DR RACHEL HORTON
Last weekend we welcomed past TAS students back to the School for the annual reunion weekend. Groups ranged from 5-year to 65-year leavers, with some alumni returning to see the School for the first time in tens of years. Messages throughout the weekend abounded about the strength and enduring nature of the community regardless of the time that passes between contact with school peers or indeed the School itself.
The weekend was also a valuable experience for our current students on a number of levels. The inaugural Future Pathways Forum took place on Friday afternoon with Year 10 and 11 students hearing from 5-year leavers Ben Hamparsum, Henry Hughes, Lucy Fenwicke, Amelia Griffiths, George Lane and Angus Smith about every option, pathway or opportunity they might encounter in their first few years after school.
In addition to the regular co-curricular fixtures, students showcased their talents through competition with the Old Armidalians for the Croft Cup and in a vocal concert on Saturday afternoon. In the former, the OAU took victories in a very close-fought hockey match culminating in a penalty shoot-out, tennis and chess, while the School won netball, shooting and Tug-o-war.
A multitude of students also represented the school admirably, undertaking a range of duties over the weekend from running school tours to cooking the Friday night barbeque and assisting with the Saturday night dinner. My thanks to them for helping make the weekend so memorable for our alumni.
The weekend finished with a beautiful service in the TAS Chapel, conducted by Mrs Joanne Benham who was generously joined by Old Armidalian, the Reverend Rod Farraway. Rod delivered a wonderfully meaningful sermon including his reflections of TAS, the importance of meeting together and community.
Dr Rachel Horton
MR RAY PEARSON
It was a privilege to observe the TAS student spirit in action over the weekend with our Old Armidalians being on campus for the range of activities planned. It was also wonderful for our current students to observe the significance of the connections they are forming now through the bonds of our OAs with the knowledge that these friendships will last a lifetime. I thank the many students who were involved in cooking barbeques, waiting tables and conducting tours throughout the weekend, their service to the school and appreciation of the OAU Weekend was something special.
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill
Next Friday, 18 August, students can wear smart casual clothes for our Term 3 Mufti Day. In line with the SRC’s ongoing focus of raising awareness instead of funds, students are asked to support the Armidale Neighbourhood Centre by bringing in food donations and/or beanies in lieu of the traditional gold coin. Noodles, breakfast cereals, canned tuna and soup are the items in need and any support with this will make a meaningful difference to those less fortunate within our community. We are also using the week to support Year 10 student Millie Coupland and her ‘Recycled Style’ campaign against ‘fast fashion’. Millie will be accepting donations of any unused clothing to avoid them ending up in a landfill. She will run a stall at the Markets in the Mall on 24 September where items can be rehomed free of charge.
Mr Ray Pearson
|Friday 11 August||Middle School Play||Hoskins Centre (6pm)|
|Saturday 12 August||Middle School Play||Hoskins Centre (7pm)|
|Monday 24 August||HSC Trial Exams continue|
|Friday 18 August||Mufti Day|
|Monday 21 August||Passing Out Parade practice||3.45pm|
|Thursday 24 August||Agquip|
|NCIS Rugby 7s||Armidale|
|Friday 25 August||Exhibit A HSC Visual Arts Exhibition||Hoskins Centre (5pm)|
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs Jo Benham
MRS GILL DOWNES
All Year 11 families are invited to attend a Year 11 Information Webinar on Tuesday 15 August from 6-7pm. The online session will involve several key senior staff speaking about different aspects of your child’s academic year ahead as they finish Year 11 and move into Year 12.
The focus will be on:
There are several staff who will be available to answer questions you may have around the move from Year 11 into Year 12. The link to attend this webinar has been sent out today via email to all families and Year 11 students. Please join the webinar for a 6pm start.
I look forward to seeing you there, but if you are unable to attend, the webinar will be recorded and sent out to families early in Week 5.
The Trial HSC Examinations are underway, and this week began positively with students finding the two English exams, as well as Japanese and Music 1, to be fair yet rigorous assessments. Year 12 should be proud of their preparation; so many of them have worked hard over the month preceding exams. One small glimpse into this commitment was the 25 students who came in on Sunday to sit a past HSC paper under examination conditions. Fuelled by lolly snakes and lots of encouragement, many of these students also attended, Physics, Chemistry, Business Studies, and general supervised study in the Hub across their weekend. It is so great to see such commitment from both students and staff.
This coming weekend will see the following Sunday Study Sessions running in Fisher, the Languages room, and the Hub:
I encourage all Year 12 students to take the opportunity to access workshops or to sit quietly working on their own revision in the Hub. Thank you to the staff for their time.
All Year 12 students and families were sent an email on 2 August about the daily arrangements for Week 4 during the first five days of the Trial HSC.
To summarise, students will attend their regular classes as per the usual timetable in between exams in Week 4. No lessons will be taught but rather, silent supervised study will occur in these rooms for each 45-minute lesson. The reason for this is that students will be supported to have structured, timed, and quiet revision space. All these elements are vital is supporting good habits and the necessary structure in between each examination. Our Year 12 teachers are the best people to offer this supervision in known, smaller groupings. Students can arrange to meet with Year 12 teachers during this time if required.
As of 2pm, Friday (11/8), the boarding houses will be open and supervised. As such, boarding students may choose to work from the boarding house on Friday afternoon if they do not have an exam. This will then be the case for all of Week 5. However, the Year 12 Study Centre will continue to be open and supervised in Week 5 for those boarding students and day students who would like to work from there.
Please read over the email sent last Wednesday (2/8) for finer details.
Elevate Education Webinars: A reminder to Year 12 parents that the school has ongoing free access to the Elevate Education webinars which run every fortnight. A big thank you to the 17 Year 12 families who attended the most recent webinar on Motivating your Year 12 Student. The next Elevate webinar will take place on Wednesday 16 August at 6.30pm, the session exploring Technology and Focus. An email has been sent to all Year 12 families this morning with details on how to register. Please note: if you register but cannot attend at the 6.30pm timeslot, a recording will be sent to you.
Lastly, a link to the 2023 HSC Study Guide – a collaboration between NESA and The Sydney Morning Herald can be found here. It is a worthy read for parents and students with tips, insights, and case studies on HSC preparation and experiences.
The first ICAS tests have begun with Digital Literacies, and Writing being completed this week under the supervision of Mr Polson and Mr Chittenden. All students who have been enrolled by their families will be contacted by email (or in Junior School by their class teachers) to let them know when and where they need to go to complete these. The tests will continue over the coming weeks.
Mrs Murray, our Head of English, has written in TAS Talks about the inaugural TAS Creative Writing Competition to help celebrate International Literacy Day which occurs on 8 September. The aim of this day, and the competition itself is to remind the public of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and a human right, and to advance the literacy agenda towards a more literate and sustainable society.
We hope that this will be the beginning of an annual tradition which continues for many decades to come.
The competition will have eight different divisions based around age. Each division will have slightly different rules that must be followed. There will be a winner from each division and then an overall winner.
Please see the article in last week’s TAS Talks (Week 3, Term 3) for more details around the writing stimulus, the age divisions, and the word limits.
Students, staff and members of the TAS community are encouraged to make a submission, and there are some great book prizes being offered for the winners of each section.
All submissions must be made by 3.30pm, Friday 8 September (Week 8, Term 3).
Mrs Gill Downes
Director of Teaching and Learning
This year International Literacy Day is on 8 September. Since 1967, UNESCO has annually promoted International Literacy Day celebrations around the world to remind the public of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and a human right, and to advance the literacy agenda towards a more literate and sustainable society.
Despite steady progress made across the world, literacy challenges persist with at least 763 million young people and adults lacking basic literacy skills in 2020. The recent COVID-19 crisis and other crises, such as climate change and conflicts, have been exacerbating the challenges. In low and middle-income countries, the share of 10-year-old children who could not read and understand a simple text with comprehension has increased from 57 per cent in 2019 to an estimated 70 per cent in 2022.
As such, this year’s International Literacy Day will be celebrated worldwide under the theme, ‘Promoting literacy for a world in transition: Building the foundation for sustainable and peaceful societies’.
This year at TAS we will be celebrating this day through the Inaugural TAS Creative Writing Competition and we would encourage anyone in our community who is interested to participate. We hope that this will be the beginning of a Creative Writing Competition that continues for many decades to come. The competition will have eight different divisions based around age. Each division will have slightly different rules that must be followed. There will be a winner from each division and then an overall winner. Please see below for the specific details regarding the competition.
Use this image as inspiration to write an original piece of creative writing (Year 1 to Year 12 and Community) or illustrate an original visual story (Pre-K and Kindergarten). Please see below for the various divisions and their specific rules.
Pre-K and Kindergarten: Use the image above as inspiration to illustrate an original story. You may use one side of an A3 piece of paper. You can have an adult scribe a description for your story, but it needs to be your own words.
Stage 1 (Year 1 and 2): Use the above image as inspiration to write an original piece of creative writing. Maximum word count is 200 words.
Stage 2 (Year 3 and 4): Use the above image as inspiration to write an original piece of creative writing. Maximum word count is 350 words.
Stage 3 (Year 5 and 6): Use the above image as inspiration to write an original creative piece of writing. Maximum word count is 500 words.
Stage 4 (Year 7 and 8): Use the above image as inspiration to write an original creative piece of writing. Maximum word count is 650 words.
Stage 5 (Year 9 and 10): Use the above image as inspiration to write an original creative piece of writing. Maximum word count is 800 words.
Stage 6 (Year 11 and 12): Use the above image as inspiration to write an original creative piece of writing. Maximum word count is 1000 words.
Parents/Staff/TAS Community: Use the above image as inspiration to write an original creative piece of writing. Maximum word count is 1000 words.
3:30pm, Friday 8 September (Week 8. Term 3).
Pre-K, K, Yr 1, Yr 2, Yr 3 and Yr 4 are to submit a hard copy of their work to Mrs Lasker by 3:30 pm on the due date. Please include your name and the division that you have entered on the hard copy of your work.
Yr 5, Yr 6, Yr 7, Yr 8, Yr 9, Yr 10, Yr 11, Yr 12, Parents, Staff and Community are to email their piece of creative writing to Mrs Murray at email@example.com by 3:30 pm on the due date. Please include your name and the division that you have entered in the email.
Mrs Alexandra Murray
Head of English
MR ANDREW O'CONNELL
We wish all our HSC Creative Arts students sitting their written examinations as part of the Trials their very best this week and next. While practical and project work can form a large part of their assessment components, there are still theory elements, and Creative Arts students need to juggle these different elements. But once the Trials are out of the way their focus will be solely on their performances and submissions in the coming weeks! As part of that, make sure you’ve taken note of the HSC Visual Arts Exhibit A from 5pm on Friday 25 August and HSC Music’s Final Note at 6:30pm on Tuesday 5 September.
This is the big week for the Middle School cast of Fight With All Your Might The Zombies Of Tonight, with our final rehearsal this afternoon, a school performance tomorrow, and two public performances Thursday and Friday night at 6pm. Chookas to the cast, crew, and Production Team of the show – we’re so excited to put our hard work in front of an audience for all to enjoy. If you’re after a last-minute ticket jump onto https://events.humanitix.
Junior School were treated to the delightful puppet show A Little Bit of Blue by returning puppeteer Jenny Ellis. It was another touching and engaging show teaching the students all about bowerbirds and the perils of living next to one if you’re a fan of a blue rinse! We have our other performance for young people coming on the very last day of term – the first day of the school break for the students – Friday 22 September. Hiccup is a hilarious rocking musical extravaganza about working together, finding friendship and how to, once and for all, stop the hiccups. It’s recommended for ages 4 – 8 and should be a lovely thing for families to attend together, so book your tickets at https://events.humanitix.
Mr Andrew O’Connell
Head of Creative Arts
MR HUON BARRETT
I am pleased to announce that Mrs Alex Murray has accepted the position of MIC of Equestrian. Following the success of the Coonabarabran Expo we look forward to ISHE (Inter-Schools Horse Extravaganza) which will take place from 13-16 October in Tamworth. More information to follow.
Last weekend saw many of our Old Armidalians, revisit TAS and engage in several activities including hockey, netball, chess, shooting, tennis and tug-o-war. Whilst the OA retained the Croft Cup in a 3-3 result, it was the stories told, and memories recalled that made this weekend a special event.
Next week I will be publishing the Summer Co-Curricular Choices, which will include a brief outline of the commitment and cost associated with each activity. Students will be required to choose their summer activity in Week 6 of this term. At this stage students will only be allowed to choose ONE activity and are expected to meet the requirements of that activity for the duration of the term. Please take the opportunity to discuss these options with your child in the coming weeks.
Mr Huon Barrett
Director of Co-curricular
Dear Parents, Carers and Students,
All Australians should have access to a safe home. But alarmingly, over 116,000 people are without a secure place to sleep every night.
This is our opportunity to help those less fortunate and to try and experience what a single night might feel like.
Mr Jim Pennington
Challenge and Service Coordinator
It’s time for Round 3 of the Triple Crown!
On Sunday 15 October (Week 1 Term 4), is the 19 for Nineteen Challenge. A 19km (with a 5km option for the Junior School) adventure for Anya’s Wish in support of the Children’s Cancer Institute.
I’m pleased to be able to offer this experience to all TAS students, staff and parents so please come along, join in the fun!
To find out more and register your interest, please visit the link below. Expressions of interest close on Friday 18 September, 2023.FIIND OUT MORE
MR LUKE POLSON
As previously communicated through TAS Talks, I am pleased to be letting our Year 8 families know of a two-day Arts immersion experience on Wednesday 16 and Thursday 17 August (Week 5) for all 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. This is an opportunity to give students valuable experiences in the Creative Arts Space before they move into the Senior School next year. It is also a chance to welcome parents to see the work their children are doing and showcase the richness of the TAS program. Students will have an opportunity to participate in four workshops (English, Art, Drama, Music) and then choose an elective to continue with in the fifth session. The work of the fifth session will culminate in an afternoon exhibition/performance. Parents will be encouraged to attend the afternoon which will commence on Thursday 17 August at 2pm in the TAS Hoskins Centre. It is anticipated that the cost of these two days will be $40, including a pizza lunch on the second day. I offer my thanks to Mr Andrew O’Connell and the Creative Arts Faculty for coordinating this experience for our Year 8 students.
Mr Luke Polson
Head of Middle School
MR SCOTT CHITTENDEN
The talk around Junior School in recent days has largely been dominated by the Junior School musical, and students have been successful in securing the various roles in Finding Nemo. We congratulate all who auditioned for one or more roles over the past few weeks and look forward with growing excitement to what promises to be yet another tremendous celebration of the performing arts. I implore those who were unsuccessful in their preferred roles to focus on their ‘circle of control’ (i.e. their thoughts, goals and response to the situation) as discussed in recent assemblies.
Students in Years 4 and 5 have been assigned to the more significant roles, with all students from Pre-Kindergarten upwards involved in the production in some form this year. Please contact your child(ren)’s class teacher if you would like any clarification as to the various roles that have been assigned in this musical extravaganza. As with all TAS productions we rely on parental support and assistance, both in preparation for the event and in returning the performing space to a ‘neutral’ area. We would be most grateful for your assistance in the planned JS Production working bees. Please contact your child(ren)’s teacher or Mr Craig Norrie should you be able to assist in the planned costume or set working bees respectively:
It was wonderful to learn of the various sporting fixtures, regardless of the result, from students at the star of this week. Congratulations especially to the TAS Primary netball (comprising Year 5 and 6 students) and TAS Titans soccer (Under 7s) teams who both recorded impressive victories this weekend. On Saturday our oldest netball players defeated the top-of-the-table VIP Stars comprehensively and are now sitting equal first on points. The Titans endured several heartbreaking results recently and recorded an emphatic 4-1 win over rivals Demon Knights.
A range of students from Year 2 upwards have this week begun working through the challenging ICAS test papers in academic pursuits of their choice. Students undertaking the digital technologies test completed this paper yesterday, while those who have elected to challenge themselves in the writing test do so tomorrow. Many more tests are scheduled for the next week and we wish all those who chose to participate well.
You may recall reading in the last edition of TAS Talks that eight Year 5 students travelled to Sydney recently to compete in the state finals of the da Vinci Decathlon, challenging themselves academically against like-minded students from the (73) best academically performing schools from across NSW. We were delighted to learn recently when the top 20 teams in each paper were announced, that these students placed sixth in the state in the Art and Poetry competition and twelfth in the Legacy competition. Congratulations!
It has been wonderful to walk through the Junior School in recent days and witness a snapshot of some of the wonderful learning that takes place each and every day, first-hand. On Monday the Pre-Kindergarten students spend some time refining their fundamental motor skills of throwing, dodging and hopping in Physical Education before returning to class where they extended their already significant understanding of artists, artworks and all-too-energetic dance moves! Kindergarten has reached triple figures of ‘big School’ and continues to grow in leaps and bounds in their phonemic understanding in literacy classes, while both Year 1 classes have been fortunate to learn from various members of the community as they inquire into roles within the community. Some of our Year 2 students have been starting each day in a very structured, somewhat exhausting, manner with a short brain gym session and Year 3s prepare enthusiastically for the Year 3 assembly later today. Year 4 students have unpacked comprehension, the use of visual cues, and the value in making predictions in their literacy lessons while our Year 5 leaders continue to impress in their research into a tremendous range of exhibition topics.
Although there are several upcoming events within the Junior School in the coming weeks we wish to draw your attention to two larger-scale ones. As we approach Father’s Day in Australia we wish to invite all fathers and special friends to join us for an afternoon of friendly competition in a range of ‘minute to win it’ style competitions in our Celebrating Families Father’s Day event. This event will run from 2.30 – 3.30 pm on Friday 1 September, with adults competing with their child(ren) in a range of events, all in an effort to earn House points for their House.
Student-led reflections will take place on Friday 15 September from 2.00 pm to 3.30 pm. For those unfamiliar with the format, parents and special friends are invited to join Junior School children for two lessons where the students will lead a private reflection on their own learning so far this academic year. Those able to attend will also enjoy the opportunity to witness first-hand one of our diverse specialist lessons that students enjoy participating in – audience participation is welcomed but not required! Further information will be disseminated in the coming weeks, and we encourage you to take note of the date and time of this annual Junior School highlight.
We wish our Junior School athletes well as they travel to Coffs Harbour on Wednesday 16 August for the NCIS Athletics final, and we wish all attending well. After several weeks of training, there are bound to be some ‘Personal Best’ performances recorded. While the results are hotly contested at this level of competition, we are certain you will enjoy the opportunity and represent both yourselves and the School well.
Many happy returns to Paddy Bourke and Freddie Post for their special days this week.
Mr Scott Chittenden
Head of Junior School
|Wednesday 9 August||Pre-Kindergarten Excursion to NERAM|
|Year 2 Excursion to Wing Hing Long Museum, Tingha|
|Friday 11 August||Year 3 Assembly||Hoskins Centre (2.45 pm)|
|Monday 14 August||Activities Day|
|Tuesday 15 August||Years K-2 House Dodgeball|
|Wednesday 16 August||NCIS Athletics||Coffs Harbour|
|Friday 18 August||Kindergarten Assembly||Hoskins Centre (2.45 pm)|
|Friday 25 August||Book Parade||2.45 pm – 3.30 pm|
|Friday 1 September||Year 4 Assembly||Memorial Hall (2.45pm)|
|Father’s Day Celebration|
Our Junior School teachers always aim to get ‘personal with inquiry’ and to lay a strong foundation for our students to wonder, explore and to make meaning of the concepts and questions they are unpacking.
There are multiple ways our students can find out and gather information. Some of these include talking to people, conducting experiments, viewing clips or using their senses to help gather information. Many of our classes actively engage in ‘incursions’ throughout a unit of inquiry whereby the ‘expert’ brings their knowledge to the classroom. This type of research is ‘shared’ and helps the students to plan questions, to be an attentive listener and processor of information and to then try to make sense of the information they have gathered.
At TAS we are very thankful to all stakeholders- family members, community members and TAS staff who share their knowledge with students and ignite more questions and develop an ongoing desire to learn.
Year One has welcomed Sarah into the classroom as part of their Workers in the Community investigation. Sarah was able to share her role as a nurse, specialising in a number of different roles both here and in England.
We look forward to all the parent visitors who will share a variety of occupations with us over the coming weeks.
Year 4 had a wonderful ‘Incursion’ with Mr Bradley where they inquired into energy use and generation at TAS. There were many questions about the Flywheel and Energy Battery Storage.
As part of the provocation stage of Exhibition Year 5 invited many guests to our classroom to share their knowledge about issues or opportunities connected to scientific developments and technological advances.
Mrs Veronica Waters
The TAS Set Team faced a very in-form ACSC Diamonds unit on Saturday morning, going down 8-1. However, the whole team showed improvement in their passing and communication, with some embracing the challenge of playing outside their usual positions. Special mention to Sansa Ranawake and Ruby Archer for their assertiveness in the Centre Court and to Neave Drain for her efforts in Defence.
Mrs Heidi Trevaskis
In an electrifying showdown between two formidable teams, the TAS Primary Netball Team emerged victorious against their toughest opponents yet, securing a well-deserved win over their top-of-the-table rivals. The highly anticipated match took place on Saturday and, despite its clash with the Wallabies v All Blacks game saw a great turnout of parents and supporters. It was a thrilling display of teamwork, exceptional defence and relentless pressure from the young stars that ultimately led them to claim equal first position on the leaderboard.
Congratulations to the TAS Primary team for an incredible display of netball prowess, unity and sportsmanship. Their coach couldn’t be prouder of the girls’ outstanding performance on the court. They have certainly set the bar high for future matches and have established themselves as the team to beat in the comp.
Mrs Kate Moloney
Under 7’s football was the highlight of NISA’s weekend with the mighty TAS under 7s showing some fine sportsman/women ship they took the field for not only their own team but made teams even so everyone could play a fun and fair game.
Mr Craig Norrie