2023 Term 3 Week 5   |   16.08.2023

TAS Talks Term 3 Week 5

01. From the Principal


This week is National Science Week and a range of activities and competitions will be running across the whole school in recognition and celebration of all things science. As someone who is passionate about science, and although I try to hide it, it is often a disappointment to me when students say that they don’t like science. My response to this is usually that they may just not have found the subset of science that interests them yet, or that they may not have realised that something they do enjoy does indeed fall under the umbrella of science. Science is an incredibly broad field, encompassing knowledge and understanding of the world around us and it is also a systematic, evidence-based way of thinking.

While many of our students still believe that science might not be their thing, given the freedom to make their own choices, 94 percent of our current HSC students are studying at least one science or technology subject. Indeed 59 percent (64 percent of senior girls and 56 percent of senior boys) studying a subject from within the Science Faculty (Chemistry, Physics, Biology and Engineering).

Science really can be for everyone. It is about understanding how things work and why things happen, it is the natural progression of curiosity and while it can often be frustrating, the exciting moments of discovery and awe make up for the disappointments. In the words of Carl Sagan, “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known”.


Dr Rachel Horton

02. From the Deputy Principal


I had the pleasure of accompanying two of our Year 12 students and Indigenous Coordinator Mr Clarrie Moran to the 2023 Australian Indigenous Education Foundation (AIEF) Graduation in Sydney last Monday evening. Harrison and Sarskia have been wonderful ambassadors for both TAS and the AIEF and it was very special to share this significant milestone with them. Sarskia had the great honour of welcoming all the graduates and distinguished guests to the event and sharing her journey with the captivated audience. We are proud of our partnership with the AIEF and I am grateful for the contribution Sarskia and Harrison have made and the positive role models they have been during their time at TAS. 

With the Year 12 Trial exams concluding at the end of this week I know that our whole community is behind the Class of 2023 as they hit the final straight towards their HSC exams and the end of their secondary schooling. I would like to thank our Year 12 teachers in particular for the countless hours of drafting and for providing feedback over the last couple of weeks and prior. I know the students appreciate it and are best placed to succeed because of it.


Mr Ray Pearson
Deputy Principal


03. Calendar of Events

Term 3
Wednesday 16 AugustNCIS Coffs Harbour
Year 8 Art Immersion
Friday 18 AugustMufti Day
Monday 21 AugustPassing Out Parade practise3.45pm
Thursday 24 AugustAgquip
NCIS Rugby 7sArmidale
Friday 25 AugustExhibit A HSC Visual Arts ExhibitionHoskins Centre (5pm)
Saturday 26 AugustTournament of the Minds Final
Homelessness Sleepout
Sunday 27 AugustArmidale Junior Rugby Union Gala Day at TAS
TAS Opens Hockey Teams Dinner



The Inter-Schools Horse Extravaganza (ISHE), will be held in Tamworth from the 13-16 October. If your child is interested in competing in this event as a TAS student, can you please email Alex Murray, the new MIC of Equestrian, at amurray1@as.edu.au

04. From the Director of Boarding


It has been a typically busy start to the term for the boarders with a large number involved in netball, hockey, football and rugby fixtures on a weekday and weekends and the Middle School play Fight with all your Might the Zombies of the Night which I enjoyed watching on Saturday evening. The winter sport seasons will finish over the coming weeks with several of the TAS teams progressing through to finals in their respective competitions. I am looking forward to travelling to Coffs Harbour on Wednesday for NCIS Athletics and wish all the boarders competing the best of luck.

A number of Weekend Rec Activities have already been coordinated this term, including two trips to the movies, 9 holes of Golf at the Armidale Golf Course and a day trip to Tamworth. A big thanks to the Boarding Rec Officer, Mr Jamie Brauer, for organising these important Weekend Activities for the boarders.

The Year 12s finished the first week of their Trial Examinations in good spirits with those I spoke to over the weekend feeling confident that their preparation for their exams was paying off. The benefits of being a boarder, with access to tutors and academic staff for an evening, are highlighted during these exam periods.

This week the four Senior Heads of House from Abbott, Croft, Tyrrell and Girls Boarding House will call for expressions of interest from their current Year 11s for 2024 House Leadership positions. I encourage all Year 11 boarders to give this leadership process serious thought and apply should they feel they have the attributes for these important House roles. While being a boarding house leader comes with certain privileges, there are several unique responsibilities that also must be considered. Speeches and voting for the 2024 House Leaders will be held simultaneously across all four Senior Boarding Houses on Wednesday evening 30 August.

Invitations to the Annual Year 12 House Dinners (Week 9) and Senior House Lunches (Sunday 10 September) will be sent out this week. I encourage as many of the boarding families as possible to attend these important House events. The Senior House lunches are new this year, apart from the long-standing and successful Abbott House Lunch, and will conclude with drinks at the White Bull Hotel for all boarding families. A function for the Middle School Boarding parents is planned for Term 4.


Mr David Drain
Director of Boarding

05. Academic


Did you know that the James Webb Space Telescope is a time machine? It looks back in time, showing us home the Universe was just after the Big Bang, some 13.7 billion years ago. This and other amazing discoveries are part of our celebration of Science Week.

Years 3-5 have been Playing Thoughtfully with Fire; coming up the new Science block to work with our wonderful Lab Tech – Gordon (Beaker) McLennan. The smells, challenges and wow moments were greatly enjoyed by students with many displaying a deep understanding of how fire can be started and extinguished using Science.

Middle and Senior School students have the opportunity to win great prizes in our two challenges: build a parachute for a small passenger facing an egg-istential crisis, or write a persuasive 2-page text arguing for and against nuclear power generation in Australia.

We look forward to announcing winners in Week 7.

Mr David Moffitt
Head of Science

06. Leadership, Service and Adventure


Dear Parents and Carers

The TAS Cadet Unit will undertake its annual Passing Out Parade, Friday 8 September from 1400 on Adamsfield. All parents and carers are welcome to attend this parade. The purpose of the Parade is to farewell our Year 12 Cadets and celebrate their achievements during their time in the Unit. This year we have LTCOL Craig ‘Dallas’ Delaney, Veterans Employment Program Manager for New South Wales Government, as our guest speaker. LTCOL Delaney is passionate about the Cadet Youth Development Program and its ability to equip students with the leadership, problem solving and organisational skills for success in life.

To ensure Passing Out Parade runs smoothly there will be five afternoon practises. The timings of the practises are as follows:

Week 6

  • Monday 21 August – 1545-1700

Week 7

  • Tuesday 29 August –  1545-1700
  • Wednesday 30 August –  1545-1700

Week 8

  • Wednesday 6 September – 1545-1700
  • Thursday 7 September – 1545-1700

Attendance at these times is compulsory for all Cadets and takes priority over any other School activities. Rolls will be taken and absences without pre-approval will result in an afternoon detention.

Should a student need to miss a practise due to State representative sport, a doctor’s appointment that cannot be rescheduled, or another matter deemed legitimate, communication must happen well in advance with CAPT (AAC) Woodbridge and the Deputy Principal, Mr Ray Pearson.

Should you have any questions regarding the training or Passing Out Parade itself, please do not hesitate to get in contact.

Kind regards

CAPT (AAC) Woodbridge
Officer Commanding TASACU

07. From the Head of Creative Arts


08. From the Head of Middle School


Activities Day 

A very successful Activities Day was held last Monday. Our students were actively engaged in fieldcraft activities, bridge building, abseiling, trekking, navigation and RATEL, amongst plenty of others. I have enjoyed hearing the way our students speak positively about the activities program. We now look forward to the next activity, an overnight Bivouac, to be held in Term 4.

Diligence and Sustained Effort Commendations

At our Middle School assembly yesterday it was wonderful to be able to present a large number of commendations to students in Year 6, 7 and 8 recognising their efforts across classes in Semester 1. These commendations are presented to students who continually give their best, apply themselves to both school work and homework and consistently display positive interactions in their classes. I congratulate the following students who received a commendation yesterday:

Year 6: Kaitlyn Baker (Music), Sophie Banister (English/Mathematics), Bonnie Blanch (Japanese, Visual Arts), Hugo Chapman (PDHPE, English), Amy Chittenden (Science), William Cooper-Fillios (History/Geography, Science), George Drain (History/Geography), Jacqueline DuBois (English, Mathematics), Harry Fawcett (History/Geography, Japanese, Science), Katherine Flynn (Music, Science), Edward Gillman (English), Pippi Goudge (French, Ezekiel Lado (Music, Mathematics), Poppy Post (Design, Visual Arts, Music), Andi Rengger (Visual Arts), Audrey Schaeffer (French, Visual Arts), Leonardo Thavapalasundaram (History/Geography, Mathematics, Design).

Year 7: Lachlan Alker (History), Sophie Brett (History), Georgia Bryant (French, English), Archie Byrne (PDHPE), Tyler Cameron (Mathematics), Luella Caulfield (Music, Visual Arts), Minnie Chick (Music), Matilda Coddington (Technology), Anaiwan Collins-Widders (Visual Arts), Harriet Coupland (Mathematics), Izabel Glover (Music), Nash Goodwin (History), Hamish Henderson (Visual Arts), Hamish Leahy (History, Music), James McLaren (PDHPE), Ruby Menkens (Mathematics), Oliver Robb (English, Visual Arts), Morgan Shannon (English), Sophie Slack-Smith (History, English, Mathematics, Science), Lucy Taylor (English, Science, Technology), Kevin Tighe (Music), Jack Wood (Mathematics, Music), Ethan Wooldridge (Japanese, Visual Arts).

Year 8: Jemima Aitken (Music), Madeline Buntine (English), Matilda Butcher (Music, English, Science), Georgia Cadzow (French, Mathematics, History, Visual Arts), Elsie Caulfield (History, Music, French, English), Chloe Dennison (Japanese, Mathematics), George Douglas Menzies (PDHPE), Cormac Downes (Design, Visual Arts), Finn Dwyer (History, English), Meg Earle (Music, Mathematics), Jack Farrell (Visual Arts), Jessica Flynn (History), Georgia Henderson (English, Science, Design, PDHPE), Sasha Macarthur-Onslow (Visual Arts), Madeline Meyer (Music, Visual Arts), Dominic Nguyen (Visual Arts, Science), Jack Pearson (Visual Arts, History), Hamish Pengilley (Mathematics), Lucy Sedon (History), Claudia Sykes (Music), Peter Thompson (Visual Arts), Jackson Welch (Japanese).

Mr Luke Polson
Head of Middle School

09. From the Head of Junior School



I attended the Independent Primary School Heads of Australia (IPSHA) NSW ‘Country Weekend’ in Tamworth recently, and was fortunate to hear guest speaker Nathan Wallis, a neuroscientist and former counsellor, early childhood and primary school teacher, speak several times over the weekend on a range of topics. Perhaps more meaningful and affirming, however, were the many and varied conversations with colleagues from across NSW. The programs and opportunities afforded to our students are comparable to, and indeed often surpass, those offered elsewhere. 

This week is National Science Week across the country, an annual celebration of science and technology. Classes across all Junior School classes have spent some time this week exploring and experimenting with their classmates in a range of different activities.  Our students in Years 3, 4 and 5 were especially fortunate to spend some time in the newly refurbished science labs with Mr Beaker leading participants through several experiments focussing on the states of matter. Our young scientists were delighted to learn both how and why it is possible to light a candle without touching the wick with a flame and were especially eager to create a personal “fire extinguisher”, through the use of bicarbonate of soda and vinegar, to snuff out the flame of other lit candles.


Many of the self-titled Brainiacs academic enrichment group will be participating in the Regional Finals of the Tournament of Minds competition next week and are in the final stages of perfecting their entries into their preferred long-term challenges of STEM and Arts, as well as the spontaneous challenge. We wish them well in their final preparations and look forward to sharing their experiences.

Many Junior School students are in the process of completing a number of optional ICAS assessment tasks. The Digital Technologies and Writing test papers have already been completed last week over the last week. Those completing the English ICAS tests will do so on Friday this week, with Science, Spelling Bee and Mathematics still to come later in the month. Best of luck to all who have chosen to challenge themselves in one or more of these disciplines.

Yesterday saw the first of two inaugural House Dodgeball contests. This excellent initiative from our student leaders saw those students in Kindergarten, Year 1 or Year 2 who wished to participate join their House group to compete against the other two Houses in a round-robin style dodgeball extravaganza. While the throwing, dodging and catching skills were clearly evident in this event, so too were the tremendous sportsmanship and excellent team spirit of both participants and onlookers. Students in Years 3, 4 and 5 will have the opportunity to test their mettle in the second the dodgeball competition for their age group tomorrow.  All results will be announced in the upcoming Junior School assembly.

The Junior School grounds today seem especially quiet with approximately 30 students departing school at 6.00 am for the NCIS Athletics Carnival in Coffs Harbour. We are certain these athletes will have a wonderful time and look forward to sharing some of their stories with you soon.

We invite you to join us for two notable community events in the coming weeks:

Junior School Book Week Parade

The Junior School Book Week Parade will take from 8.45am on Friday 25 August. Parents and friends are most welcome to join in the fun and cheer on the Junior School students as they do a lap of honour in their Book Week costumes. The parade, due to take place in the School gymnasium, should conclude close to 9.30am.

As we approach Father’s Day we also hope you are able to join us from 2.45pm on Friday 1 September to celebrate the significant role that our parents play in the lives of their children. A little friendly competition is the order of the day, with families invited to compete in a range of different ‘minute to win it’ style activities in an effort to earn maximum House points. Dads, mums, grannies, grampas, all families are most welcome. Please RSVP through this online FORM  if you are able to attend so we can plan accordingly.

Junior School Golf

A small group of dedicated and enthusiastic golfers have been attending lessons at Armidale Golf Course each Tuesday afternoon since the start of Term 3. The students have spent time on both the course and a variety of practice facilities developing their ability to consistently strike the ball in a range of different shots. While the group have enjoyed monstering their shots down the fairway, one of the highlights has definitely been using the simulator indoors during periods of inclement weather. 

Happy Birthday

Happy birthday this week to Ellen Adams, William Barwick, Jayden Chen, James Taylor and Hugo Whalley.


Mr Scott Chittenden
Head of Junior School



Upcoming Events

Term 3  
Wednesday 16 AugustNCIS AthleticsCoffs Harbour
 Year 2 Excursion to NERAM 
Thursday 17 AugustYears 3-5 House Dodgeball 
Friday 18 AugustKindergarten AssemblyHoskins Centre (2.45 pm)
Mufti Day
Friday 25 AugustBook Parade8.45 pm – 9.30 am
Saturday 26 AugustHomelessness Sleepout 
 Tournament of the Minds Regional FinalTamworth
Monday 28 AugustYear 4 AssemblyMemorial Hall (2.45 pm)
Friday 1 SeptemberYear 4 AssemblyMemorial Hall (2.45 pm)
Father’s Day Celebration


Junior School Sport


This week the gymnastics students all had a wonderful time and were so engaged in all the rotating activities.

The three rotations were:

  • Balance beam
  • Pommel Horse-jumping to front support, holding and landing.
  • Handstands-against a wall.

The session concluded with a whole group activity involving the students being able to spring and land on a tumble trampoline and tumble. Lots of focus all round!


Mrs Tania Hardin and Mrs Veronica Waters



The Triceratops had a great game against Souths on Saturday. It was pleasing to see the improvement in the team, with all players eagerly working hard to dribble, pass and shoot for goal. Our thanks to Scout Bush who kindly offered to play with Souths as they were short on the day and to Jana Bush for running with the team this week.

Mrs Christine Wright






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