2023 Term 4 Week 1   |   11.10.2023

TAS Talks Term 4 Week 1

01. From the Principal


The start of Term 4 has come and gone with the campus alive with the sound of happy students again. As we embark on an action-packed and exciting term, I look forward to seeing the students engage in the opportunities and challenges ahead of them before we finish the year with our final Speech Day celebrations in December.

Over the term break I was fortunate to attend some incredibly informative presentations on the future of technology. The technological landscape is rapidly changing, so it is certainly worth staying as informed as possible. Safety online remains the most immediate concern for our young people as they navigate their formative years in what appears to be an increasingly difficult online space.

The internet and associated developing technologies bring so many wonderful benefits in terms of the information that is available, the ease of connection with friends and family and new capabilities. However, there is a significant negative side, which needs to be considered, discussed, and managed where possible.

It can be difficult to keep up with the latest trends or concerns and to know how to support young people with this. I have let parents know before, but it is worth repeating that the eSafety website https://www.esafety.gov.au/parents is a comprehensive and up-to-date resource with age-appropriate information for parents of children under 5 to those in their late teenage years. It includes advice on topics ranging from screentime, popular apps, their uses and associated concerns and cyberbullying to when and how to have hard conversations with your children. I highly recommend finding a little time to have a look to ensure you are aware of and have an understanding of how to mitigate the issues that might affect your child online.


Dr Rachel Horton

02. From the Deputy Principal


Despite the dry weather, TAS looks exceptional at the moment and this is no surprise with our outstanding grounds and housekeeping staff working hard over the break to ensure our students get the benefit of our beautiful campus. What a wonderful place to be.

In the past two weeks, we have had students discovering Japan and Kenya, providing meaningful service in Fiji, walking almost 200km from Red Rock to South West Rocks, showcasing art in Sydney and performing in Melbourne. This term alone we will challenge our students with outdoor activities, provide opportunities to take part in our 2024 production Chicago and excel in summer sport pursuits. There are so many opportunities for our students and, as our Year 12s will attest, the time at TAS goes very quickly. To this end, I encourage students to be bold, try new things and actively seek to be challenged. 

Of course, all the opportunities we provide are only possible due to our committed staff and volunteers. I am confident the level of respect and gratitude displayed by our students is the reason for their dedication. 

I know I speak on behalf of our whole community in wishing our Year 12s all the very best with their HSC exams which commence today.

Enjoy the next nine weeks, I am sure it will fly by!


Mr Ray Pearson
Deputy Principal



03. Calendar of Events

Wednesday 11 OctoberHSC Exams begin
Saturday 14 OctoberMiddle School Open Day12.30 – 4.30 pm ( All Welcome)
Sunday 15 October19 for Nineteen
Monday 16 OctoberHSC Exams continue
Wednesday 18 OctoberDrama Excursion
Thursday 19 OctoberNCIS TennisGrafton
Sunday 22 OctoberTAS Cricket – Wiburd ShieldTweed Heads
Monday 23 OctoberHSC Exams continue
Wednesday 25 OctoberQ Fever Vaccination Clinic
Thursday 26 OctoberOAU Committee MeetingArchdall Room (5.30)


04. From the P&F


All the very best to Year 12 students starting their HSC Exams this week.

Christmas Puddings – Brandy Donations Wanted

It’s nearly time again for TAS families to enjoy yummy P&F Christmas Puddings.

If you can donate a bottle of brandy, please contact the P&F Executive to make arrangements or leave your bottle at the School Reception.

We will again be selling puddings online this year, with details to follow. However, if you want to get in first so that you won’t miss out, you can put your name on the waiting list now by sending an email to pandf@as.edu.au


Christmas Puddings – Order Now

Famous TAS P&F Christmas Puddings can be ordered online here Order Puddings Now

For those already on the pudding waitlist, you can now use the above link to confirm and pay for your puddings.

We will communicate the process for collecting puddings over the coming weeks.


Christmas Puddings – Volunteers Wanted

The TAS P&F Christmas Pudding production weekend is set for Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 November. Please get in touch with the P&F Exec if you can volunteer for a couple of hours on either of these days.

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


HSC Examinations

Today marks the first HSC Examination – English Paper 1 – and with this comes the final stage of schooling for our wonderful Year 12s. We wish them the very best over the next four weeks for each of their exams; stay focused and work hard.

A reminder to students of all year groups that exams will be running in Memorial Hall and F1-6 from 9.25am most days with late exams not finishing until 5pm. This means that we need to be quiet when moving between classrooms and to find other spaces to stand and talk during break times. The Quad, Cash and Fisher blocks, as well as the front of Middle School need to remain as areas where noise is kept to a minimum. Year 12 will be very grateful for your thoughtfulness.


Year 11 – Welcome to the HSC Year Information Day

Our Year 11 students will begin Term 4 with a ‘Welcome to the HSC Year’ information day tomorrow, Thursday 12 October. Students will not be attending classes but rather taking part in a series of workshops and information sessions to help introduce them to the year ahead. Students are to wear their summer uniform, and a schedule has been emailed to them to outline the program. They need fully charged laptops and their pencil cases.


Year 10 – 2024 Subject Selection

Year 10 students are reminded that the 2024 Year 11 Subject Selection process is coming to a close. All students are required to make their selections via Edval by 5pm this Friday 13 October. The portal for this process is now open.

Wishing all students a very positive start to Term 4.


Mrs Gill Downes
Director of Teaching and Learning



06. From the Director of Co-curricular


This week at assembly we awarded Medallions to students in Years 6-10. Medallions recognise a student’s contribution to co-curricular activity. Congratulations to those students who received Medallions for their contribution towards the Winter Co-Curricular program. As the Summer Co-Curricular season commences this week, I encourage all students to engage wholeheartedly in their chosen endeavour. Given that the term has started student will be unable to change their sport or activity. Therefore, students will be required to persevere in their chosen activity for the remainder of the term. CLICK HERE for a list of students that received Medallions.

Students are reminded that co-curricular activities are compulsory, and sports uniform should be worn to each training session (unless otherwise advised by their MIC) and games. It is a student’s responsibility to communicate any intended absence from sport. This should be done either in person or via e-mail prior to the training session or game, with a valid reason.

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



Mrs Huon Barrett
Director of Co-curricular

Rock to Rock

An ambitious 28 students, eight parents and five staff set out for the inaugural Rock to Rock on Thursday. A Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award trek, walking from Red Rock to South West Rocks over four days, following the coastline where possible, crossing creeks, rivers, headlands and when the course was too inaccessible, venturing into State Forests to meet our Strava goals.

The program was devised by our Year 10 students, with planning stretching back to Term 1 and logistical groups being created to allow for more in-depth planning. Students were looking for a unique experience, something which had not been undertaken previously. Route options, meals, safety, clothing, transport, weather and medical were formulated in subgroups, with regular meetings designed to bring everything together.

Day 1 saw students gathering at TAS from 5:30am for an early departure to Red Rock. Commencing the walk at 9:30am, this first section of 23km was along the beach to Emerald and, with a rising tide, took the walkers from a nice hard base to a far tougher trek into the soft sand. For the first day, we were joined by Finley Boyce (Year 3!) and his Dad. The afternoon session included a variety of headlands and paths (all part of the Coffs Coastal Trek), a welcome change. Finish time on the first day was 6:45pm at the Coffs Jetty, with the most infamous comment, “I didn’t think walking was so hard!”

The second day was again an early start, back on the bus to the Jetty and off to Sawtell, a very pleasant walk. After morning tea, it was time to jump onto the bus and head into the Bongil Bongil National Park. A 5km walk under the canopy was perfect before turning right (always keep the water on your left and you won’t get lost!) and then 8km into Mylestom for lunch (was the plan). In attempting to cut through the headland, a slight geographical error saw the group come across a rather interesting Commune, an experience for the ages. The afternoon was a short walk along the Nunguu track at Valla Beach.

We woke Saturday to the threat of rain and dark skies. A quick breakfast, then onto the bus to Jack Ridge Mountain Bike Park. With large parts of the beach from Valla inaccessible, a decision was made to head into the Park in order to keep the KMs up! This turned into a terrific walk, well sheltered as the skies cleared and the sun came out. We then headed down the beach for our trek to Nambucca Heads. A rather gnarly headwind awaited us, making this section (including high tide so very soft sand) one of the toughest. Lunch and then the last 7km into Scotts Head.

Our final day was 9km from Scotts Heads to Grassy Beach, over the headland, with some whale and dolphin watching thrown in for free. A short bus ride and then 5km into South West Rocks, and that’s it, done! Four days, over 40 purposeful hours (for the Dukes), 4,000,000 blisters and yet no complaints, just the most incredible group of students. Despite the repeated early starts, the seemingly endless stretches of beach and increasing tiredness, these students were amazing! I must congratulate them all, for their determination and strength belies their years, and they are truly worthy of Gold status.

To our eight parent walkers, thank you so much. Your support of the students and this program was massive. Your willingness to jump in wherever needed, to walk at the back with someone struggling, to pass a kind word to help lift a student’s spirits all is greatly valued and appreciated. To our two Mums behind the scenes, thank you for the lollies, the help with lunch and the support. To our support staff, Miss Channon, Mr Norrie, Mr Swanson and Mr Hague, you are wonderful!


Mr James Pennington
Director of Challenge and Adventure

07. From the Head of Creative Arts


Term 4 kicks off with a bang for the Creative Arts with auditions for CHICAGO: Teen Edition. Tuesday and Thursday afternoons we see students for the Lead and Supporting roles and Ensemble auditions for girls yesterday and boys today at lunch. We’ll call back students on Sunday afternoon and finalise a cast list to be announced early next week. We wish all students the very best for their auditions and hope they know that no matter the role they will have an amazing experience as part of the cast.

This Saturday the Sydney Male Choir is in Hoskins as part of their ‘On the Road Again Tour’. The show starts at 7pm and students can attend for FREE. Jump on their website to find out more information.

Finally, I encourage you to jump onto the TAS socials to catch up on the countless end-of-term and holiday activities – from exciting HSC performance announcements to art programs and competitions, it certainly was a busy time!

Mr Andrew O’Connell
Head of Creative Arts

08. From the Head of Middle School


I would like to offer a warm welcome back to everyone as we commence the final term of the year. This term we welcome a number of new families to Middle School and I hope that you all settle into TAS well.

The final term of the year is always a busy one. A number of calendar items this term include:

  • October 14 – Middle School Open Day
  • October 15 – Triple Crown Event 2 Anya’s Wish (19 for Nineteen)
  • October 26 & 27 – Bivouac
  • November 9 – Year 7 Vaccinations
  • November 10 – Triple Crown Event 3 – TAS 4 Hour
  • November 27 – December 1 – Activities Week
  • December 7 – Middle School Final Assembly
  • December 8 – Speech Day

I would also like to draw your attention to the Middle School Open Day that will be held on Saturday 14 October from 12:30pm.  This event is for all current and prospective families to enjoy a day of adventure, fun, creative arts and STEM activities.  It will also be an opportunity for all new and current families to meet the Principal Dr Horton and myself, enjoy lunch or afternoon tea and learn more about your child’s educational opportunities during the middle years at TAS.

Year 7 – A Focus on Friendship and Positive Relationships

At the heart of our school community, we believe in nurturing not only academic growth but also emotional and social well-being. Commencing this week, our Year 7 students will be working through a week by week program designed to promote positive relationships, teach age-specific social skills, strategies to deal with conflict and promoting healthy friendships. This approach is being coordinated by a team of staff, including Ms Alix Goudge (School Counsellor), Mr AJ Whalley (Director of Pastoral Care) and Ms Fiona Taber (Year Level Coordinator). As the program progresses, it is our hope that we are able to send some resources home to parents to continue the conversations that we are having here at School and parents may find these resources useful. An outline of the program is included below and we hope that you and your child see some benefit from being engaged with the activities.

Week 1: Finding your friendship group

Week 2: Conflict

Week 3: Boundaries

Week 4: Drama Cyclones

Week 5: Being possessive

Week 6: Kindness

Week 7: Trust

Week 8/9: Changing friendships


Mr Luke Polson
Head of Middle School

09. From the Head of Junior School



It was wonderful to welcome back our students to school yesterday for what promises to be perhaps the busiest of terms this year. Walking through classes and speaking with students during break times, when they could be lured away from their games that is, it is clear that most were fortunate to enjoy a relaxing holiday break. What is also evident is that our students continue to enthusiastically support the three requests I made of them at the start of this year – to Be kind, Always try their best, and Get involved (or “BAG” for short).

Our academic programs have recommenced in earnest across all classes. While the enormous range of extra-curricular opportunities are one of the many comparatively unique aspects of a TAS education, the wonderful teaching and learning that occurs across all classrooms is arguably even more important. As such we confirm that students in Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 2 will not participate in swimming and water safety lessons this term following the extensive program that ran at the start of this year. This decision is made primarily to ensure adequate instruction time remains for the effective delivery of the mandated curriculum as outlined by NESA, the NSW Education Standards Authority. Rest assured that the delivery of a comprehensive swimming and water safety program will continue to be a significant priority for the School moving forward.

Three significant extra-curricular events are scheduled in the next fortnight that we wish to draw your attention to.

All Junior School students are warmly invited to attend the Middle School Open Day that takes place this weekend on Saturday 14 October from 12.30pm. While we hope that this opportunity may be of interest to all members of the community, we especially encourage those with children currently in Years 4 and 5 to attend with their child(ren) if possible. For further details, including information about how to register for this event, please access https://as.edu.au/middle-school-open-day/.

The 19 for Nineteen challenge, supporting Anya’s Wish, takes place on Sunday 15 October between 6.00am and 11.00am. Many participants will complete a 19km walk during this event with Junior School students having the opportunity to complete a shorter walk (between 5 and 7km) if they wish. This is the second of the TAS Tri-Star challenge program following the swim in Term 1, with the 2 Hour Wheelchair Challenge to come later in the term. Should you wish to join in this challenge activity please complete the expression of interest available here as soon as possible if you have not yet done so. Firm participant numbers are required within the next day for logistical reasons.

The second working bee in preparation for the Junior School musical Finding Nemo takes place next Sunday, 22 October, from 9.00am until approximately 1.00pm. The highly productive and well-supported first working bee last term was focussed on costumes for the cast. This time the intention will be to create and install the sets required for the performances. All assistance would be gratefully received.


Happy Birthday

Happy birthday to Cameron Rodgers who is the only Junior School student celebrating a birthday this week.


Mr Scott Chittenden
Head of Junior School



Upcoming Events

Friday 13 OctoberYear 1 Excursion to Thalgarrah
Sunday 15 October19 for Nineteen Challenge
Monday 16 OctoberJunior School Summer Sports begin
Friday 20 OctoberYear 2 AssemblyHoskins Centre (2.45 pm)
Sunday 22 OctoberNemo Working Bee1.00 – 4.00 pm
Friday 27 OctoberYear 2 Excursion to Thalgarrah
Year 4 AssemblyHoskins Centre (2.45 pm)
Monday 30 OctoberYear 5 Far Out Science DayUNE
Friday 3 NovemberYear 5 AssemblyHoskins Centre (2.45 pm)


IB Primary Years Programme

It is always so nice to hear the hum of students catching up with each other and their teachers after a holiday break. School is a very quiet place without our amazing students!

Term 4 is a busy one for our classes where we aim to maintain our strong focus on academics whilst enjoying the other events that are part of the end of year activities.

This term our younger years, Pre-K and Kindergarten will commence their final units of inquiry for the year. The table below outlines what these units will cover.


Transdisciplinary ThemeWhere we are in place and timeHow we express ourselves
Central IdeaJourneys can lead to new experiences and opportunitiesCreativity allows for expression
Lines of InquiryHow signs and symbols can communicate a message

The types of journeys people make

 The choices, decisions and planning involved in making a journey

What creativity is

Sharing and understanding perspectives

Different ways to be creative

Other year levels will commence their final units of inquiry at the commencement of Week 4.

Term 4 is also a time for reflection, where our students reflect upon the attributes of the learner profile they have developed along with the progress their approaches to learning skills have made.



Mrs Veronica Waters
PYP Coordinator


Community Notices