DR RACHEL HORTON
Students and staff are now settling into the routine of the school year, new students have developed friendship groups, assessment tasks have been scheduled and completed and co-curricular activities and excursions are in full swing. Many of the latter, like the Year 12 Drama excursion to Sydney, is happening for the first time in a while. They represent incredibly important and rich learning opportunities for our students; it is good to have them back.
After being struck by the high participation levels at last year’s swimming carnivals, I am eagerly anticipating the events of Thursday and Friday. In particular, I have heard students talking passionately about War Cries evening since my arrival at TAS. I am very much looking forward to the spectacle that will unfold on Thursday evening. As always, may the best House win!
Junior School students gave their speeches and faced interviews for leadership positions at the start of the week while Middle School leaders took their oaths on Tuesday’s assembly. Congratulations and good luck to all those students who were successful. Indeed all students who put themselves forward for selection should be commended on their courage and endeavour. Leadership comes from actions and attitude and does not always need to be accompanied by a title.
A major highlight of the school year for me is the Year 7 lunches which started this week. The students who shared lunch with me on Monday were well-presented, polite, friendly and a delight to speak to. They certainly set a high conversational bar for everyone else.
I look forward to sitting down with the remainder of the cohort over the next few weeks.
Dr Rachel Horton
MR RAY PEARSON
As we settle into the new school year routine, it is timely for our students to consider what they are hoping to achieve in 2023. Setting goals is an important practice that, if done effectively, provides direction and something meaningful to strive for.
Without careful consideration though, goals can be unattainable and quickly forgotten. The well-utilised SMARTER Goal Setting Method is a good way to ensure quality goals are developed. Once goals are set though, thought must go into the process that is going to be required to achieve them.
“It’s easy to sit around and think what we could do or what we’d like to do. It is an entirely different thing to accept the tradeoffs that come with our goals. Everybody wants a gold medal. Few people want to train like an Olympian” (Clear, 2022)
Achieving goals should be challenging. It is true that the greater the challenge, the greater the reward. It is also better to work smarter, not harder! Therefore, ensuring effort is directed in the right areas and the steps and learning required to achieve the goals are thought through. This does not have to be done alone and often the best way to establish this path is through conversations. I encourage our students to discuss their goals with their Advisors in the coming week and to seek feedback and guidance on the goals they are hoping to achieve in 2023.
This is an exciting week in the TAS Calendar with the Junior School Swimming Carnival and House War Cries taking place tomorrow followed by the Senior/Middle School Carnival on Friday. It is fantastic that our students will gain experience pride and House spirit without restriction. I look forward to our students performing en masse for the staff and families able to attend this key event on our calendar. I wish all students competing in the swimming carnival and our aspiring Cadets undertaking their leadership course this weekend all the very best.
Mr Ray Pearson
|Thursday 16 February||Junior School Swimming Carnival|
|War Cries and MS/SS Swimming Events (5.45 pm)|
|Middle School Parent Information Session (4.45 pm)|
|Japanese Study Tour Parent Information Session (4.45 pm)|
|Friday 17 February||Middle School/Senior School Swimming Carnival|
|Cadet Leaders Course ( Cadets depart at 4 pm)|
|Monday 20 February||Scholarship and Open Day (10.30 am – 2.00 pm)|
|Thursday 23 February||NCIS Primary Swimming (Alstonville)|
|Friday 24 February||PLC/Kings/RNSW Regatta|
MRS JO BENHAM
This week the assembly reading was 1 Peter 4: 7 – 11 which can be found here https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Peter+4&version=NIV
Last week we looked at how John Newton, the author of the hymn Amazing Grace, impacted and influenced our world because he followed Jesus. In the late 1700’s he was initially an advocate of the slave trade, but then became someone who actively worked towards abolishing it, in response to Jesus’s amazing grace.
Today we are looking at Hannah More. Hannah More was nothing less than the most influential woman of her time. She was already a well-known figure when William Wilberforce met her in 1787. She was a best-selling playwright and author, whose works at the time outsold Jane Austen’s ten to one. Hannah More was a woman of such boundless intelligence and charm that everyone wished to be in her society. She was friends with many well-known people of the day, but it was her friendship with Wilberforce that fuelled their collaborations against the slave trade and a host of other social injustices. Between them they would quite literarily change the world. While Wilberforce is still a well-known figure in modern society, Hannah More, a national celebrity in her time as an author and social reformer, is not so well known today. So, let’s get to know her a little better now.
Hannah More had incredible talent and skills in writing, and she used these gifts to bring about huge change in English society. Her role in the war against slavery can hardly be overstated. Through her writings she helped the average Briton see the humanity of all people from every country, and that the slave trade caused tremendous suffering. Her words pierced the hearts of millions who came to feel that their country must have no part in such evil. Eventually hundreds of thousands of Britons signed the petition against slavery, which helped sway parliament towards abolishing it. Furthermore, Hannah wrote many books, including one that confronted many Britons, who thought of themselves Christians, but whose lives were in reality and in practice not exhibiting love for others that God’s Word clearly teaches. Hannah herself knew relationship with God through faith in his Son Jesus, and knew this was possible for all, to bring about radical change. Hannah continued to use her gifts to fight social injustice, despite opposition, often from the upper classes. Along with her sisters, she started schools for children living in poverty who would normally never receive an education. She also started evening classes for uneducated adults and set up women’s friendly societies. Throughout many of her literary works and various projects, Hannah More faced challenges. Despite this, she continued to use her God-given gifts to fight for justice for all human beings as creatures equally made in the image of God.
So, Middle School leaders, indeed all of us, should be inspired by people like Hannah More too, as the passage from 1 Peter 4 tells us, to use whatever gifts you have received to serve others. And like More, do so with integrity, humility and courage, looking to the ultimate example of these things in Jesus Christ.
Lastly, if any students are interested in attending lunchtime Bible study groups or local Youth Groups, here are some details:
TAS Student Bible studies (lunch provided) led by Mr Cook, Mr Williams and myself:
Middle School GAS (God and Stuff) Monday’s 1 pm in F1-5 and the chaplaincy area
Yr 9 – 12 SALT (Matthew 5:13) Thursday’s 1 pm in F1-5
Local Youth Groups:
Any boarding students interested in attending these youth groups, please let me know. I can be contacted at email@example.com Transport can be arranged depending on the numbers.
Mrs Jo Benham
MR PAUL GADDES
Year group liaison parents are undoubtedly your most important P&F contacts.
Over the past weeks, the P&F has been working with the LP team to help them settle in for 2023. Thank you to our returning LP Coordinator Soph Wright.
A large thank you to LPs past and present for their energy and attention to build community at TAS continually. Here is a reminder of who the LPs are for your respective year groups;
|Pre-Kindergarten||Susannah Warwick, Anna Williams|
|Year 1||Rebecca Lock, Jessica Sykes|
|Year 2||Maxine Green, Samantha O’Brien, Diana Wood|
|Year 3||Sarah Grace Booth|
|Year 4||Maria Capoluongo, Alexandria Flynn, Sarah Rice|
|Year 5||Naomi Wright|
|Year 6||Maria Capoluongo, Melanie Fillios|
|Year 7||Caroline Coupland, Kari Maitz|
|Year 7 Dangar House||Sophia Wright|
|Year 7 White House||Kirsty White|
|Year 8||Hannah Coddington, Prue Fisher, Edwina Douglas-Menzies|
|Year 9||Anthony Chick, Amanda Fletcher|
|Year 10||Susan Crawford, Kellie Litchfield|
|Year 11||Veronica Lucas, Elizabeth Rogers, Catherine Wright|
|Year 12||Philippa Kearney, Kim Lawrence, Clare Muirhead, David Paris|
The P&F will open a small Kiosk each day this week at the Junior School and Middle/Senior School swimming carnivals. Located under the Junior School covered area, drinks and snacks will be available for purchase to suit all ages. We will cater for both cash and EFTPOS. No baked goods are needed.
Thank you to the volunteers who have already signed up to help out on these days.
P&F uses Email and Facebook Groups as our formal channels of communication. We do not recommend the use of other social or chat platforms as they are often not inclusive enough to capture all parents and caregivers.
We have several Facebook pages providing useful information about upcoming activities as well as a place to stay in touch – we strongly recommend you join the main P&F page as well as your Year Group pages;
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
MRS GILL DOWNES
In the early stages of the year, we begin administering some low stakes, but informative online testing with our students in order to gather data on their learning across areas such as reading, writing, maths and spelling.
We use ACER’s Progressive Achievement Test (PAT) assessments which assess what students know, understand and are capable of across several learning domains. The data from these tests form one part of the broader picture which informs our practice and allows student progress to be monitored over time; the tests will be run again in Term 4 to help track growth.
The PAT tests are now adaptive, meaning that they alter depending on how the student is progressing within the testing tool – if they are getting many of the responses correct, the test will progressively get more challenging. Similarly, if a student is not answering correctly, the test will adapt so they can access questions where they are able to show their understanding rather than just continually getting answers incorrect.
These tests are scheduled at different times over the coming weeks, and it is important to find a balance here:
Thank you to all students for approaching these PAT tests with maturity and their best effort.
Mrs Gill Downes
Director of Teaching and Learning
MR HUON BARRETT
Congratulations to Archie McMaster who last week at the NCIS Tennis Trials in Grafton finished in third place. An outstanding achievement has particularly given he was playing against Year 11 and 12 students.
I wish our Wiburd Shield Cricket Team well as they play their third-round match in the state-wide competition against Hunter Valley Grammar School.
This week we look forward to the swimming championships. The Junior School Carnival will take place on Thursday 16 February and the MS/SS Championships on Thursday evening and Friday.
Thursday 16 February 5.45pm-9.00 pm
100m Freestyle event, open medley relay and War Cries
Friday 17 February 8.30am-3.30pm
50m Freestyle, Backstroke, Breaststroke, Butterfly, 6 x 50mF/S, Tooth ‘n’ Nail Relay
Swimming Event Rules:
Lunch: a BBQ will be provided for all students.
Because of the chlorine in the pool water, competitors are strongly advised to wear goggles.
On Monday 20 February TAS will be running and hosting a Rugby Ready Referee Course.
For more information please click HERE
AFL kicks off this weekend on Sundays for anyone keen to give it a go.
Mr Huon Barrett
Director of Co-curricular
The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme is available to all interested students from Years 8-12. It consists of three levels, Bronze, Silver and Gold. These can be taken sequentially, or just one-off. Enrolment is currently open for this year, anyone interested, please contact Mr Pennington at email@example.com
More information can be found by following this link. Duke of Edinburgh Brochure
Mr Jim Pennington
Service and Adventure Coordinator
On Monday evening our mountain bikers competed in their first race of the New England Mountain Bikers Summer Series. In these races, competitors have to complete as many laps as possible of a tough little 1.2km track within the 35 min timeframe. The conditions were hot, but everyone put in a commendable effort for their first race of the season. As I told students after the race, they should be proud of their effort and they will only get fitter as the season progresses, making racing easier and more enjoyable. There were some stand-out performances of some of our students across all categories. Once results are finalised, they are usually posted on NEMTB Facebook page, which can be found here https://www.facebook.com/
Finally, in a year of no COVID and no floods, TAS returned to South West Rocks for the Trial Bay Triathlon (750m swim/29km ride/5km run). A favourite event on the North Coast, now into its 35th year, conditions were perfect. Harrison Miller (swim/ride) and Emily Ussher were the best-performing U/18 team, with Emily blitzing the run. This was on the back of her completing the Enticer event (300/9/2) just 20 minutes beforehand. Alice Bourne, Eryn Benham and Madeleine Nicholls were in our other team, putting in a wonderful performance. Congratulations also to Freddie Taylor, our UK gappie for his fine race as an individual.
MR ANDREW O'CONNELL
Last week the Year 11 and 12 Drama students headed to Sydney to watch OnSTAGE, a showcase of top works from the 2022 HSC Drama, as well as a number of professional productions. They saw the breathtaking, five-star award-winning Sydney Theatre Company’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, which was an unparalleled display of theatre technology and individual performance. They also got to see the Ensemble Theatre Company’s production of A Broadcast Coup, a thought-provoking piece about the misuse of power in the media, a reckoning for terrible men in the #metoo era, and a cry for a better future. There will also be an opportunity for students to watch archival footage of plays set for study and participate in other educational experiences. And of course, there was OnSTAGE, with a range of exceptional Individual and Group Projects that were sometimes outrageous, sometimes shocking, and sometimes intimidating, but all of them inspirational in their own way. My thanks to Ms Cleaver for accompanying me on the excursion and to all the students for making it such a wonderful and rewarding trip.
Mr Andrew O’Connell
Head of Creative Arts
MR LUKE POLSON
In Assembly yesterday, it was my pleasure to formally induct our 2023 Student Leaders and announce them to the students across both Middle and Senior Schools. The leadership model in Middle School at TAS correlates with the ideas and purpose of the IB Middle Years Programme that is at the heart of what we do in Middle School, both in classrooms and beyond. Students nominated for these positions at the end of 2022, completed an application process and then these leadership positions were voted by their peers. With Middle School staff guidance, the goal for these leaders is to work together managing Middle School initiatives, driving Middle School events and leading by example as role models for the younger student population.
I am looking forward to working alongside this group of students and I congratulate them on their appointments.
Middle School Leaders for 2023: Madeleine Buntine and Ned Coleman.
Please join us from 4.45 pm – 5.15 pm on Thursday 16 February in the Hoskins Centre for our Middle School Welcome and Parent information session. This presentation will outline the Middle School program, particularly the academic and pastoral changes your child can expect.
Following the session, there will be light refreshments served and you will have the opportunity to ask any specific questions that you may have. Following this event, you are also invited to attend the War Cry competition in the Sports Centre commencing at 6 pm.
Information was distributed to parents and carers of Year 7 regarding the End of Term 1 Camp from Friday 31 March to Sunday 2 April.
Please ensure that this activity’s consent forms and registration forms are completed by Friday 16 February. If you have any questions about this process, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr Luke Polson
Head of Middle School
Have you ever stopped to think about how you learn? Have you ever thought about the skills you need to learn? This is what we encourage our students to do, by building on their toolbox of skills of different approaches to learning. Modern teaching and learning tell us that it is more important to explicitly learn skills that are transferable, rather than just memorise content.
Being an IB school, our lessons are framed by the ATL (approaches to learning) framework and aim to develop different approaches and strategies that students can add to their toolbox of learning. These skills come from 5 main categories:
This learning journey starts in Junior School, and is further built upon in the Middle School. As students complete a unit of work, or an assessment, they should always have these skills at the forefront of what they do. We want our students to leave Middle School knowing how to research, and knowing how to communicate in different scenarios. So I ask, what skills do you need in your toolbox? What skills do you want your students to have in their toolbox? Let’s encourage them to use them!
MYP Learner Profile Award Winners
Mrs Rachel Piddington
MR SCOTT CHITTENDEN
Servant Leadership, as explained by proponent Robert Greenleaf, suggests that a leader’s primary aim should be “… to serve (others) first, as opposed to wanting power, influence, fame, or wealth.” We consider all Year 5 students to be leaders within our school and we are certain all will demonstrate this servant leadership within the Junior School over the course of this year. It has been tremendous to see most of our Year 5 students exemplifying the ‘Risk Taker’ attribute of the PYP in their application for a formal student leadership position and their subsequent participation throughout the selection process.
All applicants wrote compelling letters of application before participating in an interview with Mrs Waters (teacher and PYP Coordinator) and Mr Pearson (Deputy Principal). Perhaps the most daunting part of the experience was the two-minute presentation all applicants made to students in Years 3, 4 and 5 before they voted for their preferred student leaders.
Congratulations to all who applied. We hope that the experience was positive, and that it proves useful in future job applications. The following leaders will be formally inducted into their roles in the Junior School assembly later today.
Parents and friends of Junior School students are always welcome at our assemblies, which take place each Wednesday from 2.45 pm. We understand, however, that it can prove challenging to attend these in person and are pleased to advise that all assemblies will now be live-streamed. For privacy reasons, these live streams will not be available without using the specific link. Please note that all video and audio files will be deleted at the conclusion of each assembly. The following links will allow you (or your family interstate or overseas) to join our assembly remotely.
15 February – Year 5
22 February – Year 1
1 March – No assembly (Lake Keepit program)
8 March – Year 3
15 March – Year 2
22 March – Kindergarten
29 March – Student Leaders
5 April – End of Term
Please ensure all uniform items have your child(ren)’s name clearly written or affixed. While we encourage age-appropriate levels of independence amongst our students, we are always mindful that belongings can be misplaced easily, particularly when distractions are plentiful! We aim to return all belongings that are named in a timely fashion and encourage all students to check the lost property tub immediately outside the Junior School staffroom as necessary. Students not wearing a School hat are unable to play outdoors during break times for their own safety – “No hat, no play, no fun today!”
The eagerly anticipated Junior School Interhouse Swimming Carnival takes place tomorrow over the course of the day. Parents and friends are most welcome to attend and spectate. We ask that all who do so remain in the designated parents area unless they are assisting in an official capacity.
Last week the families of current Year 2 students were advised of the decision to divide the single Year 2 class into two as soon as practicable. This considered decision will ultimately benefit our students, and has been made possible due to increasing numbers of enrolment enquiries and applications. We are grateful for the positive manner in which our current families speak about the School within their networks. While we are conscious not to grow too large, every enrolment at the school allows additional programs and opportunities to be afforded to our students.
Many happy returns to Grace Crowley, Will Dennison and Sonny Salvador for their birthdays this week.
Mr Scott Chittenden
Head of Junior School
|Thursday 16 February||Junior School Swimming Carnival|
|Wednesday 22 February||Year 1 Assembly – Hoskins Centre ( 2.45 – 3.30 pm)|
|Monday 27 February||Year 5 to Lake Keepit|
|Tuesday 28 February||Year4 to Lake Keepit|
|Wednesday 1 March||Year 3 to Lake Keepit|
|Thursday 2 March||Year 2 to Lake Keepit|
|Friday 3 March||All return from Lake Keepit|
Our Junior School Swimming Carnival will be held this Thursday, 16 February. There has been much excitement about the upcoming event and we are looking forward to a fun-filled day for all. Please click on the link below to view the Programme for the day. Times are approximate only so please keep this in mind if you are coming for part of the day. We will aim to have recess and lunch breaks around 11 am and 1 pm.
Children are to wear their swimmers and sports clothes (with house coloured t-shirts) for the day. Please ensure all clothing is clearly labelled.
Kindergarten and Year 1 children will attend for only part of the day, allowing them the opportunity to participate in their 25m race if they are able and enjoy some Novelty events. They will then take part in activities within their respective classrooms. Please ensure your child has plenty of snacks for the day, including recess and lunch. A water bottle is essential.
Indoor Hockey started off with a bang last Friday, with both teams showing incredible teamwork and skill. TAS Blue were successful in their game against St Mary’s, finishing at 3-0. TAS White played an exceptional game against Camo Kids, winning 2-1.
Miss Lara Nicholls