MR ALAN JONES
With so much else in the co-curricular world that has been impacted by COVID, around 25 students from Years 7-12 have been powering along in the background in the National Virtual Debating competition, run by the Association of Independent Schools of NSW, this year involving 100 teams from schools in every state and territory. In its fourth year TAS has four teams, including for the first time one from Middle School and the growth in both the development of debaters and the broader interest is palpable. Due to COVID, 15 group round debates for TAS have been packed into Term 3, with the top two teams in each group to go into a knockout in Term 4. So far the TAS teams have won nine of their 12 debates, with three to go. The Year 9-12 debates are impromptu, with teams getting the topic and then an hour to prepare for the debate when they aim to speak for five-seven minutes. The Middle School teams get their topics a week ahead. The online Debating Club, held weekly during lockdown in Term 2, had a wide take up of Middle School students in particular, keen to learn and practice their skills, which has spilled into this competition.
What is particularly pleasing is that over recent years debating has become more mainstream, involving boarders and day students, girls and boys, everyone from rugby players (even props!) and musicians to cadet leaders, rifle shooters, hockey players, footballers and netballers. The profile of debating has also been raised thanks to the inclusion of inter-house debating in regular assemblies which has given all students the opportunities to watch, support and celebrate their peers taking part in this sport of the mind. I wish all debaters well for the remainder of the competition.
Although I was unable to be present last Friday evening for the presentations of major works by our HSC music students, I have since viewed the downloaded footage of the entire concert. My excuse for not being there is that I was coaching the TAS First XV in Tamworth who were playing Calrossy. It was an enormously exciting victory, 22 points to 12, which meant the TAS First XV has finished on top of the table in their competition with the final to come over the next two weeks. I have digressed, and now back to the musical performances, it was a remarkable showcase of broad and deep talent and it highlighted the growth and development that we are seeing in our music department. COVID restrictions have resulted in the fact that students were limited to one accompanist and this presented a heightened exposure for all of the performers, they were certainly brave performances with raw talent clearly on show and it certainly felt to me that it was an experience that can only be beneficial as it drove the motivation and the courage to dig deep to find a personal expression. The personal element was very much on show and reflects much of our students lives that might not have been seen otherwise and I congratulate them all.
This Friday at 2pm the TAS Cadet Unit will ceremonially farewell its Year 12 leaders at the 2020 Passing Out Parade. This is important occasion that honours those senior students that have served the Unit for years, often in senior positions with considerable responsibility. These days our Cadet Unit spends very little time on parade and this is our only formal drill for the year. Its significance to our senior cadets is the same though and I know that those who will be passing out have been looking forward to this day with all the formality and tradition that signifies the units standing as the third oldest unit in the country. A number of the passing out students that I have spoken with at lunch over recent weeks, have commented that their experience in cadets stands out in their memory of life at TAS as formative and important for them personally and concluding that in style is only appropriate.
Let us not forget that for these young people their annual camp was cancelled because of the bushfires last year and that this year COVID restrictions mean that we are unable to have parents on site and our special invited guest has been unable to travel to Armidale.
|Wednesday 9 September||P&F Meeting – Zoom (7pm)
Registrar’s Visit – Scone
|Thursday 10 September||Registrar’s Visit – Newcastle|
|Friday 11 September||Passing Out Parade
Registrar’s Visit – Maitland
MR RICHARD NEWTON
There has been a fair bit of action and controversy in sport over the last week, from Australia losing the 20/20 series with England to the Yellow Jersey being taken from Julian Alaphilippe, in the Tour de France after he was penalised 20 seconds for taking an illegal feed in the closing kilometres of the stage, to, of course, the biggest story of the week taking place in the US Tennis Open. This is what happened:
Top-seeded Novak Djokovic has been disqualified from his fourth-round match at the US Open after he hit a line judge in the throat with a ball, in an incident that has left the tennis world incensed. It was a shocking end to Djokovic’s bid for an 18th Grand Slam title and a crazy way for his undefeated start to the season to come to an end.
As he walked to the sideline for the changeover, Djokovic smacked a ball behind him. The ball hit a female line judge, who dropped to her knees at the back of the court and reached for her neck.
His departure means there is no one remaining in the men’s field who has previously won a grand slam singles title. Whoever emerges as champion will be the first first-time major trophy winner in men’s tennis since 2014.
Djokovic is an incredible tennis player, and from what I can tell, a really nice bloke. Yet this one indiscretion has left him sidelined, unable to win the US Open.
It feels like if that can happen to Djokovic, who is immune from being sidelined, ruled out of contention and disqualified?
I think we can think like that when it comes to being Christian, being in favour with God. We think how can anyone, ever be good enough? Mother Teresa is probably the one person in recent history that many would say – “look at her, who can attain her standard, but even she acknowledged her need for the mercy of God”. Hear what she says:
“we too share in hatred and [this] cuts us off from God. But there is form where the wonderful mercy of God comes.”
The passage we had read says, no one qualifies in their own effort or ability, but all can be when we access the provision God has made available. The forgiveness and righteousness that comes as a gift from God through the death and resurrection of Jesus. I may not be able to qualify for a grand slam or the La Tour, but I can qualify to be a child of God because of his great love and justice shown through Jesus.
Mr Richard Newton
MRS RACHAEL NICOLL
The famous TAS P&F Christmas Puddings are still going to being made this year – At this stage Covid-19 won’t be stopping TAS families from enjoying a lovely Christmas Pudding on Christmas Day.
The date for the pudding bake has been booked – if you’re free and would like to help on Saturday 17 or Sunday 18 October 2020 let us know. Places are limited and Covid-19 restrictions will apply but we would love to see you there however you will need to register with the P&F beforehand.
We will be selling Christmas Puddings online this year (more to come in the following weeks). However, if you want to get in first so that you won’t miss out, you can put your name on the waiting list now by sending an email to [email protected]
We have a P&F meeting tonight, Wednesday 9 September and would love for you to come. Normally we would have this in the Lower Maxwell Room but we are hosting a ZOOM ONLY meeting instead. The meeting will start at 7 pm and if you would like to Zoom with us please see the link below or contact us on [email protected] if you have trouble joining the meeting.
Items on the Agenda include Christmas Puddings and continuing to brainstorm some small friend and/or fundraisers for the rest of the year that will enable groups to get together within the constraint of Covid-19. Obviously, it’s BYO wine but we would love to chat with you. Hope to digitally see you then!
Mrs Rachael Nicoll
MR DAVID DRAIN
It has been brought to my attention this term by the parents of both boarders and day students of confusion around the process of boarders taking leave with hosts.
All leave for boarders, regardless of the time of the week, must be submitted and approved by parents and/or hosts and Heads of House through Reach. Weekend leave is encouraged to be submitted as early as possible each week (Thursday evening at the latest) to ensure Heads of House have sufficient time to process and approve or in some instances seek additional clarification.
The Terms and Conditions of being a host to a TAS boarder are outlined below. These T&C’s were integrated into Reach early Term 2 and must be accepted by hosts before the leave is approved. It is the responsibility of the boarder’s parents to add the hosts’ details into Reach.
Should there be any concerns around the use of Reach, in the first instance please contact your son or daughter’s Head of House who can either talk you through the issue, refer you to the TAS IT Department or e-mail a copy of the Reach User Guide.
Host Terms and Conditions
Mr David Drain
Director of Boarding
MR LUKE POLSON
Year 11 exams will be held in the week beginning 14 September. Below is a link to the Year 11 exam timetable and student expectations document. Normal class for Year 11 will resume from the Monday of Week 10.Year 11 Timetable
Information has been sent to students and families this week about selecting their electives in Years 9 and 10. All of this information can be found on this website: https://www.as.edu.au/year-8-into-9-subject-selection. A reminder that Stage 5 elective preferences need to be submitted through Edval by Friday 11 September.
Mr Luke Polson
Director of Studies
MR WILL CALDWELL
Tomorrow is R U OK Day; an opportunity to reflect on how we can support our mates.
Q: If everyone looks after themselves, how many people are looking after you?
A: One; You.
Q: If everyone looks after each member of their team, how many people are looking after you?
A: Everyone in the team.
Of all the benefits provided by the Co-curricular program at TAS, arguably the greatest is the opportunity to be part of a team; to connect, to feel secure in the knowledge that someone else has your back. As humans, I think we are inherently selfish. We want what is best for us. However, the experience of being part of a team teaches us that what is best for us is to give rather than to take; to support our team-mates. Teams who embrace this culture will look back upon their season and cherish, above all else, the camaraderie and mateship they have experienced.
In an effort to make up for missed opportunities, Year 12 will compete in a variety of sports as part of the inter-house competition, on Tuesday 22 September. The day will include other year groups competing in both Public Speaking and Athletics. A full schedule will be emailed to students next week.
Mr Will Caldwell
Director of Co-curricular
MR ANDREW O'CONNELL
We have officially announced our 2021 TAS Production Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. A wickedly fun, bloody affair, it will be quite a different show to past productions and has already created a lot of interest amongst the students. Audition information is available in the Canvas course students have been invited to, which can be found by clicking here: https://armidale.instructure.com/courses/3747. The first round of auditions will be submitted as a video due by 5pm of Thursday 17 September and if you need any assistance please get in contact with Ms Roobol or myself as we want everyone to have their best shot.
The Junior School cast of Aladdin Jr continue with their table reads as they start wrapping their heads around adapting the stage musical to be a film. Before the end of the term, we will transform the Hoskins stage into a film studio and test the different ways we can bring this production to life in a new and exciting way.
Mr Andrew O’Connell
Creative Arts Coordinator
MR MARK HARRISON
This term is well over half-way – that’s a good thing and we’re readying ourselves to will it away. This comment isn’t as ominous as it may appear, so I’d better explain myself; simply, we are, almost without exception, really tired. Partly, this could be so because it’s close to being hot again. Armidale’s best when it’s cool, I think.
We’ve had another Middle School Assembly: ably assisted by Mr Brauer, Ms Roobol, Year 11 and 12 Music students and several of our student representatives, it was even better than its predecessor. Your children again proved themselves an excellent audience. Bella Fernance, Emily Benham and Tommy Burnett deserve special mention as, between them, they effectively ‘ran the show’. Regardless of age, we can all get under one another’s skin at times – but when they have to be, these young people are marvellous. I expect they will be again this coming Friday: the School’s Annual Passing Out Parade will be on that day and I know that you can watch its live stream to see how well they (we) perform. Not only have our Year 8s been complimented again on their attention to cadet-related detail but, very importantly, two of our Year 7s will be playing the bagpipes in the band: our amazingly accomplished two are Archibald Pengilley and Gus Sevil. People do ‘double takes’ when they encounter these boys: to hear them, you immediately think ‘adult players for sure’, but when you look at them they’re just two very young boys. And, they’re not just good, they’re amazing! You’re in for a treat, so be sure to watch from the safety and comfort of your lounge chairs.
Honestly, now I think about it, this is another reason why we all feel tired. Life is so different at the moment, isn’t it: we’re here; you’re there and we don’t meet as we’d like to, do we. It’s the difference that is really tiring and, as I indicated last week, the experience of difference manifests itself in weird ways, especially when we’re dealing with early adolescence.
Yes, here’s to the imminent break in almost three weeks. We need to ‘take stock’, pace ourselves, be prepared to support one another and, more important than anything else, be aware that there are others who, during this strange time, feel – exactly as we do!
I need to add here the fact that, considering everything that’s in our daily fare, we’re fine – just tired.
I hope you’re taking care of yourselves and one another.
Till next week,
Mr Mark Harrison
Head of Middle School
MR IAN LLOYD
We take this opportunity to acknowledge and congratulate Year 5 for the completion of their Exhibition last week, based on the Transdisciplinary theme, ‘How the World Works.’
Learning in the PYP is centred upon the process of inquiry, action and reflection; the constant demonstration of asking, doing and thinking. The Exhibition remains one of the key opportunities to reflect on, share and demonstrate learning in action, the Learner Profile and International Mindedness. Mrs Hardin and Year 5 have achieved a great milestone with its completion, a culmination of collaboration with each other, their mentors, friends and family to produce an in-depth inquiry that explores multiple perspectives.
Given the COVID circumstances, choosing to exhibit online was a decision forced upon them and created its own, enormous challenges. However, the work has been done and it has been shared with the Year 5 families, Junior School students and staff. It is now time to share this with you all and I hope that you have the time to enjoy it as much as we all have here at School.
To access the websites please follow the following link:
Finally, without the tremendous support and guidance from Mrs Hardin, none of this would have been possible and so from us all, congratulations and thank you. This is why we teach.
I would like to thank all our families for the fantastic response for our recent School photo, by preparing our children so carefully last week. It may seem like a minor issue but we work hard to have our students lift their awareness about dress and demeanour when it counts. The Junior School photo was one of the largest taken involving the youngest children; one of the team from MSP made comment about their appearance and behaviour….. “One of the best yet!” was the aside to me, and I wanted to pass onto you all just how very proud I was of them all. Thank you.
In saying this, staff are reviewing the uniform and we will soon have very clear guidelines from the end of this term for the uniform moving ahead. From the beginning of Term 4 this year, I anticipate that the entire Junior School uniform will be in place, well-advertised and able to be worn without interpretation from the beginning of 2021.
Please be reminded that any family travelling to Sydney (or any other COVID hotspot as found on the NSW Department of Health Site: (https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/covid-19/Pages/default.aspx) need to comply with the School’s protocols for isolating, providing a negative test and being free of any cold/flu-like symptoms at school. It is vital for our current students, especially boarders and those in Year 12, that we are vigilant at all times.
Our Transition class was fortunate enough to visit the Hub on Tuesday to collect books the Scholastic Wishlist Fair held at TAS two weeks ago. This was a wonderful opportunity for students to show agency by voting for books that they wanted to add to our growing HUB library. With their help, we were able to bring in over 90 new titles across our Easy Book, Junior Fiction and Junior Non-Fiction collections. These books are currently on special display for students to borrow, read and enjoy before we add them into regular circulation. They love their adventures into the HUB as the photo below suggests.
We are so fortunate to have the Hoskins Centre for our assemblies and, although still unable to host our parents at school, have started having somewhat restricted assemblies for our K – 5 classes. TAS Bear would like me to pass on that there is nothing better than surprising the girls and boys in person which is now possible. However, I know that many parents also enjoy knowing where TAS Bear is so I will include this in next week’s TAS Talks.
Mr Ian Lloyd
Head of Junior School
Many happy returns to the following three excited children celebrating this week: Grace Grogan, Will Grogan and Toby Whysall.
Congratulations to the following students for receiving School Spirit Awards last week:
Cade Rogers, Alexa Wood, Eva Cook, James Taylor, Liam Hoad, Rudra Tandon, Evelyn Brownlie, Kaitlyn Baker, Layla Abu Assab, Sophie Banister, Jack Maitz, Norah Al-Qahtani and Saxon Muirhead.
Along with a number of other classes, Year 5 have been studying ways to express their feelings in PD lessons with Mr Lloyd, focusing on “FEAR”.
Having read some of the “Top to bottom/Bottom to top “ poems from the anthology by Dana Jenson (see photo), we have included the following from some of the students:
As part of a unit of inquiry in Music, Miss Fletcher’s Year 2 students have been looking at communication generally, how we communicate in a music ensemble and how this extends to communicating and sharing music to the deaf community. The students did a terrific job. Please click on the link to watch them sign-singing ‘Fireflies’ by Owl City.
Junior School students will be choosing their summer sport this 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. Years 3 and 4 will be completing nominations this week. Years T-2 will complete theirs in Week 8. We do have some limitations on numbers in Tennis and Swimming, so Years 3 and 4 will have a preference in these sports.
Year 5 students will be choosing from the Middle School Sports choices this term. More information for this group will be given directly to each student.
All students in Years 3 and 4 will participate in one summer sport in Terms 4 and Term 1, 2021. 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.
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.
In choosing this sport, children should be able to competently swim at least two laps of the TAS pool (preferably in all 4 strokes). (Parents wanting ‘Learn to Swim’ lessons for their children are encouraged to contact the TAS Sports Centre on 6776 5866, to arrange lessons). All swimmers will train in the TAS pool on Thursdays from 3:45pm to 4:45pm. The instructor concentrates on stroke correction and improving fitness.
Held at the Armidale Gymnasium. Sessions are on Mondays from 3:50pm – 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.
Hot Shots Tennis program.
Students will participate in the MLC Tennis Hot Shots, led by Justin Sheriff.
More information on the MLC Tennis Hot Shots program is available at: http://hotshots.tennis.com.au/
This group will be limited due to COVID restrictions. Please indicate a second sports preference also.
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.
It is anticipated that Armidale Basketball Association will run their competitions this season. Games will be held at the Armidale High School Den from 4:00pm (Times yet to be confirmed) Trainings will be on Wednesdays at TAS.
NB: Armidale association are yet to confirm game venues due to construction work at the site.
Games will occur on Friday afternoons at TAS gym between the hours of 4-6pm.
Ms Collette will once again run her Dance sessions during the Wednesday lunch hour next term. Costings will depend on numbers attending. Please call Mrs Sandra Lasker if you need further information on Dance sessions.
Last weekend, the TAS Under 10s versed the Demon Knights Demons. It was a sensational morning and the sun was shining. I think we played really well this week and that our skills have developed over the term. We had some great defence by Xavier Stephens and some really great attacking by Toby White. Josh Bourke was a great all-rounder, there was some excellent passing and we worked very well as a team.
Sadly, we lost 4-0 but the team put a lot of effort and never for one second thought about giving up. We knew that the DK Demons were going to be hard to beat, and they were! Throughout all of our games we have worked really hard but I think we worked harder than we have ever done before during this game. Arthur White (not related to Toby) pulled a muscle in his right leg but fortunately he can still play soccer.
Thank you to Mr White, who was an extremely excellent coach and Mr Newton for helping out at Monday’s training.
Jack Woods (Year 4)
A sunny Saturday means a super day for netball!
Carla joined the Cherry Bombs team on the weekend and put in a huge effort playing with the Year 1 girls! Neave Drain showed such wonderful passing skills that both she and Carla earned themselves a certificate and a free happy meal!
The Go team had an excellent start with 4 goals in the first quarter! The shooting practice from training was evident as the goal scoring just kept going from strength to strength with Minnie, Sophie B, Mila, Harriet and Chelsea all scoring goals for their team! The 14 – 5 victory was a true indication of the girls’ hard work and dedication!
Mrs Anna O’Connor