DR RACHEL HORTON
This year has seen incredible changes and challenges for schools, students, staff and families with COVID-19 and significant flooding across the region. Now, with the end of the school year just a few days away, it is wonderful to be finishing with our usual end of year events, Junior School Speech Day, Middle School final assembly and Middle and Senior School Speech Day.
My congratulations go to all those students receiving awards this week and also to all those who have worked hard to achieve outcomes that they are proud of this year.
While the end of year and the approach of Christmas is a cause for reflection and celebration, it is also with some sadness that we say goodbye to a number of staff.
This week we farewell Mr Ian Lloyd after almost 42 years at the school. It is not often we can say that a staff member has been a part of TAS for a third of the school’s history, but this is the case with Mr Ian Lloyd.
Originally from Sydney, Ian’s foundation in primary education began at Armidale Teachers’ College and then the University of New England. He commenced teaching at TAS in 1981, teaching in the Junior School before taking on roles as Sportsmaster, Middle Years teacher and Middle School Boarding Housemaster, subsequently returning to Junior School as the Head of Junior School.
Ian’s commitment and dedication to TAS is extraordinary with his contributions to the School covering all areas from educating and coaching students to providing them with a home away from home in boarding. Along with his wife Sally, as Housemother in White House, Ian’s warm and caring nature assisted students to settle into a new environment in boarding and manage the challenges of homesickness. A ‘compulsory fun’ program kept the boys occupied with a range of imaginative activities.
During his time in the Junior School the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme was implemented, providing a structure to ensure that learning is engaging, relevant, challenging and significant with the PYP focus on learning through inquiry to become inquisitive and open-minded learners.
Ian has said many times that he feels fortunate to have found a vocation that he genuinely enjoys. He has been a guide and inspiration to so many at TAS and we thank him for his incredible service to TAS and wish him well for this new stage in his life.
This week Mark Taylor also retires from his teaching role at TAS after 24 years. Mark came to the School in 1999 with his wife Lyndel and three children Joshua, Michael and Maddison.
Mark has led the PDHPE department for the entirety of his time at TAS and has also been Deputy Housemaster of both White and Croft House for a number of years. His co-curricular contributions have been significant as MIC of Tennis and Rugby, Coach of Athletics, Badminton, Cricket and, most recently, Netball.
Mark has had an incredible influence on so many students and staff members, young and old, and he also holds a unique position where he is being succeeded in his role by one of these past students.
While Mark is officially retiring from teaching and as Head of Department he has agreed to continue in his role of Careers Advisor in 2023 so we will still see him around the School and we thank him for both his service to TAS and this continued commitment.
This week we also farewell the following staff.
I would like to wish you all a peaceful and joy-filled festive season and I look forward to welcoming students back next year for an exciting and busy year.
Dr Rachel Horton
MR RAY PEARSON
I would like to acknowledge all the staff and students who took part in Annual Camp last week. I had the great privilege of personally seeing our Service Students in action locally and a number of our students in action for Cadets down at Nymboida. The shared experience and challenges faced and overcome by the students is something special and has undoubtedly built connections that will last a lifetime.
In addition, the Junior School Shrek production was an amazing showcase and reflection of the talent our Junior School Students possess. I congratulate Mrs Leasa Cleaver and all the staff involved in supporting students to unlock their talent and to create such a wonderful performance for our community.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the students, parents and staff for their warm welcome and support throughout 2022. Relocating and joining a new community is a daunting prospect, but the kindness shown has made the experience enjoyable and rewarding for my family and I. I look forward to many more years supporting students through their TAS journey.
I wish you all a safe and happy Christmas break. Enjoy the time with family and friends and I look forward to welcoming all new and returning students for the first day of 2023 on Tuesday 31 January.
Mr Ray Pearson
|Wednesday 7 December||Ian Lloyd Community Farewell|
|Thursday 8 December||Junior School Speech Day (9.00 am – 11.00 am)|
|Middle School Parent Lunch and Final Assembly|
|Friday 9 December||Speech Day ( 9.30 am – 11.30 am)|
MR PAUL GADDES
Wishing everyone a happy & healthy festive season with family.
A huge thank you to everyone who has supported the P&F this year either organising, contributing to, or attending P&F events.
Please remember to collect your TAS P&F Christmas Pudding from Senior School Reception this week.
If you have anything you would like to raise with the P&F Executive, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr Paul Gaddes
Old Armidalian Richard Tombs was very touched by the support shown by students and staff who took part in the TAS 4 Hour ‘Walk a mile in another man’s wheels’ challenge event on 11 November. Please click on the link to view Richard’s thanks to the TAS community.
MRS GILL DOWNES
The end of the academic year is an important time to reflect on what has come to pass, and to consider what can be done to prepare for the year ahead. For our oldest students, the HSC course is now well underway with a handful of subjects having already assessed students in their first formal task. Congratulations to our new Year 12s for their commitment to this first section of their HSC; it has been a great start to the program. What lies ahead for them is a long summer break where they need to be preparing for Term 1 by completing holiday reading set by their teachers and ensuring that they spend a couple of hours each week consolidating the work they have already done in Term 4. This revision is an important part of the process, so the Term 4 content and learning is fresh in their minds when they return next year. As mentioned, many Year 12 teachers will be emailing out holiday work for the students to complete in preparation for Term 1; it is vitally important that this is completed in readiness for the coming units and modules of work.
This is also a period when our Year 6 to 10 students can reflect on their academic year – the highs and challenges – and consider how they might like to approach 2023 in their new courses. Our current Year 10s will be receiving their confirmed pattern of subjects via email today and tomorrow; textbooks and other materials should be ordered and purchased over the summer break in readiness for Year 11. Please contact me if you have any questions about your child’s subjects for next year. Additionally, our current Year 8 and 9 students will receive an email on Thursday or Friday with their elective subjects for 2023. Some late staffing changes have meant I am still finalising some of these courses to ensure which ones will be taught next year; this information will be with our Stage 5 (2023) students very soon.
Lastly, I cannot emphasise with enough enthusiasm the importance of reading. The summer break is the perfect time for our students (and families as well) to become lost in some wonderful stories. Whether it is a relaxing and light novel on the beach or something weightier from the rich list of quality literature we have available to us, I really encourage everyone to read over the break. A great alternative if you are travelling or on the go, is audio books. Listening to stories in the car as you travel or while you go for a walk is a wonderful way to keep storytelling as a part of your everyday world. We all loved stories as kids; nothing ever really changes there. The main factor that leads to reading dropping off for many of us is time. We often prioritise other things in our busy world. Technology use has also meant many of our kids go to this, instead of reading, as a habitual form of leisure. Now is the time to carve out new (or revive old) literary practices and get reading! Autobiographies, non-fiction texts about history and war, graphic novels and cartoons, short stories or even old fiction favourites like Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Skulduggery Pleasant or the 26 Storey Treehouse can be just as enjoyable as an older reader as they were when read years ago. Perhaps parents and guardians have stories you loved when you were younger which you can recommend to your children. Visit your local library over the break – the joy of stories is always there; we just sometimes forget to go looking for it.
Wishing you all a restful break and I look forward to hearing about the summer when we return next year.
Mrs Gill Downes
Director of Teaching and Learning
This term in Year 10 English, students have been studying a unit called ‘The World at War’, which focuses on representations of war in poetry. Specifically students have examined the poet Wilfred Owen and his harrowing poetry which looked at experiences of soldiers in World War 1. This was then compared to alternative perspectives on war, represented in the poetry of poets such as William Shakespeare, Rupert Brooke, Jessie Pope and Bruce Dawe.
Around the time of Remembrance Day, students were given the opportunity to write some war poetry themselves. Some students were inspired by an Old Armidalian who had served in the Defence forces and others wrote on the theme in general. We are grateful to Old Boy Ian Johnstone for his research into former students who died in the First World War that provided source material. Please find below just some of the excellent pieces of poetry that our Year 10 students created.
Mrs Alex Murray
Head of English
It all seems so far away,
So far away.
I’m in a place I recognise,
But where are the people,
Where are they?
It’s happening again I can feel it,
What is my name,
What is my name,
Where is my country,
Where has it gone,
I’ve lost it?
Can somebody help me,
I can’t see,
I can’t hear,
I can’t taste,
Can somebody help me?
I’m looking for Patrick Sinclair Anderson
Has anyone seen him?
I’m looking for Patrick Sinclair Anderson,
Where has he gone?
Can somebody stop it,
Somebody stop it.
“Patrick!” I hear someone yell,
The name is familiar,
It rings a bell,
The last time I heard it was at Inverell.
“Stay with me!” The same voice shouts,
But i don’t want to stay,
I see it again, the familiar house,
The love, the comfort, the smell,
I don’t want to stay here where all I can see is,
Sad men everywhere.
I don’t want to stay where,
I don’t want to stay.
By Matilda Cullen
A moment to remember
The quiet cacophony of a million breaths,
A million steps and a million regrets
Runs in the havoc of the battlefield
Some men deceived, but all bereft.
A general crowned, a soldier drowned
A map of strategies and bullets and sound
a meter, two meters, no meters of ground
The memories of men and of terrors profound.
Musings of Toowoomba, Old and new loves
Language and history, cradled in deaths silver gloves
Captain? Soldier? Lieutenant? Gone.
And now we must wait until the battle is done.
at the sound of a canon,
One final blast,
George is now gone,
A black flag on the mast
-Lilla Menzies on George Lewis Blake Concanon
Do this in memory of me
It’s the crack of dawn.
I barely know where I am, and I’m still yawning.
My father glances down on me, his smile reassures me, a cool breeze tussles my fringe, I wipe the sleep from my eyes, I grip his hand tighter.
A picture laid bare before me, waves of khaki stippled around an obelisk.
I peer out, an assembly of anamnesis, gathered in remembrance of him,
His body broken for me,
His mind taken, his eyes tarnished,
Deep gashes of anguish, left for his mother
Heads bowed, foreheads furrowed.
An embouchure slowly forms, a sweet tone croons.
VICTOR GREENUP (25.7.1887 — 5.4.1918)
A perfect golden child living in a city of stone
The world breaking around him, the rest is unknown
Through flames and bullets and bloodshed they weep
The golden child never seems to sleep
A graduation filled with joy and laughter
But the story won’t end in a happily ever after
Taken from a welcome home, how sad, how cruel
The golden child is now left with no place to rule
After years and years of labor and war
The golden child worked even more
While leading the youth and digging without rest
A flying shell went to meet his chest
Family meets and mourns in an evening in summer
To see the perfect golden child fall into a deep slumber
MR LUKE POLSON
It is hard to believe that we have made it to this point of the year. As the academic program wraps up and activities for the year completed, we now turn to the final end of year events. I look forward to seeing many of you at the Middle School Lunch and Final Assembly tomorrow and Middle and Senior School Speech Day on Friday.
It was great to see the safe return of all of our Year 6, 7 and 8 students from a busy and successful Activities Week last week. Again, special thanks go to the Year 6, 7 and 8 staff for their incredible organisation of the many and varied activities that our students enjoyed throughout the week away. On behalf of all, I want to thank these people for their support of your children not only during Activities Week, but also throughout the year. These people, and in fact all staff who supported them, are deserving of a long, restful holiday break
With the end of a school year brings about some staffing movements. Dr Stone joined us in July this year, at the same time as we double streamed our Year 6 cohort and quickly settled in and gained a rapport with every student she taught. Dr Stone has been a wonderful addition to our Middle School staff. Dr Stone is headed to Sydney with her husband who has taken up a new role there. Both Mrs Collett and Mrs Kreuzen will be taking maternity leave in 2023. Both have been wonderful teachers and mentors to students in our Middle School. Whilst they will certainly be missed next year, we will be looking forward to their return down the track and keen to hear some baby news when the time comes. We hope you both cherish the family time to come.
2022 has been ‘full’ and I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support of us. Overall, it’s been a very productive and successful year. As we now look towards the break to come, I hope that it is a productive, restful and safe holiday period for all. I wish you all a happy, holy and safe Christmas and New Year period and look forward to seeing everyone in the new year.
Mr Luke Polson
Head of Middle School
MR IAN LLOYD
It would be remiss of me not to mention the outstanding success that was ‘SHREK’. It has all been said before but I would like to add my congratulations to the entire team for working so hard to create something that was so special. The kids loved it and that is what counts…but the opportunities created by such a production are numerous and it is this that we as teachers find most exciting. To see the growth of so many as they take the stage, literally, in their stride is fantastic.
To the very talented and patient Mrs Leasa Cleaver, Miss Charlotte Low and Mr Craig Norrie we all applaud you for your immense dedication and commitment to the benefit of our children. To the many others who helped along the way to create this outstanding achievement, I thank you.
Well done Pippi Goudge who was selected as runner up in the “K-6 Student” category in the Six of the Best short story competition. We understand that the quality of entries and the depth of understanding of language has been inspiring. All awarded entries will be posted on the Armidale Council webpage, the library’s and Council’s Facebook pages. In the next few weeks there will be a display of all the entries this year in the library. Congratulations Pippi!
Sami Bayly is with us again today as she conducts some fascinating sessions with all our students. Sami is known to us, having had workshops with our senior classes earlier in the year and it is a great pleasure to welcome her back. I have been able to see much of what she has done and I am very excited as she will be our guest and as she joins us for Speech Day. Some of her biography reads….
“Sami is 26 years old and is currently based in Newcastle, NSW. She has released three books in the Illustrated Encyclopedia series and has just released her fourth book (the first of a new of a new series), called How We Came To Be – Surprising Sea Creatures, published by Lothian – Hachette Australia.
She loves to try new mediums and techniques, as she never knows what style she might fall in love with next. She loves to illustrate any animal that can be defined as weird, wonderful or even ugly!”
Please note the following arrangements for our final day at school:
We are pleased to announce that Junior School will be operating its Vacation Care Program in January 2023. It will be available from Monday 9 January – Friday 13 January and Monday 16 January – Friday 20. All booking can be made through the email After School Care email@example.com or by ringing 6776 5818. Information will be with you soon outlining the program for both weeks, and a copy is attached to this edition of TAS Talks
From the entire Junior School staff, we all wish you a very safe, happy and refreshing Christmas break.
I would like to welcome the incoming Head of Junior School, Mr Scott Chittenden, his wife, Megan and their 3 young children to TAS Junior School. I know I speak for us all as we wish them well for their relocation from Darwin. They are looking forward to settling in and exploring our beautiful region and getting out and about to meet you all. They are all very excited to be moving to Armidale and TAS in particular. Scott and I have been communicating with each other, and our staff have met via ZOOM. This is a very exciting time for our school.
As I finish at TAS this week, I am very thankful for the time I have been able to spend in so many areas of the School. From the Junior School, to Middle School Boarding and my involvement in many of the co-curricular programs, I have, literally, a lifetime of quite extraordinary memories. Without the support of this community, I would not have achieved such a milestone and would like to thank you all and those before you, who have contributed to both my life at TAS and my family’s life in Armidale. I have been humbled by your support and your expressions of good wishes. Sally and I will carry them with us…wherever we go, as this amazing place will always hold such special memories for us both. Thank you.
Many happy returns to the many Junior School students who have birthdays between now and the first edition of TAS Talks in Term One 2023:
Fatimah Alkadi, Hugh Blackwell, Evelyn Brownlie, Buster Bush, Lachie Chiu, Max Dennison, Joseph Drain, Spencer Green, Patrick Kim, Duncan Klabe, Locky Mills, Artie Rylands, Sonny Salvador, Eric Thakur, Lara Thavapalasundaram, Byron Ahern, Baxter Carruthers, Ellie Chiu, Wilbur Drain, Briyana Galpathage, William Gregory, Arabella Hodges, Lachie McDowell, Daniel Mo, Sienna Nelson-Straub, Bronte Polson, Sansa Ranawake, Eli Williams and Leo Thavapalasundaram.
Mr Ian Lloyd
Head of Junior School
|Thursday 8 December||Junior School Speech Day – 9 – 10.30am – followed by End of Year Morning Tea for parents and students – Junior School Under Cover Area (Details to come)|
|Junior School Concludes (3.30pm)|