2023 Term 2 Week 5   |   24.05.2023

TAS Talks Term 2 Week 5

01. From the Principal


This morning at the Junior School turning circle after one of our Grandparents dropped off her two grandchildren and said goodbye, I heard her finish with the instruction to be kind. It is such a simple thing, but it often strikes me that so much could be resolved or avoided if we remembered to keep kindness at the core of our interactions and bring our young people up with this in mind as they learn to build relationships with others, is so critical.

This week in assembly we recognised both National Reconciliation Week and National Boarding Week. While they are incredibly different weeks in terms of origin, need and purpose, both are essentially about living well together in a community. Living well together in any meaning of ‘together’ requires us to build and maintain positive relationships and that can be difficult.

The National Reconciliation Week website states that reconciliation is about creating a nation strengthened by respectful relationships between the wider Australian community, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Reconciliation Week is just one week of the year and at TAS we are working at all times to actively contribute towards Reconciliation. If you would like more information I would encourage you to visit our website and read our Reconciliation Action Plan, developed last year by staff and students in close collaboration with our local with local Elders and key members of Armidale’s Aboriginal community.

After quite a journey, next Monday 5 June we will be excited to launch our new TAS website. It will look quite different to our previous one as the redesign was intended to renew, refresh and simplify the website which is intended to give prospective or new families an overview of the School. All additional detail that is relevant and specific to current parents and carers will be located in our new Parent Portal, to be launched simultaneously. We do hope you like both the new site and the portal. Further specific information will be sent to parents in due course, but if you have any issues or questions when launch day comes, please contact Cressida Mort at cmort@as.edu.au.


Dr Rachel Horton

02. From the Deputy Principal


Yesterday’s assembly focused on the rich diversity of our boarding program and the important role it plays in the culture of TAS. It was wonderful to hear from our students who spoke about the history of boarding at TAS and their own personal experiences. There is no doubt that the relationships formed, the true appreciation of community and the skills developed from boarding are unparalleled. We are truly a better place because we are a boarding school. 

A reminder for our Year 12 parents that a special Zoom presentation will be given by our Careers Counsellor Mr Mark Taylor along with Director of Teaching & Learning Mrs Gill Downes, Director of Pastoral Care Mr AJ Whalley, Year 12 Coordinator Mrs Gen Chick and myself this Thursday at 5pm. The zoom link has been sent to all parents via email.

This is a particularly busy week with our Term 2 Activities Day taking place today and our Senior and Middle School Athletics Carnival on Friday. It is a good time for us all to check in on each other and ourselves to ensure we are all getting the required rest, and support and will have the energy to get through the second half of Term 2.  

Mr Ray Pearson

Deputy Principal


03. Calendar of Events


Term 2
Wednesday 24 MayEisteddfod Choir Night (6pm)
Thursday 25 MayCloisters Run
Friday 26 MayMS/SS Athletics Carnival

TAS Foundation AGM

Saturday 27 MayGPS Rugby (TAS vs Riverview (Home)
Sunday 28 MayCIS Football ( Open Boys & Girls U16)
Monday 29 MayCIS Football ( Open Boys & Girls U16)
Year 9 & 10 Exams
Junior School Athletics Carnival
Wednesday 31 MayTAS Regional Tour (Coffs Harbour)
Thursday 1 JuneTAS Regional Tour (Port Macquarie)
HSC History Excursion (Sydney)
NSW All Schools Swimming Championships
HSC Careers Expo
Friday 2 JuneNorth West Equestrian Expo
Saturday 3 JuneGPS Rugby TAS vs Scots (Away)
Monday 5 JuneTAS website launch
North West Equestrian Expo
Wednesday 7 JuneP&F Meeting (7pm)
Thursday 8 JuneCIS Cross Country Championships
Dick Hodgson Shield TAS vs Farrer (TAS)


Our new TAS website!

TAS is launching a brand new website on Monday 5 June

We will be flicking the switch on to a new website that has been designed to be easier to view and easier to navigate. The site will go live on Monday 5 June and will largely be a site for prospective families looking at TAS as the education destination for their children. Expect large, beautiful images and flowing content to match.

Along with the new public site, we are also launching a new user-friendly parent portal. Access to the parent portal will be from the main page of the new site and will involve parents all having to log in to access all the important information they need from academic information and co- curricular activities, to sport notices, student travel, school policies and
much more.

The school has worked alongside Melbourne-based advertising and design agency Grant Day James to design and build the site. We will be very excited to hear what you think after we launch on Monday 5 June.

Cressida Mort
Director of Development

04. From the P&F


Sydney Boys High School

Thank you to all who helped support the P&F during the SBHS visit. We were able to feed all players, coaches, boarders and spectators through the BBQ & Kiosk.

Athletics Carnivals

The P&F will operate a Kiosk at the MS/SS Athletics Carnival on Friday and a Baking Stall at the JS Athletics Carnival on Monday.

We would love families to please bring along some NUT FREE baking or jelly cups to both events. Food that can easily be portioned out would be greatly appreciated. Please bring baking to the Kiosk – Wakefield side of the Gymnasium or drop it at Reception.

Year Groups will be allocated a time slot (see below) and it would be greatly appreciated if you could pop in and spend some time helping at the Stall (even 10mins would be great).

MS/SS Athletics Carnival 26 May

  • 8.30am – 9.30am – Year 6
  • 9.30am – 10.30am – Year 7
  • 10.30am – 11.30am – Year 8
  • 11.30 am – 12.30 pm – Year 9
  • 12.30 pm -1.30 pm – Year 10
  • 1.30 pm – 2.30 pm – Year 11
  • 2.30 pm – 3.30 pm – Year 12

JS Athletics Carnival 29 May

  • 9.00am – 10.00am – Kindergarten & Pre K
  • 10.00am – 11.00am – Year 1
  • 11.00am – 12.00pm – Year 2
  • 12.00 pm – 1.00pm – Year 3
  • 1.00pm – 2.00pm – Year 4
  • 2.00pm – 3.00pm – Year 5

Please contact me with any questions – Liz Rogers 0427792224


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 Assistant Chaplain


In the next school holidays, Scripture Union are again holding their popular Rugby Union Camp. This year it is aimed at boys and girls from Years 5 to 10. The camp aims to provide top-class rugby development during the day, along with some solid Bible teaching, fun and games in the evening. Last year Brad Thorn (ex-All-Blacks & Crusaders player and current QLD Reds Head Coach) helped out on this camp, along with Ofa Fainga’anuku (Tongan International who played in Australia, England & France). In the past Nick-Farr Jones was involved, and this year ex-Wallaby and TAS OA, Jim Holbeck will be helping out on the camp. There is up to a 100% fee discount if the cost of the camp is an issue. See the flyer below and if you would like to know more about this camp, Mr Tim Williams can provide some first-hand knowledge and is more than happy to chat about it!

Mrs Jo Benham
Assistant Chaplain

06. From the Director of Teaching and Learning


Stage 5 Examinations – Why do we do them?

Sometimes in the business (and busyness) of school we get bogged down in logistics – we need to get information out to our students and families about when examinations will run; where they will take place; what students need to bring with them; what the rules are regarding timing, toilet breaks and uniform…

In the next 10 days, our Year 9 and 10 students (the youngest of whom are still 13), will be sitting a block of exams for their core subjects – that is, English, Maths, HSIE and Science. PDHPE will be examined in different ways this term as a formal, sit down exam was not the most appropriate format for this subject this time around.

Amidst all of this, we need to remember that these are people – our people – who are sitting these examinations. With this reality comes hesitation for some; worry about what the examinations will contain; if they will be properly prepared; if they will remember the techniques, correct language, or formulas; and what will the consequences be if they don’t do well. Some of our students will ask questions like: What will happen if I don’t know some of the answers? What will happen if I can’t remember the answers under the timed conditions? For some of our students, this means anxiety and sleepless nights. This all needs to be taken into account, but it also needs to be talked about, so we know why we take the path of formal examinations as part of our assessment program.

So why do we run formal examinations?

The simple answer is so our students can demonstrate their learning. We want them to show us what they know and apply it to questions, problems, and scenarios within their different learning areas. We do this every single lesson in the form of discussions, quizzes, written answers, group work and practice tasks, that is: formative answers which give our kids a chance to practise the main event. Last week, I wrote about the main event and how for each subject this is a different thing – an essay, a creative story, some short answer responses, a practical demonstration, a persuasive speech, a BEEP test, a presentation on film. Every context has a different main event but when I pause to think about what the main event REALLY is, every single time, I come up with the same answer:

Learning. The whole reason we are here in life, at school, at TAS is to learn.

The examination block may be stressful – it may make some of our students feel deeply uncomfortable, but it is just one part of their learning, and we need to give them practice in these kinds of scenarios so that the process is not so foreign or scary. Formal examinations remain a part of the NESA landscape which culminates in HSC Examinations when our kids are in Year 12. This is an unavoidable fact of mainstream schools in NSW.

However, not running these types of examinations is not the answer. This just prolongs the pain and keeps the process shrouded in mystery.

I am yet to meet a person who enjoys sitting examinations. However, I do know dozens of people who like marking them – they are your teachers, and they want to know how you are going and what you can demonstrate in these exams. (Don’t get me wrong, no one lists ‘marking’ as a hobby, but it does give us a profoundly enlightening and exciting insight into our kids’ learning.)

Over-assessment is futile but under-assessment does our students a different disservice as it does not allow them to practise along the way what it is like to have to sit such written papers.

So, my parting message is this. Just try your best. Revise your work. Listen in class. Ask questions when you are not sure. And when the time comes for you to start that exam, just give it your best shot.

No one can ever ask more of you than that.



Mrs Gill Downes
Director of Teaching and Learning

07. From the Director of Co-curricular


The Hannon and Harris Cup will remain in Armidale for another year, after a hotly contested weekend of sports at TAS. What a wonderful relationship we have with Sydney Boys High School. The competition was fierce and the school spirit at an all time high. SBHS got off to a stellar start on Friday night by winning the volleyball and the basketball in both the 16s and First teams. TAS fought back with a great win in the Firsts football, but it was SBHS who prevailed in the 14s and 16s football and the junior and senior Tennis. Our shooting team were too good at Meadow field range, which meant we needed strong performances from our rugby players, if we were to retain the Cup. As it turned out, TAS rugby did the clean sweep, despite close games in the Second XV 39-31 and the First XV 17-5. The five by 100m relay was another exciting event where TAS chalked up another win, by the narrowest of margins. Overall, the points went to TAS with 9 wins to SBHS 7. Whilst our relationship with SBHS extends over 100 years, it has been the last 12 years, through the introduction of the Hannon and Harris Cup, where we have seen SBHS visit TAS to compete in a range of sports over the weekend.

Photos from the SBHS weekend can be found at this link:


The MS/SS Athletics Championships will take place on Friday, a roll call will take place at 8.30am with events commencing at 8.40am. The carnival will conclude at 4.30pm following the relay events. Lunch will be provided to all students. Students are reminded to wear their House shirt, TAS shorts and TAS tracksuit/hoodie. All students must wear joggers and a TAS cap/hat. I encourage all students to have a water bottle and apply sunscreen regularly. A program of events can be found below.

CLICK HERE to access the Athletics Program


Mr Huon Barrett
Director of Co-curricular


U11 Boys White

What a game!

It was slim pickings for our boys this Monday night with a few out sick, but wow did the boys hold their own against United (who had a very full team!). Some excellent passes both forward and accurate between Freddie and Patty, with Bill always in support in the gaps. Some strong defence from Riley in the midfield, with some exceptional goal-keeping skills from Ted – saving a very early attempt at goal from United.

The boys gave it their all the entire game, using their ball skills, field width and communication (which we have been practising in training!) exceptionally well. Despite the loss, they have already made huge steps to becoming a great team, well-done Boys!

Mrs Jess Sykes

08. From the Head of Creative Arts


The Armidale Eisteddfod is properly underway and TAS students have already been delivering some amazing performances. While winning a section is exciting – there were a great many wins at Monday’s competition – it is the joy of performance that is most important. Tonight is one of the highlights of the Eisteddfod calendar, the Choir Night, and a huge number of students, staff and parents will be representing the school with pride. TAS has a reputation for having the most fun while performing and we wish everyone the best as they share their talents with the audience. We also keep in mind the students entering the Speech and Drama categories this weekend.

While exams might be at the forefront of many students’ minds there are some amazing projects in the Stage 5 elective courses for those students to look forward to afterwards. With a play that looks to go catastrophically wrong (on purpose, assures the Comedy class), some ambitious short films, new graffiti boards decorating the entrance to Hoskins, and a range of music compositions and performances, the academic space will have plenty to showcase before the end of term.


Mr Andrew O’Connell
Head of Creative Arts


09. Music Matters

Armidale Eisteddfod Choir Events

We are looking forward to the Armidale Eisteddfod Choir Section which commences today, Wednesday 24 May. 
Please note that the Choir events on Wednesday, 24 May, are being held this year at Lazenby Hall, UNE and the Choir events on Thursday, 25 May, are being held at the Armidale Teachers’ College Auditorium. TAS Junior School students will travel to the Eisteddfod by bus, please see the list of events below.
Students in Years 6-12 performing at the Eisteddfod Choral Night will need to wear their formal uniform to the choral events at the Eisteddfod. All students in these choirs will have dinner at TAS in the Dining Hall at 5:00 pm (Day students’ dinner will be charged to their accounts). The students will depart TAS by bus from the flag poles at the front of the school at 5:30 pm.
Day students may be collected after their performance (please see a TAS staff member to sign out your child). We do encourage singers to stay until the completion of the choir night, if possible, to support our choirs. Boarders and any remaining TAS students will then return to TAS (at approximately 8:30 pm).
You can access the entire Armidale Eisteddfod program here: https://buff.ly/40Ybc2N
Audience Entry Fees are:

Adults $5.00/session

Concession $3.00/session

*Performers are not required to pay an entry fee.

Order of Choirs on Wednesday 24 May at Lazenby Hall



































Solo Performers at the Eisteddfod

Thank you to the families that have sent through photos and information on the achievements of students at the Armidale Eisteddfod. We will showcase these at the conclusion of the Eisteddfod.If you would like your child’s success to be put in the TAS Talks newsletter, please send an email to Mrs Veronica Lucas – music@as.edu.au
A reminder to also please let classroom teachers and Year Advisors know when your child will be performing at the Eisteddfod.

Arrangements for Members of TAS Ensembles

Arrangements are made by the Music Staff for members of all TAS Ensembles that are performing in this year’s Eisteddfod. Ensemble members and their families will be sent information regarding the arrangements for their ensemble. Please contact Mrs Veronica Lucas if you have any questions regarding transport to ensemble events – music@as.edu.au
Please note that students are required to wear TAS FORMAL uniform to participate in all events.

Ziggy Harris Farewell Recital

Ziggy Harris’ Farewell Recital will be held in the Uniting Church on Saturday 10 June at 6:00 pm. Tickets can be purchased online:


Ms Leanne Roobol
Director of Music

10. Head of Middle School


There is much happening in the lives of Middle School students and this continues to be highlighted across the sheer breadth of activities and range of age groups that are currently involved in a variety of activities. The Eisteddfod is now in full swing and is a wonderful opportunity for our students to perform. Over the coming weeks, our students will be on show both in large groups, in smaller ensembles and in individual items. I commend everyone who has been involved in this process and continue to wish all of those who are performing the very best and hopefully some reward for their very hard work.

Rehearsals are underway for the 2023 Middle School play and I look forward to seeing this come to life over the weeks and months ahead. I thank in advance, Mr Andrew O’Connell and Mr Jordan Lane, for their time and leadership in this important aspect of the Middle School calendar. The show will certainly not be one to miss and further information on performances and dates will be shared in due course. There are opportunities for students to help out in other elements of production, including the technical elements, and I encourage students who are interested to come and have a chat with me as it is a wonderful opportunity to be involved in.

Sport continues to be a big part of Middle School life and the last few weekends have certainly been no exception. On top of regular sporting commitments, TAS was well represented recently at the Tamworth All Schools Mountain Biking Championships and a large contingent of Middle School students participated in last weekend’s Sydney Boys High Fixtures.

Today, our students have been involved in the Activities Program with Year 6 and 7 travelling to Dorrigo National Park and our Year 8s out in the field as part of the Cadet Program. This Friday is the annual Middle and Senior School Athletics Carnival and I look forward to catching up with parents throughout the day.


Mr Luke Polson
Head of Middle School

11. From the Head of Junior School



As winter approaches it is pertinent to remind our community of the importance of keeping children who are unwell at home to both allow them the opportunity to fully recover before returning to the demands of a busy school day, while also minimising the risk of transmission of illness throughout the Junior School. As a general rule, if you are unsure whether your child(ren) should attend school, they probably should not. Thank you to those who have already had to make this difficult decision – we understand the difficulties in doing so and appreciate your support in keeping our community well. Please note that active supervision within the Junior School does not commence until 8.10 am. All classes commence at 8.40am. In order to ensure both the safety of your child(ren) and allow them the opportunity to have a settled start to their school day, we ask that your child(ren) arrive at school between 8.10 and 8.40 am each day. Please notify both your child’s teacher and junior@as.edu.au should your child be absent from school due to illness.

The new online system being used in Out of School Hours Care (OSHC), xPlor, is proving to be very effective in both booking OOSHC places and streamlining the sign-in and -out process for parents. This system will be used to communicate directly with those families using the OSHC service with all billing scheduled to move to this system once the School is eligible to claim Child Care Subsidy (CCS) on behalf of our community. As such we ask all families to complete the enrolment process for themselves and their children if they believe they may need to avail themselves of this service. We will be unable to accept bookings through any other means from 1 June. Please use this link to complete the enrolment process, and contact oshc@as.edu.au should you require any support throughout the process.

Most Junior School students have participated in the Armidale Eisteddfod in at least one discipline over the last few days. The K-2 Choir performed beautifully earlier this morning in the “non-competitive” division and our Years 3-5 and TAS Trebles choirs excelled in their performances this afternoon, as those who were able to attend would attest. Many of our older students are involved in the Speech and Drama competition later this week with those in the Dance Club performing next Wednesday. Full results will be published in next week’s edition of TAS Talks.

Next Monday will see the Junior School House Athletics carnival take place on Wakefield Oval. All students are to wear their House uniform (PE uniform with School-branded House shirt) to and from school and will participate in a range of different age-appropriate athletic endeavours throughout the day in an effort to earn points for their House. The day commences at 8.40 am with a brief roll call in students’ classrooms before the first events begin at approximately 8.50 am. Our younger students will return to their classes at approximately 12.30 pm before returning at 2.45 pm for the final events and presentation. Parents and friends are most welcome to attend in support. The P&F will operate a small kiosk on the day and a sausage sizzle will be provided for students by the School. Students are, of course, most welcome to also bring their own food on the day.

Happy Birthday

Happy birthday to Max Ducat and Fletcher Wright who both celebrate their special days this week.


Mr Scott Chittenden
Head of Junior School


Upcoming Events

Term 2
Wednesday 24 MayK-2 Choir Eisteddfod performance

3-5 Choir Eisteddfod performance
TAS Trebles Eisteddfod performance

Thursday 25 May3-6 Choir Eisteddfod performances
Friday 26 MayK-4 Choral Speaking Eisteddfod performances
Monday 29 May

Wednesday 31 May

Junior School Athletics Carnival

Junior School Dance Eisteddfod House Meetings
Year 2 Assembly (Hoskins 2.45 pm)

Wednesday 7 JuneKindergarten Assembly (Hoskins 2.45 pm)
Friday 9 JuneStaff Day
Monday 12 JunePublic Holiday
Wednesday 14 JuneYear 3 Assembly (Hoskins 2.45 pm)
Thursday 15 JunePre-Kindergarten Assembly (Hoskins 2.45 pm)
Friday 16 JuneJunior School Open Day
Tuesday 20 JunePre-Kindergarten 2024 Interviews
Junior School Forensics Day
Wednesday 21 JuneHouse Meetings
Thursday 22 JuneSchool Concludes

Junior School Sport

TAS Tarantulas

It was a hard-fought 2-0 win by TAS Tarantulas on Saturday against a tough Norths United Red Devils side who played with good structure. The Tarantulas are really developing their passing game which has been a focus of our training sessions. There were a number of exceptional passages of play with the children linking 2, 3 and 4 passes together before going through on goal. The team were unlucky not to finish with more goals on the day but should be hugely proud of the way they are applying the skills learnt in training in a game situation. Artie made a number of excellent runs through tight groups of defenders and Patrick Kim for the second week in a row played the ball out from deep in his own half with calmness and plenty of skill on both feet. Bill Mayne never stopped running, Maddie Pearson made an important defensive intervention from a corner kick when the match was locked at 0-0 and Mason Grace-Booth finished the match off with a goal from a long-range free kick that was reminiscent of David Beckham in his heyday. Most importantly the team played with great sportsmanship and encouraged each other throughout the match. Well done all.

Mr Daniel Boyce



On Saturday the TAS Primary team were matched up against the ACSC Mystics. After drawing with them last weekend the girls were determined to get a win from them this week. Both teams played extremely well and there were some great intercepts, rebounds and effort in both attack and defence. Our girls have been working hard on making accurate passes, running into space and calling for the ball and this showed in the end score where we were able to secure our first win for the season 14-10.  The girls should be very proud of how well they played on the weekend. Thank you to all of the parents and supporters that were able to come down on what was a sunny yet chilly Saturday.


Mrs Kate Moloney



Community Notices