DR RACHEL HORTON
As staff and students finish the term in a few days, we farewell our Year 12 cohort for the final time at Valedictory on Friday. They have been a wonderful cohort and my traditional lunches with them throughout the term have been particularly enjoyable. They can rest assured that, as a group, they did engage fully with the life of the School. We wish them the best of luck in their final exams and life after graduation as Old Armidalians.
The following two weeks will allow our students to have a break from routine and, hopefully, to enjoy some family time. I would like to wish all students, staff and members of the TAS community who are taking a break, a restful vacation, and I look forward to welcoming students back in 2 weeks’ time for an exciting Term 4.
Prior to the break, however, I am delighted to introduce Mrs Emily McOrist as our incoming Director of Development at TAS, set to join our team at the start of next year. Emily is currently Chief Commercial Officer at Rowing Australia, where her responsibilities encompass marketing, communications, event management, sponsorship, and philanthropic initiatives for both Rowing Australia and the Australian Rowing Team. Among her many responsibilities, Emily oversees the Australian Rowing Championships, an event in which TAS rowers have been regular competitors.
Before joining Rowing Australia, Emily established her own business that brought together global sporting organisations to enhance national sports membership programs. This enterprise was established prior to Emily’s relocation to Australia in 2020, during which time she was employed as the Head of Membership at British Rowing in London, England. In this role, she oversaw the support of rowing programs in schools, as well as community clubs and universities.
Emily’s passion for sports extends back to her university days. She excelled in rowing while completing her Bachelor of Science at the University of Birmingham, where she was also a sporting scholar. She was a multiple national medal winner, as well as an experienced coach, which saw her spend time as Head Girls Coach at a British private school. Emily has a diverse athletic background, including county-level hockey, completing the Paris Marathon, an Ironman, and now enjoying mountain biking in Armidale.
Emily and her husband, Jock have two young girls and they’ve experienced a warm welcome from the Armidale community since moving here in January 2020 and are eager to become active members of the TAS community and help promote the incredible opportunities that a TAS education offers.
Dr Rachel Horton
MR RAY PEARSON
We have made it to the final week of Term 3! As we continue to celebrate our Class of 2023 this week, I would like to extend my sincere thanks on behalf of the student body to our Year 12s for their significant contribution to TAS and the positive legacy they will leave.
I hope all families have a lovely break and our students are able to take the next couple of weeks to re-energise in preparation for the final term of the School year.
Next term, students will resume wearing the Summer Uniform. It would be appreciated if parents could check to ensure that all items fit, that girls’ skirts are at knee length and hats are in good condition:
Boys are to wear khaki shorts and shirt, khaki socks, polished black shoes, school tie and navy blazer (years 6-10) or striped senior blazer (years 11 and 12). A school jumper may be worn with this uniform.
Girls are to wear school dress, short white socks, polished black shoes and navy blazer (years 6-10) or striped blazer (years 11 and 12). The navy girls’ jumper may be worn with this dress depending on the weather.
Have a great break, I look forward to seeing everyone back on Tuesday 10 October.
Mr Ray Pearson
|Thursday 20 September||Classes end for Term 3|
|Friday 22 September||Valedictory Day|
|Monday 9 October||Staff Day|
|Tuesday 10 October||Classes resume|
MR PAUL GADDES
I wish those families nearing the end of their Year 12 journey all the very best. And happy holidays with family and friends to those returning in Term 4.
Christmas Puddings – Brandy Donations Wanted
It’s nearly time again for TAS families to enjoy yummy P&F Christmas Puddings.
If you can donate a bottle of brandy, please contact the P&F Executive to make arrangements or leave your bottle at the School Reception.
We will again be selling puddings online this year, with details to follow. However, if you want to get in first so that you won’t miss out, you can put your name on the waiting list now by sending an email to email@example.com
Contact P&F Executive
If you have anything you would like to raise with the P&F Executive, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr Paul Gaddes
MRS GILL DOWNES
Year 12 – Valedictory Week
Congratulations to our Class of 2023 as they move into these final days of their school program. I have been very impressed with the students and the way they have navigated the final few weeks of school. Their warmth and maturity have shone through, and it has been a pleasure to work with them.
Once the excitement of this week has settled, it is time for them to get back into a structured routine for the final two-week period leading up to HSC Examinations. With 50 percent of their marks still to be assessed (in the HSC examinations) the next fortnight is the time for revision and hard work. I wish them the best and will be in touch later this week with some resources for planning their 16-day program of revision in the lead-up to the first exams. The best approach is to start fresh this coming Monday once the festivities are over.
Welcome to the HSC Year – current Year 11 students
A reminder that in the first week back next term, our current Year 11s will take part in a whole day introduction to the HSC year. This will occur here at school on Thursday 12 October and will provide the opportunity for students to learn more about the academic year ahead. The purpose of this day is to ensure our Year 11s are prepared for a fresh start as they tip over into Year 12 content. The day will cover an overview of assessment tasks and due dates, our assessment policy, organisational sessions, a study skills workshop, subject specific introductions and some information sessions on the HSC qualification and examination processes. It will be a very positive start to the Year 12 program, and I look forward to working with them in this space.
2024 Year 11 Subject Lines
The subject lines for our current Year 10s to make their Year 11 selections are almost finalised. A few small tweaks need to occur prior to these being published to families. The final selections are not due until the end of Week 1, Term 4 and a form will be available to Year 10 via Edval early next term for students to make these selections. While every effort has been made to accommodate each student, there are some subjects which will not run due to limited interest; I have emailed those students affected to let them know that one or more of their selections are not being offered. Each year, there is inevitably a small number of students who experience a line clash and consequently, they must make decisions around which of the subjects on offer they will choose. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions once the 2023 Subject Lines have been emailed to you.
Mrs Gill Downes
Director of Teaching and Learning
Rock solid science teaching often involves getting out of the classroom and this week, Dr Charlotte Mack took our Year 8 Science classes to Hoskins for a webinar on Treasures from the Vault. This live event, hosted by Geoscience Australia, showcased those samples deemed precious enough to be kept in a sealed safe by the organisation. Students were able to view a $350,000 dollar mineral sample, meteorites and tektites, and opal as gemstones and fossils whilst listening to the stories behind why these samples were deemed safe-worthy!
Additionally, Dr Mack’s Year 9-10 Earth Science elective class toured the Dangarsleigh region to the south of Armidale to visit four geological formations that tell the story of 400 million years of sea deposits, uplift, super-volcanoes and scarring erosion. Students could clamber around in quarries and collect samples to better understand processes that shape and change our landscape.
The biennial Study Tour to Japan will be leaving this Sunday for a two week trip exploring a variety of places including Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima, Kanazawa etc. The students will have the opportunity to use their language skills in a variety of situations while gaining a greater appreciation for the culture and people of Japan. This is the first trip in four years due to COVID, and it’s exciting to return to Japan as this trip is an important part of the Stage 5 course and as preparation for the Stage 6 course.
One of the cities we will be visiting is Hiroshima. Having lived in Hiroshima for two years, I have an appreciation of the recent history and also the amazing sites in and around Hiroshima. We will be visiting the Peace Museum and the statue of Sadako and the 1000 paper cranes. The students have been very busy making cranes and we will be presenting the 1000 cranes near the statue as a symbol for peace in the world. Below are some of the students participating on the trip with the 1000 cranes they made.
Mr Allan Moore
MR HUON BARRETT
What a great finish to the term! With multiple teams in the Grand Finals on the weekend, I congratulate our Seconds Hockey team who won the B Grade Men’s Competition in extra time on Sunday, an exciting game that saw the lead change multiple times. In addition, our Netball program has gone from strength to strength, with four teams winning their respective Grand Finals. Well done to our 2nds, 3rds, 4ths and 5ths Netball teams.
As we farewell Year 12 this week, I reflect on their contribution to TAS. The depth and breadth of their involvement is overwhelming and has helped to shape them into the people we see before us today. When you put school into perspective, it is only for a short period of time in our life but it is these formative years where lessons are learnt, behaviours are developed, and strong relationships are formed. Therefore, make the most of the time you have, try things you haven’t done before and don’t let an opportunity pass you by.
Please find attached the Summer Training Schedule and the Extra-Curricular Schedule (Creative Arts) for Term 4.
Click HERE for the Summer Training Schedule
Click HERE for the Extra-Curricular Schedule
NIAS applications are now open for aspiring young athletes interested in trialling for the Northern Inland Academy of Sport (NIAS) 2023-24 Basketball, Future Star, Golf, Hockey, Mountain Bike, Netball and Netball Umpire Sports Programs. Click on the link to access the applications.
Mrs Huon Barrett
Director of Co-curricular
MR ANDREW O'CONNELL
The audition materials for CHICAGO: Teen Edition have been released with all students in Years 8 – 11 receiving an email last Friday. We’ve set up a Canvas page for the show and all information about the process, the Audition Booking Sheet, and all the Audition Material (acting text, song, and backing tracks) are here: https://armidale.
Yesterday we had a pair of independent film producers run a filmmaking workshop with keen students from Years 9, 10 and 11. It was an amazing insight into the processes, skills and equipment of filmmaking and a great opportunity for students to learn more about the industry. Their film Dark Noise plays this weekend at Belgrave Cinema, you can find more information about the screening here: https://www.
This Friday we have the world-renowned team at Windmill Theatre Company with their incredible puppet production HICCUP. The performance is 10am Friday, the first day of the school holidays, which we hope will allow parents to take their young ones and share in the joy of live performance. HICCUP is for students aged 4 to 8 and is not to be missed. Buy your tickets here: https://events.
Currently showing at The Armidale Playhouse is the musical/revue Breast Wishes, a delightful, funny, and touching show about breasts and breast cancer. Old Armidalian Will Mackson is the Musical Director and a couple of current TAS parents are in the cast. With all ticket sales going to the Breast Cancer Foundation it sounds like a fabulous production for our older students and parents (the show is recommended for 15+ as there are – unsurprisingly – some bare breasts during the performance). The show runs until the end of September and you can grab your tickets here: https://www.trybooking.
Finally, the first Saturday of Term 4 we have the Sydney Male Choir visiting the Hoskins Centre. Their mission is to ‘Bring Joy Through Song’ and it should be a wonderful display of choral singing. Tickets are free for school students and bookings can be made here: https://www.trybooking.
Mr Andrew O’Connell
Head of Creative Arts
Two TAS students, Tess Roman and Genevieve Maunder have created artworks in response to a painting from the Hinton Collection. Their work will form part of the exhibition, Inspiration and Interactions that will run from 29 September to 4 February 2024. The exhibition not only highlights much-loved works in the collection but also outstanding work by established, emerging and student artists that have had an ongoing connection to NERAM.
Ms Fiona Xeros
Senior Art Teacher
I chose the “Still life” of a dead fish on a plate because I liked the style of the painting, the fact that it did not appear to be overly detailed intrigued me, because as l kept looking at the image, I noticed almost hidden objects: like the glass in the background and the ice cubes on the plate. I responded by putting a fat man’s head, being Alfred Hitchcock master of the macabre, on the plate to be somewhat horrifying and to symbolise gluttony.
My name is Tess Roman, most my schooling years and life have been in the country. I am a boarder at TAS however, my hometown is good old Gunnedah. I am in Year 11, and have always loved art. I’ve recently been a part of the HSC Intensive Art Program at the National Art School in Darlinghurst, where l took the sculpture class. I love creating eye catching artworks, artists like Patricia Piccinini and Jean-Michael Basquiat, are my two-favourite artists, in all my works I take some inspiration from them.
I selected the artwork ‘Magnolia grandiflora’ by W.S Rice as my inspiration because I love flowers and his woodcut captures the lush petals, shiny leaves and kind of outrageous colours of one of my favourites. I also admired his close up view and that reminded me of Tim McGuire who super enlarges his flowers and I was inspired to come in a little closer than W.S Rice but not as close as Tim. I wanted to break out of the confines of the precise woodcut and explore a more expressionist approach to shape and particularly colour. My iteration of Magnolia Grandiflora is fresh and alive, the colours and shapes give it movement as though gently jostled by a breeze.
My name is Genevieve Maunder, I am 17 years old and in Year 11 at The Armidale School. I live on a cotton farm just outside a very small town called Boggabri. Growing up in an agricultural area means I have always been surrounded by nature’s most beautiful elements such as the river, the river red gums, red stemmed wattle and wide open spaces and endless sky. The Namoi River in my backyard! My passion for art was ignited in Year 8 at St Mary’s Gunnedah. My artistic opportunities have increased at TAS this NERAM initiative being the best so far.
MR LUKE POLSON
I’d like to offer my thanks to all in our community for another successful and rewarding term. The term has certainly finished on a busy note; with many Middle School students playing in various sporting grand finals over the past fortnight and Middle School Public Speaking this week. Public speaking is an activity that brings out the nerves in many people and I commend everyone who spoke.
This week a large group of Year 8 students and 6 staff are in Fiji on the annual service trip to St Christopher’s Home in Suva, Fiji. This group has been preparing for the past two terms and departed last weekend. We look forward to hearing more about this important service opportunity when the group returns. I’d like to thank Fiona Taber for all of her efforts and time coordinating this year’s trip as well as Mrs Jo and Mr Matt Benham, Miss Emma Channon and Mr Craig Norrie who are accompanying our students. We wish them well for the remainder of their trip.
After nearly four years as a teacher of English and Drama at TAS, a lot of this in Middle School, we farewell Mr Andrew Wheatley who will be leaving TAS at the end of this term. On behalf of Middle School, I thank Mr Wheatley for his contributions to TAS during his time and wish him the very best in his future endeavours. In other staffing news for Term 4, Mrs Kirsty Brunsdon will be taking some well-earned Long Service Leave for the duration of Term 4. We are delighted that Mrs Gaye Piper, known to many of the students in Year 6, will be taking Kirsty’s classes next term. We wish Kirsty well for her term’s leave and look forward to welcoming Gaye to our teaching team next term.
Finally, Middle School will be hosting a Middle School Open Day on Saturday 14 October here at TAS, from 12:30pm – 4pm. The Open Day will of course have prospective future TAS families in attendance as well and it a great chance for some future connections and friendships to be made. There will be a large number of activities on offer and I encourage students and families to consider attending. For more details and to register your attendance, please go to: https://as.edu.au/middle-school-open-day/
I hope that everyone has a safe and restful holiday and I look forward to seeing everyone back next term. A reminder that boarding students return on Monday 9 October and classes resume on Tuesday 10 October.
Mr Luke Polson
Head of Middle School
MR SCOTT CHITTENDEN
The last week in the Junior School has been dominated by two significant community events – the student-led reflection on Friday last week and yesterday’s Pre-Kindergarten showcase. Both are intended to provide a glimpse into a typical day at TAS for our children, affording the opportunity for families to witness first-hand what their child is capable of and the chance, at least for our older students, to collaboratively set goals for themselves with their first and arguably most important educators in their lives, their parents and carers, for the remainder of the year. Thank you to those who were able to attend one or both of these events. It was wonderful to move through the school and listen to our students speaking so passionately about their learning, and to share their knowledge with such enthusiasm. We hope your attendance has enabled positive conversations with your child(ren). Should you have any feedback on your experiences please let us know through email@example.com. We are eager to ensure events of this nature are as meaningful for our community as possible.
Can you name the star closest to the Earth? Do you know how many teeth the average adult has? Or which year the Titanic sank? How about which member of The Beatles had dyslexia, or how many hearts an earthworm has? These were just some of the intriguing questions posed to the many students who competed at various stages of the inaugural student-led House Trivia competition over the last two weeks, the finals of which were held during lunchtime on Monday. It was wonderful so see so many enthusiastic students trying out for their age-based House team (K – Year 2, and Years 3-5) and to see the level of support provided to those who competed in the final. The results of the individual competitions were:
|Kindergarten – Year 2|
1 – Green
2 – Broughton
3 – Ross
|Year 3 – Year 5|
1 – Broughton
2 – Green
3 – Ross
Congratulations to all who competed throughout the process, and especially to Green who finished first overall, followed by Broughton and then Ross. If you were wondering, the answers are: the sun, 32, 1912, John Lennon, and a whopping five hearts! Our thanks to the Junior School House and School Captains for so capably managing their teams and the competition overall.
Several weeks ago we shared the remarkable act of Grace in Year 2 who will shortly be cutting her hair to donate to someone who is unwell, while simultaneously raising funds for Hair With Heart a Variety Children’s Charity. We are delighted to share that Xana in pre-Kindergarten, another incredible young person, will be doing the same. Please visit
https://hairwithheart.variety.org.au/fundraisers/xanank should you be able to donate to this most worthwhile cause.
I would like to take the opportunity to wish the Junior School community a safe and relaxing holiday period. We look forward to the children’s’ safe return on Tuesday 10 October. For those who are not travelling away please note that Vacation Care is running throughout the holiday break with all bookings being made through the Xplor platform. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org should you require any assistance in navigating this system or if you would like a copy of the program, previously distributed through Xplor, emailed to you.
We have been so proud of the students over the course of this term as they have consistently met or exceeded our expectations. At the start of the year, I asked the students to do three things above all else this year – be kind, always try your best, and get involved (BAG, for short). It is fair to say that this request has so far been very well met.
Mr Scott Chittenden
Head of Junior School
Students in Year 5 have recently been consolidating their understanding of key skills learned throughout the course of this term in the Potato Olympics. To start, each child selected a country for their potato athlete to represent, naming their potato and measure key personal data, such as mass, height, width and girth while researching their country in a little more detail.
The potato athletes have then been competing in a range of sporting pursuits, with performance data being gathered by the students in small groups. Events conducted have included the 100m Roll (how quickly the potato can roll down an inclined plane), 50m Freestyle (how quickly the potato can be pushed across a body of water using a meter ruler held only at the very end), Weightlifting (how much weight can be stacked on top of the potato before it falls off), Javelin (how far a pool noodle can be thrown while the potato is wedged between elbow and torso) and Artistic Gymnastics (how many revolutions, as a mixed number, around a container the potato can travel). It is with regret that we advise several potato athletes became so badly injured over the course of the week-long competition that they were forced to retire hurt.
The data for the individual events was analysed and the mean, median, mode and range for each data set calculated. The students have then created scatter graphs, plotting the data for individual potatoes against their performance in various events in an effort to see if there is a correlation between the two. Perhaps unsurprisingly the validity of some of the data gathered was brought into question when viewing it in graphical form where anomalies were more easily identified.
Mr Scott Chittenden
Year 3 Buddy Reading
Words like – awesome, marvellous, out of this world and incredible are just some of the vocabulary that Year 3 used to describe their buddy experience with Year 8.
It is always wonderful to witness when different year groups in the School have the opportunity to work with one another. In Weeks 6 and 10, Year 3 was fortunate to have the Year 8 students mentor them in Code.org, Scratch Jr and Minecraft. The Year 8s have been paired with Junior School classes as part of their training for running lunchtime clubs in Term 4, which will take place in the Hub from Monday to Friday.
I particularly enjoyed listening to the open dialogue that was shared, as well as observing problem-solving skills to complete tasks, not to mention the huge smiles on both the Year 8 and Year 3 faces. It was certainly an enjoyable experience for all and one that Year 3 is very excited to continue.
Thank you to Mr Arndt for organising this fantastic opportunity.
Mrs Grania Fawcett
Many happy returns to the following Junior School students who are celebrating birthdays between now and the next edition of TAS Talks:
Jack Adams, Ed Benham, Albie Brauer, Nicole Kordyban, Ed Murray, Matilda Quast, Marlie Rice, Sienna Rice, Immy Waters, Zac Watts, Mohammed Alessa, Jessica Gill, Daisy Hammond, Lexie Kay, Maddie Pearson and Vivi Shortt.
|Thursday 21 September||Term ends||Classes conclude|
|Friday 22 September||Staff Day|
|Monday 9 October||Staff Day|
|Tuesday 10 October||Classes Resume|
|Sunday 15 October||19 for Nineteen Challenge|
|Sunday 22 October||Nemo Working Bee||1.00 – 4.00 pm|
PYP-Student Led Reflections
It was wonderful to see many families share in the Student Led Reflections on Friday. There was such a buzz in the classrooms as work was shared and goals set for Term 4.
Student Led Reflections are an incredible reflective experience for all involved; the teacher, the students and their families. It is a time where the teacher takes a step back and is the facilitator of the students’ preparation prior to the conference. As all who were able to attend would have experienced, the child takes the lead, leading their family through a ‘snapshot’ of what they have learned, how they learn and how they are progressing. They provide a wonderful opportunity for students to reflect upon their learning and to identify work they are proud of and areas that require further development and focus.
I was fortunate to pop my head into a few classrooms and it was simply an amazing experience to see how children stepped up to the challenge. The students I saw were beaming with pride as they guided their family through their classroom and involved parents in the process of setting goals for Term 4.
Thank you so much for taking the time to visit your child’s classroom, a place where they feel comfortable and know, and share in their learning.
Mrs Veronica Waters
In a challenging showdown on Saturday, TAS Primary faced off against the VIP Stars in the highly anticipated grand final. While TAS Primary fell short of the championship, their hard work, tenacity, sportsmanship and teamwork left a solid mark on the court.
The unseasonably warm weather added a layer of challenge to the game; however, neither team allowed the conditions to deter them from giving it their all.
From the first whistle, it was clear that both teams were determined to claim victory, making it a competitive match.
The girls in TAS Primary can hold their heads extremely high. Their journey to the grand final has showcased their growth as individual players and their development as a tight-knit team. Well done, girls, on a fantastic season.
Mrs Kate Moloney
Mr Christian Nexo