MR ALAN JONES
This week our inter-House debating for 2021 concludes with finals for both the Senior and Middle School competitions. Yesterday Broughton House took on Croft House in Memorial Hall in front of the full Middle and Senior school with the topic ‘A One World Government would be better for Society’. Broughton was speaking in the affirmative and Croft presented the negative case. The teams included a cross-section of our best debaters from Year 9 through to Year 12 and they were clearly well prepared and well-honed in their skills. In a close result, the affirmative Broughton took the spoils, and it was an entertaining spectacle. Given the youthful age groups of the Croft debaters, this aspect of life at the school is in very good hands and has a most promising future. As I commented to the audience, debating at TAS continues to develop in quality and is now a serious business, whether, at the inter-school or inter-House level, our debaters are actively pursuing greater skills and forensic preparation as well as speaking confidently, articulately and at times with great humour. The credit for this continues to lie with Mr Tim Hughes and it is fantastic from my perspective to see that his endeavours over the past few years are being rewarded with the quality of young debaters that are coming through the system. On Thursday our Middle School students take to the stage as the finalists, Abbott and again Croft battle it out on the topic ‘We should explore our own world before we explore space’. I also offer my congratulations to all the students who are involved in this recent house debating competition and the finalists have obviously had to battle their way through a number of hard-fought debates.
As far as recent staffing matters are concerned Mrs Gillian Downes remains as Assistant Director of Studies but has relinquished her role as Head of English and Mrs Alex Murray has been appointed as Acting Head of English until the end of the year.
Mr Mark Harrison will be stepping away from his position as Head of Middle School at the end of this year, but he has indicated he will remain at TAS which will be of great benefit for all the students he will continue to teach.
Dr Rachel Horton commences in her role as Principal from 1 July and therefore this will be my last report in TAS Talks.
On that note, I would like to thank all those who have wished me well and thank you to all the TAS staff that I have worked with during my time as Head of School including teaching and admin staff, housekeeping, maintenance, kitchen and medical staff.
I will remain at TAS for the duration of Term 3 teaching Year 12 and being as involved as I can until it is time for that final farewell!
Mr Alan Jones
Head of School
|Wednesday 23 June||Year 10 Parent/Teacher Interviews|
|Thursday 24 June||MS Inter-House Debating final
|Friday 25 June||Staff Day|
|Monday 19 July||Staff Day – Boarders return|
|Tuesday 20 July||Classes resume|
|Friday 23 July||Farrer Fixtures at TAS|
MR PAUL GADDES
At the last P&F meeting, the Funding Request process for this year was finalised. Thank you to all who submitted a Funding Request and to those who had the opportunity to present their submission to those attending the P&F meeting. Each request was reviewed with benefits in mind to support a majority of the student population. This process is the clearest way for the school community to give back to the students.
Funding is granted to the following submissions:
What a great weekend of sporting and team camaradarie. While the Hannon and Harris Cup returns to Sydney High for a brief stay, the weekend’s activity underpins the continued development and aspirations of our students.
The P&F Canteen, BBQ, and Lunch Buffet was a welcome rest-stop for players, staff, parents and TAS visitors alike. A huge P&F ‘thank you’ to everyone who volunteered their time – parents, friends, prefects, students, and the P&F team – to keep the various stations operating and feeding over 500 people. It takes a small army and we look forward to increased support at future events.
Many of the year group Liaison Parents have been busy recently organising a meet up for you. If you haven’t already attended, keep an eye out on the usual channels – Facebook and email – to find out details of your meetup and get booked in. This is a great chance to socialise with other parents from your group and is timed to coincide with Parent Teacher Interviews and end-of-term pickups for many.
We are looking for people to help organise the golf day for Friday 27 August (the first day of Reunion Weekend). 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.
What are ten long weeks, followed by three short weeks, followed by nine more long weeks?
That’s right! It’s the end of Term 2 and the start of holidays to mark the middle of the school year. Happy holidays to everyone whether you are staying at home or getting away with family. Enjoy.
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 HUON BARRETT
The Final of the Senior School Inter-House Debating Competition was held this week during Assembly. Broughton House took out the honours but the quality of the debate ‘A one world government would be better for society’ was outstanding. Public speaking can be daunting at the best of times so to stand-up, in a whole school assembly, in front of your peers and debate for six minutes is nothing short of challenging. I commend all students who have had the courage and skill to debate over the past two weeks. I especially thank Mr Tim Hughes for his ongoing passion and commitment towards debating. It is evident that debating, like so many other co-curricular activities, is alive and well at TAS. On Thursday the Middle School will have their final debate.
Last Thursday Trinity Grammar Prep School visited and played our under 12 teams in football and rugby. Whilst the visitors were too strong in the football fixture the rugby players prevailed to win in a very evenly fought match.
On Friday we welcomed Sydney Boys High School for our traditional SBHS GPS fixtures. With the largest contingent of SBHS students and staff ever seen (187 boys and 13 staff) the weekend proved to be a huge success. Whilst SBHS took the Hannon and Harris Cup back to Sydney, the relationship we have with SBHS was strengthened and an important reminder of how much we value this relationship, which extends over 50 years. A special thank you to the parents and friends who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure the students were well fed and ready for competition.
With the recently washed out TAS v Farrer fixtures (The Dick Hodgson Shield) we have rescheduled this event for Friday 23 July.
Mr Huon Barrett
Director of Co-curricular
In and amongst yet another busy TAS weekend of sport, the Years 9/10 Marathon Elective class contested the Bay2Bay Half Marathon in Gosford last Sunday. This is their final assessment for the course, having spent Semester 1 training for the event. Despite some pretty miserable conditions, everyone performed exceedingly well. Charles Hunter raced to a super fast 1hr 25m and in the process, claimed first place in the male 16-19 years. Not to be outdone, Lauren Earle ran 1hr 52m and too, was placed first Female 16-19 years. Louis Ross ran a sensational 1hr 45m, to finish only 30seconds behind his father, Dave (with mum Susie also competing). I’m pretty confident the writing is on the wall for the senior Ross! Ned Farrell and Max Rogers glided throughout the 21.1km, finishing side by side, with Tom Ball and James White just minutes behind. Olivia Cannington and Charlie Repin crossed the line together, as did Eryn Benham and Isabella Crawford. Sam Atkin rounded out the Half Marathon runners with a very solid 2hr 06m and then provided the stories for the bus trip home. A few students undertook the 12km option, with Thomas Dundon enjoying an experience off the bike, running a pleasing 1hr 04m for the journey. Will Swain, Harry Coleman and Jono Phelps ran together, entertaining each other all the way. My thanks to Mrs Renaye Benham for being the ‘Mum’ on the trip and to Mr Taylor for his support.
Mr Jim Pennington
The TAS under 12s rugby were grateful for a relaxation of Covid restrictions to welcome back the Trinity Grammar U12 touring rugby team. In recent years the tour has been a highlight of the U12 rugby season for both sides and this year’s fixture certainly did not disappoint. The Trinity Grammar Tour is designed to be developmental in nature and introduce players to rugby in a safe and nurturing environment. In fact, back in Sydney, the competition that Trinity Grammar participates in does not permit contested scrummaging until U14 level. Therefore, the tourists were very appreciative to play a match with the opportunity to contest scrums.
The TAS U12 team have continued their development post-TAS Rugby Carnival in April by training once a week for the majority of Term 3 under the watchful eyes of the Director of Rugby Mr Whalley, Head of Junior School Mr Lloyd and Mr Fawcett. It has been pleasing to see their progression and a better understanding of the nuances of the game. It has also been encouraging to hear that numerous players, since playing in the TAS Rugby Carnival, have signed up to or continued their involvement in the local community rugby program. The commitment of the players to improve can not be faulted.
By the time match day came, there was a buzz around Backfield as senior students rushed from their final academic lesson of the day and parents arrived in their masses to support the Blue and White of TAS. The players even had the privilege of using the First XV Changing Room for pre-match preparation and running out through a tunnel of senior students onto Backfield. The enormity and privilege of the opportunity began to dawn on the players as they entered the sheds and started to appreciate the journey that previous TAS players, before them, had taken to represent not only the TAS First XV but, for a seldom few, even the Wallabies.
The term match perfectly describes the events that followed on Backfield. Both teams put on a display, which led to end to end action. The tackling was fierce but in the spirit of the game and the players were creative in their attempts to unpick the opposition’s defence. By halftime, Trinity had conceded that their scrum was being dominated due to a lack of player practice and experience and opted for uncontested scrums in the second half.
The TAS attacking structure was ably managed by half-backs Rafferty Tonkin and Hugo Broun. Sinclair Little was a tour de force and try-scoring machine at back row. Throughout the game, both teams remained in touching distance with only a maximum of seven points separating both sides at any time. With three and half minutes remaining TAS had this exact point margin as a lead, having scored a well-crafted try by Harvey Cameron and knew from the returning kick off their defence would make the difference between winning and losing. Trinity Grammar were tenacious, knowing that everything had to go into this final opportunity. A well-tailored set of attacking phases down the left flank against a tenacious TAS defence eventually led to Trinity adding that all-important five points to the scoreboard. The conversion was now required to make the scoreline all square. The kick, perilously close to the touchline, and into a nasty Armidale Easterly, was a challenge, and just did not have the propulsion required to convert. A relieved TAS team yelled in celebration, echoed by the loyal but cold supporters. When only a conversion separated these two teams, it is a fair summation that rugby was the winner.
A very special thanks go to Charlotte Brunyee for another measured and nurturing shift with the referee’s whistle on a cold Armidale afternoon. Charlotte understands the importance of flowing rugby to entice and retain players and performs her duties with great diligence for player safety and an opportunity to develop the individual player. Trinity Grammar should also be praised for the Corinthian Spirit they displayed throughout the match and post-match formalities. They were a credit to their school.
I look forward to seeing the U12s continue their Rugby journey at TAS as they progress through their senior years. They are passionate and committed to the sport and are starting to have an appreciation of their individual strengths and weaknesses. Their focus now should be to improve on the latter.
TAS 36 – 34 Trinity Grammar
Mr Doug Fawcett
MR ANDREW O'CONNELL
Tonight the Stage 5 Drama class ‘Comedy: Make ’em Laugh’ have the honour of being the first production in the newly renovated Armidale Playhouse with their class play A Murder Mystery Play That Goes Wrong. We’re so lucky to have the opportunity to use that space and a great experience for the students working on that project this term. And for those lucky enough to see the Stage 5 Music showcase last Thursday they were treated to an exceptional night of performances that show how exciting the future of our Senior Music classes is. Finally, make sure you get down to the Hoskins Centre and see the work of the Stage 5 photographers and other artists on display at the moment.
MR MARK HARRISON
The last three weeks of Term are always brief – none is five days long. The long weekend allowed a Friday and a Monday at home and this is a very good thing. I think, considering the pace of this last term, this is a good thing. As indicated last week, winter has arrived, finally, and again, I’ve mentioned this fact to the very few intrepid souls who are still careering around the grounds in shirtsleeves – perhaps this has something to do with the careering, but this activity can’t last a full day. Students need to be appropriately dressed – it’s cold and they need to be dressed for the cold.
And now it’s almost time to be at home again – for longer. It’s actually three weeks and there’s a reason why it should be this long. They’re tired; we’re tired; everyone is, so take them, feed them, enjoy them and have a really good break. As you know, last week Middle School students completed the most recent round of the inter-House debating competition. The final will be on this Thursday. They’ve acquitted themselves admirably, already winning simply because they’ve spoken publicly; and we have some wonderful speakers, as well. I was really happy to acknowledge this skill and present Leaves of Merit for MYP recognition earlier this week, during our last Town Meeting. So, congratulations go to all concerned.
Activities were held on Friday and from all reports I’ve heard they were successful for our three-year groups. I was lucky enough to be with the Year 6 students – and I mean lucky because these youngest Middle School people are friendly, helpful and mutually dependent in terms of their groupings. We went to Wollomombi Gorge: the day was very crisp, so we walked, talked and ate a lot. Mrs Brunsdon was very organised as usual, and we all enjoyed ourselves.
Several weeks ago, all year groups (7 – 11) attended the Safe on Social talks and the information about electronic communication, and its myriad of social implications was vitally important for everyone to know. There were staff and parent sessions, as well. Yesterday Senior Constable Jaime Porter, the New England Youth Liaison Officer, conducted an age-appropriate session on Cyber Safety to our Year 6 cohort. I listened to some of her presentations and that too was excellent. I know Year 6 parents received letters outlining more fully the extent of information she covered and, again, thank Mrs Brunsdon, Ms Kreuzen and Mr Brauer for their endorsement of this important event. Our students have a lot of electronic time at school (for schoolwork, I hasten to add), so if you plan a holiday that doesn’t involve much electronic ‘downtime’ these young people won’t suffer.
I wish you all a safe, enjoyable mid-year break.
Mr Mark Harrison
Head of Middle School
By Robin Henry and Archie McMaster
The Year 7 Rangers spent the day on campus. All Sections A, B, C and D did swimming survival drills and games to boost our confidence for situations in unknown waters, participated in a scavenger hunt where we searched the school for items and locations. Teamwork was used endlessly during this activity and leadership was also incorporated. Students also had a wonderful time in navigation preparing for cadets next year. We were learning about coordinates and locations. There was also first-aid to teach us safety procedures when someone is bitten by a snake or when a sprained arm occurs. At the end of the day, each section competed in a balloon stomp game. It was harder than it looked.
MR IAN LLOYD
The Eisteddfod season was completed on Sunday, with our own TAS Trebles being only one of 16 items selected out of more than 1000 to perform at the Gala Concert. I have been so impressed with our students this year, as so many of them chose to challenge themselves to perform. Public performance, either in a group or individually, takes real courage and I commend all that that entered. Often, the real benefit of the Eisteddfod is in the preparation, the self-discipline and commitment required to practise enough to raise one’s confidence to the point of stepping out of the comfort zone. Winning is merely a small bonus after all the hard work, where the real reward is found, is done. The following letter, recently received, reflects our level of performance (and I am sure the authors will not mind if I share some of it with you all…)
“Please pass on our congratulations to the TAS Trebles for their performance in the Gala Concert this afternoon. They presented as a very ‘together’ ensemble and were certainly an audience favourite. It is a big ask for young children to give up their Sunday afternoon so please pass on to them our appreciation and assure them that they provided a bright spot for all the parents in the audience!”
Featured in the online Armidale Express, the link to their performance is: https://www.armidaleexpress.com.au/story/7305250/the-best-from-more-than-1000-eisteddfod-performances-on-show-in-gala-concert-photos/?cs=12&fbclid=IwAR3y3cTe_vO48KEvXbMa_tpMMNaUM_63x4DRspxAPP1gJ05pubHDEV0_ZQE
Additionally, here are the links to the class choral speaking items – well worth watching!
‘Identity Culture and Connection’ with a little Forensic Science on the side….
Last Friday, from all reports, proved to be one of our more successful Activity Days…if the enjoyment our students demonstrated is anything to go by. The range of activities was as broad as they were interesting. Education Interactive’s Forensic Science session kept our students engaged throughout the morning, with all our classes able to experience the fascinating world of forensic science. Learning about the process and methodology for solving crimes while working across their year groups, probing crimes using microscopes, DNA matching, fingerprinting and investigating clues left behind at the scene, has never been so much fun.
Alternating with the above, all our classes were treated to a workshop on connection and culture, guided by local Aboriginal leaders, Bruce Cohen and Fiona Lovelock. It was enlightening for our students to hear about the Aboriginal culture through storytelling “Yarning” while expressing their own cultural interpretations through rock painting. We were really fortunate to have them both with us and thank them for spending their time with us.
Throughout the afternoon, Kindergarten to Year 4 continued through the afternoon to create Aboriginal artworks on a wide range of mediums. Year 5s participated in a program called ‘Switched On’ which was run by Netty from Thalgarrah Environmental Education Centre. This was a hands-on program that included circuit making, testing for insulators and conductors, as well as sending messages using morse code through the use of the students’ circuits. The program provided an opportunity for students to discuss alternative energy sources.
The focus for Transition was on the environment, in particular focusing on how to reduce, reuse, recycle, which fitted into discussions we had during our current UOI – ‘We learn about the world by observing and investigating.’ Students sorted rubbish, drew pictures about how they could help (after our discussion on how it is everyone’s job to help), and looked at oil spills through play. The children were asked to bring in recyclable items from the home to make a craft item and to bring some clothes and toys to donate that they had outgrown.
It was an excellent day throughout and I thank everyone involved for their meticulous planning and hard work and dedication. You will see a number of student contributions later in this edition of TAS talks and some wonderful photos will soon be posted on the TAS website.
Our Learning Support in Junior School has developed enormously over the last six months and it is timely that I congratulate Mrs Tania Hardin now, as she recently completed the required coursework to achieve the status of Associate Member (Australian Dyslexia Association) MSL educator. Tania completed over 100 hours of training mostly in her own time, working with individuals and small groups in an extensive training program in Multisensory Language Education. Her work has benefited many students already and will also guide our future in Junior School for the way we support children who find literacy more difficult, especially reading and spelling. Students, particularly those with dyslexia need to be taught, slowly and thoroughly, the basic elements of their language—the sounds and the letters which represent them—and how to put these together and take them apart. They have to have lots of practice in having their writing hands, eyes, ears, and voices working together for conscious organisation and retention of their learning. A skilled MSL educator provides direct instruction to ensure links are consistently made between the visual, auditory and kinaesthetic pathways in learning to read and spell. Mrs Hardin has a passion for working with those who need additional support and in congratulating her on this achievement, I also acknowledge that we are so very fortunate to have her on our team.
I would like to sincerely thank Mrs Gaye Piper for all her work when covering Year 4 during the absence of Mrs Waters on Long Service Leave. Gaye has been a wonderful addition to our team, so enthusiastic and committed to the role and I know the students have really appreciated her professionalism (and caring approach) in the classroom. Additionally, Ms Annabelle Cullen has successfully completed her practicum in Kindergarten and I commend her on the way she conducted herself throughout. She is an excellent teacher and I am sure will go on to pursue a long and successful career in teaching. Kindergarten will miss her.
I know that the question has been asked (many times) and I tell you all now that we almost have the answer; yes, we will be doing a musical at the end of 2021! It’s just that after last year’s complexities, it has taken some time to determine the best way forward. Rest assured, an announcement will be made very soon (and perhaps even before the end of this term)….so stay tuned!
We all need them and they are just around the corner! I wish you well for the winter break and sincerely hope that your time with family will be relaxing and refreshing. See you all next term.
Mr Ian Lloyd
Head of Junior School
Many happy returns to the following Junior School students that celebrate their birthdays before the next edition in Term 2:
Ruby Rice, Henry Post, Mohammed Alrdadi, Janesh Wijewarna, Lachie Wood, Xander Dell, Edward Minter, Pippi Goudge, Mesfer Alhazzaa and Duncan Klabe.
|Week 10||No Sports Training|
|Wednesday 23 June||Year 2 Assembly – Hoskins Theatre – 2.45 pm
(with Dance & Drama Club)
|Thursday 24 June||Classes Conclude|
|Monday 19 July
Tuesday 20 July
Wednesday 21 July
|Staff Day/Boarders Return
Kindergarten Excursion to Thalgarrah
Fiona and Bruce (Aboriginal Elder) gave us a magnificent presentation about their Aboriginal heritage. Fiona belongs to the Anaiwan tribe and spoke about her connection to the land and her family. It was delivered as a story about their personal history. It was fascinating and we all left learning new things. After the fabulous presentation, Years 3 -5 were split into two groups to do some activities. My group went to the Drama room with Fiona. She wanted to teach us about the ‘Yarning Circle’. You could only talk if you held the stone and Fiona explained that this is a custom that is used in the Aboriginal culture. It promotes connection, family and open mindedness. Next, we rotated to the pottery room where Bruce was setting up the rock painting materials. I painted the Tree of Hope. Bruce gave us some coloured markers and some paint so we could paint our rock. I thought rock painting was a terrific idea because it shows what kind of person you are and where you are from. Everyone enjoyed painting the stones and Bruce introduced us to traditional Aboriginal paintings. The Bing Binni session was fascinating and very informative.
Bing Binni Poem by Mila Wright
On the 21st of June 2021
TAS Junior School had heaps of fun.
First, we had Bing Binni and,
I sat next to Minnie.
Bruce the elder and Fiona were our Aboriginal guides,
They taught us about their family and some who have died.
After that, we did rock painting
And it was nothing short of amazing,
We chose rocks from where we came from
And our masterpieces were to come.
Next, we went to a yarning circle
It is about open-mindedness, connection and communication.
I felt proud to belong to our nation.
Conditions were ideal at Rologas #3 for the final TAS Triceratops fixture of Term 2. The late start of 11am suited the team who all arrived in time for a quick warm-up and de-brief before taking on the mighty East Armidale Rippers. With the busy Daisy Hammond absent this week the four starters of Lachie McDowell, James Gillman, Elara Polson and Wilbur Drain knew they needed to step up to compensate for the potential lack of communication and on-ball aggressiveness due to her absence. The big win over the Demon Knights last week was still on their minds as the game started with the starting four lacking urgency in attack and defence. As the first half wore on their increased fitness showed and they fell into their groove of playing with width and an increased tempo. East Armidale was up to the task and their game awareness and astute substituting of players and coaches at halftime had the Triceratops guessing. Some fine individual goals by Elara Polson and Wilbur Drain kept the Triceratops in the game but the Rippers were too strong on the day. Credit to all four players for their ability to push through the fatigue as the game wore on and to finish strongly albeit with one Ripper player on our team.
The focus now turns to an extended holiday break where some individual skills training and rest will allow all players to hit the Term 3 fixtures fresh and ready.
Mr David Drain
For their final game of the season, the TAS Tigers braced the cold weather on Saturday morning to square off against the North Armidale Redbacks. George, Dan, Scarlett and Rory were met by an equally matched side of four and rose to the challenge with a sense of keen efficiency, textbook display of practice skills in action and exemplary sportsmanship; all rounded off by a hearty feed of gummy bears and oranges at half time. The Tigers went on the scoreboard early and never looked back. Congratulations to the Redbacks who played a solid match and delivered the most epic goal kicks of the season. In the end, though it was the Tigers who took the sting out of the Redbacks to cap off the season with a well-deserved win. Heads high Tigers, you worked hard this year and both your coaches and parents are proud of everything you accomplished together as a team!
Have a great holiday,
Mr Gordon Arndt
On a bleak and windy Saturday morning, the TAS Tornadoes whirled into Rologas to take on the Demon Knights Hurricanes in the battle of the Tropical Storms. Unfortunately, the Hurricanes came out of the blocks at Category 5 and were out of sight by half time, leaving the Tornadoes and their coaching staff wondering what had just occurred. The team managed to regroup and had a much better showing in the second half, managing to claw a goal back through Oliver ‘twinkle toes’ Maxwell. The boys all played well, but eventually ran out of puff and finished the game beaten, but unbowed – their heads held high. Onwards and upwards boys, Mrs Hardin and I are very proud of your efforts this season and the development you’ve shown over the last couple of months.
Mr Darren Maxwell and Mrs Tania Hardin
On Saturday morning we were greeted to a rather cold Armidale wind and there were many hockey players with purple hands-on show. TAS Under 8s were playing against United Under 8s. Unfortunately, our strategy did not go to plan against United and the far more experienced team were victorious. Going forward as a team we need to ensure that everyone contributes to the game and transfers some of the training session skills into our game plan.
We had a wonderful training session last Wednesday with the Under 11s and they helped us to work on our defending skills. There was lots of fun and laughter had by all. Hopefully, during the holidays the players will be able to spend some time in their backyards practising their skills with a tennis ball in preparation for the second half of the season.
Mrs Grania Fawcett