DR RACHEL HORTON
Reminders are everywhere at the moment that Christmas is just around the corner, and of course, the end of the school year comes before that. We currently have a little over three weeks left until the students break up for the summer, but there is plenty to fit in before the end of year celebrations.
Having started the term with a high level of uncertainty around what guidelines would allow us to do, events and activities were rearranged with the intent of protecting as much face-to-face classroom time as possible and of enabling as many of the usual activities to take place as possible.
You will be aware that we will not run a formal end of year exam block for Middle and Senior School students this term. Formal exams can be useful to rank students and for teachers to assess how successfully they have taught their class, but it takes considerable time away from routine classroom teaching to prepare for and to run assessments in this way. With so much face-to-face learning lost last term, we consider additional time in class to be the priority. It is important though, that students maintain focus and don’t get carried away by the proximity of the holidays. Class-based assessments are still taking place and the additional time in the classroom this year will set them in good stead for next year.
There are also many other opportunities to make the most of over the next few weeks with school sport underway, some music, rehearsals for next year’s production Rhinoceros, the ‘TAS 4 Hour’ this Friday, and this term we will finish with three Activities Days prior to the usual end of year assemblies and speech days. Plans for these final events are underway and we are delighted that we will be able to invite parents to them. In line with the current Public Health Order, all parents attending will need to be double vaccinated and there will be some restrictions in place. Further details will be shared shortly.
Dr Rachel Horton
Given the current cases in Armidale, we ask that all parents monitor NSW Health advice on exposure sites to determine whether they have been exposed to the virus. This information can be found at the Hunter New England Health site here on the link https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/covid-19/Pages/default.aspx
The process of contact tracing identifies people who are either ‘close’ or ‘casual’ contacts with an infected person. A ‘close contact’ is someone who has had direct exposure to a COVID-19 infected person and any close contacts would have to immediately isolate at home for a period of time determined by NSW Health and be there until they have a negative COVID-19 test. The risk of infection is reduced if masks are worn, if there is social distancing and ventilation (such as being outdoors) and if one or both people have been vaccinated.
A ‘casual contact’ is someone who has been within two (2) metres of person with the virus, this could mean being in the same room but not necessarily talking to them. Casual contact usually requires isolation only until a negative COVID-19 test has been received.
If you or your child are identified as being a close or casual contact, please inform the school immediately on [email protected]
It is very important that if anyone in your household has flu like symptoms they get a COVID test and stay at home. Students should not return to school until they have had a negative result and all symptoms have cleared. For more information on the School’s approach to managing COVID-19, please see the information on the Parent Portal by clicking here www.as.edu.au/parents/.
As you know, restrictions around school operations are different to those that exist currently in NSW. In order to protect young students who have not yet had access to vaccination, Year 12 HSC students and school staff, NSW Health and AISNSW have issued Level 3 Guidelines for Schools that are likely not to be changed until the HSC exams are over. These guidelines are in addition to the legal requirements set out in the current Public Health Order. Our current rules include the following:
It is our shared goal to minimise the chances of a positive COVID-19 at TAS, and the potential impact of a case if it does occur. For this reason, we advise that you remain vigilant and if you have not yet had a vaccination, please consider doing this for your own safety and for that of others. For information about where and how to get vaccinated, please use this link https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/infectious/covid-19/vaccine/Pages/default.aspx
If there is a case of COVID-19 at TAS, we will alert parents immediately and take all necessary action to ensure our students and staff are back on site as soon as possible.
Meanwhile we continue to stay abreast of changes being made by the NSW Government in regards to the lifting of some restrictions for schools, and these will be communicated through TAS Talks and the COVID-19 page.
If you have any questions or concerns, please email [email protected]
MR PAUL GADDES
The P&F Puddings are selling fast. Secure yours for this festive season.
Puddings can be ordered online here https://www.trybooking.com/BUEZP
The next General P&F meeting is on this Wednesday 24 November. Please note the date change.
As this is the last meeting for 2021, we will be face to face at a local venue. Pencil the date in and stay tuned for details.
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 LUKE POLSON
HSC Exams began for our Year 12 students yesterday and will continue for the rest of the term. A copy of the full HSC timetable can be found on the NESA website. Teachers are available to assist Year 12 students with those last-minute tips and clarification over the next few weeks. Students should email teachers to arrange a suitable time. We wish all Year 12 students well in their exams.
Students in Year 11 (Year 12, 2022) have now received copies of their Assessment Schedules for Year 12 courses. Some of these assessments may be occurring this term. I encourage all students to ensure they are aware of these and begin to plan their time accordingly. A copy of this is available on the Parent Portal of the TAS website.
Mr Luke Polson
Director of Studies
The Year 9/10 Japanese class has again submitted entries into the annual Japanese Video Matsuri competition. This competition is open to students learning Japanese in Australia and New Zealand and provides an opportunity for students to use the Japanese learnt in the classroom in a creative way. The theme this year was ‘チョウ (butterfly)’ and students made three different videos using different genres to create entertaining videos for the competition. As you will see in the attached videos, the students have used a variety of language in their videos and they also have excellent film making skills. Results for the Japanese Video Matsuri should be sometime in November.
Hope everyone’s hungry because Georgie Cronin, Grace Thompson, Emily Buntine, Eliza Crawford and Jemima Thibault are bringing home-cooked brownies cookies full of chocolate, fudge, salted caramel and smores to your doorstep (provided you live in the staffroom, The Hub, Middle School or Dangarfield/Adamsfield). If you are looking for a filling recess or a lunchtime dessert, shout out to these friendly faces and exchange your loose change for a wonderful range of yummy treats that will keep you coming back for every flavour!!
On Saturday 6 November, 17 Year 6, 7 & 8 Middle School girl boarders took to the rink at Armidale Sport and Recreation Centre. This started as a Year 8 initiative to give Year 6 and 7 a great afternoon out.
From 2 to 4 pm we had free expert instruction, music and games provided by the centre.
A few recognitions need to be given.
A moment with Mack
This week we are going to take a closer look at the emotion domain. This is quite a complex domain and is inextricably linked to the biological domain we explored last week. I just want to make it clear that we are not talking about concepts like ‘social and emotional learning’, ‘self-control’, ‘self-management’, ‘emotional literacy’, ‘emotional intelligence’ or ‘executive functions’, these are all blue brain functions that take time and practice.
When we talk about the Emotion Domain in Self-Reg we are going deeper into the brain, we are talking about what’s happening in the red brain, remembering that when this part of the brain is settled and safe, this enables the blue brain to function optimally. So really, the self-management and emotional intelligence is only possible when we practice Self-Reg.
Let’s begin by actually trying to define ‘emotion’, it is much trickier than I first thought I must admit. No one has ever agreed how many basic emotions there are, or what they are. Some theorists argue there are three or four, some argue there are seven or nine. The classic ideas of emotion come from Plato and were made famous by the French Philosopher Rene Descartes – that emotions are like ‘wild horses’ that need to be reined in and controlled. How are you to ‘rein in’ the ‘wild horses’? It was through reason. Reason has to be strengthened in order to control these irrational forces that lead us to have strong emotional reactions or desires.
These ideas have filtered into parenting, counselling and teaching approaches, where we tend to be very rational about emotions, we try to get children and adolescents to ‘open up’, explain that getting angry or being sad won’t make things better, we might give a motivational talk or try to build-up their self-worth. When a child is upset, our first response is often to deal with it through rational, problem solving approaches.
It is very important to help children voice their worries and feelings, and social and emotional learning is very important, however children are not able to do this in the moment when they are upset – they are in red brain, this is a blue brain activity. So, how do we do this? We do it through Self-Reg, we go deeper.
It is not clear when babies appear to have ‘genuine’ emotions – by this I mean when they move from being content or distressed, but it is thought to be sometime between 3 and 6 months of age. So these basic reflexes of being content or distressed become more complex, babies can start to show positive and negative emotions based on their needs and they begin to form reciprocal relationships.
“Nature’s design for emotion regulation shows clearly in infancy, and control has nothing to do with it” (Shanker 2016).
The baby’s parents don’t try and calm her by talking to her about her feelings. When a baby is upset the parent responds in a very soothing manner. The parent might hold the child, speak quietly and calmly, rock them gently, go about doing some problem solving – is the baby hungry, do they have a pain in the tummy, are they over tired, is the baby too hot or too cold? For this child, what starts to happen is that the child starts to associate with these feelings of distress with the soothing nature of the caregiver and it switches off the alarm (the red brain response settles). Now this is very basic, I’m not taking into account other sensory or neurological divergence here which can make things more difficult, but the general premise is, regardless of a child’s biology, we need to sooth the child and this may be different and take longer for some children than others.
The important thing here is how to break this escalating cycle. How do we stop the whole thing from spinning out of control? This is the primary issue when we are presented with a child in high tension, low energy. The child may be yelling, angry, sad, anxious, it really doesn’t matter how old the child is, whether they are a teenager or an infant, our first thought should always be “how do I interrupt this escalating process?” We do it by soothing, by reducing the stress, by calming the systems down and turning off that red brain alarm. Sending messages of safety and security. This could be holding your child, sitting quietly with them and talking softly. You may not need to talk, and certainly this is not the time to ask a child how they are “feeling” or to “use your words”, nor is it the time to chastise, or punish.
If we are going to teach the child how to recognise what they are feeling, the first thing we need to do is to ensure they are in a state of self-awareness, and this is a blue brain activity. According to Self-Reg, emotion regulation is a matter of what Dr Shanker refers to as the 3 R’s
Recognise, Reduce, Restore
By creating a sense of safety and security, a child can begin to move from a negative bias (when they’re in a heightened state of stress most of the time and they see the world in ‘dark’ terms – seeing threats where there are none, having a negative image of themselves) to a more positive bias (where they are more flexible in their views of things).
What we are really looking at when we look at emotion regulation is sources of well-being. A child does not achieve this pathway to wellbeing through restraint, it is through growth. The best way to help your child grow is not to be afraid of strong emotion, it’s to be the calm for your child, to send signals of safety so your child can move from red brain to blue brain.
“To help our children grow emotionally, we need to help them express what they’re feeling and to feel safe in doing so. They need to expand their emotional vocabulary and reflectiveness and distinguish the different elements in their emotional responses. They have to learn how to identify their emotional triggers and, as they grow older, understand their emotional vulnerabilities. And they need to develop new emotions and learn how to deal with the new emotional challenges that are part of growing up” (Shanker 2016) and the best way to help your child to grow emotionally, is to be aware of your own emotional vulnerabilities and triggers, so you can share your calm in the face of your child’s emotional struggles and work through it together.
Resilience lies in not avoiding or repressing but in accepting and dealing with strong emotions, not through persuasion or logic, but through learning how to regulate physical arousal.
As always, there is more to this, but I’m trying NOT to write a novel – book in for a workshop when they are offered next year and we can go through the many different aspects of this important domain in more detail.
Ms Alix Goudge
MR HUON BARRETT
This Friday (12 November) TAS students and staff will be involved in the ‘TAS 4 Hour’, 19km event. The TAS 4 Hour will raise money for the ‘Guns out for Tombsy’, Foundation in recognition of Old Armidalian (1985) Richard Tombs who suffered a serious spinal injury and is still going through rehabilitation. We will also run for the late Anya Zuber (big sister of Alexander, current Year 11) and the late Peta Kerr (little sister of Lettie, current Year 11). The charity is ‘Anya’s Wish’ (funding research into children’s cancer). Whilst we are unable, at this time, to throw the doors open to the whole TAS community we are very excited to run this event to create awareness and raise money for those in our community. Students who complete this event will also be able to count this event towards the Triple Crown. I commend Mr Pennington for his ongoing commitment to challenging our students and encouraging them to look outside of themselves to help others.
Congratulations to Toby Inglis who on the weekend competed at the NSW State Championships for Road Cycling. Toby finished 6th in the Time Trial on Saturday, 5th in the 60km Road Race, finishing 4th in NSW.
I wish to remind students and parents that the sports uniform is required to be worn at all training sessions. I have also included the current Summer Training Schedule which may change as we move towards preparing for competition.
Please follow the link to the ‘I am a Girl’ Basketball registration and information for this weekends Girls Basketball FREE clinic at The Den, Saturday 13 November 9.30-11.30am.
Mr Huon Barrett
Director of Co-curricular
MS LEANNE ROOBOL
We are delighted that three of our TAS Music students, Maxwell Guppy, William Mackson and Emily Thompson, will be featured in upcoming orchestral concerts in Armidale. We wish Maxwell, William and Emily, along with all the TAS students performing at these two concerts, all the best for their performances.
TAS Year 11 students Maxwell Guppy and William Mackson will both feature in the Armidale Youth Orchestra Concert ‘How to Build an Orchestra’ which will be conducted by Paul Marshall at 10.30am on Saturday 13 November at the New England Conservatorium of Music. Join the Armidale Youth Orchestra on a fun and exciting musical journey perfect for any child aged 0-100! Gareth Rickards (TAS Old Boy) will narrate this interactive concert which will feature all the instruments of the orchestra and is the perfect introduction to music. Sitting close to the musicians, children and their families will be encouraged to sing, clap, dance and sway. You may even have the chance to try an instrument and conduct the orchestra!
William Mackson and Maxwell Guppy said, “We are very excited to play percussion for the Armidale Youth Orchestra concert ‘How to Build An Orchestra’ and represent TAS in this unique way. On top of showcasing the variety of percussion instruments you can find in an orchestra, we also have the pleasure of performing on a more unorthodox ‘instrument’, as we will be playing the Typewriter Concerto together which uses the typewriter as an instrument itself. We’re also looking forward to hearing from Old Armidalian Gareth Rickards who is our narrator for the event.”
Emily Thompson said: “I am very excited and fortunate to have the opportunity to play a concerto with the Armidale Symphony Orchestra. To rehearse and perform a solo with an orchestra is a dream come true. I am so grateful to the Armidale Symphony Orchestra and conductor Robert Jackson that the concert can now go ahead after lockdown and I’m looking forward to the rest of the concert program and hearing Eliza Scott, ASO’s other soloist.”
MR MARK HARRISON
I’m writing reports now and when I lack inspiration (reasonably often in this fractured semester, I admit) I go for a drive. I went for a long one a couple of weeks ago; it was an early one, too. It helped what they call Writer’s Block but not for reports. So, what’s here is the report substitution that I’ve called ‘Early Days’. It seems everyone is writing poetry in the Middle School (Years 6 and 7) now. The 8s are writing essays on poetry – so we’re all in the swing of it. We’ve featured Year 7 recently; it’s now Year 6’s turn. Thanks go to: Rafferty Tonkin, John (Jack) Pearson, Sasha Macarthur-Onslow, Harry Brownlee, Hugo Broun, Cormac Downes, Nick Morelli and Claudia Sykes.
The red dust like blood shines
in the sun dirt
our land as we hunt for prey.
The old cars
Us our sky
The rain falls making
The ground brown like
The sun shines
On us working on the farm
Eating vegemite toast
As we get ready on smoko
As we eat our pies.
The utes digging up
Dirt the kids on their
Motorbikes and the sheep
The cows mooing
And the quads
Hugo loves his dog
Hugo’s dog’s name is Mickey
Mickey broke his leg
My hands are thick with sweat,
My throat is parched dry,
The harsh midday sun beats directly in my eyes.
A neglected piece of paper,
A pen with trapped ink,
My gaze fixated at the empty page,
Attempting to aimlessly think.
My mind is like an abyss,
Of useless, mindless thoughts,
I suddenly think of an idea,
But the ticking clock cuts my short.
Australia, people at every corner,
A part of the world, where it is lots warmer.
If you see a Snake, you better stay still,
And outback streets, littered with road-kill.
Lots of food, like meat pies,
There not some bad food in disguise.
Many animals, not all in zoos,
But out in the wild, with nothing to lose.
And lots of forests, all woody.
But that’s not the case,
Not a big chase.
Not trying to be,
That Camel that won that race,
But being Aussie is more than that,
More than having a cuppa with your cat,
The rain is rainier, the hail is hailier
Than anywhere else, This is Australia.
The sharp dark sound of kookaburras calling
Mist rising in great solid banks
To a translucent but covered sky;
Cool, almost sharp breeze of morning.
In the middle
One cloud heavier than the rest
But light sufficing at the edges
Giving it perhaps an unwarranted solidity.
Paddock yellowed in the dawn light which as yet
Has only slightly the body of sun’s shine.
Stretching and undulating up the hill.
Dark foliage of trees – misted rays and
Sunshine descending from the cloud
As light grows stronger.
Blue mustiness of hills in between
Heavy skyline and paddocks.
The reality of the foreground emphasised
Due to heavy, almost nebulous sky
The sun sets on the river
The long walks by the park
The family swims on Australia day,
Gee that one hits close to home.
Sitting there like logs wanting
Time to freeze
As the last day rolls around the
Times goes as quick as leopards
On a hunt.
The time comes around to say
Goodbye as the tears kick in
The term goes like a snail
On a beach.
The sunsets each day as you
Just want it to be the last
The term-end rolls around once again
You say goodbye to your friends
Till next time.
Marching along they go
No need to fear the foe
All of which have mates
Some will face their face
Onwards they must travel
As the whole western front unravels
Their friends brutally fight
In the darkness of the night
The ticks and fleas and lice
The rats and mosquitoes and mice
From the fields of Verdun
Young lads thought it to be fun
Constant German raids
Digging trenches with small spades
In the horrors of the war
All they had was a mud floor
Comrades stabbed in the backs
From the Christmas truce
To the hard leathery boots
They fight on in the cold
The brave and the bold
Fighting for our freedom
None of us will ever meet them
Ottomans, Austria and Germany
All of them are the enemy
They fought on strong and brave
Going home is all the crave
Russia was our friend
But they surrendered before the end
They shall never be forgotten
Lest We Forget
In Flanders Fields the
poppies grow as the
Soldiers fought there
Sounds of wars poppies
grow as the soldiers lied
There long ago.
Dreaming of the rising sun
the poppies, peace, silence,
dying souls is all the memories
that are slowly fading with time.
We will remember them.
Lest we forget.
My brother backchats
Like a parrot
And waits for me ready to pounce
He is as
Picky as a cat
And we sometimes go out undercover
He has more temper
tantrums than a newborn
But he is my brother and I love him
MR IAN LLOYD
We are very excited with the growth of our enrolments in Junior School and that three of our classes are expanding next year. Therefore, I am very pleased to announce the staffing for Junior School classes for 2022.
|Year 5B||Mrs Kirsty Brunsdon||JO 1|
|Year 5W||Mrs Veronica Waters||JO2|
|Year 4N||Mr Craig Norrie||JS 1-5|
|Year 3F||Mrs Grania Fawcett||JS 1-3|
|Year 3H||Mrs Lana Hawksford||JS 1-1|
|Year 2||Mrs Tania Hardin||JS 0-3|
|Year 1||Mrs Christine Wright||JS 0-1|
|Kindergarten (KO)||Mrs Anna O’Connor||JS 1-2|
|Kindergarten (KA)||Mr Toby Armstrong||JS 1-4|
|Pre-Kindergarten||Mrs Tania Ball|
|Mrs Anne Trenerry|
|Ms Jacinta Coates|
I would like to assure all parents and carers that the process of appointment and allocation of staff in Junior School has been very thorough, one which was initiated last term and required a great deal of consideration at various levels throughout the school.
I am aware that there is a good deal of interest in both the staffing and class allocation for 2022. While the teaching allocation has now been finalised, the allocation of students to their classes next year continues to be discussed. I want everyone to be reassured that the teaching staff take great care when considering the makeup of each combined class. There is a lot to consider, including the personalities and learning styles of the individual students, their friendship groups and the group dynamics of the classroom. There is also the likelihood of late enrolments to consider. The teachers making these decisions know your children, having worked with them closely at school, in the classrooms and playground. I have great faith in knowing that they will make the best decision for all concerned. Having done so, all families will be notified of their class lists on Monday 24 January, 2022.
I am very thankful that Mr Gordon Arndt has been able to organise and prepare a range of lunchtime clubs that will excite our children. The intention is to start these clubs this year, growing the programme next year to include additional STEM platforms.
MakeCode for Minecraft Edu and Lego WeDo robotics are currently on offer in the Junior School until the end of the term. Students in Years 1 and 2 who are interested in coding will have the opportunity to attend lunchtime clubs on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively. Students in Years 3 and 4 who would like to explore the STEM design cycle through coding and robotics are welcome to sign up for WeDo robotics on Thursday and Friday respectively. The clubs will take place in classrooms in order to follow our current Covid-safe guidelines.
Planning for the end of year ceremonies and celebrations has been unusually difficult this year with the changing restrictions and regulations. Having said that, we are inching closer all the time and will be able to announce the details by the end of this week. So you can save the date, please note that parents WILL be invited to attend the Junior School Speech Day in the TAS Gymnasium on Wednesday 1 December 2022.
Congratulations to the following students that received School Spirit Awards for Weeks 4 and 5:
Fatimah Alkadi, Daisy Hammond, Tobias Holland, Hassan Almokhtar, Raymond Wang, Ivy Rice, Lachlan Chiu, Elsie Nexo, Xavier Nozad-Kahriz, Neave Drain, Grace Crowley, Emi Fawcett, William Minter, Cooper Lacey, Rory Secker, Eva Cook, Daniel Bayne, Alexander Dell, Matilda Polson, Maya Slade, William Dennison, Lachlan Wood, Harry Fawcett, Edward Gillman, Casper Cook, Sophie Banister, Sophie Brett, Mila Wright, Archie Tonkin, Cameron Carruthers, Zana Ross and Edwina Newton.
Happy birthday to Macey Rodgers for her special day this week.
|Term 4 Dates|
|Friday 12 November||Year 2 History Excursion|
|Thursday 18 November||Orientation/Step up day (more to come)|
|Friday 19 November||Year 5 End of Year Dinner
|Wednesday 24 November||Junior School Final Assembly|
|Thursday 25 November||Junior School Christmas Carols|
|Tuesday 30 November||Junior School Pool Party – Monckton Aquatic Centre|
|Wednesday 1 December||Junior School Speech Day (tba)
End of Year Celebrations (tba)
School Concludes at 3.30 pm