DR RACHEL HORTON
While we remain in our homes, with students learning online again this week there are certainly some positives we can take from the situation. One of those is that although we are all apart, it gives us the opportunity to see our students in their home environments and to learn a little more about them in that way. While we only see into one room, it can tell us so much about someone else and both students and teachers have met pets and family members and discovered new things about each other through pictures or items in the background.
This week is National Science Week and of course, as a scientist myself, I have a vested interest in engaging young people in science. I maintain that anyone who says they are not interested in science has just not found the area that sparks their imagination or perhaps understood how broad the subject is. At the basis of science is a questioning mind, and that is something that we hope to encourage in all TAS students. The astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson is quoted as saying ‘I am driven by two main philosophies: know more today about the world than I knew yesterday and lessen the suffering of others. You’d be surprised how far that gets you.’ If our students leave TAS with those two broad philosophies, they will be valuable contributors to society and I will consider that we have done a good job.
The uncertainties that we currently live with can be challenging for us all at times and impact on everyone differently. It is a particularly difficult time for some of our students and critical that we support them to stay connected to their peers and to instil hope. Parents will find this short video from SchoolTV contains some useful and practical advice on how parents can encourage their children to focus on the good things in life despite the uncertainty: School TV video
Dr Rachel Horton
MR LUKE POLSON
As we reach the half-way point of the second week of online learning, the level of involvement by our students across the school is commendable. I am hearing regular reports of the positive interactions and engagement that our students have shown across all levels of the school. We understand that this is a challenging time for everyone and please don’t hesitate to reach out to teachers and advisors – we are all here to support you.
I hope all of Year 12 have had the opportunity to read the latest update sent to them on Monday regarding arrangements for Trial Exams. To provide some certainty to students at this time, Trials will commence on Thursday of Week 6 and run for two weeks, irrespective of whether we are learning face to face or at home. These trials will occur in the normal format if we are back at school, or alternative assessments are being prepared if we remain in remote learning. Students are encouraged to continue working towards these tasks and seek the advice and support of their teachers if required.
We have been advised of some additional updates from NESA in regards to the marking of major projects and performance/language exams. Teachers will now provide marks for all HSC students in the following areas:
This is not dissimilar to what occurred in 2020 and to ensure equity, teachers’ marks will be moderated by NESA against the externally marked components of the course.
I have written this week to all of Year 11 to advise them of the School’s decision to not have a formal Year 11 exam period this term. This is due to a number of Year 11 assessments needing to be rescheduled. Individual class teachers will develop an alternative end of course assessment for each subject and students will be notified of these two weeks in advance as per the Stage 6 Assessment Policy. Some of these assessments may occur at the start of next term.
Despite the interruptions caused by COVID, it is important that we continue to move ahead with planning for 2022. The time has almost arrived for Year 8 students to begin thinking about the transition into Senior School and the selection of their subjects. There will be two information evenings scheduled to discuss this transition and information about the Stage 5 Elective Program. These sessions will be conducted by Zoom and an RSVP for either of these sessions should be sent to [email protected] They are scheduled for:
Wednesday 25 August – 7:30 pm
Thursday 26 August – 7:30 pm
It is anticipated that students and parents will receive subject selection information towards the end of next week (Week 6), with time provided to make initial selections for electives before receiving a final copy of the lines by the end of this term.
We are currently finalising the lines for Year 11, 2022. It is anticipated that these lines will be available to students and families during Week 6, with final selections due by the beginning of Term 4.
A number of students have registered for ICAS assessments that we have not been able to sit due to the online learning period. We have been advised by ICAS that there will be an additional competition window for students to sit papers in October (Term 4). Any students who have already registered for these papers now will be automatically transferred to the next window.
The Japanese students have been busy cooking up a variety of Japanese dishes while at home this week. I have sent a new recipe every day for the students to try and they not only look good but they said they were おいしい (delicious). Students have been telling me that they are ordering some the Japanese ingredients online so they can create the authentic flavours of each dish and I’m sure our parents are happy to have the night off cooking for the family. If anyone is interested in the recipes you can email me at [email protected]
Mr Allan Moore
MR PAUL GADDES
Ever the optimists, we will go ahead with TAS Golf Day as planned. Please book tickets at
Should the event get stalled by COVID- 19, we will organise refunds.
Come and play or just for lunch. It’s certain to be fun!
Reserve the date for the next P&F meeting on Wednesday 8 September from 7 pm.
If you have anything you would like to raise with the P&F Executive, please send us an email on [email protected]
Mr Paul Gaddes
MR HUON BARRETT
Whilst we continue to work from home and the decision to return to campus is a week-by-week proposition, there is still a lot we can be thankful for. Technology keeps us connected, we can still get out and exercise and even though the Olympics have finished, I for one have been intrigued by ‘The Voice’. Should the lockdown continue, we will be introducing our Co-Curricular Clubs that were very popular last year during the remote learning period. Stay tuned for more information on the TAS Clubs.
As we anticipate a return to campus, I have published the sport choices for the summer season. Please read through the choices and confirm your choice with your Advisor. At this stage, students will have the opportunity to choose one sport only. A Summer Sports Schedule (training and game times) has not been prepared to date as we need to finalise teams, coaches and available facilities.
Congratulations to the Boys Choir who won the Sydney Eisteddfod in The Male Choir Under 19 Category. This year, due to COVID-19, Choirs were asked to submit via video. A special mention to Mrs Leanne Roobol for her passion, enthusiasm and ongoing commitment for providing these opportunities for students at TAS.
Congratulations! TAS Singers are the winners of the Sydney Eisteddfod Choral Event: Youth Choir for Male Voices Only (19 & Under). I am very proud of them all!
The singers showcased a rich and warm tone in engaging and entertaining performances in the video submission, which is a credit to them all.
Thank you to all the students for their incredible effort in learning a second choral piece, in an incredibly short amount of time, so we could enter the Youth Choir for Male Voices event in the Sydney Eisteddfod.
I’d also like to make a special mention of the students who performed in the Armidale Eisteddfod but were not able to perform for our Sydney Eisteddfod Video Entry. They are an essential part of our vocal ensemble and your performance at the Armidale Eisteddfod was fantastic preparation for our Video Audition for the Sydney Eisteddfod.
A very big thank you to our fabulous accompanist Oliver Bruhl for your highly accomplished playing, which added so much to our performances. Also a special thank you to the incredible Mr Collett, your assistance and support was invaluable, as well as your tech skills.
I enjoy conducting TAS Singers immensely and thank them for sharing their vocal talents with not only me, but the wider community.
The students who sang in the video submission for the Sydney Eisteddfod were: William Mackson, Tommy Burnett, Sam Guppy, Oliver Morse, Thomas Tizzard, Joshua Miron, Pierre Morcellet, William Nash, Aiden Swick, Alexander Gibson, Zac Clarke and Maxwell Guppy. The following students were also part of the ensemble at the Armidale Eisteddfod but were unable to sing for the video submission – Jasper O’Neil,Ruby Straker and Steven Hopwood. Tom Collett also sang with us at the Armidale Eisteddfod.
MR MARK HARRISON
I don’t think I’ll live to regret the following observations: the age bracket we deal with can be as fascinating as it can be frustrating; sometimes, simultaneously. They’re with you now and some (parts of) days may well be tricky – the academic challenge is just that – challenging. If you’re finding this in your home, be comforted by the comment that what you’re observing is ‘normal’. Reports I’ve received overall, however, indicate that Middle School students are doing themselves proud – by my reckoning, our youngest people, the intrepid Year 6s (again), have a near-perfect attendance and attention rate. With the odd exception, the other year groups, likewise, are generally very good and I am relieved this is the case.
While fully functional, zoom teaching and learning can be mentally taxing and physically tiring, so last week I told our shared charges to get up, tear around, do something physical whenever the opportunity to do so presents itself. This activity ‘balance’ will assist their overall focus. Screen time is essential just now, but it’ll be better for all involved on the proviso that these children simply move around. To facilitate this process designed to make their learning as productive as possible, you’ll have received information about worthwhile activity from the experts here; being Science Week, our shared charges will have received information about experiments and challenges that can be conducted at home. Encourage them to do as much as possible and, above all else, just enjoy them and their company – this is one of the major reasons why we have a new timetable – when you can, sit with them, talk to them, eat lunch with them. The silver lining on this COVID cloud is connection with family that other circumstances have never allowed prior to 2020. We all need to recognise this time as a silver lining, too. It’s good for our collective mental health.
Variety is the vitally important ingredient in their ‘school’ lives just now and we want to alert you, during this National Science Week, to an opportunity that is being presented to students this Friday morning. We’re in the process of finalising what is effectively a virtual tour of the wildlife reserves of Kenya’s Masai Mari. New TAS parent, Dr. Stephanie Dloniak, is a wildlife biologist and the Chair of the Hyaena Specialist Group of the World Conservation Union’s Species Survival Commission. Having already delivered interactive sessions to school groups in Kenya and the USA, Dr Dloniak has generously offered to speak to all our year groups this coming Friday morning, the 20 August, during Lessons 1 and 2. This is an excellent opportunity for our people to meet someone like Stephanie and to learn all about these weird and wonderful creatures and why biologists have been studying them closely for more than 30 years. We look forward to the opportunity of joining her as she presents to all students.
Our Middle School assemblies contain musical, dramatic, or otherwise creative segments. Therefore, in recognition of the spirit of Science Week, last Tuesday, as part of our lockdown assembly presentation, I provided a poem about the wonder of the natural world – it was, therefore, a blended creative, reflective and scientific piece. As well, our regular assemblies always have a spiritual dimension: generally, a Bible reading that is accompanied by a reflection by Mrs Benham. Continuing with this Science Week theme, and in the absence of an actual assembly, I provide another that is a creative piece, containing a spiritual dimension and featuring a principle of physics. Its title clearly establishes this blended composition.
Expansion and Contraction
Mr Mark Harrison
Head of Middle School
MR IAN LLOYD
It has been a hectic few days this week with ZOOM meetings and online learning filling everyone’s day (and I suspect nights as well?!) However, our Junior School teachers could not be happier with the response from our students and their families to the challenges of remote learning; our days are kept very busy going through all the work that has been submitted and providing what feedback we can.
Congratulations to you all; it has been a very productive couple of weeks and we have all enjoyed seeing the quality of the submissions rolling in. Tomorrow, you will all receive a link to the Junior School Assembly and there will be a few surprises in store for us all….I think TAS Bear has something up his sleeve!? I haven’t seen him all week!
Today, if you have registered, you will receive a fantastic invitation to get involved in some wonderful activities (and the chance to win some great prizes) for National Science Week. Not only are the activities heaps of fun…there are also some amazing fun facts which you may find VERY interesting. Take some time to have a look!
Mrs Wright has included a detailed explanation of our summer sports program and you are invited to read this carefully and contact your classroom teacher with your choice. From Year 3, sport at TAS is compulsory but if you have questions, please contact us. Many of our children from Kindergarten to Year 2 participate in this program so I look forward to seeing most of our students choosing to get busy by getting involved.
Happy lockdown birthday wishes to Jayden Chen, Bobby Saxby, James Taylor, Kieran Ahern and Ellen Adams.
Mr Ian Lloyd
Head of Junior School
|Wednesday 18 August||Year 1 Assembly – Hoskins Centre (2.45pm (Postponed)|
|Wednesday 25 August||Book Week Assembly|
|Thursday 26 August||Year 3-4 Kayaking and Swim & Survive|
|Friday 27 August||Book Parade|
|Wednesday 1 September||Year 3 Assembly – Hoskins Centre 2.45
Year 5 Exhibition – Hoskins Centre
|Wednesday 8 September||Year 5 Assembly – Hoskins Centre 2.45|
|Thursday 9 September||Year 3-4 Kayaking and Swim & Survive|
The aim of all IB programmes is for students to develop and demonstrate international-mindedness. This is demonstrated through the attributes of the learner profile. During this time of remote learning, I encourage all families to discuss and reflect upon how these attributes have been demonstrated whilst learning remotely.
The table below provides some prompt questions to enable a reflective discussion on these attributes.
Mrs Veronica Waters
|Attribute of the learner profile||In Action||Questions to reflect upon and discuss as a family|
Elija in Transition is wondering what will happen to these seeds after he plants them? How do seeds turn into plants? How will he help them grow?
|Did I ask questions?
Have I learnt new and exciting things?
Elsie in Year 1 displayed some great thinking skills as she designed and created her bridge in our STEM Seesaw activity last week.
|How did I engage in critical and creative thinking?
What problems did I need to solve?
|Did I try something new this week?
Did I listen to my family members when they thought differently to me?
|How did I use my time?
Was I a responsible user of technology?
|Balanced||Oliver Rogers in Year 4 is balancing work and play exceptionally well.||Did I balance my learning time with some physical activity?|
Kindergarten communicate through the stories that they create.
|Was I able to effectively communicate my learning with my friends and teachers?
Can I communicate through telling a story?
|What did I learn these week?
|Caring||Tom Loxley making pikelets for his family, which is such a kind thing to do.||What did I do to help a family member?
How did I make someone smile this week?
Junior School students will be choosing their summer sport next week. With this in mind, a description of the various options appears below. We are trying to organise our summer sports to include as much participation and competition as possible. Please be mindful that changes could occur beyond our control in any of the sports below, however, at this stage we are asking for nominations from children to create teams in readiness for next term.
Year 5 students will be choosing from the Middle School Sports choices this term. More information for this group will be sent directly to each student.
All students in Years 3 and 4 will participate in one summer sport in Terms 4 and Term 1, 2022. Students in Year 2 and below do not have to participate but are encouraged to do so. If students in Year 2 or below do participate, they will commit to the sport (including training sessions) for the duration of that season. Training times and sessions vary depending on the chosen sport.
Cricket: MIC Cricket – Mr Will Waterson)
To make cricket enjoyable and fun, different age groups play according to different rules. All games are played on Saturday mornings. Registration and insurance fees apply. See separate cricket groups for approximate costings.
Junior Blasters (5-7 yrs) (Age for registration Sept 1)
Junior Blasters skilled based sessions each Saturday morning (TBC)
Cost will be approx. $80 for the season.
Training: Monday afternoons from 3:45pm- 5pm at TAS
Under 9s (Age for registration Sept 1)
(Players must be under 9 on 1 September 2021)
Games each Saturday morning.
The cost will be approx. $86 for the season.
Training: Monday afternoons from 3:45pm- 5pm
Under 11s (Age for registration Sept 1)
(Players must be under 10 or under 11 on 1 September 2021)
Games each Saturday morning.
The cost will be approx. $97 for the season.
Training: Monday afternoons from 3:45pm- 5pm
Basketball: Years 2- 4 (MIC JS Basketball Mr Ken Secker)
Children learn basketball in a structured, inclusive, and fun environment, developing fitness, skills and an understanding of the sport.
Costs – Registration $100(new players) $65 (returning)
Termly fees $55
Training: Wednesday afternoons from 3:45pm- 5pm at TAS
Games: Monday afternoons at Den. (ASC) 3:45-4:45pm (Collected at the Den)
A TAS minibus will transport players to the games each Monday. Parents must collect their children from the Den at 4:45pm. There will be NO return bus.
For more information email: [email protected]
Indoor Hockey: Years 2-4
This is a mixed comp with games occurring on Friday afternoons at TAS gym between the hours of 4-6pm. Indoor hockey is available to anyone wishing to participate. It is not necessary to have played outdoor hockey to play the indoor game. The pace of the game makes it very attractive and keeps the participants focused the whole game.
Costs – $5 per game.
Training: Monday afternoons from 3:45pm- 5pm
Held at the Armidale Gymnasium. Sessions are on Mondays from 3:50 – 4:50pm run by qualified Level 1 coaches provided by Armidale Gymnastics Club.
Children will travel by Bus to and from the gym with staff members supervising all sessions and travel. Children may also be collected at 4:45pm from the gym. However, if not collected by this time, they will be taken back to TAS.
Costs – approximately $190 for the season (Terms 4 and 1, 2022)
Sessions: Monday afternoons from 3:50pm- 4:50pm
Ball Skills: Transition – Year 1
This training session is for T-1 only and will be based around the ball skills required for games such as tennis, cricket, basketball, and netball. Children will participate in the Monday afternoon training session at TAS.
No cost for Ball Skills
Training: Monday afternoons from 3:45pm- 5pm
Tennis: Years K- 4
Students will participate in tennis coaching by Brandon Burey. Brandon ensures students have an enjoyable experience by offering small group sessions in a positive and fun-based environment.
Costs – approximately $TBA
Training: Monday afternoons from 3:45pm- 4:45pm
Contact James Harwood at
Contact Anthony Kelly on 0412 293 974