DR RACHEL HORTON
This week I have spoken to both Middle School and Senior School students about kindness and challenged them to find ways to think of others over the next week. While it is always important to be kind, in this ongoing pandemic, it feels as though there has never been a more pressing time to demonstrate compassion for ourselves and for others. There is also a growing body of evidence that shows getting involved with community and contributing in some way through compassionate acts increases personal wellbeing and resilience.
Kindness, like coronavirus, is contagious, and we can spread goodwill through the smallest of kind deeds. To quote Gandalf the Grey, I’ve found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.
As parents will be aware, after more than eight years as Head of Middle School at TAS, Mr Mark Harrison will be stepping down from the position at the end of the year. Mr Harrison is much loved by his students and has built incredibly strong relationships with our Middle School families. We will have an opportunity later in the year to thank him for his wonderful service. He will certainly be an incredibly hard act to follow, but I am delighted to announce that from next year Mr Luke Polson, our current Director of Studies will be taking over in the position. Mr Polson has been involved in many areas of the School over the years and was the clear standout candidate in a wide range of high calibre applicants. We look forward to welcoming him into the position next year.
Last week I communicated plans for the last four days of term. At the time of writing, we still do not have certainty over the scheduled end of lockdown this weekend. As soon as an official announcement is made, I will confirm arrangements for next week. In the interim, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected] if you have any queries.
Dr Rachel Horton
MR RICHARD NEWTON
MR PAUL GADDES
P&F meeting is on this Wednesday 8 September from 7 pm via Zoom.
Join the Zoom meeting at;
Meeting ID: 215 517 2798
Dial-in phone number: +61 2 8015 6011
The proposed agenda can be found on the TAS Parents Portal https://www.as.edu.au/pf/
Look forward to seeing you online.
We are planning new dates for TAS Golf Day. Stay tuned for details.
Refunds from the previously registered participants should have reached your bank account by now. Email the P&F Executive address if it hasn’t arrived.
Feels like it has been a minute since we have had the chance to catch up in person. Save Monday 4 October for dinner and drinks to start Term 4. Stay tuned for details.
It’s October long weekend, so why not combine dropping the students back at school and kick-off dinner all with a weekend in Armidale!
If you have anything you would like to raise with the P&F Executive, please send us an email at [email protected]
Mr Paul Gaddes
MR LUKE POLSON
Today is the final day of the Trial HSC period and I would like to commend all of Year 12 on the cooperation and hard work during this time. We know that it hasn’t been easy but well done to all of you for getting to this point. For the remainder of this term, your teachers will guide you with what is best to be completed now. Some classes will still run Zoom classes and others will publish structured revision; however, your teachers will be in contact with you about these arrangements. Please continue to use your teachers during this time to assist you with your studies.
Students in Year 10 have been emailed Subject Lines for 2022, as well as the online form for them to complete their subject selections. Students have until Week 1 of Term 4 to complete this. If students have questions about their choices, they can seek advice from Mr Mark Taylor (Careers Advisor).
Please access the website for Stage 5 Electives here: https://www.as.edu.au/year-8-into-9-subject-selection/
This website contains all the necessary information for students and families to make their initial selections for electives in Year 8 and 9, 2022. Students in Years 8 and 9 have been emailed a link to complete their initial preferences online through Edval. This form needs to be completed by Friday 10 September. In Week 9 of this term, students and families will be provided with a copy of the final subject lines for 2022 and invited to make their final choices by the end of Week 1, Term 4.
MR AJ WHALLEY
This Thursday 9 September is RUOK Day.
RUOK Day is a harm prevention charity that encourages people to stay connected and have conversations that can help others through difficult times in their lives.
The charity focuses on developing communication skills and confidence so that individuals feel comfortable having meaningful conversations with someone who may be struggling with life.
On Thursday during our Advisor period, staff will be working through some resources with students that highlight the importance of asking if someone is ok, when and how they might approach a conversation, how to listen, and how they can check in later on.
COVID lockdowns have certainly emphasised the importance of social connectedness and I would encourage you all to look at ways and make the effort to maintain relationships with friends and family.
The link below will take you to a short clip explaining the theme for 2021 or for more information visit: https://www.ruok.org.au
Mr AJ Whalley
Director of Pastoral Care
MR HUON BARRETT
On Sunday the Paralympics came to a close, a spectacle of human achievement that not only highlighted the importance of recognition and acceptance but the resilience, determination and triumph of these elite athletes. The theme of this years Paralympics Games was ‘We Have Wings’, through sport and acceptance we have the ability to lift people up. Dylan Alcott’s interview following him winning a Gold medal in the quad singles tennis was exciting but particularly inspiring when he acknowledged that ‘Paralympics sport saved his life’.
Dylan’s advocacy and support of people with a disability is real and reminds us that whilst there are struggles there are also opportunities.
“Not every person with a disability can be a Paralympian, but they can be a doctor, a lawyer, a mum, a dad, a teacher, an educator, a politician, whatever it is; but they don’t often get the opportunities that we’ve got here to play sport.”
I watched in sheer disbelief as Ibrahim Hamadtou did what would seem impossible. Ibrahim, nicknamed Mr Impossible, defies the odds and displays extraordinary skill to compete on the world stage.
It is these stories that warm our hearts, make us feel lucky – should we be so fortunate to be able-bodied and reminds us that while 15 percent of the world’s population live with a disability, we all have the ability.
“Co-curricular e-learning’ continues this week, there is plenty to choose from. Students and Staff will have the opportunity to be a part of any club and as many as you choose (the idea is engagement, try something new, learn a new skill and more importantly connect with people). No need to sign up just join, the aim is to be involved in at least one club per week or as many as you like.
The TAS 20, moves into week 3 of the challenge. Some touch challenges this week, we are over halfway and the end is in sight. Whether you are doing the challenge or not I encourage you all to find 20-30 minutes a day to be active.
What are you thankful for this week?
Mr Huon Barrett
Director of Co-curricular
MR MARK HARRISON
This is another brief one from me – to be honest, today’s focus is on the student presentations from the Middle School Assembly yesterday. I’ve asked that they be included today for wider families to listen to as well, because these weeks during their home learning are about them and, more importantly actually, those other people they represent (the Leader’s messages start at 6:00 minutes in the Assembly video). Our young people are, on the whole, managing their time with you as well as any one of us could expect. Please enjoy a few more photos submitted by students of what they have found meaning in, at home.
Implicit in every student leader’s message is some advice for you too, you know: I want you to listen to them, and to do so, carefully – ah, you’re probably thinking right now, this is a message from a teacher. Their message is the important one (and no, I did not advise them strongly at all) and it applies to you, as well. So many of you aren’t teachers – so expect from yourselves only that you can give in relation to your children’s learning. Basically, that thing is support: advise them (firmly) to be at zoom on time, to work as well as possible to deadlines – then, depending on what you’re doing just now, get outside yourselves and feel spring’s magical warmth and freshness. On behalf of everyone here, thank you very much for helping us with this most curious age group.
I am looking forward to changes, but the most important change for me is ‘change back’ – to that time we can all get back to normal.
Enjoy the weather, families,
Mr Mark Harrison
Head of Middle School
MR IAN LLOYD
Well, we await yet another announcement from the Premier to see whether we get the chance to return to school before the end of term. Naturally there has not been a decision here at School yet so please stay close with your communications and get in touch with your teachers or the School at any time should you have the need.
If we don’t return this term, please take heart from the knowledge that the very large majority of our community is doing very well. Your teachers have been in touch regularly and the feedback we are getting has been reassuring. Looking after ourselves and our neighbours may require a little more initiative, but we have heard of many excellent examples just the same.
So, in particular, thanks to Sarah Rice for staying connected with us in her role as a Child and Family Practitioner with Family Connect and Support. Through our conversations, it is clear that there is minimal information online, possibly because workplaces are providing support for parents who are working from home, and school is providing support for some students. There are lots of resources for children, specific to this pandemic, and we have included just a couple for your information. I would like to thank her for her support on behalf of us all.
Lockdown Resources for Parents
Congratulations to the following students that received School Spirit Awards last week:
Elara Polson, George Quast, Lachie McDowell, Bridei Stewart, Raymond Wang, Alexa Wood, Cooper Lacey, Oliver Maxwell, William Minter, Rory Secker, Ethan Downes, Levi Watts, Daniel Bayne, Lachie Wood, Kaitlyn Baker, Josh Bourke, Harry Fawcett, Mila Nexo, Cameron Carruthers, Edwina Newton and Libby Ditchfield.
Birthday wishes go to Charlie Crowley and Toby Whysall for their special days this week.
Mr Ian Lloyd
Head of Junior School
|Wednesday 8 September||Year 5 Assembly – Hoskins Centre 2.45 (Cancelled)|
|Thursday 9 September||Year 3-4 Kayaking and Swim & Survive (Postponed)|
|Wednesday 15 September||Transition Assembly – Hoskins Centre 2.45 (Cancelled)|
|Thursday 16 September||Classes Conclude|
|Friday 17 September||Staff Day|
|Term 4 – Week 1|
|Tuesday 5 October||Classes resume & staff return|
This Thursday is a day dedicated to mental health and checking in with our family, friends and children to ask the question: ‘RUOK’.
Earlier in the week, I asked our leaders of Junior School, our Year 5 students, to share how they have approached remote learning with a balanced approach to ensure they are feeling OK.
I think we can all learn a lot from the Year 5 students! Thank you so for sharing how you have set out to approach remote learning with a balanced approach to ensure you maintain good physical and mental health.
Year 5 TAS Talks – being Balanced during Home Learning
|Name||Example of being Balanced during Home Learning|
|Cameron||I have been balanced during home learning because I have been doing a lot of gym workouts with my parents, a whole heap of walks and runs and a couple of twenty-kilometre bike rides. Once I have finished all of my work for the day I turn off my laptop and I play with my little brother for up to two hours. In my free time when I am not doing gym workouts, runs, bike rides or playing with my little brother I normally help out on the farm if my parents do or don’t need my help. When it comes to school I normally start all of my work early or I start at 8:00 and put in enough effort even if I am in a time constraint.|
|Minnie||I am balanced during home learning because I go out and drive my paddock basher every day and do exercise every day when I get a chance. I also make sure I know what classes I have got and what I need to get ready for and what I need to have done.|
|Harriet||I am balanced during home learning because I make sure that I do at least two hours of exercise every day and I also do the TAS 20.|
|Rhidima||I am balanced during home learning every day because I take a bike ride, spend time with my family and do heavy muscle work! This makes me more balanced, it helps me keep fit as well and spend some family time. I also keep a balance of my screen time. I only use my laptop when I do work. I also make sure that I have a break from screen time. Home learning is very challenging. I miss my friends and family and other parts of Australia and overseas. It is really frustrating how we can’t see each other. Hopefully, the lockdown can come to an end!|
|Libby||I have been balanced between doing my work and building a fence out the back of the farm. I have also been playing handball and getting off my screen in my breaks. I have been in zooms with my friends as well and catching up with them.|
|Izzie|| Working from home can be challenging for many people and it is important that we are balanced with screen time and go outside. Doing things like going on a walk, run, bike ride, doing a workout or doing yoga can help with mental health and these are things I have been doing the last few weeks. I also think that it is good to catch up with friends over zoom. Being able to talk to my friends over zoom has helped me because I know other people might be struggling and I might be able to talk to them and tell them that they are not alone and that I might be going through the same thing.|
|Jack W||I’m being balanced as I have been going on heaps of bike rides and walks. I’m only on my laptop when I need it and I help out around the farm. I play with my siblings and talk to my friends a lot.|
|Edwina||I have been balanced with playing outside and getting exercise even when me and my brother disagree on a game to play.|
|Oliver||I have displayed balance in the past five weeks by getting off my screen and doing a TAS 20 challenge and trying to do some work on paper rather than doing it all on my laptop|
|Zana||I have been balanced over the last five weeks by getting off my screen and doing the TAS 20 as well as trying to do some work on paper and chatting to my friends over zoom.|
|Xavier||I am balanced because I make sure to not have too much time on my laptop and to go outside every afternoon for a walk or a skate, I make sure that I always play outside and do a lot of exercise. I also make sure to play with my siblings. (Even if they are really annoying).|
|Lucy||Although it is hard at home because I am not seeing my friends every day trying to finish all my work is super hard. I am balanced at home because I make sure I don’t spend too much time on my laptop (even when I need to finish something) and I make sure I go outside to jump on my trampoline, ride my motorbike, play with my dog, go for a run or play with my siblings I make sure I keep in contact with my friends and remember… Although it is tough we are all in this together!|
|Elsie||I am balanced as I don’t always stay on my laptop all day but I only use my laptop if I need work finished or to attend zoom sessions with Year Five, or the check-in with Mrs Fawcett. It’s always good to lay with some friends and/or have a little chat with them. I also usually go and do a few chores like collecting the eggs or feeding the dog.|
|Kevin||I am balanced at home because I make sure not to spend too much time on my laptop or any other screens, because it’s bad for you if you have too much time on them. But it is still good to catch up with some friends so it would be nice to have a little zoom with them. When I’m outside I like to jump on my tramp or play with my dog, ride my bike or any other creative things to do. It’s also good to keep up with your fitness activities so you keep fit and healthy.|
|Archie||I am balanced at home because I keep my fitness level up to date. Since I don’t have any extra activities during the lockdown, but my mother has got me a rowing machine and me and my dad have built a rugby post.|
|Arthur||I think I am balanced because I give myself limited screen time in school hours and at breaks, I get outside and have fun on my bikes (motorbike and mountain bike).|
|Lucas|| I have spent time outside working on my tennis and basketball and also playing with my animals every day.
|Mila||I know that everyone has to find home learning a little hard because of so many reasons and it’s important that we stay balanced. I make sure I am balanced by reading every day to get away from my laptop and I also do 3km rides every day to maintain fitness. I also might do 500m on the rowing machine. I try to have zooms with my friends so I can still see them. It is a bit annoying having five people in our tiny townhouse but we get used to it as time goes by.|
Mrs Veronica Waters