2023 Term 3 Week 9   |   13.09.2023

TAS Talks Term 3 Week 9

01. From the Principal


A huge congratulations to all those students involved in last week’s Passing Out Parade. The weather was incredibly challenging, and every student involved did an amazing job throughout. While it was not the most enjoyable parade at the time, it will certainly be remembered for the challenges delivered by the wind and rain. Thank you also to all the staff involved in the lead up and throughout this significant event.

The TAS Parents & Friends are one of the most positive and proactive parents’ groups I have ever had the pleasure of working with. Every year there is a process where staff members and groups across the School can apply to have projects funded that will benefit large numbers of students and do not necessarily fall under a standard source of funding. This year, I would like to thank the P&F as they have committed some very significant funds to a range of amazing projects. These funds are the product of a lot of hard work volunteering on barbecues, selling cakes, making Christmas Puddings and a wide range of other activities.

The School is incredibly grateful to the P&F and everyone who has volunteered their time to assist. The wonderful projects to be funded this year, totalling just under $70,000, are:

  1. The purchase of six ‘wobble’ chairs to the Middle and Senior School Diverse Learning space.
  2. The purchase of a mobile dressing trolley for the Medical Centre.
  3. The purchase of 10 spin bikes for the TAS gym.
  4. Artwork and decoration to inspire and motivate students in the newly refurbished Science Building.
  5. Permanent, plumbed-in water station with cabinetry matching the existing bar in the Hoskins Centre. This will be utilised for performances and functions as well as daily by students.
  6. The P&F Uniform Shop – this includes a significant contribution to the relocation of the uniform shop to ‘The Sergeants Cottage’ next to the Medical Centre. There are a range of benefits to the new location which will also include storage capacity for the P&F. The current uniform shop building will be returned to its original use as classrooms.


Dr Rachel Horton

02. From the Deputy Principal


Tomorrow is RU OK? Day.

As most would be aware, the slogan of RU OK? day is ‘a conversation that could change a life’. This is undoubtedly true and the power of asking someone if they are ok is both real and important. However, asking the question and getting the true response can be easier said than done. The RU OK? website has some excellent tips on how to approach these conversations and ensure that you are ready, prepared and doing so at the right moment.

TAS is a kind and generous community. We can all be assured that if there are members of our community who need to talk and potentially are not okay, we are here for them. Please take the time to check in on those close to you and if you are not ok, please reach out; you will find support.

Mr Ray Pearson

Deputy Principal



03. Calendar of Events

Term 3
Wednesday 13 SeptemberBoarders’ Formal Dinner & Chapel Service
Thursday 14 SeptemberRUOK Day
Friday 15 SeptemberGPS AthleticsSydney
Saturday 16 SeptemberFiji Service Trip departs
AAGPS Athletics ChampionshipsSydney
Sunday 17 SeptemberGirls’ Boarding Year 12 Dinner
Monday 18 SeptemberYear 5 ExcursionUNE Smart Farm
Tuesday 19 SeptemberCIS Athletics ChampionshipsSydney
Thursday 20 SeptemberClasses end for Term 3
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 Thursday 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 term's 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


Funding Requests

Dr Horton has already highlighted the great outcome of the P&F funding request process this year and the projects it will support.

I want to add a huge thank you to all the TAS community involved in raising the funds throughout the year. And also, a thank you to those who were involved with the funding request discussion and decisions. This annual process is one of the true privileges of the P&F – being able to give the money that we’ve raised back to benefit the school community.

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 Boarding


All four senior Boarding Houses hosted their families to House Lunches on Sunday, with a number of parents joining the Heads of House and myself at the White Bull Hotel afterwards. Thanks to the Heads of House; Emma, Ben, Tim and Doug and Housemothers; Kate, Nanette, Nele, and Karyn, for all your work to ensure these lunches were well catered, attended by many parents and boarders and thoroughly enjoyed by all.

I wish all those TAS boarders travelling to Sydney this weekend to compete at the annual GPS Athletics Carnival the best of luck in what is shaping as one of the largest GPS Athletics Carnivals, with a crowd of over 10,000 expected. This Carnival is a significant GPS sporting event, and I am sure the boys competing will enjoy the unique atmosphere.

Please confirm with your respective Head/s of House, as soon as possible, your travel plans for the end of term so staffing and catering arrangements can be finalised for Thursday evening 21 and Friday morning 22 September. Should you require additional information regarding end-of-term transport, please get in touch with Mrs Veronica Lucas directly at vlucas@as.edu.au


David Drain
Director of Boarding

06. From the Director of Teaching and Learning


Year 12 – Valedictory Week

Next week marks the final week of school for our Year 12 students, and this will see a mix of last lessons with subject teachers, as well as a series of scheduled events as part of their Valedictory Week. Mrs Chick spoke to Year 12 yesterday in their year-level meeting about their worth, the power of goal setting, and she presented a wonderful speech giving them advice for the future and thanking them for their contribution. I would like to thank Mrs Chick for the ongoing support and guidance she has provided for the Year 12 cohort.

With 50 percent of their assessment completed, the HSC examinations are the perfect opportunity for our oldest students to cement their understanding of their subjects. Simple maths reveals that they are halfway there with 50 percent of their marks still to be determined in the upcoming exams. While there is much celebration, this is also a time for revision and hard work. The more marks each individual student can score in the HSC examinations, the more marks available to the group for their HSC bands and ATARs to be calculated. This is a collective effort now and our Year 12s owe it to themselves, and those who have supported them along the way, to ensure they approach these exams with effort, consistency, and commitment.

I offer my thanks to the Year 12 students; it has been an enjoyable and rewarding experience to work with them. I also give thanks to all staff who have worked with these students – some of whom taught or coached these students when they were in Junior School, Middle School or Stage 5. It is a communal effort to teach students and all staff at TAS have played some part in the education of these 74 students over the time they have been part of the TAS community. I wish Year 12 the best as they graduate and move into this final phase of assessment. It has been wonderful to walk alongside them.


Final Elevate webinar tonight

All TAS families have free access to the fortnightly Elevate Education webinars and many of you have been tuning in to these sessions over the past few months. The final webinar for Term 3 runs this evening; the focus is ‘How you can support your child during exams’. If you would like to view this webinar (live or recorded), you need to register prior to the 6.30pm start – details can be found HERE.


Welcome to the HSC Year – current Year 11 students

In the first week back next term, our current Year 11s will take part in a whole-day introduction to the HSC year. This will occur here at school on Thursday 12 October and will provide the opportunity for students to learn more about the academic year ahead. The purpose of this day is to ensure our Year 11s are prepared for a fresh start as they tip over into Year 12 content. The day will cover an overview of assessment tasks and due dates, our assessment policy, organisational sessions, a study skills workshop, subject-specific introductions and some information sessions on the HSC qualification and examination processes.


Save the Date – 2024 Winter Study Camp

The 2024 Winter Study Camp for our current Year 11s will take place in the Term 2 break next year. The dates are confirmed, and the three-day camp will run from Wednesday 17 July to Friday 19 July. This will be a non-residential camp and will run here at TAS from 8.30 am – 3.30 pm each day. The program will consist of both internal and external presenters running lectures, workshops, and supervised study to ensure our students have the balance required to consolidate their revision and study program as they move into the final academic year of their schooling. While it may seem odd to plan so far ahead, I wanted to give as much notice as possible for families so they can plan their year ahead.


Mrs Gill Downes
Director of Teaching and Learning



07. From the Director of Co-curricular


 We have just experienced a superb weekend of co-curricular activity. The 2023 Passing Out Parade will be long remembered for the challenging conditions yet high standard. The Cadet Dining-In Night and Rugby Presentation Dinner were wonderful celebrations of student achievement. In addition to these events, several TAS teams have competed in finals or grand finals. On Monday our Under 13s Mixed Hockey team and the TAS White Year 7-12 Hockey team won their respective grand finals. We look forward to this weekend where we have five TAS Netball teams in grand finals and our Under 12s Football team will also be playing for a premiership on Saturday, while on the hockey pitch TAS B Grade Men’s play their grand final against Guyra at UNE at noon on Sunday. Good luck to all.

Please find attached the Summer Training Schedule and the Extra-Curricular Schedule (Creative Arts) for Term 4.

Click HERE for the Summer Training Schedule

Click HERE for the Extra-Curricular Schedule

NIAS applications are now open for aspiring young athletes interested in trialling for the Northern Inland Academy of Sport (NIAS) 2023-24 Basketball, Future Star, Golf, Hockey, Mountain Bike, Netball and Netball Umpire Sports Programs. Click on the link to access the applications.


Mrs Huon Barrett
Director of Co-curricular

08. From the Head of Creative Arts


Monday afternoon saw the end of the Music 1 practical performance examinations, Thursday will see our Music Extension candidate doing their practical performance examination, and then all the practical and performance components of HSC 2023 Creative Arts are complete! Term 3 is always an exhausting one for CA students, accompanists and tutors, parents, and our incredible staff. But it is also such a special and rewarding time and all our Year 12 students should hold their heads up high. We now turn our attention to the written components of Drama, Music and Visual Arts, and I encourage all students to take inspiration from their achievements already and set aspirational personal academic goals.

It’s only one week until we’re visited by the world-renowned team at Windmill Theatre Company with their incredible puppet production HICCUP. 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 is not to be missed. Buy your tickets here: https://events.humanitix.com/hiccup_tas23
Mr Andrew O’Connell
Head of Creative Arts

09. From the Head of Middle School


Year 8 – Passing out Parade and Exams

I commend all of our students and staff for the outstanding display in trying conditions on Friday afternoon for the School’s Annual Passing Out Parade. This is a significant event for the School, and I thank our students and staff, particularly Mr Johnathon Woodbridge, for the time and effort that has gone into ensuring the afternoon was the spectacle it deserves to be. For our Year 8s, these rehearsals fell during the exam period and the lead-up to exam week. I have been very impressed with the way our Year 8s have conducted themselves during this period and applied themselves well, preparing for and during the exams.


I congratulate Ethan Wooldridge (Year 7), who sang the National Anthem at last weekend’s New England Rugby grand final in Armidale. Ethan was exceptional, and I commend him for his willingness to be involved.

Last weekend, a large number of Middle School boys represented New England Rugby at the Rugby Country Championships at Yamba under the coaching of Mr Bill Munsie. By all reports, the students played well and conducted themselves admirably. This is an excellent way to finish the rugby season for these students, and I congratulate  Cameron Carruthers, George Douglas Menzies, Clement McKemey, Clancy Munsie, Jack Reynell, Oliver Ritchie, Xavier Stephen, Fred Street, Elias Watene, Tom Watt and Jack Wood for their involvement in this event.


R U OK Day – Thursday 14 September

This week, in Advisor groups and Year Level sessions, we will be discussing R U OK Day and promoting the importance of respectful and positive interactions and regularly checking in with those around us. We will be using the resources of R U OK and promoting that a ‘conversation could change a life’. We will be discussing with our students how to ask if someone is ok through 4 simple steps: 1. Ask, 2. Listen, 3. Encourage Action, 4. Check-In. The R U OK website has extensive resources, and I encourage all of our families to consider looking at the resources available:



Fiji Service Trip
On Saturday, a large contingent of Year 8 students will travel to Fiji on the annual Christian service trip to St Christopher’s Orphanage, in Suva, Fiji. This program has run for over 20 years. I thank Ms Fiona Taber for her organisation and support of this important aspect of the service program. We look forward to hearing a full report from the students upon their return early next term.


Mr Luke Polson
Head of Middle School

10. From the Head of Junior School



What a wonderfully engaged community we have at TAS! Jane D. Hull, former Governor of Arizona (1997 to 2003), observed that “At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of parents.” We are grateful to our Junior School parents and guardians for their involvement with, and support of their child’s learning.

The PYP Exhibition took place on Wednesday and Thursday last week and was a tremendous celebration of the learning that each of our Year 5 students has achieved throughout their primary schooling. This year’s students were tasked with investigating the assertion that ‘Scientific and technological advances are constantly evolving and may influence the environment and people’s lives,’ with a narrower focus on their particular area of interest. These topics included defence, health, agriculture, technology, energy, transport and the environment.

Supported by staff members with a passion for their chosen topic, the students spent months in research before collaborating with their group members to communicate their findings in their information report, speech and iMovie. We are sure the many community members who were able to attend would agree that those involved certainly demonstrated that they are open-minded, risk-taking, principled and knowledgeable inquirers, all of which are key aspects of the Primary Years Programme.


The first Junior School Working Bee to prepare for the Term 4 Junior School production of Finding Nemo, held this past Sunday, was also a great success. Large numbers of parents, friends and students arrived throughout the morning to continue the wonderful work that several intrepid parents had already commenced in arranging the costumes for all Junior School students to wear in their performances. While the working bee was incredibly successful there are several costumes that still require some finishing touches. Please let your child(ren)’s teacher know if you are able to assist in this regard. The next working bee will involve the ‘bump in’ of the set for the production and is pencilled in for the afternoon (1.00pm – 4.00pm) of Sunday 22 October. Please save this date if you are interested in being involved in this – confirmation of these details will be made in the coming weeks.

Student-led reflections for students currently in Kindergarten to Year 4 will take place this Friday from 2.00pm. Those families able to attend will spend some time in their child’s classroom, reviewing work completed and collaboratively setting goals for the remainder of the year. The remainder of the afternoon will be spent observing (and possibly engaging!) in a specialist lesson. Those who have more than one child enrolled in the Junior School are asked to prioritise the classroom visit for all children in these year levels. Pre-Kindergarten students will present their learning to date in their Showcase on Tuesday 19 September. Please check your emails for further information on both of these events.

Yesterday saw wonderful levels of interest from our younger students who hoped to form their House Trivia team for the actual inter-House competition taking place during lunchtime next week. Students who are in Kindergarten, Year 1 or Year 2 and in either Broughton and Green had the opportunity to answer a series of trivia questions created by our House leaders, with the top five performing students from these groups moving on to represent their House next week. The younger students in Ross will trial for their team today, with our older students afforded the same opportunities later this week. We congratulate those who have already participated, each of whom have earned valuable House points simply by choosing to be involved. Our thanks to the Junior School student leaders who have been working hard behind the scenes to make this and other House events such successful ways to strengthen connections within the student body.

As the final sports fixtures for the winter sport season approach, we congratulate those Junior School students in the TAS Under 13s hockey team who earlier this week emerged victorious in the grand final against United 1-0. We also wish our netball players good fortune as they play in their own grand final this Saturday against the VIP Stars, with their game commencing at 12.00pm. Many of the TAS soccer teams play their last fixture for the season this weekend before our collective focus shifts to summer sport and the opportunities these present.

Happy Birthday

Celebrating birthdays this week is Neave Drain, Toby Whysall and Mini Williams. Happy birthday to you all from your friends in Junior School.


Mr Scott Chittenden
Head of Junior School



Upcoming Events

Monday 11 SeptemberHouse TriviaLunch time all week
Friday 15 SeptemberKindergarten to Year 4 Student-Led Reflections2.00 – 3.20 pm
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
Monday 9 OctoberStaff Day
Tuesday 10 OctoberClasses Resume
Sunday 15 October19 for Nineteen Challenge
Sunday 22 OctoberNemo Working Bee1.00 – 4.00 pm


Junior School Sport


On Saturday the TAS U12A Soccer team won their second semi-final to progress to the final this Saturday. It was a hotly contested 5-3 win v Guyra, in Guyra on a very cold early morning. The team warmed up and were fired up for the game. A hat-trick (again) to Harry Kauffman and two goals to Lewis Percy, with great all-round play , in particular from Zeke L, Mila N , Mohammad A. and Leo T. William pulled of what could have been the save of the season, when we were one goal up, which kept the momentum with TAS. It really was a great team effort and all our players were jumping for joy on the final whistle and should be justifiably proud of themselves. All this on the back of a cracking late goal to beat the DK Blades in the first semi-final last week (by Mohammad A). It’s been a great season, with the team training well and focussing on the 4 x key skills (1v1, running with the ball, striking the ball and first touch) and having a lot fun. They’ve played with passion and displayed great sportsmanship throughout the season. Good luck on Saturday (10:30 at Rologas) for the final against the DK Axes. Yes you can do it! Come on TAS, let’s get out and support them!

Mr Jeremy White


Community Notices