2021 Term 4 Week 2   |   13.10.2021

TAS Talks Term 4 Week 2

01. From the Principal

DR RACHEL HORTON

Among my fondest and clearest memories from school are those where I was involved in the performing arts. I graduated from the lead child in the Nativity play (I can still remember my single line perfectly) to Widow Corney, caretaker of the workhouse alongside Mr Bumble in the musical Oliver! years later. I am certainly not a born performer and don’t consider creativity to be one of my strengths, but the fun I had and the confidence I developed from being involved in something very much outside of my comfort zone cannot be denied.

Recently I have again, been speaking to some of our Year 12 students about the experiences they have had that they feel were special and unique to TAS. Some of the answers that come up time and time again are cadets, the strong relationships with and care of the staff and the performing arts. TAS productions certainly are second to none.

The Senior School production for 2022 has recently been announced as the absurdist play Rhinoceros. It is set to be a thought-provoking and entertaining production and I would encourage any students currently in Years 8-11 to get involved regardless of previous experience. Part of what makes TAS great is the involvement of so many students in all aspects of school life and this represents an opportunity to get involved, have some fun, build confidence, and work collaboratively with others.

On a more operational note, although a number of restrictions have been lifted this week, could I urge all families to continue to carefully consider any travel plans and to keep the School informed if any students travel to an area with high cases numbers. We will continue to do everything we are able to keep our school community safe from COVID-19 and your open communication with us enables us to do that.

 

Dr Rachel Horton
Principal

Student Leadership

Prefects and Co-curricular Induction

Pledging to lead with humilty, by example, and with the interests of all TAS students at heart, the incoming 10 Prefects and 24 Co-Curricular Captains were presented with their ties and badges at a special ceremony in Memorial Hall yesterday morning. The ceremony was livestreamed to the School, who will look to them to carry the baton of spirit and tone into 2022. The Induction Ceremony can be viewed by clicking below and a selection of photos will be posted on the school website photo gallery. Congratulations to all our leaders on their appointments and best wishes for the year ahead.

02. From the P&F

MR PAUL GADDES

P&F Meeting – This Wednesday night

The next P&F meeting is on this Wednesday 13 October from 7pm via Zoom.

Join the Zoom meeting at:

https://as-edu.zoom.us/j/2155172798?pwd=OEtKK1hiTXFxZmNQejViMHVFM2lCQT09

Meeting ID: 215 517 2798
Password: 13oct21

Dial in phone number:  +61 2 8015 6011

The proposed agenda and minutes from the last meeting can be found on the TAS Parents Portal https://www.as.edu.au/pf/

Look forward to seeing you online.

  

Christmas Puddings

The P&F Puddings are ready for purchase. Puddings can be ordered online here https://www.trybooking.com/BUEZP

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

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

 

Golf Day – Friday 22 October

Golf Day is back on, it’s next week. Golf, Lunch, Drink & Enjoy. 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.

NSW Government Public Health Orders will be in place for the golf course and clubhouse.

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

 

03. Wellbeing

A moment with Mack

A moment with Mack – Part 2 of 9 The 5 Domains and Stress

If you read my article from last week, you’ll be aware that we are on a Self-Reg journey this term. This week I’d like to briefly cover the Self-Reg Framework, we will explore this in further detail in the coming weeks, I just want to ‘plant the seed’ today.

There are two main components of the Self-Reg framework:

  1. The 5 Domains
  2. The 5 Steps

The ‘5 domains’ of Self-Reg. What this refers to is the five areas of our life that are all interconnected and have a direct impact on us and our relationships with others. They are:

  • The Biological Domain
    The basic biological considerations are sleep, nutrition and eating habits, movement and exercise, body awareness, health status or special considerations.
  • The Emotion Domain
    Emotional development is much more than a left-brain phenomenon: something that we teach or explain or that we can just promote by having a child or young person read inspirational quotes, books or films. Emotional growth has to be felt and it is an experience relating to deep inward feelings rather than intellect, it encompasses mind and body. The physical and emotional experiences are inextricably bound together.
  • The Cognitive Domain’
    Cognition’ is a very broad term and covers an amazing amount of territory in psychology. It refers to the “mental processes involved in learning: things like attention, perception, memory, and problem solving” (Shanker, 2016). In Self-Reg, we are mainly concerned with how various senses take in and process different kinds of information – internal as well as external.
  • The Social Domain
    The social domain is essentially concerned with the feeling of safety and the development of a social engagement system. Social engagement can be a stressor in itself, yet social engagement is the first line of defence for dealing with stress. The key here is to help a child to feel calm and alert (inhibiting the stress response) so they can develop the skills in reading social cues and learn to mind-read.
  • The Pro-social Domain
    This is referring to the qualities we’d all like to ensure our children have deeply embedded – things like empathy, generosity, caring, and unselfishness. No other domain is so highly charged with moral implications. The effects of impulsivity, poorly managed negative emotions, inattentiveness, and gaps in social intelligence all emerge centre stage in the pro-social domain.

The other is the 5 steps of Self-Reg. This is what we practice – we do the 5 steps, within each of the 5 domains. It will become clearer trust me! For now, just know that the 5 steps we use are:

  1. Reframe
    Reframing is basically reassessing the behaviour and in doing so, we see the child differently. We want to insert a pause and use Self-Reg to consider why we’re seeing this behaviour and why now. Typically we shift from seeing a child’s behaviour as misbehaviour to seeing it as stress behaviour.
  1. Recognise stressors
    In this step, we become ‘stress detectives’. We look with all of our senses, including our internal senses, to figure out what the possible stressors are—not just the obvious ones, but also the very subtle hidden stressors.
  1. Reduce the stressors
    We can try all kinds of things. We can try to turn our classroom or our homes into something like a day spa to produce a calming environment, but what works for one child may not work for another, and what works at one moment may not work in the next. That’s why we have to keep doing all five steps. As you’re trying to reduce, you’re trying to reframe and recognise. And keep asking, “Am I really reducing? Or am I having the opposite effect?”
  1. Reflect (developing self-awareness)
    How do we do this? Once we have turned the ‘alarm’ off (the brain/body stress response). Then we need the child to become aware of what it feels like when the alarm is on, what it feels like to turn off the alarm himself, what calm feels like. We are seeing a generation of kids who don’t yet know how to do this.
  1. Respond
    How do we help children both individually at home and in groups such as in a classroom, find common strategies to return to calm? We do it by trial and error. We want to empower students to become the agents of their own self-regulation. The most effective self-regulating practices at a classroom level and at home, are not about trying to suppress problematic behaviours, but discussing what strategies we can use to regulate each other in various situations.

In the following weeks, we will work through each domain by using the 5 steps, and this will become much clearer, I just wanted to introduce these important concepts and language. Next week, we will learn more about stress and what happens within the human brain and body when the alarm goes on.

 

Mrs Alix Goudge
Counsellor

 

04. From the Director of Co-curricular

MR HUON BARRETT

Navigating the roadmaps and restrictions during COVID-19 times is not easy and as you might be aware Schools operate under a different set of restrictions to the general population.

Currently, Schools are under Level 3 restrictions which prohibits us from being involved in organised sport. Whilst a number of sports within the community are preparing for a return to play our Level 3 restrictions do not allow us, at this stage, to engage in community sport.

It is intended that Community Sport will recommence from 25 October (for the fully vaccinated) but if Level 3 restrictions (applicable to Schools) are not lifted TAS will not be able to enter teams in the local competitions.

The Association of Independent Schools are working with the NSW Government to align School Sport with Community Sport and we are hoping that will be ratified in the coming weeks.

 

Key Dates NSW Government Roadmap for easing Covid-19 restrictions

Freedoms for fully vaccinated people 16+

Level 3 School Restrictions

These restrictions override all other roadmaps

Monday 11 October

Easing restrictions at 70% for the fully vaccinated

Exercise and recreation

  • Gyms, indoor recreation and sporting facilities reopen with density limits and up to 20 people in classes.
  • No distance limits apply for exercise or recreation.
  • Indoor swimming pools are open for lessons, training and rehab activities.
  • Community sports are not permitted.

 

Activities that are not permitted or on hold during school hours or within school grounds

• Singing, chanting, group repetition and choirs (except for HSC preparation and assessment purposes as outlined above).

• Sport (except for sport within existing PDHPE classes, provided this limits student mingling).

• Bands and ensembles.

• Interschool activities and events including interschool sport, gala days, trials, knockouts and carnivals.

• School performances, productions, concerts, speech nights and award presentations.

• Excursions, camps, field trips and principal-endorsed activities for students.

• All external providers and specialist programs not directly related to educational outcomes and support, including Community Use of School Facilities (such as markets and all after school activities) unless delivered online only.

 

 

Easing restrictions at 80% for the fully vaccinated

Exercise and recreation

  • Gyms, indoor recreation and sporting facilities are open with density limits and up to 20 people in classes.
  • No distance limits apply for exercise or recreation.
  • Indoor swimming pools are open for swimming lessons, training and rehab activities.
  • Community sports are permitted for fully vaccinated staff, spectators and participants.

 

 

All information relating to education and COVID-19 advice can be obtained from the following website. https://education.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/advice-for-families/level-3-schools#What6

Co-curricular Leaders

Congratulations to the following students who have been awarded Captains of Co-Curricular Sports and Activities. These students were recognised this week when they received their leadership badges in Assembly.

Liam Hunt Captain Athletics
Karen Baker Captain Athletics, Vice-Captain Swimming
Oliver Griffiths Captain Swimming
Ruby Straker Captain Swimming, Captain Music
Will Mackson Captain of Music
Jayden Credazzi Vice-Captain Music
Joshua Miron Vice-Captain Music, Captain Tennis
Bridget Burnett Captain Speakers
Hugo Catterall Captain Speakers, Captain Theatre & Captain Kayaking
Charlotte Brunyee Captain Basketball
Marcus Hempel Captain Basketball
Hudson Eichhorn Captain Cricket
Henry Starr Vice-Captain Cricket
Mary Flannery Captain Equestrian
Isabel Newton Captain Futsal
Lettie Kerr Vice-Captain Futsal
Samuel Boyd Captain Mountain Biking
Emily Palfreyman Captain Mountain Biking
Alex Zuber Captain Rowing
Zara Sherwood Captain Rowing
Rowan Hey Captain Shooting
Ethan Bellman Vice-Captain Shooting
Grace Pennington Captain Triathlon
Will Jackson Captain Volleyball
Sam Ball Vice-Captain Volleyball

 

Whilst I have every confidence that students will wear their badges proudly, I also reminded them that the badge represents a position of responsibility. This position requires them to serve others, be excellent role models, speak up when required, be advocates of their sport or activity and when dealing with others show care and compassion.

I look forward to seeing these students develop their leadership skills as we work towards returning to sport and activities.

 

Mr Huon Barrett
Director of Co-curricular

05. From the Creative Arts Coordinator

MR ANDREW O'CONNELL

With the 2022 TAS Production Rhinoceros announced we’re preparing for the auditions and the appointment of the student leaders to the production team. This afternoon there will be a Zoom meeting from 4 pm – 5 pm to read through parts of the script and release the audition materials – students should look to their emails today for that link. And this Friday is the deadline for student leadership applications – these are a new initiative and a way for students to play an important role in the creative vision and development process of the project. Detailed information about the production can be found here: https://www.as.edu.au/217787-2/

This week our HSC Drama and Music students will be presenting the practical components of their courses to teachers. While this is not the same experience as the visit from the external markers we still hope this will be a wonderful chance to showcase their hard work from the course and feel a sense of completion. We wish them the very best and pass those well-wishes on to the accompanists and staff supporting them.

Finally, I want to recognise the Creative Arts leaders appointed this week at Assembly: Hugo Catterall as Theatre Captain, Will Mackson and Ruby Straker as Music Captains, and Jayden Credazzi and Joshua Miron as Music Vice-Captains. They will be important ambassadors for the Arts in the school but there will be many more opportunities for students to provide leadership and support the Arts culture in the school and I encourage all to consider those opportunities when they arise.

Mr Andrew O’Connell
Creative Arts Coordinator

06. From the Head of Middle School

MR MARK HARRISON

Another week: it isn’t warm, merely confirming it’s Armidale. Echoing those sentiments of last week, however, if warmth can be measured by activity and volume then ‘things’ have a sense of spring in more ways than one: early adolescent activity, mirth and ease are back; there’s a real sense of normality about what it is we’re doing now. Buildings are no longer ‘redundant’; classes have begun in earnest; conversations are as curious as ever. And teachers? Well, despite the odd unconvincing protestation to the contrary, they appear happy, too. This is a good thing because they’re – teachers, after all.

With the exception of very few unavoidable instances, the year and class group separation we’ve implemented is working well, too. Still, mask-wearing, not unlike garter and jewellery ‘wearing’, is something we regulate regularly, and we’ll have to continue to do this – but this is an issue, not a problem. We must monitor activities and the best thing about this is we’re in the position to be able to do this. So, we continue on.

Yesterday, the whole school assembly found Middle School students in their regular English rooms. The live stream worked very well. I know this because I visited each of the classes. Our precinct is far more regularly used: most teachers visit us and this measure ensures appropriate Junior, Middle and Senior School distancing. This place pulses at times – but it’s a good pulse, a healthy one.

However, this business we’re in is a balancing act like never before. This is a challenge, but it’s an enjoyable one. You need to know that we’re keeping an eye on these young people. The last two years have presented unprecedented challenges to social interactions. As far as possible, we must initiate and encourage engagement again – some students may need encouragement to speak to and work with others in the class context as well as outside – not despite, but because of these ‘bubbles’ and because they’ve come in ‘off the back of’ reasonably extended electronic communication with others. We’re back at school and activities with others characterise ‘school’, don’t they? In a sense, we need to encourage socialisation in a forum where we’ve not had to do this in the past. Appropriate language and behaviours are still important, of course – in all social settings. It’s the ongoing encouragement of the setting that’s important now. We need to talk more to these people, encourage mutually beneficial activity and remind ourselves regularly to remind them that learning can be really fulfilling again by honing our capacities of communicating with others: listening to others; enjoying others’ company; accepting others’ opinions without necessarily agreeing with them. Planning activities, enjoying activities, enjoying others. Yes, we’re back where we should be.

I hope this one finds you well.

 

Mr Mark Harrison
Head of Middle School

07. From the Head of Junior School

MR IAN LLOYD

Welcome Back

I would like to congratulate our school community for settling so quickly back into the groove this term and while the wet weather this week has been challenging for everyone, isn’t it nice to have the sound of the rain on the rooftops.

In terms of perseverance, we all get ‘brownie points’ for dealing with the hesitancy surrounding the new COVID restrictions still thrown at us. You will notice that in the Co-Curricular section of TAS Talks Level 3 School Restrictions have been outlined and these do not necessarily align with the community-based roadmap. Yes, this adds to the uncertainty, but we are being cautious and the wellbeing of everyone on campus and beyond remains our priority.

So, along with us here at school, please be patient and be prepared to ring us if you have any questions. We will do our best to answer them.

In terms of sport at TAS, we will know more from 25 October, when the major decision-making bodies will be finalising the approach for schools. Stay tuned.

 

Junior School –  Applications process continues

I have been very pleased with the process of appointing a number of teachers to positions in the Junior School for next year. As you know, we will be expanding Kindergarten, Year 3 and Year 5 to two classes and the number and quality of applicants has been outstanding. We expect this process to be completed soon and then be in a position to allocate the Junior School staffing for 2022. I look forward to sharing this exciting news with you all.

 

Happy Birthday

We wish Elijah Ng a very happy birthday as the only Junior School student celebrating a birthday this week.

 

 

Mr Ian Lloyd
Head of Junior School

Week 2
Friday 15 October Transition 2022 interviews
Week 4
Thursday 28 October Safe on Social Parent sessions (times tbc)

Junior School Sport

Navigating the roadmaps and restrictions during COVID-19 times is not easy and as you might be aware Schools operate under a different set of restrictions to the general population.

Currently, Schools are under Level 3 restrictions which prohibits us from being involved in organised sport. Whilst a number of sports within the community are preparing for a return to play our Level 3 restrictions do not allow us, at this stage, to engage in community sport.

It is intended that Community Sport will recommence from 25 October (for the fully vaccinated) but if Level 3 restrictions (applicable to Schools) are not lifted TAS will not be able to enter teams in the local competitions.

The Association of Independent Schools are working with the NSW Government to align School Sport with Community Sport and we are hoping that will be ratified in the coming weeks.

 

Key Dates NSW Government Roadmap for easing Covid-19 restrictions

Freedoms for fully vaccinated people 16+

Level 3 School Restrictions

These restrictions override all other roadmaps

Monday 11 October

Easing restrictions at 70% for the fully vaccinated

Exercise and recreation

  • Gyms, indoor recreation and sporting facilities reopen with density limits and up to 20 people in classes.
  • No distance limits apply for exercise or recreation.
  • Indoor swimming pools are open for lessons, training and rehab activities.
  • Community sports are not permitted.

 

Activities that are not permitted or on hold during school hours or within school grounds

• Singing, chanting, group repetition and choirs (except for HSC preparation and assessment purposes as outlined above).

• Sport (except for sport within existing PDHPE classes, provided this limits student mingling).

• Bands and ensembles.

• Interschool activities and events including interschool sport, gala days, trials, knockouts and carnivals.

• School performances, productions, concerts, speech nights and award presentations.

• Excursions, camps, field trips and principal-endorsed activities for students.

• All external providers and specialist programs not directly related to educational outcomes and support, including Community Use of School Facilities

(such as markets and all after school activities) unless delivered online only.

 

 

Easing restrictions at 80% for the fully vaccinated

Exercise and recreation

  • Gyms, indoor recreation and sporting facilities are open with density limits and up to 20 people in classes.
  • No distance limits apply for exercise or recreation.
  • Indoor swimming pools are open for swimming lessons, training and rehab activities.
  • Community sports are permitted for fully vaccinated staff, spectators and participants.

 

 

Community Notices