2023 Term 4 Week 4   |   01.11.2023

TAS Talks Term 4 Week 4

01. From the Principal


For centuries, many of the great thinkers have told us that happiness is truly found in helping others. At TAS we encourage all of our students to engage in meaningful community service from cooking for the homeless of Armidale to helping at Mininbah Primary School. This service also extends to raising money and awareness for a range of causes, often close to the heart of our school community.

Over the next 10 days a number of TAS students, led by the Prefects will be selling poppies in the lead up to Remembrance Day. All funds raised will go to Soldier On, an organisation established by a TAS Old Boy, John Bale, with two others, in memory of their friend, TAS Old Boy Michael Fussell who was killed in Afghanistan in 2008. This not-for-profit supports Defence personnel who have been physically or psychologically injured in the line of duty. Their mission is to deliver evidence-based programs and services to ensure Australia’s Defence families enjoy happy, healthy, meaningful lives – during and after military service.

Those who have served in the Defence Force have made a huge sacrifice for their community and country and contributing a small amount to Soldier On can help to support them in living a meaningful civilian life. We will also take time to remember those who do not have that opportunity, who made the ultimate sacrifice, as we do in every assembly, on 11 November. Lest we forget.


Dr Rachel Horton

02. From the Deputy Principal


The resilience of many in our community was tested and developed last week while on Bivouac. Thursday’s unexpected weather event challenged all those out on the program, staff and students alike. I congratulate our staff on making the correct decisions to ensure the safety of our students, our parents for their flexibility to change and support us and most significantly, our students for their resilience. 

TAS is not normal. From the amazing grounds and facilities to the dedicated staff and strong sense of community, there is plenty that sets us apart. The key difference for me, though, is how we embrace challenges and provide an outdoor education program that teaches our students the depth of their capacity in a safe and supportive environment. The shared experience of our Activities Program is core to a TAS education and why we as a School are passionate for all students and families to embrace the unique opportunity provided. 

In Week 8 (26 November – 1 December), Students in Middle and Senior Schools will have their final Activities Days for 2023. Information on Activities Week has been communicated to students and can be found in TAS Talks. Our final compulsory events for 2023 are our Speech Day ceremonies in Week 9 (Junior School – 7 December/Middle and Senior School – 8 December). As both are compulsory events, student attendance is expected and leave will not be approved from School during these periods. I thank our parents for their support in ensuring all students participate in the Annual Camp and have the opportunity to congratulate and be congratulated by their peers.


Mr Ray Pearson
Deputy Principal



03. Calendar of Events

Wednesday 1 NovemberP&F Meeting
Friday 3 NovemberNorthern NSW Clay Target Carnival
Ethics Olympiad Competition (Year 9)
Tuesday 7 NovemberStudent Leaders Induction Ceremony
Thursday 9 NovemberYear 9 & 10 Exams
Twilight Concert
Year 7 Vaccinations
Friday 10 NovemberRemembrance Day Ceremony
Saturday 11 November2023/24 Rowing Season LaunchMalpas Dam



RSA Course

TAS will be running a Responsible Service of Alcohol course on Sunday 19 November from 8:45am - 4pm.
The course will run on site for any student interested in obtaining this certificate. Cost for the course will be between $200 and $250 per person depending on the numbers in attendance. The certificate lasts for five years. Students do not need to be 18 to undertake the course, however they will need to be 18 years of age before it can be used to serve alcohol in an establishment.
Please complete the enrolment form using the link provided below and email to echannon@as.edu.au or hand in a hard copy of the completed paperwork by Friday 3 November.
If you require any further information please get in touch with Miss Emma Channon on (02) 6776 5800.


As we approach Remembrance Day, the TAS SRC has Poppies for sale in support of Soldier On CLICK HERE. This is a charity established by TAS OA John Bale after the passing of another TAS OA Michael Fussell. If any parents wish to buy a Poppy (for $2), please contact Jim Pennington (jpenning@as.edu.au). Poppies will be on sale for the next fortnight at school for all students. Please see John Bale's short message of support:

Mr Jim Pennington

04. From the P&F


P&F Meeting

P&F Meeting will be held in the Upper Maxwell Room this evening in addition to a Zoom session for those wishing to attend remotely.

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 215 517 2798

Password: parents

Dial in phone number:  +61 2 8015 6011


Christmas Puddings – Volunteers Wanted

We still need volunteers to produce the TAS P&F Christmas Pudding this weekend.

Please get in touch with the P&F Exec if you are able to volunteer on either of these days.

  • Saturday 4 November (Baking): 12 noon – 3:00 pm.
  • Sunday 5 November (Wrapping): 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm.


Christmas Puddings – Order Now

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

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


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


Year 9 and 10 End of Course Examinations

Next week marks the beginning of our Year 9 and 10 End of Course Examinations with English and HSIE examinations running on Thursday and Friday.  Monday and Tuesday (of Week 6) will see both years completing their Science and Maths exams. All examinations will take place in the PE classrooms; please find the timetable attached HERE.

This examination period will allow students to demonstrate their learning across all four core subjects and students are encouraged to ensure they factor in plenty of revision and practice time over the next week.

Now is the time to be working through a three-phased approach to examination revision:

  • Finalising notes
  • Committing those notes to memory
  • Practising writing exam-style responses

Year 10 will be provided with a clear plastic sleeve on the first day of their exams (in which to put their pens and other items) and their NESA student numbers to use in place of their name or date of birth; this is to familiarise them with exam procedures for Year 11 and 12 in line with HSC Examination practice.


HSC Examinations

Today marks the second last day for TAS students sitting their HSC Examinations with Geography and Design and Technology today. Tomorrow is the final day with our Physics, Textiles and Design students bringing up the rear of this monumental period of assessment. Congratulations to all our Year 12s from the Class of 2023. It has been an absolute pleasure working with you in my role as Director of Teaching and Learning; I know I speak for all in the TAS community and I wish you the very best for your plans ahead.


2024 Subjects

Our current Year 8 and 9 students are now invited to begin their selections for the 2024 Elective Program. Please find the Stage 5 Academic Handbook  – students need to select their top 12 students so we can refine this to a short list of offerings. Once the lines have been completed, the students can then choose their 1st, 2nd and 3rd preferences. The timeline for this is as follows:

  1. Stage 5 Handbook distributed – Week 4, Term 4
  2. Families receive survey login details via email – Week 4, Term 4
  3. Families enter initial preferences online – end of Week 5, Term 4
  4. Families receive the timetabled lines for the following year and new login details – end of Week 6, Term 4
  5. Families to submit final choices (1st, 2nd and 3rd preferences in each line) for Semester 1 – due Week 7, Term 4
  6. Families to receive notification of final elective allocation for Semester 1 – before the end of Term 4.
  7. Students will make choices for Semester 2 at the end of Term 2, 2024.

Wishing you a productive week ahead.


Mrs Gill Downes
Director of Teaching and Learning



06. From the Head of Cocurricular


Last week our Year 6 to 11 students embarked on what will be remembered as a challenging Bivouac. I applaud our students for their resilience and flexibility in what could only be described as testing conditions. I commend our amazing TAS staff who acted decisively and calmly to ensure student safety and I have no doubt that students will recall these stories in the years to come.

There is much to look forward to in the weeks ahead, summer co-curricular activities continue and on Friday 10 November students can engage in the final Triple Crown event “Walk a Mile in Another Man’s Wheels”. In addition, our music students will be showcasing their talent in the Twilight Concert, to be held on Thursday 9 November in Memorial Hall.

Mr Huon Barrett
Director of Co-curricular


07. From the Head of Creative Arts



Australian Honours Ensemble Program (AHEP) Success – Report by Abigail Thompson

During the first week of holidays, I went to an orchestral music camp in Brisbane called the Australian Honours Ensemble Program (AHEP). It was a 4-day camp held at Queensland Conservatorium of Music, for secondary students who were selected from video auditions earlier this year. We had intensive rehearsals with up to 7 hours a day of playing. I was in the full Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Fabian Russell, and was the leader of the cello section playing the Enigma Variations by Elgar. I was selected to perform a number of solos throughout. The experience was super inspiring, and I met so many amazing and talented young musicians from all around Australia. I’m incredibly grateful for this opportunity and the chance to play such beautiful repertoire with a huge orchestra! I would like to thank my Cello teacher, Mr Robert Jackson, for nominating me to audition.


TAS Twilight Concerts Term 4 – 5:30pm and 6:30pm, Thursday 9 November (Memorial Hall)

TAS will be hosting two Twilight Concerts next week on Thursday 9 November. The concerts will be held in TAS Memorial Hall with 2 sessions, which have been scheduled at 5:30pm and 6:30pm. These Twilight Concerts will provide the perfect opportunity for students to perform for an appreciative audience. A list of students performing in the Twilight Concert will be in next week’s TAS Talks.


New England Conservatorium of Music (NECOM) Bursary Applications

Applications for New England Conservatorium of Music’s next round of bursary funding are now open for all NECOM students. Bursaries are available to assist students who might not be able to continue their music studies due to financial hardship. Each successful bursary will provide up to a possible 50% of tuition fees or program fees and are valid for the 2024 calendar year.

To apply for a bursary, families must complete the attached application form, and lodge it to the NECOM office before closing date of 4pm Friday 3 November, 2023 along with the required supporting documents of proof of income. Forms can also be found at: https://necom.org.au/department-of-education-bursary/


Singers Combo Workshop – NECOM

Renowned singer and band leader Sharny Russell is running a Singers Combo workshop on 8 November and 15 November (inclusive). There is one spot left for this fantastic workshop which will provide students (16 years and above) with the opportunity to sing alongside a professional jazz/pop/rnb group featuring piano, bass, guitar, and drums. To register for this opportunity go to www.trybooking.com/cmjww


Ms Leanne Roobol
Director of Music

08. From the Head of Middle School


No doubt there have been some stories to tell from the recent Bivouac. Although Bivouac was cut short, it has been a great lesson in resilience for our students. Despite the unexpected turn of events, the students showcased wonderful cooperation and positivity. While returning home earlier than planned might have been disappointing, we now look ahead at the remaining activities for 2023. Again, I would like to thank all of our staff for the commitment to the safety and welfare of our students in trying circumstances and thank our parents for your continued support.

Activities Week – Week 8, Term 4

With the conclusion of Bivouac, we now turn our planning to the organisation of Activities Week, held in Week 8 of this term. Details will be sent to families in due course.

  • Year 6 will travel to Coffs Coast Adventure Centre (Coffs Harbour), departing Monday, 27 November and returning Wednesday 29 November, with activities at TAS on Thursday and Friday.
  • Year 7 will be travelling to Camp Laurence on the shores of Lake Moogerah, approximately 50 minutes from Warwick. Year 7 will depart early on Monday, 27 November and return on Friday evening, 1 December.
  • Year 8 will be travelling to Nymboida as part of the Cadet program. They will depart on Sunday afternoon, 26 November and return on Friday 1 December.

Stand Tall Event – Tamworth – Friday 17 November

Years 7 and 8 have been invited to take part in this year’s Stand Tall Event, held in Tamworth on Friday, 17 November. This event provides our students with the opportunity to be alongside some 4,000 secondary students from across our region to hear from a range of keynote speakers. This inspirational event aims to equip students with the skills of resilience, the strength to stand up to bullying, the keys to motivation, the power of perspective and the benefits of making good and wise decisions. These skills come together to build hope for the future in teenagers, a vital component of their mental wellbeing. More information can be found on the Stand Tall Website:https://www.standtallevent.com/ and  https://www.standtallevent.com/tamworth2023

Please complete the consent form online: https://forms.gle/ijue5r9egkadmLfj7 Please complete the consent form online: https://forms.gle/ijue5r9egkadmLfj7


Mr Luke Polson
Head of Middle School

09. From the Head of Junior School



Thank you to the many community members who were able to assist in the penultimate working bee for the Junior School production of Finding Nemo. The stage and costumes look fabulous, and our intrepid performers have already spent significant amounts of time rehearsing with both. Both casts ran through the production from start to finish for the first time last week and, while there are still a few tweaks to make, we are confident that the shows will be something very special indeed. Please book your tickets at https://events.humanitix.com/tjsfnj if you have not yet done so as there are not many left.

Unfortunately our Year 2 excursion to Thalgarragh Environmental Education Centre last Friday was unable to proceed as planned due to the inclement weather. Students in Year 5, however, spent the day at UNE on Monday participating in Far Out Science a day filled with hands-on scientific experiences. Each of the schools who attended participated in different activities. Our students first learned about programming, logic and binary code in the computer science department before spending time with the Zoology department using telemetry and triangulation to track turtles, albeit rather slow ones! After a quick lunch we joined students from other schools to “blow and burn things up” with some UNE chemists chemistry, an absolute highlight for students and staff alike, before joining environmental scientists to purify contaminated water. It was certainly a busy and exciting day, with many already looking forward to attending again in Year 6.

Year 5 students have also commenced their transition program to Middle School in earnest, spending time in the Year 6 classrooms last week before yesterday joining with a Year 6 buddy to learn a little more about what Middle School is all about. With several more activities planned over the coming weeks we are confident that our Year 5 students will be very comfortable in both their new environs and programs at the commencement of 2024. We look forward to welcoming our 2024 Kindergarten students to school next Monday for the first of two Kindy orientation sessions before all students, including those joining us for the first time in 2024, move up a year level on Step-up day on Monday 20 November. All parents and carers, both current and future, are warmly invited to enjoy morning tea together in the Hoskins Centre shortly after 9.00am.

One of the many highlights of the Junior School calendar is Bike Day, a day where all Junior School students are invited to bring their bike or scooter to school as they learn how to use this mode of transportation safely before participating in a triathlon. Bike Day will this year take place on Friday 17 November. Please find further information on this exciting event in this edition of TAS Talks.

Happy Birthday

Many happy returns to Alister Glover who is the only Junior School student celebrating a birthday this week.


Mr Scott Chittenden
Head of Junior School

Upcoming Events

Friday 3 NovemberYear 5 AssemblyHoskins Centre (2.45 pm)
Monday 6 NovemberKindergarten 2024 Orientation Morning9-10 am
Friday 10 NovemberYear 3 AssemblyHoskins Centre (2.45 pm)
Monday 13 NovemberKindergarten 2024 Orientation Morning9-10 am
Friday 17 NovemberJunior School Bike Day and Triathlon
Monday 20 NovemberStep Up Day
Friday 24 NovemberYear 5 DinnerHoskins Centre


IB Primary Years Programme (PYP)



All classes from Years 1 to 5 have commenced their final units of inquiry for the year.

The table below outlines the transdisciplinary themes, central ideas and lines of inquiry for each year group.

Year Transdisciplinary ThemeCentral IdeaLines of Inquiry

An inquiry into

Year 1Where we are in place and timeKnowledge of history and culture influences our appreciation of familyFamilies over time 

Cultural influences on families 

The sequence of time

Year 2Sharing the planetEarth’s resources need to be sustained and may be used to satisfy our needs.Plants and animals used for food and fibre

 Features of places

Year 3Where we are in place and timeMany people have contributed to a community and have influenced how the community has developed.Opportunities created through people exploring our local area

Areas of the community have changed over time and some have remained the same 

We live in a multicultural community and many people contribute to our society

Year 4Where we are in place and timePeace and conflict may impact people in different waysPeace and conflict affects all people 

There are many different causes of conflict

 Conflict can be managed in different ways

Year 5Who we areA diverse and connected worldPerceptions of places

Diversity across Asia

 The World’s Cultural Diversity


A major component of the Primary Years Programme is that it is Transdisciplinary in nature. In summary, this offers students a broad, balanced, conceptual and connected learning experience. Students are provided with a balance of subject-specific knowledge, conceptual understandings and skills, alongside opportunities to develop the attributes of the IB learner profile and to take action. (IBW Learning and teaching 2023)  


Mrs Veronica Waters
PYP Coordinator

Junior School Sport

TAS Junior School Triathlon – Friday 17 November

Our annual Junior School Bike Day and Triathlon will be held in our beautiful grounds on Friday, 17 November. Bike Day will commence at 9 am with activities involving obstacle courses, long-distance rides and bike safety sessions.

  • Our Triathlon will commence at 2 pm after walking the course at 1:30. Lunch will be at our usual time on the day.
  • Kindergarten and Year 1 children will all be involved in a team event, whilst students in Years 2 and above will have a choice of either entering as an individual or as part of a team.

Following are the distances each year group will have to complete as part of the Triathlon.


Kindergarten1 lap½ lap½ lap
Year 11 lap½ lap½ lap
Year 21 lap½ lap½ lap
Year 32 laps1 lap1 lap
Year 43 laps1 lap1 lap
Year 53 laps1 lap1 lap


Please ensure your child has their bike in good working order, ready for the day, along with their bike helmet, drink bottle and hat. Children will wear their sports uniforms for the day.

Presentations will be held from 3 pm on Wakefield Oval.

If you would like to assist with the Triathlon and are available to help direct competitors, please contact Mrs Christine Wright cwright@as.edu.au or Mrs Sandra Lasker in reception.



Our eager tennis players enjoyed their third training session on Monday afternoon. Ms Xeros and Ms Mabuwa were very impressed with the racket and ball control of K-2, as well as some powerful shots from 3-5. Students are becoming more confident with their racket grip, and a few players debuted their new rackets, which we hope inspires their tennis journey! All in all, it was a great afternoon on the courts!


Miss Lara Nicholls 




It was another nail-biting and skill-building night at the Den for the Junior School Basketball players. The Year 3 and 4 teams played each other in an exciting game that saw the Whites pipped at the post by the Blues. It was so good to see the children putting some of the skills we had focussed on in training into action. The 5/6 team’s game was a slightly different matter. They were faced with some pretty impressive opponents from the town team. Despite a loss, the team did not miss a beat in supporting each other and keeping their wits about them. Special mention must go to Claire Reynell, who did manage to get us on the scoreboard with two impressive goals.

Mrs Tania Hardin



Community Notices