2024 Term 1 Week 10   |   03.04.2024

TAS Talks Term 1 Week 10

01. From the Principal


One of the greatest joys of being a teacher is bumping into past students in unexpected places and being rewarded by a young adult who is excited to see you, to tell you what they are doing and to reminisce about the “old days” when you taught them. I was lucky enough to run into two of my ex-students in Brisbane over the Easter weekend and to be impressed by the young people they have grown into and the paths they are on.

Standing at the Junior School turning circle this morning and enjoying the last of this year’s Year 7 lunches yesterday, I found myself wondering what the future might hold in store for these young TAS students. As teachers we hope our students have options available to them when they leave school and the confidence and courage to pursue their ambitions. One way we do this at TAS is by encouraging growth through challenge as Mr Pearson writes about this week. Well done to all those students who completed their first cadet Bivouac last week and good luck to all students, staff, parents and friends, swimming this weekend in the Coffs Harbour ocean swim.


Dr Rachel Horton

02. From the Deputy Principal


As we approach our first Triple Crown and TriStar events for 2024 this week I must congratulate Mr Jim Pennington on his organisation and all of the students who have signed on to be challenged. This is significant. 

I firmly believe that it is not possible to realise our true capacity unless we are given the opportunity to be tested beyond perceived limits. These opportunities are vital for growth, they involve setting higher expectations for oneself, pushing beyond comfort zones, and embracing the challenge. In undertaking this process it develops self-improvement, resilience, and a mindset geared toward excellence. It requires discipline, dedication, and a willingness to learn from setbacks. Ultimately, it leads to greater fulfilment and success.

Quite simply, our students like to be challenged and here at TAS they know that they will be supported along the way. As an advocate for raising personal standards I believe that in the same way a physical challenge can lead to greater fulfilment and success, identifying and overcoming academic/behavioural challenges can produce the same gratifying results. 

This time last year I outlined classroom behaviour expectations for students across the School, to make clear expectations and provide clarity. This was in the form of posters and conversations to ensure students understood what was expected of them in the learning environment. These expectations are summarised as follows:

A TAS, we as teachers and students:

  1. We will be respectful.
  2. We will be organised.
  3. We will respect the learning environment, 
  4. We will be thoughtful, accountable and safe.

A focus for me will continue to be the importance of all students and staff respecting the learning environment. All of our students have the right to learn without disruption. While the behaviour of our students in class is good, I believe in certain year groups it could be better. To this end I will be highlighting to all students that respecting the learning environment and not disrupting others is non negotiable; that not meeting this expectation will be treated as significant behaviour. In addition, I will encourage students to speak up if their learning is being impacted by others and offer my full support to ensure that our learning environment is one where all students can realise their true potential. I know our students are up for this challenge.  


Mr Ray Pearson
Deputy Principal

03. Calendar of Events

Wednesday 3 Aprilda Vinci DecathlonYear 7 & 8
Boarders Formal Dinner
Thursday 4 Aprilda Vinci DecathlonYears 5 & 6
TAS Regional TourScone
Friday 5 Aprilda Vinci DecathlonYears 9 & 10
Tri Schools DebatingYears 6, 7, 8
‘Blue’ Mufti Day
Saturday 6 AprilRun for Mac7 am
Autumn Festival
Sunday 7 AprilCoffs Ocean Swim
Monday 8 AprilGeography TripYear 11
Tuesday 9 AprilBand Night5.30 pm
Wednesday 10 AprilCash Cup
Thursday 11 AprilJunior School Cross Country
Middle School Cross Country
Parent Teacher Interviews3 pm
Classes Conclude
Friday 12 AprilParent Teacher Interviews8.30 am
TAS Rugby Carnival
Saturday 13 AprilTAS Rugby Carnival
Sunday 14 AprilTAS Rugby Carnival
Monday 29 AprilStaff Day
Boarders Return
Tuesday 30 AprilClasses Resume



04. From the P&F


TASRC – Volunteers

TAS Rugby Carnival is the first weekend of the upcoming term break. The P&F will operate venues for barbecues and kiosks, as well as pack player lunches and sell donated home baked goods. We are calling for volunteers to help on Friday 12 April with set up, as well as Saturday 13 – Sunday 14 at the Carnival.

Thank you to the 80 helpers who have already signed up. We need over 170 helpers across the weekend!

Please visit the link to confirm your support for the days/times you are available TASRC Volunteer Sign Up

TASRC – Baking

Much of the financial success of the TAS Rugby Carnival for the P&F can be attributed to the TAS baking community. So once again, we are calling on your donations.

Thank you to the 14 donators who have already signed up.

We need over 60 baked donations for the weekend!

Baked items need to be:

  • Nut free
  • Well-formed (such as slice) to keep shape when served or moved into individual bags
  • Fresh for consumption until the Sunday (14 April) of the carnival
  • Accompanied by a list of ingredients (people buying often ask – we’re requesting that bakers use our standard recipes, so we have ready-made labels)
  • Of a serving size suitable for a $3-$5 price point.

With all these requirements and with our knowledge of sales at past carnivals, we’ve created a list of preferred baked items and their recipes available at: TASRC Recipes

If you can bake for TASRC please review further information & signup at:

TASRC Baking Sign Up

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 Acting Director of Teaching and Learning


Assessments – Stage 6 
A reminder to families that students have a responsibility to attend and submit all formal assessment tasks on the due date and to ensure that the work is their own. It is important that families are not applying for leave for their child except in unavoidable circumstances as our students have formal assessments scheduled throughout term time across their wide array of subjects. If a student is applying for leave, they must check with all of their teachers to ensure they are not missing any assessments. It is important to note that only in the instance of illness, misadventure and extreme extenuating circumstances will a student be exempt from missing an assessment; in Years 11 and 12, they may run the risk of receiving zero for a formal task if their absence is not for a valid reason. I ask that families support the school by not requesting leave that results in class time being missed unless this leave is unavoidable. I encourage students to take responsibility for their own program of assessment; they have so many staff here to help them if they have questions. All assessment schedules can be found on the Student and Parent Portals. I am also available for any conversations around this space if need be.

Year 12 Study Camp 
The Armidale School will again be running a Year 12 Study Camp in the winter break. This will occur here at TAS and run from 17 – 19 July; this is the final three days of the winter break. The camp will not be residential so boarding families will need to arrange for their child to stay with a local family. Details on cost will be available soon but it will be reasonable and will cover the cost of all sessions, lunches and resources. The staff working at the camp will include TAS staff and external presenters to facilitate and workshop study skills for our students.

Parent Teacher Interviews
All our Middle School and Senior School families have now received an email regarding the booking of Parent-Teacher Interviews via our Edval system. These interviews will run over three sessions at the end of this term and the start of next term.

You are invited to book with your child/children’s teachers to discuss student academic progress. The interviews will take place in the Gymnasium, and each will be scheduled to run for seven minutes to allow enough time to discuss your child’s achievements while simultaneously allowing teachers to keep on track with the booking schedule.

Now is a great time to chat with your child about how they think they are going and what kind of conversations they would like to have with their teachers about their progress, including any areas of difficulty. We encourage students to attend these meetings; after all, they are about them, and as such, students should be part of the conversation.

Thursday 11 April, 2024 (3 pm – 5.30 pm)

* Please note that the Cross Country Carnival/School day will conclude at 3.00pm for all Middle and Senior School students to accommodate Parent Teacher Interviews. Supervision will be provided for those who cannot be collected.

Friday 12 April 2024 (9.00 am – 1.00 pm)

Monday 29 April 2024 (9.00 am – 1.00 pm)

Year 12 HSC Careers Expo – Sydney

This year, as in previous years, you have the opportunity to attend the HSC and Careers Expo along with a visit to the University of Sydney.  The expo offers a huge range of exhibitors, from potential employers to many varied further study opportunities. For full details and a list of exhibitors, visit https://www.hscandcareers.com.au/Exhibitors

Before attending the expo the excursion will also visit the University of Sydney for a tour of facilities as well as a number of residential colleges.

The excursion will cost approximately $240.00. This includes entry to the expo, accommodation and all meals (a brief Itinerary is provided below). If you would like to attend the event, please reply to this email to RSVP. A response is required by Monday, April 8, as bookings (including all student names) must be provided to the expo administration by April 11.

Thursday 30 May 
1.45 pm – Leave TAS by coach
5.30 pm –  Dinner at Caledonian Hotel Singleton
9.30 pm (approx) – Arrive The Village Surry Hills

Friday 31 May 
7.00 am – Breakfast
8.15 am – Tour the University of Sydney
10.00 am -Tour residential colleges, including lunch (venue TBC)
12.15 pm – Depart by coach to HSC and Careers Expo
1.00 pm – Arrive at HSC and Careers Expo
3.00 pm – Depart HSC and Careers Expo
6.30 pm (approx) – Dinner and Caledonian Hotel Singleton or alternative in Muswellbrook
9.30/10.00 pm – Arrive TAS


Mr Luke Polson
Acting Director of Teaching and Learning

06. From the Director of Development


We want your banter at the barbecue!

What better way to spend some of your weekend (13-14 April) than down at the rugby pitches at TASRC to share in some fun with your friends, make new friends from across the school and be part of creating a hugely successful event. Work hard and play harder and bring that infamous TAS energy to help get it done. The weekend promises some close games, the chance to support TAS teams, eat some delicious food and come together with and for all of the TAS community.

Are you away that weekend? Are you a baking champ, outwardly or inwardly? Maybe you could pick up a box of ingredients and make some goodies to feed the thousands (literally).

This is a wonderful opportunity for our community to come together and showcase the spirit that makes TAS special to visitors from across eastern Australia. As the biggest fundraiser for the P&F, it also helps transform the school, such as the new P&F Uniform Shop, which was made possible by last year’s carnival.

Imagine what you could be part of. Sign up today!

TASRC Volunteer Sign Up

Mrs Emily McOrist
Director of Development

07. From the Head of Creative Arts

Ms Clare O'Sullivan

08. From the Head of Junior School



At the start of this year I again asked three things of all members of the community – to Be kind, Always try your best, and Get involved (BAG, for short). Our children have certainly risen to the challenge, with many a large number embracing the challenge of auditioning for the honour of representing their House in the finals this week. At the time of publication about two thirds of the finalists have had the opportunity to perform in front of a large audience. Those in attendance have been treated to some excellent instrumental performances, singing, dancing, stand-up comedy and even mime! We wish those yet to perform the best of luck later today. We certainly have talented children at TAS!

Thank you to those families who have already indicated that they or their child will be involved in one or more of the many community events this week. The first TAS Tri-stars challenge event of the year, the swim, takes place after school this Thursday. We are also excited to welcome many families to the Campus to City Canter this Saturday morning, and to then have all available join together in the Armidale Autumn Festival parade at 12.30pm, also on Saturday. Our Year 5 group will be especially busy over the remainder of this week with many participating in the da Vinci Decathlon, an academic enrichment competition, during the day tomorrow and all joining a number of other schools at Newling Public School on Friday for SlimeFest, a valuable opportunity for similarly-aged students from schools across Armidale to get together, meet new friends and make connections without the divide of schools or uniforms. TAS certainly is a busy school filled with opportunities!

Each week a handful of students from across the Junior School who have excelled in the previous week in a variety of measures (academically, intra-personally or inter-personally to name a few) are invited to join me for a ‘Chit Chat’ to highlight their achievements and, where appropriate, showcase some of their work. This is always a highlight of my week and I thought it timely to share a few snippets from Year 4 and 5:

Chloe (Year 4) wrote ‘School Poem’ in response to a homework task that required her to write a short piece that included all spelling words for the week:

At school everyday we are always brighter than ever.
We always fill the class with absolute laughter.
At school Mrs Harwood always has a coffee to drink
Mrs Harwood sometimes but not all the time reads us a story
We sometimes write down some information reports
When Mrs Harwood explains this we might have some thoughts
We have the best time at school.
I hope you enjoyed it!

Year 5 students have been inquiring into the Gold Rush and were tasked with writing a letter home from the goldfields as if they were a miner seeking their fortune. Penelope and Patrick B embraced the challenge and painted a wonderful, if somewhat bleak, picture of what life may have been like for so many at the time.

Dear family,

It is so different here on the gold fields in Australia than in England. It is boiling, there is no green grass and lots of tiny flies. We are living in small huts made of wood and vines. Instead of deer, we see kangaroos and there are so many koalas that look like little teddy bears living in the trees.

For food we eat damper which is cooked over an open fire, mountain stew which is also cooked on an open fire and Johnny Cakes which are cooked in the ashes of a campfire. It is nothing like home food, but it’s good. 

We women wear a bonnet, ankle high boots and an ankle low dress. Men have to wear two shirts, an overcoat and a broad brim hat to protect them from the scorching hot sun. 

There are many challenges, risks and opportunities that I face on the Gold Fields as a woman. It is so hard to get enough money to get food (challenge). I am very scared that someone will steal my food and flour (risk). But  it is all worth it because I might settle here. If I were a man I would face different challenges, risks and opportunities. It would be so hard paying for my miners licence (challenge) I would be  scared that they will arrest me if I forget my licence (risk). But it is all worth it because I might hit a jackpot of gold and get rich. 

Look forward to coming home to England soon,




Dear Mother and Father,                                                                                

I hope this letter finds you well. It has been a brutal first year on the Victorian gold fields. I have found little to no gold and the gold I have found went to paying for my mining license and buying food and supplies. 

We have been living in canvas tents. It is dusty, hot and dry, the temperature reaching 25 degrees during the day and down to 10 degrees at night. It is cold at night, but nothing compared to England.

We live on damper, mutton and stew, as well as tea and sugar. I really miss boiled eggs, vegetables, potatoes and pudding.

I wake up before sunrise each morning. I grab my pick and shovel and head out to my claim. The days are long and repetitive, spending 12 to 16 hours digging, scraping, hauling and washing dirt and gravel.

I look forward to seeing you both soon.

Your loving son,


Happy Birthday

Many happy returns to this week’s birthday kids – Rafi Kiehne, Hunter Grace-Booth and Umraj Nirmaan.


Mr Scott Chittenden
Head of Junior School

Upcoming Events

Thursday 4 Aprilda Vinci Decathlon
Tri-Star Swim
Friday 5 AprilNewling Primary School Slime Fest
Saturday 6 AprilCampus to City Canter
Autumn Festival
Thursday 11 AprilJunior School Cross Country
School Concludes
Friday 12 AprilStaff Day

Community Notices