it further? This is no doubt the start of many continued conversations in the future, but these are important ones, nonetheless.
Yesterday, students were briefed by staff regarding the upcoming Bivouac on Thursday 24 March and Friday 25 March. Information for students in Years 6 and 7 can be found below. Information for Year 8 students, who are part of the Cadet program, can be found elsewhere in TAS Talks.
Year 6 and 7 Bivouac
Parents will be emailed an electronic consent form to return. Please ensure that this is completed as soon as possible.
Times: Please be at TAS by 8:30am on Thursday 24 March. Students will be dismissed at 3:30pm on Friday 25 March.
Locations: Activities will take place at TAS, Dumaresq Dam and a nearby property at Dumaresq Dam. Students will spend overnight at a property near Dumaresq Dam and will be accommodated in tents (2 students per tent).
Meals: All meals are provided. Students may bring healthy snacks, however, there is no need to pack additional food.
Activities: Students will be undertaking group rotations including: map skills, first aid, walking (between property and Dumaresq Dam), RATEL, Camo and Concealment activities, damper and camp hygiene, navigation, knots and lashes, canoeing, night games, star gazing, prusicking, water safety and ropes activities.
Staff Attending: A number of TAS staff will be completing these activities with students and camping overnight. If you have any questions about these activities, please contact Mrs Rachel Piddington (email@example.com) or Mr Luke Polson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Students are all to pack the following :
Overnight bag and small backpack for day time use
Jumper and beanie (it may get cold)
1 set casual clothes to sleep in – pack something warm!!
Torch (head torch preferable)
Camping mug (if you want hot chocolate)
2 x 1L Water bottles*
Small Notebook, & pen/pencil*
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Hairbrush if required
Roll on deodorant (no aerosol)
Change of underwear
Healthy snacks (e.g. beef jerky, muesli bars, dried fruit)
2 x Large Plastic bags (1 to line backpack to keep things dry, one for wet items)
T Shirt and shorts for the water (sun safe)
Towel for the water (to dry yourself)
Extra spare underwear in case you do get wet
Water shoes (shoes you are happy to get wet, either proper wet shoes, or old joggers).
Light Raincoat (just incase)
Students must be wearing:
long sleeve shirt
Walking shoes / joggers (not the joggers you are going to get wet!!!).
Items labelled with * are available from the clothing shop.
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 – email@example.com
Mr Luke Polson
Head of Middle School
MR IAN LLOYD
Last Friday saw the whole school joining together to reflect upon and contribute to those in need after the horrific floods in northern NSW. It was gratifying to see the response from even our youngest students who understood the need to help and serve others. The Junior School response, along with that of the rest of the School was commendable.
Thank you one and all. Your support has been greatly appreciated.
Soon, information will be emailed informing you of the upcoming opportunity to speak with your children’s teachers. Please see the relevant dates and information in this edition of TAS Talks arranged to avoid a clash in the Memorial Hall with others Year groups. These interviews are an ideal opportunity for you to speak with your child’s classroom teacher about their progress so far this year and to discuss goals for the future. All the information for booking your interviews will be emailed to you soon, so please note these dates to avoid disappointment.
It is important for children to arrive to school with plenty of time to settle into the day by playing with their friends in the playground before moving to class. There will always be the occasional late arrival, but we ask all parents to understand the nature of the morning routine and make a special effort to have children to school well ahead of the first lesson of the day. This is important as late arrivals cause disruption for everyone. Our playgrounds are supervised from 8.15am. The arrival and departure systems for Junior School students and families seem to be working effectively but we do ask again that ALL families display their printed family nametag supplied by the school on the left-hand sun visor as this greatly assists with the collection of students. If another sign is needed, please contact JS Reception.
Please take the time to have a look as Year 1 present their assembly this week, and see TAS Bear find himself a new home – https://youtu.be/HfkYOiwmjN4
Congratulations to the following students that received School Spirit Awards last week:
Felix Boyce, Sam Trevaskis, Alanoud Alrdadi, Clayton Ritchie, Aaryan Peddi, Scarlett Shortt, Rory Watts, Mishkah Alrdadi, Mason Grace-Booth, Patrick Kim, Elsie Nexo, Poppy O’Brien, Darcy Jackson, Hugh Blackwell, Ted Draney, Eva Cook, Daniel Bayne, Matilda Polson, Cameron Rodgers, Harry Fawcett, Harry Kauffmann, Mohammed Alrdadi and Tom Loxley.
Celebrating birthdays this week in Junior School are Aarik Chakraborty, Elizabeth Collins, Elara Polson and Patrick Rogers.
Mr Ian Lloyd
Head of Junior School
|Wednesday 16 March||Year 1 Assembly – 2.45 Memorial Hall ( Live streamed)|
|Wednesday 23 March||Kindergarten Assembly – 2.45 Memorial Hall ( Live streamed)|
|Monday 28 March||Junior School Parent Teacher interviews|
|Tuesday 29 March||Junior School Parent Teacher interviews|
|Wednesday 30 March||Year 4 Assembly – Memorial Hall (No parents – Live streamed)|
|Friday 8 April||Junior School Parent Teacher interviews (Additional if required)|
Junior School students are encouraged to use a ‘conceptual lens’ when conducting inquiries. This involves students using a concept-based approach to questioning and research. As students become more confident with a concept based approach, meaning and understanding is promoted, and students engage deeply with ideas.
The PYP has identified seven key concepts that help to drive inquiry.
Concepts help to:
Key concepts drive learning experiences and assist in framing a unit of inquiry.
|Key concepts||Key questions||Students will develop the understanding that:|
|Form||What is it like?||everything has a form with recognisable features that can be observed, identified, described and categorised.|
|Function||How does it work?||everything has a purpose, a role or a way of behaving that can be investigated.|
|Causation||Why is it like it is?||things do not just happen; there are causal relationships at work, and that actions have consequences.|
|Change||How is it transforming?||change is the process of movement from one state to another.|
|Connection||How is it linked to other things?||we live in a world of interacting systems in which the actions of any individual element affects others.|
|Perspective||What are the points of view?||knowledge is moderated by different viewpoints leading to different interpretations, understandings and findings; perspective may be individual, group, culture or subject specific.|
|Responsibility||What are our obligations?||people make choices based on their understandings, beliefs and values, and the actions they take as a result make a difference.|
Mrs Veroncia Waters
Next week (Week 8) will be our final week of training for Summer Sports. Children will not have sports training in either Week 9 or 10. Coaches will be in contact if there are any games remaining for the term.
Winter sport commences in Week 2 of Term 2. If your child has not selected a Winter sport and still wishes to do so, please email Mrs Christine Wright firstname.lastname@example.org
More information about Winter sport will be in TAS Talks Week 10.
Mrs Christine Wright
Junior School Sports Coordinator