DR RACHEL HORTON
As we head towards Christmas, it feels particularly appropriate to think of others less fortunate and to give our support in whatever way we can. Over the past few weeks, TAS students have been doing just that and engaging in service activities supporting causes within our own and the broader community.
Last week nearly half of all TAS students in the Junior, Middle and Senior Schools, supported by a plethora of staff, took up the challenge of running or walking 19 km in four blocks over four hours. It was a fun event with a wonderful atmosphere, representing the first occasion of its kind in a long while. The event supported the ‘Guns out for Tombsy’ Foundation, and in memory of Anya Zuber and Peta Kerr, raising funds for Anya’s Wish, causes very close to our hearts at TAS. I have no doubt many of our community will also be walking this Sunday for Anya’s Wish and I look forward to seeing some of you out on the course.
Year 9 and 10 students, as part of the Running a Business and Marketing elective, have been running small businesses to raise money for a sponsor child, Ruksana. In line with current business practices, the students have also had to adhere to COVID restrictions including the use of pre-payment methods and contactless delivery across the School.
Closer to home, Middle School boarders took the opportunity last weekend to clean up the TAS campus with a huge emu parade. This made a huge difference to the grounds, particularly in the wake of a big event and some wild and windy weather.
Sam Smith (Year 11), has an opportunity for you to contribute to a fantastic cause, while also getting started on your Christmas shopping list. Sam has written and published a children’s book with a message of acceptance and believing that anything is possible. Shomme and Raah is available to purchase using the Trybooking option below, with all proceeds going to Kids In Need Association (KIN), a charity supporting children with serious illnesses and disabilities. This is a wonderful endeavour from Sam so please support him if you can. https://www.trybooking.com/BVSMP
Dr Rachel Horton
MR PAUL GADDES
Thank you to all who have purchased their Christmas puddings. We have sold out. Stay tuned for details on pudding collections over the coming weeks. As always, they will be a yummy addition to your festive season.
The next General P&F meeting is on this Wednesday 24 November at 7:00 pm.
As this is the last meeting for 2021, we will be face-to-face, upstairs at the Whitebull Hotel (Manny’s on Marsh).
We will not have a Zoom link available, so please join us in person.
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 RICHARD NEWTON
Trawling through the news on Monday morning I couldn’t help noticing the order of the top stories.
My first thought was: what have we become, that justice, the loss of life and a horrible bomb blast is relegated to number 4 on the top stories list, behind the top two stories about cricket, and T20 cricket at that, not even the pure, longer, more noble Test format?
Then I thought, who do I know that’s a New Zealander, I want to rub their nose in it…
Then I went back to my self-righteous and pious thinking… what have we become that that’s the order of priority in our culture.
Then it dawned on me, of course it is, actually, quite seriously, of course it is the most popular reading, at least in Australia. Not likely to be so in NZ, but here it is because it’s a ray of sunshine. Let’s face it, things have been a little grim with COVID, lockdowns, face masks, check ins, every second news story is COVID related, and recently, if not COVID it’s been on the Climate Conference in Glasgow, which reported no end of bad or at least sobering news. Even our weather has returned to what feels more like winter rather than the onset of summer. We needed that ray of sunshine. We need to see some hope among all the gloom. We need to see where hope can be found.
However, here remains the problem. We might have won the cricket, but we lost the rugby…. You may not even care for cricket; it may not be any sort of good news for you. Even if it is, it won’t be long until we lose again.
The question is, where can we find real, unchangeable, unbreakable hope?
A student in Year 9 asked me last week, isn’t it a little cocky to say that you are sure of going to heaven, to have such a sure hope? Yes it would be, if it was conditional on my goodness and morality. But it is not, all through the Bible the assurance of heaven is given to those who have put their faith in Jesus, not in themselves, there is no room for piousness or self-righteousness. Our hope rests entirely on the goodness of God, His free gift of grace to us in Jesus Christ, who died in our place. Not arrogance, but humility, as we come to the point of knowing we need his forgiveness. This is where we find enduring hope, for it does not depend on my changeable performance.
Mr Richard Newton
It has just been announced that one of our entries has won the Junior Secondary division in the Australian Japanese Video Matsuri Competition. This is a National competition with entries from all states and also entries from New Zealand. This is very exciting for the students and is a reward for their hard work in script writing, film making and the accurate Japanese language used in the film. Congratulations to Olive Lockett, Holly Dauparas and Bethan Palfreyman. Below are the judges comments on their winning entry.
Congratulations! Your entry ‘The Test’ has been chosen as the Junior Secondary Division winner of the contest. It was great to see the enthusiasm of your students towards the Japanese Language and we believe this is a well-deserved win.
The winning video had a humorous twist, where a butterfly helped students by giving them answers during their class test. The students delivered the story through a well-acted performance using acquired language clearly.
Another one of our entries also received a Special Mention award for their film ‘The Art of Deception’. Congratulations to Thomas Vrkic, Thomas Liew and William Gilpin. Below are the two winning entries.
‘The Test’ – https://youtu.be/jNC7WEaCh8o
‘The Art of Deception’ – https://youtu.be/OQiErR-lH74
A moment with Mack
For those of you who are still with me on this, thank you and I hope you’re getting something valuable from your time in reading these articles each week. This week we are putting a spotlight on the Cognitive Domain. Now what could some of the stressors be in this domain and how might we support children and adolescents? That is what this week is all about.
Firstly, let’s explore what cognition is. This is an awfully big word in psychology and it refers to any of the mental processes involved in learning – so we are talking about things like:
Indeed all of these areas are big in their own right and in Self-Reg we are always wanting to dig deeper, to get to the root cause of things, so we would consider taking a deeper look into any of these areas if they are causing issues for a child or adolescent at school.
Stuart Shanker (2016) has named the most frequent aspects of the cognitive domain that children and adolescents struggle with are:
Learning from mistakes
Seeing the relationships between cause and effect
Thinking in abstract terms
The reasons why a person may struggle with some, or indeed all of these are varied. What I want you to consider is that for a child who struggles to ignore distractions, stay focused, copy from the board, remember a sequence of instructions – this is not a matter of self-control or motivation. Here we are again, at this same point I have been making each week. Kids do well when they can, and when they can’t do what is expected, we need to ask: Why? and Why now?
Say that a baby is born perhaps with hypersensitivity or hyposensitivity, they can’t really hear the sounds so they are not quite sure what is going to happen next, or they can’t integrate different kinds of sensory information; this is going to create stressors within the cognitive domain. Being able to easily recognise patterns means you can easily recognise what you are feeling and can act in an intentional way in your environment. It is the start of figuring out cause and effect, moods and behaviours, it also develops a sense of safety and security in the world.
For example, a baby has to be able to integrate visual and auditory information in order to develop language skills. But if they have a weak sensory modality in one of those it will make the integration of this process very difficult. In fact, this is a core feature in dyslexia, it is a complex visual-auditory problem that is biological in origin.
So, we need to consider how stressful it is for a child who is now starting to learn to read. Due to this neurological difference, no matter how much effort they might make this is incredibly challenging. Usually, the child is encouraged to ‘try harder’, and they often do but the more they try the more depleted their energy gets, the more frustrated and discouraged they become. So you can see why no amount of encouragement through punishment or reward is going to address the root of the problem, it is most likely only going add to the tension that the child is under and elicit a stress system (red brain) response.
The take-home message from this is the brain’s ability to see patterns acts as a buffer against stress, and in Self-Reg we are stress detectives so we need to always be observing behaviour and being curious – asking ourselves “why and why now?”.
So, essentially cognitive stress is difficulty processing certain kinds of information.
Let’s go through the Self-Reg, 5 steps to show you more clearly how Self-Reg works in the cognitive domain.
A child is having trouble concentrating and is easily distracted, they try and avoid written activities at school and get anxious if called upon in class to read or answer a question. They appear unmotivated and often disrupts others, the afternoons are worse in regards to behaviour in the classroom.
Why is this happening and why now?
Difficulty paying attention, retaining attention, avoidance, anxiety is all signs of stress behaviour.
Cognitive stress is difficulty processing certain kinds of information. Is the information being presented too quickly or simply too much new information at once, is there a learning issue, can the child hold more than one instruction in their mind at a time, is there a sensory issue like noise sensitivity, is the child well rested, eaten enough? (this is where we can stressors from different domains impacting each other)
Strategies such as the teacher speaking more slowly, scaffolding, chunking information, don’t put the child on the spot, check-in with the child 1:1 to check for understanding, giving printed copies of work and highlighting the key learning points.
Working on body awareness – it is important to help your child become more aware of sensory information, of how their body feels and what is happening around them – are they hot, tired, stiff or relaxed, hungry?
Doing things to help strengthen the roots of the issue (red brain) can then make (blue brain) activities more helpful, like executive functioning training, but you MUST understand the underlying stressors before you can do coaching strategies (and these may not be needed if you support the root cause of the issue).
Recover – find out the things that give you more energy and reduce tension than before you started – like having a sleep, going for a walk, stretching, doing a hobby, being with friends. What do you find fun and replenishing?
We have focused on Cognitive Stressors, however, I would like you to consider that there might be stressors from other domains that impact the cognitive domain, such as sensory processing, anxiety, fatigue, trauma.
Again my information is all based on the work of Dr Shanker, I will provide full details of how to access his work in the last episode of this series.
Ms Alix Goudge
MIDDLE SCHOOL BOARDING
MR MARK HARRISON
The best news we’ve received this week is the fact that we can, for the first time in a long one, invite you to TAS for the end of year celebrations. The fact you can be here augurs well for 2022 when, hopefully, you will be able to visit the school more regularly. Your children are pleased about this prospect – even with day students this year, the ‘tyranny of distance’ has been keenly felt by so people, regardless of age. If you are eligible, of course, and able, we’d welcome you happily in a little over two weeks’ time. The Middle School Final Assembly will be on 1 December, immediately following Activities and it will be held in the School Gym. Already, students have had meetings, Mrs Frost has had more, Ms Roobol has been a regular visitor and staff will meet again this week, as well. As is so often the case here, this term has been accelerating at a fierce pace and the fact that we’re still in one piece indicates that we’ve been successful in its overall management.
One of the healthiest signs this term is the number of interviews we are continuing to have with prospective students for the next academic year. Over the last four days we’ve had five interviews. This isn’t surprising because this school continues offer quality and variety. Special thanks should go to Mrs Neilson and Mrs Griffiths for their unstinting efforts: in the absence of face-to-face meetings, all interviews since before the half year have been over Zoom, but these two people have managed the organisation of said interviews in such a way their ‘personality’ is hardly diminished – they’re almost as personal as actual meetings. TAS is very lucky these people are at the helm in our Enrolments Office.
Academic reports are now well underway and the process of their being entered as I write this to you is about to begin begun. I’m in the process of managing my Middle School ones and my mood is calm because, again, I’ve begun reading teacher comments about students who have done their best to navigate this curious semester. What is immediately clear is that during this period of formative assessment, students have managed well enough. It’s interesting to note the number who’ve commented on the lack of formal testing during this period. The latter is an essential part of senior school life and no one seems to disagree with this belief, but there’s almost a palpable sigh of relief that what we’ve done has been welcomed by all. People, again of all ages, have been able to settle in to as uninterrupted learning as possible.
The other important aspect of reports is that they catalogue wider curriculum achievement. Clearly, most have been busy with available sports and an increasing number are availing themselves of opportunities in many areas. It’s so much healthier to be busy than it is to be bored. It’s also affirming to be working in a school where the social, emotional, and physical growth patterns of students are catered to and complemented by their academic needs.
In accordance with health regulations, Activities Week has been modified: effectively, for the first three days of the final week of term students in all three age groups will have the chance to engage in a range of activities that allow them to engage in mutually dependent exercises and these will be complemented by others that encourage them to develop individual strengths. As you are aware, the students are fully supported by seniors and staff.
Swirling and shimmering across the skies,
Resplendent hues of blue and green,
An ethereal display of wonder and awe,
The most amazing spectacle man has ever seen.
Across this icy plain all is silent,
As night turns to twilight, and twilight to dawn
The sun cautiously rises above the horizon,
And so a new day is born.
Various animals emerge from their shelters,
And tremble with joy at the light,
That spills across the frigid land,
And dispels the final traces of night.
The sun climbs ever further and further,
On its journey through the sky,
Over a land now alive with movement and sound,
And smiles to itself as it goes by.
Waking up on my 11th
Birthday I was like “Yes
Oh my birthday what a time
Lots of people are very nice.
All the presents and gifts.
All the cards and cake.
The wait of having to open your
Your siblings become your
Little elves. Playing games
Going around making sure
They don’t make me go up
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.
MR IAN LLOYD
You should have all received an email earlier in the week outlining the Speech Day schedules for Senior School and Junior School. We are excited to be able to welcome vaccinated parents and family members on-site at our Speech Day, on Wednesday 1 December starting at 9 am, to be a part of this important event with Junior School staff and students. Following Speech Day, we invite you to enjoy morning tea in the Under Cover area from 10.15 until 11.00, after which the children will change into their House shirts and swimmers for fun activities for the remainder of the day. Collection will be at the usual times and location.
William Minter is the only Junior School student celebrating a birthday this week, so we wish him a very happy birthday for his special day.
Mr Ian Lloyd
Head of Junior School
|Term 4 Dates|
|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 (Staff and Students only)|
|Tuesday 30 November||Junior School Pool Party – Monckton Aquatic Centre 9.30 am – 11.30am|
|Wednesday 1 December||Junior School Speech Day
TAS Gymnasium 9.00 – 10.15. Vaccinated Parents and families welcome
Parent Morning Tea – 10.15 – 11.00 Junior School Under Cover area
11.00am – 3.30 End of Year Celebrations for students including Jumping Castle, Inflatable in TAS pool (Yrs 2 – 5), outdoor activities, and Christmas Movie.
School Concludes at 3.30 pm
|Monday 6/12/20||Emoji Magic 8!
Come and create your own magic 8 ball but with emojis.
Bring your bikes along for a fun ride around the school and through the Junior School
|Wednesday 8/12/20||Rock challenge!
Decorate and design a unique rock to be taken home.
|Thursday 9/12/20||Recycle and Create!
Bring your creativity and imagination to our recycle and create day.
|Friday 10/12/20||Circus Act!
Learn a trick or two as we step into the shoes of a clown or acrobat.
|Monday 13/12/21||Christmas Craft and Celebrations. Bring Swimmers along for a swim in the TAS pool|
|Tuesday 14/12/21||Christmas Craft and Celebrations. Bring Swimmers along for a swim in the TAS pool|
|Wednesday 15/1/21||Christmas Craft and Celebrations. Bring Swimmers along for a swim in the TAS pool|
|Thursday 16/1/21||Christmas Craft and Celebrations. Bring Swimmers along for a swim in the TAS pool|
|Friday 17/1/21||Christmas Craft and Celebrations. Bring Swimmers along for a swim in the TAS pool|
|Monday 10/1/22||Chalk it out!
Design and make our Junior School colourful with some foot path creations.
|Tuesday 11/1/22||Bath Bomb!
Get creative and make some smelly bath bombs to take home and enjoy.
|Wednesday 12/1/22||Kids World!
Let’s enjoy some time out and go wild at Kids World.
|Thursday 13/1/21||Fort Wars!
Build a fort out of recycled materials and enjoy the battle between friends to defend your grounds with water balloons (bring spare clothes).
Have a dance and sing along to some tunes. Create your own microphone with some recycled cylinders.
Get our ideas out and make some slime for us to take home and enjoy.
We’re all going on a day out to the movies! Bring along some money to get some popcorn, drink and a ticket to the newest movie out.
|Wednesday 19/1/22||Playground Scavenger Hunt!
Get searching for all the items on our checklist ready for hunt.
Bake until our tummies are full. Help bake some biscuits, brownies and scones for our afternoon tea.
|Friday 21/1/22||Park Play!
Enjoy some time together at the Curtis Park playground where we can all have fun.
Bring your swimmers along also in case it’s a hot day and we might be able to go for a swim in the TAS Pool.
Next week will be our final week of After School sport. It has been a fabulous way to end our year, with children enjoying the sports on offer this term. We are hoping that all sports will be back and running in Term 1 next year. More information about Term 1 sports will be sent to you at the start of the year. Sport will commence in Week 2, Term 1, 2022.
No sport – Week 9.
Even with HSC and poor weather interruptions, the team showed their commitment and were near 100% attendance on the outdoor courts.
The senior kids on the other court commented about the significant skill improvement of the JS team in such a short time, with the Fawcett siblings leading by example in the 1-2 passing drill.
They are all excited about basketball camp in the holidays.
If your child is keen, please see the brochure in this edition of TAS Talks, and email me if you have any questions or would like to register.
Mr Ken Secker