2024 Term 1 Week 11   |   10.04.2024

TAS Talks Term 1 Week 11

01. From the Principal


The beautiful weather of 2023 was not on show last weekend for Armidale’s Autumn Festival, and while the rain was well received, the festival parade was sadly cancelled. This didn’t prevent musical numbers from moving inside or perturb huge numbers from running in the Campus to City Canter on Saturday however, and many students, staff and parents also braved the wet and wild conditions for the turbulent Coffs Ocean Swim on Sunday.

With the end of term this week, I look forward to seeing many parents throughout the parent-teacher interviews. These represent a great opportunity to touch base with your child’s teachers and get a little more detail around where they are at in class and the progress they have been making.

My huge thanks in advance to all those members of the TAS community who are volunteering over the course of the TAS Rugby Carnival this weekend. Set to be the biggest one yet, it will no doubt be a wonderful experience for the young people participating and we wish our TAS teams the best of luck.

Finally, I would like to wish all of our TAS families and friends a peaceful and safe term break.


Dr Rachel Horton

02. From the Deputy Principal


As we approach the end of term, I would like to wish all our staff, students, and families a safe and enjoyable break. 

From the Swimming Carnival to Bivouacs, ‘Blue Week’ to the Coffs Ocean Swim I trust that all students have had the opportunity to express themselves, find success and gain a greater insight into their true capacity throughout the past 11 weeks. Undoubtedly, some will have been reserved and placed limitations on themselves, conscious of what those around may be thinking. To me, this is a true point of reflection for us all. I encourage all to take time over the break and reflect on what has been achieved and what could have been achieved if more vulnerability had been shown and positive risks had been taken. To try and fail is far more courageous and advantageous than to not try at all.

This break is a much-needed circuit breaker for us all to refresh our minds and body in time for the second half of the semester. This being said all students should aim to maintain the important elements of the routine they have worked so hard to establish this term. Adequate sleep and hydration, putting limits on screen time along with exercise and eating well are the basics that are needed for personal success. In addition, I encourage our senior students to put aside time for study over the break to reduce the challenges Term 2 will present by getting ahead – preparation is the key to success.

Please note that the school day tomorrow (Thursday) will conclude at 3.00pm for all Middle and Senior School Students to facilitate Parent Teacher Interviews in the gymnasium.  

Have a wonderful break, enjoy the time with family and friends and I look forward to seeing all students return safely for Term 2.


Mr Ray Pearson
Deputy Principal

03. Calendar of Events

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

The TAS Rugby Carnival is on this weekend! The P&F will operate venues for barbecues and kiosks, as well as pack player lunches and sell donated home-baked goods.  If you are in Armidale and available, please join us to make the event a huge success.

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

TASRC – Baking

Can you donate some baked goods this week for TASRC? Please review the further information and sign up below.

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.

TASRC Baking Sign Up

Next Meeting – P&F AGM

Wednesday 15 May 2024 (Term 2 Week 3) is the P&F AGM. The current P&F Executive team will stand down from their roles leaving openings for new faces to take the organisation forward. This is a great opportunity to be a part of the school community in either of the President, Vice President, Secretary, or Treasurer roles.

If you would like to get more involved with the P&F and become a voting member, please find the P&F Membership Application Form on the Parent Portal. If you would like to become a member of the P&F Executive team, then please complete the P&F AGM Executive Nomination Form also. Both of these can be emailed to the P&F Exec team at the address below.

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 Boarding


The Boarders Formal Dinner, held last Wednesday evening, was another enjoyable occasion. All boarders wore their formal uniforms with pride and were commended on the evening for their behaviour. Our Senior Prefect, Henry Kirton, delivered a heartfelt speech which was well received by all and the Year 12s from the Girls Boarding House and Croft House worked tirelessly throughout the evening as Servers.

Wishing all boarding families a safe and relaxing Term Break with family and friends. It has been another busy term for the boarders, and I am sure they will enjoy some downtime over the coming weeks.

A reminder that Boarding Houses will be closed from 10.00am Friday with all boarders allowed to stay overnight in Moyes or Abbott House on Thursday evening with the boys moving to Moyes from 7.00am Friday. Boarding Houses will be re-open for Term 2 from 1.30pm Monday 29 April.

All boarding houses will accommodate rugby players attending the TAS Rugby Carnival and members of the Sydney Youth Orchestra during the upcoming school holidays. Subsequently, boarders should have liaised with their Head of House regarding what can and can’t be left in their respective rooms/dorms. All boarders need to be aware that anything left in boarding houses must be adequately secured.

Thanks for your ongoing support this term.


Mr David Drain
Director of Boarding

06. From the Acting Director of Teaching and Learning


End of Term
A reminder that Parent Teacher Interviews commence tomorrow from 3pm, immediately after the Cross Country.  The school day will conclude at 3pm to allow the interviews to start. If students are unable to head home at this point, supervision will be provided until 3:30pm.

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.

Term 2 Timetable
Please be aware that we will commence Term 2 timetable on Week B. Students are reminded to check Edval closer to the start of the term to ensure they are prepared for classes on the first day of term.

Mr Luke Polson
Acting Director of Teaching and Learning

Two TAS teams make da Vinci Decathlon State final

Technology and innovation – how does one influence the other? It’s something that hundreds of students from across the region explored on 3-5 April at the eleventh Northern NSW da Vinci Decathlon, again hosted by TAS.

Over three days more than 430 boys and girls from 17 department, independent and Catholic primary and secondary schools worked in teams of eight to complete ten academic challenges – each challenge falling within the subject areas of Engineering, Mathematics, Code Breaking, Art and Poetry, Science, English, Ideation, Creative Producers, Cartography and Legacy (significant people, inventions and events).

Along the way there were general knowledge quizzes and other games to add to the fun. For the first time, Knox alumni were not present for this year’s competition, with quizmaster duties being handled by Year 11 TAS students Millie Coupland and Sam Guppy, both da Vinci graduates.

Honours were shared around the schools, with TAS winning both the Year 6 and Year 9 competitions, making them eligible to attend the state finals at Knox Grammar School in May. Well done to all students who took part.

Mrs Donella Tutt

07. From the Director of Co-curricular


I have many fond memories from my time at TAS but what stands above all else are the people, because that is what makes a great school. Students having a go and making the most of their opportunities, staff willingly engaging with students and going above and beyond and parents who support the many and varied activities that happen each and every week.

Last weekend was a classic example of the TAS community engaging in the wider community. The ‘Run for Mac’ event that took place on Saturday morning from UNE to Curtis Park and the Coffs Harbour Ocean Swim on Sunday, the final activity in a jam-packed Blue Week – raising awareness for mental health.

This week students will the compete in Cross Country (details below) and on the weekend TAS will host, what I consider to be our premier event, the TAS Rugby Carnival. TASRC will host over 1100 players and welcome an anticipated 3000 people to the New England. Thank you in advance to all students, staff and parents who are helping during the TASRC weekend. It is this sense of community which sets us apart from many other schools.

Next term will see the commencement of the Winter Co-Curricular season. Please ensure students have the correct uniform and you are familiar with the training schedules.

CLICK Here for the Term 2 Training Schedule

CLICK Here for the Term 2 Extra-Curricular Schedule

2024 MS/SS Cross-Country

Period 5 Year 6/7/8 – Beginning of period 5 Years 6/7/8 Assemble on Adamsfield.

  • 12.20pm Assemble on Adamsfield
  • 12.30pm Years 6/7/8 Boys Race Commence
  • 12.45pm Years 6/7/8 Girls Race Commence
  • 1.15pm MS Students move to lunch.

1.10pm Years 9 and 10

  • 1.10pm Assemble on Adamsfield
  • 1.20pm Years 9/10 Boys Race Commence
  • 1.30pm Years 9/10 Girls Race Commence
  • 1.45pm Move to lunch – Normal staff duties apply (at 2.00pm please send all students to Adamsfield).
  • 2.00pm Come over to the SS Cross-Country when lunch is finished.

MS Students are not to be milling around the MS or on ‘other’ fields.

2.00pm Years 11/12 End of Lunch, Assemble & Briefing on Adamsfield

  • 2.10pm Years 11/12 Boys Race Commence
  • 2.20pm Years 11/12 Girls Race Commence
  • 2.50pm Conclude, formal dismissal on Adamsfield

Students are to arrive at School in their Sport Shorts, House Shirt, TAS Cap/Bucket Hat and Joggers

Parents are welcome at the Cross-Country and can assemble on the southern side of Adamsfield.

Hockey Registration Information

Registration is now open for the Hockey season. It would be appreciated if you could please register soon, to assist us with finalizing our Teams for the season ahead.


Use the Registration tab and scroll down, then click new member or returning member. Then, read the information provided.

Finally, please, families and students, join our Team App if you have not already done so, as notifications come through Team App each week with Bus timetables, Game times, and other important notifications.

www.teamapp.com  Request: Hockey – The Armidale School

If you have any questions at all contact: Ingrid Steddy Hockey MIC,  isteddy@as.edu.au


Mr Huon Barrett
Director of Co-Curricular


Coffs Ocean Swim

Dark and ominous skies, with rain falling and a two-metre swell – perfect conditions for a dip in the ocean! This is what greeted participants for the Coffs Ocean Swim, all 161 TAS students, parents, and staff last Sunday.

Despite the gloomy weather and the fear of the unknown, the only murmurs were those of being cold, not of pulling out. The challenge had been set; it was time to swim. Getting through the break proved difficult but was not impossible. Swimming a straight 800m straight out to sea, a little frightening but attainable. Our Blue Tree motto of “its ok to not be ok, to have the strength to speak out and up” was matched by finding that same resolve, and taking another stroke, aiming for the finish.

Isabella Henderson was the first TAS student out of the water, with Prudence Black and Cody Uebergang rounding out the top three. Year 11 had the most finishers with 37 and that number was matched by Middle School, quite a remarkable achievement.

This was such an impressive feat for all swimmers, regardless of age to complete the 2 kilometres. I am grateful for the amazing support of our Year 12 Water Safety Students, the TAS staff and parents who swam and paddled alongside our students, who manned the tents in the rain, who guided students out of the water and into warm blankets, who travelled on the buses and so willingly gave of their time. Events of this nature require a large support base and in this, we are so fortunate. Congratulations to all students who have now completed Part 1 of their Triple Crown for 2024.

Mr Jim Pennington

Challenge, Service and Adventure Coordinator


Run for Mac

Two hundred and forty seven TAS students, parents and staff ran, walked, and strolled their way along the bike track from UNE to Curtis Park in the Campus to City Canter on Saturday, in support of Cormac (Mac) and the Downes family. This incredible show of support truly highlights the amazing TAS community, rallying behind a family in need. Students from Kindergarten to Year 12 enjoyed the morning, with the morning sun streaking out from the dark grey skies. I am grateful to the kindness displayed by this incredible fraternity.

Mr Jim Pennington

Challenge, Service and Adventure Coordinator

Debating News

It has been a solid start to the year for debaters, with three teams arguing their way to jointly win the Tamworth-based Federation Cup competition and success in the first round of the Tri-Schools Shield, a Middle School competition with NEGS and PLC.

TAS had mixed success in the first two rounds of the Federation Cup, a competition between McCarthy Catholic College, Calrossy Anglican School and Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School, who hosted the rounds on 28 February. In the first round, comprising prepared debates, TAS Year 12 and Year 10 teams had wins against Farrer while Year 8 went down to the hosts, however all three teams were defeated by Calrossy in the round 2 impromptus. Things turned around at the second excursion down the hill on 21 March, this time to Calrossy, with all three teams winning round 3 prepared debates against McCarthy. Year 12 and Year 10 were then in the top tier final against Calrossy while the Year 8 team battled it out in the bottom tier final debating McCarthy – Year 12 ultimately being the Stage 6 champions with a finals win, Year 10 runners up in Stage 5, Year 8 winning their final also, and TAS finishing on equal points overall with Calrossy, to share the Cup.

The fact that TAS fielded three different Year 8 teams in the Federation Cup reflects a strong interest in debating in Middle School, evidenced also by solid attendance at Debating Club on Thursday mornings before school. This all augured well for the resurrection on Friday 5 April of the first round of the Tri-Schools Shield against NEGS and PLC, which had been dormant since 2019. As hosts, TAS provided two teams in each year group, each team debating one of the other schools. In some close contests, TAS won four of the six debates, with both Year 7 teams taking the honours on the day and NEGS winning one apiece in Year 6 and Year 8. We look forward to the rounds at NEGS and PLC later in the year.

Mr Tim Hughes
MIC Debating & Public Speaking

08. From the Head of Creative Arts

Ms Clare O'Sullivan

09. From the Acting Head of Middle School


Middle School - End of Term Assembly

It was fantastic for the Middle School community to gather together last Thursday for the end-of-term assembly. Similar to the mid-term assembly, this occasion was driven by the students with special mention going to Hamish Leahy, Sienna Nguyen, Ellie Cullen, Georgia Bryant, and Ruby Menkens who all played a part in speaking and managing this special event.

Once again we had the opportunity to recognise the achievements of our students from over the past few weeks by presenting them with Advisor Awards. We were also fortunate to hear from the school’s Drama leaders, Belle Meyer and Tommy Burnett, on what the program offers for all students. To top it all off, Ethan Wooldridge performed magnificently by singing a rock classic by Phil Collins, while James McLaren and Charles Bolch gave everyone an informative speech on what it is like to take part in the Newling Garden visits.

As it has been a long and busy term, the students from Middle School have achieved positive outcomes and have taken on a great deal, especially the ones completing their first term at TAS. Everyone in Middle School deserves a well-earned rest and I hope the school holidays bring a restful and enjoyable time spent with all families.

Thank you everyone for a great term and I look forward to Term 2 being as rewarding and productive. All the best.


Mr James Brauer
Acting Head of Middle School


10. From the Head of Junior School



What a talented group of students we have in the Junior School! The inaugural Junior School Talent Show, an initiative of the Junior School student leaders, was a wonderful event where students of all ages showcased one or more of their many talents. The finals of this competition were held last week, and the judges certainly had a difficult time scoring all contestants. Congratulations to all who participated and especially those who placed in the finals. The final standings were very close indeed!

Overall House Results:

  • 1st Green
  • 2nd Ross
  • 3rd Broughton

Kindergarten to Year 2

  • 1st Sam Trevaskis (Broughton)
  • 2nd Bridget Kim (Green)
  • 3rd Danesh Samadi (Ross)

Years 3 to 5:

  • 1st  Raymond Wang (Ross)
  • 2nd Ruby Archer (Green)
  • 3rd Bronte Polson and Maddie Pearson (Broughton)

Last week also saw eight Year 5 students competing in the regional da Vinci Decathlon competition, an academic enrichment competition across a wide range of subject areas. The students acquitted themselves very well and we are very proud to report that they placed in the top three schools in North West NSW in cartography (2nd), English (2nd), science (2nd), art and poetry (3rd) and Legacy (3rd). What a wonderful achievement.

Last week also saw Junior School students of all ages mixing with their Buddy class at the culmination of Blue Week. An enormous range of activities were on offer in this, the second Buddies session of the year Buddies, and the incidental conversations focussing on the theme that “It’s OK not to be OK” between students were both rich and deep.

The first Tri-Stars Award event for first for the year, the swim, also took place last week. Thank you to Mr Pennington and the Senior School students involved in both preparation for and facilitation of this event. We are certain the 48 students and countless family members enjoyed the evening; they certainly embraced the challenge of swimming an age-appropriate distance, not to mention the refreshments afterwards!

We wish our Year 5 and 6 rugby players well as they participate in the TAS Rugby Carnival this weekend, one of the many highlights of the TAS calendar. We look forward to sharing news of their competition in our next newsletter. Thank you, in advance to the countless families who have already been working hard to make this event the overwhelming success that it invariably is. We look forward to seeing you on the sidelines!

Vacation Care also takes place during this holiday period. Please check your emails for information on how to book through the Xplor system. Please note that care on Monday 15 April, the first day of the program, will initially run out of the Pre-Kindergarten classroom while the Parents and Friends group, together with the School’s maintenance team, pack up from the rugby carnival. Please note the program that will run throughout Vacation Care at the end of this article.

Following the success of last year’s Inter-house Anzac Biscuit Competition we are again pleased to invite entries to either the “chewy” or “crunchy” category of biscuits. Entries should be submitted to Mrs Lasker at the Junior School Reception on the morning of the first Friday of Term 2, Friday 3 May, together with the appropriate entry form. Preliminary judging by the House leadership teams will take place at Recess before those shortlisted are judged in the finals. We look forward to sharing the recipe of the winning entries in next week’s edition of TAS Talks.

As we approach the winter terms, it is timely to ask your child(ren) to try on their Winter Uniform. If the growth spurts evident each day at the turning circle are anything to go by, we expect many students will have outgrown their uniform from last year. Please note that students can wear either summer or winter uniform in the first week of Term 2.

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to the following Junior School students that celebrate their special days between now and the next edition: Amirrah Marasinghe Arachchillage, Bradley Byrnes, George Quast, James Gillman, Bridei Stewart and Oliver James.


Mr Scott Chittenden

Head of Junior School


Upcoming Events

Thursday 11 AprilJunior School Cross Country
School Concludes
Friday 12 AprilStaff Day
Monday 29 AprilStaff Day
Tuesday 30 AprilSchool resumes

11. Junior School Sport

Cross Country

We are all looking forward to our annual Junior School Cross Country event this Thursday 11 April. Children will need to wear their house coloured shirts on the day and arrive ready for races to commence just after 9am. Children will meet in their classrooms then make their way to Adamsfield where our Cross Country will take place. Races will be run in age groupings.

Please join us for this event if you are able.

If your child qualifies for NCIS Cross Country you will be notified on Thursday as we will need to have nominations in on Friday.

Winter sports – Term 2

Our winter sports programme commences next term. Hockey training will commence on Wednesday, 1st May and all other sports on Monday 6 May.

Children will need to ensure they have their uniform and equipment ready for the winter season. Please ensure you get organised over the holiday period ready to commence next term.

Teams and coaches will be published in TAS Talks in Week 1 next term.


Community Notices