DR RACHEL HORTON
With NAPLAN finished for most students and summer sport drawing to a close, attention starts to turn to Bivouac at the end of next week and parent teacher interviews that take place next week for Junior School and the following week for Middle and Senior School. As we approach the end of term, I would also like to let you know that Mrs Wendy Hill will be leaving TAS. Mrs Hill has been at TAS in a range of capacities for 13 years. Most recently, she has been known to our students as the Study Centre Supervisor in the Hub. Mrs Hill will be particularly missed by a number of our senior school students to whom she has provided additional support over the years as an incredibly kind member of staff who cared deeply about them. We wish her all the very best in her future endeavours.
This week is Blue Week at TAS, a student-driven initiative with different activities daily, designed to encourage us to speak up and start a conversation with our friends when times are tough. It is particularly meaningful that the desire and ideas to raise awareness in this space have been driven by a number of different students at the School. Further information on the activities can be found throughout this newsletter.
With strong enrolments at TAS, many parents have asked me this term how progress is going towards the construction of a new girls boarding building. I am delighted to update everyone with the news that the build is scheduled to start on June 4 next term and it is estimated it will take 55 weeks to complete. I will write to our boarding families in due course with additional details and more information around the changes this will bring, including appropriate updates of our Senior Boys’ Boarding Houses.
Dr Rachel Horton
MR RAY PEARSON
TAS has a proud tradition of its Student Leaders making a significant contribution to a large range of charities over the years. Their drive and tenacity cannot be disputed with many thousands of dollars raised year after year all for very worthwhile causes. After many consecutive years of raising money, I would argue our students have fundraising down to a fine art. For this reason, I am particularly impressed with what our student leaders have challenged us all to do in 2023, to not raise money but raise awareness. Not to dig deep but to be prepared to have a difficult conversation.
With the inaugural ‘Blue Week’ occurring this week I would like to thank all of our students and staff for embracing this worthwhile cause and, in particular our student leaders for organising the week. The week’s plan as devised by our student leaders is as follows:
Advisor Session on having difficult conversations, resources on how to support friends who are struggling.
In Advisor Groups, Students collected pieces of dowel and painted them blue for our ‘Advisor-made’ Blue Tree Project.
Former Wallaby and Old Armidalian James Holbeck was our special guest speaker on assembly and throughout the day talks were held for year groups across the School. James is currently the player welfare manager for professional rugby players in Australia. He spoke about the importance of meaningful connections and helping those in need. James also spoke fondly about his time at TAS and the friendships he still has from his time here, he challenged all students to make sure that they form strong relationships and actively look out for their friends now and beyond school.
Students constructed our Advisor made blue tree using the pieces of painted dowel. A special thank-you to Mr Currell for organising this on behalf of Round Square.
Advisor sessions were held in different locations, getting outside to change the context and help change the conversations.
Wear it ‘Blue’ Mufti Day to raise awareness for mental health. A celebration of the week with a special recess for all students.
Coffs Ocean Swim – Blue Tree Focus. Thank you to Mr Pennington for linking the student’s service focus to this challenge event.
In addition, students were able to wear blue armbands in their final rounds of sport to spark conversations with their opposition about the importance of having mental health conversations.
All of the above was student planned and run, a special mention to our Senior Prefects Fred Kearney and Sofia Paris for bringing the Prefects and SRC together to plan what has been a highly successful week that will become a constant in the annual calendar at TAS.
Some valuable resources:
How to ask – https://www.ruok.org.au/how-to-ask
Blue Tree Project: https://www.bluetreeproject.com.au/
It’s ok to not be ok
“We are stronger than we believe,
braver than we think
and loved more than we know”
Mr Ray Pearson
|Wednesday 22 March||NAPLAN|
|Thursday 23 March||NAPLAN|
|Friday 24 March||NAPLAN|
|Sunday 26 March||Coffs Ocean Swim|
|Monday 27 March||NAPLAN|
|Tuesday 28 March||NCIS Football|
|Wednesday 29 March||Debating Federation Cup Finals (Tamworth)|
|Safe on Socials Presentation (Parents and Students) 8.30 am (Years 7-10)|
|Thursday 30 March||Bivouac|
|Friday 31 March||Bivouac|
|Cricket Dinner (Opens)|
|Saturday 1 April||Autumn Festival|
|Rowing Season Celebration ( McConville Centre)|
MR PAUL GADDES
TAS Rugby Carnival is just over four weeks away we are continuing the call for volunteers. The P&F will be operating venues for BBQs, Kiosks & home Baked goods.
We will need help on Friday 21 April to setup, as well as Saturday 22 & Sunday 23 for the carnival.
We need over 170 helpers across the weekend!
Thank you to all who have already responded via email. Everyone can now use this link to select which days and times you are available.
Please visit the link to confirm your support TASRC Volunteer SignUp
If you have questions, contact the P&F Exec team on email@example.com.
Each year the P&F conduct a funding request process to give back to the students, the benefits of money that has been raised by P&F activity. The next funding request process will kick-off around the middle of this year.
Last year’s biggest project is installed and operational – check out the photos. This replacement curtain increases the potential for multi-purpose use of the courts.
A huge thank you to all involved.
Wednesday 10 May is the next meeting of the P&F as well as our AGM. Please note the date and keep an eye out for details to attend early next term.
If you would like to get more involved with the P&F and become a voting member, please find the P&F Membership Application Form on the Parent Portal. If you would like to become a member of the P&F Executive team, then please complete the P&F AGM Executive Nomination Form also. Both of these can be emailed to the P&F Exec team at the address below.
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
MR ADAM WHALLEY
Next Wednesday 29 March Safe On Social will be presenting to Years 4 and 5 followed by a Middle School session. That afternoon there will be a Junior School parent information session hosted by Safe on Social, followed by a Middle/Senior School parent information session. An invitation will be sent to all families with the final details, along with a Zoom link for those who are unable to attend in person. Please see the flyer below for more detail.
Mr Adam Whalley
Director of Pastoral Care
MR DAVID DRAIN
I am excited to announce that Mr Jamie Brauer, Head of White House, has been appointed to the role of Boarding Recreation Officer. This role will formally commence at the commencement of Term 2 2023 and will involve the coordination and timely communication of regular Weekend Activities, both on and off-site, for the boarders. Communication of these activities, including the Term 2 Weekend Activities Program, will primarily be communicated through TAS Talks.
With the upcoming Years 6 – 12 Parent Teacher interview to be held across the following days and times:
Can you start the conversations with your child/children and their Head/s of House on their departure times and transport arrangements at the conclusion of Term 1. Boarding Houses will be closed from 10am Thursday 6 April with all boarders allowed to stay overnight on Wednesday evening 5 April. Boarding Houses will be re-open for Term 2 from 1pm Tuesday 25 April (ANZAC Day).
All boarding houses will accommodate rugby players attending the TAS Rugby Carnival during the upcoming school holidays. Subsequently, boarders will need to liaise with their Heads of House regarding what can and can’t be left in their respective rooms/dorms over the upcoming holidays. All boarders need to be aware that anything left in boarding houses will need to be adequately secured.
Mr David Drain
Director of Boarding
MRS GILL DOWNES
All our Middle School and Senior School families have now received an email regarding the booking of Parent Teacher Interviews via our Edval system. These interviews will run over three different sessions at the end of this term and the start of next term.
You are invited to book in with your child/children’s teachers to discuss student academic progress. The interviews will take place in the Gymnasium, and each will be scheduled to run for seven minutes to allow enough time to discuss your child’s achievements while simultaneously allowing teachers to keep on track with the booking schedule.
Now is a great time to be chatting to your child about how they think they are going and what kind of conversations they would like to have with their teachers about their progress and any areas of difficulty. We encourage students to attend these meetings; they are after all about them and as such, students should be part of the conversation.
Additionally, Junior School families have received their log in and booking details for the two Parent Teacher evenings which will take place on:
These interviews will occur in Memorial Hall for Junior School families.
Our Stage 4, 5 and 6 students are all working through various in-class and take-home assessments; it is a busy time of term. Students are encouraged to complete all formative (practice) tasks set by their teachers in the lead-up to these formal assessments so they can access feedback on their progress. These writing and learning tasks form a vital part of their preparation, and support meaning assessment to occur. All students from Years 8 to 12 should be very busy working on Prep and revision to prepare for these tasks; this work will allow them to demonstrate their skills and knowledge across the full range of their subjects. As always, if you have any questions, classroom teachers and Advisors are the first points of contact.
Mrs Gill Downes
Director of Teaching and Learning
Studies of the cotton industry form a third of our HSC course work in Geography. We are so fortunate to have the best of the cotton industry just west of our doorstep. Hosted generously once again by the Kahl family (James, Daniel, Sam and Matt) our journey started on-farm in near 40 degree heat. From there we saw where the cotton was ginned, seed distributed and research and development done. This is such a collaborative and innovative industry and one that is always so willing to help our Year 12 students in any way they can. No less than four separate job offers post HSC were made to the group. It was great to catch up with Oli Griffiths (OA’22) who is currently working on the Kahl’s farm after his own Geography field trip last year. Thanks to Mr Fawcett for driving the bus after a busy weekend kayaking.
Ms Fiona Taber
Year 12 Geography Teacher
During the Activities Days, Year 12 have the opportunity to focus their attention on their academic studies and post-school opportunities. They receive guided support with their studies and are able to work individually, with their peers and on Major Works. There is tutoring and support available for all Maths and English subjects.
Each student will have different goals and needs for the two days but the chance to work solidly on assignments and revision for the two days is invaluable. In past years students have found the support of peers and teachers throughout this time incredibly helpful.
30 – 31 March Schedule
Miss Amanda Robins
Dear Parents, Carers and Cadets
The first full unit BIVOUAC of the year will be conducted from 0840 Thursday 30 March to 1530 Friday 31 March 2023. This is a two-day, one-night exercise.
Cadets are to assemble on Adamsfield at 840 30 March under ‘Marching Orders’, that is with their pack, webbing and all their gear ready for two days and a night in the field.
The unit will start this BIVOUAC with a Promotions Parade, where those who successfully completed the Leaders Course will be promoted to their new rank for the year. The great strength of this program is the fact it is student-led. Rank is put in charge of groups of up to 25 students and is responsible for motivating and organising that group to achieve set objectives.
The unit will operate in the following locations for BIVOUAC 1:
In-depth briefings will occur during Assembly time in Week 9. Students are to be at the following locations by 0840.
Before briefings occur, students are to check their gear extensively. Q-Store will be open Monday and Tuesday during lunchtime Week 9 to swap out any damaged gear. Any gear that is lost will be charged to student accounts. TAS Cadet Gear is loaned to students for their time in cadets. One set of cadet gear costs $2500 and hence should be looked after appropriately.
Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.
CAPT (AAC) J WOODBRIDGE
Officer Commanding, TASACU
MR HUON BARRETT
This week the NCIS Swimming took place in Alstonville (Isabella Banister has a full report below), our students were once again excellent ambassadors for TAS as they swam well, dressed well and supported each other in what was a hot and tiring day. I commend all students for their involvement and thank Isabella Banister for her strong student leadership.
This week in assembly Dr Horton present our Captains of Winter Sports their badges. I congratulate all students who will assume the responsibility of leaders within their sport. With leadership comes responsibility, and during the application process and interviews I have been impressed with the many and varied initiatives and commitment our students are willing to make to see their sport progress during the year. I wish all our new leaders well and I encourage the wider community to support them in their endeavours.
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
— John Quincy Adams (president of the United States, from 1825 to 1829)
On Monday 20 March 26 students competed at NCIS swimming which was hosted in Alstonville. This was a wonderful start to Blue Week for the TAS community, unfortunately, due to the nature of the sport it was not possible to wear blue armbands for awareness. However, it was at the forefront of the team’s mind as they demonstrated astonishing comradery and support towards their peers. A massive Thank you to Mrs Rach Edmonds, Mr Barrett, Freddy and Libby the Gappies and Mr James Harwood for supporting all the swimmers throughout the day. A special thank you to all the swimmers, it was a hot and tiring day, but you all got in and gave all your races a fantastic go, we are super proud of your efforts and hope you are too.
Along with many personal best times being achieved TAS was very well represented with the following age champions and runner ups
NCIS Age Champions
NCIS Runner Up Age Champions
NCIS Third Place Runners Up
Percentage Points Score – Point Score / Secondary School Enrolments
Best of luck to all the swimmers continuing to CIS, we are sure you will all do amazing, and it’s wonderful that all your hard work is not going unnoticed.
Mr Huon Barrett
Director of Co-curricular
Despite the TAS netball season not commencing until the beginning of Term 2, several of our talented athletes have been selected in Armidale District Netball Associations Representative teams for 2023. Since the beginning of the term, they have been training twice a week for upcoming netball carnivals and for State Titles later in the year. This is an amazing achievement girls, and you should all be very proud of yourselves.
Best of luck to the following girls
by Isabella Banister
At this week’s New England Mountain Bikers Summer Series Race at SportUNE, two of our talented senior mountain bikers, Oscar Macfarlane and Max Rogers rode unicycles to raise awareness and raise money to support ovarian cancer and brain cancer research in Australia. They wanted to do this because they have both lost loved ones to these terrible diseases. Through the generous support of TAS students, staff, families and those with connections to Oscar and Max, they have so far raised over $4700 for these foundations. At the race they did incredibly well on their unicycles, completing two laps (approx 4-5km in total) in the 35 min race time. This was all on proper mountain bike single track with the added rocks, roots, tight corners and hills! It would have been so tough, but they gave no indication as to how hard it was. Thank you to NEMTB and the staff and families who came along to support Oscar and Max on Monday night. And thank you to everyone who sponsored them. Their fundraising pages are still open if you would like to contribute https://www.
In other news, on Saturday morning, our senior students enjoyed shuttles of Robbers Run, an enduro trail at Black Mountain. On Monday evenings, all our mountain bikers continue to impress at the NEMTB Summer Series Races. Most have been improving on their results each week, showing great development in skill and fitness. Their results from the last few races can be found here https://my.raceresult.com/
Mrs Jo Benham
MIC Mountain Biking
MR ANDREW O'CONNELL
Yesterday the HSC Visual Arts class went off on their first Big Day Out since 2019. A day to visit local artists, learn about their professional artmaking practice, and be inspired for their own Bodies of Work, it was an amazing chance for them to meet internationally-recognised artistic talent in their own backyards. We’ll have a report for you in next week’s TAS Talks so you can read first-hand about the artists and the experience of exploring their studios.
On Monday we had two wonderful Twilight Concerts, showcasing exceptional musical talent across Junior, Middle, and Senior School. The Memorial Hall was filled with enthusiastic performers who proved that our instrumental and vocal programs are flourishing. My congratulations to all involved, with a particular mention of the accompanists and peripatetic tutors and Ms Leanne Roobol for making the night a huge success.
While the term’s end approaches it only means that the work on Legally Blonde is ramping up. We’re squeezing in our dress rehearsal stumbles into afternoons and weekends but we remain hopeful we’ll have the show completely on its feet before term ends, well in advance of our May performances. Ticketing information is being finalised so expect to receive the link in the next week!
Mr Andrew O’Connell
Head of Creative Arts
MR LUKE POLSON
Rowing Success – Congratulations to Georgia Henderson
Last weekend saw the culmination of the rowing season and whilst a large number of our rowers are from the Senior School, Middle School was well represented at the Head of the River in Sydney over the weekend. I offer my congratulations to all of our rowers on a superb season, under the leadership of Mr Ben MacDougall.
I offer particular congratulations to Georgia Henderson, Year 8, on winning the Head of the River School Girls Single Scull Year 8 division. Georgia comfortably won her heat to progress into the final and rowed superbly to win the gold medal for this division. This caps off an excellent season for Georgia and she is to be congratulated on a terrific performance.
This week, in advisor periods, students are talking with their advisors about the Blue Tree Project. The purpose of the Blue Tree Project is to help spark difficult conversations and encourage people to speak up when battling mental health concerns. Our Middle School advisor groups will combine with the rest of the school to construct a blue tree. By spreading the paint and spreading the message that “it’s OK to not be OK”, we can help each other to access the help and support that we need when we need it the most.
Middle School yesterday had the opportunity to hear from James Holbeck, an Old-Armadalian, ex-Wallaby and who now works in player welfare. His messages of everyone having a strength – something they are good at, building a culture where you see that someone needs help and reach out to them and dealing with setbacks, are important messages for us to hear as we can continue these conversations throughout the week and beyond.
On Friday, all students are encouraged to wear mufti clothes to school and wear something blue. Rather than bring donations, students who wear the mufti clothes are encouraged to make a commitment to seek help if they are struggling and reach out to those around them if they are concerned about someone else.
Next Thursday and Friday, all of Middle School will be taking part in the first activities days of the year. Please keep an eye out for communication from the various staff members who oversee activities. Communication was also sent to Year 7 families yesterday regarding the excursion to Coffs Harbour, which includes a packing list. If you have any questions about these upcoming activities, please contact us at email@example.com
Mr Luke Polson
Head of Middle School
A part of our school’s mission states that we aim to develop independent and lifelong learners – and how true that is. As I write this TAS Talks article, I am currently at in Adelaide Conference Centre, being fortunate to attend the IB Global Conference 2023 with Mrs Veronica Waters (PYP Coordinator).
The conference has a theme of ‘everyone together’ with a focus on inclusivity; inclusive teaching, including learning and inclusive assessment. Our sessions have included new research information on inclusiveness, updates and enhancement on the IB programmes, how to make strategic and positive change at a school, amongst many others breakout sessions. I look forward to bringing this new knowledge back to school and sharing it with my colleagues.
MYP award winners
Mrs Rachel Piddington
MR SCOTT CHITTENDEN
As the NAPLAN testing period approaches its conclusion, I would like to acknowledge the effort and application of our Year 3 and 5 students in the completion of these national tests. I was fortunate to oversee the majority of these assessments and was so impressed with the focus displayed by all who endeavoured to complete all of tasks to the best of their abilities. Congratulations! We are very proud of you all, regardless of the results.
The Junior School were fortunate to hear from an Old Boy and former Wallaby player, James Holbeck, yesterday as part of Blue Week. He spoke of the importance of resilience, of trying over and over again even in the face of adversity. This took many different forms over his career, from countless injuries to being “demolished” by former All Black Jonah Lomu during a test match. We learned that every setback gives us strength to tackle future, as yet unknown, challenges and that reflecting upon one’s achievements and successes in times of adversity can be helpful to maintain a positive outlook. Our thanks to James Holbeck for giving so generously of his time, and Senior Prefects Sophia Paris and Fred Kearney for facilitating the opportunity for our Junior School students.
Thank you to those families who have been able to show their support the Blue Tree Project by painting a tree or branch blue. Please remember to send this a photograph of your handiwork, together with your child(ren) to Jim Pennington (firstname.lastname@example.org) for inclusion in the TAS Blue Tree image compilations.
Please note that Friday 24 March is a free dress/casual clothes (mufti) day for students across the school. All are encouraged to wear blue, the theme for the week, and are encouraged to check in on themselves and their friends as we seek to raise awareness of the message that it is “OK not to be OK”. This event is not a gold coin fundraiser.
The TAS Tristar events commence tomorrow evening with over 50 Junior School students signed up to complete the swim challenge in the TAS Pool. With unprecedented interest in the event this year we are pleased to confirm that an informal barbeque will be provided after the event for all participants. Should you still wish to register for this event please contact Jim Pennington (email@example.com) directly. The evening will commence in the TAS pool at 6.15pm.
Junior School parent-teacher interviews take place next week on Tuesday 28 and Wednesday 29 March from 4.00pm. Further details, including the booking procedure, has been emailed to all families.
All Year 4 and 5 students will have the opportunity to hear from an external speaker about a range of topics relating to social media and online safety on Wednesday 29 March. Two parent information sessions have been scheduled for that same evening. We warmly invite all parents and carers who wish to learn more about the adolescent online world to join us next Wednesday, with the Junior School parent session commencing at 5.30pm. Please register your interest through https://events.humanitix.com/tassos.
TAS Junior School are pleased to once again be involved in the Armidale Autumn Festival after several years of interruptions due to Covid. This year the Autumn Festival takes place on Saturday 1 April. Final details will be confirmed via email in the coming days, with all Pre-K to Year 6 students are encouraged to join the parade.
Happy birthday to Aarik Chakraborty and Odin Lee-Winser for their special days this week.
Mr Scott Chittenden
Head of Junior School
|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)|
|Tri Stars Swim|
|Monday 27 March||Parent Teacher Interviews from 4.00 pm – 6.00 pm|
|Tuesday 28 March||Parent Teacher Interviews from 4.00 pm – 6.00 pm|
|Wednesday 29 March||No Assembly|
|Years 4&5 Safe on Socials session (9.45 am – 11.00am)|
|Friday 31 March||Activities Day|
|Saturday 1 April||Autumn Festival|
|Wednesday 5 April||School Concludes|
Junior School Cross Country
Harmony Day Slimefest Year 5 excursion to Newling
|Thursday 6 April||Staff Day|
One of the advantages of being part of an IB World School is the opportunity to network with other like-minded educators from across the globe. Over the past four days I have been fortunate to attend the IB Global Conference in Adelaide with Mrs Rachel Piddington, MYP Coordinator. The focus of the conference has been on how to ensure schools have an inclusive approach to teaching, learning and assessment. There have been many inspirational keynote speakers and some thought-provoking breakout sessions which have included Universal Design of Learning and how to use an agency to captivate the disengaged learner.
Throughout the conference, there has been an opportunity to further unpack the idea that inclusion is an ongoing process that aims to increase access and engagement in learning for all students by identifying and removing barriers. In our Junior School we strive to offer an inclusive education that embraces diversity and differences. It will be tremendous to share this new knowledge when back at school.
Mrs Veronica Waters
Winter sports will commence next term. Teams have been organised and you will shortly receive an email asking you to register your child in their chosen sport.
Registrations are required for the following sports:
Golf and Gymnastics do not need registration. Staff will organise these groups. If you have any concerns or questions, please email Mrs Christine Wright
Cross Country for Junior School – Wednesday, 5 April
Junior School are joining the whole school this year to complete their Cross Country event. This will be held on Wednesday, 5 April on Adamsfield (front of school) at approximately 11:30 am. We will be using the TAS fields as our Cross Country course. More information will be in next weeks TAS talks.
Mrs Christine Wright
Junior School Sports Coordinator