2023 Term 3 Week 6   |   23.08.2023

TAS Talks Term 3 Week 6

01. From the Principal


As a Round Square School, we share with around 230 other schools across the world, the belief that a number of pillars are required for strong character education, service being one of these. The Round Square Service IDEAL aims to encourage schools to “promote responsible social action that is based on a deep understanding of challenges and issues faced by individuals and communities in need of support throughout the world.”

This weekend nearly a quarter of all TAS students from Years 5 to 12 will sleep outside on cardboard boxes, moving locations throughout the night to simulate the experience of homelessness and develop an understanding of the challenges faced by so many. Adding action to the experience, throughout the night, groups will cook meals to freeze and donate to the Armidale Neighbourhood Centre, and following last week’s mufti day, the collection of tinned foods, cereal and beanies will also continue until the end of this week.

Well done to all those students who have donated or will participate in the sleepout and a huge thank you to all the staff and parents who be assisting throughout the overnight event.


Dr Rachel Horton

02. From the Deputy Principal


How good is Book Week? While I must admit my children did not ask me to help with their costumes for Friday (a blessing I believe), I genuinely love the excitement that this week brings for all the right reasons. 

Reading is good for our well-being. Through literature, one gains empathy, reduces stress, and increases self-awareness. It’s a therapeutic journey that soothes the mind and enriches the soul.

Reading makes us smarter! Brain regions are stimulated, improving connectivity and language skills. It’s a mental workout that fosters lifelong learning and intellectual growth. If we read, our knowledge deepens, vocabulary expands, and critical thinking flourishes. It’s a cornerstone of learning that broadens horizons and fosters a lifelong quest for wisdom.

Life can certainly get busy and with all the wonderful sport of an evening this past month, I have substituted the paper book for an audiobook which has allowed me to multitask whilst still absorbing a fantastic story. Finding the time to read for leisure can be challenging, Book Week is a great reminder of how important it is for us to read and the enjoyment that can be found in making and keeping it part of our routine.

As Albert Einstein once said, “The only thing you absolutely have to know is the location of the library.”

I look forward to seeing our Book Parade on Friday morning and sharing the joy of reading with our community. 


Mr Ray Pearson
Deputy Principal


03. Calendar of Events

Term 3
Thursday 24 AugustAgquip
NCIS Rugby 7sArmidale
Friday 25 AugustExhibit A HSC Visual Arts ExhibitionHoskins Centre (5 pm)
Saturday 26 AugustTournament of the Minds Final
Homelessness Sleepout
Sunday 27 AugustArmidale Junior Rugby Union Gala Day at TAS
TAS Opens Hockey Teams Dinner
Tuesday 29 AugustPassing Out Parade training3.45 pm
Wednesday 30 AugustPassing Out Parade training3.45 pm
NCIS Mountain BikingWoolgoolga
Thursday 31 AugustBATYR Presentations ( Years 11/12)


Boarder Travel

Please follow the link below and complete the form if you wish to book travel for your child for the end of Term (Friday 22 September) and start of Term (Monday 9 October).

Chartered coach services are provided free to students travelling between their home and school – not interstate home destinations. Booking is essential and it would be greatly appreciated if bookings could be made by Wednesday 23 August using the link to the form provided below.

If you have any queries regarding travel, please contact Mrs Veronica Lucas on vlucas@as.edu.au

Mrs Veronica Lucas


Term 4 Twilight Concert

Term 4 Twilight Concert is scheduled for 9 November. We are offering students the opportunity to start their planning early. I encourage you to start thinking about your performance now and submit your entry using the link to the form below.

If you have any queries regarding the Twilight Concert, please contact Mrs Leanne Roobol or Mrs Veronica Lucas at music@as.edu.au

Mrs Veronica Lucas


04. From the Director of Teaching and Learning


Upcoming assessment

With Year 8 heading into an examination period in Week 8 (September 4-8) and our Year 11 revising for their End of Course (EOC) Examinations, which occur in Week 9 (September 11-15), this is a busy time in the academic space at The Armidale School. As you may be aware from recent communications, we are encouraging our students to work through three phases of revision:

  1. Finalising notes (on specific topics from a subject)
  2. Working on committing these notes to memory (via palm cards, quizzes, testing themselves on facts or features of their work, asking others to quiz them verbally, planning actual answers)
  3. Focusing predominantly on writing practice answers, especially in the week leading up to the exam or assessment. (Students should see their teachers for examples of exam-style questions to facilitate this practice.)

I often refer to the ‘main event’ and the importance of preparing for exams by doing exams. We can discuss, plan, read over notes as much as we like, but until you are actually practising the form in which you are going to be examined, you are never really properly prepared for the ‘main event’. In the vast majority of cases, this involves answering questions using pen and paper, under timed conditions. It is the best way to know you are ready for the exam.

Year 11 Information Webinar (for current Year 11 families)

The recording of the most recent Year 11 Information Webinar has now been emailed to all Year 11 families. The online session, which took place last Tuesday evening involved 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.

As discussed in the recording, all Year 11 students have now completed a 1.5-hour workshop focusing on the preparation of a clear study plan for the weeks ahead. I hope this process has been helpful for all students.

If there are any questions arising from the webinar, or this important phase of schooling for your child, please reach out to Mrs Elaine McKellar, Mr Mark Taylor, your child’s Advisor, or to me.

Supervision arrangements during Year 11 EOC Exam Week

All Year 11 students and families will be sent an email later today about the daily arrangements for Week 9 during their End of Course (EOC) Examinations.

To summarise, in Week 9, students will attend their regular classes as per the usual timetable whenever they are not in exams. 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 11 teachers are the best people to offer this supervision in known, smaller groupings.

Please read over the email for finer details.

Year 12

The Trial HSC Examinations are now complete, and it was very positive to have Year 12 back in class the last few days. While the sitting of the examinations was a huge undertaking, it is vital to note that our Year 12s have now completed 50% of their assessment; the HSC Examinations comprise the final 50% of assessment. This means it is time to ramp up, not time to power down.

Year 12 teachers will be structuring detailed and practice-driven lessons where our Year 12 students are continuing to consolidate and strengthen their exam writing skills. Now is the time to:

  • Sit timed papers
  • Closely edit and polish previously written essays
  • Seek feedback from teachers on their accuracy and expression of answers
  • Work on expanding how many words they can write in a timed sitting.

Trial Examination papers will begin to be returned as of Monday next week. A huge thank you to Year 12 staff who are currently marking and giving feedback on these papers.

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 worthwhile read for parents and students with tips, insights, and case studies on HSC preparation and experiences.


Inaugural TAS Creative Writing Competition

A reminder that submissions for the Inaugural TAS Creative Writing Competition are open.

All submissions must be made by 3.30pm, Friday 8 September (Week 8, Term 3).


Mrs Gill Downes
Director of Teaching and Learning



International Literacy Day
( Inaugural TAS Creative Writing Competition)

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 encour-age 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 sto- ry. You may use one side of an A3 piece of paper. You can have an adult scribe a descrip- tion 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.

Due Date

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 amurray1@as.edu.au by 3:30 pm on the due date. Please include your name and the division that you have entered in the email.


  • The piece of creative work must be original and made for the purposes of this competition.
  • Applicants must not plagiarise or use AI in preparing their submission.
  • Applicants must not get assistance from tutors, teachers, parents or anyone else – it needs to be their own work.
  • Maximum word counts must be adhered to. Note, that there are no minimum word counts.


  • Each division winner will be awarded a $50 gift voucher to Reader’s Companion in Armidale.
  • The overall winner will be awarded a $150 gift voucher to Reader’s Companion in Armidale.
  • All winners will be published in TAS Talks.


Download PDF


Mrs Alexandra Murray
Head of English

05. Academic


AgQuip Excursion

Students from Years 9/10, Stage 5 Agriculture electives and Year 11 Agriculture and PI ONLY will be attending AgQuip on Thursday 24 August.

The bus leaves at 6.30 am from the front of the School at the Flag Poles. Please arrive at 6.15 am as the bus leaves exactly at 6.30 am with no exceptions.

The bus returns at approximately 6.00 pm at the Flag Poles.

Dress/ Uniform.


  • Neat Blue Jeans. No holes
  • TAS Grey Shirt
  • TAS Grey Jumper or Blue Co-curricular hoodie
  • TAS Coat
  • TAS Hat or Akubra. No Exceptions
  • Fully enclosed leather-covered footwear.


  • Neat Blue Jeans. No holes
  • TAS Blue PE Shirt
  • TAS Navy Jumper or Blue Co-curricular hoodie
  • TAS Coat
  • TAS Hat or Akubra. No Exceptions
  • Fully enclosed leather-covered footwear.

All students are expected to return on the TAS buses from Ag Quip. Any deviation from this must be approved by Mr Pearson before Tuesday 21 August and provided in writing to Mr Ball by Mr Pearson.

Mr Pearson will not approve any leave from School on Friday/Saturday that has not been cleared by teachers and sports coaches prior.


Mr Mike Ball
Agriculture Coordinator

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 Director of Co-curricular


This week marks the end of the regular season for many of our sports. Training will continue next week for all sports regardless of a team’s position in the finals. Football, hockey, netball and volleyball continue to push for the finals and in most cases, rugby will play modified games in an end-of-season wrap-up.

On Monday TAS had a visit from Cricket NSW. The WIG (widely important goal) program seeks to maximise playing opportunities for young people. Henry Cupitt (Cricket NSW Manager – Northern Inland) as well as three current contracted NSW players attended the session. Students in Years 4-7 had the opportunity to develop their skills and hone in on their batting, bowling and fielding.

Congratulations to our TAS athletes who competed last Wednesday at the NCIS Athletics Carnival. TAS sent a large team of competitors and it was pleasing to see so many students performing well and registering personal bests. TAS finished 4th overall in both the primary and secondary sections of the Carnival.

Some notable performances included TAS students being named as age champions.

  • 11 Boys 1st place age champion Baxter Carruthers
  • 12 Girls 3rd place age champion Ella Bach
  • 14 Girls 2nd place age champion Ashlee Morgan
  • 16 Girls 3rd place age champion Camilla Coupland
  • 17 Boys 2nd place age champion Max Rogers.

Summer Co-curricular choices will take place this week. At this stage, students will only be allowed to choose ONE sport. Students nominating to be involved in the Musical can choose a sport providing it does not clash with the musical commitments. Students are expected to meet the requirements of that activity for the duration of the term, due to staffing and nominations of teams, there will be no changes to activities at the beginning of next term.

Given recent changes and the ability to adequately resource these sports, triathlon and under-12 rugby will not be offered as Summer Co-curricular options this season.

Please take the opportunity to discuss these options with your child in the coming weeks.

CLICK HERE for Summer Co-curricular Choices


Reminder – Student Illness

Students who are absent from school with an illness, will not be able to play sport that day (game or training) or in the case of being off school on a Friday that student will not be able to play on the weekend. The emphasis is on getting better and returning to school.


Mr Huon Barrett
Director of Co-curricular

08. From the Head of Creative Arts


It only feels like yesterday that the cast took their final bows for Legally Blonde: The Musical but we’re already looking to 2024 and yesterday I announced that next year’s TAS Production will be CHICAGO: Teen Edition. This iconic blockbuster is sure to light up the Hoskins stage with its flashing choreography, striking aesthetic, and sharp characters. Judging by the student and staff reactions to our rather playful announcement video at assembly, I think we’ve made a very popular choice. Information has gone out to students in the Summer Co-curricular choices email and we’ll be sending more information about key dates soon.

Last Wednesday and Thursday we had the Year 8 Arts Immersion, giving students a rich experience of Art, Drama, Music and Slam Poetry. Students got busy with stencils and spray paint, built and operated paper puppets, jammed out as a band, or quickly wrote their own slam poems. It culminated in a Hoskins showcase that saw powerful and funny poems delivered from the heart, bands rocking out with original compositions, a giant 3-metre-tall cyclops chasing some mischievous monkeys around the stage, and multicolour art decorating the walls. My thanks to the amazing team who helped make this extraordinary opportunity possible, the hours and hours are appreciated by all the students. A number of great shots have already popped up on the School’s social accounts and the photos can be found here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/WajJ9tySVt2LhyCKA

Finally, we wish the HSC Drama students the very best with their Practical Performance Examinations next Tuesday. Chookas!

Mr Andrew O’Connell
Head of Creative Arts

09. From the Head of Junior School



It was wonderful to travel with approximately thirty Junior School students to Coffs Harbour last week as they competed in one or more events at the NCIS Athletics carnival. Despite the arduous bus trip to the venue, all performed very well, representing both themselves and the School incredibly well. TAS Junior School placed fourth out of the fourteen schools that competed, a remarkable achievement given the school’s comparative size.  While all performed admirably, we especially congratulate Baxter Carruthers (Year 5) for his phenomenal efforts across all disciplines. Among his highlights, Baxter broke the NCIS high jump record before this was then broken in turn, and he placed first overall in the shotput from a large pool overall. Baxter was recognised for his efforts as the overall age champion for 11-year-old boys.


Last Friday was the National Day of Action Against Bullying. It was a privilege to spend some time in Kindergarten’s wonderful student-led assembly outlining the importance of treating one another respectfully and the way we would all wish to be treated. All classes are unpacking this important concept in the Safety unit of our Bounce Back program, with the following key messages being investigated in detail:

  • What bullying is, and What it is not
  • Bullying, in all forms, can cause great harm
  • Bullying is not ok at our school
  • Bullying is everyone’s problem
  • Teachers want to be told when bullying is happening
  • If someone is being bullied, it is not their fault
  • Why do some children bully others
  • Thinking for yourself, not just following others
  • Try to be an ‘upstander’ not a ‘bystander’
  • If you are being bullied, tell the person to stop. If they don’t, ask a teacher for help
  • Be a friend to someone who is being bullied.

The School’s Anti-Bullying Policy is available for all parents and guardians to read at their discretion. This can be found on the Parent Portal of the School website (note access to this section has recently been restricted – your login credentials have been emailed to you at the start of August). Should you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact your child’s class teacher, the Head of Junior School or the Director of Pastoral Care (via bullying@as.edu.au).

A small group of passionate cricketers were fortunate to spend some time participating in a cricket workshop of NSW cricket on Monday this week. They participated in a variety of drills and activities and had the opportunity to meet contracted cricket players.

The highly anticipated Book Week Parade takes place this Friday 25 August. Parents and friends are warmly invited to join the Junior School students in Memorial Hall for an 8.45 am scheduled start. Tea and coffee will be available for parents in the foyer with excellent viewing available in the upstairs area. Each of the class groups will take turns to parade in a small group in front of their peers before all students move outside where parents are welcome to take photographs of their children in costume. While students may remain in costume for the day, many may find it more comfortable to change into sports uniforms after the parade and before the recess break. We ask for your support in ensuring shoulders and faces are suitably protected from the sun, and that closed shoes are worn during break times.

Thank you to the large number of community members who have completed the RSVP process for the Celebrating Families (Father’s Day) event taking place between 2.30 pm and 3.30 pm on Friday 1 September. Indicative numbers will be very helpful in arranging the activities for this event. Please let us know if you or someone will be attending through this online form.

Happy Birthday

Happy birthday to Will Jiang, Ivy Rice, Angus Shiels and Roman Sue who all celebrate birthdays this week.


Mr Scott Chittenden
Head of Junior School



Upcoming Events

Term 3  
Friday 25 AugustBook Parade8.45 pm – 9.30 am Memorial Hall
Saturday 26 AugustHomelessness Sleepout 
 Tournament of the Minds Regional FinalTamworth
Monday 28 AugustYear 4 ExcursionUNE Natural History Museum
Friday 1 SeptemberFather’s Day Celebration2. 45pm Memorial Hall
Wednesday 6 SeptemberYear 5 Exhibition Opening5.30 pm Hoskins Foyer
Thursday 7 SeptemberYear 5 Exhibition Community Viewing9.00 – 11.00 Hoskins Foyer
Kindergarten Excursion to Thalgarrah
Friday 8 SeptemberYear 1 Assembly2.45 pm Hoskins
Pre-Kindergarten Excursion to Thalgarrah
International Literacy Day
Friday 18 SeptemberKindergarten to Year 5 Student-Led Reflections
Tuesday 19 SeptemberPre-Kindergarten Showcase2.00 – 3.30 pm


Junior School Sport

NCIS Athletics – Coffs Harbour

Last Wednesday a team of thirty Junior School children travelled to Coffs Harbour for the NCIS Athletics Carnival. We were very fortunate to have some lovely weather to participate in. With 14 Primary Schools to compete against our team’s results landed us 4th place in the Primary Schools section.

Baxter Carruthers was a standout on the day, claiming the 11 years boy champion. Congratulations to Baxter who competed in most events during the day without much of a break. Well done to all athletes who performed with great enthusiasm and sportsmanship on the day. Thank you also to the parents who attended to support their children.


Baxter Carruthers competed in most events



Several students have enjoyed their golf lessons at the Armidale Golf Club this season as part of their winter sports program. Immy Waters, Lachie McDowell and Bridei Stewart worked hard on their bunker shots this week.




Mrs Christine Wright

Community Notices