DR RACHEL HORTON
While I have long heard of Eisteddfods, TAS is the first school I have attended either as a student or staff member that participates in one. As we near the end of this year’s series of events, I was fortunate enough to be able to attend Band Night this week. The full range of performances demonstrated amazing talent from the musicians involved and it was particularly wonderful to see so many students involved with both TAS and a range of other ensembles throughout the night. Congratulations to all students who took part this year and to the huge array of staff who supported them.
This year continues to be one of firsts for me. While I was a committed equestrian at school, the North West Equestrian Expo in Coonabarabran last weekend was my first event in Australia. The weather and quantity of mud could not dampen the spirits of the TAS riders. With 22 students between Years 7 and 12, from novice to experienced, competing in a wide range of disciplines, the team represented the School admirably over the five days with a range of results including several wins.
This week I am also pleased to share the news that due to an unprecedented number of mid-year enrolment enquiries for Year 6, we have made the decision to add an additional class at the start of Term 3 rather than waiting until next year as originally planned. Staffing information will be shared with other staffing updates during the mid-year break.
Dr Rachel Horton
MR RAY PEARSON
I hope this edition of TAS Talks finds you all in good health and warm! As I enter my first winter in New England, I have been comforted by the many comments reassuring me that this is cold (not just for those unaccustomed) and the wind doesn’t usually hang around for too long. While the mornings have been somewhat bitter, the sunshine provides a welcomed reprieve and a daily reminder that this is a beautiful part of the world.
Unfortunately, we are still seeing cases of COVID-19 and Influenza here at School and while the major disruptions previously experienced are behind us, it is important that we maintain the skills of personal hygiene and self-care learnt over the past few years. Students have been encouraged to organise their flu vaccination to protect themselves and we are still requesting that students do not attend school if they are unwell.
Next Tuesday is National Blood Donors Week, the Student Representative Council has selected this to be our mufti day theme for Term 2. Students will be able to wear red and bring in a gold coin donation in support of the work of Lifeblood and the Australian Red Cross on Friday 17 June.
Thank you for your support in keeping students in classes up until Thursday afternoon. Reducing disruption ensures lessons will continue to be productive without students missing out on content. I wish everyone all the best for the extended weekend and I look forward to seeing our students return refreshed next week for the final eight days of classes this term.
Mr Ray Pearson
|Wednesday 8 June||CIS Cross Country|
Round Square Virtual Conference
|Friday 11 June||Queen’s Birthday Weekend – School closed|
|Monday 13 June||Queen’s Birthday Weekend – School closed|
|Tuesday 14 June||School resumes|
National Blood Donors Week
|Wednesday 15 June||NCIS Football|
|Thursday 16 June||Junior School Open Morning ( All Welcome) 9.30 am – 11.00 am|
|Friday 17 June||Wear it Red Day Mufti Day – Fundraiser for Blood Donors Week|
|Saturday 18 June||TAS v SGS (Away)|
MR PAUL GADDES
The P&F will meet this week on Wednesday 8 June at 7.00pm. We will be face to face in Upper Maxwell as well as have a Zoom session running for those wishing to attend remotely. ZOOM details are below. All are welcome with the added bonus of snacks and drinks for those able to attend in person.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 215 517 2798
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
The official exam block for this semester is now over though, due to illness, many students may still have exams to complete. We are going to try to catch-up as many students as possible during normal lesson times, however, it is likely that some miss out on these opportunities as well. Please realise that this is perfectly OK – they are important but not high stakes and it is not helpful to anyone if they drag on for weeks. Classroom teachers will be organising these catch up exams so please contact them in the first instance if you have any queries and then your child’s advisor.
Later this week students will receive an email asking them to select their elective choices for Semester 2 2022. It is important for students to carefully select their 1st to 3rd choices in each line as they will be put in classes based on this and there will be no changes made at a later date. Year 10 students get priority in any class list as it is their last semester of elective choices before picking their senior subjects. It is likely that students in Year 9 will not get all of their first choices and, as such, their other selections in each line are important.
Students wishing to select Curriculum Support must already be in this course and be recommended by Ms Ahern to continue or to join in the first instance. This is not a course that is aimed solely at completing homework and other tasks rather its’ focus is to build literacy and numeracy skills.
It is easy as we approach the end of term and a long weekend for students to think that it is time to slow down on the academic front. Please stress to your child that we are not ‘wrapping things up’ in class – put simply we never are. They may find that they have assessments to complete or new topics are starting. Either way, there is plenty to do in every subject.
Mrs Seonia Wark
Director of Studies
MR HUON BARRETT
This week I had the pleasure of attending the North West Equestrian Expo, otherwise known as the Coona Expo. TAS entered its largest team in the history of the Expo with 22 riders. Over the five days of events the TAS students produced some outstanding results and were ably led by the very impressive Captain of Equestrian Mary Flannery. It was wonderful to see students from Years 7 to 12 encouraging and supporting each other and I would like to thank all parents who played such a vital role in transporting, supporting, encouraging, coaching and providing training facilities in the lead-up to the event. A special mention to Miss Charlotte Lowe our MIC of Equestrian her knowledge and support has been crucial and Mrs Sarah Flannery who as team leader did an amazing job managing and supporting the team both before and during the event.
The Inter-House Debating starts this week. The debates will take place at lunchtime for both Senior and Middle School and cover a range of topics. For a full list of the debates and topics please follow the link https://bit.ly/3mrhd6g
Mr Huon Barrett
Director of Co-curricular
With the lifting of (most) COVID-19 restrictions, nor drought, bushfires, floods or roadslips at the time – the 2022 Triple Crown campaign was finally able to get off the ground with the staging of the inaugural TAS 6 Hour on Sunday 5 May.
One hundred and one energetic and robust cyclists undertook six hours of riding in the Armidale Pine Forest, circumnavigating multiple loops of a 5.7km course. Littered with exposed tree roots, fallen timber, rocks and plenty of mud, obstacles were a plenty, with numerous riders enjoying a winters mud bath for their efforts.
Participants had the choice of six hours straight (Solo Hard Core) or in teams of two, with lap times averaging 28 minutes. For the first lap everyone joined in, with Dr Horton and Mrs Benham leading the way. After that, the Solo riders continued for the duration, only pausing briefly to eat. There was an almost symmetry to the team changes, an even flow which saw the majority of riders average five laps each, with the fastest Solo riders stretching this out to 11.
Our entire school community was represented, from K to Year 12, Staff and Parents. The Kindergarten duo of Darby Klabe and Felix Boyce were the rock stars of the day, displaying an incredible zest for adventure and simply refusing to fatigue. Such an amazing effort from those so young. Team Bourke switched from horses and motorbikes to leg power, and it wasn’t a challenge! The sisterhood of Banister held strong throughout, with Sophie and Bella urging each other on.
Mr Polson guided the Middle School charges around the course, setting a cracking pace with teammate Chris Dawson. They couldn’t however withstand the power of youth, as they watched Harry Brownlie, Hugo Broun, Luke Gaddes, Minnie Chick, Tessa Jackson, Clare McDouall and Georgia Henderson (amongst others), tear up the course.
In the Senior School, Mrs Tutt and Mr Barrett lapped at a consistent pace, keeping a caring eye on the riders. This was not an easy task, as some students were absolutely hammering around the course, (think Abbott White, Jack McCook, Toby Inglis, Louis Ross), whilst others went for a slightly slower, yet more body preserving pace. This unfortunately didn’t extent to Matilda Cullen or Eryn Benham, both of whom spent time checking the depth of certain parts of the course.
It was fantastic to have parents actively back for school events. There were 13 parents riding (one of whom was also towing!), more than 10 at different times on the BBQ, helping to pack up, tow trailers back to school, basically everything! Thank you all so much for your majestic support. It is so nice to see you being able to engage with your child as they push themselves towards their Triple Crown.
I must also thank all the staff, from every department at TAS for giving up their time not just on the day (setting-up, riding, cooking, cleaning, packing-up), but in the week leading up, to make this event possible, I am grateful for your support.
Stay tuned for Challenge Number Two next term!
Mr Jim Pennington
The annual Inter-House Debating competition for the Clemson Cup commences today and will continue during lunchtimes for the remainder of the term. Middle School debates will be held today, tomorrow and next Wednesday, with Senior School debates next week, on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
The grand final of the Senior School competition will be held during the final Assembly of the term on Tuesday of Week 9, and the ultimate Middle School Finals clash, on the last afternoon of term.
The competition is not only an important component of the Clemson Cup for inter-house debating and public speaking (which will be held next term) but also gives many students their first taste of debating. Logic, teamwork, communication, building confidence and taking on different perspectives are all incredibly valuable life skills that are developed and fostered through debating and public speaking.
Students are encouraged to attend the debates and support their houses; best wishes to the debaters with their preparations.
MR ANDREW O'CONNELL
Another weekend brought another Creative Arts excursion, this time the combined Senior Drama/NSW & ACT Shakespeare Carnival trip. Sixteen students went to Sydney to watch shows, participate in workshops, see the lights of Vivid, and represent the New England at the finals for the Shakespeare Carnival. We watched Gods and Little Fishes at New Theatre, the musical The Deb by Australian Theatre for Young People, and Macbeth by Sport for Jove – each show incredible in its own right and inspiring for our young performers. At the Carnival Felicity Barton and Meave Churchyard performed a Duologue from ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor’ and Noushi Byrne, Essie Lindeman, Jasper O’Neil, Grace Thompson and Harry Turnbull performed an original music composition inspired by ‘The Taming of the Shrew’. The Music piece received a standing ovation at the end, it was clearly the people’s choice, and they came third for their section against stiff competition. And with great cheering and screaming on the bus ride home we heard that the Duologue pair won their section, taking out the crown! – on top of that, they were highly commended by the judges as the act of the day. It is a long way to travel but the experiences are worth every second and I acknowledge the support of Ms Leasa Cleaver to help run the excursion.
Yesterday we had the spectacle that is the Eisteddfod Band Night up at the Old Teacher’s College. A large number of TAS students were there and gave some great performances that demonstrated both their talent and the fun our students have when they take the stage. It’s been a huge week for our musicians and our Music staff and peripatetic teachers and I know everyone will be happy to take a breath from the Eisteddfod (but wait eagerly to hear about pieces for the Gala Concert).
We had two students nominated for the UNE Student Acquisition Prize Let’s Hang It! at NERAM – Grace Pennington for her self-portrait painting and Archie Little for his lino cut self-portrait. They’re both fabulous works with so much character and personality (like the artists themselves). The exhibition will be on display from July 29 to August 14 and we wish those students the very best.
Mr Andrew O’Connell
Head of Creative Arts
MR LUKE POLSON
Last night I had the privilege of attending the Armidale Eisteddfod Band Night and it was wonderful to see the breadth of talent that is evident throughout our music program here at TAS. Middle School has been well represented throughout the Eisteddfod period and I offer my congratulations to everyone who has taken part and thanks to the many teachers and supporters who dedicate huge amounts of time to ensure our students are well prepared for such events.
Yesterday, our Middle School students hosted the weekly Middle and Senior School assembly. I applaud everyone who spoke and performed; it is not easy to speak or perform in front of an audience who is largely much older than you are. Congratulations to Peyton Slade, who performed ‘Home’ by Catie Turner as one of her winning Eisteddfod pieces and to our Middle School Combo for performing two pieces at assembly. This also provided an opportunity for our students to report on events that have occurred in Middle School, including the Year 7 Coffs Harbour Camp and recent Year 6 Canberra Excursion. Our student leaders were also able to announce at assembly the introduction of sports equipment available for students at lunch breaks as well as the planned design and construction of a new Middle School playground to come later this year.
Last week I wrote to Year 6 families to announce from next term, we will be double streaming Year 6. Over the course of the term we have interviewed students and offered places to a number of them to start in Year 7 next year. Several of these students were very keen to start this year at TAS rather than wait for Year 7. As a result of this, we have sufficient numbers to be able to run two Year 6 classes from Term 3. I look forward to welcoming a number of new families to Middle School next term.
Please be aware that we do continue to have cases of COVID-19 circulating in our community. Whilst we do anticipate that there will be a steady amount of COVID-19 cases circulating, it is important that everyone is following the protocols that are in place for the safety and wellbeing of all of our students and staff.
If you have any questions or concerns at any stage, please do not hesitate to contact me.
I hope that the upcoming long weekend is a good opportunity for everyone to recharge and refresh as we head into the final two weeks of the term.
Mr Luke Polson
Head of Middle School
MR IAN LLOYD
You will have been invited to a morning session in Junior School where we are opening our classrooms to all our current and prospective parents on June 16 from 9.30 – 11.00 am. Modern education requires an environment where the learning community comes together in a dynamic and collaborative relationship, where the responsibility is shared by us all. This opportunity now presents itself and we hope you will be able to join us in our classrooms and experience first-hand that which our students experience. Dr Horton, Veronica Waters and I will also be on hand to speak to you over morning tea and answer any questions you may have about our program. Please contact the school for further information if required and we do hope you will be able to come along and join us.
Well done to those who participated in the TAS 6 Hour last and friends. Mr Pennington, who has written an extensive report elsewhere, could not have been happier with the turnout and we all thank you for the support shown. It is an important component of our TAS education and seeing activities like this in action confirms just how much benefit our students derive from becoming involved. Congratulations to Darby and Duncan Klabe, Felix and Finley Boyce, Paddy and Josh Bourke and Sophie Banister and their families. What a great effort these students have taken towards our Tri—Star Award at the end of the year.
We also wish Rory Secker and Ollie Rogers well for their CIS Cross Country in Sydney this week. What a massive experience?!
At last, now we are emerging from the COVID cloud, we are heading back to the stage and the details for our End of Year Production should have been email to you. It is very exciting to have the chance to perform again and we hope that we will be returning to a similar style of production that we have been able to achieve so successfully in years gone by. Included in the mailout, was information relating to auditions, after school rehearsals and working bees. Please make yourself familiar with this and contact the school if you would like to know more. As more details emerge, we will keep you well-informed.
Occasionally, we revisit the process we like to use in Junior School to resolve disagreements and I have spoken to our students recently again about ‘The Three Steps.’ Showing empathy, compassion and respect for the needs and feelings of others requires awareness and at the end of the day, practice. As part of our PYP, we emphasise the ‘The Three Steps’ at school and we would like you to discuss this at home and help all our students improve their understanding of resolving difficult situations.
We believe our students can make a difference themselves when dealing with some difficult situations at school, while allowing them to have the support they may need from others. We explain that it is OK to miss step 1 or 2 if behaviour is dangerous or serious, but it encourages them to take some ownership of the situation confronting them as well.
Rather than simply going to ‘tell’ the teacher, we encourage children to say:
Step 1 – “Please stop doing/saying that. I don’t like it.”
Step 2 – “I’ve asked you to stop. If you do it again, I will go and talk to a teacher.”
Step 3 – “I am going to talk to a teacher.”
We encourage students to talk to the teachers, rather than ‘tell’. In doing so, students have the opportunity to retain some of the responsibility for ‘fixing’ the situation. Of course, this skill is a difficult one. So, please discuss and perhaps even role-play this strategy with your children at home when you have the chance. If we all develop a similar approach to such situations, I am sure it will pay dividends both at home and at school.
Congratulations to the following students that received School Spirit Awards last week:
Clayton Ritchie, Edward Minter, Scout Bush, Felix Boyce, Harvey O’Brien, Scarlett Shortt, George Quast, Bronte Polson, Elsie Nexo, Chloe Chen, Hugh Blackwell, Roman Sue, Baxter Carruthers, Cameron Rodgers, Edward Gillman, Lewis Percy, George Drain and Cecilia Price.
Many happy returns to Kaitlyn Baker, Henry Post and Ayaan Peddi who all celebrate birthdays this week.
Mr Ian Lloyd
Head of Junior School
|Wednesday 8 June||Year 4 Assembly – TAS Hoskins Centre 2.45 pm|
|Thursday 9 June||Year 3 Excursion to Kindly Animal Sanctuary|
Classes conclude for Queen’s Birthday Weekend
|Friday 10 June||Staff Day|
|Wednesday 15 June||Year 1 Assembly – TAS Hoskins Centre 2.45 pm|
|Thursday 16 June||Junior School Open Morning – Classrooms are open from 9.30 – 11.00am|
|Friday 17 June||Premier Reading Challenge|
|Wednesday 22 June||Year 2 Assembly – TAS Hoskins Centre 2.45 pm|
Pre-Kindergarten 2023 Interviews
|Thursday 23 June||End of Term – Classes Conclude|
|Friday 24 June||Staff Day – Student Free Day|
It is wonderful to be able to observe all classes delving deeply into their current Unit of Inquiry, asking big questions and conducting investigations. It has been such a joy to be able to engage members of the wider school community in units as guest speakers and to have classes out and about on excursions deepening their experiences and knowledge on the ‘big ideas’ being explored in units.
The table below communicates current units of inquiry.
|Year||Transdisciplinary Theme||Central Idea||Lines of Inquiry|
|Pre-Kindergarten||How the world works||We learn about the world by observing and investigating||Different scientific skills we can use for|
Using our senses to observe
Changes in our environment
|Kindergarten||How the world works||Forces around us impact how objects function||Types of forces|
How objects move
The interactions of forces
|1||How we express ourselves||Stories are vessels for timeless cultural and personal expression||The different purposes and structures of stories|
Do authors ‘paint a picture’ with words
How stories can be shared in many ways
|2||How we express ourselves||People express themselves and entertain through performance|
|The history of storytelling through performance|
How puppets are used to tell stories and express feelings
The use of light and sound to convey information
The types of sounds produced by musical instruments used by people from different cultures (MUSIC)
|3||Sharing the planet||Living things need to adapt in order to survive||Adaptations of living things|
Comparing life cycles of living things
Survival of living things
|4||How we organise ourselves||Exploration of energy forms enables people to discover the environmental footprint||An inquiry into the earth’s relationship with the sun and the sun’s energy.|
An inquiry into sources of energy
An inquiry into how heat, light and electrical energy makes things happen
|5||How the world works||Scientific and technological advances constantly evolve and impact people’s lives|
|Earth’s place in the solar system|
Scientific discoveries may lead to technological advancements
Impact that scientific advances may have on people and the environment.
Mrs Veronica Waters
Picture a mist-ridden morning. Cold. Drizzle. The wind blowing mercilessly across the Rologas Plain. And out of the mist walks the TAS Terriers in their mighty blue and white. Parents move to the sideline, huddling, wrapping cold hands around warm coffee, thinking that staying home and vacuuming the house might have been a good idea (right guys?). Undaunted by the weather the brave Terriers take to the pitch like seasoned veterans, squaring off against the Norths side, equally resplendent in red and white. Both teams put heads down for two 20min-that-should-have-been-15min-halves-in-that-weather, trading end-to-end blows, working the sidelines, with no one wanting to sub out except the coaches. And in the end, the Norths wind proves too strong. The mighty Terriers walk proudly back into the morning mist with one goal, some epic chances and a great story to tell from a blustery Saturday morning at football.
Mr Gordon Arndt
The Triceratops had another lovely game on Saturday, despite the temperature being “feels like minus 4”! We met our match in the first half with our opponents scoring very quickly. However, in the end, the Triceratops managed a convincing win and demonstrated their abilities to play as a team. The boys deserve their rest this long weekend. My thanks again to the wonderful parents who bring their children along, even in Antarctic conditions. My thanks also to the team for the fun, laughter and concentration for most of the game – you are all amazing.
Mrs Lorna Ahern
On Saturday it was cold and wet. We played at Rologas 12 and we were versing the East Armidale Strikers. Lots of people were so good at getting the ball off people. My favourite thing is trying to get a goal but we didn’t get a goal. Lots of us have to be passing the ball when people say pass. I want to thank our coach Mrs Hardin, for her training to us to get better at soccer.
Raymond Wang (Year 2)
The children had blue lips and freezing hands before we even started our game. The bitter weather had winds and light rain that made the temp freeeeeeeeezzzziiiing! (3 degrees from memory). However, this team rose to the challenge. Graciously Spencer Green and George Quast took turns playing for the opposing team. Riley Sykes was left wing and rose to the occasion with some amazing field strikes. Ruben was right wing and worked hard to keep positional play while looking out for marking his player. Maggie Woods was centre and instrumental for finding key spots on the field. Hunter Grace-Booth was our mighty goalie who is really learning the art of being in key position for the game and can really hit the ball.
A big shout out for Mrs Sykes who comes to training to help with her expertise. I think this little team is on fire! Despite each week teaching our kids which way we are going and on occasions losing goals from our team members scoring the wrong way, this little team is amazing!
Mrs Lana Hawksford