2024 Term 2 Week 6   |   05.06.2024

TAS Talks Term 2 Week 6

01. From the Principal


This week, I was asked what enabled so many TAS students to go on and achieve great things on the national and international stage after graduation. The core of my answer revolved around the challenge aspect of a TAS education, and I spent time afterwards reflecting on what challenge teaches us. What do our students gain from pushing themselves other than a sense of achievement when they perform beyond our expectations?

I believe it is grit, the term first used by psychologist Angela Duckworth in a 2013 TED Talk to reflect perseverance and passion for long-term goals. Duckworth suggests there are four components to grit: interest, practise, purpose, and hope. Working towards a challenge absolutely requires practise, purpose, and in difficult times, hope. Interest, or passion, is what we hope our students find for themselves throughout their TAS journey, perhaps in an unexpected space when they challenge themselves with something new.

Grit provides the gap between the talent you are lucky enough to be born with and what you are actually capable of achieving; it is an indicator of future success and, therefore, a trait worth developing.

Duckworth has now spoken multiple times on grit and also published a book, but if you have just six minutes to spare, I would recommend the original talk: https://www.ted.com/talks/angela_lee_duckworth_grit_the_power_of_passion_and_perseverance?language=en

A good example of grit and great things is Ziggy Harris (OA ’17) who is now studying Opera in Canada. It is my pleasure to confirm that guests of the Solstice Dinner on Friday 14 June will have a special performance by Ziggy, accompanied by Warwick Dunham. Tickets are selling fast, so make sure you book your ticket here.


Dr Rachel Horton


02. From the Deputy Principal


It has been an excellent year so far, and we have consistently encouraged all students to finish the term strongly while continuing to build on their academic and co-curricular achievements. Equally important is the effort students put into nurturing the relationships they have established with their peers and staff. As we move well into the second half of the term and fatigue sets in, it is crucial to maintain these relationships through positive choices and conscious effort until the final day of the term. This will create positive momentum for the second half of the year.

We thank all parents for their support in ensuring students attend classes up until Thursday afternoon before our extended long weekend. The students are eagerly anticipating the opportunity to represent the School as we head to Farrer for the Dick Hodgson Shield. Additionally, we are excited about the special Staff vs Students exhibition netball match that will be held here at the school Thursday afternoon. I wish everyone a safe and enjoyable long weekend and look forward to sharing the final three weeks of School for the term with you all.


Mr Ray Pearson
Deputy Principal

03. Calendar of Events

Thursday 6 JuneSporting FixturesHosted by Farrer (Tamworth)
Friday 7 JuneStaff Day
No ClassesBoarders Depart
Monday 10 JuneNo ClassesBoarders Return
Tuesday 11 JuneClasses Resume
Wednesday 12 JuneP&F Meeting7 pm



04. From the P&F


In case it’s not already in your diary, our June P&F meeting is next week on Wednesday 12 June , at 7 p.m. You are absolutely welcome to join us in person at the School or online via the Zoom link attached below. If you’re not sure where to come or what to expect at the meeting, or if there is a topic you would like to add to the agenda for discussion, please email me at pandf@as.edu.au. I’m happy to answer any questions you may have.

But the P&F meeting is not the only event for parents next week – I know you know what I’m talking about – It’s Solstice Dinner! Only two days after the P&F meeting we can come together again to celebrate our TAS community and enjoy our beautiful school dining hall!  As much fun as I know we’ll have together, I think it’s important to remember that this event is the major fundraising event for the TAS Foundation who provide bursaries and scholarship funding for those students who would not otherwise afford a TAS education. This is a wonderful event to support so if you haven’t already purchased your tickets for this very special occasion on 14 June, I would encourage you to do so.

Believe it or not, the time of year has come to start getting prepared for our TAS Pudding fundraiser happening in Term 4. If you would like to get involved in the preparation stages of this fundraiser, please reach out – I’d love to hear from you.  Stay warm everyone, hope to see you next week!
Ms Sene Hicks
P&F President

05. From the Director of Boarding


The annual Cloisters Run is always an enjoyable spectacle, and the 2024 editions didn’t disappoint. All houses competed admirably across both the girls’ and boys’ races, and those boarders involved enjoyed the unique experience. Special mention to the Abbott House boys’ team, who comfortably won their race.

The Middle and Senior School Athletics Championships, held on Friday 17 May, is another great inter-house event showcasing the unique spirit and comradery of Abbott, Croft, and Tyrrell Houses. Boarders were once again well represented across all events. I expect several boarders to be announced as age champions and one of the Boarding Houses to be the overall winner at this week’s School Assembly.

On Wednesday 22 May, National Boarding Week was celebrated at the School Assembly, and I would like to thank those boarders involved. Sophie Rogers, for her welcome and heartfelt speech on her boarding experience and Alice Carter, Ruby Hyland, Emma Slack-Smith, and Sam Krishan for preparing the entertaining video.

A reminder that TAS will be closed for the upcoming King’s Birthday Long Weekend, with boarders able to depart from 3.30 pm Thursday 6 June. Boarding houses will re-open at 1.30 pm Monday 10 June. Boarders are more than welcome to stay overnight on Thursday evening 6 June but are encouraged to make plans to vacate their overnight boarding house by 10am Friday 7 June.


Mr David Drain
Director of Boarding


Boarders Recreation Program

Our boarders enjoyed another exciting and fulfilling weekend, covering all aspects of our program (Relax, Engage, Cultivate).

On Saturday afternoon, students could relax and unwind by watching a movie at the cinema, making the most of a rainy day. Despite the weather, some enthusiastic runners participated in the weekly 5km Armidale Parkrun.

Nearly 50 students attended the Year 9/10 Study Session on Sunday afternoon, which provided a valuable chance to enhance their skills and tailor their study habits to their individual needs. A big thank you to the six teachers who generously gave their time to assist the students.

I hope everyone enjoys a restful long weekend. Registration is now open for our day trip to Tamworth on Sunday 16 June. Spaces are limited, so be sure to sign up early!

Mr Jordan Lane
Boarders’ Recreation Program Coordinator


06. From the Director of Pastoral Care


Social Media - Let's have the conversation early.....

I would like to address an increasingly important issue affecting our students: the impact of social media, particularly on their mental health. It is an issue that is receiving increasing media attention, particularly with several Australian States looking at tightening reforms in the area. In recent sessions at TAS hosted by Safe on Social, we have discussed the optimal age for students to receive their first smartphone. The consensus is clear—14 years old is a suitable age for this significant step. However, this milestone introduces new challenges for parents and students alike, particularly regarding social media.

Currently, children can sign up to most social media platforms at 13 years of age. There is a significant push to delay access to these platforms until the age of 16. The rationale behind this recommendation is grounded in the growing body of evidence linking social media use to heightened rates of anxiety and depression among adolescents. As parents, we recognise the benefits technology can offer, but it is crucial to balance these advantages with awareness of the potential risks.

The introduction of a smartphone often marks the beginning of your child’s journey into the vast and unregulated world of social media. This digital landscape, while offering opportunities for connection and learning, also harbours dangers such as cyberbullying, exposure to inappropriate content, and online predators. The emotional toll on young minds can be significant.

As part of our commitment to student welfare, we continue to educate staff and parents on the challenges of social media – and are seeking your support of the School in this regard.

We encourage you to have ongoing, open conversations with your children about their online experiences. Establishing clear guidelines and “contracts” regarding the use of social media can be an effective strategy. These agreements can cover aspects such as screen time limits, privacy settings, and the types of content that are appropriate to share and consume.

Some of you may have seen a story ABCTV’s 7:30 Report on Monday night which explores this topic in detail – you can find HERE

Another valuable resource I recommend is an article from Barefoot Investor, which you can read HERE.  A warning of caution – this article is emotionally intense and involves a young person taking their own life – but it provides crucial insights into the potential dangers of social media and online extortion. It is essential reading for any parent looking to understand the real risks their children might face and to prepare themselves for meaningful discussions about online safety.


Mr AJ Whalley
Director of Pastoral Care

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.

Tickets are selling fast, and all year groups except Year 1 are represented at the TAS Foundation Annual Fundraiser, the pinnacle event for parents and the community alike. Let’s celebrate all years of the school coming together at this fantastic event.

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 annual Dick Hodgson Shield will be held tomorrow at Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School in Tamworth. Parents and supporters are welcome to attend the sporting fixtures, however due to limited space, supporters are not able to go to the Chess and Debating events.

All students will be transported to and from Farrer by bus, with all buses leaving Farrer at 5.30pm to return to TAS. Farrer is providing dinner for all students and staff.

Parents, please ensure coaches are notified by email if you are collecting your child directly from Farrer after the games.

Team lists for Shooting, Tennis, Chess, Debating, Football and Hockey can be found HERE

All Rugby Teams will be posted on the Team App.

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

Mrs Rachael Edmonds

09. From the Head of Creative Arts


Last week our Senior Drama students were invited to attend a workshop delivered by Dallas from the Bell Shakespeare Company. It was an amazing opportunity to connect with Shakespeare’s work while bringing it to life in a contemporary and understandable way.

Whilst on the weekend we had the privilege of attending Bell Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Capitol Theatre in Tamworth. Students from Years 10, 11 & 12 travelled with TAS staff to view a magnificent interpretation of what is a 400-year-old script. The Bell Shakespeare ensemble provided a master class in how to meaningfully interact with set, providing opportunities for high comedy that easily engaged the attending audience. It was a pleasure to listen to students discuss the show in the bus on the ride home to Armidale, and learn their perspective on what they had seen.

We look forward to offering students many more opportunities to attend the theatre, with targeted visits to theatrical companies undertaking national tours.


Ms Clare O’Sullivan
Head of Creative Arts


10. From the Acting Head of Middle School


Once again it was that time of the term when Middle School came together to recognise the musical talents of our students and also celebrate the efforts of individuals from the first five weeks of Term 2.

The mid-term assembly was an opportunity to remind the students on why we gather as a community to celebrate the success of our students. Town meetings are a great way to share with Middle School notices and reminders; however, this time slot doesn’t allow time for the students to be congratulated on achieving great things or be recognised for giving their all towards TAS life. The assembly also gives a variety of students the chance to be a part of the assemblies by delivering Acknowledgment of Country, being the Master of Ceremonies, reporting on a significant event, or helping read out the recipients for our Advisor Awards. What is really special is giving the students the opportunity to musically perform in front of their Middle School peers. It takes courage for young people to stand up in front of a crowd demonstrating their talents.

In making our assembly run smoothly, the following people need to be recognised, as well as our award winners who have given a great deal to the community over the past few weeks.

  • Acknowledgment of Country – Charlie Howlett
  • Master of Ceremonies – Oliver Ritchie
  • Advisor Award Presenters – Clem McKemey, James McLaren, Sophie Slack-Smith
  • Year 6 Canberra Report – Violet Caulfield, Callie Cameron, Maya Slade
  • Musical Performance – Zara Drinkwater, Nancy Ma, Elsie Teng.

Advisor Award Winners

Year 6 (Champions)

  • Sarah Chittenden, Ethan Downes, Athena Li, Eli Mayne, Matilda Polson, Darya Samadi, Maya Slade, Luke Varvari.

Year 7 (Participation)

  • Hugo Chapman, Any Chittenden, Henry Larsen, Archer Merrick, Ryka Pankaj, Louise Swanson, Leo Thavapalasundaram, Harriet Wiggin.

Year 8 (participation)

  • Luella Caulfield, Matilda Coddington, Hamish Henderson, Ashan Jayawardena, Zana Ross, Elsie Teng, Ethan Wooldridge, Samuel Wysel.

Year 6

  • Sebastian Abbott, Audrey Elliston-Jones, Alice Pearson, Connor Byrne

Year 7

  • Henry Evans, Louise Swanson, Ryka Panjak, Evie Watt, Amy Chittenden, Chloe Farrell, Olivia Hicks, Bella Trindall, Arabella Griffiths, Katie Flynn, Andi Rennger

Year 8

  • Sam Wysel, Jack Wood, Matilda Coddington, Oliver Ritchie, Morgan Shannon, Hamish Henderson, Hugh Burgess, Bronx Hamilton, Levi Saxby.


Mr James Brauer
Acting Head of Middle School


11. From the Head of Junior School



The performing arts are an integral component of a TAS education. We are so proud of the enormous range of outstanding performances that our students have produced in the Armidale Eisteddfod thus far, and eagerly await the performances of our Year 3 and 5 students in their respective bands later today.

The annual Junior School musical is always a notable highlight in the school calendar and 2024 is expected to be no different. Year 12 students joined Mrs Cleaver in our recent assembly to reveal this year’s production – My Son Pinnochio Jr! Our older students are already hard at work practising audition pieces for the lead roles, with further details of the production schedule to be communicated to families in the coming weeks.

Families are reminded that this Friday, 7 June, is a student free day. We hope you and your children enjoy the four day weekend and look forward to the return of all students on Tuesday 11 June.

The Junior School Open Morning takes place between 9.30am and 11.30am next Friday. This event provides a broad overview of the programs and opportunities within our Junior School and includes both a short formal presentation and student-led tours. The Open Morning may be of as much interest to our current families as prospective ones, with many attendees last year commenting how pleased they were to have learned of what their child(ren) would be doing in subsequent years. Please register your intention to attend online at https://as.edu.au/junior-school-open-morning/ for catering purposes and encourage those within your network to do likewise.

Best of luck to Felix Boyce, Finley Boyce, Artie Rylands and Duncan Klabe who all compete in the CIS Cross Country Championships in Sydney tomorrow, Thursday 6 June.

Happy Birthday

Happy birthday to Alanoud Alrdadi and Ayaan Bin Mahadi for their special days this week.

Mr Scott Chittenden

Head of Junior School


Upcoming Events

Wednesday 5 JuneYear 3 & 5 Class EnsemblesOld Teacher’s College
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
Wednesday 19 JuneActivities Day

IB Primary Years Programme (PYP)

Starting a new Unit of Inquiry (UOI) is always exciting as students are ready for new challenges and eager to develop new knowledge and understandings in relation to new concepts. Many classes commence a new unit with a Provocation. A Provocation really sets the scene for a new unit. It is a well-designed activity that ‘hooks’ students’ interests and curiosities. It may also be used by teachers to determine some of the students’ current understandings and possible misconceptions about the concepts to be explored within the new unit.

The table below outlines the new units that are Year 1-Year 5 classes have commenced. 


Year GroupTransdisciplinary themeCentral Idea
Year 1How we organise ourselvesCommunities provide services designed to meet people’s needs
Year 2How we organise ourselvesChanges in technology may shape daily lives
Year 3How we organise ourselvesChanges to current agricultural practices may conserve our environment
Year 4How we express ourselvesCelebrations and festivities may reflect the beliefs, values and heritage of a culture
Year 5How we organise ourselvesProperties of materials determine their use and inform design solutions


Mrs Veronica Waters
PYP Coordinator


Junior School Sport


Terminators v East Armidale United

Another great team effort was displayed by the Terminators on this rainy morning. With only one sub on the sideline and a tough opponent, the Terminators were determined not to let the 0-1 down get to them.

Patrick’s defence was brilliant, there was no ball that went past him! Tobias showed his skills on the field this week, making some great runs dribbling the ball and timely and accurate passes to his team mates. Artie proofed that he isn’t just a striker but also a good goal keeper, running at each ball coming towards him and trying his very best at nearly stopping all of them!

Hassan listened well to all the tips called out  to him during the match and showed some exceptional skills as a right wing. His great positional play on the field created space for himself as well as the team players. Turning at the right moment left him either free to try for goal or have enough time to pass to his team players. Well done Hassan!

Bill did not stop running as one of the midfielders. He was always where he was needed!

Brilliant effort, outstanding teamwork and showing skills practised at training by all players lead to winning the match 5-3.

Thank you team for an exciting match!

Mr Murray & Mrs Boyce

Community Notices