DR RACHEL HORTON
My congratulations to all those students who took part in the swimming carnivals last week. The competition across the two days was fierce, races were exciting, and records were broken, but most importantly the level of support for all swimmers, fast or slow, was incredibly high. It was also fantastic to see so many parents taking the time to join us over the two days and the evening of War Cries. While Junior School results have already been announced (congratulations Ross House!) and War Cries was a close-run affair with Abbott House victorious in the end, Middle and Senior School results and records broken will be announced next week in Assembly.
Our students are engaged in a wide range of activities, and we celebrate their achievements in all of them. As a school, teaching and learning are at the forefront of what we do. Academics are our core purpose and this week we celebrated those students in Year 12 who have demonstrated effort and endeavour in their academic studies, beyond the minimum expectations of classroom engagement and homework.
Everything in life that is worth something takes effort and perseverance; these are the foundations that underpin individual success. The students we congratulated this week should be commended on their determination and their commitment to doing the extras. No doubt they will be rewarded with results that represent their personal best, whatever that may be, later this year.
Can I remind parents that vehicle access to the TAS campus through Gate 2, next to the Medical Centre is not permitted during the school day. While we are waiting for the delivery of a part for the boom gate, the barrier is remaining open to allow staff access. Parents, however, should continue to use the usual drop-off locations for their children. There has been increased traffic in this area recently, resulting in increased concerns for the safety of our students crossing between the Middle School and the main campus.
We were thrilled to welcome more than 250 adults and children from as far as southern Queensland, the North Coast and Sydney as well as our New England North West heartland to our biggest ever Scholarship & Open Day on Monday. A record number of students sat the Scholarship Exam, while presentations from Senior Staff were followed by the opportunity to ask questions in more personalised detail and have tours of the School and Trade Training Centre campuses. We thank very much all those who attended to learn more about TAS.
Dr Rachel Horton
MR RAY PEARSON
This week I would like to acknowledge the work of our student leadership groups; specifically our School Prefects and the Student Representative Council (SRC). Our Prefects have represented themselves and the School with distinction this year, setting high standards for themselves and others as they seek to make an impact in 2023 and provide all students with a voice.
Our SRC is now complete with our Junior School Captains being announced last week resulting in all areas of the School now being represented. The SRC has meetings chaired by our Senior Prefects each Monday lunch and the group has already shown great enthusiasm for what can be achieved this year. Meetings include year-level reports, discussions on maintenance and student recognition and it provides a forum for students to raise ideas and initiatives passed on by their peers.
Kicking off with another highly successful Valentine’s Day fundraiser run by the Prefects, the student leaders have now collectively turned their attention to the key focus for the 2023 ‘Blue Tree Project’. The Prefects and SRC have collectively adopted a position that in 2023, they want to authentically raise Awareness rather than raising money. This will involve establishing a themed ‘Blue Week’ at TAS in Week 8 of this term which will include a pastoral care program for Advisors Groups to work through, a special guest speaker in Assembly, wearing blue armbands for sporting fixtures, a blue-themed Mufti Day and unveiling our very own Blue Tree on campus. Bella Henderson kicked the Blue Week idea off at yesterday’s assembly with a wonderful speech on the power of this service initiative
What is truly special is that all these ideas are student owned and will be coordinated by the students. I couldn’t be more impressed with these exceptional role models and I applaud them for their tireless efforts to make the student experience at TAS one that is both meaningful and positive.
Mr Ray Pearson
|Thursday 23 February||NCIS Primary Swimming (Alstonville)|
|Friday 24 February||PLC/Kings/RNSW Regatta|
|Monday 27 February||Junior School to Lake Keepit|
|Tuesday 28 February||OAU Committee Meeting|
|Wednesday 1 March||Debating – Federation Cup (Tamworth)|
|Saturday 4 March||ADMS Auditions – Music Basement
Sydney Rowing Club Regatta
|Sunday 5 March||Clean up Australia Day|
MR PAUL GADDES
A huge thank you to those that volunteered at the P&F Kiosk during the swimming carnivals last week. We couldn’t have done it without you.
As with all profits raised during the year from P&F activity, these will be used to fund projects that benefit students at the school.
P&F uses Email and Facebook Groups as our formal channels of communication. We do not recommend the use of other social or chat platforms as they are often not inclusive enough to capture all parents and caregivers.
We have several Facebook pages providing useful information about upcoming activity 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
MRS GILL DOWNES
This week, many of our students have been completing a series of low-stakes tests in the areas of maths, reading and spelling. As mentioned in last week’s TAS Talks, these Progressive Achievement Tests (PAT) offer us a snapshot view into some of the key learning skills required in the areas of numeracy and literacy. It is important to remember that these tests offer only one small insight into a person’s learning, however, as ongoing evaluative tools, they can be useful when looking at how best to support our students to make progress across their academic program.
Another diagnostic tool that will be administered later this term for Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 is NAPLAN, a series of nationwide, externally written and assessed literacy and numeracy tests. NAPLAN will be run from March 15 to March 27 this year; the tests fall in Weeks 7 and 8 of Term 1. A letter regarding NAPLAN and further details about the tests can be found in my letter attached to this edition of TAS Talks.
Hopefully, you have had a chance to do some reading this month; you may have even had time to take part in the February Short Story Challenge. I look forward to speaking to staff, students, and families to hear what you have been reading as we move into the final week of the month.
My reading pick of the week? The short story, ‘Dip in the Pool’, by Roald Dahl. It can be found online and has a great twist at the end.
Mrs Gill Downes
Director of Teaching and Learning
Forty-six Year 11 Biology students went on an excursion to Thalgarrah Environmental Education Centre last week for fieldwork to answer the inquiry question, ‘What effect can one species have on the other species in a community?’ Students investigated a variety of different hypotheses relating to the abundance of eucalypt species in the Woodland Forest, the relationship between eucalypt height and diameter, and the effect mature eucalypts have on soil moisture and sunlight of the woodland forest floor. They learned a range of new skills while honing in on their data collection and analysis and even got to handle one of the local resident diamond pythons.
Big thanks to Ms Gen Chick, Mr Ben MacDougall and our lab technician, Gordon McLennan for organising and accompanying the students. Photos by Mr McLennan can be found on the school website gallery.
Mr David Moffitt
Head of Science
MR DAVID DRAIN
The annual War Cries evening is always a good indicator of school and house spirit, particularly among the boarders, and this year’s event didn’t disappoint with all houses putting in polished performances. Congratulations to all houses, particularly Abbott House who were the deserving winners on the night. I mentioned at the Boarders’ Formal Dinner last Wednesday evening that a 1, 2, 3 finish from the boarding houses is always the desired outcome and they didn’t disappoint. All house leaders deserve special mention for the way they rallied the boarders in and around their busy school and co-curricular commitments.
The Swimming Carnival is a great opportunity for students, family and friends to come together in a competitive yet social setting and highlights the unique camaraderie of the TAS students. I enjoyed talking to a number of parents throughout the day who all enjoyed the occasion. The sportsmanship of all students was a highlight and credit must go to the house leaders who ensured the support from the grandstand was always positive. It was pleasing to see the mass participation, synonymous with Abbott, Croft, and Tyrrell Houses, continue this year.
With the War Cries and the Swimming Carnival now over, it is back to normal evening routines over the coming weeks. Evening prep for Middle School is 6.00 pm – 7.00 pm and Senior School 6.45 pm – 8.30 pm Monday to Thursday with an additional hour across all houses on a Sunday evening. While phones are handed in by our Years 6 – 10 boarders during this time, can I ask all parents and carers to avoid calling their son or daughter during evening prep times as it is vital that this time is used as productively as possible. Allocated time is given to all boarders to call family and friends once evening prep has finished.
It’s pleasing to see many boarders utilising the wonderful facilities we have here at TAS over a weekend. The pool is open and supervised by a trained staff member with the inflatable being used on a Sunday afternoon. On my walks around the campus at a weekend I am impressed by how many boarders are riding bikes or involved in informal games of tennis, basketball, touch football and cricket. Great friendships are forged amongst the boarders during these times of the weekend. Please be aware that all house staff are monitoring technology use, particularly at a weekend, and encouraging all boarders to balance their academic, sporting, and social commitments.
The recently advertised Boarding Recreation Officer Role will be filled shortly which will bring additional structure to weekend activities. All going to plan, there will be several Weekend Activities organised from Week 6 Term 1 and a Term 2 Weekend Activity Program published during the upcoming school holidays.
The Boarders Formal Dinner, last Wednesday evening, was another enjoyable occasion. All boarders wore their formal uniforms with pride and were commended on the evening for their behaviour. Our senior Prefect, Fred Kearney, delivered a heartfelt speech that was well received by all and the Year 12s from the Girls Boarding House and Croft House worked tirelessly throughout the evening as Servers.
Mr David Drain
Director of Boarding
MR A J WHALLEY
Is 13 too young to have TikTok or an Instagram account? Some medical experts think so.
MR HUON BARRETT
You only have to witness the TAS MS/SS Swimming Carnival to realise that our students relish the opportunity to be involved in this event. Thursday night saw the opening events, the 100m F/S, Open Medley Relay and the inspiring War Cries Competition. For me the highlight on Thursday night was when the Houses stood united as a school and belted out ‘Shoulder to Shoulder’, led by our Year 12 students. Friday’s events again emphasised the energy and extraordinarily high level of participation from our student body. I commend students for their involvement and thank the staff for their commitment to ensuring another vibrant and hugely successful Swimming Championship.
The Champion House and Age Champions will be announced in next week’s assembly and published in the Week 5 TAS Talks.
Additional photos of the Carnival can be found on the school website.
Congratulations to our Wiburd Shield Cricket Team who won their third-round match in the state-wide competition against Hunter Valley Grammar School. They will play Riverina Anglican College in the Semi-Final next week.
Winter Sport Choices will take place at the beginning of next week. I encourage parents and students to consider the range of activities on offer. Students, at this stage, will only be able to nominate ONE sport due to the training and game commitments.
PLEASE click on this link to access the Winter Co-Curricular Information.
Mr Huon Barrett
Director of Co-curricular
On 9 February, we departed from, Q-store at 5:30 am for the NCIS Tennis championships at Grafton City Tennis Club. In the wise words of Bernard Tomic, “We were ready, willing and able to play in Australia”, this perfectly summed up the ambience and predisposition of our avid group who while eager, played the gentleman’s game with steadfast persistence and respect for the opposition.
Archie McMaster lived up to his namesake, truly transforming into a “master” on the court. His serve, prolific in its power did not discriminate against the opposition he made sure to equally beat all the opponents in his pool leaving no stone unturned. The fruits of his hard-wrought labour landed him a well-deserved position in the final, where he narrowly missed out on a first place. Regardless, he held his high and achieved the title of 3rd place at the NCIS Competition, garnering yet another medal to his name. Best of luck to Archie if he chooses to compete in Sydney.
Special commendation must go to Sophie Rogers who played with immense class, narrowly missing out on representatives by 5 sets.
Our youngest member only in Year 8, Dominic ‘Theim’ Nguyen while punching above his weight class, did not let a pessimistic mindset stop him from playing his best tennis. In my humble opinion, Dom is a promising future for TAS tennis.
Tyler ‘The Creator’ Nguyen utilised his racquet as if it were a new magic wand, materialising gameplay out of thin air. With the hot wind blowing, it off-centred some of his shots making it difficult for his spin serves to land precisely. Nevertheless, he dispatched every stray ball like an utter juggernaut. His effortless bounds reverberated around the court like a seismic earthquake, an honourable mention must go to Tyler who narrowly missed out on qualifying in his pool’s final.
On behalf of the team, immense gratitude must be given to Mr Latham, who took the time out of his schedule to drive us there and back smoothly and even stick around to catch a couple of games.
As well as the mastermind behind the Grafton City Tennis Club NCIS competition, Mr Christian Nexo who took a break from being a D&T teacher, to organise our placement, acquire delicious food to sustain us and manage the team on a consistent basis. Thank you sincerely, sir.
The great Nick Kygrios surmised our day best when he said, “I’m Nick Kyrgios and I just go out there and play and have fun and if I win, I win and if I lose, I lose. Life’s good.”
Martin Shankland (Year 11)
MR ANDREW O'CONNELL
Over the weekend NECOM launched their new handcrafted Shigeru Kawai SK-7 piano, with current student Emily Thompson and 2022 graduate Will Mackson performing at the showcase. At that event, the 2023 Marian Barford Awards were announced, with both Abi Thompson (Year 11) and Emily Thompson (Year 12) taking out the honours, an award that will support them with their music studies. This is a wonderful recognition of these students so early in the year and so very well-deserved. We’re always looking to celebrate student achievement and we encourage students and parents to reach out about individual accomplishments so we can share them with the TAS community.
The Armidale Eisteddfod entries are now open ahead of the event in Term 2. There’ll be plenty of information coming from me, Mrs Edmonds and the Music staff – if you are interested in participating in either Music or Speech & Drama please contact us for more information.
Mr Andrew O’Connell
Head of Creative Arts
MR LUKE POLSON
It was fabulous to see the sense of house spirit and encouragement on offer at the Swimming Carnival and War Cries events held last week. Opportunities such as these are what make our community, and school, a special place to be. Whilst only one house will win the war cries and one student will win the race, I was very impressed with the level of engagement from all our students for simply “giving it a go”. We talk a lot here about effort over the outcome; working hard and trying your best in everything regardless of the reward at the end.
My thanks to all the parents and families who attended the Middle School information and welcome evening last Thursday. It was wonderful to be able to host you all for the presentation and some welcome finger food after. I hope that many of you had the opportunity to speak to your child’s Advisor and meet them in person. I know from speaking to lots of our boarding students that this weekend was a highlight for them as they had a break from the regular school routine to have the weekend with you. Below is a link to a PDF copy of the slides presented for your reference.
Middle School Slides
Mr Luke Polson
Head of Middle School
The MYP Community Project is one of the most rewarding major works Year 8 students will engage with. Students work individually or in small groups, research a ‘need’ within their community and then act on that need to develop a solution. The length of time that students engage in this project is worthy of a mention, with all Year 8 students having started these discussions already and the project culminating in Term 4.
Mr Arndt is the Community Project supervisor working closely with Year 8, guiding them through this process. It takes considerable effort to manage the need identification, research solutions and prepare for final reports and exhibition materials. With the support of Mr Anrdt, the community project results in students who are better prepared for the rigors of later academic demands. Students have one lesson timetabled per fortnight to work on their projects, and have all started this process.
Over the past few years we have had a range of action and service from the Year 8 Community Project. These have included things such as; raising money for childhood cancer, creating a gluten free cookbook, raising awareness of mental health, umpiring in the local sporting competitions, coaching a Junior School sports team, along with many others. If you are a parent/carer of a Year 8 student, I encourage you to start asking your son/daughter questions about this project and help keep them engaged.
MYP Learner Profile Award Winners
Mrs Rachel Piddington
MR SCOTT CHITTENDEN
The Junior School Swimming Carnival, held last Thursday, was a wonderful community event that truly demonstrated the House and School spirit of the student body. While the events were closely contested, it was the level of support shown by students to other members of their House, and oftentimes other House groups, that stood out at the most memorable part of the carnival. Congratulations to all who competed, and thank you to those families and friends who were able to spend some time on the pool deck in support.
TAS really is an incredibly busy school, with the conclusion of one large event heralding the commencement of the next a short time later. Students in Years 2 to 5 next week will spend varying amounts of time on the Lake Keepit Outdoor Education program, where they will participate in a wide range of activities such as sailing, stand-up paddle boarding and archery to name just a few. These activities not only satisfy many of the NESA outcomes for Personal Growth and Development, but also address many of the principles of the International Baccalaureate and Round Square IDEALS that are reinforced here at TAS. The program has been shown to provide students with an excellent chance to embrace challenge and adventure, while exploring their own capacities in many areas. Programs of this nature also provide an ideal opportunity for students to form new and strengthen existing friendships. We look forward to sharing student reflections in the next edition of TAS Talks.
Thank you to all families for supporting our Uniform Policy so effectively. It has been tremendous to see the number of students without a hat (and therefore unable to play) dwindling over the last week.
We appreciate that changing uniforms before and after PE classes can prove challenging, particularly for our younger students. Doing so has proven to take up a significant proportion of class and break time. As such, Junior School students will be permitted to attend School in sports uniform when they have either PE lessons or sports training on at any point throughout the day. Please note only the School polo shirt (i.e. not the coloured House shirt) can be worn for PE lessons and sports training sessions. Students are, of course, most welcome to continue to change prior to PE lessons or sports trainings if they so desire. We hope that this change will meaningfully impact our students while also reducing the pressure on Junior School families a little.
Please note that students are not permitted to use mobile phones during the timetabled school day. Similarly, any student using a smart watch is not able to use this device to communicate with others during the timetabled school day. If an incident or issue arises that is significant enough to warrant communication with others our staff should be made aware of this, We appreciate that last minute changes to established arrangements do arise from time to time. Please communicate this through the Junior School Administration office at [email protected] or 6776 5817.
Many happy returns to Raymond Wang and Maya Slade for their birthdays this week.
Mr Scott Chittenden
Head of Junior School
|Wednesday 22 February||Year 1 Assembly – Hoskins Centre ( 2.45 – 3.30 pm)|
|Monday 27 February||Year 5 to Lake Keepit|
|Tuesday 28 February||Year4 to Lake Keepit|
|Wednesday 1 March||Year 3 to Lake Keepit|
|Thursday 2 March||Year 2 to Lake Keepit|
|Friday 3 March
||All return from Lake Keepit|
|Wednesday 8 March||Year 3 Assembly – Hoskins Centre (2.45 – 3.30 pm)|
|Wednesday 15 March||Year 2 Assembly – Hoskins Centre (2.45 – 3.30 pm)|
The International Baccalaureate learner profile is based on attributes, which connect with intellectual, personal, emotional and social growth. The attributes are key in providing a firm foundation for developing international mindedness amongst all TAS Junior School students.
The learner profile aims to support students in engaging in action for positive change and is closely aligned with student agency. There are 10 attributes of the learner profile, which the students are exposed to, taught the meaning of and given opportunities to reflect upon on a regular basis. Each week, in our Junior School Assembly, students from each class are awarded for clearly demonstrating any one of the learner profile attributes.
|Learner Profile Attribute||Descriptor|
|Inquirers||Students develop their natural curiosity. They acquire the skills necessary to conduct inquiry and research and show independence in learning. They actively enjoy learning, and this love of learning will be sustained throughout their lives.|
|Knowledgeable||Students explore concepts, ideas and issues that have local and global significance. In so doing, they acquire in-depth knowledge and develop understanding across a broad and balanced range of disciplines.|
|Thinkers||Students exercise initiative in applying thinking skills critically and creatively to recognise and approach complex problems, and make reasoned, ethical decisions.|
|Communicators||Students understand and express ideas and information confidently and creatively in more than one language and in a variety of modes of communication. They work effectively and willingly in collaboration with others.
|Principled||Students act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness, justice and respect for the dignity of the individual, groups and communities. They take responsibility for their own actions and the consequences that accompany them.
|Open-Minded||Students understand and appreciate their own cultures and personal histories, and are open to the perspectives, values and traditions of other individuals and communities. They are accustomed to seeking and evaluating a range of points of view, and are willing to grow from the experience.
|Caring||Students show empathy, compassion and respect towards the needs and feelings of others. They have a personal commitment to service, and act to make a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment.|
|Risk-Takers||Students approach unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and forethought, and have the independence of spirit to explore new roles, ideas and strategies. They are brave and articulate in defending their beliefs.
|Balanced||Students understand the importance of intellectual, physical and emotional balance to achieve personal well-being for themselves and others.
|Reflective||Students give thoughtful consideration to their own learning and experience. They are able to assess and understand their strengths and limitations in order to support their learning and personal development.
Mrs Veronica Waters
What a fabulous day we had last Thursday as we enjoyed the Junior School Swimming Carnival. It was wonderful to see the amount of enthusiasm, sportsmanship and friendship that was displayed during the day. Well done to everyone for participating in both swimming and novelty events. Thank you to our Year 5 students for assisting with the novelties as well as leading our House groups throughout the day.
Rofeta Cup and McCready Cup – Highest Pointscore Boy and Girl
Baxter Carrruthers – 76 points
Claire Reynell – 80 points
Congratulations to the following students who were selected to participate in the NCIS Swimming Championships in Alstonville this Thursday. We look forward to hearing the results from the carnival.
Mrs Christine Wright
Junior School Sports Coordinator