2024 Term 2 Week 5   |   29.05.2024

TAS Talks Term 2 Week 5

01. From the Principal


Monday 27 May marked the start of National Reconciliation Week which has the theme of ‘Now more than Ever’ in 2024. To mark the occasion, our senior Aboriginal Students have organised this afternoon’s assembly focusing on why reconciliation matters to them, a vision for the future and what is required from all Australians to achieve this.

National Reconciliation Week commemorates the referendum on 27 May 1967 in which Australians voted overwhelmingly to amend the Constitution to allow the Commonwealth to make laws for Aboriginal people and include them in the census. It also commemorates the High Court Mabo decision on 3 June 1992 recognising the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as traditional landowners. As a relatively recent migrant to Australia myself, I consider it my responsibility to listen and learn, to understand the history of Australia and the challenges faced by, and progress required, for justice and the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

While this is an ongoing commitment, Reconciliation Week serves as a reminder for us and highlights the need for this momentum of change to continue. In 2024, TAS continues to work towards our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) and as a new member of the Waratah Project, we are pleased that we are working towards initiatives to improve the academic outcomes of our Aboriginal students and strengthen relationships with families and communities.


Dr Rachel Horton


02. From the Deputy Principal


It has been a busy few weeks for many of our students, who have been working hard outside the classroom to challenge themselves and achieve outstanding results along the way. It was a privilege to watch our students perform last week and be part of the many TAS successes at this year’s Eisteddfod as a school community member. Solo and ensemble performances have seen TAS set the bar high for all-round performances in the region, and our students have relished the opportunity to perform once again in front of an audience. In addition, we have seen students perform exceptionally well and be selected for representative Hockey and Rugby 7s.

This weekend, a strong team of students is representing us at the North West Equestrian events in Coonabarabran. At the same time, our next round of AAGPS rugby fixtures sees our Year 7-12 boys rugby teams travel to Sydney to compete against Shore. We also have students heading to Sydney for the Kids Lit National Finals, the HSC Careers Expo, and the CIS Cross Country and Hockey within the next week. Congratulations to all students who are pursuing their passions. Regardless of the results, the school is immensely proud of our student body’s diversity of talents and interests.

As we approach the King’s Birthday Long Weekend, I remind families that Friday, 7 June, will be a student-free day, enabling a four-day break from school for all our students. To ensure our academic program is not disrupted and the majority of our students are not disadvantaged, I request that leave be taken outside of the four days.


Mr Ray Pearson
Deputy Principal

03. Calendar of Events

Thursday 30 MayHSC Careers Expo & Sydney University Visit
Friday 31 MayYear 9/10 Exams
NW Equestrian ExpoCoonabarabran
OAU Sydney Branch Long LunchSydney
Saturday 1 JuneRugbyTAS vs SHORE (Sydney)
Sunday 2 JuneKids Literature National Final
Monday 3 JuneKids Literature National Final
Years 9/10 Exams
NW Equestrian ExpoCoonabarabran
Year 12 Hospitality Work Placement
Thursday 6 JuneDick Hodgson Shield Cricket Fixture
Friday 7 JuneStaff Day
No ClassesBoarders Depart
Monday 10 JuneNo ClassesBoarders Return
Classes Resume
Wednesday 12 JuneP&F Meeting7 pm



04. From the P&F


One of the roles of a P&F community is to provide and promote a link between home and school for students and their families. The importance of this link is underlined by decades of research consistently concluding that students experience school more positively, in terms of performance, effort, well-being and social confidence, when their parents continue to be involved in their educational lives through active involvement with their school.

National Boarding Week reminded me just how critical it is that our boarding parents, in particular, feel that they have a real and meaningful connection with TAS through the P&F. On the back of National Boarding Week, a big shout out to our boarding families this week. If you are open to sharing your ideas on strengthening the links between home and school for families who live locally or further away, I’d love to hear from you, too! Please know you can always email me at pandf@as.edu.au or come to our next P&F meeting on 12 June at 7 pm. See you there!

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 215 517 2798
Password: parents


Ms Sene Hicks
P&F President

05. From the Acting Director of Teaching and Learning


Stage 5 (Year 9 and 10) Exams
Exams for students in Year 9 and 10 commence this coming Friday 31 May. Students will have received notifications from class teachers with exam details and suggested revision. Any questions can be directed to your child’s teacher. A copy of the exam timetable can be found below.

Note: Year 10 Rugby players will sit their HSIE Exam Friday 31 May Periods 4 and 5 prior to departing to Sydney for Rugby.

Stage 5 Electives – Semester 2
Students in Year 9 and 10 need to have completed their elective subject preferences for Semester 2 by this Friday. Students will be advised of their Semester 2 Electives prior to the end of term. Please see below the elective offering for Semester 2. Please see below a copy of the offering for Semester 2.

Line 1Line 2Line 3
JournalismDevise, Direct, PerformThe Female Voice
Maths Extension & AccelerantsElite Performance 2Introduction to Lamb & Poultry
Electrons & ElectrochemistryPalaeontologyYear 10 Curriculum Support
Introduction to Beef and HoneyFlavours of LifeSew and Show
Production DesignHistory I Should Know AboutFrench
F1 in SchoolsIntroduction to LawSports Coaching
Make it MetalContemporary Music GenresFuture of Food
Ceramic ObjectsGraphic DesignMusic Tech
Convict AustraliaPersonal FinanceIntroduction to the Economy
Year 9 Curriculum SupportTimber ExpertArchitecture
Running a Business and MarketingJapanese


Year 12 Study Camp

Now is the time for Year 12 students to express their interest in the Winter Break Study Camp which will be running in the final week of the Term 2 break (17-19 July). Please register your interest by email to dotl@as.edu.au 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.


Mr Luke Polson
Acting Director of Teaching and Learning

06. From the Director of Boarding


Boarders' Recreation Program

We’ve had another busy week in the boarding space, with many enjoying our regular weekly activities. Sunday saw Year 7 to 12 students enjoying lawn bowling in the winter sun, filled with laughter and camaraderie.

Looking ahead, as well as the usual weekday events (Monday – Girls’ Fitness Class, Tuesday – Boys’ Fitness Class), we have a packed schedule to celebrate reaching the halfway point of the term:

  • Saturday Morning: Parkrun
    Saturday Evening: Cinema Trip

Don’t miss our movie night! Register now and keep an eye out to vote for the movie you’d like to watch.

Sunday 2 pm – 4 pm: Year 9/10 Study Sessions
We are extending the invitation to all students in Years 9 & 10 (Boarders and Day Students) to come in and receive some last-minute help ahead of the last days of exams. Please see the schedule below for more details:


Mr Jordan Lane
Boarders’ Recreation Coordinator 

07. From the Director of Development

Mrs Emily McOrist

TAS Foundation - Solstice Dinner

Secure your tickets today for the TAS Foundation Annual Fundraiser, the pinnacle event for parents and the community alike.

Our focus this year is on bringing together the TAS community and this event embodies that spirit.

We extend a warm invitation to all members of the TAS community to a festive night of reuniting with friends and forging new connections.

Join us in celebrating our exceptional school in the breathtaking surroundings of our architecturally renowned dining hall—a cherished space where TAS students gather daily to dine, converse, and thrive.

Tickets are going fast, so please book your seat now so you don’t miss out on the fun.
Dress code: Jacket and tie and a touch of winter sparkle!

Mrs Emily McOrist
Director of Development

08. Co-curricular

Mrs Rachel Edmonds

The Dick Hodgson Shield will be played next on Thursday, 6 June – with Chess, Debating, Football, Hockey, Tennis, Rugby and Shooting teams travelling to Tamworth as Farrer is hosting these fixtures in this annual event.

This shield was named after former TAS Sportmaster Dick Hodgson, who was instrumental in setting up the competition between TAS and Farrer. Our hosts hold the shield from 2023 and the Jim Levy Shield for First XV rugby. Parents and supporters are welcome to attend the Football, Hockey, Tennis and Rugby games, with times and locations listed in the fixture information.

All students will travel to and from Farrer in Full TAS Formals. Fixture information may be found HERE

All buses will return from Farrer after the shield presentation, departing around 5.30 pm.

Bus departure times will be published for students and staff next week.


Mrs Rachael Edmonds

09. Music Matters

Ms Leanne Roobol

Armidale Eisteddfod Continues!

The Armidale Eisteddfod has kept our musicians busy with TAS students, Staff and Choirs performing in the Piano, Choral, and Vocal events so far, with the String and Chamber music events commencing this week. Thank you to the families, friends and staff who supported the TAS Choirs at Lazenby Hall last Wednesday and Thursday for the Primary and Secondary Choral events. We appreciate the wonderful support our students receive at the Eisteddfod.

The Eisteddfod Choral events were held last Wednesday, beginning with our Junior School Choirs. Our talented choral conductor, Mrs Jessica Miller, conducted the K-2 Choir in their entertaining performances of ‘My Dog Jed’ and ‘The Mystery of the Missing Bone’ in the K-2 non-competitive choral section. The adjudicator loved the actions and the obvious enjoyment shown by TAS K-2 Choir in their performances. Congratulations to the TAS Year 3-5 Choir who achieved 1st place in their Unison K-6 section division and 2nd place in their Two-part K-6 section division, receiving many positive comments from the adjudicator Ian Jefferson. Well done to the TAS Trebles, who performed their two pieces with great energy and earned 2nd place. TAS Trebles performance of ‘Detectives in Disguise’ was an audience favourite.

The Choral Night showcased the breadth of the TAS Choral program, with five TAS Choirs performing in the Choral sections. Our Choirs were outstanding and highly entertaining, especially the TAS Community Choir who sang the energetic ‘This Little Light of Mine’, skilfully conducted by Mrs Megan Ainsworth and accompanied by a Rhythm section led by Mr Warwick Dunham (keyboard), Olive Lockett (Bass Guitar – Yr 12) and Bella Sun (Drums).

This week is Eisteddfod Strings week with many of our talented string soloists performing as well as our Ensembles, including our talented TAS Junior School String Ensemble and our TAS Junior Piano Trio, who will be performing this afternoon.

You can access the entire Armidale Eisteddfod program here:

Armidale Eisteddfod String Ensemble and Chamber Music Ensemble Events

We are looking forward to the Armidale String Ensemble events which commence today, Wednesday 29 May, with our TAS Junior String Ensemble and TAS Junior Piano Trio in the Chamber Music Ensemble events. Our Senior Ensembles, TAS Camerata String Ensemble, TAS String Trio and TAS Piano Trio will be performing tomorrow afternoon, Thursday 30 May.  Please note that these events are being held at the Old Teachers’ College Auditorium. Students are reminded to wear their formal uniform when performing with TAS ensembles at the Armidale Eisteddfod.

TAS students will be travel to the Eisteddfod by bus, please see the list of events below.

Audience Entry Fees are:

  • Adults $5.00/session
  • Concession $3.00/session
  • *Performers are not required to pay an entry fee.

Solo Performers at the Eisteddfod
Over the coming weeks, many TAS students will compete in individual sections of the Eisteddfod. We would be delighted to hear of their achievements. 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 get in touch with Mrs Veronica Lucas if you have any questions regarding transport to ensemble events – music@as.edu.au

Please note that students must wear the TAS FORMAL uniform to participate in all ensemble events.

Ms Leanne Roobol
Director of Music

10. From the Head of Junior School



What a talented group of students we have in the Junior School! The Armidale Eisteddfod has provided a tremendous opportunity for our students to showcase these talents, be they musical or otherwise, individually or in groups of varying sizes. We are so proud of all who have been involved – you have certainly met the TAS BAG (to Be kind, Always try your best, and Get involved). While it is human nature to like to win (and win we have done in so many disciplines in the Eisteddfod!), we are especially impressed with the empathy displayed to both students from our own school and others in competition, the excellent behaviour on display throughout performances and while audience members, and the resilience shown when things either did not go to plan or the desired result was not achieved. These are just some of the qualities we wish to both instil and celebrate over and above trophies and first places. Best of luck to those who still have performances scheduled in the coming weeks – we are sure you will do yourselves proud!

Our first ‘buddies’ activity of the year took place last week, with our older and younger students working directly with one another on set tasks. This is always a highlight of the week and it is a pleasure to see both how well the older ‘buddy’ assumes this responsibility and their younger counterpart interacts so positively. Activities included writing kindness/gratitude notes to student led teamwork games, and everything in between! We are already looking forward to the next buddies activities scheduled for later in the term.

We are fortunate to have a range of exciting, real-world opportunities to develop and consolidate our knowledge. Students in Year 5 spent more time than most in a bus last week, travelling to the Nundle Woollen Mill on a full day excursion as they inquire into fibre production within Australia. Year 3 visit the Natural History Museum tomorrow at the culmination of their investigation into living and non-living things while our Kindergarteners learn first hand about push and pull forces and their interaction when they go ten pin bowling. While excursions are always a highlight, so too can be incursions. Year 3 yesterday welcomed our Principal, Dr Horton, to share some information about microorganisms. The students were incredibly excited to share their thoughts and it’s a wonder that Dr Horton managed to complete her planned lesson such was the level of student engagement. While the students certainly enjoyed the experience and learned a great deal, we suspect Dr Horton may have, too. There was a great deal of chatter in the playground immediately after the lesson about how one microorganism that was shown and discussed looked like a “hairy bottom”, apparently an observation that was shared with Dr Horton herself!

In Out of School Hours Care news, we are delighted to share that we expect to have the second stage of ACECQA approvals, Service Approval, granted imminently. This will allow us to operate a more extensive OSHC program, especially during the school holiday periods, and perhaps most importantly will enable families to claim the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) for care provided through this service. We look forward to sharing developments with our community as they eventuate.

The ACECQA regulations are significantly different and more extensive to the school regulations this service has been run under for some time. We are fortunate, therefore, to have recently appointed Ms Allanah Dunshea to the role of OSHC Coordinator. Ms Dunshea has extensive experience working under these regulations, working most recently at TGs Armidale in a range of capacities including coordinating the pre-school program while also holding other notable leadership responsibilities. Ms Dunshea commenced in this role on Monday and is already building on the work of those who have previously held this role. Our sincere thanks to Mrs Polly Harvey who has led the OSHC program so well throughout the majority of this year.

Thank you to those families who have indicated a willingness to assist in our Junior School Community Cultural Carnival on Wednesday 19 June. Previous editions of TAS Talks shared further details about this exciting celebration of the many and diverse cultures within our school and community. Should you be able to join us, please complete THIS ONLINE EXPRESSION OF INTEREST. We will share further information directly with you in the coming weeks.

Happy Birthday

Happy birthday to Fletcher Wright, Alex Feng and Mason Grace-Booth.

Mr Scott Chittenden

Head of Junior School


Junior School Music

NECOM Junior School Choirs – Eisteddfod Performances

Congratulations to our Junior School Choirs who performed at the Armidale Eisteddfod last week.  Our Year 3-5 Choir came first in the K-6 Unison event and second in the K-6 Two Part event. They sang wonderfully and received excellent feedback from the adjudicator, Mr Ian Jefferson, a choral composer and arranger who has worked for the NSW Department of Education as the Student Music Programs Officer (K-8) for The Arts Unit.

Miss Jessica Miller
Junior School Music Teacher

Upcoming Events

Thursday 30 MayYear 3 ExcursionUNE Natural History Museum
Friday 31 MayKindergarten ExcursionArmidale Skate Bowl Play
Year 1 AssemblyHoskins – 2.45
Friday 7 JuneStaff DayNo Classes
Monday 10 JuneNo ClassesKing’s Birthday Holiday
Tuesday 11 JuneClasses Resume
Thursday 13 JuneJunior School Ethics Olympiad
Friday 14 JuneJunior School Open Morning9.30 – 11.30 am
Kindergarten AssemblyHoskins – 2.45

IB Primary Years Programme (PYP)

Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten

Our Pre-K and Kindergarten classes have both commenced a new unit of inquiry this term. 

The transdisciplinary framework allows all learners opportunities to focus on key developmental abilities and quite often ‘play’ can be the primary driver for inquiry. Play in the early years promotes choice, promotes agency and provides opportunities to inquire into concepts and personal interests. As we all know, children are natural inquirers from birth; they have the capacity to learn about, interact with and interpret the world around them. (IBO 2018) They are ever so curious and full of questions!  

The table below outlines the new Units of Inquiry for both Pre-K and Kindergarten.

Year GroupTransdisciplinary ThemeCentral IdeaLines of Inquiry
Pre-KHow the world worksWe learn about the world by observing and investigatingDifferent scientific skills we can use for


Using our senses to observe

Changes in our environment

KindergartenHow the world worksForces may impact how things workTypes of forces

How objects move

The interactions of forces


Mrs Veronica Waters
PYP Coordinator

Community Notices