DR RACHEL HORTON
Last week we welcomed our newest member of the teaching staff, Mrs Sue Abbott to TAS. Mrs Abbott is an incredibly experienced English teacher and has been in Australia after moving from South Africa for a little over a week now. She is joined in the TAS community by her husband Rhoan and children Sadie and Sebastian. We wish them well as they settle in Armidale.
Year 7 lunches with the Principal for 2023 came to an end this week. It has been wonderful to have the opportunity to meet the students and have a conversation with them in a small group setting. I have been delighted with an exceptionally wide range of interesting and entertaining conversation topics. A common thread that has been evident throughout has been how grateful our students are for the opportunity their families have given them. Their acknowledgement and understanding of how hard their families work to support them and to afford them the opportunity they have at TAS is most impressive and a wonderful reflection on their attitudes.
Finally, today is International Women’s Day. I was delighted to be asked to speak at the Quota Club of Armidale International Women’s Day breakfast last week, and yesterday at assembly our Deputy Senior Prefects spoke about the importance of this day. Of particular note were the messages around the importance of celebrating the achievements of women, and especially the necessity for boys and men to be involved by championing the women in their lives, supporting women and girls and standing up for them when they are not in the room. Also in assembly, our students learned about a number of incredible achievements by women, including the amazing Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to run the Boston marathon.
Dr Rachel Horton
MR RAY PEARSON
Last year I wrote in TAS Talks about how impressed I am with our students showing personal accountability for their actions. It is very rare that one of our students would be dishonest, they place value on their word and own their behaviour; good or misjudged. I am proud to report this is still the case in 2023.
My challenge to students last year was to look for ways to not only make positive choices themselves but also to look for ways to help their friends make good decisions. To tell their friends to stop if they are doing the wrong thing. I appreciate that some may feel this is an unrealistic expectation but If TAS is about challenge, then why not truly challenge our students? One of my favourite quotes is from Joe Dumars, Executive Vice President of the NBA, who once said:
“On good teams coaches hold players accountable, on great teams players hold players accountable.”
Yesterday at assembly, I asked our students to consider if they are a bystander or an upstander. According to the American Psychological Association, a bystander “…has the opportunity to either condone, intervene, or do nothing.” Whereas “…An upstander is a bystander who recognises acts or utterances of injustice and takes a stand by interrupting and challenging situations”.
Putting our hand up when we have made a mistake is hard but also a strong reflection of character. Speaking up, calling out and standing up to behaviour that we see is wrong is the next level of accountability.
Our desire to help develop our young people into positive citizens is significant and at the very fabric of what we do. As a School, our expectation is that our students will develop the confidence and conscience to intervene when they see something that is unacceptable. I continue to be impressed by our students’ ability to rise to the challenges set and know many have great capacity in this regard.
American Psychological Association. (n.d.). Bystander intervention tip sheet. American Psychological Association. Retrieved March 7, 2023, from https://www.apa.org/pi/health-equity/bystander-intervention
Mr Ray Pearson
|Wednesday 8 March||TAS Regional Tour (Moree)|
|Thursday 9 March||TAS Regional Tour (Narrabri)|
|ADFAS Lecture (Hoskins Centre)|
|Year 7 Vaccination Clinic|
|Friday 10 March||Walcha Show|
|Saturday 11 March||TAS Production Set Working Bee|
|Monday 13 March||NCIS Hockey (Secondary Trials) Grafton|
|Tuesday 14 March||TAS Regional Tour (Gunnedah)|
|Wednesday 15 March||TAS Regional Tour (Gunnedah)|
|P&F Meeting (7pm)|
|Thursday 16 March||TAS Regional Tour (Tamworth)|
|Saturday 18 March||NSW Schoolgirl Head of the River|
|Sunday 19 March||NSW Schoolboy Head of the River|
MRS JO BENHAM
As part of the Year 10 Christian Development program, we go through a unit called ‘For the Love of God’ in which students examine the positive and negative impacts Christianity has had on the world throughout history. While I would say Christianity has overall had a wonderfully positive impact on the world, there have, unfortunately, been some very negative and ugly things done throughout history in the name of Christianity. The Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition are a couple of examples. When we study these negative impacts, students are taught to return to Christ’s teaching and example as the ‘measuring stick’, to see if there is any justification for these events. After all, Christians are followers of Christ, so his teaching and example hold the authority. And always, the answer is “no” – there is no justification for these negative impacts. Another part of history we examine in this unit is the treatment of women. And it is fitting we look at this topic now, since the theme of our Assembly was in recognition of International Women’s Day. We look at how Christianity has, on the one hand, been liberating for women, but on the other, the church throughout history has at times been unjustifiably oppressive. And I say unjustifiably because, as we see in Christ’s teaching and example, there is no justification for it. Anyone who calls themselves a follower of Christ has absolutely no ground to treat anyone as less than equals.
In the passage that Sofia read for us from Genesis 1: 26 – 31, we are told that God made mankind – men and women – equally in his own image. Equally blessed as his image bearers to fill the earth and rule over the rest of creation. Equally made to relate to each other and to God.
It was in this passage, amongst others, that Catherine Booth founded her argument on the absolute equality of men and women before God. In Assembly, we looked at Catherine Booth, who helped found The Salvation Army with her husband William in 1865. Catherine had studied the Bible voraciously, read the works of Charles Finney and John Wesley and become assured of her own salvation and the need to share the good news of Christ with others. However, Catherine lived in a time when it wasn’t accepted that women could do many of the same things as men, including teaching the Bible. But it was because Catherine spent the time to carefully search God’s Word herself, that she was able to correctly defend the position of women’s equal standing before God and argue that all men and women have unique gifts and abilities that can be used to serve others. Catherine acknowledged that since the Fall (Genesis 3), a consequence of human sin is that people have exercised power for selfish benefit. But to leave it like this, she said, was to reject the good news of the gospel, which proclaimed that the grace of Christ had restored what sin had taken away. All men and women were one in Christ. And Christ’s own teaching and example demonstrate this. In the gospels and the biographies of Jesus, we see Jesus treating women as equals in a way that radically went against the patriarchal culture of his time. Why did he do this? Because he had a radical love for all people – men and women as equally and uniquely created in God’s image and wanted all to be a part of his Kingdom through faith in Him.
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 6000 high school students over four weekends. More information can be found here https://www.kyck.org.au/ or in the flier below. Tickets are selling out fast, so if your child is interested in coming along, please let me know as soon as possible on email@example.com
Mrs Jo Benham
MR PAUL GADDES
The next P&F meeting is Wednesday 15 March from 7pm. We will meet face to face in Upper Maxwell as well as have a Zoom session running for those wishing to attend remotely.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 215 517 2798
We always need parent volunteers to assist at P&F events throughout the year.
The TAS Rugby Carnival is coming up soon on the 22 and 23 April. TASRC is the biggest event on the calendar annually for the P&F which requires an army of volunteers. Please reserve this weekend to help out at the event either at the BBQs or at kiosks. We will also have baked goods available for sale at the event and will be asking for donations soon.
Registration sites will soon be active for you to pledge your time and baked goods for TASRC. Thank you in anticipation.
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
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 12 – 14 July (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.
Parents of Year 3, 5, 7 and 9 students will have received a letter from Mr Scott Chittenden, Mr Luke Polson or from me earlier this week with key details around logistics for these tests. The hope and expectation from TAS is that all of our students apply themselves, take the time to read questions closely, and answer to the best of their ability. Much time is invested in interpreting and using the data from these tests to inform our teaching, so it is important that our students do their best so the work they produce in these tests reflects their ability in the areas of writing, reading, numeracy, and conventions of language (grammar, punctuation, and spelling).
This a reminder that Assessment Schedules for Years 9, 10, 11 and 12 are available on the TAS website under the Parent Portal. Students can also access this information on the Student Portal using their regular login details on Canvas. Students have a responsibility to know when their assessments will be and to ensure any planned absences from school do not clash with assessments.
Thank you to all students, staff and parents who joined the February Short Story Reading Challenge. So many people caught me in the playground or on the side of the pool or sent me an email to say they were enjoying reading again and it was so lovely to hear some of the great things people have been reading over the past month.
If you completed the challenge, I would love to see your card and hear about what you read. In Years 1 to 6 alone, we had over 80 students complete the challenge – Mr Arndt is looking forward to seeing you in the Hub to arrange a book prize for you.
On the topic of reading, with today being International Women’s Day, it is a great time to check out the recently released Stella Prize Longlist. The Stella is a major literary prize that champions female Australian writers – how lucky we are to have such rich literature available to us. Find the list here.
Mrs Gill Downes
Director of Teaching and Learning
Last Sunday, 48 students from TAS participated in an annual service project known as ‘Clean Up Australia Day’, an idea founded by Old Armidalian, Mr Ian Kiernan aimed to help clean up communities across Australia. Here we joined up with voluntary members from the Armidale community where the day began at 8:30 on Sunday morning, running for four hours and finishing at 12:30pm. TAS students helped out picking up a total of 1.8 tonnes of rubbish along the creek land near Curtis Park, that is 1632 kg of pollution found in the creek and surrounding park, the habitat of many species of birds and insects.
This was a great day for all involved with some exciting and interesting items being collected by many students. Shopping trolleys were the catch of the day with students finding some very innovative ways to retrieve them. Some of the other good finds included a couch, TV, bikes and scooters. This day would not have been possible without the support of Mr Pennington who ensured that all students had a good experience and were able to help out on the day. The Armidale Regional Council should also be thanked for organising the day, providing morning tea and lunch as well as gloves and hand sanitiser and degradable rubbish bags and trucks to load the rubbish into and especially to Dr Horton, Ms Xeros, Miss Macri and Mr Currell for their impressive assistance on the day.
Thank you to all the volunteers who came on the weekend, it might not mean the most to you as an individual, but through your help we were able to clean up a small part of our community, taking a step in the right direction towards making a change in our environmental choices and behaviour. Hopefully, this has put into perspective the importance of making a positive environmental impact and has influenced others to do the same.
Matilda Cullen and Jack Coddington
As some of you might be aware, this year, as part of the Coffs Ocean Swim/Triple Crown, we are supporting The Blue Tree Project.
This is an organisation about raising awareness and encouraging conversations around Mental Health. Led by Year 9 student Isabella Henderson, with the support of the Prefects and the SRC, we are asking our families to paint a tree or a branch blue over the next week. Then use this to promote a chat, a few questions, a safe space around mental health.
As part of the project, there will be blue branches in all Junior School classrooms; our swimming caps for the Coffs Ocean Swim will be blue and in Week 8, Advisor time will be devoted to The Blue Tree Project and all sporting teams shall wear a blue armband.
Can I ask you to please, over the next week, paint a tree or a branch blue and send me the photo? By coming together and showing our support as a community, that blue branch might just be the hand that someone needs.
Mr James Pennington
Adventure and Service Coordinator
Ten hours on the bus for a two-hour event and the chance to help a community still reeling from the most devastating of floods, NOT A CHALLENGE!
Congratulations to the nine TAS teams (40 students in total) who last Saturday, pulled, carried, lifted, pushed, ran, swam, jumped, climbed, balanced, crawled, rolled and burpeed their way around Lismore for the Samson Challenge. A tough event, with over 100 teams participating, the TAS students were magnificent. A special mention to the team of Baxter Williams, James Palfreyman, Lachlan Hunter and Henry Armstrong who dominated the Junior division with an outstanding performance. All funds raised through the event support “Our Kids”, the charity that raises money to purchase paediatric equipment for the Children’s Ward and Special Care Nursery at Lismore Base Hospital, a most worthy cause.
Mr James Pennington
Challenge and Service Coordinator
MR LUKE POLSON
Our students are at that point of the term (and year!) where assessments and class tasks are well underway – and of course these are important because they help us assess the extent of meaningful engagement in academic activity. If your children have some difficulty completing tasks in the allotted time for prep sessions and assessment periods, part of our role in assisting people at this age is to equip them with the necessary skills and strategies to succeed in this area. What they need to do is let their Homeroom Advisor know and we’ll do our best to employ the strategies necessary to assist with their easier management of this. It’s important that we’re aware of the fact that students are actually doing their prep over a number of nights, rather than at the ‘last minute’. We’re much better at dealing with issues before they progress to the ‘problem’ stage. As teachers and parents our job is to encourage, assist where appropriate and monitor progress carefully so that all students can gain greatest benefit from utilising time available to them.
For Year 7 students, your child’s next immunisation is due shortly and we are holding a clinic at the TAS Medical Centre on 9 March. The NSW Health consent forms have now moved online and should have already been completed. 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.
The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) is a ‘point in time’ assessment of essential literacy and numeracy skills; skills which children will use throughout school and into their broader life. Each year, students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 participate in tests for writing, reading, conventions of language (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and numeracy.
As previously mentioned in TAS Talks, NAPLAN has moved to Term 1 and will take place from Wednesday 15 March to Monday 27 March. The reason for this change is so that results can be returned to schools earlier in the year which will support teachers to understand the learning needs of their students and plan accordingly.
For Year 7, please see below a copy of the assessment schedule.
It is essential that all students have a charged laptop to commence each of these assessments.
Parents and carers of Year 7 students can refer to the letter sent to them yesterday for further details.
Families will soon receive information regarding Parent Teacher Interviews for 2023. These will be held for Years 6-12 on:
For Middle School students, interviews will be available for teachers of core subjects (English, Maths, History/Geography, Science and PDHPE) as well as your child’s Advisor. Please keep an eye out in due course for information regarding making bookings for these sessions.
If your child is to be absent from school for any reason, including arriving late or leaving early, please advise Mrs Robyn Frost by email or phone, explaining the reason for absence by phone, email, or written note before 10.00am that day. In addition, a written note confirming the circumstances of the absence is required within seven days.
Please be reminded that students are expected to attend school for the full period of the term. If, however, a family wishes to apply for leave for exceptional circumstances, the Application for Exemption from School form MUST be completed by a parent and permission sought from the Head of Middle School prior to the leave being taken – by mail or email: email@example.com
For Day Students arriving and departing from school, the best option for drop off and collection is the area outside of Gate 2 (Douglas Street). Please ensure that you are not dropping off or collecting your children in the staff car park. A teacher is on duty in the Middle School for supervision from 8:20 am.
Mr Luke Polson
Head of Middle School
TAS Middle School students this week are being introduced to the idea of service learning. At the heart of the IB MYP, is service and action. Service as action is a foundational element of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP). It seeks to develop caring members of the community who act to make a positive difference to the lives of others and their environment. As a school that is also a Round Square school – service is very important to us.
TAS offers many opportunities for students to participate in service learning, and students are also encouraged to seek other opportunities outside of school that interests them. We encourage our Middle School students to participate in at least five hours of service per Semester. This week students are going to be introduced to a Service Canvas page, as well as learn how to keep track of their service hours.
Zeke Lado – Thinker award
Hunter Coventry – Thinker award
George Drain – Knowledgeable award
Nate Blair-Pevitt – Thinker award
George Douglas-Menzies – Inquirer award
Ned Coleman – Inquirer award
Oliver Ritchie – Principled award
Georgia Bryant – Caring award
Salam Alkhathami – Communicator and Knowledgeable awards
Wylie Tombs – Communicator award
Pippi Goudge – Thinker award
Sophie Banister – Principled award
Flynn Ritchie – Balanced award
Sam Ford – Knowledgeable award
Finn Pulkkinen – Communicator award
Jack Pearson – Communicator award
Ned Coleman – Communicator award
Tommy Blanch – Communicator award
Henry Cox – Principled award
Jemima Atkin – Inquirer award
Lucy Buckman – Inquirer award
Owen Casey – Knowledgeable award
Tilly Butcher – Inquirer award
Mia Price – Inquirer award
Chloe Dennison – Inquirer award
Mrs Rachel Piddington
MR SCOTT CHITTENDEN
The Outdoor Education program at Lake Keepit, involving students from Years 2 to 5 for varying lengths of time, was an unqualified success. The students themselves behaved impeccably, embraced the opportunities and challenges afforded to them and worked tremendously well with their peer group in a range of situations. All staff involved were impressed by the manner in which the students conducted themselves, with the learning from their many varied opportunities continuing into the classroom for many weeks to come.
All parents know through firsthand experience that children are often the harshest critics. The assorted student reflections on the camp experience summarised below speak to the value that this program adds:
One of the many reasons that families choose TAS as the school for their child(ren) is the Challenge Program afforded to students of all ages. For Junior School students this is the TAS Tri Star, an age-appropriate version of the Triple Crown offered to their older counterparts. The TAS Tri Star includes a swim of up to 500m (taking place on 23 March), the 5km walk as part of the 19 for 19 challenge (scheduled for 15 October) and the 2-hour wheelchair challenge as part of Guns Out for Tombsy (10 November). Further information about these events has been sent to all families late last week, with all interested parties asked to register their attendance at the events through Mr Jim Pennington by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. It was a great pleasure to present the certificates and badges to those who successfully completed the TAS Tri-Star in 2022 in our assembly this week, and we wish those choosing to embrace the Tri-Star challenge well in their upcoming swim.
A reminder that all Junior School assemblies will be live-streamed for those unable to attend in person. Families are also most welcome to share these links with family members who live out of town, interstate or overseas in the knowledge that all content will be removed shortly after the assembly for privacy reasons. The link to upcoming assemblies for the duration of Term 1 is listed below for your reference:
8 March – Year 3: https://youtube.com/live/-L2DSMmnSGA?feature=share
15 March – Year 2: https://youtube.com/live/UnKpR3IDWvA?feature=share
22 March – Kindergarten: https://youtube.com/live/rNYSbnFUbNc?feature=share
29 March – Student Leaders: https://youtube.com/live/lECTpbWp8rc?feature=share
5 April – End of Term: https://youtube.com/live/nxrEYFrRORY?feature=share
National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) tests are conducted annually for all students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 who are enrolled in an Australian school. The data generated from these assessments provide an overview of how individuals have performed in key literacy and numeracy areas relative to others in the same year of schooling. Perhaps more meaningfully. These assessments also provide schools with information as to where a cohort of students have performed particularly well (or poorly), which can prove especially helpful when reviewing academic programs. NAPLAN this year commences on Wednesday, 15 March with tests largely being completed online for the first time. We wish our students undergoing these tests well and encourage them to “always try their best”, which is all anyone can ever ask of them.
Please note that we now request all families nominate the preferred sport for their Junior School child/ren for the winter terms (Term 2 and 3). Active participation in the extra-curricular program is encouraged for students of all ages and is considered compulsory from Year 3. Families may request an exemption from the School extra-curricular program by contacting Mrs Christine Wright, Junior School Sports Coordinator, at email@example.com.
Wishing George McCarthy, Xavier Nozad Kahriz, Scarlett Shortt, Archie Stockings, Alexa Wood and Xander DuBois a very Happy Birthday this week.
Mr Scott Chittenden
Head of Junior School
|Wednesday 8 March||Year 3 Assembly – Hoskins Centre (2.45 – 3.30 pm)|
|Wednesday 15 March||Year 2 Assembly – Hoskins Centre (2.45 – 3.30 pm)|
|Thursday 16 March||NAPLAN (Year 5 – Reading)|
|Friday 17 March||NAPLAN (Year 3 – Reading)|
|Monday 20 March||NAPLAN (Year 3 – Conventions of Language)|
|Tuesday 21 March||NAPLAN (Year 3 – Numeracy)|
|Wednesday 22 March||Kindergarten Assembly – Hoskins Centre (2.45 – 3.30 pm)|
|NAPLAN (Year 5 – Conventions of Language)|
|Thursday 23 March||NAPLAN (Year 5 – Numeracy)|
|Wednesday 29 March||No Assembly|
|Friday 31 March||Activities Day|
|Saturday 1 April||Autumn Festival|
Junior School Policy re Participation in Sport
All students in Year 3 and above will participate in sport. Students in Years Kindergarten, 1 and 2 do not have to participate but are encouraged to do so. If students in Year 2 or below do participate, they must commit to the sport (including training sessions) for the season. During the winter terms, students will have one training per week in each sport. For winter, training will be on Monday afternoons from 3:45 – 5pm for most sports. Students provide their own clothing, footwear, mouth guards and shin pads. Registration and competition fees will apply to all sports and will be debited to parents’ accounts.
Please consider all requirements when choosing a sport for Winter:
We are very happy to be able to continue our Monday afternoon sessions at the Armidale Gymnastics Centre. Gymnastics will only be available for Kindergarten to Year 4 children during Winter.
A per-term cost will apply for Gymnastics for each student. The cost will be approx. $15 per week.
Football follows the small sided rules with younger teams having fewer players and smaller football fields.
Netta – 5-7-year-olds –Netta is a skill-based session
Set – 8-10-year-olds. Emphasis is on participation, trying out learned skills, learning of new skills and sharing the play with others in the team. The rules are modified.
Go – 9-10-year-olds. A further stepping stone to playing unmodified netball, developing skills learned. The rules are still modified to an extent, games are played on hard courts with lowered rings.
If you are a keen and interested parent who would like to coach a team this year, please contact Mrs Christine Wright or Mrs Sandra Lasker via firstname.lastname@example.org with your details and what sport you are interested in coaching. We are looking for a few parents to assist with our sports programme this year due to increasing numbers of children attending our programme. You will need to have a WWCC and complete an online Child Protection Course.
Mrs Christine Wright
Junior School Sports Coordinator
TAS Junior Basketball returned to the Den yesterday after a week’s break. The Year 3-6s continue to shine as they work in their teams to develop passing, dribbling, and defensive and offensive skills. Players demonstrated tenacity and determination in tough games last night. Our TAS kids are listening well both on and off the court and demonstrating excellent sportsmanship with the other teams. The time spent at the Den is a fantastic opportunity to put training into practice and use what we learn each week from those games in our Wednesday training sessions. A huge thank you to parents as well for cheering from the sidelines and showing their support.
Mrs Louise Barrett & Mr Gordon Arndt