DR RACHEL HORTON
Years of research have shown repeatedly that students experience not only increased academic success but also improved attendance, behaviour, confidence and motivation in all activities at school when their parents are actively engaged in supporting their learning at school.
The question can then be asked, what should this engagement look like? As with all things, children and families are unique, so the answer varies, but broadly speaking there are two aspects. Firstly, a positive learning environment when students are home, be that every evening, or occasional weekends and holidays. This can include a dedicated and organised space to learn, encouragement of learning and perhaps role modelling, a shared reading practice or something similar.
Secondly, an open dialogue and communication with the School is critical; a three cornered partnership between families, teachers and students. Sharing critical information with the School and support for the policies and programs in place creates a supportive environment for students with clear and aligned messages from home and school.
The Parent Portal has been created as the first port of call for key school information. Next week, parents will receive an email with information and instructions regarding login access to the Portal on the recently launched website. If there are any access issues following Tuesday, please email the IT Department at firstname.lastname@example.org. As with the new website, if there are any items missing or that parents would find useful, please email Mrs Donna Jackson at email@example.com.
Dr Rachel Horton
MR RAY PEARSON
This term, we undertake the process of selecting our 2024 student leaders. Our current Year 11 students interested in a School Prefect position will be asked to write an application letter outlining how they would approach representing the student body, serving the School and building on the significant contribution of our current leaders. Following this, the process will involve gathering feedback from each applicant’s Advisor and their Year Level Coordinator followed by a vote, shortlist and interview before we announce our 2024 leaders in the final week of term. Specific details of each step will be communicated to students in the coming days.
All of our senior students play a crucial role in setting the tone and contributing to the success of any given year. The students who are selected and agree to be Prefects will follow a rich tradition of service based leadership at the School, they will need to go above and beyond. Collectively, the 2024 group have already demonstrated that they have the capacity to achieve great things in their final year and successfully take on the baton from our current Year 12s who have led with distinction.
Mr Ray Pearson
|Wednesday 26 July||da Vinci Decathlon State Finals (Sydney)|
|Thursday 27 July||NCIS Netball (Tweed Heads)|
|Friday 28 July||Junior School Assembly ( Year 2)|
|Saturday 29 July||GPS Rugby TAS vs St Joseph’s College (Away)|
|Monday 31 July||A Stitch n Time – Year 12 Textiles Exhibition (4pm)|
|Curtain Up – HSC Drama Showcase (6.30pm)|
|Wednesday 2 August||P&F Meeting (7pm)|
|Thursday 3 August||HSC Drama & Music Trials|
|Friday 4 August||Reunion Weekend|
|Saturday 5 August||Reunion Weekend ( SHORE v TAS) 10.30am|
|Reunion Dinners ( 6.00pm)|
|Sunday 6 August||OAU Chapel Service (9.30am)|
|OAU AGM ( Lower Maxwell – 11am)|
MR PAUL GADDES
The P&F will meet on Wednesday 2 August at 7.00 pm. 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.
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.
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 JO BENHAM
This Semester in year-group Chapels, we are going through a topical series on ‘Wisdom for a Flourishing Life’. The Bible offers a lot of practical Wisdom on living well in this amazing but imperfect world. To complement the series, I signed TAS up to a lifestyle-based wellbeing program called ‘The Lift Project’. The Lift Project gives us access to some excellent scientific research behind common wellbeing principles, which is delivered online through weekly 15 minute-long engaging and helpful videos. In signing TAS up to The Lift Project, it not only gives students and staff access to this program, but also immediate family members of current students.
I am therefore very pleased to invite TAS families to participate in The Lift Project. This program is unique in that it brings together scientifically proven strategies drawn from research in the fields of Neuroscience, Lifestyle Medicine, and Positive Psychology. Many of these wellbeing principles are not unfamiliar to us given that Mr Whalley has been connecting our community with this valuable information over the years. The distinctive feature of The Lift Project is that it helpfully engages its participants with the science behind HOW and WHY these principles work and provides strategies to start implementing them into daily life. Its aim is to set young people up for success and resilience in life as well as support and lift the overall wellbeing of the school community. More information about The Lift Project can be found here https://www.theliftproject.global/
While the content is science based, it is not new. A lot of the scientific research in the Positive Psychology space backs-up Biblical Wisdom about living well. I chose the ‘Christian Edition’ of the Lift Project because, as mentioned above, most of the content is being delivered to students in their year group Chapels. My talks, which introduce the topic, are based on relevant Biblical Wisdom, and then students are engaged with the science from The Lift Project. While TAS is proud of its Christian foundation, we understand that not everyone in our community may personally hold this worldview. When you register for The Lift Project, you get to choose the content to connect with. The videos are the main source of learning, they are incredibly helpful and are about the science and research. There is the additional ‘Discover Biblical Wisdom’ section which you can choose to engage with or not.
TAS has purchased this program with our community in mind. It is free for all our families. I encourage you to take advantage of this valuable opportunity by registering using the QR code below (registration takes about 10 seconds!). All the online information will say that The Lift Project access is available from 24 July – 10 September, however TAS has special access until the end of term 4.
I hope you and your family enjoy this rewarding program.
Any questions, comments or feedback, please let me know email@example.com
Mrs Jo Benham
MRS GILL DOWNES
The 2023 NAPLAN reports are on their way. These have been sent out and should arrive via post later this week, or early next week.
In 2023, the NAPLAN reports are a little different with four levels of achievement – Exceeding, Strong, Developing, and Needs additional support – being used to give feedback on your child’s performance on the day across the domains of Writing, Reading, Numeracy, Spelling, and Grammar and Punctuation. This data is used by the school to help inform our teaching programs and to give us further insight into your child’s progress. It is important to note that while this information is helpful, it is a narrow insight into your child’s performance on a given day and is not a definitive reflection of their ability.
ACARA, the independent body who oversees the NAPLAN program has released a range of resources to help read the reports and understand the process involved with NAPLAN. Find them at this link HERE.
If you have any questions surrounding NAPLAN, please contact your child’s Junior School Teacher or Advisor in Middle and Senior School.
Next week, our current Year 10 students will be making their first-round selections for Year 11 subjects. This will allow the academic office to determine which subjects and how many classes of each will be offered based on student interest.
Now is the time to be reading over subject descriptions and speaking to current students and teachers of different courses to gain insight into what each subject involves. I encourage families to refer to the 2024 Stage 6 Academic Handbook for key information. This has been emailed to all students and can be found on the school website. Please reach out to Mr Currell, Mr Taylor, Heads of Department or subject teachers if you have any questions about subjects.
Next month the suite of tests run by ICAS: International Competitions and Assessments for Schools will begin. There is a cut-off point (next week) for when you must pre-register with ICAS if you want your child/ren to sit these tests.
Please use the ‘opt-in’ registration to register and pay online for these tests. If you are keen to have your child involved, visit https://shop.icasassessments.com/pages/pps and use the parent code: SMB918.
Preparations continue for the Trial HSC Examinations (Week 4 and 5) and our Year 12 classes are busy finalising notes, planning responses, and completing practice answers. A very helpful online resource is the bank of archived past HSC papers which NESA (our State education authority) offers on their website. Knowing what you are working towards is vital when preparing for examinations. As such, looking at (and completing) past papers for each of your subjects is the best preparation at this stage. Find past HSC papers here.
This week, NESA and the Sydney Morning Herald released their annual ‘HSC Study Guide’. The publication consists of a series of ten targeted articles, each with a different focus. My favourite takeaway? Reading for pleasure helps us build our vocabulary, expand our understanding of the world, and actively build curiosity. The question posed by journalist Angus Dalton when reflecting on his success in the HSC was, ‘…what’s the point of living, if not for wanting to know more?
This weekend heralds the return to Sunday Study Sessions here at TAS. The final weekly schedule will be sent to Year 12 students later today with this weekend’s offering includes English (revision of short answer questions) from 12.30pm to 2pm with Mrs Downes; supervised study in the Hub from 2-5pm; and Dr Horton running a ‘Bring your Questions’ style session during the 2pm-5pm timeslot to work on Chemistry revision.
Mrs Gill Downes
Director of Teaching and Learning
During the last holiday break, 82 Year 8 students from around NSW, QLD and ACT arrived at TAS to participate in the Forensic Science Camp. Over five days, small groups of the campers were given evidence and information about crimes being committed. They tested evidence in the Forensic Laboratory, including fingerprint analysis, confirming blood samples, fibre and soil analysis plus much more. There were twists and turns over the week with different suspects being added or removed to the list with a final search and subsequent arrest warrant being submitted by the end of the week.
The days were all business and the evenings were also jam-packed with a presentation from a member of the NSW Police Force who collects forensic evidence from crime scenes; a trivia night, a Science and Engineering challenge and other fun activities. The campers all had a ball and loved their time at the camp.
What makes this camp so special is that it is student-led, run by a group of Year 9 and Year 10 TAS students who completed the Forensic Science Camp elective in Semester 1, working hard to prepare everything for the camp.
Our team this year consisted of Ty Schalk-O’Brien (Director), Samuel Guppy (Assistant Director), Shayla Newcombe (Events and Controller Assistant), Alice Papworth (Events and Controller Assistant), Dion Carruthers (Events Manager), with the following students creating the complex and challenging crimes for the campers: Scarlett Buntine, Jacob Cobley, Camilla Coupland, Robin Henry, Katie Hynes, David Karnaghan, Samuel Krishnan, Jack Lucas, Lailah Nelson-Straub and Emily Ussher.
All of our management team were fabulous, working long nights during the camp to ensure the best experience for the Year 8 campers, and what made it even more remarkable is that none of the team had ever seen the camp before as we have not been able to run it since 2019 – they did an incredible job, their time and effort is greatly appreciated.
We also could not have been able to run the camp without the support from many areas at TAS including the Housekeeping, Kitchen and Boarding staff, all of the Business Office staff, the incredible Mrs Donna Jackson and Mr Tim Hughes. The Labs were run to a high standard thanks to Mr Gordon McLennan and Mrs Judy Miller. Mr David Moffitt was a great support and Dr Charlotte Mack proved to be invaluable during the camp and is an important part of the future of FSC.
We look forward to seeing the camp be another great success next year.
MR ANDREW O'CONNELL
This Thursday the Hoskins Centre will be a beacon of musical entertainment, with Term 3’s Twilight Concert showcasing the best of Junior, Middle and Senior musicians, vocalists, and ensembles. The concert begins at 5:30 pm with the younger performers, with a second concert starting at 6:30 pm for the older performances – which means this is your chance to get a look at many of our HSC Music students who are nearing their NESA practical examinations.
Next Monday we have HSC Drama’s CurtainUP showcase, where they will present both their Individual Performances (IPs) and the class’ two Group Performances (GPs). With all nine students choosing a performance for their IP it will be a great night of theatrical entertainment, with pieces ranging from comedy to drama, and musical theatre to dance/movement. The showcase starts at 6:30 pm in the Hoskins Centre and everyone in our community is invited to attend.
With only two weeks to go the Middle School cast and team of Fight With All Your Might the Zombies of Tonight are hitting the last stages of rehearsal. Costumes are in, the set inches towards completion, and the technical elements are getting ready to be integrated with the show. It is coming together as a fun, funky, and quirky piece of theatre and we encourage you to grab your ticket here: https://events.
Mr Andrew O’Connell
Head of Creative Arts
Last holiday I was very lucky to spend a week in Sydney for the Australian Chamber Orchestra Academy at Pier 2/3! The national program is for approx. 25-30 secondary school musicians from around Australia. It included playing with core members from the Australian Chamber Orchestra, sectionals, chamber groups coached by members of the Australian Chamber Orchestra and a careers session. Highlights included standing behind Aiko Goto for Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings and sharing a stand with ACO violinist Mark Ingwersen for some Mozart. I am so grateful to Academy Director Aiko Goto and the ACO for this amazing experience and privilege, which over the years has been a key part of inspiring me to pursue music beyond school. Many thanks also to my teacher Joanna Fairs-Wu and audition pianist Robyn Bradley OAM.
This year I was invited by the Sydney Youth Orchestra (A state orchestra of musicians aged 16-25) to go on their 50 year anniversary Big West Tour. We went on an epic road trip (over 2000km) to towns such as Cowra, Mildura, and Broken Hill, playing Dvorak’s New World Symphony, the World Peace Day Suite, and multiple original pieces with local artists and musicians. It was absolutely amazing to bring this music to smaller communities that don’t often get to see live orchestras of this scale, teaching the local kids about our instruments, and learning about the culture in the individual communities. I met so many amazing people, and I’ve never enjoyed playing in an orchestra as much as this. I’m super grateful to SYO for this amazing opportunity!
TAS will be hosting two Twilight Concerts this week 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. These Twilight Concerts will provide the perfect opportunity for students to perform for an audience before the AMEB exams and HSC Trial Performance Examinations commencing next week.
|Student’s Name||Year||Tutor’s||Name Instrument||Title of Performance|
|Jayden Chen||Yr 1||Mr Peter Sanders||Piano||Indians|
|Alexander Feng||Yr 1||Ms Sofia Debus||Violin||Perpetual Motion|
|Raymond Wang||Yr 3||Ms Li Ling Chen||Piano||Canon in D & Happy Farmer|
|Edward Minter||Yr 1||Ms Sofia Debus||Cello||Perpetual Motion|
|Chloe Chen||Yr 3||Mrs Robyn Driscoll||Piano||Minuet in G Major|
|Georgie Flynn||Yr 4||Mr Stephen Tafra||Guitar||Pop! Goes the Weasel|
|William Minter||Yr 4||Ms Madeleine Lawrence||Piano||Prelude; Mazurka; and Mozzie|
|Lachlan Chiu||Yr 3||Mrs Joanna Fairs Wu||Violin||Square Dance/Elenke|
|Tom Loxley||Yr 6||Mrs Robyn Driscoll||Piano||Study in C Minor|
|Raymond Wang||Yr 3||Ms Sofia Debus||Violin||The Two Grenadiers|
|Harriet Coupland||Yr 7||Ms Li Ling Chen||Piano||Andante|
|Daniel Mo||Yr 4||Ms Sofia Debus||Cello||Budapesto|
|Austin Pease||Yr 10||Mr Paul Marshall||Saxophone||Shaken, Not Stirred|
|Tom Loxley||Yr 6||Mr Robert Jackson||Cello||Latin Nights|
|Sam Yu||Yr 9||Ms Li Ling Chen||Piano||Gavotte|
|Peter Thompson||Yr 8||Mr Robert Jackson||Cello||Élégie|
|Student’s Name||Year||Tutor’s Name||Instrument||Title of Performance|
|Riley Sykes||Yr 1||Dr Robert Manley||Piano||My Computer|
|Patrick Kim||Yr 3||Ms Madeleine Lawrence||Piano||The Clown|
|Katie Hynes||Yr 9||Ms Li Ling Chen||Oboe||Siciliano|
|Gita Rajendra||Yr 8||Ms Li Ling Chen||Piano||Sonatina|
|Holly Dauparas||Yr 11||Mr Paul Marshall||Bassoon||Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra|
|Nithya Rajendra||Yr 9||Ms Li Ling Chen||Piano||Sunday Morning|
|Peyton Slade||Yr 9||Miss Jessica Suann||Singing||Gravity|
|Ryne Wilkinson||Yr 8||Mr Peter Sanders||Piano||Sunday Morning Revival|
|Tommy Burnett||Yr 11||Dr Sheila Guymer||Piano||Stairway, and Secret Agent|
|Annette Whysall||Yr 12||Voice||The Villain I Appear to Be|
|Will Nash||Yr 12||Ms Sharny Russell||Voice||I Have Nothing|
|Anouska Byrne||Yr 12||Ms Sharny Russell||Voice||Breathless|
|Jasper O’Neil||Yr 12||Ms Sharny Russell||Voice||Giants in the Sky|
|Grace Thompson||Yr 12||Ms Sharny Russell||Voice||Gone|
|Essie Lindeman||Yr 12||Ms Sharny Russell||Voice||Valentine|
|Harry Turnbull||Yr 12||Mr Andrew Kirk||Drums||Space Baguette|
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
Music Viva’s upcoming concert with pianist Konstantin Shamray is being held on Thursday 3 August at 7:00pm in the Armidale Teachers College Auditorium. This will be Konstantin’s third visit to Armidale and with still a week 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 program.
Ms Leanne Roobol
Director of Music
MR LUKE POLSON
I write this week from accompanying our Year 8 da Vinci team in Sydney who competed in the State Final at Knox Grammar School yesterday. They represented themselves and the school incredibly well and competed amongst some 75 Year 8 teams from across the state. Congratulations to them!
As you may be aware, the 2023 NAPLAN reports are on their way. These have been sent out and should arrive via post later this week.
In 2023, the NAPLAN reports are a little different with four levels of achievement – Exceeding, Strong, Developing and Needs additional support – being used to give feedback on your child’s performance on the day across the domains of Writing, Reading, Numeracy, Spelling and Grammar and Punctuation. This data is used by the school to help inform our teaching programs and to give us further insight into your child’s progress. It is important to note that while this information is helpful, it is a narrow insight into your child’s performance on a given day and is not a definitive reflection of their ability.
ACARA, the independent body that oversees the NAPLAN program has released a range of resources to help read the reports and understand the process involved with NAPLAN.
If you have any questions surrounding NAPLAN, please contact your child’s Advisor in Middle School.
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.
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.
Mr Luke Polson
Head of Middle School
MR SCOTT CHITTENDEN
Term 3 has begun in earnest, with an enormous range of opportunities once again presented to Junior School students. As I moved between various sports and venues in support of our students in the last week I continue to be impressed with the skill, sportsmanship, and resilience displayed by our students. It is certainly easy to have fun when you win, but our students genuinely seem to enjoy competing in their chosen sport regardless of the outcome.
Preparations for the 2023 Junior School musical are scaling up with those eligible for a lead role in Disney’s Finding Nemo afforded the opportunity to attend some preliminary training yesterday before auditions next week. Any students in Years 4 and 5 who wish to be considered for a named role but who have not completed the online form expressing this interest are encouraged to speak with Mr Norrie as soon as possible.
While specific details are yet to be finalised, we are delighted to share that all students from Pre-K to Year 5 will this year be involved in the production, with our younger students featuring in half of the performances (e.g. students in Pre-K will perform in two shows, and Kindergarten the other two shows, effectively swapping roles). While actual performance dates are not yet confirmed, they will occur in the week beginning Monday 27 November. We suggest noting this in your diary to ensure you do miss what promises to be a fabulous celebration of the arts.
Students from Pre-K to Year 3 will next week enjoy a puppet show performance called A Little Bit of Blue. This interactive environmental detective story focuses on the Satin Bowerbird and its fascination with the colour blue. We are certain that our younger students will enjoy this experience.
Families of students in Years 3 and 5 will shortly receive their child’s Individual Student Report from the NAPLAN tests that were completed in Term 1 this year. The reports themselves will look a little different to previous years with a different scale being used as well as four distinct proficiency levels. All parents and guardians are encouraged to read the information about these changes to the reports at https://nap.edu.au/docs/default-source/default-document-library/faq-individual-student-report.pdf if they would like further information. While these tests provide valuable data that we use to further improve our programs, it is important to note that the tests are indicative a student’s performance in a single test at a particular point in time. As such, individual results are not always entirely representative of a child’s ability. Their performance would likely have been impaired if they were unwell at the time, or received upsetting news prior to attending school, for instance. Please do not hesitate to contact your child’s class teacher if you would like to discuss their NAPLAN results in further detail or if you have questions or concerns in this regard.
Earlier today selected students from Years 3, 4 and 5 completed the Newcastle Permanent Primary School Mathematics Competition. They found the experience academically stimulating and are already eagerly awaiting the results from this. Many of these same children departed TAS earlier today bound for Sydney on an academic enrichment excursion. We wish our Year 5 students well as they compete in the state finals of the da Vinci Decathlon competition tomorrow and will be sure to share their experiences both on the School’s social media sites and in the next edition of TAS Talks.
The ICAS (International Competitions and Assessments for Schools) assessments are conducted annually at schools throughout Australia and the world. They are designed to target a student’s higher order thinking and problem-solving across a range of subjects and can provide an insight into a child’s performance relative to those within their age group who completed the same assessment tasks. All families of students from Year 2 are reminded that the deadline to place your online orders through the University of NSW is Monday 31 July. For further information please see the information emailed to you from Mrs Downes, Director of Teaching and Learning.
Many happy returns to Bessie Brauer, Ted Draney, Bill Mayne, Arya McWilliam-Herath, Elsie Nexo, Sophia Nexo, Matilda Polson, Spencer Rice, Darya Samadi and Spencer Stone for last week and to Rory Watts for this week.
Mr Scott Chittenden
Head of Junior School
|Wednesday 26 July||da Vinci Decathlon students depart|
|Junior School Photos|
|Friday 28 July||Year 2 Assembly||Hoskins Centre (2.45 pm)|
|da Vinci Decathlon students return|
|Wednesday 2 August||Little Wing Puppet Show||Kindergarten to Year 3|
|Friday 4 August||House Meetings|
|Friday 11 August||Year 3 Assembly||Hoskins Centre (2.45 pm)|
|Wednesday 16 August||NCIS Athletics||Coffs Harbour|
|Friday 18 August||Kindergarten||Hoskins Centre (2.45 pm)|
The start of a new term is always exciting as students catch up with each other and new units of inquiry commence.
Many classes start a new Unit of Inquiry with a provocation. A provocation is a well-considered and carefully crafted activity to ignite students’ interest and engagement. The role of the provocation is to create excitement and engagement for the unit of inquiry students are about to commence. Additionally, the provocation enables teachers to determine students’ prior knowledge and current understandings and possible misconceptions about the concepts which will be explored within the unit of inquiry.
The table below outlines the Transdisciplinary Themes and Central Ideas that each class will be focussed on for the next six weeks.
|Year Group||Transdisciplinary Idea||Central Idea|
|Pre-Kindergarten||How we express ourselves||Creativity allows us to make connections with our world|
|Kindergarten||Sharing the planet||Changes in the environment impact humans and other living things.|
|Year 1||How we organise ourselves||Communities provide services designed to meet people’s needs|
|Year 2||How we organise ourselves||Changes in technology can shape daily lives|
|Year 3||How we organise ourselves||Changes to current agricultural practices may conserve our environment|
|Year 4||How we express ourselves||People use The Arts to communicate|
|Year 5||How the world works||Scientific and technological advances constantly evolve and may impact people’s lives and the environment|
Mrs Veronica Waters
The TAS Set team (Year 2 – 4) celebrated a well-deserved victory on Saturday morning against ACSC, winning 9-5. It was a close game from the start and the girls showed incredible teamwork and ball skills. They worked hard on their defence and used the space around them to receive some great passes from players. Honourable mentions to Chloe Chen and Ruby Rice for their shooting skills and Georgie Reynell for excellent communication and speed in Wing Attack. Well done to all!
Miss Lara Nicholls