DR RACHEL HORTON
Over the holidays I took some time to read and to catch up on a long list of podcasts and documentaries. A recurring theme in many of these which gave me cause to reflect was the destructive nature of the pursuit of perfection. We can all probably recall being told that practice makes perfect or something similar when we were younger. However perfection is usually unachievable and the desire to ‘be perfect’ can actually be a barrier to growth, trying something new or just having a go.
My regular message to students is that I hope to see them giving their best effort in everything they undertake, academic studies, co-curricular activities and challenges. This doesn’t mean that I expect them all to be A students, elite athletes or champion debaters. I agree with Mr Pearson who last week told the students that he had never had a conversation with a student about failing to achieve an A, but he had plenty of conversations about not engaging in class or putting effort into their work. It is the pursuit of excellence, application of effort and continual improvement that is truly important.
Our interactions with young people are so formative and it is often easy to forget or overlook their impact. In a world where ‘comparison culture’ is everywhere (and enforced by social media), unattainable standards can be perceived as the norm. ‘Perfection’ is often based more on external perceptions than internal motivations and it is, therefore, an evasive and unworthy goal. It is important that we help our students to set their own goals and challenges rather than internalising and trying to live up to the expectations of others.
While we will continue to celebrate outstanding achievements at TAS, we also celebrate effort and improvement in every aspect of school life. It is my sincere hope that our students find fulfilment and happiness in doing their best in all that they take on, no matter what the outcome is.
Dr Rachel Horton
MR RAY PEARSON
In my short time at The Armidale School, I have been amazed by the talent displayed by the student body. Yesterday during the Middle School Leaders induction assembly, I was in awe of Year 7 Peter Thompson’s cello performance of Svante Henryson’s ‘Black Run’. On Saturday before School resumed, I was lucky enough to head up to Malpas Dam to observe our rowing crews train. It was a privilege to watch the impact Zara Sherwood had on the consistency and stroke of all in the coxed four through her experience and indeed, talent. These two examples are of course more than just talent, they are the product of hard work and dedication. It truly is a pleasure to celebrate the performances of those who achieve in their areas of passion.
I believe that great performances are not few and far between but require close observation. The performances that often go unnoticed are the vast majority of students who complete tasks that ‘don’t require talent’ to a high standard. For the students who wear their uniform correctly, arrive on time and always try their best; they make a significant contribution to the school and indeed the experience of others. While these actions may not require talent, they do require thought, care, and purpose. As a new member of the community, it is these performances that illustrate who has pride in the School and who are setting the foundation for their own personal greatness. For me, when we get this right it is truly the difference between good schools and great schools.
Many of you would have seen US Navy Admiral William H Raven’s 2014 University of Texas Graduation Speech (better known as the ‘Make Your Bed’ speech) where he highlights this point. As Admiral McRaven stated: “The little things matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you will never be able to do the big things right.”
I am confident that every student at TAS possesses a talent either hidden or on display for us all to appreciate and look forward to observing the breadth of these as we progress through the year. In the meantime, I look closely at those who perform tasks not requiring talent as being the key contributors to the positive culture at TAS. Those who get the little things right will be able to focus their efforts on the big things.
Mr Ray Pearson
|Wednesday 9 February||P&F Meeting (7pm)|
|Friday 11 February||COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic|
|Tuesday 15 February||MS/SS Swimming Events|
|Thursday 17 February||MS Parent Information & BBQ|
|JS Swimming Championships|
|Friday 18 February||MS/SS Swimming Championships (Year 12 parents only)|
|Saturday 19 February||Cadet Leaders Theory Course|
|Sunday 20 February||Cadet Leaders Theory Course|
|Monday 21 February||Scholarship and Open Day|
|Junior School at Lake Keepit – All Week|
|Cadet Leaders Theory Course|
MR PAUL GADDES
The first P&F meeting of the year is on this week. We will meet face to face in Upper Maxwell as well as have a Zoom session running for those wishing to attend remotely. COVID rules will apply on campus and Zoom session details are enclosed. All are welcome with the added bonus of snacks and drinks for those able to attend in person.
We have several Facebook pages providing useful information on upcoming activities as well as a place to stay in touch – we strongly recommend you join the main P&F page as well as your Year Group pages:
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 DAVID DRAIN
With the annual Coast Weekend postponed, last weekend saw our boarders involved in activities on-site with much fun had by all. The Slip and Slide organised by Croft House, the Inflatable in the TAS Pool, Dodgeball on Dangarfield, Inter-House Touch Football on Adamsfield and Saturday evening House dinners were all a huge success and enjoyed by both boarders and staff. I thank all boarding staff, particularly the Heads of House, for their coordination of these activities and involvement throughout the weekend.
I hope to have the 2022 Coast Weekend dates confirmed by next week.
Mr David Drain
Director of Boarding
Unfortunately, White House wasn’t able to venture to Coffs Harbour for coast weekend, for now; however, a great deal of fun, re-connection, and building of new relationships were had by all.
With great help from our dedicated boarding staff, the boys were lucky enough to utilise the wonderful facilities which TAS has to offer. There was no holding back when boys immersed themselves in team games, mountain biking, TAS sport, and water activities. To top it off, Pizza and BBQ night was a true success with many boys walking away with full stomachs.
The boys should be congratulated on how they approached their first weekend away from home since arriving to TAS for the school year. There was a positive vibe in the air and a sense of belonging within the White House community.
A great start to 2022!
Mr Jamie Brauer
Head of White House
Summer sport is well underway, and I am pleased to see some significant improvement in uniform and attendance. Please ensure that your son and/or daughter has the correct sports uniform each session and if they are unable to attend a training session or game, please remind them of the importance to communicate with their coach, prior to the commencement of the session.
Please find the Summer Sports Training Schedule for Term 1 2022.Summer Sport
In light of the need to help reduce the risk and spread of COVID, we have made the decision to split the Swimming Championship on Friday 18 February.
As per the information below, MS and SS will have separate carnivals. Year 9 students irrespective of their age will swim in the SS Championships. Students who are underage will have their time entered into their correct age group and count towards the age and division champions. In addition, all presentations will be made at Assembly not at the Championship.
Tuesday 15 February night events 5.45 Warm-up 6.00pm-8.00pm (Participants Only)
Thursday 17 February night events 5.45pm Warm-up 6.00pm-8.30pm (Participants Only)
100m Freestyle Age Group
Friday 18 February – ONLY Year 12 Parents are invited to attend the SS Swimming Championship 12.30-3.30pm.
We respectfully request that you spectate on the JS side of the pool.
MS Swimming Championships Warm-up and Roll Call 8.30am first event 8.45am conclude 11.30am
MS Inter-House Games 12.30pm-3.30pm (Sports Uniform with House Shirt)
SS Inter-House Games 8.45am Roll Call -11.30am (Sports Uniform with House Shirt)
SS Swimming Championship Warm-up and Roll Call 12.15pm first event 12.30pm conclude 3.30pm
Please find the modified Swimming Championship program.Swim Program
Starts will be ‘over the top’. ie the swimmer in the pool at the end of the previous race remains in the water (and holds onto the lane rope) until the next race has begun whereupon the swimmer immediately exits.
There are a huge number of heats to get through so no false starts are allowed. If you ‘false start’ you will still be allowed to swim for a ‘time’ but will not gain any points for your House or age championships in that event.
Dress will be House polo shirts and blue shorts. Day students may travel to and from TAS in the above clothing (plus shoes). All competitors must swim in TAS swimmers or navy/black race swimmers.
All competitors will wear a House swim cap. These will be provided to all students to keep. This will make it much easier for spectators to identify which house each competitor is in.
Because of the chlorine in the pool water, competitors are strongly advised to wear goggles.
You may not colour your hair, nor write on your body with a texta pen. Except for water, no food or drink may be consumed in the pool area. Students may not leave the Sports Centre area without permission from their respective Heads of House.
Times swum in these Championships will be used to determine which students will be selected in TAS teams to compete at NCIS carnival.
Mr Huon Barrett
Director of Co-curricular
On Monday evening the TAS Mountain Biking Team took to the track to compete in the first race of the New England Mountain Bikers Summer Series. The race was held on a shortened version of the SportUNE Mountain Bike Trails, with riders aiming to complete as many laps as possible in the 35 minute time frame. With 45 students in attendance, they looked great in their new jerseys! Once the race started, everyone rode exceptionally well, with some very impressive results which can be found here https://my.raceresult.
In other news, congratulations to Toby Inglis who raced at Nerang on the Gold Coast in an XCO Mountain Bike National Cup Round in the holidays. He placed 2nd in the U17s Men’s division, preparing him well for the upcoming National Mountain Bike Championships in Moderna, Tasmania later this month.
Mrs Jo Benham
MIC Mountain Biking
Despite rain, a slight chill and the taint of COVID, the TAS Triathlon team attacked Round 1 of the Armidale Triathlon Series for 2022. With the bike leg being cancelled, the event turned into a Run/Swim/Run, students choosing between 400/100/1000 or 1000/200/2000. A squad of 26 braved the conditions to set some awesome times and for many, in their first experience of multi-sport.
Ryder Alberton and Ellie Cullen hammered the short course, winning their respective divisions, with Mila Downes, Felicity Barton and the dynamic duo of Tilly Rogers and Maddie Buntine not far behind. In the longer distance, Harrison Miller continued to display his strength, first across the line with Emily Ussher, Ashlee Morgan and Halina Saunders leading the way in the ladies section. It was great to see our Year 12s, Grace Pennington and Temicka Segrave, striding out on the run. My thanks to all who attended, setting a wonderful standard for the term.
Mr James Pennington
The TAS Hockey Club will be holding its AGM on Wednesday 16 February at the
Wicklow Hotel, starting at 6pm.
All positions on the board will be available and we would love as many of our
supporters to attend the meeting.
Preparations for the 2022 season need to commence as the senior men’s and
women’s competition is due to commence 19/20 March.
Look forward to seeing you all.
Mrs Tania Ball Ms Ingrid Steddy
MICs TAS Hockey
MR ANDREW O'CONNELL
It’s a new year and we’re being cautiously optimistic in the Creative Arts, with eased restrictions allowing students to return to doing what they love in the classroom and the co-curricular program: we’ve had some Music items return to assembly and our ensembles and bands are starting to meet once more; Rhinoceros, Theatresports, and the Technical Production Team are already getting busy; new artworks will soon fill the foyer after work from Term 4 2021 gets a final showing. And before the end of the term, we hope we’ll have public performances to start showcasing the talents and hard work of our students.
Rhinoceros is underway, with our first rehearsal last weekend and a busy schedule ahead of us. With performances moved back to early Term 2 we have some breathing space and feel much more confident about the preparation of the show. There are plenty of opportunities for students to volunteer to assist with the show, as announced by Mr Pennington, so please contact him to sign up for those Service opportunities.
Ms Roobol, Mr Collett and Miss Low are excited to have the co-curricular Music program fully on its feet by next week. Contact them to get involved (if they don’t chase you down first) and make sure you’re welcoming the peripatetic teachers back to campus after their time away.
Mr Wheatley will be sending out emails about Theatresports at TAS – for those who are unfamiliar, it involves fun improvised acting games with wacky rules that teams play and compete with one another. We’re hopeful we’ll be able to host a Theatresports carnival at TAS later in the term, and we’ll be selecting our teams firstly from the Theatresports Club. Make sure you touch base with him to be involved in this fun opportunity.
We have a number of ideas for revitalising the Arts this year and we’re so keen to have parents and friends back on campus to celebrate the amazing school culture. So watch this space!
Mr Andrew O’Connell
Head of Creative Arts
MR LUKE POLSON
In our first assembly of the year yesterday, I spoke about the positive and mature start that I have seen across our Middle School students since the return of school. We are certainly back into things travelling full steam ahead. If the past week has been anything to go by, the stage has certainly been set for a wonderful year ahead. A year that, will no doubt have its challenges, but one which I am sure is full of opportunity for all of our students. I have been impressed by the way the students have settled back in and handled themselves with maturity and cooperation. Above all, what impresses me, is the overwhelmingly positive nature of our students. Positivity is such a powerful thing. Positive people, together can achieve great things. I spoke at Assembly about the start of the year being harder for some students than others. Some may be settling into a new boarding house; away from home for the first time. Others, may be in a different class with a new group of students. I encourage all of our students to take risks, to put themselves out there – try something new, introduce yourself to someone new. Have courage to go beyond your comfort zone and be accepting that, mistakes are a key learning ground. The world is made up of people who have all sorts of different strengths and that is what makes the world, and our School, such as an interesting place. Sometimes we don’t succeed the first time, and that is OK. We can’t appreciate our successes without failure. Failure makes the successes more meaningful, it’s what strives us to do better next term and push that bit harder.
Please ensure that students are completing their twice-weekly COVID-19 RAHT surveillance testing. This occurs on a Monday and Wednesday morning before students attend school. RAHTs for the following week will be distributed on a Friday. If your child doesn’t have a RAHT to complete, please let us know and we can arrange one to be completed at school. A reminder please that if your child returns a positive test result, or is currently isolating due to a household contact testing positive, please ensure you email me directly – [email protected]
In Assembly yesterday, it was my pleasure to formally induct our 2022 Student Leaders and announce them to the students across both Middle and Senior Schools. The leadership model in Middle School at TAS, correlates with the ideas and purpose of the IB Middle Years Programme that is at the heart of what we do in the Middle School, both in classrooms and beyond. Students nominated for these positions at the end of 2021, and these leadership positions were voted by their peers. With Middle School staff guidance, the goal for these leaders is to work together managing Middle School initiatives, driving Middle School events and leading by example as role models for the younger student population. I am looking forward to working alongside this group of students and I congratulate them on their appointments.
Mr Luke Polson
Head of Middle School
MR IAN LLOYD
Settling into a good routine takes time, for some a little longer than others. But I am very pleased as I walk around Junior School to see how settled our students are. I am hoping this is reflected at home…(it certainly appears to be given the lack of inquiries we are fielding at the moment.) Having said that, it is busy. To keep abreast of all the events and activities, please read TAS Talks carefully, keep your eye on the TAS calendar and pick up the phone if you need assistance!?
Yesterday, we held the first of our Parents Information evenings and they were very well attended. They provide a great opportunity to exchange information and they are very beneficial for all concerned. Please stay in touch with your teachers and let us know how the year is unfolding for you. The times are:
Preparations are now well in place for the election of our Year 5 House Leaders this afternoon. Our leadership program, along with that throughout the rest of the school is under review. Along with our SRC, it is something we feel we could be doing more consistently and with greater efficacy. As an important element of our IB PYP program, student agency has become a key focus and I am hopeful that this will create renewed interest and vigour to what we do and the aspirations of our students. Stay tuned.
We feel that arrivals and departures from the turning circle are working well. Clearly, some days are better than others and wet weather tests everyone’s patience. If you have feedback for us, please let us know. In the meantime, please follow the signage and ensure that traffic flows carefully and with real caution. Reflections on the windscreen often creates difficulties for staff so please keep your FAMILY NAME attached to the passenger sun visor for easy car identification as it can be easily seen and read from a distance. Your support assists us all to keep the system operating smoothly.
General Consent forms were emailed out to all parents this week. If you did not receive one, please contact us to ensure your email details are correctly recorded. This consent for local excursions eliminates the paperwork required for minor excursions that occur in each class from time to time. All major excursions (Lake Keepit, da Vinci Decathlon in Sydney, Representative sport, etc) will be notified using a specific excursion form and information letter.
Parents of students from Year 2 to 5 have now received letters about the upcoming excursion to Lake Keepit. Important information is included, especially the need to register your child through the Sport & Rec website and completing the appropriate consent forms for the school. Please complete this as soon as possible and if necessary contact the school for assistance. The link for doing so will only be available until Friday 11 February. You will also have recently received the school’s digital consent form via email. Please ensure this too is completed as soon as possible.
Another quick reminder, that the daily supervision in Junior School begins at 8.10 am. If children are arriving earlier for clubs or other teacher-supervised activities, they must remain there with the teacher at all times.
And after school, it is important that students do not wander unsupervised, while they wait for other activities (sport, late collection etc) and we will request that the After School Club service is used to minimise the risks.
Many happy returns to Harry Kauffmann, Sabine Kiehne, Poppy O’Brien, Pearl Redwood, Anna Trevaskis and Maggie Wood for their birthdays this week.
Mr Ian Lloyd
Head of Junior School
|Thursday 10 February||Year 1, Year 3 & Year 5 Parent Information sessions (6pm)|
|Monday 14 February||Year 3 Excursion to Thalgarrah|
|Wednesday 16 February||Year 5 Assembly – 2.45 Memorial Hall (Livestreamed for parents)|
|Thursday 17 February||Junior School Swimming Carnival (Staff and Students only)|
|Monday 21 February||Year 5 to Lake Keepit|
|Tuesday 22 February||Year 4 to Lake Keepit|
|Wednesday 23 February||Year 3 to Lake Keepit|
|Wednesday 2 March||Year 3 Assembly – 2.45 Memorial Hall (Livestreamed for parents)|
|Wednesday 9 March||Year 2 Assembly – 2.45 Memorial Hall (Livestreamed for parents)
Life Education Van (Livestreamed for students)
|Thursday 10 March||Life Education Van (Livestreamed for students)|
What a great start to our Term 1 Summer sports program. It was wonderful to see many children enjoying their chosen sport on Monday afternoon. Please keep an eye out for emails from your child’s coach in relation to games commencing next week.
Just a reminder that children attending Gymnastics at the Armidale Gymnastics Centre won’t return to TAS until 5pm. Alternatively, you can email one of the teachers below to indicate if you would prefer to pick your child up from the Gymnastics Centre at 4:45pm
All children will bring home a swimming nomination form this week. Children may nominate in as many events as they wish to, however, if your child can swim 50m they must enter the 50m event only (not the 25m and the 50 event).
The 25m events are organised for those who cannot swim 50m.
Please return all swimming nomination forms to your class teacher by Friday 11 February. More information about our Junior School Swimming carnival will be in next week’s TAS talks.
Mrs Christine Wright
Junior School Sports Coordinator
With the busyness of back-to-school last week, I didn’t get an opportunity to report on the Junior School Basketball Camp that was held at TAS over the break. We had 21 students from years 2-4 learn new skills over 2 full days and concluded with pizzas and a movie.
The importance of this event was highlighted by the dedication of the coaches, with Mr Arndt coming back from Wollongong, and Nick O’Neil (Basketball Captain 2021) returning early from ‘Schoolies’ to help out.
The excitement of the basketball camp has continued in 2022, with a large increase in uptake in the Junior School.
Training started last week, with games at The Den likely starting next week.
There will be an email to the basketball families once we confirm Monday competition start dates, and the registration process.
Mr Ken Secker