2024 Term 1 Week 1   |   31.01.2024

TAS Talks Term 1 Week 1

01. From the Principal


While yesterday marked the official start of the school year at TAS, the campus has been slowly coming to life over the past month. Many of our staff and students have re-engaged with the School either in preparation for the year or for specific activities. TAS rowers headed to Taree for a training camp and regatta and a large number of our students were involved in the Cadet Leadership Course over the long weekend, either delivering content, or as participants.

We also welcomed new staff to the School for their official induction at the start of last week. I am incredibly pleased with the high level of staff joining TAS this year. They bring a range of experience and skills to their roles and an incredible amount of passion and enthusiasm.

With 111 new students across the School, we welcome them and our new families to the TAS community. Our Junior School has more classes than ever before and it was wonderful to see Memorial Hall so full at the start of term assembly yesterday with both returning and new faces. There is much to look forward to this year at TAS, and the energy around campus is palpable. Thank you to all those parents who were able to take the time to attend our start of year presentation on Monday followed by welcome drinks with the P&F.

In addition to a number of updates, the theme of engagement was woven throughout the presentation. This works on a number of levels, but most importantly, we want our students to be fully engaged with everything they do at TAS; with their learning, their co-curricular choices, challenge and service and of course with their peers and the staff supporting them. Engagement is not a measure of achievement, but it does impact student success through enjoyment, a feeling of purpose and connection, and inevitably student outcomes are also improved. I have spoken about it before, but parent engagement with the School and with their child’s learning is also a critical component of student success, so please stay engaged with the School, ask your child what they are learning, how their activities are going, what their goals are, and please reach out to us if there is anything we need to know, or vice versa, if there is anything you would like to know.

I look forward to catching up with you all throughout the term and wish you and your families a successful, happy and healthy year.


Dr Rachel Horton

02. From the Deputy Principal


Welcome back! There has been a wonderful sense of excitement and anticipation for what 2024 will bring.

It was fantastic to see all our Students in the Middle and Senior School return yesterday morning for our first Assembly of the year. I would like to thank our parents and caregivers for ensuring students’ uniform and appearance were of such a high standard. As I said to the students, it is by getting these little things right that enables our staff to engage in more meaningful conversation with students on how they can achieve their goals and make the most of the year at TAS.


Mr Ray Pearson
Deputy Principal

03. Calendar of Events

Wednesday 31 JanuaryJunior School PhotosGymnasium (9.00 am)
Friday 2 FebruaryStudents depart for Coast Weekend2.00 pm
Sunday 4 FebruaryStudents return from Coast Weekend
Thursday 8 FebruaryNCIS Tennis – Grafton
Thursday 8 FebruaryYear 12 Drama Excursion to Sydney
Friday 9 FebruaryRowers depart for NSW Rowing Championships
Sunday 9 FebruaryRowers Return
Thursday 15 FebruaryJS Swimming Carnival
War Cries Night (MS/SS)
Friday 16 FebruaryMS SS Swimming Carnival
Friday 16 – Sunday 18 FebruaryCadet Leaders Course #2




Scholarship & Open Day will be held on Monday 19 February 2024. For more information, including on how to register for the Scholarship exam, please click HERE.

From the P&F Uniform Shop

The P&F Uniform Shop has new deliveries of grey skirts and girls’ swimsuits. Our delivery of girls straw hats and boys swimwear are due this week.

The new bucket hats have unfortunately sold out; we are expecting the new delivery within two weeks.

Don’t forget that we also sell pre-loved uniform items, but please ensure they are clean, labeled and of current stock.

Ms Cate Hayton
Uniform Shop Coordinator

04. From the P&F


Welcome to the 2024 school year from the Parents & Friends Association! A particularly warm welcome to new families that are starting at TAS this year – I was pleased to meet many of you at the P&F Parent Welcome function at the Welder’s Dog on Monday night. The P&F are looking forward to an active year as we continue to participate in life at TAS. Keep an eye on the TAS Calendar as events begin to lock in. We will need your help.

Next P&F Meeting
The first P&F meeting of the year is on Wednesday 14 February from 7pm. We will meet face to face in Upper Maxwell Room. For those new to the school, the Maxwell Rooms can be found from the main front doors of Big School, inside and to the left. A Zoom session will also operate for those wishing to attend remotely. Details for the Zoom link will be in following TAS Talks.

Connect with P&F
We have several Facebook pages providing useful information of upcoming activity as well as a place to stay in touch – we strongly recommend you join the main P&F page as well as your Year Group pages;
o TAS P&F FB page – Search ‘TAS Parents & Friends’ on Facebook
o Year Group FB pages – Search ‘TAS Year 12 20XX ‘ on Facebook where 20XX is the graduating year of your child (e.g. ‘TAS Year 12 2026’). Ask to join.

Contact P&F Executive
The current P&F Exec team are the following:
President: Paul Gaddes
Vice President: Craig Pevitt
Secretaries: Kath Little & Jane Dauparas
Treasurers: Liz Rogers & Belinda Banister

We look forward to meeting new families.

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 Chaplain


The beginning of the school year is always a good time to consider some goals you might like to achieve this year. Some of you may have already set a few goals, while some of you may be sitting there as a new student, feeling like a deer in the headlights, with the goal to just get through today. Let me reassure you, you will make it through, and you will be fine.

But if we had the time now to consider some goals for this year, I would urge you to have your goal as living out the school lesson and letting it shape all your other goals.

For our new students and staff (and parents), the School Lesson is the Bible passage our Senior Prefect, Henry, read to us at Assembly yesterday – 1 Corinthians, 13. This passage comes from a letter the apostle Paul wrote to the church in a place called Corinth, Greece. Paul wrote the letter to address some problems that were arising in the church. These problems were arising because the people were obviously gifted in different ways, but they were immature and self-centred. They were using their gifts (abilities) to serve themselves rather than others. This was causing divisions and issues amongst the people. So, Paul writes this letter with chapter 13 explaining the necessity of using their gifts in love. Not the romantic kind of love, but the self-sacrificial love which is expressed through kindness, generosity, service and the like.

This letter isn’t just for the people in Corinth 2000 years ago, it speaks to all generations. Indeed it is our School Lesson. And it’s an awesome school lesson. I don’t think there is a better lesson to live by or goal to have. Most goals can focus attention on ourselves and make us think about ourselves more. Whereas adopting this lesson as our goal achieves great things for us and for others. It seeks to achieve unity, it seeks to achieve good for others, not harm for them. And what does it achieve for us? It achieves freedom. There is so much freedom in focussing on ourselves less.

In the holidays I read a little book about this called The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness. I chose to read it because I knew I needed to read it (again) and because it is short (so I was more likely to finish it!). This book is based on chapter 4 of 1 Corinthians and shows us that real freedom and real joy comes from thinking about ourselves less. It’s not about thinking less of ourselves, as though we are worthless, no, real freedom and real joy comes from knowing we are all of great worth, with our unique gifts and abilities, and then using them to serve others. This is what 1 Corinthians 13 is all about – using your God-given gifts and abilities to serve others, with the Lord Jesus as the ultimate example for us.

So, as we start off the school year, why not let our school’s lesson shape the goals you make, or inspire you to set some goals in the first place. May we do this, considering Christ who gives us the ability to achieve these things because of what he achieved for us.

Mrs Joanne Benham

06. From the Acting Director of Teaching and Learning


The new school year is certainly in full swing. It was great to speak to all students to welcome them back at our assembly yesterday. All of our students have been encouraged that as they step into a new school year, that they embrace the opportunities that sit before them with enthusiasm and determination. Look at this as a time for fresh beginnings, a chance to set new goals and strive for excellence in all that they do.

Education is a journey and there is a large team here to support your child through their schooling. As the new year begins, it is important to know who you should go to, to discuss your child’s academic progress.

The TAS Advisor system is a unique opportunity to develop relationships and support between the student and their Advisor. Advisors meet with their students for 15 minutes at the beginning of  each day, four times a week. If you have any concerns about your child whether it be pastoral or academic your first contact should be with your child’s Advisor.

Students in Years 11 and 12 who wish to change subjects should meet with Mrs Emily Dobson to discuss options. A subject change form needs to be completed and signed by the teachers involved, the Advisor and parents before this is approved. Mrs Dobson is also the person to see in regards to career options and university information.

In regards to Diverse Learning, Mrs Tania Hardin oversees the Diverse Learning Department and is supported by Mrs Regina Pollard in the Middle School (Years 6-8) and Mr Rhoan Abbott (Years 9-12).

As we get underway, students are encouraged to  prioritise and organise their time wisely. Students in Middle School will be shortly provided with a diary and assisted at school to use it. As students move into their senior school years it is important they start early in their preparation, organisation and focus. Teachers are happy to make themselves available if a student requires extra help. The student should approach the teacher to organise a suitable time.

Mr Luke Polson
Acting Director of Teaching & Learning

07. From the Director of Music



Welcome back to Music at TAS! We have a fantastic year ahead of us with many wonderful performance opportunities during the year.

Tuition is available at TAS for a wide range of instruments including voice, flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, french horn, tuba, euphonium, piano, organ, violin, viola, cello, double bass, guitar, bass guitar, drum-kit, and recorder. If you would like to try out an instrument (or sing) before you commit to lessons, just contact the Director of Music, Ms Leanne Roobol:  lroobol@as.edu.au

The Music staff are always happy to advise parents/guardians and students on instrumental and vocal tuition.

Instrumental & Vocal lessons have commenced

Instrumental and vocal lessons are commencing this week and next. Students – if you are not sure of your tuition time please contact your tutor.  Please ensure you bring your instruments to every lesson and feel free to leave them in the safe storage area of the Music Centre if you are a boarder and when you are not using them.

Also students, please set up a reminder on your computer or watch to ensure you make your regular lesson time.

Boarders’ Practice

TAS boarders will be able to access the Music Centre during practice sessions in the evenings during the term to practice their instrument. A Boarders’ Practice Supervisor will be in the Music Centre for each session to oversee and assist students with their work.

The supervised session times are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 6:30pm – 7:30pm (commencing next week). The weekend times will be listed in TAS Talks next week. The Music Centre Practice rooms are also available for all students before school from 7:30am, during lunchtime, study periods for senior students and after school during the week.

Ensemble rehearsals commence this Thursday

We have ensembles for all levels of experience and skill and also for all ages. The Music staff are always happy to advise you about joining a TAS ensemble.  Students – feel free to pop down to the Music Centre and talk to one of the Music Team.

Parents – feel free to email music@as.edu.au to make enquiries.

Ensemble Rehearsal times are listed below.























Ms Leanne Roobol
Director of Music

08. From the Acting Head of Middle School


Welcome to all new and returning families in TAS Middle School for 2024. I hope everyone experienced an enjoyable and restful holiday break with family and friends. The students first official day at school for the year was extremely busy, and hot! The weather did test everyone during the day, especially for all wearing Formals. This didn’t discourage the enthusiasm in the air as Middle School Day and Boarding students re-connected and started establishing life long friendships. The day was about processing relevant information and meeting and familiarising with classrooms, teachers, house meetings and sporting staff. As this can easily be an overwhelming day for everyone, all students were reminded that the day, and week ahead, is all  about ‘soft landings’. Everyone was reminded to ask as many questions as necessary and know that support is around every corner of the school. I’m confident that all students gained something out of this experience. 

Advisors and Year Group Coordinators

Please see below a list of advisors and Year Coordinators for 2024. Your child’s advisor remains the central point of contact for you at the school and they will be reaching out to you through the week to introduce themselves.

Year 6

Year Coordinator: Mr Luke Polson (lpolson@as.edu.au

Advisors: Mr Luke Polson and Mrs Kirsty Brunsdon.

Year 7

Year Coordinator: James Brauer (jbrauer@as.edu.au

Advisors: Mr Johnathon Woodbridge, Ms Yolanda Kreuzen, Dr Charlotte Mack, Mr Jamie Brauer, Mrs Shane Moffitt, Mr Adam Preocanin. 

Year 8

Year Coordinator: Mrs Fiona Taber (ftaber@as.edu.au

Advisors: Mrs Fiona Taber, Ms Ingrid Steddy, Ms Amelia Bowman, Mrs Regina Pollard, Mrs Jessica Collett, Ms Emily Dobson.


The following was communicated to all students moving forward into the week:

  • Remember to bring water bottles to school and fill them up during Recess or lunch. Re-hydrating during lessons is to be avoided.
  • School bags are to be kept in homerooms during the day. Students don’t need to lug bags around the campus during the middle of the day and leave them lying under trees or other departments of the school. Only during Period 6 and Period 7 are students permitted to take their bags to class if those lessons are outside of their homerooms – for example, the Science block, Hoskins, or Language Centre. We want all students to utilise their lockers in their homerooms as a way of building strong habits of good organisation.
  • Toilet breaks need to try and be taken during Recess and lunch. If students need a toilet break during lessons, they are encouraged to inform their teacher and attend the toilet block on their own. On these occasions, students won’t be permitted to go to the toilet with others.

Middle School Information Evening 

We look forward to welcoming all Middle School parents to an Information Evening and opportunity to meet your child’s Advisor on Thursday 15 February (prior to the War Cries evening). Further details and specific times will be sent to you shortly.

Mr Jamie Brauer
Acting Head of Middle School

09. From the Head of Junior School



How wonderful it was to welcome so many new students to the Junior School yesterday, and to welcome back all our returning students from what by all accounts sound like a wonderfully restful holiday period. Thank you to all who were able to enjoy a cup of tea and the company of our other Junior School parents and carers yesterday morning – while the students are at the forefront of our decision-making, our parent body are a critical component of the School community.

It was evident today as the 2024 Junior School photographs were taken how much pride the students have in both their School and their uniform. Thank you to all for your support in ensuring the School’s expectations in terms of uniform and appearance have been met. Please refer to the Junior School Back-to-School Information Guide or contact our Junior School reception if you have any questions in this regard.

As previously communicated, we will this year trial one single Parent Information Evening for all students from Kindergarten to Year 5. In an effort to best support our busy families we will be glad to have our community join us either in person or online for these planned sessions. The evening will commence in the Hoskins Centre at 6.00pm promptly where Mrs Veronica Waters, PYP Coordinator, and I will share information that is relevant to all Junior School students. Following this, our families are invited to join more intimate sessions in year level groups where more specific information relevant only to those within a specific year level will be communicated. All sessions will be recorded and shared afterwards. Links to access each of the live-streamed sessions will be emailed to families prior to the first session.

One of the many unique aspects of a TAS education is the extensive extra-curricular programs offered to our students. Students across all ages will have the opportunity to participate in our inaugural Clubs program on Thursday morning from 8.20am – 8.50am, should they arrive at school in time to do so. Classes across the school will commence at 8.55am each Thursday as highlighted by Dr Horton in previous communications. The clubs on offer will change throughout the term with the first rotation published in next week’s TAS Talks once finalised. Please note the information shared on the sports programs elsewhere in this newsletter.

Students in Years 2 to 5 will soon be participating in the Outdoor Education program to Lake Keepit, an absolute highlight of the year for most within these cohorts. Students participate in a wide range of activities such as sailing, stand-up paddle boarding, orienteering and archery to name just a few. These activities not only satisfy many of the NESA outcomes for Personal Growth and Development, but also address many of the principles of the International Baccalaureate and Round Square Ideals that are reinforced at TAS. The program has been shown to provide students with an excellent chance to embrace challenge and adventure, while exploring their own capacities in many areas. Programs of this nature also provide an ideal opportunity for students to form new and strengthen existing friendships. Families with children in these year levels are asked to complete two separate consent forms – one for the NSW Office of Sport (who oversee the program on our behalf) and the other for TAS.

The NSW Office of Sport form can be found HERE.

The TAS Lake Keepit Consent form can be accessed HERE

Our thanks to who have already completed these.

Mr Scott Chittenden
Head of Junior School



Our Summer sports program will continue from last year, commencing next week with training and games. Please keep an eye out for emails from your child’s coach in relation to any games commencing next week.
If you are new to TAS and would like to join a TAS sport for Term 1 please email the JS Sports Coordinator, Mrs Christine Wright cwright@as.edu.au

For all returning students, you will be expected to continue in the team you were in during Term 4 last year. There have been some minor changes to coaches this year so please note the following:
Ball Skills – Mrs Tania Ball, Ms Rebecca Mason, Mrs Lauren Haron
Tennis – Mr Brandon Burey, Mrs Veronica Waters, Mrs Fiona Xeros
Gymnastics – Mrs Jess Collett, Mrs Lana Hawksford
Indoor Hockey – Mrs Vanessa Harwood, Miss Josie-May Waters, Miss Skye Waugh
Basketball – Mrs Louise Barrett, Mr Gordon Arndt, Mrs Tania Hardin, Mr Mark Caulfield

​Sports Options for new students K-5
Please note costs are for the full season which will be reduced for only Term 1.

Ball Skills: Kindergarten Only
This training session is for Kinder only and will be based around the ball skills required for games such as tennis, cricket, basketball, and netball. Children will participate in the Monday afternoon training session at TAS. No cost for Ball Skills. Training: Monday afternoons from 3:45pm- 5pm
Basketball: Is at capacity this term unfortunately.

Indoor Hockey: Years 2-5
This is a mixed comp with games occurring on Friday afternoons at either the TAS gym or Armidale Den (Armidale Secondary College) between the hours of 4-6pm. Indoor hockey is available to anyone wishing to participate. It is not necessary to have played outdoor hockey to play the indoor game. The pace of the game makes it very attractive and keeps the participants focused the whole game.
Costs – $5 per game.
Training: Monday afternoons from 3:45pm- 5pm

Gymnastics: 1-3
Held at the Armidale Gymnasium. Sessions are on Mondays from 3:50 – 4:50 pm run by qualified Level 1 coaches provided by Armidale Gymnastics Club.
Children will travel by Bus to and from the gym with staff members supervising all sessions and travel. Children may also be collected at 4:45pm from the gym. However, if not collected by this time, they will be taken back to TAS.
Costs – approximately $190 for the season (Terms 4 and 1, 2022)
Sessions: Monday afternoons from 3:50 pm- 4:50 pm

Tennis: Years 1- 5
Students will participate in tennis coaching by Brandon Burey. Brandon ensures students have an enjoyable experience by offering small group sessions in a positive and fun based environment.
Costs – TBC for Term 1 (approx $5-$8 session depending on numbers.)
Training: Monday afternoons from 3:45pm- 4:45pm

Junior School Swimming Carnival – Thursday, 16 February (Week 3)
Please keep this date in your diary. More information will be in next week’s TAS Talks.

NCIS Swimming Championships
For those children (8 years and above) who win an event and have a qualifying time, the NCIS Swimming Championships will be held in Alstonville, on Thursday, 22 February. As we usually have minimal students attending, parents are required to drive their children to this carnival. One staff member will be in attendance on the day but will have a role in organising and running the event, so will not be able to supervise the students. Please keep this commitment in mind when considering attending if your child qualifies.

Upcoming Events

Wednesday 31 JanuaryJunior School Photos
Thursday 1 FebruaryK – Year 5 Information SessionHoskins Theatre (6pm)
Friday 2 FebruaryWelcome AssemblyHoskins Theatre (2.45pm)
Monday 5 FebruarySports training begins
Friday 9 FebruaryLeaders AssemblyHoskins Theatre (2.45pm)
Thursday 15 FebruaryJS Swimming CarnivalTAS Pool
Friday 23 FebruaryYear 5W AssemblyHoskins Theatre (2.45pm)


Community Notices