2024 Term 1 Week 6   |   06.03.2024

TAS Talks Term 1 Week 6

01. From the Principal


Over the past week at TAS, a few new milestones have been created, including what we believe was the first school activity attended by one or more students in every year level from Pre-Kindergarten to Year 12, indeed a couple of children who are likely to start in Pre-Kindergarten at TAS next year were also present. This activity was Clean Up Australia Day on Sunday. It was fantastic to see so many TAS students with their families and staff clearing the Armidale Creeklands, caring for our local community environment.

Congratulations go to all our rowers who have now competed in their respective Head of the River competitions in Sydney. The TAS rowing program continues to grow in strength and of particular note this year our female rowers brought home a collection of medals, representing their best-ever outcome at this fixture.

Congratulations also go to our First XI cricketers who became minor premiers in the local competition. We wish them luck for the finals series and hope that they can repeat the victory, last gained in 2019. Our Year 9 and 10 cricketers are also looking for victory on Friday in the quarter-finals of the Wiburd Shield against Hunter Valley Grammar School.

Finally, while we are in the middle of Term 1, the remainder will no doubt fly by and performances of the much-anticipated Chicago: Teen Edition start in week 1 next term. It will be a fabulous production and tickets are sure to sell out, so book yours now.
Dr Rachel Horton

02. From the Deputy Principal


It’s a rare occurrence to encounter dishonesty among our student body; they hold their word in high esteem and take full ownership of their actions, whether commendable or misguided. Having come to TAS from a metropolitan school this is certainly an attribute that should not be undervalued and I do commend our students for this. 

I recently spoke with a group of students about going one step further than being accountable only for themselves. I highlighted the importance of being accountable for what is right, and speaking up when someone else is doing something wrong. One student innocently asked me if I was referring to ‘dobbing’… This made me think – dobbing, snitching etc. are terms I do hear quite a bit at TAS. I must admit that I do find this interesting as my understanding of these terms does not seem to align with the students. Let me explain, my son (who is 4) occasionally ‘dobs’ on my daughter (7). He intends to get her in trouble for something she may or may not have done. I am told this is pretty normal behaviour for children of this age (I hope so!). 

So to the student who asked if I was referring to ‘dobbing’ I respectfully answer ‘no’.  I do not expect any student at TAS to intentionally try to get others in trouble. What I do expect though is that students will be up for the challenge of being courageous and speaking up for what they know is right and calling out wrong behaviour. 

True accountability must go beyond acknowledgment; it demands vocal opposition to wrongdoing. Our commitment to nurturing responsible citizens lies at the very core of what TAS does. As a school, we expect nothing less than developing positive confidence and an unwavering moral compass, compelling our students to intervene when confronted with the unacceptable.

 A favourite quote of mine (and yes I know I have used it before) is from Joe Dumars, Executive Vice President of the NBA, who once remarked:

“On good teams, coaches hold players accountable, on great teams, players hold players accountable.”

While I am continually astounded by our students’ capacity to rise to the occasion and their acceptance of personal accountability, I challenge all to extend this and accept that standing up, speaking out and acting when something is wrong is a true reflection of courage and character. 

Mr Ray Pearson

Deputy Principal

03. Calendar of Events

Thursday 7 MarchNCIS Hockey TrialsGrafton
Friday 8 MarchWalcha ShowCattle Showing
Wiburd Shield Quarter Final vs Hunter Valley Grammar School
Saturday 9 MarchTAS Indoor Rowing CompetitionTAS Gym
Sunday 10 MarchCIS Golf
Monday 11 MarchCIS Golf
NCIS SwimmingAlstonville
Year 12 Geography Field Trip
Tuesday 12 MarchHealth Careers ForumYears 10,11 & 12
Wednesday 13 MarchP&F Meeting7-9pm



Uniform and Bookshop

The new navy bucket hats are now in!

The next delivery of the girl's straw hats are expected on the 8 March.

Now is the time to start planning the purchase of winter uniforms, please buy online, or if fitting is required please make an appointment on the website.
We are happy to fit Year 6- 12 students without an appointment at lunchtime and after school.

Next school holidays we are only open Wednesday 24 April and by appointment only. Please book online.

On Monday 29 April from 10 am - 4pm we are open exclusively for boarding students. No appointments are necessary, but this time is just for returning boarders and their families.

Mrs Cate Hayton

From the Medical Centre

Please note that this year Dr Markey will be attending the Medical Centre on Tuesdays from 7:30 am to 9 am.

There are also changes to the billing. Students over the age of 16 will be charged the normal consultation fee. Whilst students under the age of 16 years will be bulk billed. If you have any queries, please contact Rusden Street Medical Practice - 6772 2291

A reminder that the Year 10 Immunisation Clinic is being held on Thursday 14 March. If you have not completed the consent form, please go to https://engage.health.nsw.gov.au/engage and follow the prompts.

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.

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 – Catering Captains

In addition to helpers on TASRC weekend, we also need a few volunteers to pre-make food items. the P&F will purchase the ingredients, you provide the know-how, kitchen & effort to make the items. We need the following made:

  • Corn Fritters (vegetarian) – Approximately 200 mixed and baked
  • Pulled Pork – Approximately 15kg slow cooked and frozen
  • Brown Rice – Approximately 50 portions
  • Yoghurt & Granola Cups – Approximately 85 portions
  • Jelly Cups – Approximately 100 portions

If you can make any of the above please contact the P&F Exec team at pandf@as.edu.au.


P&F Meeting

The next P&F meeting is this Wednesday 13 March from 7 pm. We will meet face to-face in Upper Maxwell as well as have a Zoom session running for those wishing to attend remotely. You can bet TASRC will be on the agenda.

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 215 517 2798

Password: parents

Connect with P&F

We have several Facebook pages providing useful information about upcoming activities 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;

  • TAS P&F FB page – Search “TAS Parents & Friends” on Facebook
  • Year Group FB pages – Search “TAS Year 12 XXXX” on Facebook where XXXX is the graduating year of your child (e.g. “TAS Year 12 2026”). Ask to join.

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



A reminder that NAPLAN is running in Years 3, 5, 7 commencing next Wednesday, 13 March.

Students are reminded that this is a low-stakes test aimed at offering one aspect of insight into our students’ literacy and numeracy progress. Academic staff use the data that comes from these tests to inform our teaching. As such, all students should apply themselves and produce their best work in these tests, so the results are an accurate reflection of their ability in these areas of learning. From Wednesday, 13 March, all students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 will complete a test in Writing, Reading, Language Conventions and Numeracy.

For Years 7 and 9, we will be following the schedule outlined below. Students must be prepared for these sessions with both a charged laptop and a set of headphones. Any music lessons that occur during these times should be rescheduled. If a student is absent from a test, there will be opportunities for catch-up tests in the days immediately following the start of NAPLAN. Further information about this process can be found here: https://nap.edu.au/naplan

Wednesday 13 MarchThursday 14 MarchFriday 15 MarchMonday 18 March
Writing – Memorial HallReading – Memorial HallConventions of Language – Memorial HallMathematics – Memorial Hall
Year 7 – Periods 1&2Year 7 Periods 1&2Year 7 Periods 3&4Year 7 Periods 4&5
Year 9 – Periods 4&5Year 9 – Periods 3&4Year 9 – Periods 1&2Year 9 – Periods 1&2


Mr Luke Polson
Acting Director of Teaching and Learning

06. Adventure and Challenge - TAS Triple Crown


The Triple Crown is a series of unique events which culminate in one of the most highly valued awards available at TAS. Every year, there are four opportunities for students, parents, and staff to participate, compete, get outside of comfort zones and to support those less fortunate. Complete three out of the four and you’ll receive the Triple Crown. Complete all four, and you join the ‘Awesome Foursome’.

In 2024, there are four amazing events planned and outlined below:

  1. The Coffs Ocean Swim 2km (Sunday 7 April)
  2.  The Tour de Rocks 268km ride (Thursday 18 April-Saturday 20 April)
  3. The ‘Walk a Mile in Another Man’s Wheels 4-hour wheelchair challenge (Friday 9 August)
  4. The 19 for Nineteen, a 19km walk (Anya’s Wish, Sunday 19 October).

It is now time to call for expressions of interest for both the Coffs Ocean Swim https://oceanswims.com/event/coffs-ocean-swim/ and Tour de Rocks https://www.tourderocks.com.au/.

Please note that the Tour is held during the second week of the April school holidays.

I am pleased to be able to offer this experience to all TAS students, staff and parents. Please register your interest in either event below.

If you have any questions, please contact me via email at jpenning@as.edu.au

Expressions of Interest close on Friday 8 March.
Mr James Pennington
Adventure, Service and Challenge Coordinator

07. From the Director of Co-curricular


Congratulations to our schoolgirl rowers who competed at the NSW Schoolgirl Head of the River last weekend. TAS had a hugely successful day with seven of our 10 crews rowing in the final of their respective event – an excellent achievement. Within those finals, TAS had three podiums:

  • The Year 10 Second Quad won the bronze medal – Jordie Cullen, Polly Thibault, Izzy Coddington (rowing up a year group) and Clare McDouall, coxed by Jemima Atkin.
  • Year 10 Single Scull – Isabella Henderson won bronze.
  • Year 9 Single Scull – Georgia Henderson won gold.

I commend our First Football team who travelled to St Columba Anglican School at Port Macquarie last Friday in round 1 of the CIS Football Cup. The boys had a nail bitting win, in a penalty shootout, after the scores were locked at 3-3 at fulltime. The full report from their coach Mr David Moffitt can be read below.

Our cricketers continue to make their mark. In the local Second Grade competition, the TAS Firsts team finished the regular season as Minor Premiers. They will play this weekend on Cricket Oval for a place in the grand final. We wish them well and hope they can continue their form from their resounding win against Walcha last weekend.

The student Winter Co-Curricular choices took place in Advisor this week. Any student who has not nominated an activity must do so by the end of the week. Training schedules and registration information will be circulated in the coming weeks.

CIS Football Cup report

The CIS Football competition is a knock-out league between independent schools across NSW. On Friday 1 March TAS faced St Columba Anglican School, Port Macquarie in our first-round match. Our team consisted of keen players from across Years 9-12 with very little opportunity for training and fitness development, as we are still in our Summer program for sport.

After a long bus trip and a quick trip to Flynn’s Beach, the boys played a much older and stronger side; finding themselves under the pump from the opening whistle. With the ball stuck mainly in our own half, our defence had to work together to keep us in the game. After about 15 minutes, Sam Hynes’ game awareness helped him notice the goalkeeper was yards outside his box and he fed a ball through for our striker, Faris Alkadi, who chipped the ball forward towards goal. The keeper, still outside his box, blocked the ball with his hands, earning himself a red card and the opportunity for us to play against 10 players for the rest of the match.

With this advantage, we quickly gained the upper hand with two break-away goals before half-time. As the game progressed, a lack of fitness and shape caused us to be down 3-2 with only minutes remaining, when Mohammed Almokhtar sent Campbell Draney forward, one-on-one against the replacement goalkeeper to score and send us to a penalty shoot-out.

A clinical display of shooting, with Seb Brotherson saving two penalties, gave us the win. The boys progress through to play either Lindisfarne Anglican Grammar School or Emmanuel College, in the coming weeks. Stay tuned as we hope to play at home in front of our wonderfully supportive TAS community.


Seb Brotherson saved the second of two St Columba penalties to put TAS into Round 2 of the CIS Open Boys Football











Congratulations to all the boys: Fayez Alkadi, Faris Alkadi, Mohammed Almokhtar, Dax Blair-Pevitt, Andy Hardin, Sam Kelly, Patrick White, Firas Ilyas, Sebastian Brotherson, Campbell Draney, Sam Hynes, Lennox Neilson, Tyler Nguyen, Kane Salvador and Riley Wickham.

Mr David Moffitt


Mr Huon Barrett
Director of Co-Curricular

Clean Up Australia Day

What a fantastic roll up last Sunday morning for Clean Up Australia. Sixty eight students, 10 parents, staff and a large dog, attended from Pre-Kindergarten to Year 12. This must be one of the few events whereby we have such a broad scope of participation, with every year group represented. The students split into groups and moved either east or west along Dumaresq Creeklands. Trolleys were the main find, with more than 20 removed from the murky waters. The obvious massive plastic bottle waste was the most concerning, with this creating the most volume in the bags. The winner, well that was a washing machine, retrieved from the depths along Rologas Fields. Who knows how it got there! My thanks to the Armidale Regional ouncil and to all of the TAS students, parents and staff who supported this great initiative, devised by Old Armidalian Ian Kiernan AO.

Mr James Pennington
Challenge and Service Coordinator

08. From the Head of Creative Arts


Rehearsals for the Senior School production of Chicago Teen are progressing well. It has been a pleasure to see the cast rise to the challenge of recreating the fast and loose world that was Chicago in the 1920s. A massive thank you to our most capable stage and technical crew who organise, support and prompt the cast during rehearsals. A sincere thank you to our student choreographer, Tilda Morse, who is diligently working through the big musical numbers of the show, sharing her vision with the dancers she leads.

Planning is also underway for the Middle School production. The Creative Arts department is excited to be announcing the name of the show in the not-too-distant future. Any MS students interested in auditioning for a lead or ensemble role in the production are advised that auditions will be held in Term 2, so please keep an eye out for announcements as they are made closer to the end of Term 1.


Ms Clare O’Sullivan
Head of Creative Arts

09. From the Acting Head of Middle School


It was a great pleasure last Friday to see Middle School students organise and manage their own Middle School Mid-Term Assembly in Hoskins. For this year we plan to schedule two assemblies per term to be driven by the students. On this occasion, the Middle School leadership team took the reins and excelled in managing a solid event for the whole community. This was an opportunity for students to speak publicly in front of their peers while recognising the positive efforts being demonstrated by students over the past five weeks. These young men and women were rewarded with Advisor Awards.

Moving forward to our End of Term Assembly in Week 10, a new group of Middle School students will be given the opportunity to plan and deliver a successful assembly. Many thanks must go to the students who presented awards, introduced speakers and reported on Middle School matters which have been occurring throughout the term.

A friendly reminder that NAPLAN will be commencing next Wednesday 13 March. Students in Year 7 will be reminded daily this week of what they will need next week, being a pair of headsets and a fully charged laptop. If any students are having trouble accessing headsets, they’ve all been encouraged to alert their Advisors.

Mr Jamie Brauer

Acting Head of Middle School


10. From the Head of Junior School



Perhaps the most notable highlight in Junior School over the last week has been the Years 2- 5 Outdoor Education program to Lake Keepit. With a revised program to previous years we were pleased to have students working in cross-age groups to a greater extent. Our older students were wonderful leaders and mentors throughout the program, and those in younger years willingly embraced all challenges and made the most of many the opportunities afforded them throughout the program. With so much of the experience still to be unpacked in the classroom, we were glad to note a few common themes throughout some of the self-reflections conducted to date:

  • persevering, even (or especially!) when things become difficult, can be very rewarding
  • the importance of teamwork and supporting others in the group
  • working together is easier when we listen to others as well as talk
  • that different things are difficult for different people

While our older students were away, those in Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten and Year 1 certainly made the most of having the run of the Junior School. Lessons conducted in unusual places, a House-based tabloid sports carnival, the continuation of the Water Safety program, an extended session of our Thursday morning clubs and the magnificent teddy bears picnic were just a few of the highlights for those who remained at school.

It was wonderful to have so many Junior School students, parents and carers support the Armidale Regional Council’s Clean Up Australia Day event on Sunday morning. With students from each year level the Junior School was very well represented, a remarkable achievement after the incredibly busy week that all had already enjoyed. While the intent (and certainly the achievement) was to collect litter and rubbish from throughout the creek lands from Curtis Park, many in the Junior School discovered sections of Armidale that they never knew existed. Perhaps the most interesting find on the day was a large collection of somewhat saturated Pokemon cards near the creek behind Woolworths. It’s fair to say there were a few sad faces when these were thrown away!

In the spirit of Clean Up Australia Day, all Pre-Kindy to Year 5 students will this Friday have the opportunity to work with an organisation called Junkyard Beats, a performing arts group with a strong focus on creative recycling, drumming, dancing and comedy.  This practical incursion will have students using ordinary objects to create extraordinary instruments and we look forward to continuing to unpack the many important messages of the importance of teamwork, self-expression, artistic exploration, sustainability and a lifelong love of music throughout the rest of the term.

Tonight sees the first of two consecutive parent-teacher interview evenings for our Junior School families. This year we are pleased to offer the possibility of a Zoom interview as well as the more traditional in-person meetings. Parents and carers are encouraged to check their emails and the weekly overview Google Docs for the Zoom links should they wish to meet with their child(ren)’s teacher remotely. Please remember to have your full name displayed and video camera on throughout the interview so the meetings can continue as planned. For those meeting with teachers in person, we look forward to having you join us at Big School, the large foyer immediately in the front doors of the main administration building near the flagpoles, at the scheduled time.

Happy Birthday

Happy birthday to Archie Stockings, Scarlett Shortt, Alexa Wood and Casey Tighe.


Mr Scott Chittenden
Head of Junior School


Upcoming Events

Wednesday 6 MarchParent Teacher Interviews
Thursday 7 MarchParent Teacher Interviews
Friday 8 MarchYear 2 AssemblyHoskins Centre (2.45 pm)
Junkyard Beats
Wednesday 13 MarchNAPLAN begins
Friday 15 MarchHouse Meetings
Friday 22 MarchYear 3N AssemblyHoskins Centre (2.45 pm)
Tuesday 26 MarchEaster Hat Parade

Primary Years Programme (PYP)

PYP Learning Community and Parent Teacher Interviews

Our Junior School recognises that education is a social endeavour and involves numerous stakeholders, with a shared commitment to achieving educational outcomes. We value the partnership between home and school as we support students in their learning journey. Parent teacher interviews are one way that we aim to foster in-depth conversations about students’ emotional and social well-being along with how they are tracking academically. Interviews are scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday this week and will allow for conversations around the start of the school year and will be a time to share in some goal setting for the remainder of the term.

Partnerships with parents and legal guardians benefit the students and value the perspective they bring to the learning community. They add richness to the community by being actively involved in the life of the school to share decisions, exchange ideas, build on experience and provide support. The partnerships between home and school provide the foundation to support students’ learning growth, health and well-being and agency.” (IBO 2017)


Mrs Veronica Waters
PYP Coordinator

Community Notices