2023 Term 2 Week 7   |   07.06.2023

TAS Talks Term 2 Week 7

01. From the Principal


On Tuesday we celebrated Founders Day at TAS, 129 years and a few months after the first 25 boys started at the School. While the students arrived in February 1894, the School was officially opened in May and by the end of the year the student population had more than doubled to 55.

It is unlikely that those present in 1894 would have been able to imagine the changes that have taken place to make TAS the school it is today.  We have  678 students, a wide variety and choice in co-curricular and challenge opportunities beyond the classroom, and wonderful facilities that have been built over many generations, most recently the refurbished science labs and the classroom building on the agriculture plot at Meadowfield.

Celebrating the progress at TAS is as much a part of Founders’ Day as is reflecting on our history. The first record of the School, The Armidalian, was published a few years later, with the first volume and issue dated November 1897.

Reading the publication it is interesting to note that in addition to the usual track races and jumping events, the Three-legged Race and Throwing the Cricket Ball were both hotly contested as part of the Athletics Carnival. Rugby at the School has also advanced considerably since 1894 with a report the original TAS ‘Football’ report stating “There was little keenness; our numbers included few of any size; a great many had never heard of football, and the majority had never played it.” The Armidalian also starkly illustrates the changes in entertainment over the years, with students being treated and well amused in those early days by a conjurer making various objects disappear and a lantern slide show including views of Scottish scenery.

As we approach the long weekend, I look forward to seeing many of you supporting at the Farrer/Calrossy/NEGS co-curricular fixtures this Thursday afternoon.


Dr Rachel Horton

02. From the Deputy Principal


In what has been an excellent year to date, all students have been provided a consistent message to finish the term strongly and to continue to build on their academic and co-curricular achievements. In addition, it is equally important that effort is directed to the relationships students have established with their peers and the staff. As fatigue sets in and the holiday approaches, maintaining these relationships through positive choices and conscious effort up to the final day of term is important and generates positive momentum for the second half of the year.

Thank you to all parents for your support in keeping students in classes up until Thursday afternoon prior to our extended long-weekend. I know the students are looking forward to competing and supporting their peers as we host Farrer for the Dick Hodgson Shield along with fixtures with NEGS and Calrossy. All Middle and Senior School Students have been asked to be in their Formals. 

I look forward to seeing many of you around the grounds tomorrow.  


Mr Ray Pearson
Deputy Principal



Attention Farmers

Amanda Johnson is completing her Masters in Sustainability Leadership at Cambridge University, and her dissertation is in relation to overcoming the barriers and motivating farmers to adopt regenerative agriculture. Amanda is a past PLC student (1998) and her brother Trent attended TAS (2000).

Amanda would like to interview about 30 broad acre farmers or mixed farmers in relation to her dissertation, primarily those who grow crops for commercial sale. You don't need to know or have anything to do with regenerative agriculture (in fact, it is better if you don't), it will be a 30-45 minute interview in July/August this year by zoom.

If you are interested in participating and speaking to Amanda please contact her directly on

Junior School Open Morning – Friday 16 June

We are looking forward to welcoming current and prospective parents to TAS for this year’s Open Morning. It will be the ideal opportunity for visitors and parents to learn more about what makes Junior School the dynamic environment it is, and see it in action.

There will be plenty of classroom activities, tours of our extensive facilities and the chance to speak with specialist teachers and senior staff about the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme and our co-curricular and adventure opportunities.

To register, and for more information click on the FIND OUT MORE link below.

All welcome – why not bring along a friend who may also be interested in TAS.

03. Calendar of Events


Term 2
Wednesday 7 JuneP&F Meeting (7pm)
Thursday 8 JuneCIS Cross Country Championships
Dick Hodgson Shield TAS vs Farrer (TAS)
Friday 9 JuneStaff Day
Monday 12 JuneKing’s Birthday Long Weekend – Boarders return
Thursday 15 JuneSchools State MTB Series Race – Port Macquarie
Saturday 17 JuneRugby v Sydney Grammar (TAS)
Sunday 18 JuneArmidale Eisteddfod Gala Concert – 2pm OTC


04. From the P&F


The P&F will meet this on Wednesday 7 June at 7.00pm.

We will be face to face in Upper Maxwell as well as have a Zoom session running for those wishing to attend
remotely. Hope to see you there.
To join the Zoom Meeting, click HERE

Meeting ID: 215 517 2798
Password: parents
Dial in phone number: +61 2 8015 6011

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

05. From the Assistant Chaplain


In the next school holidays, Scripture Union is again holding its popular Rugby Union Camp. This year it is aimed at boys and girls from Years 5 to 10. The camp aims to provide top-class rugby development during the day, along with some solid Bible teaching, fun and games in the evening. Last year Brad Thorn (ex-All-Blacks & Crusaders player and current QLD Reds Head Coach) helped out on this camp, along with Ofa Fainga’anuku (Tongan International who played in Australia, England & France). In the past Nick-Farr Jones was involved, and this year ex-Wallaby and TAS OA, Jim Holbeck will be helping out on the camp. There is up to a 100 percent fee discount if the cost of the camp is an issue. See the flyer below and if you would like to know more about this camp, Mr Tim Williams can provide some first-hand knowledge and is more than happy to chat about it!

Mrs Jo Benham
Assistant Chaplain

06. From the Director of Teaching and Learning


Year 9 and 10 have completed their core examinations and all reports are that there have been some great opportunities for our students to demonstrate their learning. Last week, when I asked a Year 9 student, ‘How was your Maths exam?’ they replied, ‘It was actually really good!’ While perhaps not every 15-year-old gave the same answer to those who asked them this question, this made me reflect on the fact that while examinations are stressful and can lead to disappointment at times, there is also something really empowering about completing something difficult and getting to the other side of it in one piece. The students are now in a cycle of completing hand-in and in-class tasks for their elective subjects.

On the topic of Stage 5 Electives, Year 9 and 10 students now have access to the Edval portal where they can select their first, second and third preferences for each of the Semester 2 subject lines. Find lines HERE or on the Student and Parent Portal. Students need to make their selections by next Tuesday so the process of subject allocation can begin. This process (at our end) can take a few weeks with over 160 students to place across almost 30 subjects. A reminder that preference does go to Year 10 and some subjects always have more interest than we can possibly meet in terms of class numbers so please choose carefully and be aware that your second and third preferences also really matter, especially for our Year 9 students.

Recently, Year 12 parents joined an information Zoom in which a number of our staff discussed how best to support your child during the final year of their schooling. Mr Taylor provided some really informative dates and details around post-school options and early entry schemes that various universities offer. He is a great source of valuable information about post school pathways and senior students should ensure they make a time to speak to him if they have questions about their plans. Mr Whalley spoke about the fine balance between work, leisure, and health. He gave some great advice about ensuring all areas of our students’ lives are nourished and no one area is being neglected. Mr Pearson spoke about some of the culminating events of the year such as the final weeks of school in Term 3, including Valedictory Day. All dates can be found in the School Calendar online and more specific detail, of course, will come in time.

In Careers news, a reminder that Mr Taylor emailed all Year 10, 11 and 12 students a few weeks ago to let them know about this week’s University of Sydney’s ‘Outreach Program’ which includes their visit to Armidale tomorrow evening. A public meeting will take place giving parents and students the opportunity to meet some staff and students from USyd and ask questions about entry procedures and future study at the University of Sydney. If you are still interested in attending, find out more at https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/meet-the-university-of-sydney-armidale-2023-tickets-538108245247.

Lastly, a save the date email has been sent to Year 10 families (parents, carers and students) regarding the upcoming Year 11 (2024) Subject Selection Information Afternoon which is a wonderful opportunity for Year 10 families to hear from academic staff and ask questions about the rich Year 11 and 12 subject offering we have here at TAS. This will take place in Hoskins theatre and foyer from 4pm – 5.30pm on Monday 17 July. Please note, this is the travel day for boarders and all boarding houses will be open from 1pm for our boarding community to return to campus. Year 10 students and their family are strongly encouraged to attend this informative afternoon as it will be incredibly beneficial when it comes time for the students to choose their Year 11 subjects.


Mrs Gill Downes
Director of  Teaching and Learning

07. From the Director of Co-curricular


On Thursday TAS will host and play in several fixtures across the Middle School and Senior School.
Our traditional matches against Farrer will take place (for the Dick Hodgson Shield) in basketball, chess, debating, football, hockey and rugby. In addition, we will also be hosting Calrossy Anglican School in girls rugby, NEGS in netball and traveling to NEGS for the girls hockey. The final match of the day will be the FirstXV match against Farrer for the Jim Levy Shield. This is a fantastic opportunity to support and encourage our students prior to King’s Birthday long weekend. There have been some changes in game times so please refer to the updated schedule attached. Click HERE for the full fixtures list.

I am always encouraged when I hear about TAS students behaving well. It is common and extends across a range of activities, excursions, sports and events. On this occasion the plaudits go to our First Football team who on the weekend took on Inverell – the top of the table – in Inverell. A team’s performance can be measured in many ways. Most commonly, the score is one outcome but it is not the only measure of a performance. In fact, attitude, effort and character are far more important than any scoreboard result. The TAS First Football team last weekend showed resilience, sportsmanship and that never say die attitude, which won the praise of the opposition players and coach, parents and all who were lucky enough to witness their performance.


Mr Huon Barrett
Director of Co-curricular


08. From the Head of Creative Arts


This week our ensembles and bands take to the Armidale Eisteddfod stage. Between many group and class events during the day and the Band Night last night, TAS has again stepped up as confident, enthusiastic musicians who find joy in performing and sharing their gifts. The Eisteddfod is (mostly) coming to an end and we again acknowledge the incredible work of the staff, peripatetics, and parents keeping the whole show running. Highlights from the Eisteddfod will be included in the Gala Concert to be held at the Old Teachers College on Sunday 18 June at 2pm.

We’re getting ready to release tickets for Middle School’s Fight With All Your Might the Zombies of Tonight. Performances are Friday 11 and Saturday 12 August in Week 5, Term 3. Check back in next week’s TAS Talks for the ticket link.

Next Friday afternoon at5pm the Stage 5 Drama class brings the comedy Peter Pan Goes Wrong to the Hoskins stage. It’ll be a disaster – on purpose! – and we encourage everyone to come along and support those actors.

Finally, the tickets have gone on sale for the Armidale Drama and Musical Society’s production of Stephen Sondheim’s iconic musical Into the Woods. The show runs during the school holidays from Friday 30 June to Saturday 15 July. Go to the ADMS website (http://www.adms.org.au/) to secure your seat.

Mr Andrew O’Connell
Head of Creative Arts


Armidale Eisteddfod Success!

Congratulations to all our students who have taken part in the Armidale Eisteddfod. Our students have performed with distinction and most notably with obvious enthusiasm and enjoyment. They have been supportive of other ensembles and encouraged other musicians in their performances.

The Eisteddfod events conclude this Friday with the Woodwind and Brass section. We wish our students all the best in their performances. The Armidale Eisteddfod Gala Concert will be held on Sunday 18 June at the Armidale OLD Teachers’ College Auditorium. We look forward to seeing some of the Eisteddfod highlights at this concert.

The Eisteddfod String Ensemble events were held last Wednesday and Thursday with the Junior and Middle School ensembles performing Wednesday morning. Congratulations to the TAS Junior Piano Trio (Directed by Dr Sheila Guymer) who achieved first place in the Chamber Ensemble K-6 event, playing with musicality and impressive ensemble skills. William Cooper Fillios (Violin) and Daniel Mo (Piano), were joined by William Minter (Cello) on the Eisteddfod morning as he stepped in for their Cellist who was unwell. Our fabulous Junior School Music teacher, Miss Charlotte Low, conducted the TAS Junior String Ensemble which included the TAS Year 3 String program students. The String ensemble performed with energy and vitality, achieving a second place and a huge cheer from the audience.

The TAS String and Chamber Ensembles were all very impressive and achieved fantastic results in the String Senior Ensembles events. The TAS Senior Chamber Ensemble (Andrew Brennan, Sam Guppy, Holly Dauparas and Olive Lockett and Directed by Mr Paul Marshall) were praised for their excellent projection and dynamic contrasts in their complex performance in the Chamber Ensemble Years 9-12 section, placing third. The TAS Brahm’s Trio (Martin Shankland, Abigail Thompson and Old Armidalian Will Mackson and Directed by Dr Robert Manley) were outstanding, placing first (The Harvey Norman Perpetual Shield) in the Chamber Ensemble Open event. The trip performed with perceptive stylistic understanding and highly developed technical skills. The TAS String Trio (Sam Guppy, Andy Li and Peter Thompson and directed by Dr Robert Manley) achieved first place (The Armidale Building Society Perpetual Shield) in the Ensemble on any Bowed Instrument Years 7-12, demonstrating their highly developed ensemble skills. TAS Camerata (Directed by Mr Robert Jackson and accompanied by Mr Warwick Dunham) performed with distinction, achieving first place (The Angus Society of Australia Perpetual Shield) with $200 donated by Rotary Club Armidale Central. They performed Black Run with Peter Thompson (Cello) highlighted as the soloist with a technically challenging and impressive performance. Their second piece, Swan Lake, featured a beautiful, soulful violin solo by Emily Thompson (Violin) and showcased the balance and blend of the ensemble. Congratulations to all our Chamber Music and String Ensemble performers for their highly skilled and entertaining performances.

Thank you to the families, friends and staff who supported the TAS String Ensembles and Chamber Ensembles at the Armidale Teachers’ College. We appreciate the wonderful support our students receive at the Eisteddfod.

I look forward to reporting on the highly successful Band events in next weeks TAS Talks.

Solo Performers at the Eisteddfod

Thank you again to the families that have sent through photos and information on the achievements of students at the Armidale Eisteddfod. We will showcase these in next weeks TAS Talks. If you would like your child’s success to be put in the TAS Talks newsletter, please send an email to Mrs Veronica Lucas at music@as.edu.au

Ziggy Harris Farewell Recital

Ziggy Harris (Old Armidalian – 2017) has recently graduated from the Sydney Conservatorium Of Music with a Bachelor Of Music (Performance) in Classical Voice. Ziggy, an operatic baritone, is leaving Australia, as he has been accepted, with several scholarships, into a Masters of Music (Operatic Performance / Thesis) at the Schulich School Of Music at McGill University, Montreal, Canada, and will be moving there in late-August. His residency in Canada will last two years.

This recital will be his last hurrah, and it is deeply meaningful to Ziggy that he may showcase some of his favourite repertoire thus far to the community that has poured hours of belief, time and energy into him. Accompanied by the orchestrally-minded and wonderful Dr. Robert Manley, the arias you will hear are essential snippets of the wider baritone repertoire.

Ziggy’s Farewell Recital will be held in the Uniting Church on Saturday 10 June at 6:00pm. Tickets can be purchased online:



Ms Leanne Roobol
Director of Music


09. From the Head of Middle School


As we approach the final weeks of term, the pace in Middle School has certainly not eased. This week sees the commencement of the Inter-House Debating Competition, which sees Middle School students across all houses preparing for and competing in a series of debates which culminates in the Debating Final to be held on the final Thursday of term. I thank Mr Tim Hughes for providing this opportunity for our students.

This week in our Middle School Assembly I spoke with the students about the importance of being organised and prepared; whether this be the correct uniform for a sporting fixture, turning up to an appointment on time or arriving to class with everything that is needed. These may seem little things, but they make a significant difference. Part of being responsible for a laptop is ensuring that it is charged for the times that it is needed for school work and charged for each day of school. Whilst we have a limited number of loan chargers to provide to students, our staff would appreciate it if we could all collectively remind and encourage our children to ensure that the laptop is charged nightly.

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.

As we approach the final two weeks of Term 2, I draw your attention to a number of key dates:

  • Thursday 8 June – Farrer/NEGS/Calrossy Sporting Fixtures

  • Friday 9 June – Staff Day (no classes for students).

  • Monday 12 June – King’s Birthday Public Holiday. Boarders return in the afternoon.

  • Thursday 22 June – Classes conclude for Term 2.

  • Tuesday 18 July – Classes commence for Term 3 (Boarders return Monday afternoon 17 July).

I look forward to seeing many of you around the sporting fixtures on Thursday afternoon and wish you all an enjoyable and safe long weekend.

Mr Luke Polson
Head of Middle School

10. From the Head of Junior School



Students across the school celebrated Founders Day (129 years young) on Tuesday and the 25th anniversary of TAS joining the Round Square association. Junior School students enjoyed tasting the delicious cakes to celebrate these significant milestones, served up by Year 4 and 5 students who volunteered to assist in this regard. This occasion presented an ideal opportunity for a comparative newcomer to reflect on what makes TAS such a unique school. The service, challenge and leadership programs and opportunities are some of the
many elements of a TAS education.

The recent Junior School House Athletics carnival was a microcosm of these aspects. Witnessing students of all ages test themselves time and again, and to consistently cheer on others from different House groups (and often age groups!), was a privilege. Seeing our House leaders in action as they encouraged, motivated and cajoled those around them throughout the event, and especially in our House Chants, was something to behold. Watching our older students roll up their sleeves, both metaphorically and literally, when they served the Founders Day cakes to their peers was another wonderful example of servant leadership – of looking after others without consideration of themselves, or their stomachs in this instance! The student led assemblies at TAS are another fabulous opportunity for our children to step outside of their comfort zones and try something new, and often incredibly daunting, in speaking or performing publicly in front of a large audience. I especially enjoyed the Year 2 assembly last week and eagerly await our Kindergarten classes assembly a little later today. Watching a procession of five-year old children speak with confidence in front of over 200 people is something I don’t think I will ever grow tired of.

You may have seen the signage recently displayed relating to the upcoming TAS Junior School Open Morning. We warmly invite both current and prospective families to spend some time experiencing just a little of what a student in the Junior School enjoys in their time with us. The Junior School Open Morning takes place on Friday 16 June between 9.30am and 11.00am. Please let us know, through the link emailed yesterday and provided elsewhere in this newsletter, if you plan to attend for catering purposes.

Please note that students are not required at school this Friday, 9 June (staff professional development day), or next Monday, 12 June (King’s Birthday public holiday). We hope that you and your child(ren) are able to use this long weekend to rest and recharge, ready for the final few weeks of Term 2. Early identification on your vehicle assists us greatly in ensuring a quick, stress-free collection from school. Please endeavour to have your child’s surname displayed in large text on the passenger sun visor as you enter the school grounds via the Chapel Street entrance. This will allow us to have your child(ren) awaiting collection in a timely fashion.


Mr Scott Chittenden
Head of Junior School


Year 1 Reflection on World Environment Day

The students of 1W viewed a video about the meaning of World Environment Day held on 5 June, 2023. Here are some of their ideas and opinions about how to help our planet.

We could…

  • Recycle plastic and cardboard (Sonny)

  • Not use petrol cars (Felix)

  • Plant more trees, clean the oceans, use wooden boxes (not plastic) and clean the world (Morrie)

  • Pick up rubbish to help the world (Alanoud)

  • Look after the animals (Sienna)

  • Pick up rubbish then recycle (Sam)

  • Collect rubbish and use it instead, plant trees and clean rivers (Scout)

  • STOP using plastic (Alister)

  • Plant trees and clean up the ocean (Gus)

  • Plant more trees and help our environment (Clayton)

  • Recycle plastic and help our planet (Alex)

  • Help trees to survive on Earth (Riley)

  • Stop using electricity, start planting more trees and stop using plastic (Ayaan)

  • Plant 1000 trees and not use electricity (Elizabeth)

Dance Eisteddfod

Last Wednesday our Junior School Dance Club students competed in the New England Dance Eisteddfod in Armidale with Mrs Colette Brazier from Australian Dance Enterprises. Both groups looked amazing, danced well, and had a great time. At next week’s Assembly, both groups will perform their Eisteddfod dance for us all to see.
TAS was a sponsor of the Eisteddfod this year, so we were very proud of our Junior School students who represented the school so well.




Happy Birthday

Many happy returns to Ayaan Bin Mahadi, Josie Buntine and Aurelio Pallotta for their birthdays this week.

Upcoming Events

Term 2
Wednesday 7 JuneKindergarten Assembly (Hoskins 2.45 pm)
Friday 9 JuneStaff Day
Monday 12 JunePublic Holiday
Wednesday 14 JuneYear 3 Assembly (Hoskins 2.45 pm)
Thursday 15 JunePre-Kindergarten 2024 Interviews
Friday 16 JuneJunior School Open Morning
Tuesday 20 JunePre-Kindergarten 2024 Interviews
Junior School Forensics Day
Wednesday 21 JuneHouse Meetings
Thursday 22 JuneSchool Concludes

Community Notices