DR RACHEL HORTON
This week, despite changing restrictions in relation to COVID-19, we were happy to be able to welcome back most of our students to TAS for Term 3. This is a testing time for everyone and I thank you all for your support and cooperation with the restrictions we have implemented. As I said to the students this week, we are fortunate to be in an area with no current cases and we all have a responsibility to do the right thing and to continue to keep each other and our community safe. Our webpage contains regularly updated information regarding TAS and COVID restrictions – CLICK HERE
A school is a quiet place during the holidays and it was wonderful for me to be able to speak to the students for the first time this week as their Principal. My message for all of them was the same. I do hope that if your child/children talk to you about what I said, they will have found something to take away something that resonated with them. In addition to telling them a little about myself, I spoke about the importance of each of them following their own path in life and not feeling they need to fit into a specific category. I also encouraged them to take advantage of the opportunities they have at TAS and to always give their best. Finally, I spoke about the responsibility that as members of the TAS community we all have to be welcoming, to support each other regardless of gender, race, background or anything that might make us stand apart from others.
While I spoke to the Middle and Senior School students on Tuesday, I look forward to visiting the Junior School students for their assembly this afternoon. In addition to passing on my messages to them, I am looking forward to answering some of the questions they had prepared for me which I anticipate will be wide-ranging in subject and difficulty. I have no doubt that some of our Junior School students will prove themselves to be excellent members of an interview panel.
As we start the term, there is much to look forward to with local sport, starting with the Farrer visit on Friday with appropriate COVID-19 restrictions.
It is also a critical term for our Year 12 students in particular as they prepare for their trial HSC exams in a few weeks time, complete final assessment tasks and make those final memories of their life at TAS.
Thank you all for the warm welcome you have extended to me over the past few months and this week in particular. I look forward to the time when we can meet in person.
Dr Rachel Horton
|Wednesday 21 July||OAU Committee Meeting||(5.30 pm ZOOM)|
|Friday 23 July||Dick Hodgson Shield||( Farrer fixtures at TAS)|
|Wednesday 28 July||P&F Meeting||(7 pm) ZOOM|
|Thursday 29 July||Farming Futures Field Day Excursion|
MR PAUL GADDES
Welcome to Term 3, parents! Trust you all had a great break with family. Only nine weeks until the next one!
It was great to see many parents at Tattersalls Hotel on Monday evening to kick-off Term 3. New friendships were formed and stories were exchanged about life at TAS.
The P&F will continue to host events at the start and end of each term so that parents have the opportunity to connect while in Armidale. Keep an eye open for the invites.
Please join us at the next P&F meeting. We will be live in Upper Maxwell under the prevailing COVID directions.
Drinks and nibbles are provided for those attending in person, with ZOOM operating for those who wish to join remotely.
Reserve Friday 27 August in your calendar for the TAS Golf Day at the Armidale Golf Club.
We are looking for people to help organise the Golf Day for August. You don’t have to be a golfer, just someone who wants to help hold a successful social gathering for our parent community. If interested, please email [email protected] this week to get involved.
If you have anything you would like to raise with the P&F Executive, please send us an email at [email protected]
Mr Paul Gaddes
MR LUKE POLSON
During the final week of Term 2, it was wonderful to speak to families and students as our Year 10 students are looking to the next stage of their education and their HSC. A website has been established to include all the necessary information about making these initial subject choices and can be accessed here: https://www.as.edu.au/
This website contains the latest Subject Handbook as well as a copy of the presentation used. The form for submitting these choices will be available from Monday 5 July to Sunday 25 July 2021.
TAS will be participating in the ICAS Assessments again this year. ICAS is designed to target students’ higher-order thinking and problem-solving skills in English, Science, Mathematics and Spelling. This year, parents will need to register and pay directly with ICAS if they wish their child to participate in any/all of these assessments. TAS will then facilitate the sitting of these papers in late August, during the scheduled sitting windows. These assessments are suitable for students wishing to extend themselves academically and take up the challenge of competing in an international assessment. Please refer to the letter sent to all families sent last term regarding ICAS for further details on how to complete these registrations. Please send an email to [email protected] if you require any assistance
Term 3 is an exam term for students in Stage 6. Year 12 will be completing their trial HSC in Weeks 5 and 6 (Monday 16 August – Friday 27 August). Year 12 students can expect a timetable for this exam period in the first week back next term.
Year 11 students will be completing their End of Course Exams in Week 8 (Monday 6 September – Friday 10 September). A timetable for these exams will be available by the end of Week 3, Term 3.
We anticipate that NAPLAN Results for the 2021 cohort will be available at some point during September. Once the School receives these results, these will be distributed to parents. From 2022, TAS and most other schools in NSW will need to transition to NAPLAN online. In readiness for this, TAS is required to complete several School Readiness Tests, and this will be completed in Week 7 (from 30 August) and will involve several students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9.
Mr Luke Polson
Director of Studies
Late last term Year 4 to Year 7 Japanese classes participated in the Tanabata Festival with Tezukayama Gakuin School in Osaka, Japan. The wishes were received during the holidays and displayed outside their classrooms. Tanabata is a Star Festival where students make a wish on a coloured piece of paper and hang this on a branch of bamboo. The wishes were written in Japanese down the page and covered a wide variety of topics. This included current topics like Climate Change and COVID to personal wishes like future jobs and sporting goals.
The teachers at Tezukayama attached the wishes to bamboo branches outside the classrooms and the students and teachers enjoyed reading the wishes and were very impressed with the Japanese writing and presentation of the wishes.
Unfortunately, the bi-annual visits to each school haven’t been able to take place for two years due to COVID, so next term we are hoping to arrange a video link with Tezukayama for students from both schools to meet and exchange information about their school and country.
Mr Allan Moore
MR ANDREW O'CONNELL
At the end of last term the call went out for all students in Year 8 and 9 interested in going on a regional exchange to respond to a feedback form. That online form can be found here: https://www.as.edu.au/year-8-
Obviously, recent developments have delayed these exchanges until next term to ensure the safety of the outgoing students and those who would come to experience TAS. But we are committed to persisting with this part of the Round Square program as we know how beneficial it can be for the students and how excited they are. Students with questions about the exchange program, aspects of the application for, or the Round Square program at TAS, in general, can contact Ms Gayner ([email protected]) or myself ([email protected]).
MR HUON BARRETT
The TAS v Farrer fixtures (The Dick Hodgson Shield) will be held this Friday (23 July). Given the recent NSW Health requirements and our duty of care to our school community parents/visitors will ONLY be allowed on campus after 3.30pm.
Parents/visitors who wish to attend will be required to wear a mask upon arrival, QR code on entry, sanitise, maintain social distancing and if you are feeling unwell or have any signs or symptoms please do not attend.
Congratulations to Mosie Wright, Ashlee Morgan, Luke Schmude and Miller Harwood who have been selected in the NSW U13s girls and boys Hockey teams. A fantastic achievement.
Winter Sport continues this week and I remind all students that they are required to attend all sessions and games as scheduled. If you are unable to attend due to illness or a significant appointment or commitment, you must communicate this to your coach, prior to the session.
I wish to remind parents of the NSW Health requirements when attending community sport: wear a mask upon arrival, QR code on entry, sanitise, maintain social distancing and if you are feeling unwell or have any signs or symptoms please do not attend.
An update on AAGPS Rugby and Shooting. Rugby and Shooting have been postponed at this stage. Given the current COVID situation no games are being played but every attempt will be made to continue these competitions when able.
Mr Huon Barrett
Director of Co-curricular
MR ANDREW O'CONNELL
While the start to the term may be shadowed by COVID concerns there is still much to look forward to in this Arts this term and we shall strive to remain positive and continue to engage in all opportunities that present themselves. I hope we can have the same tenacity as the cast, crew and band of ADMS’ Mamma Mia, which has been performing throughout the holidays and extended week of shows this week. Though audience capacity is only 50 percent and masks are mandatory, that hasn’t dampened the energy and joy on stage and I hope many of you were able to get a ticket to this wonderful community production.
While singing and our choir program has been paused for the time being our ensembles and instrumental groups are back rehearsing, with an excellent performance yesterday at assembly by the Senior Jazz Combo led by Mr Paul Marshall. The Middle School Theatresports team will start meeting again this afternoon and each Wednesday with Mr Wheatley and myself. And a number of amazing Stage 5 Art, Drama and Music subjects commence in Semester II that are sure to fill the foyer, theatre and music block with buzz and life.
This Friday we are having a watch party for the recording of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street in Memorial Hall. All students are invited to come along to watch the show at 6pm (or grab some pizza beforehand at 5:30pm) but must email me (including pizza order if they want dinner) so I have an attendance roll. This should hopefully kick-start the buzz about the 2022 TAS Production, with the production team busy exploring options for shows and making plans for an announcement in the second half of this term.
Finally, budding filmmakers should be aware that the Bell Shakespeare Theatre Company is running a short film competition for all students to flex their filmmaking skills and creatively re-interpret the Bard’s classic works. The competition is open to all students in Junior, Middle and Senior school and you have until 17 September (the end of Term 3) to create your work. There are some awesome prizes up for grabs and this is an excellent way to represent TAS and our region in the Creative Arts. You can get more information about the competition, and look at the 2020 winning short films, by going here: https://www.
MR MARK HARRISON
Welcome to Term 3. We’ve already had our first whole school assembly, being a significant one in that it is Dr Rachel Horton’s first, as Principal, at TAS: there’s something special about ‘new’ isn’t there and I firmly believe Dr Horton’s arrival augurs well for the future of the school. I hasten to add that Dr Horton is lucky to be here, as well! TAS is a good place to be: invariably, issues don’t become problems; students more often than not are amenable; our weather generally boasts double figures – today we touched on 10, though not for long.
By the time this arrives in your inbox, a Town Meeting and, hopefully, a Middle School staff meeting will have taken place and we’ll have resumed the general course of term activity, but there’s the sobering backdrop of health concern that we must take seriously. We’re all to wear masks, and we’re to do so at most times. The School has taken these decisions and they’re sensible ones. When students are out on the grounds, however, they’re not required to wear them – though the issue of distance factors into relations during their out/playtime. We will be reasonable of course but we need to be aware of space in most activities. For the sake of their safety, we must ‘police’ this issue carefully and we require your support in this regard. So far, so good: Tuesday’s lunch was fine; in characteristic fashion, students careered around the grounds and classes have begun well enough.
Overall, thank goodness, our Middle School people look fine. Their willingness suggests they’ve had a good semester holiday, and this is the best way to start something that will, like its predecessors, be very busy. We can even boast increased numbers – in Years 6 and 8, as a matter of fact. So, we’re looking good! To be frank, this last break from general routine was excellent and clearly all benefited because everyone is smiling, everyone (we need to be careful of absolutes, so I qualify this by adding ‘within reason’) is prepared to listen, everyone has a neat uniform. We’ve even come back to what I call ‘old New England’ weather: days are crystal clear and cool, nights, freezing, and when they’re around, clouds actually produce the moisture we expect of them.
Likewise, I hope your time with our students has been a good one and that you’re happy (enough) with Semester Reports. If, for some reason, you wish to ask questions and make comments, please contact us as Homeroom staff and we’ll do our best to address issues arising from the reporting period. I’ve already seen some students, and this is probably a good thing. We need to work together on improvements, adjustments and even attitudes as they relate to the formal assessments for the last half-year.
Relatively speaking, while this is not an especially long term, it is important in that it will be succeeded by a small window of opportunity next term before the final battery of assessments and formal examinations. New timetables for the term were available on Edumate on Tuesday morning and Homeroom staff have ‘walked’ students through them already. Students need to be gainfully employed during prep time. We’ll continue to ‘work on’ boarders and we want you to ‘work on’ day students at home. What do I mean by this? We need students to be vitally aware of the fact of work and the necessity of keeping them on task. We need also to continue to work together.
Stop press: something that produced ringing applause was Dr Horton’s announcement in the Assembly, being the fact of a slight concession/change to uniform regulation. From here on, students, regardless of wet weather, can wear the ‘old’ and new style blue jackets. Warmth is the operative issue, and it is so important. However, there’s a rider attached – this is for Term 3 and next year the older jackets can’t be worn. Students may not, however, wear the new sports jackets – being those with TAS emblazoned on the backs of said jackets. If you’ve any issue interpreting this message, ask your children who welcomed it so warmly (no pun intended) in yesterday’s assembly in the Memorial Hall.
It’s only a brief one, this week.
Mr Mark Harrison
Head of Middle School
MR IAN LLOYD
A very warm welcome to our four new families in Junior School this term and to all those returning, I do hope you have all had a safe, refreshing and relatively warm break. Welcome back to Term 3 and all the excitement it brings. If you did not receive a letter from me last week, please let us know. It contains important information about the protocols that are once again upon us due to COVID-19. Please read it carefully and contact us if you have any questions. Information for parents will be regularly updated on the school website and this should be your first port of call.
As TAS Talks goes to air today, you should know that our Principal, Dr Horton, is joining us for our Junior School assembly and I know our students will be very interested to hear all about her very …. diverse career. We are hoping to get a video and photos of the assembly to you in due course. We are also very happy to see Mrs Waters return from Long Service Leave and welcome Ms Victoria Brain, a Gap Student from England who is joining us this term.
Our Chapel St Turning Circle system is working very well and I thank you all for your forbearance; the following details were in our communications to you last week and contain some minor variations:
Arrival by car
Departure by car
It is vital for the success of this new system that all cars display their Family Name clearly on the passenger side sun visor. If you need spare signs made, please contact JS Reception.
The winter uniform is available at the Clothing Shop and if you do need to purchase or replace any items from here, please contact Junior School and we will sort it out for you while the COVID restrictions apply. We will be encouraging all students to dress appropriately, especially while this cold weather is with us.
It is a well-known and highly discussed fact that happiness at school is an important foundation of both academic and social success at school and we strive to create an environment that promotes this each and every day. For children to have maximum opportunity to socialise before school, please arrive in time so they may spend time in the playground with their friends. Arriving late prevents this and it becomes a real issue when children tell us they are sad when they miss out on playground play before school.
This week we wish Kenan Al Naji, Ted Draney, Elsie Nexo and Matilda Polson a very happy birthday.
Monday 19 July
Tuesday 20 July
Wednesday 21 July
| Staff Day/Boarders Return
Assembly – Hoskins Centre 2.45pm (closed to parents)
Tuesday 27 July
Wednesday 28 July
|Kindergarten Excursion to Thalgarrah
Year 2 Assembly – Hoskins Centre 2.45pm (closed to parents)
Wednesday 4 August
Thursday 5 August
|Kindergarten Assembly – Hoskins Centre 2.45pm (closed to parents)
Year 5 Excursion to Cascade Education Centre, Dorrigo
All sporting teams will re-commence their games this weekend. Please ensure you have access to either the TAS app or draw on the association websites to locate your time and venue for this weekend.
This term our Junior School Athletes will have the opportunity to compete in these Athletics competitions in August. The PSSA local competition is on Friday 6 August and the NCIS competition held in Coffs Harbour is on Wednesday 11 August.
Invitations to compete in the local PSSA/NCIS Athletics Carnivals will be sent out next week. Please ensure you take into account which events you have been nominated for and whether you would like to compete in these competitions. All permission notes must be returned to Mrs Lasker by Friday, 30 July.
Mr Ian Lloyd
Head of Junior School
The Junior School is a vibrant learning environment with curiosity being encouraged and nurtured on a daily basis. All classes will commence a new unit of inquiry this week. Over the course of the unit burning questions will be encouraged as students unpack central ideas and begin to develop new understandings, attributes of the learner profile will be reflected upon and students will be encouraged to set goals to build upon the way they approach their learning.
The table below outlines the learning journey each class will embark upon to commence the new term.
|Year Group||Transdisciplinary Theme||Central Idea|
|Transition||How we express ourselves||Creativity allows us to make connections with our world
|Kindergarten||Sharing the planet||Changes in the environmental impact humans and other living things
|Year 1||How we organise ourselves||Communities provide services designed to meet people’s needs
|Year 2||How we organise ourselves||Opportunity to communicate has evolved over time due to changing needs and technology
|Year 3||How we express ourselves||Indigenous peoples understanding of the world is heard through art and stories|
|Year 4||How we express ourselves||People use The Arts to communicate
|Where we are in place and time||Migration is a response to challenges, risks and opportunities
Mrs Veronica Waters
IB PYP Coordinator