2024 Term 2 Week 8   |   19.06.2024

TAS Talks Term 2 Week 8

01. From the Principal


Tennis great Roger Federer recently delivered a wonderful commencement address at Dartmouth University in the United States. While the lessons he shared were aimed at graduates, they should also resonate for all students; in particular, the first lesson he spoke about, “effortless is a myth”.

In last week’s TAS talks, I mentioned that some students might be disappointed with their assessment results. All too often I hear individuals speaking about how smart another student is, what an amazing musician someone is or a talented sportsperson, while at the same time dismissing their own abilities to achieve such good outcomes. Students can get caught in the trap of thinking that those who achieve great things do so effortlessly. The fact is that those high achieving students are usually putting in an incredible amount of disciplined hard work, study or practice in their own time, and the results of that are an outcome that appears to be effortless. Hard work nearly always beats talent, and it is amazing what can be achieved with a concerted effort – although this should be tempered with another lesson shared “you can do your best and still lose”.

Congratulations to all those students who have worked hard to improve outcomes or achieve goals over the past term in all aspects of school life.


Dr Rachel Horton


02. From the Deputy Principal


Next Wednesday 26 June Senior and Middle School will host a special Mufti Day to raise awareness for mental health. The theme is ‘Showing Your Colours’, encouraging students to wear their favourite colour or sports jersey to spark conversations. This student-led initiative aims to symbolise solidarity and support for those affected by mental health issues, promoting openness and reducing stigma. It is hoped that this simple yet powerful gesture will encourage everyone in the community to speak up and look out for each other.

As part of this event, our Prefects also want to promote ‘How’s Ya Mate?’, an initiative run by Lifeline Far West NSW that promotes mental health awareness in regional communities. It encourages people to check in on friends and family, fostering conversations about well-being. The program provides resources and tools to help individuals recognise signs of distress and offer meaningful support.

Students are not required to bring in a gold coin donation; instead, they are challenged to speak up if they need help and ask others if they are okay.

This weekend, we welcome Sydney Boys’ High School for fixtures at TAS on Friday and Saturday. All are welcome and encouraged to come and support the range of events outlined in the schedule below. Students are required to wear their formals when spectating.


Mr Ray Pearson
Deputy Principal

03. Calendar of Events

Wednesday 19 JuneActivities Day
Friday 21 June-Saturday 22 JuneSporting FixturesSydney Boys’ High – Hannon & Harris Cup
Sunday 23 JuneNZ Hockey & Netball Pre Tour BBQ
Monday 24 JuneBand Night

Tri-Schools Debating



Tuesday 25 JunePre-K Interviews for 2025
Passing Out Parade Training
Wednesday 26 JuneNCIS Mountain Biking
Year 4 Cultural UnderstandingAboriginal Keeping Place
Football U12s v Trinity Grammar
Rugby U12s v Trinity Grammar
Thursday 27 JuneClasses Conclude
Monday 22 JulyStaff Day / Boarders Return
Tuesday 23 JulyClasses commence




TAS Agriculture Surplus Poultry Sale

Hello to the TAS Community.
The Agriculture Department and Ag students have for sale some of our award winning poultry. These birds are high quality but are surplus to our very stringent exhibition ribbon-winning fowls. We need to clear some space now, ready for the next season's birds.

If you are interested in any of the following birds please contact Mr Mike Ball on 0428 427 417 before the end of term.

  • Multiple Light Sussex hens. Age 8-24 months. $10-15 each age dependent. Younger hens are laying now. The older hens will be Point Of Lay soon.

  • 6 Hy-line brown hens. These were the 2024 Sydney Royal Hens. Laying $10

  • Limited number of Light Sussex Roosters. Free with hen purchase

  • Limited number Guinea Fowls. $15. These are very young - raised by the students but not for a novice.

All money raised goes to the Agriculture program and its continued development for the students. Inspections welcomed.

Mr Mike Ball
Agriculture Teacher

04. From the P&F


What a celebration we shared at the Solstice Dinner – wonderful food, beautiful company and an important cause to get behind! Thank you to all the members of our P&F community who were able to support this important TAS Foundation fundraiser through their varied and important contributions of time, services, goods, creations, and financial support but also a huge thank you to all those who made the evening such a huge success by sharing news of the event, either online or in person, with their friends and families. Our network is so important to the success of our P&F and it’s growing all the time!

Speaking of our P&F community, last week we held our P&F meeting – thank you to all who attended online or in person.  We enjoyed some really open and insightful discussion on ideas to bring an even greater sense of connection to our P&F community with some lovely social get-togethers in the pipeline for the latter part of the year as a way to connect, strengthen friendships and meet new people who share our beautiful school.  For those able to attend in person, it is well worth braving the cooler weather to come to our next meeting to enjoy some light refreshment and casual conversation with fellow P&F members, Liaison Parents and TAS staff. The next meeting of the P&F is Wednesday 17 August at 7pm – I hope to see you there.

Finally this week, I am asking all available parents to consider volunteering this weekend to help TAS host a fun weekend of friendly sporting competition between TAS and Sydney Boys’ High School. Friday afternoon (two days from now) over 200 students and staff from SBHS will arrive at TAS to compete against our teams in a range of sporting activities with the majority of games happening on Saturday.  I was touched to learn the history of the relationship between our two schools and the generosity and sportsmanship SBHS has shown TAS over the years when our students travel to Sydney and when SBHS make the trip to us each year. For opportunities like these to continue it is so important that we invest in this special relationship by ensuring our guests are fed, watered and comfortable during their brief visit. The P&F are hosting the player lunches and we need help to ensure the day runs smoothly. We still need volunteers to assist setting up the tables, food stations, BBQ’s, cooking the BBQ’s, handing out lunches, staffing the kiosk and handling the payments, washing up, and packing up.  I know it might sound to some like work work work but honestly, to hang out with other parents, make new friends, have a laugh and enjoy the day together, feeling connected with and a part of our larger community – you’ll hardly notice the ‘work’.  So, if you are available this weekend – even if only for an hour – we would love to have your help and your company!

Please sign up for a spot using this online link https://signup.com/go/wWzyqmb or reach out to me via email at pandf@as.edu.au to let me know your availability.

Thanks everyone!

Ms Sene Hicks

P&F President

05. From the Acting Director of Teaching and Learning


All of Year 9 and 10 have now had the opportunity to submit their Stage 5 Elective choices for Semester 2 and the academic office will be working on finalising class lists and selections in time for the end of the term.  Students will receive an email prior to the end of term indicating which elective classes will be on their timetable in Term 3.

All Year 10 parents and students are invited to the Year 11 (2025) Subject Selection Information Session; this will run from 3:30 pm – 5.00 pm on Monday 22 July. This is the day before classes return for Term 3 and align with the return of our boarding students. The afternoon will consist of a few short talks in Hoskins Theatre at 3:30pm followed by 45 minutes of time to move around and speak to individual academic departments. This will allow Year 10 families to speak to Heads of Department and classroom from each of the subjects we offer here at The Armidale School. This afternoon information session on 22 July will act as the first formal step for our Year 10 families to engage with staff on their subject choices for 2025. Additionally, there will be a live Zoom presentation for parents who are unable to attend the talk in Hoskins Centre on the Monday. This will be held on Thursday 25 July from 7pm. Details will be sent out in due course.

Thank you to those Year 12s who have signed up for Winter Break Study Camp (17 – 19 July). Next week these students will also receive an email to assist with finalising the program for the camp. If you have not yet registered but are keen to be a part of the camp, please do so as soon as possible using the link below. Details about the camp can be found in last week’s TAS Talks.


For parents and carers of students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9, we expect that NAPLAN reports will be distributed to parents early in Term 3. At this stage, we have not yet received the parent reports, but we are expecting them at the start of Term 3.

A final reminder to parents and carers who are interested in their child sitting the ICAS Competition papers. The registration for these is due by the end of the upcoming term break. For details, please refer to last week’s TAS Talks.


Mr Luke Polson
Acting Director of Teaching and Learning

06. From the Director of Boarding


After ten years of service in boarding and teaching at TAS, I’m taking Long Service Leave for Term 3 2024. I am looking forward to a change of pace during my leave and am excited by the opportunity this presents Mrs Emma Norrie, who will move into the Acting Director of Boarding role for Term 3. Emma will work across both the Director of Boarding and Head of Girls Boarding House roles for Term 3, and I have complete confidence in her ability to manage both roles exceptionally well. Emma will be well supported by all Heads of House and looks forward to getting to know you throughout the term.

I look forward to seeing several of you over the next two weeks and re-connecting during Term 4.


Mr David Drain
Director of Boarding

07. From the Director of Development

Mrs Emily McOrist

TAS Foundation - Solstice Dinner

Solstice Dinner
A huge thank you to each and everyone of you who made the Solstice Dinner a huge success. There was an amazing buzz in the room and it was a great chance to bring all of the community together. It was great to see all parts of the community represented with parents from every single year group, OAs, donors, TAS Company, TAS Board, TAS Foundation, staff and P&F.

See a selection of photos HERE

Thank you to all of the individuals and businesses who donated prizes and supported the event, over $15,000 was made with the auctions alone – all of which goes directly to the TAS Foundation. If you do come across any of these businesses, please pass on thanks from the TAS Community:

Andrew and Sarah Carruthers, Andrew Murray, Andrew Starr, Armidale Locksmith, Armidale Mower & Chainsaw Centre,
Armidale Nail and Beauty, Bailey Nelson, Bing Lee, Black Dot Music, Black Mountain Nursery, Charles and Dorianne Coventry, Daily Rituals, Dave Fenwicke, Ella Bache,Face to Face, Fika, Fiona Nash, Fleet Helicopters, Gallery 126,Gathered Goods, Gazman, GrazAg, Great Hops, Harwood Swimming, Highland Living, Hoopla, Irresistible Style, Jack’s Creek, James White, Jess Webb, Kate and Dave Stephen, Kelly and Shane Reynell, Manny’s on Marsh, Motion Fitness Training,
Nutrien, Office Express, Peterson’s Armidale, Priceline in Dangar Street, R.B. Sellars, Raw Fibre, Readers Companion, Regarde Jewellers, Rob Busby, Sebastian Hempel, Sophie and Simon Wright, Seesaw Coffee, Signor Vertelli, Simon Scott Photography, Soul Studio, Sportspower, Squadron, Turners, Wal Broun, Whitebull, Winding Road Distillery, Ziggy Harris.

Annual Giving Appeal
Thank you to those who have already donated to the 2024 Annual Giving Appeal. For those who wish to support the TAS Foundation and make the most of a tax-deductible donation, then please click on the link below to either support one of the Scholarship appeals or the Building Fund.


Mrs Emily McOrist
Director of Development

08. Co-curricular

Athletics Champions 2024

During assembly, Age & House champions were announced for the TAS 2024 Athletics Championships held earlier this term.

Age Champions & Specialised Awards may be found HERE

House Trophy results may be found HERE

At the championships, records were also broken—all in the girls’ events. New records are shown below. Congratulations to award winners.

Records 2024

Sydney Boys’ High School

This week, Sydney Boys’ High School will travel to TAS to compete in the Hannon & Harris Cup, currently held by TAS. Fixtures in Basketball, Volleyball, Tennis, Shooting, Football and Rugby will run Friday evening and all day Saturday, with over 240 Sydney High Staff, Students and coaches arriving Friday afternoon.

Supporters are welcome and encouraged to attend all the fixtures. The TAS P&F will be running a BBQ and Canteen on Backfield for all visitors, and there will be a coffee van available at the back of Middle School.

The Presentation of the Hannon & Harris Cup will take place at the McConville Centre at 4.30pm on Saturday.

Full fixture details can be found HERE

I wish all our competitors the best of luck for these fixtures and all other games played over the weekend.

Mrs Rachael Edmonds


CIS Cross Country

Congratulations to the 18 TAS Athletes who contested the CIS Cross Country Championships in early June. There were some fantastic results, with Emily Ussher achieving an outstanding 10th place in the girls 16 years. Emily will now represent CIS at the NSW All Schools Cross Country Championships next month.



Mr James Pennington

Marathon Athlete Elective

Congratulations to the 28 students and three staff who competed in the Bay 2 Bay Half Marathon (Gosford) on Sunday. This was the final assessment task for the Marathon Athlete elective, and all students successfully completed the 21km run. We were also joined by Andrew Brennan (Year 12), Stella Maroulis, Camilla Coupland, Harriet Crawford, and Poppy Hall (Year 11). Sam Kelly (1:32) and Emily Ussher (1:35) were the first finishers from the class, with Emily winning the female 16-19 age category and Andrew Brennan the male 16-19.

Mr James Pennington

Challenge and Service Coordinator


09. From the Head of Creative Arts


It was an absolute pleasure to host Ziggy Harris, accompanied by Dr Robert Manley on Saturday evening within the Hoskins Centre. Armidale locals braved the cold to witness the skill and beauty of Ziggy’s passionate rendition of a range of operatic numbers from Carmen to Faust. The recital was in aid of supporting Ziggy’s ongoing studies at McGill University, Canada, where he is about to embark upon his third year. The sold-out audience responded enthusiastically to the magnificence of Ziggy’s performance, where he was gracious in acknowledging not only the support that TAS had played in his musical and theatrical journey to date, but also the support that he has received from family and the wider Armidale community. His plea for the people of Armidale to continue to support local musicians, theatre practitioners and artists was particularly heartfelt.

The staging of the recital within the Hoskins Centre foyer was a reminder of the flexibility of this beautiful space as a performance venue. The Hoskins Centre looks forward to hosting many more such events in the future.


Ms Clare O’Sullivan
Head of Creative Arts

10. From the Acting Head of Middle School


Middle School General Reminders

As we get closer to the end of the term, please be aware of the following reminders, especially when leading into Term 3.

Leave Exemption Forms – If any MS student is going to be absent from TAS during the school week, a leave exemption form needs to be completed and sent to Mrs Robyn Frost for approval (rfrost@as.edu.au). Unfortunately, of late students have been absent from school during the day with only an email sent through on the day they are away. As per the school’s leave policy, this form needs to be actioned ahead of time if students will be away during the school day. Please see the exemption form link below for your convenience.


Phones in Middle School – Please note that all boarders have their phones locked in the boarding houses during the school day. For the day students in Middle School, they are permitted to bring their phones to school; however, they are not allowed to freely use them from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm. All day students with phones need to have them kept in their school bag. If phones are found to be used, or seen to be carried around in pockets, then students will need to report to Mrs Frost each morning and hand their phones in for the day. Once 3:30 pm comes around, phones will be available for pick up from Mrs Frost. This will occur until further notice.

Laptops Being Misused – Just another reminder that there is a two-strike policy in place for students who misuse their laptops during the school day. As mentioned in previous TAS Talks, after a second strike the student in question will receive a formal detention.

Finishing Strong – Students still have homework issued and assessments due over the next two weeks. If parents are interested in seeing what work needs to be completed, ask your son or daughter to display their CANVAS page to you from their laptop. Once you have navigated your way to the subject pages, look for Assessment Notification or Term 2 Homework.

Mr James Brauer
Acting Head of Middle School

11. From the Head of Junior School



Five students from Year 5, each of whom are regular participants of the Junior School Academic Enrichment Program, joined selected students in Year 6 last week to participate in the Ethics Olympiad, an online academic enrichment competition. They performed admirably in the three rounds of competition in which they were pitted against one other school in ethical discussions about two topical issues and were highly commended by the adjudicators of each round.  While our team did not place in the top three in this competition, they learned valuable skills in logical reasoning, critical thinking, communication and collaboration. We are already looking forward to next year’s competition!

We hope that those parents and carers who were able to attend the TAS Foundation’s Solstice Dinner last Friday enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with one another and the wider TAS community. It certainly was a wonderful event – our thanks to all who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure its success, and also those who so generously donated items for auction or placed a bid on these.

Preparations for 2025 are already well underway with enrolment interviews currently being conducted at various year levels where vacancies remain, particularly Pre-Kindergarten. Please let your networks know that we are happy to receive applications for all year levels and that, despite several year levels being full already for 2025, the possibility remains that additional classes could be added should there be sufficient demand.

The Junior School today has been abuzz with excitement as we take time to acknowledge and celebrate the wide range of cultural backgrounds from which our families and community are drawn. Moving between classes and activities today it is very clear that our students and both incredibly proud of their own heritage and see our diversity as a notable strength of our community, as they should. Thank you to those parents and carers who were able to showcase their own cultural background throughout the day today – our children were so engaged in your activities, and we have all learned a great deal from you.

Auditions for the lead roles in the Junior School Musical, My Son Pinocchio Jr, have also been conducted throughout the day today. We are certain all who auditioned for a part did so with great skill and confidence, and do not envy Ms Cleaver and Mrs Miller in their upcoming casting decisions. We expect to hold three working bees in preparation for this year’s production and would be very grateful for your support and some or all of these. These are expected to take place in the morning of Sunday 22 September (last Sunday before the Term 3 holidays), the afternoon of Saturday 26 October and the morning of Sunday 1 December (the day after the final show). These dates and appropriate timings, together with the performance schedule, will be confirmed in the coming weeks.

Students this Friday will learn more about the new House Engineering competition, to be judged early in Term 3, at their upcoming House meeting this Friday. All Junior School students are invited to participate in this contest that will have them design and build a boat that either ‘looks’ like a real-life vessel or ‘functions’ like one. While conscious not to ruin the surprise, we can share that families are most welcome to support their Junior School child in the design and construction so long as the set criteria are met. These will be discussed in our House groups on Friday and shared in next week’s TAS Talks. We can’t wait to share these details with you and to see the children’s creations early next term. If you don’t already have plans for the upcoming holiday break, you do now!

Happy Birthday

Many happy returns to Rupert Post who is the only Junior School student celebrating a birthday this week.

Mr Scott Chittenden

Head of Junior School


Upcoming Events

Wednesday 19 JuneActivities Day
Thursday 27 JuneClasses conclude
Friday 28 JuneStaff Day
Tuesday 23 JulyClasses commence

Junior School Sport

Winter Sports - Term 2

As we head towards the end of term, please remember that all teams need to check with their coaches about which games will be played leading up to the holidays. All games will re-commence at the end of Week 1, Term 3. Have a well-earned break over the three-week holiday period.

Mrs Christine Wright

Junior School Sports Coordinator

In the Hockey New England Under 8s coached by Mr Caulfield, TAS continued on their undefeated season with a 3-0 win over Harlies. The team is having a great time and a proud coaches says they are all playing and holding their positions brilliantly.


TAS White
After a three-week hiatus, TAS White were keen to hit the court on Saturday, despite the rather chilly and wet conditions. VIP Bilbies put up a strong contest, however, we came away victorious, 15-6.

Everyone on court showed significant improvement – both since the beginning of the season, as well as throughout the game. Two of our rookies, Elara and Bella, were fantastic in the mid court, upsetting the opposition on several occasions with their intercepts.

We look forward to our showdown against TAS Blue next weekend and, hopefully, some sunshine!

Mrs Heidi Trevaskis

TAS Blue
TAS Blue were thrilled to come away with their first win of the season, with only six players taking the court in the first three quarters and five players in the last quarter. The team had to find extra stamina to sustain the game. Each player showed strength in attacking for the ball by finding space and defending their player closely by intercepting the ball and putting pressure on their opposition. All players, Macie, Briyana, Georgie, Bronte and Laleh, were dynamic in their efforts, with a special thanks to Chloe for helping our team take the court.

We will continue this momentum leading into our game against TAS White!

Mrs Kelly Reynell

Community Notices