2023 Term 3 Week 1   |   19.07.2023

TAS Talks Term 3 Week 1

01. From the Principal


Students and staff have hit the ground running this week for the second half of the school year. Term 3 offers students an opportunity to build on the successes of Semester 1. For many students it also represents a critical time academically, either through trial exams as the end of their time at TAS nears, or through subject choices as they move into their senior years at TAS.

Indeed, over the break many of our Year 12 students took part in a very well-received Study Camp at school, engaging in group study, learning HSC strategies and planning their time and study techniques. Year 10 students and their families also attended a subject selection evening on Monday as they start the process of deciding on their Stage 6 pattern of study at TAS.

The Forensic Science Camp at TAS also took place over the break with a large number of young people from across the country attending the residential camp, making friends and developing their scientific skills as they solved a forensic mystery. It is particularly impressive that while the camp was overseen by TAS staff, the preparation and day-to-day management was by Year 9 and 10 students, representing the culmination of their forensic science elective in Semester 1. Congratulations to all those students involved.

I do hope all our new students and families have a wonderful start as they join us as members of the TAS community and I wish everyone a healthy and successful Term 3.


Dr Rachel Horton

02. From the Deputy Principal


We are certainly into the business end of the 2023 academic year and I would like to emphasise the opportunity and significance that Term 3 presents to our students. All have the ability to build on the hard work invested in Semester 1, take on feedback from their reports and reassess goals set at the beginning of the year.

A significant emphasis has been placed on the importance of class time and maintaining positive routines. I would like to specifically highlight just how valuable it is for our students to be in their classroom and learning with their teacher wherever possible. 

Respectfully, we request that parents avoid student absence during term time where possible and if unavoidable, apply for any known absence as far in advance as possible. For our boarding parents, there is a need to gain approval through the School prior to putting in a Reach leave request for any leave involving the school day. The process for this can be found below.


Absence, Illness and Punctuality

  1. All students must be at school on time. If late, the student must sign in at Reception.
  2. Parents are asked to advise the school if their son or daughter is absent by 8.30 am on the day of absence.  A written note or email from a parent explaining the absence MUST be provided to Reception by the commencement of the day of return.
  3. Should a student be ill during school hours, they are to go straight to the School Medical Centre. The School Nurse will then take appropriate action. Please note, day student’s parents or caregivers will be contacted for collection. Boarders will be able to rest in the Medical Centre, not in the Boarding House if they are ill.
  4. Should a parent require a student to keep a special appointment that would interfere with academic time the School must be informed in advance and the student must sign out and back in at Reception. The School Reception will not sign students out if they have not been informed by parents. 
  5. In any case of infectious disease or contact with infectious disease the School must be notified immediately and the student shall not return to school until the School Nurse informs the Principal that there is no risk of spreading infection.
  6. Students are expected to attend school for the full period of the term.  An ‘Application for Exemption from Attendance at School’ must be completed by a parent and permission given prior to the leave being taken. This form should be directed to reception@as.edu.au for approval for students in years 9-12, middle@as.edu.au for Middle School students and junior@as.edu.au for Junior School students.
  7. The School has a number of key events held each year that are considered ‘compulsory’ for all students to attend. These include but are not limited to all inter-House sporting fixtures, Activities Week and bivouacs along with Speech Day, Passing Out Parade and Year 12 Valedictory. Failure to attend these events will impact on a student’s eligibility to hold leadership roles or attend extra-curricular opportunities such as tours. Attendance to compulsory events is part of the School’s conditions for enrolment, a pattern of absence may require a meeting with parents to discuss. 
  8. It is expected that students will be present for the duration of the school term and extended absences including late returns and early departures should only occur in exceptional circumstances.
  9. If insufficient notice or reasoning is provided for leave from School, the student’s absence will not be approved. In this instance, academic support and changes to assessment dates will not be provided.   
  10. Should a student be unable to meet sporting obligations for a match for which they have been selected they are to seek leave from the coach concerned, giving as much notice as possible so a replacement can be found.

Attendance During the School Day

  1. Academic, pastoral care, assemblies and chapel times are viewed as essential educative elements of the life of the School. Students must attend all timetabled classes, House & Year Level Meetings along with time allocated for Advisor, Chapel and Assemblies. 
  2. Students are not permitted to leave the School grounds during the school day without prior approval.

Unapproved absence from school activities (truancy) compromises the School’s ability to provide its duty of care to students and will be considered a serious breach of School rules resulting in an escalated response such as afternoon detention, suspension or expulsion if repeated. 

As per our rules and regulations document, the support of parents and students following the leave guidelines wherever possible is appreciated. As always, if unexpected leave does arise, please get in contact so that we can assist in ensuring your child is supported academically and pastorally wherever possible.



Mr Ray Pearson
Deputy Principal




Q Fever is a disease caused by the bacterium Coxiella Burnetti. It is caught from wild and domestic animals including cattle, sheep and goats. The School strongly suggests that students involved in the School Agriculture and Primary Industry classes be immunised for Q Fever.

We are seeking expressions of interest for a Q-Fever Clinic (date pending). The number of students will determine whether a clinic goes ahead. Please fill out the Expression of Interest form: CLICK HERE


Needing a flu shot? The Medical Centre has some flu vaccinations available.
If you still need to have your flu vaccination, please contact the Medical Centre to arrange a time to have this done. Please note that children must be 5 years or older.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact Mrs Veronica Lucas in the Medical Centre on medicalc@as.edu.au

Uniform Shop Holiday Hours

Blazers and grey shirts are back in stock in all sizes and a new delivery of scarves are arriving soon.

At the Uniform Shop orders for students can be sent to uniform@as.edu.au or call (02) 6776 5900. We are happy to send Junior School orders home via the students. Middle School and Senior School orders will be available for pick up in store.

Opening Hours
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday 10 - 4. (Closed 12.30-1am)

Mrs Veronica Lucas

03. Calendar of Events


Term 3
Thursday 20 JulyCIS Netball
Friday 21 JulyNarrabri Boarding Schools Expo
Saturday 22 JulyNarrabri Boarding Schools Expo
GPS Rugby TAS vs King’s (Away)
Monday 24 Julyda Vinci Decathlon Competition ( Knox Grammar)
Wednesday 26 Julyda Vinci Decathlon State Finals (Sydney)
School Photos
Thursday 27 JulyNCIS Netball (Tweed Heads)
School Photos
Friday 28 JulyJunior School Assembly ( Year 2)
Saturday 29 JulyGPS Rugby TAS vs St Joseph’s College (Away)


04. From the P&F


Start of Term Drinks

Thank you to all who attended the P&F drinks to start the term. A very warm welcome to the new parents who came along.

Next Meeting

Wednesday 2 August is the next meeting of the P&F.

The P&F will meet on Wednesday 2 August at 7.00 pm. We will be face-to-face in Upper Maxwell and have a Zoom session running for those wishing to attend remotely. Hope to see you there.

A significant 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 be held on Friday 8 September at 9 am. This is the morning of Passing out Parade, which will allow boarding families to attend both events in one day while allowing plenty of time for students to prepare for POP after the Confirmation Service.

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


How do you use your time?

In yesterday’s Assembly, I spoke about the new term being a time for consideration and reflection on how each of us use our time. I showed a cartoon that posed the question: We all receive the same 168 hours per week. How do you use yours?

Time is a resource, and we need to be strategic and measured when planning how best to allocate our time. Sleep should be allocated at least 8 hours a night (more if you need it). Additionally, we need to factor in leisure, socialising, and hobbies. However, amidst this, there is still plenty of time available to work on our academic development; we need to build on the work completed between 8.40am and 3.30pm by setting aside blocks of time for study, revision, reading, and writing practice.

Over the mid-year break, 38 of our Year 12 students attended the three-day Winter Study Camp and one of the central frameworks offered to the students was a preparation stage of three weeks in the lead up to examinations:

  • 3 weeks before an examination – consolidate and finalise your notes.
  • 2 weeks before an examination – work on ‘banking’ those notes to memory and mastering the knowledge (this could still be by practice questions or topic tests/quizzes)
  • 1 week before the examination – focus ONLY on writing past paper responses from the HSC.

This approach requires planning of time and the allocation of focused and bite-sized activities to prepare notes; learn them; and then put your knowledge down on paper to demonstrate the learning.

I strongly encourage our students, from Year 8 to Year 12, to adopt this approach in the lead up to their exams and in-class assessments this semester. Obviously, Year 8-11 will not complete past HSC papers but sample questions and formative/practice questions will be provided by teachers.

Year 11 (2024) Subject Selection Afternoon

On Monday afternoon we had a large contingent of our current and future Year 10 families on campus for the 2024 Subject Selection Afternoon to start the conversation about choosing subjects for Stage 6. For those who were not able to attend, a recording of the afternoon will be emailed to all families. I encourage you to download the 2024 Stage 6 Academic Handbook from the School website to start reading over subject descriptions and the key features of the HSC qualification.



It is that time of year again for ICAS: International Competitions and Assessments for Schools. With over 10 million students from 41 countries completing them, ICAS tests are an effective insight into student progress and understanding.

As has been the case for several years now, The Armidale School is offering ICAS as an ‘opt-in’ registration where interested families can register and pay online for these tests. If you are keen to have your child involved, please visit https://shop.icasassessments.com/pages/pps and use the parent code: SMB918.

More information will come out today in a separate email, but the above details will allow you to access the ICAS shop and begin the registration process.


Trial HSC

Speaking of a three-week preparation window, it is three weeks until the Trial HSC Examinations begin (Week 4 and 5) making the three-week framework a very effective approach to prepare for the upcoming Year 12 Exams. The timetable was emailed to Year 12 during the winter break. Please find a copy attached HERE



Mrs Gill Downes
Director of  Teaching and Learning

07. From the Director of Co-curricular


I have had the pleasure this week of watching our TAS Shooting team at the GPS Shooting Competition. Their discipline, dedication and ability to listen to their coaches has seen them improve as both individuals and as a team. I commend our students for the way they have approached the camp and competition and thank Mr Lawrence and his staff for their guidance, patience and encouragement of our students.

The beginning of a term is a great time to set some goals and plan for a successful second half of the year. There is much to look forward to this term as the co-curricular activities continue; including sport, creative arts, music, public speaking and the Activities program. All co-curricular activities will resume training and games in Week 1, as published in the winter sports training schedule and extra-curricular schedule. I remind students of the importance of wearing their sports uniform well and communicating with their coaches/managers when they are unable to attend a session or game.

Please find links for:

  1. Extra-Curricular Schedule
  2. Winter Sports Training Schedule
  3. Photo Schedule

Descendants of Old Armidalians photo

Current students whose father, grandfather, uncle or another ancestor attended TAS are eligible to be in a Descendants of Old Armidalians photo. This will be taken next Wednesday 26 July in Memorial Hall as part of the official school photos. Students are to meet Mr Hughes outside the Hall at 9.15 am. The dress is Formals. Parents – please let your child know if this involves them. Any questions, email Mr Hughes at thughes@as.edu.au

Mr Huon Barrett
Director of Co-curricular


2024 New Zealand Netball & Hockey Development Tour

With the recent return to overseas school tours, TAS would like to embark on a girls’ Hockey and Netball Tour to the South Island of New Zealand in 2024. TAS has been taking ‘Development Squads’ to New Zealand since 2005. Girls who play Netball or Hockey in Years 10,11 and 12 in 2024 have the opportunity to apply to attend this tour.

The cost for players is approximately $4300-$4600. Most meals, transport to Sydney, return flights, travel insurance, travelling & playing kit, along with all the tour activities are included in this approximate cost. Tour Activities include Jet Boating, Tours & Coaching sessions with Elite NZ Sports coaches & players.

Numbers are limited for this tour and possible team selections are made. Those wishing to apply will need to complete the Expressions of Interest form found HERE by Friday 21 July 2023. Completed forms are to be emailed to redmonds@as.edu.au

If you have any questions, please contact Rachael Edmonds at redmonds@as.edu.au.


Mrs Rachael Edmonds


08. From the Head of Creative Arts



We hope everyone has had a restful and relaxing holiday break because Term 3 is a HUGE one for the Creative Arts. The HSC classes are preparing to perform and submit their works, Middle School’s Fight With All Your Might the Zombies of Tonight takes to the stage in Week 4, Junior School commences Finding Nemo Jr with auditions, and there are plenty more academic and co-curricular highlights to keep everyone busy.
Make sure to bookmark the HSC showcase evenings into your calendar as they are always amazing displays of student talent and excellence. The first is the HSC Drama showcase CurtainUP at 6:30pm on Monday 31 July in Week 3. Then in Week 6 we have the HSC Visual Arts Exhibit A from 5pm on Friday 25 August. And then we have HSC Music’s Final Note at 6:30pm on Tuesday 5 September in Week 8.
Tickets are on sale for Middle School’s Fight With All Your Might the Zombies of Tonight. It’s a wacky horror comedy and we’ve injected a lot of zany energy into the script. Performances are 6pm Friday 11 & 6pm Saturday 12 August, so jump onto https://events.humanitix.com/fymzt to book your seat.
Congratulations to Annabelle Trinder and Aidan Rosberg for being selected for the The University of New England School Acquisitive Art Prize (UNESAP) and Let’s Hang It! exhibition at the New England Regional Art Museum. Their works will be on display along with students from around the region, and we encourage you to get across and see the immense Visual Arts talent we enjoy in the New England.
During the holidays we handed the keys over to the Armidale Drama and Musical Society (ADMS) so they could stage the Sondheim classic Into the Woods. It was a spectacular show and featured a number of TAS faces, including current Senior School student Olive Lockett, Middle School student Kaitlyn Baker, Junior School parent Richie Kiehne, ex-student Calliden Hunter, and many more helping out on and off the stage. It also saw four generations of Hoskins technical staff catching up (as pictured below). It is great to see the local Arts scene thriving and we value the school’s partnership with ADMS.

Mr Andrew O’Connell
Head of Creative Arts

From the Director of Music

Welcome back to Music at TAS for Term 3! We extend our heartiest welcome to Miss Jessica Suann who has joined the TAS teaching staff as the Junior School Music teacher. At the end of last term we farewelled Miss Charlotte Low who is heading to Europe this week for work and travel. We wish Miss Low all the best in her travels.

Welcome to Mr Robert van Gend who will be directing TAS Junior String Ensemble at TAS and joining the Peripatetic staff as a String teacher.

TAS Twilight Concerts Term 3 – 5:30pm and 6:30pm, Thursday 27 July (Hoskins Centre Theatre)

TAS will be hosting two Twilight Concerts this term on Thursday 27 July. The concerts will be held in the Hoskins Centre Theatre with 2 sessions, which have been scheduled at 5:30 pm and 6:30 pm. There is a maximum of 16 performances in each session. These Twilight Concerts will provide the perfect opportunity for students to perform for an audience before the AMEB exams and for those students wanting to gain performance experience. Please follow the link and complete the Entry Form by Friday 21 July if you would like to perform at either of these concerts:  https://forms.gle/y3w7haEygsNU1ase6

Gondwana National Choir Auditions

Gondwana Choirs is thrilled to announce the launch of their 2024 season, bringing together choristers from across the country to form exceptional ensembles that undertake a diverse range of choral music. Enthusiastic singers aged 10-25 from all backgrounds and corners of Australia are invited to audition for these upcoming seasons of music-making and fun. For further information and to apply to audition please follow the attached link: https://gondwana.org.au/gondwana-national-choirs/

“If singing is your thing, then the Gondwana National Choirs are for you. Gondwana Choirs are known across the world for the great repertoire they perform and the remarkable quality of their performances. To see one of our choirs perform is to share in the joy and excitement of the singers.”

Lyn Williams AM


Musica Viva Concert – Renowned Pianist Konstantin Shamray

Music Viva’s upcoming concert with pianist Konstantin Shamray is being held on Thursday 3 August at 7:00 pm in the Armidale Teachers College Auditorium. This will be Konstantin’s third visit to Armidale and with almost 3 weeks to go the New England Conservatorium of Music (NECOM) has already sold over 100 tickets, so this concert is bound to be SOLD OUT. Konstantin is a pianist of exceptional skill and dynamism and his programmes often feature repertoire other concert pianists are reluctant to tackle. This concert is no exception with La Valse by Ravel and the rarely performed Sonata No. 8 by Prokofiev on the programme.


Mrs Leanne Roobol
Director of Music

09. From the Head of Middle School


Welcome back to Term 3. It was great to see all of the students yesterday and it is always wonderful when the campus returns to life with their return. Term 3 is set to be full steam ahead, with a variety of class, co-curricular, challenge and service activities on offer.

Middle School Play

I offer my thanks to Mr Andrew O’Connell, Mr Jordan Lane, parents and students for their efforts yesterday afternoon with the first working bee for the upcoming Middle School play. There was a clear buzz of excitement in the theatre as the play comes closer to being ready to perform. Tickets are now on sale for Fight with All Your Might The Zombies of Tonight and I encourage our families to purchase tickets and support this fabulous production. For tickets please go to: https://events.humanitix.com/fymzt

ICAS Competitions

TAS will be participating in the ICAS Assessments again this year. ICAS is developed by UNSW Global, a wholly owned subsidiary of UNSW Sydney with over 35 years of experience in educational assessments. ICAS is designed to target students’ higher-order thinking and problem-solving skills in English, Science, Mathematics and Spelling. This year, parents will need to register and pay directly with ICAS if they wish for their child to take part in any/all of these assessments. TAS will then facilitate the sitting of these papers throughout August, during the scheduled sitting windows. The schedule for these competitions can be found on the next page. These assessments are suitable for students wishing to extend themselves academically and take up the challenge of competing in an international assessment. They are not general school-related assessments and are not designed as such.

In 2023, students can participate in ICAS Science, ICAS English, ICAS Mathematics, ICAS Spelling Bee, Writing and ICAS Digital Technologies from Years 2-5. The cost of each assessment is $19.25 including GST, except for Writing which costs $23.65 (including GST). If you would like your child to participate in any of the subjects listed above, you will need to visit the online Parent Payment System to make a direct payment to UNSW Global.  Please visit: https://shop.icasassessments.com/pages/pps and enter the code: SMB918

Have a wonderful week.


Mr Luke Polson
Head of Middle School

10. From the Head of Junior School



It was wonderful to see the excited, smiling faces of our Junior School students as they made their way back into school yesterday morning. Conversations abounded in all classes about the many and varied adventures and opportunities to spend quality time with family and friends alike. We are so glad to have the children back at school, and delighted to learn that only a small number had less than ideal experiences, such as broken bones or missed flights. An especially warm welcome to our new students (and their families) who join the TAS community this term: Harper (1W), Liliana (2H), Jasper (Year 3), Hunter (4HP) and Noah (Year 5).

At the start of term communication, you may have read that Junior School assemblies will now take place in the last lesson of the day on Friday, commencing as close to 2.45pm as possible. Assemblies will alternate with House or buddy sessions as occurred last term. Parents and friends are most welcome to attend our student-led assemblies, which are a highlight for many. This term we are glad to once again offer stream these online for those unable to attend in person although this streaming will commence in Week 4. The assembly schedule and streaming links are provided below for your reference.

Friday 21 JulyJunior School LeadersNot streamed
Friday 28 JulyYear 2Not streamed
Friday 4 AugustNo assembly – House meetingNot streamed
Friday 11 AugustYear 3https://youtube.com/live/WX1TeepWnlc?feature=share
Friday 18 AugustKindergartenhttps://youtube.com/live/0LThKg4R1Z4?feature=share
Friday 25 AugustNo assembly – BuddiesNot streamed
Friday 1 SeptemberYear 4https://youtube.com/live/EmIPsZy2Wk4?feature=share
Friday 8 SeptemberYear 1https://youtube.com/live/XVkkhYF6coU?feature=share
Friday 15 SeptemberYear 5https://youtube.com/live/n1oKiE84sVE?feature=share


A photograph of all Junior School students will be taken on Wednesday 26 July at 8.55am. It is especially important for all students to arrive at school on time to allow students to move to the venue with their class group. Formal uniform should be worn by all students on this day. This is essentially the same as winter uniform but with a white long-sleeved shirt rather than the normal shirt. The School Tie is to be worn by all students in Kindergarten and above. Year 5 students are to wear their blazer with this uniform.

We wish our eight Year 5 students who comprise da Vinci Decathlon team luck as they travel to Sydney next Wednesday for state final of this competition. The trip, which incorporates both the competition on Thursday and a variety of academic enrichment opportunities, is sure to be a wonderful experience. We look forward to sharing more of this in the coming weeks.

The Bounce Back social emotional learning program is being explicitly taught in all Junior School classes from the start of this term. The program consists of ten curriculum units, with two to three units being covered each term in Personal Development classes.  All classes are learning about ‘Core Values’ in an age-appropriate manner for the first few weeks of this term. Should you be able to support your child’s learning in this area we would be grateful for any conversations that you are able to have as a family about the key messages of this unit:

  • Values are easy to say and sometimes hard to do
  • In is important to be honest
  • It is important to be fair to other people
  • It is important to be responsible
  • It is okay to be different.

This year we will be celebrating books, authors, and illustrators in the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s (CBCA) Book Week, that officially commences on Saturday 19 August. We will hold a Book Parade in the Junior School on Friday 25 August, and we encourage all students (and parents!) to join us in costume, celebrating their favourite character. Although further details will be provided closer to the time we are confident that many of our students would love the opportunity to begin planning their costume as early as possible.

Mr Scott Chittenden
Head of Junior School



Community Notices