2022 Term 3 Week 4   |   10.08.2022

TAS Talks Term 3 Week 4

01. From the Principal


On Monday the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation (AIEF) held its first in-person graduation since 2019. As a school, we are proud to partner with the AIEF in offering boarding school opportunities for young Indigenous students. The event was a wonderful occasion for our two current Year 12 students, Jordyn and Oscar, to join with fellow scholarship holders from across the country at the Sydney Opera House in celebrating their achievements so far. The speakers included AIEF alumni who spoke movingly of their experiences and encouraged the graduates to be proud of who they are and never to allow anyone to put constraints on their future dreams, and AIEF Executive Director, Andrew Penfold, urged students not to be scared to fail spectacularly at some stage; messages that are incredibly important for all young people to hear.

I am incredibly pleased to say that the introduction of masks back to TAS last week did have the desired effect as we have seen a marked reduction in COVID-19 cases since then. We will retain masks until the end of next week in order to minimise the chance of any impact on our Year 12 students who start their all-important trial exams next week. HSC students will be appropriately distanced and will not be required to wear masks during these exams. Barring any unforeseen changes, we will remove the requirement for masks indoors again at the end of next week.


Dr Rachel Horton

02. From the Deputy Principal


Praise should be given for effort over results. Effort is the undeniable transferable skill developed in the formative years into the demands of life; both professional and personal. Effort needs to be a constant. It cannot be implemented at the last minute in the hope of positive results, it needs to be the ‘go-to’ for us all when we apply ourselves to the tasks ahead.

Prior to making the move to TAS, I worked in South Australia for a period of time where Australian Rules Football dominated the back pages and Monday morning schoolyard conversations. What I came to learn in trying to understand the game (as a Queenslander) was that the third quarter was deemed to be the most critical in a match. Teams that put in the required effort and found a rhythm in the first two quarters were well positioned to carry on with their performance. On the other hand, teams that may have had a slow start could still develop momentum at this late point in the match through increased effort to finish strong.  

While not a contest, this is an apt analogy for student academic performance in a school year. Regardless of whether it is an AFL match or school year, if you start slow you will need to work harder as the time goes on, if you put in the work early it makes success come easier. Blogger and Author Richie Norton stated, “You have to dig a well before you can draw water from it.” Those who have constantly worked hard do not need to ‘work harder’ they just need to maintain the effort until the end. For those who have started slow, now is the time to make the changes and put in the effort needed to achieve their potential. 

In the next week I plan on discussing effort with students wherever possible; effort in class, at home, in the study centre or in sports training. Regardless of the context, I am sure the outstanding students at TAS will be able to discuss what this means to them. Identify where they think growth is achievable and how their effort can influence their results this year. 


Mr Ray Pearson
Deputy Principal

03. Calendar of Events


Week 4
Thursday 11 AugustA Stitch in Time (Textiles HSC Major Works on Display) – 3.45pm Hoskins Centre

ADFAS Lecture – Hoskins Centre (6pm)


Saturday 13 AugustRugby  – Riverview vs TAS (away)
Week 5
Monday 15 AugustNational Science Week

Activities Day 2

Tuesday 16 AugustAGQuip – Gunnedah
Wednesday 17 AugustHSC Trial Exams begin
Thursday 18 AugustHSC Trials continue
Friday 19 AugustNew England Sings Rehearsals





Please follow the Find Out More link below to the online booking form for end-of-term travel (Friday 23 September) and start-of-term travel (Monday 10 October).

These chartered coach services are provided free to students travelling between their home and school – not interstate home destinations. Booking is essential and it would be greatly appreciated if bookings could be made by the due date Friday 19 August and on the form provided.

Please note that if you do not cancel your booking prior to departure $30 administration fee will be charged to your account. Cancellations can be made up to 3 days prior to travel. Students should be mindful of the 2 suitcases (25kg each) limit. Arrangements can be made through a carrier for extra luggage.

If you have any queries regarding travel, please don’t hesitate to contact Mrs Veronica Lucas.

04. From the Chaplain


God, who knows? Psalm 19:1-6

This term I hope to tackle the question ‘can we know God?’ so let’s get started…

They say Mountaineers climb because mountains are there. I think this is to downplay the splendour of the summit. One particular ex-TAS student who is a climbing enthusiast found himself nearing the climax of a massive wall in the Warrumbungles. As he approached the summit, the experience was nearly overwhelming, the effort, the moment, the risk, and the beauty culminated in such a flurry of emotion, as he clambered over the top, reaching the horizontal, defeating death and exhaustion, the amazement of the view brought forth tears, such a stream, that he was left a blubbering mess.

Frankly, I think, it sounds so extreme that I would have been bawling like a baby long before the beauty of the summit.

You might have found yourself on a cliff top or on the crest of a wave and simply been amazed at the beauty and power that surrounded you. You may have been stirred to the core by the experience of nature and of life, as you come face to face with this world what is your conclusion?

In Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything, he summarises the astonishing world around us, with the following statistics: “If the Earth were 5% closer to the sun everything would boil away, 15% further away everything would be frozen; the Earth’s molten core ensures critical outpourings of gas, sufficient to build the atmosphere that will protect life”… and so on he goes.

For Molecular Biologist Michael Denton, not a man of faith, this data pushes him to this conclusion, “The evidence supports the proposition that the cosmos is a specially designed whole with life and mankind as its fundamental goal and purpose… science which has been for centuries the great ally of atheism and scepticism, has become at last, in these final days the defender of the anthropocentric faith.” In other words, he suggests as we look around and consider our world and universe, all the evidence points towards a God who created, with human beings central in this creation.

Somewhere around the 2nd Millennium BC, the author of Psalm 19 noted what Denton has only recently discovered. The world around us speaks loudly and plainly of a God who has planned and created with a purpose.

But are these vague observations all we must go on? Is this God knowable in any other greater way? Is this God able to be known personally?


Rev Richard Newton

05. Round Square


A report from Gen Maunder who participated in last week’s Break the Bias Postcard hosted by MLC School Sydney:

Last Tuesday, six students which consisted of Meg Cory, Bella Lucas, James Collum, Tommy Burnett, Ruby Straker and myself, took part in the Round Square Postcard hosted by MLC Sydney, where we focused on the theme ‘Break the Bias’. To break this down in a simple summary, ‘Breaking the Bias’ relates to recognising the stereotypical bias surrounding women and men and what we can do to break down this ‘wall’ sitting in the way of people, young and old, being able to do and say what they want. Students from schools all over the world including India, Pakistan, Japan, and Australia joined Zoom and wasted no time getting into discussions. We were split off into numerous Barraza groups to discuss the various topics. Many questions were asked by the leader of our group and the conversations made were very respectful and interesting. It was a great opportunity to hear people’s ideas and perspectives from all different backgrounds, ethnicities and genders.

I am so glad that I agreed to sign up for this conference because it has not only broadened my perspective, but has ultimately opened doors to all of the possibilities and ideas young adolescents have for the upcoming future. Overall, it was a very worthwhile experience and I strongly encourage students to get involved and sign up for the next upcoming Postcard!

I would like to thank Mr O’Connell for organising our participation in this incredible event and for the effort he has put into our Round Square program, along with Miss Macri, who aimed to catch students’ interests with the Postcard. I think the students who joined me would agree that these Postcards are a great way to broaden our understanding of the wider world.

Gen Maunder
Year 10

06. From the Acting Director of Studies


As we move further into Term 3, there are so many interesting events happening across the academic school. Year 12 is in the final stages of preparing for their upcoming Trial HSC and many students have been participating in the Sunday Study Sessions running each weekend here at school to help facilitate this process. A timetable for the next two weekend’s sessions can be found below. A huge thank you to the staff who have been running this weekend revision and to all Year 12 teachers for their support and guidance of our HSC classes throughout this busy time.


Year 12 students need to ensure they have read the email sent to them recently regarding the key details of Week 5 and 6 in relation to the Trial HSC, such as, attendance, uniform, locations, and timings around this examination period. If you have any questions, please contact me directly.

Last term, all Year 12 students received a link to the 2022 HSC Study Guide, a resource NESA has produced in partnership with The Sydney Morning Herald. It is a really helpful document containing advice on preparing for different HSC exams, an explanation of assessment moderation, as well and some top-scoring exam answers from the 2021 HSC. Find it here.

Last week, Year 10 began the next stage of the Year 11 subject selection process with students receiving a selection form (via Edval) to place their Year 11 subjects in order of preference for next year. This is an exciting time and there are so many people here to help if students or parents have any questions about this process or the suitability of different subjects. These Year 11 subject selections are due this coming Friday; all students and parents were emailed relevant information last week.

Across all areas of the school, teaching and learning continue to offer exciting and challenging opportunities to all year groups. There has been some exciting debating; opportunities to submit entries to writing challenges through the local library; the sitting of ICAS tests for students who have chosen to be involved; and our Year 8 students who are starting to discuss Year 9 Elective selections for next year with Ms Taber and Mr Polson.

As we head into Week 5, I hope all our students enjoy and benefit from the many wonderful learning opportunities that are occurring. Special good luck to our Year 12s as they move into their Trial Examinations and for several of them, the submission of Major Works they have been developing for the best part of eight months. What a great achievement this is to reach the end of a creative process involving both practical and literary projects. Well done to all involved.


Mrs Gill Downes
Acting Director of Studies


07. Academic

Next week we celebrate National Science Week. Along with our usual exciting science lessons, we have visiting speakers presenting to our students.

Year 5 will join Year 11 Chemistry for an engaging lecture on food adulteration, entitled What’s That You are Eating? Years 3 and 4 students are invited to a lively ‘energy breakfast’ considering energy transformations. Year 10 students will have the opportunity to hear a short lecture from Professor Ketheesan from UNE. The timing and location of these events are being finalised, but we look forward to each of these opportunities.

Of course, although science week is only for a short time, never fear, because at TAS Every Day is a Science Day!


Mr Alasdair Hey
Science Coordinator

08. From the Head of Creative Arts


It’s been a long time between shows but we’re finally bringing London’s West End back to Hoskins with the National Theatre’s Treasure Island on Thursday 25 August at 7:15pm. Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic adventure of mutiny, money and murder was brought to life on the Olivier stage in 2015 and will surely delight young and old. The play runs for 1 hour 45 minutes and is recommended for children aged 9+. The performance is free and open to all members of the TAS community – no need to book tickets, simply come along with some snacks and enjoy this spectacular theatrical production on the big screen.


Tonight NERAM is hosting their annual Artworld Seminar – this event is for Year 11 and 12 students, parents and teachers who wish to learn more about pathways through university for future careers in the Creative Arts industry. The panel for this event includes Artist Leah Bullen, Curator Belinda Hungerford, Musician Alana Blackburn, and Videographer/photographer Mike Terry. It’s not too late to RSVP here: https://www.neram.com.au/event/artworld-seminar/
Our HSC Creative Arts students are in the final weeks of their major projects and performance preparations. They’ll be juggling this on top of their Trial Exam preparations, keeping one eye on the Art/Drama showcase in Week 7 and Music showcase in Week 8. We wish those students the very best and will share more information about HSC showcases in the coming weeks.
A special mention to Matilda Morse in Year 9 who has been selected for the Ballet Workshops Australia Regional Dance Extension Training Program. It will allow her to increase her technical training in both classical and contemporary to put her in better stead when auditioning in the future. This comes after many Dance successes earlier in the year, with a particular highlight being the Tamworth Eisteddfod Society and winning both the Senior Classical Championship and the winning the Overall Classical Scholarship Prize. Well done!
Finally, if you’re looking for some rocking entertainment this Friday and Saturday night the Hoskins Centre is playing host to the incredible psychedelic concert The Martians Are Coming… Back! A revamp from last year, this show wowed audiences with some of Armidale’s best musicians (led by our Mr Warwick Dunham) and technical programmers (including our Mr Michael Cornford) creating an unforgettable experience (with your truly again narrating the interstellar journey). There have been some changes to the setlist and some new songs added, but it will be as spectacular as before. Don’t miss it! https://www.trybooking.com/CAMAH
Mr Andrew O’Connell
Head of Creative Arts

09. From the Head of Middle School


Activities Day - Monday 15 August

The next activities day will be held on Monday 15 August. All students attended a briefing during the assembly period yesterday where the details of the activities and equipment requirements were provided. If you have any questions about this day, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Further details are provided elsewhere in TAS Talks and will be sent directly to families as well.

Year 8 Creative Arts Immersion Days

I am pleased to be letting our Year 8 families know of a two-day Arts immersion experience on Wednesday 7 and Thursday 8 September (Week 8) for all current Year 8 students. It has a focus on creativity, literacy, and collaborative learning, with students watching professional artists, participating in workshops and working on an elective project to share with an audience. This is an opportunity to give students experiences they have missed in the last couple of years because of COVID. It is also a chance to welcome back parents to see the work their children are doing and showcase the richness of the TAS program. Students will have an opportunity to participate in four workshops (English, Art, Drama, Music) and then choose an elective to continue within the fifth session. The work of the fifth session will culminate in an afternoon exhibition/performance. Parents will be encouraged to attend in the afternoon. It is anticipated that the cost of these two days will be $35, including lunch on both days. I offer my thanks to Mr Andrew O’Connell and the Creative Arts Faculty for coordinating this experience for our Year 8 students.


My thanks to all of our students for their cooperation with the mask-wearing over the past week and a half. It is anticipated that this requirement will be lifted at the end of Week 5 and further information will be communicated next week. In the meantime, please remember that:

  • Parents and carers must inform the School as soon as possible if their child/children test positive or if there is a positive COVID-19 case in a household and a student becomes a close or household contact.

  • Close or household contacts (students, staff and parents) are able to attend school but must wear a mask while indoors and we also require a daily negative test which we will provide for these individuals. It is incredibly important that the School is kept informed and requirements are followed so that we can maintain low case numbers and avoid disruptions to learning and school activities for our students.

Isolation times for positive cases or guidelines for Household contacts are currently mandated by the NSW Government and can be found here: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/stay-safe/testing/self-isolation-rules

Mr Luke Polson
Head of Middle School

10. From the Head of Junior School


Community Service and Fundraiser

Mr Jim Pennington has been busy organising another project which our Junior School SRC, in conjunction with their middle and senior school counterparts, are very keen to support.  Junior School will be supporting a project to support Armidale’s homeless, donating canned food and Years 3, 4 & 5 can volunteer to participate to various degrees in a sleepout at school. There will be much more information coming from the SRC and Mr Pennington soon, but we would like you to lock in the following dates:

  • Wednesday 10 August – Canned food donations commence
  • Friday 26 August – Book Week Book Parade (with canned food donations in lieu of gold coins)
  • Saturday 27 August – Sleep Out at TAS (More information to come)


How We Express Ourselves – Opening Evening on Wednesday 31 August from 5.30 pm

Each year, our senior group of Year 5 students undertake a comprehensive research project which culminates in an “Exhibition” to which you are all invited. The objectives of the exercise can be summarised as follows:

  • for students to engage in a significant, collaborative inquiry while providing students with an opportunity to demonstrate independence and responsibility for their own learning
  • to provide students with an opportunity to explore multiple perspectives and apply their learning of previous years and to reflect upon their journey through the PYP
  • to provide an authentic process for assessing student understanding and to demonstrate how students can take action as a result of their learning
  • to unite the students, teachers, parents and other members of the school community in a collaborative experience that incorporates the essential elements of the PYP and celebrates the transition of learners from primary to middle/secondary education.

We hope you can come along to support our Year 5 cohort and their teachers.


100 days of Kindergarten

It was quite the party last week as both our Kindergarten classes celebrated Day 100! If you are yet to see the photos on FB, then you will not have seen just what a great party it was. We are just so delighted with their progress and the happiness that they bring to their classrooms each day.




School Spirits

Congratulations to the following students that received School Spirit Awards last week:

Alanoud Alrdadi, Macie Pearson, Byron Ahern, Elija Ng, Sabine Kiehne, Elara Polson, Harvey O’Brien, Patrick Kim, Elsie Nexo, Anna Trevaskis, Roman Sue, Eli Williams, Luke Varvari, Maya Slade, Mila Nexo, Lewis Percy, Toby White and Flynn Ritchie.


Happy Birthday

Best wishes to Paddy Bourke and Freddie Post who both have birthday’s this week.


Mr Ian Lloyd
Head of Junior School

Upcoming Events

Term 3
Wednesday 10 AugustYear 4 Assembly – TAS Hoskins Centre (2.45 pm)
Friday 12 AugustYear 3 Excursion – Sunhill Goat Farm
Monday 15 AugustActivities Day – ‘Shrek’ set and costume preparations
Wednesday 17 AugustYear 1 Assembly – TAS Hoskins Centre
Thursday 18 AugustNew England Sings rehearsal – OTC 11.00 – 12.30
Wednesday 24 AugustYear 2 Assembly – TAS Hoskins Centre
Friday 26 AugustBook Parade – Dreaming With Eyes Open

Donations welcome for Homelessness Fundraiser

Monday 29 AugustYear 2 Excursion – McCrossins Mill Uralla
Wednesday 31 AugustYear 3 Assembly – TAS Hoskins Centre (2.45 pm)

Year 5 Exhibitions – TAS Hoskins Centre (5.30 pm)

Friday 2 SeptemberKindergarten Excursion – Thalgarrah

Junior School Sport

NCIS Athletics Carnival – 25 August

With our NCIS Athletics Carnival less than 3 weeks away, we will be offering some training sessions on Tuesday and Thursday at lunchtime. If your child would like to participate, they may wear their sports clothes on these days to train.

Training on Wakefield will commence at 1.2opm

Year 4 and 5 children have also been invited to attend Thursday afternoon sessions with Mr Pennington. The session should conclude by 5.00pm.

Mrs Christine Wright


Under 8’s

After heavy rain in the morning, the sun began to shine just in time for our game. PLC had a very large team with many subs and while we had enough players, it was noticeable that we had a few players absent. The PLC team were strong and hungry for a win, however, a goal from Reuben Green demonstrated our fighting spirit. Maggie played a great game at the centre, with Reuben and Hunter on the wings. Sienna, Bryana and Spencer were our backs and George and Hunter shared being goalies. Hunter demonstrated some powerful sideline hits that were instrumental in getting the ball to the other end of the field quickly. All in all, it was a fabulous game with a sensational little team.

Well done all.


Mrs Lana Hawksford


We have had a successful return to SET Netball this term. On Saturday, 30th July, our girls had a convincing victory, working collectively as a team to a 5-2 victory. The team showed off all their skills learnt in training, passing the ball confidently and making skilful shots.

On Saturday, 6th August, the girls had to overcome playing without someone in the Wing Defence position and had to work harder to position themselves and move the ball around the court. They worked beautifully as a team to compensate but were narrowly defeated by the Giants. Congratulations to Heidi Secker for scoring an impressive goal.


Mrs Jess Collett

Community Notices