2022 Term 3 Week 5   |   17.08.2022

TAS Talks Term 3 Week 5

01. From the Principal


It will come as no surprise to most people that Science Week is one of my favourite weeks of the school year. I am also a fan of podcasts and a few weeks ago I listened to an inspiring episode on the Infinite Monkey Cage discussing “The Wood Wide Web”. When I was at school I learnt that trees were locked in a cycle of endless competition for light, water and nutrients, but the work of Professor Suzanne Simard at the University of British Columbia has shown that, conversely, trees communicate with each other and indeed cooperate through huge underground fungal networks.

It might seem like a stretch to compare a woodland or forest to a school, but a school community is a unique ecosystem and interactions across the entirety of the TAS campus have the potential to influence the whole school. Year 12 lunches in the Lodge have recently started again this year and a common theme of reflection so far has been around the strong relationships between students and staff at the School. I often say that Year 12 is a team game, with every student helping others along and up with them, and that goes for the whole school. Like the trees of a forest, students can support each other to grow and achieve great things.

As I write this on a Tuesday morning, this week we have already seen examples of this on Activities Day with student leaders teaching the younger students, and teams of Middle and Senior School students working together to compete in the inaugural TAS Science Week quiz (well done to all who took part and congratulations to Ross who beat Tyrrell in a 3 question tie break!), and Year 11 students joining our Year 5 class for a lesson on food adulteration from Mr Hey. The size, single campus and co-educational nature of TAS all contribute to the School being a great place for our young people to collaborate and flourish in a supportive environment.

My plea to all parents and carers during this week is to encourage your child to watch, read or listen to some science. There are so many fields of science that there is really something for everyone, from Astrophysics to Agriculture, Biochemistry to Botany, Software Engineering to Seismology, the options are endless.


Dr Rachel Horton

02. From the Deputy Principal


As Alexander Graham Bell stated, “Before anything else. Preparation is the key to success”.

The HSC trials are the final ‘dress rehearsal’ for our Year 12s. With formal exam conditions and a rigorous schedule; our class of 2022 will undoubtedly benefit from the experience before undertaking their final exams in two months’ time.

I would like to thank and congratulate our Prefect Group for organising and cooking a BBQ Breakfast for all of the Year 12s last Friday morning. From their perspective, hard work has been put in and it is important for the group now to come together as a team before the trials to achieve their best. This team approach is important as the exam period will produce a range of emotions and for those who may struggle at times, it is reassuring to know that you have your peers behind you who can both empathise with and support those in need.

As I am sure our Year 12s would attest, school goes very quickly. Therefore, the message to our younger years is very strong – it won’t be long! Preparation is the key to success. It is the habits all students form through the work ethic they ingrain and the preparation they employ that will position them for success when it is their turn to undertake final exams.

I know that our whole community is behind the class of 2022 as they hit the final straight towards their HSC exams and the end of their secondary schooling. I would like to thank our Year 12 teachers in particular for the countless hours of drafting and providing feedback over the last couple of weeks and prior. I know the students appreciate it and are best placed to succeed because of it.


Mr Ray Pearson
Deputy Principal


03. Calendar of Events


Week 5
Wednesday 17 AugustHSC Trial Exams begin
Thursday 18 AugustHSC Trial Exams continue
Friday 19 AugustNew England Sings Rehearsals – Years 7 – 12
Week 6
Monday 22 AugustHSC Trial Exams continue
Book Week
Wednesday 24 AugustNCIS Rugby
Thursday 25 AugustNCIS Athletics
Friday 26 AugustMufti-Day

Junior School Book Parade

Saturday 27 AugustTAS Sleep Out
Sunday 28 AugustNew England Junior Rugby Gala Day at TAS





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 of Friday 19 August and on the form provided.

Please note that if you do not cancel your booking prior to departure, a $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 on reception@as.edu.au

04. From the P&F


 All the very best to Year 12 students for their Trial HSC Exams.


P&F Meeting

The next P&F meeting is Wednesday 7 September at 7.00 pm. 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 to follow. All are welcome with the added bonus of snacks and drinks for those able to attend in person

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. From the Acting Director of Studies


And just like that, the Trial HSC exams are up and running. Today saw the first large exams take place with Advanced and Standard English Paper 1 being completed by our Year 12s. It is a busy week ahead and we wish Year 12 the very best for their examinations.

The Sunday Study Sessions continue this coming weekend here at school; please find the timetable below. Again, thank you so much to the staff who are teaching on these Sundays and helping our Year 12s with their learning and revision.



A reminder that the 2022 HSC Study Guide, a resource NESA has produced in partnership with The Sydney Morning Herald is still available. 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.

Tonight, Mr Polson and I will be hosting a webinar with our current Year 8 parents and guardians in the initial phase of preparing our oldest Middle School students for Senior School next year. As part of this process, Year 8 will begin looking at the 2023 Stage 5 Handbook in preparation for choosing Stage 5 Electives. Additionally, I will be in contact with our current Year 9 students and parents in the coming week to convey specific information including due dates for 2023 subject choices.

Thank you to all Year 10 students for completing their 2023 Year 11 Subject Selections last week. I will be working through this data in the coming month to prepare the finalised Year 11 Subject Lines for 2023. More information to come.

Best wishes to all for a wonderful week ahead.


Mrs Gill Downes
Acting Director of Studies


06. Academic

Japanese Dress-up

As part of our Unit on Japanese Houses and Clothing, the Year 6 students were able to dress up with some of the traditional clothing of Japan. I bought this clothing when I lived in Japan and it provided a wonderful opportunity for the students to wear a variety of clothing and footwear. This included きもの (kimono)、おび (obi), げた (geta), ゆかった (yukata), ぞり (zori) and のれん(noren)。If you don’t know what these words mean look them up! 

As you can see by the photos, the students loved the experience


Mr Allan Moore
Languages Coordinator


TAS AgQuip Excursion 

Students in Years 9/10/11 Ag classes only will be attending Ag Quip on Thursday 18 August.
The bus leaves 6.30 am from the flag poles. Please be there at 6:15 am as the bus leaves at 6.30 am.
Bus returns at approximately 6:00pm at flag poles.
Dress/ Uniform
  • Neat Blue Jeans. No holes.
  • TAS Grey Winter Shirt
  • TAS Grey Jumper
  • TAS Coat
  • TAS Hat or Akubra. No Exceptions
  • Fully enclosed covered foot wear that is cleaned and polished.
  • Neat Blue Jeans. No holes
  • TAS Blue PE Shirt
  • TAS Navy Jumper
  • TAS Coat
  • TAS Hat or Akubra. No Exceptions
  • Fully enclosed covered footwear that is cleaned and polished.
All students are expected to return on the TAS bus from AgQuip attendance at School on Friday is compulsory.
Students will be provided with $10 for lunch which will be charged to their school account. Students will also complete a community service requirement on the Northern NSW Poll Herefords BBQ for approximately 1.5 hrs and will receive a steak roll and drink.


Mr Michael Ball
Agriculture Coordinator

07. From the Director of Co-curricular


This week during Advisor time students will have the opportunity to select their Summer Sport. Please take the opportunity to read through the information attached with your son/daughter to enable them to make an informed decision regarding their sport choice.

Congratulations to Lennox Neilson who recently played in the NSW All Schools U16 Hockey Team in Tasmania. Lennox enjoyed being a part of the winning team overcoming some strong competition from the other states, well done on a most successful tournament.

This week we wish our 14s Girls Rugby team and First XV well as they compete in the Grand Final of the North West Regional Youth Rugby Competition. The games will take place this week on Friday afternoon/evening at Scully Park in Tamworth.


Summer Sport Choices

Mr Huon Barrett
Director of Co-curricular

08. From the Head of Creative Arts


A reminder that next week we’re bringing London’s West End to Hoskins with the National Theatre’s Treasure Island. Come along on Thursday 25 August at 7:15pm to see Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic adventure of mutiny, money and murder was brought to life on the Olivier stage. 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.


The countdown is well and truly on for the Middle School students involved in History’s Worst Decisions and the People Who Made Them. With just two more weeks of rehearsals I encourage everyone to be punctual and energised for every remaining practice. Tickets will be on sale very soon, so keep an eye out for an email and the link in next week’s TAS Talks.


A big shout out to Steven Hopwood in Year 8 who sang the National Anthem at Scully Park Stadium in Tamworth on Saturday before the West Tigers v Cronulla Sharks match. Great to see one of our students getting to share their gifts with huge audiences (over 10k at the match!) and be a wonderful ambassador for the school. Well done Steven!

Mr Andrew O’Connell
Head of Creative Arts

09. From the Head of Middle School


Activities Day

A very successful Activities Day was held last Monday. Our students were actively engaged in fieldcraft activities, bridge building, abseiling, trekking, navigation and RATEL, amongst plenty of others. I have enjoyed hearing the way our students speak positively about the activities program. We now look forward to the next activity, an overnight Bivouac, to be held in Term 4.

Congratulations to Steven Hopwood

I offer my congratulations to Steven Hopwood (Year 8). Steven sang the Anthem at the NRL Game at Scully Park Stadium on Saturday (West Tigers v Cronulla Sharks Round 22).  The venue was booked to capacity with a crowd of approximately 10,000 people. Steven has a love for both rugby and singing and this was a wonderful opportunity for him to combine these two passions. Congratulations Steven on a fine performance.

Image courtesy of Wests Tigers

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 this week. In the meantime, please continue to 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


Book Week Parade – Friday 26 August

Please remember our plans for a Book Week Parade on Friday, August 26. All students will be encouraged to come to school and Parade in the Hoskins Centre with the theme this year ‘Dreaming With Eyes Open’. Please talk with your classroom teacher if you have any questions or need further information.


Sleep out at TAS

As we now know, 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 sleep out at school. A form has been sent to all Year 3-5 families. Please ensure you are aware of the necessary details and approach the school if you have any questions.

  • Wednesday 10 August – Canned food donations commence
  • Friday 26 August – Book Week Book Parade (with Canned food donations in lieu of a gold coin)
  • Saturday 27 August – Sleep Out at TAS


School Spirits

Congratulations to the following students that received School Spirit Awards last week:
Alex Feng, Sienna Rice, Clayton Ritchie, Odin Lee-Winser, Reuben Green, Ruby Archer, Skye Knox, Ivy Rice, Hassan Almokhtar, Alexa Wood, Ruby Rice, Daniel Mo, James Taylor, Rory Secker, Lara Thavapalasundaram, Violet Caulfield, Myles Wright, Mohammed Alrdadi, Kaitlyn Baker, Macey Rodgers and Oliver Rogers.


Happy Birthday

Best wishes to Ellen Adams, William Barwick, Jayden Chen, Bobby Saxby and James Taylor for their birthdays this week.


Mr Ian Lloyd
Head of Junior School

Upcoming Events

Term 3
Wednesday 17 AugustYear 1 Assembly – TAS Hoskins Centre (2.45 pm)
Thursday 18 AugustNew England Sings rehearsal – OTC (11.00 am – 12.30 pm)
Wednesday 24 AugustYear 2 Assembly – TAS Hoskins Centre (2.45 pm)
Friday 26 AugustBook Parade – Dreaming With Eyes Open

Donations welcome for Homelessness Fundraiser

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

Year 5 Exhibitions – TAS Hoskins Centre (5.30 pm)

Thursday 1 SeptemberYear 5 Exhibitions – TAS Hoskins Centre (9.00 am – 10.30 am)
Friday 2 SeptemberKindergarten Excursion – Thalgarrah
Wednesday 7 SeptemberKindergarten Assembly – TAS Hoskins Centre (2.45 pm)
Sunday 11 SeptemberShrek Working Bee (9.00 am – 3.00 pm)

IB Primary Years Programme (PYP)

Year 3 Happenings: Excursions and Incursions

This week will see us looking at what our Year 3 classes have been up to in their recent unit of inquiry.

The central idea they have inquired into is ‘Changes to current agricultural practices may conserve our environment.’

They have been exploring this ‘big idea’ through the following lines of inquiry:

  • Types of Agriculture 
  • The role of technology in food and animal production 
  • Growing populations impact the environment

This unit has seen the class out and about on excursions and in-class incursions. The students have delighted in asking questions and learning first-hand about changes to the agricultural industry.


Mr Baker spoke to Year 3 about importing and exporting various products. He also opened their eyes regarding the need to have economic, social and environmental sustainability in agricultural production systems. Discussions focussed on climate change, growing populations, and the need for some farmers to consider changing their current farming practices.



Mr Fawcett sparked discussion on our growing population and biosecurity. We were reminded about not wasting food and the need to start eating ‘ugly’ fruits and vegetables. Instead of importing as much as we do, we need to consider eating seasonal, local produce to decrease our carbon footprint.



The excursion to the Sunhill Dairy Goat Farm allowed the Year 3 class to see farming in action. This combined all discussions that they had had from various presenters and demonstrated what farmers need to do to produce a product and the considerations needed moving forward to ensure sustainable production in our agricultural industry. 

The highlight of the day was meeting Gumnut, who was a newborn goat who arrived less than 24 hours before our visit!

Mrs Veronica Waters
PYP Coordinator

Junior School Sport

NCIS Athletics Training

With just over a week to go until our NCIS Athletics Competition in Coffs Harbour, many athletes have taken up the opportunity to train during their lunch hours.

It has been pleasing to hear some students are also training at home in their own time.

More information about departure times, requirements for the day and what to bring will come out later this week.



TAS SET had a great game on Saturday. The conditions were challenging with soggy grounds and the chilly wind, but the girls continued to show improvements in moving around the court, passing the ball to each other and shooting goals. While we were not victorious against the Fireflies, the team had a lot of fun as always.

Mrs Jess Collett



Tornadoes 30 July

It was a sunny but chilly Saturday morning. TAS Tornadoes faced Armidale City West Side. In the first half, they scored one goal. We nearly scored, but sadly the shot just missed. We were very good at intercepting the ball. In the second half, we lost our concentration a little and gave West Side too many chances to score. In my opinion, we had a good game because we tried our best. I think we should practice our tackling and dribbling at training this week. A big thank you to Xavier’s Dad for umpiring and coaching us during the game and a big three cheers to Lexie for showing some fabulous sportsmanship too.

Patrick Kim (Year 2)





The Triceratops played at Harris Park on a cool and windy morning but as always, the team were keen and ready to go. In a very reduced team on both sides, we played 3 vs 3 and had great fun. The Triceratops were in the lead from the start with Byron scoring many goals with his usual flair and magic foot. Sam and Bobby scored some cracker goals and Charlie was our awesome defender. The team proves once again that they can pass the ball and play a great game of soccer. This team is one to watch and I am very proud of their efforts.

Mrs Lorna Ahern



Monday afternoon Gymnastics had a special guest – Mr Lloyd! He had a lot of fun twirling ribbons and helping students with their cartwheels. The students are working hard on pointing their toes and controlling their bounces on the trampoline.

Miss Lara Nicholls





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