2023 Term 2 Week 9   |   21.06.2023

TAS Talks Term 2 Week 9

01. From the Principal


Semester 1 has been incredible at TAS and the mid-year break comes at a good time for students and staff to take a brief respite from the term time routine, to reflect and to relax. We wish our Year 12 students the best as they continue to study, with their trial exams fast approaching and the HSC just over 100 days away. Good luck also to those attending the domestic TAS Netball Tour to the Gold Coast over the break and to the students running the Forensic Science Camp in the holidays as the culmination of their Stage 5 elective.

I will write again in the week prior to the start of Semester 2 with some staffing updates and other important information for the latter part of the year. In the meantime, I wish all of our staff and students and those parents who are able to take time off, a safe and refreshing break.


Dr Rachel Horton

02. From the Deputy Principal


I would like to take the opportunity to thank the entire TAS community for the support of the School this semester. The kindness, encouragement and active participation at TAS is unique and special. Thank you all for your contribution to fostering the strong sense of connection we all enjoy. 

Looking ahead to Term 3, there is plenty to look forward to. Specifically, and most notably, this is a special period for our Year 12s as they undertake a range of experiences from HSC trial exams through to their Valedictory celebrations. I know they will cherish their final term at TAS and make the most of the opportunities presented to them. We will also undertake our 2024 student leadership process with our current Year 11s who will be invited to apply for roles. I look forward to hearing the vision and goals of our next cohort of leaders.

Thank you to all families for making use of the designated travel day on Friday. Having students in class up until 3:30 pm on Thursday is important and maintains the integrity of our teaching and learning programs right up until the final bell.

I hope all of our students, parents and staff are able to make use of the break from routine over the next three weeks and return to School recharged and ready for Semester 2. 


Mr Ray Pearson
Deputy Principal




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 amandaajohnson81@gmail.com

Uniform Shop Holiday Hours

Please note the Uniform Shop will be open by appointment only on Thursday 14 and Friday 15 July. Please email uniform@as.edu.au to make an appointment. Normal operating hours will resume on Monday 17 July.
Limited sizes of Grey Shirts have been restocked. You are limited to the purchase of 2 until we are fully restocked.

Please contact the Uniform Shop if you have any questions.

Mrs Veronica Lucas

NSW Back-to-School Vouchers

This a reminder that Back to School Vouchers expire on 30 June. Please contact TAS Reception on (02) 6776 5800 if you have any questions.

Year 10 Vaccination Clinic

The Medical Centre will be running a catch-up Year 10 Vaccination Clinic on Thursday 27 July. Please follow the link to complete the online consent form: CLICK HERE.
Please contact the Medical Centre if you have any questions.

03. Calendar of Events


Term 2
Wednesday 21 JuneHSC Music Workshop at NECOM
Rugby vs Trinity Prep
Thursday 22 JuneTerm concludes
Cressida Mort Farewell Drinks (5.30 pm – 7.00pm at Hoskins Centre)
Friday 23 JuneStaff Day
Monday 17 JulyBoarders Return
Tuesday 18 JulyTerm resumes


04. From the P&F


Start of Term Function

To start Term 3, P&F have organised drinks at the new location of The Welders Dog in Armidale on Monday 17 July from 5.00 pm.

Put the date in your calendar now !



Pudding Co-Ordinator Needed

We look forward to creating the P&F Christmas Puddings for your enjoyment later this year.

Requesting a volunteer to be the pudding coordinator this year. This role requires organising the ordering of ingredients and equipment for puddings, with enough lead time to make our production weekend in late October. On the weekend itself, it is then directing the mixing and baking teams on Saturday, followed by the wrapping team on Sunday. We will arrange a transition of knowledge from the previous pudding coordinator to make sure it’s all smooth sailing.

Please contact the P&F Executive if you can help out.

Next Meeting

Wednesday 2 August is the next meeting of the P&F. Please note the date and keep an eye out for details to attend. A large focus of Term 3 is to decide Funding Request allocations to projects which give back to the school community – hope you can be a part of the discussion.

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


Confirmation and Baptisms 

It has been a few years since a Confirmation Service has been held at TAS, most likely due to COVID impacting our normal routine. I have been talking with our Bishop, Rod Chiswell, and he is very happy to lead a Confirmation Service at TAS this year. A Confirmation Service is an opportunity for those baptised as infants to confirm their Christian faith as young adults, and to both encourage and be encouraged by their family and fellow followers of Christ in our School Community. Leading up to the service, regular meetings will be held at lunchtimes by the Chaplaincy team to help students prepare for their confirmation. If any families would like to know more or have teenagers who are interested in being confirmed, please let me know at jbenham@as.edu.au If we have enough interest from families, the Confirmation Service will likely go ahead in late Term 3 or early Term 4.
While confirmation is a helpful human tradition, it is the prior baptism in water that Jesus prescribes as the important outward sign of the inner faith (Matthew 28:19). And so if you have decided to trust and follow Jesus, but have not yet been baptised, why not talk to your local Pastor, or feel free to get in contact with me. The local clergy in Armidale are very happy to support the TAS Community by conducting baptisms, not just for infants but for teenagers and adults too!


Mrs Jo Benham
Assistant Chaplain

06. From the Director of Teaching and Learning


As we move into the longer winter break, Year 11 and 12 have a wonderful opportunity to consolidate their learning from previous terms, and to ensure they come back prepared and ready for the final term of learning in their respective courses.

For Year 12, the most structured form of this preparation will be at the Winter Study Break Camp for which 40 Year 12s have registered. As families have been made aware, this camp will run from the 12 – 14 July here at TAS and there is a rich offering of mandatory, optional and student-led sessions where they can work across their subject areas to revise and consolidate their learning. We have external presenters, teaching staff, and tutors running sessions and we want our Year 12s to choose sessions which best prepare them for the road ahead. An email with the Winter Study Camp Program has been sent to parents who have a child coming to the camp; please reach out if you have any questions.

A reminder to all Year 10 families, TAS will be running the 2024 Year 11 Subject Selection Information Afternoon from 4pm – 5.30pm on Monday 17 July. This is for ALL Year 10 students and it is strongly encouraged that you attend. Monday is the Boarders’ travel day and houses will be open from 1pm; students return to classes the following day. This event will happen in Hoskins and begin with a few short presentations from 4pm. This will be followed by faculty booths operating in the foyer from 4.30pm – 5.30pm for parents, carers and students to learn more about subjects. Staff and senior students will be there to answer questions and help support your understanding on this initial step towards Year 11 subject selection. Mr Mark Taylor will also be with a ‘Careers’ booth for those who wish to ask questions about post-school pathways or how subject selection may be informed by post-school interest.

Wishing all our students and families a safe and restful winter break.



Mrs Gill Downes
Director of  Teaching and Learning

07. From the Director of Co-curricular


The Inter-House events continued this week with the final of the Senior School Inter-House Debating. The topic was ‘Gambling advertising should be banned in Australia’. Whilst both Croft (affirmative) and Tyrrell (negative) made compelling arguments it was Tyrrell who was victorious. I commend all students who debated for their respective houses over the past two weeks. TAS debating continues to go from strength to strength and I acknowledge the leadership and guidance from Mr Hughes our MIC of Debating.

There have been many highlights in Term 2 and I encourage all students to reflect on their achievements and opportunities for growth. The holidays are a wonderful time to reconnect with family, reset, recharge, and take stock of what we have done and where we can improve. When we return in Term 3, our co-curricular program will resume, and I urge all students to challenge themselves and engage in a variety of activities. I wish you all a positive and productive time away from school and look forward to your return in Term 3.


Mr Huon Barrett
Director of Co-curricular


Debating News

Across the school, students have been arguing their case and rebutting, in what is the busiest term of the year for debating.

The Inter-house debating component for the Clemson Cup is reaching its climax this week, after pool rounds earlier this month.  Some close and not-so-close encounters have entertained adjudicators and audiences during lunchtimes, with a mix of well-experienced debaters showing their form alongside a number of first-timers getting blooded in the art (or sport?) of contested ideas.

In the final Assembly of term yesterday Dr Horton awarded a confident Tyrrell outfit (Martin Shankland, Johno Phelps, Ali Kealey, Meg Kealey) the points against Croft (Bella Fernance, Sofia Paris, Jack Coddington, Stella Maroulis), who argued against the proposition ‘That gambling advertising should be banned in Australia’. The Tyrrell case rested on the claims that education and increased regulation would be better than a ban, which would only send the industry underground, and also harm the sports involved.

On Thursday afternoon, Middle School wraps up Term 2 with the final between Abbott and Green, who will be vying for honours tackling the subject ‘That we should ban tourists from National Parks’. I’m sure Mr Polson will have his work cut out for him, adjudicating.

Well done to all those who have been involved, particularly students who have never debated before but willingly stepped up to represent their house. My thanks to all staff who adjudicated the debates and also to the Debating Captains Fred Kearney, Sofia Paris, Bella Banister and Louis Ross for coming up with the topics.

Meanwhile, the National Virtual Debating Competition has been steaming along, with five teams in three divisions taking on some of the best in the country in the 15 pool debates. The Year 8 team (Cormac Downes, Jess Emmery, Peter Thompson, Dominic Nguyen, Sasha Macarthur-Onslow) got this year’s competition off to a fine start with a clear win against Scotch College Melbourne, before being defeated by St John’s Lutheran School, Qld but took the points in a narrow win over Penrith Anglican College yesterday.

TAS Year 10 (B) (Nina Deshon, Hugo Li, Stella Maroulis, Charlie Ross, Poppy Hall) have had a close loss to Scotch College followed by a clearer defeat at the hands of Frensham; their final pool fixture against Al Sadiq College, Sydney, will be next term. TAS Year 10 (A) (Samuel Krishnan, Daniel Emmery, Jack Coddington, Millie Coupland) are still in the starting blocks but have secured a forfeit by Gaulstun College.

Recording two victories from two debates against Kinross Wolaroi and O’Connor Catholic College, the Year 11 team (Bella Fernance, Martin Shankland, Meg Cory, Henry Kirton, Tess Roman) will tackle perennial grand-finalists Canberra Girls Grammar next term. Meanwhile, our Year 12 team (Sofia Paris, Louis Ross, Fred Kearney, Bella Banister) have had a tougher start to their campaign, going down to Minarah College, with two debates to come.

Despite the challenges of negotiating clashes between schools taking into account different school calendars, term dates and time zones the competition continues to offer a wonderful opportunity for students to practice and learn the craft.  My continued thanks to Mr Harry Dobson for his assistance.


Mr Tim Hughes
MIC Debating & Public Speaking


Marathon Athlete Bay2Bay

The 9/10 Marathon Athlete Elective Class ran the Bay2Bay Half Marathon last weekend. Relishing the perfect running conditions, students set-off from Woy Woy at 7am enjoying a meandering 21.1km to Gosford, running alongside the water on a flat and fast course. It was magnificent to see the hard work and dedication from the past five months pay off, with each student finishing strongly and some very impressive results. Emily Ussher ran 1:36 to win the female 16-19 age group, set the fastest TAS time for a girl, and finished 92nd overall. Andrew Brennan was 2nd (1:26) and Lang Toakley 3rd (1:30) in the males 16-19 age group. I couldn’t be prouder of these wonderful students, their commitment has been outstanding! My thanks to Mrs Benham for joining us on the trip and running a pretty slick Half herself.

Mr Jim Pennington

08. From the Head of Creative Arts


Fight With All Your Might the Zombies of Tonight

TAS Middle School’s take on Matthew Whittet’s wacky horror comedy. Alex is a twelve-year-old with a keen eye and a wit to match. She’s been watching everyone at school for the last few days, and something’s not right. Everyone is acting weird. They’re all starting to say the same things, wear the same clothes, do bad dance routines in the corridors for no reason at all and meet up after school to drink decaf-mocha-latte-soy-frappuccinos. The writing’s on the wall. She knows what’s happening. They’re all turning into zombies!

Shows: 6pm Friday 11 & 6pm Saturday 12 August 2023
Price: $10 Adults, $5 Kids
Zone: Main theatre body only


Mr Andrew O’Connell
Head of Creative Arts

09. From the Head of Middle School


My thanks to everyone for a successful term. It has certainly been a busy one as our students and staff navigate a busy academic curriculum and co-curricular offering. I offer my thanks to everyone – staff, students and parents who have contributed to the opportunities and experiences that we offer here at TAS.  This Thursday, all of  Middle School will be watching the final of the Inter-House debate where Abbott and Green will debate the topic ‘That we should ban tourists from National Parks’. I am looking forward to this and congratulate all of the students and houses who have competed in the debates over the past few weeks and offer my thanks to Mr Tim Hughes for his organisation of this.

We are excited to again run a Year 8 Arts Immersion program to be held over two days in Term 3. This will be held in Week 5 on Wednesday 16 and Thursday 17 August for all our current Year 8 students. It has a focus on creativity, literacy, and collaborative learning, with students watching professional artists, participating in workshops, and working on an elective project to share with an audience. There will be an opportunity for parents and carers to see a showcase of Year 8 work on the afternoon of Thursday 17 August and I encourage you to keep this date aside.

This week we farewell Ms Julie Crozier from her role as Head of Dangar House. Julie has been a valued member of our boarding staff for a number of years and her care and compassion for our students has been appreciated by many. We are pleased that Julie will be remaining in Dangar House and on behalf of all of Middle School, we thank her for the valuable contributions she has made in the lives of our Dangar House girls.

I hope everyone has a relaxing and refreshing break. Term 3 commences on Tuesday 18 July, with boarders returning on Monday 17 July.


Mr Luke Polson
Head of Middle School

10. From the Head of Junior School



It was wonderful to welcome so many current and prospective families to the Junior School Open Morning last Friday and we hope that the experience was a positive one for those who were able to attend. The intention of this morning was to showcase the many and varied opportunities afforded to our students on any typical day, and the last few days of Term 2 certainly provide a fine example of the busyness of life in the Junior School.

Students in Years 3, 4 and 5 yesterday y enjoyed the opportunity to be both a detective and forensic scientist in the incursion titled ‘A Case of Discovery’. The School’s Green Room was transformed into a crime scene and evidence lab as students used their creative and critical thinking skills to analyse forensic evidence and piece together the story behind a hypothetical crime.

We are delighted to currently be playing host to students and staff from Trinity Grammar School, an independent school for boys in Sydney, with our students competing in soccer (2.00pm on Adamsfield) and rugby (3.15pm on Backfield) in this regular highlight to the TAS sporting calendar. We wish our teams well and are certain that they will enjoy the opportunity to compete in what will likely be a comparatively large crowd of supporters.

In staffing news, Ms Charlotte Low concludes her time at TAS today after two and a half years of wonderful service to our community as she seeks to travel Europe in the coming years. Every Junior School child has been fortunate to have Ms Low teach them in music and/or choir during her time with us and can attest to the enthusiasm, care and professionalism with which she has approached all aspects of her time at TAS. While Ms Low will be greatly missed, we are pleased to announce that Ms Jessica Suann has been appointed to replace her in a part time capacity. Ms Suann joins us most recently from O’Connor Catholic College and will continue to work at both NECOM and Rocky River Public School.

Mr Jonathan Kemp, a familiar face to all Junior School students after working across all year levels in a casual capacity in recent years, also concludes his time with 1W who he has taught for the duration of Term 2. Mr Kemp has worked tirelessly to support our students during Mrs Wright’s period of leave this term and we are thrilled to advise he will continue to work in Junior School classrooms as required.

Also departing TAS at the end of this term are three of our fabulous gap year students, colloquially known as “Gappies”. We thank Ms Emily Fordham, Ms Lexie Johnson and Mr Freddie Taylor for their tremendous efforts over the last 6 to 12 months respectively and look forward to following their news in the years ahead.

Our departing staff were all formally farewelled in the final Junior School assembly for Semester 1, with many of our students publicly reflecting on the difference that the staff members have made in their lives.

Also discussed in assembly today was the notion of the “circle of control” as a template to allow us to focus on the things we can change while accepting and letting go of the things we cannot change. Among many other purported benefits, those who do so are generally considered to be more resilient and more productive. This timeless advice is perhaps most succinctly conveyed in American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr’s Serenity Prayer, commonly quoted as:

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.”


While this advice seems common sense to most, the ability to actually do this on a regular basis generally proves far more difficult that it would seem. This will be one of the early focus areas in our newly established Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) lessons in Term 3.


Happy Birthday

Happy birthday to the following Junior School students that celebrate their birthdays between this edition and the first one next term: Violet Caulfield, Lucas Chapman, Lily Cook, Ruby Rice, Georgia Flynn, Darby Klabe, Brianna Kordyban, Eli Mayne, Edward Minter, Clayton Ritchie, Lachie Wood and Finley Boyce.


Mr Scott Chittenden
Head of Junior School



Upcoming Events

Term 2
Wednesday 21 JuneAssembly to farewell staff (Hoskins 2.45pm)
Thursday 22 JuneSchool Concludes
Friday 23 JuneStaff Day
Monday 17 JulyStaff Day
Tuesday 18 JulyClasses commence

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