2023 Term 1 Week 5   |   01.03.2023

TAS Talks Term 1 Week 5

01. From the Principal


Congratulations to Abbot House who backed up their War Cries triumph to become overall victors at the swimming carnival, winning the B.J Mattingley Swimming Trophy for the Middle/Senior School InterHouse Championship for the second year in a row.

I am often in awe of the achievements of our students, and this term has been no different. However, this week I have been particularly impressed by the manner in which our students conduct themselves. Their support of each other, school or house spirit and respect for others is commendable, be that during inter-House events, enthusiastic applause for student performance at assembly, or at an external co-curricular event. It is always nice to hear that reinforced by people outside of our community and yesterday I was delighted to receive feedback from someone who attended the PLC/Kings Regatta last weekend. They took the time to call the School to say “The leadership and their courage were commendable. The school spirit was lovely to observe. It was a real pleasure to witness.” While we hope that all of our students achieve and are successful in their endeavours, the most important thing is that we support our students in positive behaviours and that they leave TAS as good people. Behaviour towards others is a true mark of success.

This Sunday marks Clean Up Australia Day, a day started officially in 1990 by Old Armidalian Ian Kiernan. TAS students will be joining Armidale Regional Council to clean up our beautiful creek lands on Sunday morning. I look forward to seeing them there and invite any family members who are able to join in the effort.


Dr Rachel Horton

02. From the Deputy Principal


Last week at assembly I asked the students and staff a question. How will you make your mark here at TAS?

We often underestimate what we are capable of and the impact we can have on the successes we find and the experiences of others.

According to Steve Jobs “Life can be much broader. You can embrace it, change it, improve it, make your mark upon it”. 

In a School where there are so many opportunities to find and chase one’s passion, it is reasonable to suggest everyone will have a chance to make their mark. Yesterday’s assembly acknowledged the individual and House champions for the swimming carnival. Some of the individual performances may have been the moment for some to have made their mark, for others it may have been in how they led and inspired others to join in the war cries; weren’t they fantastic? 

For some, the opportunity may come through academic performance. For others, they may need to wait until the Hockey Season, Head of the River, Federation Cup Debating or The Legally Blonde Production before their mark is made. How wonderful to know that the mark they left related to one of these areas. I congratulate the students and staff who undertook the Cadet Leaders Course following the long hours spent in the pool Thursday night and all day Friday. I have no doubt many left their mark and set the bar high for next year.

Hopefully, regardless of measurable achievement, one lasting mark made will be that of reputation; this is one mark we can all make. Our time here is too short for the mark made not to be a positive one.

As Barrack Obama said:

“Making your mark on the world is hard. If it were easy, everybody would do it. But it’s not. It takes patience, it takes commitment, and it comes with plenty of failure along the way. 

The real test is not whether you avoid this failure because you won’t. It’s whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere.”


Mr Ray Pearson
Deputy Principal




TAS Junior School offers Outside School Hours Care during term time 5 days a week from 3.30 - 6.00pm, including the provision of afternoon tea, supervised play and homework time. Fees are $6 per half hour per student.

Vacation Care operates during school holidays from 8.00 - 6.00pm on advertised weeks only. The Junior School will communicate with families on when the Vacation Club program is offered, prior to each school holiday.

Families can choose a half day (4hrs or less $50) or full day (4hrs+ $85), with excursions attracting an additional cost. Afternoon tea will be provided, with BYO morning tea and lunch.

Both the Outside School Hours Care and Vacation Care are for enrolled TAS Junior School students only.

How to register for Out of School Hours Club
Please contact Jacinta Major in the TAS Junior School to find out more or to register your child for Outside School Hours Care at TAS at oshc@as.edu.au or telephone
(02) 6776 5818.

Vaccination Clinic

Dear Year 7 Parents and Guardians,

Your child's next immunisation is due shortly and we are holding a clinic at the TAS Medical Centre on 9 March 2023. The NSW Health consent forms have now moved online and need to be completed by Friday 3 March.
Please follow the link below. You will need to log onto your MyService NSW account.

Please note:
Overseas students or those without medicare numbers will need to fill out a paper copy. There has been a change to Gardasil vaccination - students are only required to have one dose now.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact the Medical Centre and speak to one of the Nurses.

Yours sincerely,
Sr Kim Holstein
TAS Medical Centre



EOT1/SOT2 Boarders Travel Booking Form

It's that time again to book your child on the end-of-term/start-of-term travel. Please follow the link below to the online booking form for end-of-term travel (Thursday 6 April) and start-of-term travel (Tuesday 25 April).

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 10 March 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 at vlucas@as.edu.au.


03. Calendar of Events


Week 5
Wednesday 1 MarchDebating – Federation Cup (Tamworth)
Saturday 4 MarchADMS Auditions – Music Basement

Sydney Rowing Club Regatta


Sunday 5 MarchClean up Australia Day
Week 6
Monday 6 MarchGeography Cotton Field Trip (Narrabri)
Wednesday 8 MarchTAS Regional Tour (Moree)
Thursday 9 MarchTAS Regional Tour (Narrabri)
 ADFAS Lecture (Hoskins Centre)
 Year 7 Vaccination Clinic
Friday 10 MarchWalcha Show
Saturday 11 MarchTAS Production Set Working Bee



04. From the Assistant Chaplain


Last week in our assembly series on ‘people who have impacted and influenced our world because they followed Jesus’, Mr Ben Cook taught us about Charles (C.T) Studd. C.T Studd came from a wealthy English family, and he played test cricket for England. He was part of the English team who played Australia in what would become the first ashes series. C.T was rich and famous and could have done nearly anything he wanted, but something changed for him when one of his brothers became sick. This made C.T think what was most important in life. He realised, for him, it wasn’t playing cricket or being rich and famous. What was most important was having a relationship with Jesus. C.T therefore began telling others about Jesus, and from 1885 onwards, devoted 40 years of his life to making Jesus known to the people in China, India and Africa.

This week in assembly we learnt about the remarkable Dr Catherine Hamlin. Dr Hamlin is one of Australia’s most renowned obstetricians and gynaecologists. She was twice nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, has been recognised by the United Nations as a pioneer in fistula surgery, was awarded Australia’s highest honour – the Companion of the Order of Australia –and was named NSW Senior Australian of the Year in 2018. In 2019 the Ethiopian Prime Minister presented her with the Eminent Citizen Award in recognition of her lifetime of service to the women of Ethiopia. From 1958, Dr Hamlin and her husband Dr Reg Hamlin devoted a lifetime to helping over 60,000 Ethiopian women who were suffering from the tragic and humiliating condition known as obstetric fistula. Obstetric fistula is a horrific childbirth injury, that had no cure until Hamlin perfected a surgical technique that could fix the injury. They spent their lives treating patients, setting up hospitals, training other surgeons and training midwives who could help prevent the injury from occurring in the first place. Dr Catherine Hamlin’s dedication of her medical skills to the relief of the suffering of those least able to help themselves and her firm quiet confidence in God’s overarching blessing and provision are seen in her life’s work. She truly is an outstanding example of Christian compassion in action. The Hamlin’s took as their inspiration a passage from Matthew 25:40 where Jesus says, ‘Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of mine, you did for me’. Dr Hamlin is a wonderful example as to what it means to faithfully serve Christ.

Lastly, in Week 1 of Term 2 (28 – 30 April), we are hoping to take a group of students to KYCK. KYCK is a Christian Youth Conference at Katoomba that attracts around 6,000 high school students over 4 weekends. More information can be found here https://www.kyck.org.au/ or in the flyer below. Tickets are selling out fast, so if your child is interested in coming along, please let me know as soon as possible on jbenham@as.edu.au

Barraba Bash Regional Youth Event

The Barraba Bash Regional Youth Event is on at the Barraba Anglican Church on 25 March https://armidaledioceseyouth.com/barraba-bash-23/ and see flyer below. We hope to take any keen students along to this event, so if you are interested, please let me know jbenham@as.edu.au


Mrs Jo Benham
Assistant Chaplain

05. From the P&F


Next P&F Meeting

The next P&F meeting is on Wednesday 15 March from 7 pm. We will meet face-to-face in Upper Maxwell as well as run a Zoom session for those wishing to attend remotely. Details to follow.

Contact 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

06. From the Director of Teaching and Learning


2023 Year 12 Study Camp – winter break

I write to confirm that The Armidale School will be running a Year 12 Study Camp in the final week of the Term 2 break. The Study Camp will be here run by both TAS staff and external presenters and will take place at the School from July 12 – 14 (Wednesday to Friday). More information regarding the program, costs and timings will be made available in the coming weeks but for the time being, can our Year 12 families please save these dates?

Please note: It will not be a residential camp so interested boarding students will need to stay with a local family.

Parent Teacher Interviews

Our first round of Parent Teacher interviews for Years 6 – 12 will be held on the final days of Term 1 on 5 and 6 April – with an afternoon session on Wednesday and all-day interviews on Thursday.

The second round of Parent Teacher interviews will be held just prior to the academic start of Term 2, all-day on Monday, 24 April.  The day following is a public holiday for ANZAC Day, and classes commence on 26 April.

Specific details and the opportunity to book sessions with specific teachers will follow in the next few weeks.

Year 9 and 10 Assessment Schedules

Assessment Schedules for Years 9 and 10 are now available on the TAS website under the Parent Portal. Students can also access this information on the Student Portal using their regular login details.

Specifically, Week 6 of Term 2 (29 May to 2 June ) has been confirmed as the Mid-Year Examination block for Years 9 and 10. Families need to keep this week in mind as an important part of your child’s academic program and make plans around this especially in regard to weekend activities in the lead-up to the examination period so students can prepare well and be rested.


Mrs Gill Downes
Director of Teaching and Learning


New Years Cards from Tezukayama

We recently received New Year’s cards from students at Tezukayama Gakuin in Osaka. Although we haven’t been able to meet face to face over the last few years, we have been exchanging Christmas cards and giving our wishes as part of the Tanabata festival. The New Year cards say ‘Happy New Year’ in Japanese and English and every student in Years 4, 5 and 6 will take one of these cards home to display. As it is the Year of the Rabbit, each card has a picture of a Rabbit drawn by the students. It is hoped that we can visit Tezukayama in the near future so our students can meet the students from Tezukayama.


Mr Allan Moore
Languages Coordinator


07. From the Director of Co-curricular


This week at assembly we acknowledged the Swimming Championships Age Champions and Runners Up in addition to the House awards. It was surprising to see how closely contested many of these awards were and in many cases by a single point. I congratulate all award winners for their individual achievements at the MS/SS Swimming Championships. The House points score was hotly contested during the championships with Abbott and Tyrrell the two standout Houses. In the end, Abbott won the overall point score with Tyrrell winning the Aggregate Point Score (points per student).

Click here for TAS Swimming Champions

Click here for House Championship Points

Click here for NEW Records

On Saturday I attended the PLC/Kings/NSW Rowing Regatta at SIRC (Sydney International Rowing Centre) and witnessed the camaraderie, sportsmanship, and dedication of all our students and staff. There were some excellent results during the course of the day but what impressed me the most was our student’s willingness to have a go, celebrate each other’s victories and put disappointment aside and just move on. It was evident for all to see that TAS had a presence at SIRC on Saturday, the commitment was real, and the enjoyment expressed by each of our rowers and staff was infectious. I want to specifically thank our amazing staff and supportive parents for your ongoing encouragement of the rowing program.

Winter Sport Choices took place this week and as we finalise team numbers and coaches, I encourage students to be aware of any preseason trials or training sessions that will commence in the coming weeks. I remind all students that Summer Sport takes preference over any preseason winter sessions. Every attempt has been made to minimise and ensure all commitments can be met.


Mr Huon Barrett
Director of Co-curricular

Mountain Biking

The Mountain Bikers continue to go from strength to strength in the NEMTB Summer Series Races. Last week they enjoyed the cooler weather and a flatter track through the pine forest at the SportUNE mountain bike trails. This week saw riders back at Kookaburra Crest, tackling the jumps and berms of the four-cross track, followed by some gruelling uphills. TAS students again performed outstandingly, with many improving on their results from the race held on this track a fortnight ago. The results from Summer Series Race 3 can be found HERE.

Mrs Jo Benham
MIC Mountain Biking

08. From the Head of Creative Arts


Over the weekend several of our students went down to Sawtell as part of the Armidale Youth Orchestras’ annual camp. From 8am on Saturday they had intensive rehearsals in preparation for a concert on Sunday showcasing each orchestra (Armidale Youth Orchestra, Armidale Youth Winds, Armidale Youth String Orchestra). My congratulations to the students involved in this wonderful experience: Holly Dauparas, Samuel Guppy, Olivia Lockett, Abby Thompson, Emily Thompson, and Peter Thompson. And thanks to Holly, here’s a more detailed picture of the weekend:

The annual Sawtell music camp is a fun experience for the members of the Armidale Youth Orchestras and ensembles, providing a fun (and sometimes intense) environment for musicians to learn how to play as a group with a guest conductor, or just to have fun playing with friends and getting to know your ensemble better. It consists of the majority of musicians in AYO, AYW, and AYSO coming together for a weekend at the Sawtell Public School to play together all day Saturday and Sunday morning. The rehearsal blocks are broken up by breaks where musicians will spend time either resting and recovering or having fun swimming and enjoying the water before returning for more music. There is also a trivia night traditionally organised by the Year 12s for the other ensemble members, often with food-related prizes. Finally, late Sunday morning there is a concert for the parents and friends to come and see what we all worked on over the weekend while most of them were relaxing. It is organised by NECOM and run by conductors, NECOM teachers, and parents to provide a fun and relaxing weekend for the young musicians of Armidale to learn about their music, their instruments, and their fellow musician friends.

Report by Holly Dauparas

The Armidale Eisteddfod Speech and Drama events take place on Friday 26 May and Saturday 27 May. Students can enter themselves into individual or small group events online at http://www.armidale-eisteddfod.org.au. We are looking at entering the Theatresports group into an event and Mr Wheatley will be in touch with those students. If you need any help with your registration Mrs Edmonds in the Director of Co-curricular office is here to help. And if you do sign up for individual Speech and Drama events please let me know – we’re always keen to celebrate student achievement in the Arts and there is the opportunity for you to present or perform at the Twilight Concert in Term 2, Week 3.

Eisteddfod Speech and Drama Entries


Mr Andrew O’Connell
Head of Creative Arts

09. Head of Middle School


The Group Chat - A real conversation?

Last week, our Director of Pastoral Care, Mr AJ Whalley shared an article from ABC about Is 13 too young to have TikTok or an Instagram account? I encourage all of our families to read this short article if your child owns a mobile device. There is much discussion in the media and from various experts about the potential harm that can come from being exposed to social media from a young age. With the sheer amount of conflicting advice available; there is no doubt that navigating what parents should be doing in this space is as difficult as staying up to date with the current social media trends and apps.

This week and last, we have been talking as a Middle School about our interactions online and what constitutes our digital footprint. We have been discussing our digital footprint as if it were a document or picture that could be printed out that clearly shows our interactions and reputation online. I have asked Middle School that if someone looked at theirs, what opinion would they form? What reputation would they have? Are they proud of it? Are there aspects of their online presence that they would not like to have surfaced again? These are all valid questions and should be forming part of our regular conversations, both at school and at home, as we help these young adolescents navigate this space. I believe the key to navigating this space is to have open, regular and honest conversations with your children about their interactions online; the apps they use and who they are interacting with.

As parents, it is important that we are across the concept of a ‘group chat’. These are very a key part of young people’s interactions online and can occur within social media apps such as Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook. These group chats can have large numbers of people in them – some who attend TAS and others from outside of the school. I have stressed to Middle School how to appropriately engage in this space and the types of content and interactions that we need to be conscious of when interacting with larger groups of people. We have also discussed at length what to do if something online makes you uncomfortable. With group chats, there is one thing that every person has in their armoury if they come across something that makes them feel uncomfortable and that is to leave the chat. I encourage everyone to have a conversation with their children about what group chats they are a part of and who is involved in them.

Later this term, TAS will again host Kirra Pendergast from Safe on Social who will speak to our students about cyberbullying, navigating social media, group chats, social media challenges and responsibilities that young people have in this space. There will be sessions for parents as well and I encourage you to keep an eye out for information about this and highly recommend these sessions to you. In the meantime, I have included a number of links below which may be of interest to you.

eSafety Commissioner Issues and Advice for Parents 

Helping Kids Thrive Online 

Parental Controls in Social Media


Mr Luke Polson
Head of Middle School

10. From the Head of Junior School



Experiential learning, or “learning by doing”, provides many benefits for participants. These include authentic opportunities to learn more about oneself as well as for personal growth, the development of interpersonal skills and greater levels of independence to name but a few. This week provides a rich variety of such opportunities to students in Years 2 to 5 as they spend time on the Lake Keepit program.

Our Year 5 students have already spent two nights in this program and have embraced the opportunities provided to date, both growing as an individual and leading their younger counterparts as the Year 4, and then Year 3 students arrived on the program. Each cohort participates in specific activities, such as sailing, archery, and stand-up paddle boarding, and joins together with those from other year levels for larger group undertakings throughout the day. Our Year 2 students arrive tomorrow for their two-day program.

Parents and guardians are encouraged to check their relevant TAS Year 12 XXXX Facebook group (where XXXX is the year that a child will graduate from Year 12) where photographs have and will continue to be posted.

It has been tremendous to see our students exhibiting so many attributes of the IB PYP Learner Profile while on the program, and we look forward to sharing some student reflections on their experiences in the next edition of TAS Talks.

Seven Junior School students qualified to compete in the NCIS Primary School swimming carnival due to their stellar performances in the recent House swimming carnival. They joined five others from Year 6 in the Alstonville Aquatic Centre last Thursday and represented both themselves and the School very well indeed. Thank you to those families able to support this event. We are certain you will enjoy participating in the first of the TAS Tri Stars events this year, the TAS Swim, on Thursday 23 March.


Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to Mohammed Bakheit and Casey Tighe who both have birthdays this week.


Mr Scott Chittenden
Head of Junior School

Upcoming Events

Term 1
Wednesday 1 MarchYear 3 to Lake Keepit
Thursday 2 MarchYear 2 to Lake Keepit
Friday 3 March
All return from Lake Keepit
Wednesday 8 MarchYear 3 Assembly – Hoskins Centre (2.45 – 3.30 pm)
Wednesday 15 MarchYear 2 Assembly – Hoskins Centre (2.45 – 3.30 pm)
 NAPLAN begins
Wednesday 22 MarchKindergarten Assembly – Hoskins Centre (2.45 – 3.30 pm)
Wednesday 29 MarchNo Assembly
Friday 31 MarchActivities Day
Saturday 1 AprilAutumn Festival

Junior School Sport

NCIS Swimming Carnival

Congratulations to the following students who performed well at the NCIS Swimming Carnival at Alstonville last Thursday. Mrs Barrett reported there were many places gained in individual heats and some PBs during the day. This was a positive experience for our children and a great experience at the next level of competition.

  • Emi Fawcett
  • Lara Thavapalasundaram
  • Casey Tighe
  • Evelyn Brownlie
  • Claire Reynell
  • Lachie Wood
  • Baxter Carruthers

A huge thank you to Mrs Lou Barrett and Miss Emily Fordham who were able to meet the team at Alstonville to assist with the organisation of the day.













Winter Sports nominations

We will be sending out nominations for Winter sports choices next week. Please have a chat with your child/ren to discuss what they may wish to be involved in during Terms 2 and 3.

All information about each sport will be in next week’s TAS talks.

Netball Information

Any new players aged 5-10 years looking to give netball a try, we have just the thing for you!  We’re holding a NetSetGO ‘Come and Play’ session on Thursday 2 March, from 4-5pm at the Lynches Road Courts.  This is the perfect way to have a go and see if you like it before signing up for the season.  Send us a message if you’d like to come along. Please find all details on the Flyer attached.


Ball Skills  

Our younger children enjoyed the pleasant weather on Monday afternoon during their Ball Skills session. Children participated in ball games, throwing and catching activities and some soccer skills.




Mrs Christine Wright
Junior School Sports Coordinator


Community Notices