2021 Term 4 Week 1   |   06.10.2021

TAS Talks Term 4 Week 1

01. From the Principal

DR RACHEL HORTON

There is a definite air of excitement at TAS this week as students have been catching up with friends they have not seen for some time and the staff are equally happy to have the students back on campus.

Our first day back was not without some challenges as we worked around newly announced stay-at-home orders in NSW. Thank you, as always, to those families involved for being proactive in communication and reacting to the changes that occurred. In this continually changing landscape, we are responding to new situations all the time and your patience and understanding with this is very much appreciated.

This term as NSW starts to open again, we will move into uncharted territory. In a recent Zoom conference call with Dr Kerry Chant, it was made very clear that when that happens, if there is a case in a school, the action that we will be required to take will depend on the control measures in place. It will also include the level of vaccination in the eligible student population. Therefore, I continue to encourage everyone who can, to follow the NSW Health recommendations and get themselves and their children vaccinated. We will be sending out a voluntary survey in due course to give us an understanding of the level of vaccination within our TAS community.

While there are still a range of restrictions in place, there is also much to be grateful for and to look forward to. We are in the wonderful position of having most of our students back at school. Activities and other freedoms will slowly return throughout the term and we currently expect to be able to have parents back on-site in some form during the last few days of the school year.

 

Dr Rachel Horton
Principal

02. From the Director of Studies

MR LUKE POLSON

Changes to Year 11 Subjects

Mr Taylor (Careers Advisor) is starting to receive requests about subject changes from individuals, and below is an outline of the process involved with dropping subjects from Year 11 into Year 12.  Firstly, you cannot leave a subject until the Year 11 course has been completed. This is still the case for many of your subjects as there are still assessments due this term.

Secondly, students who wish to pick up an extension course, (Maths, English, History, Music etc…) are generally processed first. If you are thinking of picking up an extension course you need to speak to the subject coordinator ASAP. They will then send Mr Taylor a list of possible candidates and we will process them now (Weeks 1-3). It is not an automatic given that you will be allowed to pick up the extension course. Each course has a standard of work they require for students to progress to the extension course. Talk to the coordinators.

Thirdly, Mr Taylor will need Year 11 reports to be complete for the subject change process to happen. This will not be done until Week 4, so the process won’t be able to start change of 2-unit subjects until this time. Mr Taylor will send out a reminder Week 3 and start making appointments. Part of this process is the need to contact parents. Please be patient.

If you wish to make an interview about possible career direction/choices this can be done after the subject changes have been processed.

ICAS Competitions

Many students registered to complete ICAS Competition papers last term that were unable to be completed due to online learning. It is anticipated that these papers will now be completed in the second week of Term 4, from 11 October to 15 October.

Further details will be sent to the students who have registered for these papers. Please note, only students who have previously registered for these papers are able to complete them this term.

Year 10 Subject Selection

Students and families in Year 10 have been emailed the subject lines for Year 11 next year. Please ensure that these choices have been submitted through EDVAL by Sunday 10 October (end of Week 1, Term 4).

Years 8 and 9 Selection

Students in Years 8 and 9 have been emailed a copy of the Stage 5 Lines for 2022. Please ensure that these choices have been submitted through EDVAL by Sunday 10 October (end of Week 1, Term 4).

 

Mr Luke Polson
Director of Studies

03. From the P&F

MR PAUL GADDES

Welcome to Term 4 !!

While we will spend the coming weeks under Level 3 COVID-Safe practices at school, it proves to be an amazing term ahead as another Year 12 cohort prepares for their final weeks & we wrap the school year.

 

Christmas Puddings

The P&F Puddings are ready for purchase.

A huge thank you to those that were involved in the preparation, baking & wrapping of the puddings. The new pudding committee of Michelle Guppy, Anna Simmons and Tina Skipper had things prepared and ready for the occasion. This season we had help from Nichole Gaddes, Michelle Guppy, Kath Little, Rachael Nicoll, Michie Okamoto, Anna Simmons, Emily Wilson and Ingrid Steddy. Much appreciation is extended to these volunteers for their continued support of P&F events.

Puddings can be ordered online here https://www.trybooking.com/BUEZP

For those already on the pudding waitlist, if you could now use the above link to confirm & pay for your puddings.

We will communicate the process for collecting puddings over the coming weeks.

And finally, for those still wanting to support this year’s pudding season, we are still taking donations of brandy. Please contact the P&F Exec on [email protected] to arrange.

 

Golf Day – Friday 22 October

Yes, it is back on. And only a few short weeks away. Block your calendar now and book online to confirm your place.

Tickets can be purchased online here https://www.trybooking.com/BTLIT 

Golf Day is for beginners through to the more golf-serious among us. It promises to be fun with a team format across 9 holes. Player tickets are $49 while lunch-only tickets are $29.

Golf, Lunch, Drink & Enjoy.

 

 

Term  4 Kick-Off Dinner

It was great to see another good turn-out earlier this week at The Whitebull Hotel  to kick off Term 4.

Everyone had a few laughs and there were many exciting holiday stories told … not everyone went to the coast as you might have imagined.

Stay tuned for the end of term event details to be published.

 

Contact the P&F Executive

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
P&F President

04. Wellbeing

A moment with Mack

A moment with Mack – Self Regulation series

This term I thought I’d share with you things I have been learning over the past year. So, over the course of the next eight weeks, we are going to start to explore self-regulation – what it is, what it isn’t, and a framework that you can learn yourself and use with your children, to help you to notice and reduce stress where you can.

Since being in the counselling room, one of the biggest things I’ve noticed is how so many of the things students talk about with the counsellor are examples of when the child or young person is overstressed. So a young person might be talking about feeling anxious, depressed, the impact of things that have happened in the past, not being able to concentrate or is easily distracted, getting into trouble in the classroom, not sleeping well, attracted/dependent on highly processed foods and/or technology….. these types of things can all be indicators of too much stress.

I would like to explore with you a framework in how to see children and young people’s behaviour differently, which will, in turn, help you to address the underlying issues contributing to the stress. This framework is called Self-Reg and it comes from the work of Dr Stuart Shanker. The theoretical foundation of the Shanker Self-Reg® framework comes from advances in neuroscience, physiology, psychology and clinical practice. It explores, explains, and applies these new insights in a way that benefits every child, youth, adult and senior.

Self-Reg provides us not just with the ‘why’, but also with the next steps on the ‘how’.  How to distinguish between maladaptive and growth-promoting modes of managing stress;  between misbehaviour and stress-behaviour; between laziness and processes deep inside the brain that impedes learning or effort. And what to do about it.

It is important to stress here that the Self-Reg Framework; it is not a program – it is a practical paradigm through which parents and teachers can better understand a child or student and others.

Through Self-Reg, we learn how to:

  • reframe behaviour, our own, as well as another’s;
  • identify stressors – both overt and hidden;
  • acquire strategies to reduce those stresses;
  • become aware of what it feels like to be calm and what it feels like to be over-stressed; and finally,
  • develop restorative practices that enhance our capacity, not to cope with but rather, to thrive on the various stresses that abound in modern life.

There is a lot of research telling us that our children and teens are a generation who are experiencing exceptionally high levels of stress. When I overhear the counsellor talk about this with parents or teachers, it’s always met with puzzlement. Like, how can there be such high levels of stress, things are pretty good, your kids probably enjoy a higher standard of living than you did growing up?

You may be wondering, are we talking about the stress of modern society, of keeping up with the other kids? What are these stressors that this wise Labrador is talking about? I think it’s a question that we need to take very seriously because there’s been this sort of popularisation of the concept of stress that’s occurred over the last 20 or 30 years, in addition to a celebration, of sorts, in being ‘busy’. So, it’s very helpful to go back to the roots of the concept in order to understand why we’re seeing a generation of children and adolescents who are so highly stressed. Once we understand that, then we can begin to look at the question of: what are the signs of when a kid is overstressed and what can we do about it?

*This series of articles is really just a brief overview, if you are interested to know more, please contact Alix, she’s learning all about this in quite a lot of detail – Mack

 

Mrs Alix Goudge
Counsellor

 

05. From the Creative Arts Coordinator

MR ANDREW O'CONNELL

This Term might be presenting us challenges with our Creative Arts program but that won’t stop us hoping for a brighter future – that’s why yesterday we announced the 2022 TAS Production! Next year we’ll be staging Eugene Ionesco’s absurdist play Rhinoceros. One of the most significant plays of the 20th century, this wacky piece is a scathing attack on conformity, mob mentality, and apathy in the rise of Fascism. When everyone around you starts transforming into rhinoceroses do you shrug your shoulders or take a stand?

Even though Rhinoceros is a play it will still have a huge cast and ensemble, and we’ll be working into the show some movement/dance sequences and hopefully some music. All students currently in Years 8 – 11 can audition, with materials being distributed by the end of the week and auditions taking place in Week 3 (with the format still under discussion). There are some changes being made to the way we do things – the biggest being that the performances will be taking place in Term 2, Week 2, 2022. But many of the favourite parts of being in the production remain, such as our Production Camp (next year to be held in the Term 1/2 holidays instead of in January).
We’ve also raised the stakes for student involvement, with four student leadership positions available on the Production Team. We will be calling for expressions of interest for Assistant Director, Assistant Technical Director, Stage Manager, and Movement Choreographer and these are amazing opportunities to make important decisions about the show and extend your skills and experience in theatre-making.
For now, enjoy the announcement trailer below (an absurd trailer for an absurdist piece of theatre) and look for more information via email before the end of the week.

 

Mr Andrew O’Connell
Creative Arts Coordinator

06. From the Head of Middle School

MR MARK HARRISON

Term 4 – okay – the first thing you’ll need to know is that it’s going to be ‘fast and furious’.

Well, they’re back and we’re grateful for this – here’s hoping that, unlike last term, we’re all back for the duration. Everyone looks rested, being a good thing because the term will test our resilience, and this is also a good thing for everyone because it’s healthy to be busy.

I’m reasonably reliably informed that the term will also feature Armidale at its Melbourne Cup-like best in terms of grounds: trees are in leaf (the dogwoods are in flower, already); all the roses are in bud; TAS resembles a vast, verdant expanse. Finally, we’re beginning a season well – but I also know that it’s ‘harvest term’ imminently and I hope that yours is as good as it can be so that Christmas time is a time when you rural families can recline, be of good cheer and, hopefully like all our families, look forward to a promising 2022 – regardless of where you live.

We’re very fortunate at TAS – this term has welcomed six new students to the Middle School and we’re looking forward to their contributions and to making them feel increasingly comfortable as the weeks pass.

We’re on a uniform blitz (when aren’t we at the beginning of a new term): regarding Term 4 khakis, socks need to be ‘up’. The surest way of keeping them up requires garters. Ties and top buttons need to be ‘right’. Girls need to be wearing the correct jewellery and must wear white socks that come up over the ankles. All students need to familiarise themselves with boot polish. Please don’t be insulted by this inclusion – simply, we’ll succeed more certainly if we’re all on the same page. The most important thing for us is the fact that we’re grateful to be in a position that we can assist students with their uniforms.

As these very early weeks progress students will become more familiar with requirements re: masks, meals, play/out times. I want you to know that we’ll be vigilant and as helpful as we can be because we’re lucky to be in this position at TAS. We’ll keep you regularly updated on levels, measures, recommendations as they relate to our students and their activities at school. As I indicated, today was a gift for all of us:  they’re back; we’re safe.

This is a very brief one because even though we’re all back, we’ve only been here a day.

 

Mr Mark Harrison
Head of Middle School

07. From the Head of Junior School

MR IAN LLOYD

Welcome Back

It is with great pleasure that we welcome back all our families, but especially those new to TAS this term. We hope that the term is successful in all ways and know that our community will come together whenever possible to conclude the year in fine fashion.

You will have read in both TAS Talks and the return to school newsletter that we are currently under Level 3 restrictions at school. Please be aware of any alterations to our operations as outlined with a reminder that, unfortunately, there will not be after school sport until further notice.

Our aim is to make all our students as comfortable as possible while having a high regard for their safety and well-being. As the term unfolds, we will be looking for ways to celebrate all the achievements from 2021 and this will be communicated to you as the term progresses. In the meantime, please stay in close contact with the school if you have any questions.

 

Uniform and Hair

School uniform is flexible for the first two weeks of Term 4 in Junior School. Families can choose whether their child comes to school in either their winter or summer uniform depending on the weather. From Week 3, all children are expected to wear summer uniforms.

Again, this term, we are ensuring that all students wear the correct uniform, in a tidy and presentable manner. All hair should be tidy, well-kept and cut in a conservative manner. For girls, if the hair is longer than shoulder length, it should be tied with navy blue ribbon available at the TAS Clothing Shop.  If you have any questions about the uniform, please have a look at the website and/or contact me at school.

 

Expansion of classes for 2022 – Kindergarten, Year 3 and Year 5

You will already read that the enquiries and subsequent enrolments for Junior School next year have been particularly strong. We are very pleased to announce therefore, that Junior School will be increasing the number of classes next year, with two classes in Kindergarten, Year 3 and Year 5.  This is very exciting news and we anticipate starting the new year with an unprecedented 160 students. This will allow us to expand the wonderful opportunities our program already provides while keeping our class sizes at optimum levels, which is a key consideration of this decision. We are currently working on staffing for 2022 and this will be announced as soon as possible.

 

Happy Birthday

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

 

 

Mr Ian Lloyd
Head of Junior School

Week 1
Tuesday 5 October Classes resume & staff return
Wednesday 6 October No Assembly
Week 2
Thursday 7 October Transition 2022 interviews
Week 3
Friday 15 October Transition 2022 interviews

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