MR ALAN JONES
It was a real privilege to be able to attend the AIEF graduation ceremony with our Year 12 Aboriginal students on Monday. Even though, because of COVID, it was conducted via Zoom it marked a point in the lives of Leon Kelly, Sancia Ridgeway and William Koraba in relation to their time at The Armidale School. There was comment and support from past students who had been a part of the program encouraging all of the young Aboriginal people involved to continue to take what they have achieved at school into the next phase of their lives. Each of the graduating students submitted a short video stating what finishing Year 12 meant for them, their families and for their future. The statements from our own students went to the core of what their experience at TAS has meant for them and I am most proud of them all. It was enlightening and heartening to hear the young Aboriginal people reflecting on their time in their various schools and how they are all linked by the common bond of being AIEF scholarship students. Of course, our students have another five weeks of term left and they then will also become Old Armidalians. I would like to thank Clarrie Moran for his support of all of our Aboriginal students at this school and his interest and dedication to their wellbeing and progress.
Once again, we have been confronted with a series of mandates from the NSW Premier concerning what the next five weeks of this term will look like for all schools and as you would be well aware, the decision was made last week to withdraw from our Sydney GPS rugby commitments. After a meeting of all the GPS Headmasters on Tuesday morning the combined decision was made to cease all GPS sport. We are most fortunate that we are able to continue to participate in local/regional sporting competitions which give our students opportunities without the need of travel to hotspot areas. We are taking a proactive approach in regard to balancing the need to provide co-curricular opportunities for our students within the guidelines set out by NSW Health and the Education Department, for example staging our own COVID safe challenge events such as the TAS Kayak Enduro challenge on Malpas Dam in place of the Hawkesbury Canoe Classic which looks unlikely to run, our creative arts staff lead by Andrew O’Connell continues to devise innovative means of fuelling the energies and creative drive of our students, we have online debating competitions continuing and our students are still able to enter writing competitions and other subject based events that we would normally participate in. At the end of the day, as I have stated on a number of occasions, we are most fortunate that we are able to continue to operate in this manner.
|Week 5 & Week 6|
|Monday 17 August – Friday 28 August||HSC Trial Exams|
MR RICHARD NEWTON
From War Of The Worlds to Catch Me If You Can to Suits; from Lance Armstrong to Ben Johnson, from Nixon to Clinton to Trump, from me to you the ubiquitous lie has infiltrated every part of our world.
But why? Well according to National Geographic’s June 2017 issue “We lie if honesty won’t work,” (says researcher Tim Levine). The research shows that we lie to promote ourselves, to protect ourselves and sometimes to impact others. Thanks for that research – I reckon a rocket scientist didn’t come up with that data, it wouldn’t take one.
Having introduced the idea last week with the idea that we need fact-checkers, in the coming weeks we will spend some time investigating the nature of lies and truth as we bounce off the National Geographic article, we will look at some people’s own stories and ask some tough questions.
For now, what of, the so-called greatest deceit of all time? Jesus claimed to be the Son of God and through his death, we would have our sins forgiven and through his resurrection, we would have life everlasting assured? If he was lying, what could his motivation have been? To protect himself? No, his claims led to his death. Self-promotion? No, he did not gain position or monetary reward nor did he gain great accolades – no, he was despised and rejected. Maybe, as was the case last week, we are left to consider the truth of his claims.
Mr Richard Newton
It was a milestone occasion for Leon Kelly, Sancia Ridgeway and William Koraba as they attended, online, the AIEF Class of 2020 Graduation Ceremony on 17 August. AIEF Deputy CEO opened proceedings with an Acknowledgement of Country before AIEF Executive Director Andrew Penfold AM delivered a live address to the graduating class, urging them to remember the lessons of perseverance, resilience and tenacity they have learned throughout their boarding school journey, and to be proud of reaching the milestone of Year 12 completion and being part of the next generation of Indigenous leaders. Delivering video messages of congratulations were AIEF Patron-in-Chief and Governor-General of Australia, His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d) and three AIEF alumni now at university. The proceedings wrapped up with video messages from the Class of 2020 about what completing Year 12 means to them, their families and communities. TAS is grateful to AIEF for their partnership in making a difference to the lives of Indigenous Australians.
MR LUKE POLSON
Mr Luke Polson
Director of Studies
MR WILL CALDWELL
The most significant changes over the past week have been:
1. Restricting the mixing of students between schools in different regions in areas such as inter-school sports and co-curricular activities.
TAS has suspended any activities outside of the New England North West Region – including GPS Rugby and CIS Football.
2. Ceasing school-related singing or chanting activities and use of wind instruments in groups.
TAS has suspended all choirs and wind ensembles.
Rather than seeing these as obstacles, we see them as challenges and opportunities to be creative. I know that our Creative Arts Department is developing various technologies to ensure that our students continue to grow and enjoy the Arts.
To allow sport the greatest chance of continuing locally we ask that families please observe the guidelines for community sport:
1. one parent/caregiver (per player) spectating, where supervision is required.
2. get in, play, get out.
3. practice good hygiene.
4. observe social distancing.
5. get tested if you have even the mildest symptoms of COVID-19 and stay at home.
Once again can I remind you that we are all in this together. Please look after each other and smile every day. We still have so much to be grateful for.
Mr Will Caldwell
Director of Co-curricular
MR ANDREW O'CONNELL
Thanks to the hard work of our Grounds team and Mr Cornford, we have some brilliant new graffiti boards on the west side of Hoskins. Our Street Art and Graffiti Stage 5 elective class has already had a play with the spray cans and I encourage you to check out the exciting developments of that class over the Semester.
For fans of the musical Hamilton I hope you’re aware of the imminent release of tickets for the Australian debut in March 2021. They are also running an incredible competition with fans creating a short video for part of ‘The Room Where it Happens’. Find out all this and more here: https://www.sydneylyric.com.au/hamilton/
COVID-19 continues to play havoc with our Creative Arts program and the recent announcements regarding singing, chanting and certain instruments present further challenges for our teachers. This comes just two days before our first meeting for Aladdin Jr, but it will take more than a mere global pandemic to stop this show. We are blessed at TAS to have so many creative, imaginative and daring staff and we are already cooking up some fun solutions around these obstacles. You’ll hear (and see) more of that in the coming weeks (with a sneak peek for our leads this Thursday at the first table read). The cast for Aladdin Jr was announced with great enthusiasm and excitement and I would like to recognise those students here once more – and again emphasise how blown away I was by the preparedness, talent, enthusiasm and community spirit of all who auditioned.
Aladdin Andrew Alkouri
Jasmine Chloe Dennison
Genie Mila Wright
Jafar Peter Thompson
Iago Ryne Wilkinson
Sultan Cormac Downes
Narrator 1 Lucas Van Der Werf
Narrator 2 Arabella Blanchard
Narrator 3 Kaitlyn Baker
Narrator 4 Noarah Al-Qhatani
Narrator 5 Jack Wood
Razoul Sophie Bannister
Guard 1 Marcus Robb
Guard 2 Samuel Ford
Prince Baba of Ganoush Cameron Caruthers
Prince Dahdu Rahn-Rahn Xavier Leary
(The) Prince Formerly Known as the Artist Chelsea Miller
Mr Andrew O’Connell
Creative Arts Coordinator
MR MARK HARRISON
It’s half term effectively – already, we seem to be thinking in unison. I know there’s a White House boarding update here and this confirms the mid-stream update issue.
Again, we’ve been lucky with our Assembly times – we’ve just finished our second for the term: it was different from others we’ve had in that we enjoyed, from the Hoskins theatre, a livestream of the first section of the Senior School one in the gym. We were treated to Hannah Neilson’s musical item and then were lucky enough to see the whole footage of the Year 12 Drama Group Performance. In a way technology has been our friend in that we could be an audience to an event that current circumstances do not allow.
As part of the assembly, we reminded students about uniform and we would appreciate your support on this issue as well. At the risk of yet another sigh from you, here’s what we’ve said, because any help from you is always appreciated. Boys must wear grey (or black) socks with winter uniform; top buttons must be ‘done up’ and ties neatly worn. Caps need to be at school so they can be worn in the grounds during breaks – and this is as relevant to girls as it is to boys. School shoes will look more appealing with polish, of course. In relation to girls, please don’t allow them to leave the house (home and boarding) with non-regulation earrings. The rules are those that we all have and mutual support is something that we will benefit from.
In addition to Week 4 International Baccalaureate class filming across the curriculum, something else I am sure we will benefit from is the support of individual and small student groups who represented Middle School in a very real way last week. You’re aware, no doubt, that the IB conducted its most recent examination and review of our practices as an MYP school. Part of the process again involved a parent group of course (so, thank you to you from all and sundry in the Middle School) but this time, as indicated, we have students to thank, as well. Their interviews with the IB panel were conducted independent of us – but the preliminary feedback we’ve received has been very complimentary. At the risk of embarrassing some, but simultaneously thanking all, I want to acknowledge the following students who fielded some reasonably rigorous questioning about their studies in the Middle Years Programme. From Year 6 we have Luke Gaddes, Mila Downes, Tom Rowe, Archer Starr and Charlie Ward. Year 7 students: Charlotte Craig, Hugo Li and Bailey Miller. Our intrepid pair from Year 8 were Nawaf Al-Qahtani and William Glover. In particular, of course, I’d like to acknowledge the tremendous work undertaken by Acting MYP Coordinator Ms Rachel Holford – and Mrs Piddington who came in while still on maternity leave – to manage us through this process. Thank you all – these people did us, all of us, proud.
As you are aware, no doubt, we’ve received from the State Government more advice this week about protecting students and clusters at school(s). Needless to say, we will implement these practices but your awareness of them is as important as ours, so I urge you to read all communications from the school. These updates are regular, and they are beginning to fashion the ‘new normal’ so we’ll continue to work with families on everything that comes our way. On a positive note the majority of times I see students working together, they are doing so, being aware of new expectations.
Until next week,
Mr Mark Harrison
Head of Middle School
Year 6 are rocking their strings program in music classes this term. Here is a clip of 6.02 playing Showtime by Blackwell … after only a few lessons! I am very excited to see such great progress so quickly. Rock on, Year 6.
Dr Inga Brasche
MR IAN LLOYD
It was a wonderful way to finish the week by being able to announce the cast for Aladdin Jnr. Ms Fletcher and Mr O’Connell have asked me to pass on their congratulations to all those who were so keen to audition and we all thank them for the hours of preparation and delibertions to ensure this process ran so well. I would like to attach part of an email from them both, that I read to the students on Friday…
This was my first time auditioning for the Junior School Musical as it is normally Mrs Cleaver’s privilege and pleasure. What a wonderful surprise it was for me to have so many students who had worked hard to know all the lines or songs (and even throw in so dance moves or acting choices) – this level of preparedness has put some of our senior students to shame! Ms Fletcher and I were so impressed with both the talent and the positivity in the audition room – it was great to see students encouraging each other to do well and feeding off the energy and good work of their peers. Selecting a cast is always challenging because we know some students will be disappointed, which is why we put so much effort and thought and care into the process. We are tremendously excited about the cast list and what we believe our young actors will do in those roles. But we will ensure that the project is an amazing experience for all, no matter if you are a lead or in the ensemble, and I cannot wait to see how Junior School can break new ground and create a performance like no other. The show must go on!
I would like to add that I was so impressed by the camaraderie that was shown as each name was read out and the applause and congratulations that spread through the room. What a tremendous reflection of this great bunch of students, that they were able to so heartily congratulate each other. I look forward to watching the developments from here on.
The cast is:
Aladdin – Andrew Alkhouri
Jasmine – Chloe Dennison
Jafar – Peter Thompson
Iago – Ryne Wilkinson
Sultan – Cormac Downes
Razoul – Sophie Banister
Prince Baba of Ganoush – Cameron Carruthers
Prince Dahdu Rahn-Rahn – Xavier Leary
(The) Prince formerly known as The Artist – Chelsea Miller
Guard 1 – Marcus Robb
Guard 2 – Sam Ford
Narrator 1– Lucas van der Werf
Narrator 2 – Arabella Blanchard
Narrator 3 – Kaitlyn Baker
Narrator 4 – Norah Al-Qhatani
Narrator 5 – Jack Wood
This Thursday, after school (this week in the Hoskins Centre classroom)
Anthony Kelly is training with his Martial Arts group again. I would like to add that his small group is currently making fantastic progress under the instruction of Anthony, Taylor and Christine, the regular instructors. We have included some photos taken recently and encourage all those who would like to try their hand (and/or feet) to contact us and join the group. They are always happy to have others join the group.
Mr Pennington would like to acknowledge and congratulate everyone who became involved in the 1000km Challenge. It was a tremendous way to become involved in a challenge of this nature and the following received their awards today in a short presentation – congratulations to all:
Students: Daniel Bayne, Toby Whysall, Sophie Banister, Arthur White, Ed Benham, William Cooper-Fillios, Casper Cook, Mila Wright, Minnie Chick and Harriet Coupland. Parents: Dr Nereda Christian, Ms Katie Bryant, Ms Belinda Banister, Mrs Kirsty White, Mrs Jo Hoad, Mr Justin Hoad, Ms Gen Chick, Mr Matt Benham, Mr Dennis Fisher, Mrs Christine Fisher, Dr Melanie Fillios, Ms Maartje Torij, Mr Sam Coupland, Mr Simon Wight, Mrs Sophie Wright. Staff: Mrs Anna O’Connor, Mrs Tania Ball, Mrs Veronica Waters, Mrs Anne Trenerry and Mrs Jo Benham.
A brilliant day was had on Friday completing a range of projects highlighting all that can be done to enhance our use of our resources. From creating six more veggie gardens (and painting the rocks to decorate them), designing gardens and planting seedlings, creating echidna planters, sorting rubbish and devising improved systems for recycling, Junior School SRC has well and truly started the ball rolling again to reinvigorate a better understanding of how to help our planet. There will be further developments soon so please, stay tuned.
It is very important that students do not arrive at School early (without moving straight to one of the club activities). It has been well advertised that our school and playground is not supervised until 8.15 am. If this causes problems, please contact the school to confirm arrangements but please do not assume that someone is available to supervise early arrivals. We have real concerns about the growing number of students arriving before this time.
Happy Birthday to Ellen Adams who is the only Junior School student having their birthday this week.
Congratulations to the following students that received School Spirit Awards last week:
Chloe Chen, Modi Alazizi, Hugh Blackwell, Eloise Leary, Duncan Klabe, Janesh Wijewarna, Ethan Downes, Harry Fawcett, Joshua Bourke, Mila Nexo, Mila Wright, Arthur White, Richard Ma, Ryne Wilkinson & Salam Alkhathami.
Mr Ian Lloyd
Head of Junior School
Student led reflections involve students as active participants in a conversation with their parents whereby they share their learning journey, celebrate their achievements and identify areas where more growth or effort is required. Due to COVID-19 our reflections will be held remotely this year and involve all students gathering video evidence to show case what inquiries have been occurring in their classroom, to share some completed work samples and learning goals with parents.
Student led reflections will be held over the last few weeks of term and individual teachers will provide greater detail about when these will be occurring for their classes.
Student led reflections enable learners to have agency whereby they have voice, choice and ownership for their learning. All students will direct the reflection with a strong sense of identity and self-belief as they take initiative and are aware of their learning goals. This of course will vary across different age groups. Students will welcome feedback from their parents and will have the opportunity to take their refection cards home.
What to expect from a remote student led reflection:
I hope this information is helpful. Please contact your class teacher if you have any questions or require further details regarding the TAS Junior School Remote Student Reflections.
Mrs Veronica Waters
IB PYP Coordinator
It is wonderful to have a team that turns up to each game with a smile, commitment, team spirit and an inclusive attitude. This is what the T-Rex Football U7s did this week.
On Saturday they played Armidale City Westside Blue U7s and from the very start both teams wanted to play a great game of football, but most importantly work on their skills and to use each player’s strengths.
Some cracking goals were scored by Boyd Rogers (1), Paddy Bourke (2) and Rory Secker (2). Oliver Maxwell, Freddie Post and Hugh Blackwell demonstrated some amazing foot skills and assisted their teams to score goals. Emi Fawcett had to join the opposition’s team, as they were short on numbers.
Overall, I was highly impressed with this team’s energy and positive mindset. Thank you to all our very supportive parents that cheer the kids on from the side lines. I know that they love all the extra encouragement.
Mrs Grania Fawcett
Last Friday the Under 11s played against United. I think we played really well. Saxon demonstrated some great passing, Joe consistently pressured the opposition. Harry positioned himself well as a left wing and I felt that Ryne was an awesome defender. Hugo has increased his accuracy with excellent results. Overall, I felt that I was able to be a good communicator, encouraging my teammates along throughout the game. Our team won played with balance and focus and came away with a solid win, 8-2.
TAS was represented so well by our Junior netballers on the weekend. Carla and Bridei are really making progress in their ‘Netta’ team and seem to be making some friends too! Neave showed off excellent defence skills in the circle and used an ‘arms up’ strategy to prevent the other team from scoring! The TAS Go team were GO, GO, GO for the whole four quarters. The games are picking up in pace but it is not scaring off our girls who are growing in speed and confidence each week. Their teamwork and energy lead them to a victory over St Mary’s. Special mention must go to the excellent shooting skills of Chelsea Miller and the loud cheer squad on the sideline!