2023 Term 3 Week 8   |   06.09.2023

TAS Talks Term 3 Week 8

01. From the Principal


The final events for our Year 12 students before they graduate at the end of this term are well underway with Winter Sports Dinners and awards and HSC showcase events nearly completed, the latest of these being Final Note with wonderful performances from our HSC music students. This Friday marks the start of the more formal occasions and I look forward to seeing many of you at the 2023 Ceremonial Passing Out Parade of  The Armidale School Cadet Unit. For those who have not been before, if you are able, please do consider joining us at 2 pm. The students work incredibly hard to make this a very special event for TAS.

This week is also a big week for our Year 5 students, the culmination of many weeks of work towards their IB Primary Years Programme exhibitions where they will share their knowledge and understanding of their chosen topics with parents, friends and other TAS students. Having some insider information on some of the projects, I can say that the reports and stands this year are set to be outstanding.

In staffing news, at the end of this term, we farewell Ms Amanda Robins, Head of Mathematics after 16 years at TAS. Ms Robins will be taking some much-deserved long service leave until the end of the year and moving permanently to the coast. While she is a passionate mathematician, Ms Robins is also a true lover of the Arts and we will no doubt see her return to watch the TAS productions annually. We congratulate Mrs Rachel Piddington who has been appointed as the new Head of Mathematics from the start of Term 4.

We will also farewell Mrs Anna Gayner. Mrs Gayner has worked in a range of administration roles at TAS over more than 20 years, most recently as Senior School Admin Assistant. In her own words, she is finally graduating from school to move into tertiary education as she will be starting an exciting new role at the University of New England.

After nearly four years as a teacher of English and Drama at TAS, Mr Andrew Wheatley will also leave TAS at the end of term. Mr Wheatley has been an inspiring and energetic teacher to many students. He will perhaps be both remembered and missed most for his significant contributions to Middle School Productions and TAS Football.

We wish all of our departing staff the very best in their new ventures.

Finally, I would like to congratulate Mr Jordan Lane on his appointment as Head of White House (Middle School Boys Boarding) for 2024. Mr Lane has gained significant pastoral and boarding experience in recent years and will be an excellent addition to our Head of House team.


Dr Rachel Horton

02. From the Deputy Principal


Our Assembly yesterday was dedicated to celebrating NAIDOC Week, which in 2023 has the theme of ‘For our Elders.’ The week holds immense significance for Indigenous Australians as it provides a vital platform for celebrating their rich cultures, traditions, and contributions to Australian society. At the heart of this celebration are the Elders, who are revered figures within Indigenous communities. Elders serve as the custodians of traditional knowledge, passing down wisdom, stories, and cultural practices from one generation to the next.

NAIDOC Week fosters unity and understanding among diverse communities. As Professor Linda Burney emphasises, “NAIDOC Week is a time for all Australians to come together to celebrate the history, culture, and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.” It encourages dialogue, education, and reconciliation, promoting a brighter future built on mutual respect and appreciation.

The Middle and Senior School students were treated to a dance performance by our Indigenous students who partnered up with non-Indigenous students in the spirit of reconciliation. I would like to acknowledge and thank our Indigenous student leaders Harrison Miller and Sarskia Clark for speaking to the student body, to Mr Bob Blair for teaching our students the dance and performing at the assembly and our First Nations Student Coordinator Mr Clarrie Moran for his leadership and support of our Indigenous Students here at TAS.


Mr Ray Pearson
Deputy Principal



03. Calendar of Events

Term 3
Wednesday 6 SeptemberPassing Out Parade training3.45 pm
Year 5 PYP ExhibitionHoskins Centre ( 5.30 pm)
P&F Meeting7.00 pm
Thursday 7 SeptemberPassing Out Parade training3.45 pm
Friday 8 SeptemberPassing Out Parade2.00 pm
Cadet Dining In Night6.00 pm
Saturday 9 SeptemberTAS Rugby Opens DinnerTattersalls Hotel ( 6.00 pm)
Monday 11 SeptemberYear 11 End of Course Exams
Tuesday 12 SeptemberNCIS BasketballCoffs Harbour
Wednesday 13 SeptemberBoarders Formal Dinner & Chapel Service
Thursday 14 SeptemberRUOK Day
Friday 15 SeptemberGPS AthleticsSydney
Saturday 16 SeptemberFiji Service Trip
AAGPS Athletics ChampionshipsSydney
Sunday 17 SeptemberGirls Boarding Year 12 Dinner
Monday 18 SeptemberYear 5 ExcursionUNE Smart Farm
Tuesday 19 SeptemberCIS Athletics ChampionshipsSydney
Friday 22 SeptemberValedictory Day
Staff Day
Term Break


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


Term's notice of withdrawal

This is a reminder to parents to notify us by the end of term if your child is not returning to TAS in 2024. We require one full school term's written notice (or half a school terms' fees in lieu of notice) when withdrawing a student from the school. In some year levels, we have waiting lists and we need to be able to contact those on the list who are hoping to secure a place at the school. Advice may be emailed to enrolments at enrol@as.edu.au

04. From the P&F


P&F Meeting Wednesday 6 September

The P&F will meet on Wednesday 6 September 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.

The main focus of this meeting will be to review and discuss Funding Requests. We will have short presentations from several of the project applicants so we can understand how the P&F can best give back to the school community.

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 215 517 2798
Password: parents

Contact P&F Executive

If you have anything you would like to raise with the P&F Executive, please send us an email at pandf@as.edu.au


Mr Paul Gaddes
P&F President

05. From the Director of Teaching and Learning


We wish our Year 8, 9, 10 and 11 students the very best as they sit, or prepare to sit major assessments. All students in these years are encouraged to prioritise study and revision to ensure they are as well prepared as possible. Eight to ten hours of sleep is a vital component of examination preparation, as is the balance between work and leisure.

Year 12 continues with their targeted revision for HSC Examinations; there is much work to be done with 50 percent of the assessment still to come. Rather than seeing this as daunting, it is a wonderful opportunity to maximise marks in all subject areas. This is the time to ensure each student is contributing well to the collective effort of this year’s cohort receiving as many marks as possible across all subjects.

Year 5 students will present their PYP Exhibition this evening in Hoskins. This is a culmination of months of research and collaboration with their teacher, Mrs Waters, their peers, and their mentors including Mr Arndt who is instrumental in supporting our Year 5 students through this complex and exciting project. It would be great to see you there this evening from 5.30 pm.

A reminder about supervision arrangements during Year 11 End of Course Exam Week: Students will attend their regular classes as per the usual timetable whenever they are not in exams next week. No lessons will be taught but rather, silent supervised study will occur in these rooms for each 45-minute lesson. Students (day and boarding) may sign out from school ONLY after their FINAL exam is dismissed. This is to be done in line with our regular leave procedures.


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 percent 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.

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


Science Week

This term, we celebrated Science Week with two new challenges for students – the egg and parachute build and the ‘big issue’ writing competition.

Many of our Year 11 Physics students gave their all during a frantic lunchtime build session, producing two marvellous models. These were tested by dropping over 5 metres to the unyielding paving of the senior quadrangle. The winning entry by James Collum survived the fall and he won the $75 gift voucher to Reader’s Companion. An admirable and combined effort by Riley Wickham, Jackson Harris and Heather Bassett faired less well and after scraping their egg test pilot off the pavement, they were awarded the runners-up prize. Thanks also to Bella Lucas and Lucy Newell for having a go.

Writers from across Senior School argued for and against various versions of nuclear energy in an effort to reduce climate pollution. The winner with the most compelling and factual entry was Heather Bassett, with second place to Nina Deshon and a most commendable entry by Sadie Abbott.

Thank you to the Science staff for supporting the week and all the students who participated.


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

Co-curricular Reports

NCIS Mountain Biking

On Thursday 31 August the inaugural NCIS Mountain Bike Event was held at Woolgoolga MTB trails. Eighteen students from TAS’ MTB team were selected to race at this event and their performance did not disappoint. Our students thoroughly enjoyed the unfamiliar timed stage-race, on two well-built flowy enduro trails, with one cross-country trail in the mix. Riders were electronically timed on each stage and they could ride each stage up to five times, with their fasted time from each stage going toward their accumulative time for all three stages. All our students rode outstandingly for their first time in this format. Congratulations must go to Bethan Palfreyman and Emily Benham who placed first and second respectively in the Year 11/12 girls, and to Toby Inglis, Abbott White and Oscar MacFarlane who placed first, second and third respectively in the Year 11/12 boys division. An extra mention must go to Toby who was the fastest rider of the event out of 112 students! TAS placed a commendable third in the schools ranking, behind two coastal schools with the home-trail advantage. Nevertheless, their students must be congratulated for their skill, developed from working these trails. Next year we look forward to entering a larger team and getting in some enduro-style training before the event. Thanks must go to Mr Curtis Coulson and Mr Matt Benham for their work in getting our team along to this event.

Mrs Jo Benham
MIC Mountain Biking

07. From the Head of Creative Arts


Last night saw an incredible showcase of musical talent from our HSC Music 1 and Music Extension candidates. The Hoskins Centre was filled to the brim with energetic audience members enjoying performances that ranged from contemporary to jazz, pop to classical, and musical theatre to bossa nova. The students performed with such confidence and energy, for many giving one final public performance after a great many years delighting TAS audiences with their talents. My congratulations to the students, their dedicated teachers Mr Tom Collett and Ms Leanne Roobol, and the countless amazing professional and student accompanists supporting the performers. We wish all those HSC students the very best with their performance examinations next week.

For our young Junior School families we encourage you to grab a ticket to HICCUP at the very end of the term. The performance is 10am Friday 22 September, the first day of the school holidays, which we hope will allow parents to take their young ones and share in the joy of live performance. HICCUP is for students aged 4 to 8 and having seen past productions by Windmill Theatre – arguably of the highest standard of any professional company we’ve had tour to Armidale – it is not to be missed. Buy your tickets here: https://events.humanitix.com/hiccup_tas23

Mr Andrew O’Connell
Head of Creative Arts

08. From the Head of Middle School


Rugby 14s

Congratulations to our U14s girls who defeated Gunnedah 34-19 at Scully Park in Tamworth last Friday, to take out the 14s girls premiership in the North West Region Youth Rugby Competition. Well done and I take this opportunity to thank the coaching and support staff, as well as all the parents, for their continued support of this team throughout the season.

Debating Success

Our Year 8 debating team consisting of Cormac Downes (1st Speaker), Jessica Emmery (2nd Speaker), Peter Thompson (3rd Speaker) and Dominic Nguyen (4th Speaker) have succeeded thus far in the National Virtual Debating Competition. After winning two of their three debates in the pool round, the team made it through to the knockout rounds, debating against PLC Sydney last week in a tough debate, in which the team argued the negative for the topic ‘Australia should directly elect their Prime Minister’. Our TAS team was the strongest on the day, winning the debate and progressing into the quarter-finals of the competition. We wish the team well as they look to their next debate and thank Mr Tim Hughes for his coordination and support of this team.

Passing Out Parade

This Friday, the School will join together to take part in the Annual Ceremonial Passing Out Parade of The Armidale School Cadet Unit, which will commence at 2:00 pm on Friday 8 September. Our Year 8 Cadets will continue to have rehearsals this afternoon and tomorrow afternoon, after school. Please ensure that all of Year 8 are present at these rehearsals. Parents and carers are welcome to join us on this special occasion on Friday as we formally thank our Year 12 Cadets for their service to the TAS Cadet Unit.

Year 8 Exams

Yesterday, our Year 8 students commenced their exams. Our staff couldn’t be more impressed with the way all of the students maturely conducted themselves and did their best in these sessions. Year 8 has two more exams to complete, tomorrow and Friday morning, and we will wish them every success in these assessment tasks.

Water Bottles & Hats

As the weather continues to warm up and we move further into Spring, it is important that all students attend school each day with their TAS hat as well as a water bottle. We want to ensure that our students are sun-safe when out on the playground during break times and avoid disruption to classes with students getting drinks. Your support with this is greatly appreciated.


Mr Luke Polson
Head of Middle School

09. From the Head of Junior School



Last week I wrote about the importance of a sense of community within a school and the significance that this plays in the lives of our children. Indeed, the level of parental involvement and community engagement was a very large reason for my family’s decision to move to TAS, a conclusion that I believe many of families have similarly reached.

Thank you to all the adults who were able to attend the Celebrating Families event on Friday. Our students certainly seemed to enjoy playing games and completing activities with one or more of the significant adults in their lives and we hope this was mutual. Congratulations to all who participated throughout the day. While the focus of this event was very much on spending time together there was most definitely an element of competition with House points earned at each event depending on an individual’s performance. Final placings for the day were:

  • 1st Green House
  • 2nd Ross House
  • 3rd Broughton House

Another significant community event, the PYP Exhibition, takes place tonight from 5.30 pm. All are welcome and encouraged to attend this showcase and celebration of student learning. Each year schools across the world that offer the Primary Years Programme of the International Baccalaureate host the Exhibition at the culmination of the primary years of a child’s education. Students typically work collaboratively in small groups, with guidance from a mentor, to research and share their understanding of a real-life topic or issue. This year we have been fortunate to have a range of guest presenters speak with the class as a whole and/or smaller topic-based groups, and are certain that all who are able to attend will learn something about how “Scientific and technological advances are constantly evolving and may influence the environment and people’s lives”. The Exhibition will continue on Thursday morning between 9.00 and 11.00 am.

The first working bee for the 2023 Junior School production of Finding Nemo takes place in Hoskins this Sunday morning from 9.00 am – 12.00 pm. The focus during this time will be on the preparation of costumes. Ms Leasa Cleaver, the director of this year’s musical extravaganza, has suggested those who are able to attend may like to bring one or more of the following items to increase the productivity of the working bee. Ms Cleaver has already secured sourced a range of resources.

  • Sewing machine
  • Sewing kit with needle, thread and pins
  • Scissors
  • Glue guns
  • Cardboard boxes of any size
  • Scrap material or craft supplies that you are willing to donate.

This Friday is International Literacy Day, and the final opportunity to submit entries for the creative writing competition being run by the TAS English department. It has been wonderful to see a growing number of student entries, and even some from staff and parents, handed into Mrs Lasker at the Junior School reception. Please see further details about this competition in this and previous editions of TAS Talks.

This Friday also sees the annual Passing Out Parade that commences at 2.00 pm. Students in Years 4 and 5 will have the opportunity to support this community event with their class groups. Given the nature of the event and the requirements of those in attendance, our younger students will not do so. Junior School parents and guardians are most welcome to attend what promises to be a tremendous spectacle. Should you wish for your young child to attend we ask that you sign them out through Junior School reception as is normal practice.

This week saw the final practice session for many of the winter sports following the conclusion of their respective sports seasons. Some practices continue into next week with several teams now participating in either an extended round-robin competition or the finals of their chosen sport. Your child’s coach or Sport MIC should inform you of any continuing practices. The benefits of participation in extra-curricular programs are very well-researched, and we are confident that all participants have benefitted from their involvement in their chosen sport, regardless of their team or individual successes. Our thanks to those who have completed the online process to nominate their sport for the upcoming summer season. Confirmation of sports selection for all Junior School students is expected to occur in the coming days once teams are finalised.

Earlier this week I learned of another fabulous community initiative in which one of our Junior School students is involved. Year 2 student Grace has elected to participate in the Hair With Heart program, a fundraiser and hair donation program run by Variety – the Children’s Charity.  Grace’s luxurious hair will be cut very short towards the end of term with her hair being donated to make a wig for someone who has lost their own hair for medical reasons. Donations are gratefully received through the website https://hairwithheart.variety.org.au/s/11138/11180/e.

Happy Birthday

Happy birthday to Hassan Almokhtar, Charlie Crowley, Grace Grogan, William Grogan, Nancy Ma and Luke Varvari who all celebrate this week.


Mr Scott Chittenden
Head of Junior School



Upcoming Events

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
Sunday 10 SeptemberNemo Working Bee9.00 – 12.00 pm
Friday 15 SeptemberKindergarten to Year 5 Student-Led Reflections
Monday 18 SeptemberYear 5 Excursion to UNE Smart Farm
Tuesday 19 SeptemberPre-Kindergarten Showcase2.00 – 3.30 pm
Thursday 21 SeptemberTerm endsClasses conclude
Friday 22 SeptemberStaff Day


Junior School Sport


The TAS Primary team played an exceptional semi-final match against the VIP Stars on Saturday. The girls played with tenacity, and determination and demonstrated remarkable skill throughout the game. The energy from the girls on the court was electric and there was no stopping them from gaining a significant lead from the first whistle. TAS Primary maintained a high level of respect and sportsmanship towards both their opponents and the umpires throughout the match and walked away with an astonishing 39 – 14 win; seeing them fast-track straight to the Grand Finals in a fortnight’s time. Well done girls on not only a tremendous game but a fantastic season of growth and teamwork. I look forward to your upcoming grand final match.


Mrs Kate Moloney

Community Notices