MR ALAN JONES
Passing Out Parade last Friday afternoon was, once again an impressive event and it was my special privilege to be the Reviewing ‘Officer’. Normally of course we have an invited guest but once again COVID restrictions have impacted on one the most traditional aspects of the departure of our Year 12 cadets. Weather conditions for practice on a number of afternoons were also not as conducive as we would have liked but I can only commend the cadets for the high quality of our parade and I offer congratulations to our Cadet Commander Major Angus Murray, Sergeant Simon Ball and SUO Marcus Braham.
The awards that would normally have been presented at the Annual Cadet Dining In Night were presented in Assembly yesterday celebrating what have been some impressive efforts throughout the year, particularly for our senior cadets.
As our Year 12 students look ahead to their final week of school and the HSC exams that are looming, Year 11 are sitting their Preliminary HSC end of course exams this week. This is the first taste of the HSC experience for Year 11 as they are examined on the full year of work across all their chosen subjects and it will give them a good indication of where they stand in their academic preparations for their final school year. I wish them well for those exams of course, but also encourage them with the knowledge that the lessons learned from these exams, particularly in terms of what worked well and what did not in their preparation, are the real fruits of the exercise. These results will not impact ATARs and future opportunities directly, but if interpreted well and the lessons from them digested, they will inform the coming year and be of real value.
As the term winds down and we are approaching the final weeks of sport in all competitions I would like to wish all of our students participating this weekend the very best and it is my hope that they have appreciated the opportunities presented to them throughout this truncated winter season. I would also like to offer my thanks to all coaching staff, managers and parents for the support they also have offered.
In particular, I would like to congratulate our 14B, 14A, 16A and First XV Rugby teams in making it to their respective grand finals in Tamworth this Friday. They will be representing TAS throughout a planned Gala Day of grand finals at Scully Park, culminating with our First XV playing Farrer MAHS First XV as the last game of the evening.
As far as other sports are concerned, we are eagerly awaiting to hear from the various competitions as to the standing of our teams.
|Thursday 24 September||Valedictory Day ( Live Streamed)|
|Middle School 20th Anniversary Celebration|
MR RICHARD NEWTON
I really enjoy the Tour de France, but it always seems to raise the issue of performance-enhancing drugs, but do you know about performance-enhancing ‘breaks’? Known medically as induced autonomic dysreflexia, the method sees athletes cause themselves physical pain to heighten adrenaline levels to aid output, commonly known as boosting.
According to the Australian Times, in able-bodied athletes, intense physical exercise automatically raises the heart rate and blood pressure. However, athletes with a severe spinal cord injury don’t get that natural boost.
In order to produce a rapid rise in blood pressure, there have been reports of Paralympians using extreme measures such as breaking bones, strangling testicles and enduring electric shocks to produce enhanced performances.
This is taking winning to a whole new level.
What about our performance? What happens when our performance is insufficient? Do we go to any lengths to win? Would you ever go that far to win?
Our performance doesn’t reach the qualifying standard. Yet with a bit of pain, we might get there. Perhaps being ostracized by peers, the occasional beating, being wounded and crushed may just get us over the line. The beautiful thing is in this scenario, it’s not our pain that will achieve all that’s necessary. This time it’s like the Paralympian watching or even hearing of another getting their toes broken or dare I say testicles strangled, and that’s enough to induce the right level of adrenalin for the required performance. In our case, the one who carried the pain that should have been ours is of course well known to us. We rely on His performance, His pain, His brokenness – not our own. We don’t just receive a boost; we receive someone who performs on our behalf. This performance gives us great confidence in our qualification and victory. Jesus has done it all.
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. Whilst we would love to see you, we will not be able to accept helpers who just turn up on the day.
We are only making a limited number of puddings this year so if you wish to get one please order early!! In these COVID times, the P&F is only selling puddings online this year. They are still $25 each and can only be ordered and paid for on TryBooking. https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=655022&. They will also only be available for collection (after ordering) from Reception between Thursday 26 November and Thursday 3 December. Any puddings ordered but not collected or not sold by end of day on Thursday 3 November will be donated.
If for some reason you are unable to collect your pudding during the dates given above please contact the P&F on [email protected] and I’m sure we can sort out a way to get your pudding to you so that you can enjoy it during the Christmas season.
Mrs Rachael Nicoll
MR WILL CALDWELL
Whether you are playing your final game or playing in a final, there is cause to pause and reflect on the season. To even have this opportunity is a blessing and I thank all the competition organisers, staff, coaches and parents for their support in making this possible.
We are optimistic that, with continued care and caution, summer sports will proceed as planned. Please find below the Training Schedule and Coaching Allocation for Term 4. There may be some minor changes as information flows in from sporting associations, however, this provides a guide for you to plan other commitments.
Thank you to those students who have already volunteered to assist with coaching. Any other students who are interested are encouraged to email [email protected]
My best wishes to all teams playing this weekend. Whatever the outcome, be thankful that you have the opportunity!
Mr Will Caldwell
Director of Co-curricular
MR ANDREW O'CONNELL
This is a big week wrapping up a number of key aspects of our HSC Creative Arts courses. Our HSC Visual Arts submitted their Bodies of Work on Monday and will await the marking of those in the coming days. Those works will have a digital showcase with the fabulous support of our Development Office and we hope they may be able to be displayed in Hoskins at some point soon for students (and, eventually, parents). Our HSC Music 2 and Extension Music candidates had their performances yesterday and our HSC Music 1 students perform tomorrow afternoon in Hoskins. To all our HSC students I congratulate you on handling the many challenges with courage and fortitude and extend those congratulations to the wonderful team of teachers, tutors and parents standing behind you.
On Sunday the Middle School radio play team performed and recorded Jane and the Giant Peach. That work will debut as part of the Middle School 20th Anniversary Celebration and will be a wonderful celebration of creativity in the age of COVID-19. Congratulations to all the cast and a special mention to Mr Wheatley for running the activity and the support he received from Ms Kininmonth, Mr Cornford and myself.
And with Middle School’s show wrapped we now turn our attention to the film of Aladdin Jr being created by our Junior School. We’ll be laying down some test footage before the end of term and will be a very busy film studio in Term 4. So, good luck to our young actors with the learning of their lines and songs.
Mr Andrew O’Connell
Creative Arts Coordinator
MR MARK HARRISON
We’re older in a very significant way this year…
It’s funny – one week makes all the difference to the way people feel: energy levels rise because we all know that we can get to the end of our first full term at TAS this year with a level of good humour and grace.
Our final week will be a special one, and we’ve been preparing for it as a whole Middle School. Forget the significance of 18th and 21st birthdays – what’s important to us is that we’re turning 20 and, again, while sadly you aren’t able to be here, we’re going to live stream our celebrations of this milestone at TAS. We’ll have speeches from a number of people, most notably from Mr Dennis Dempster, inaugural Head of Middle School, our senior leader representatives Bella Fernance and Henry Kirton, our Head of School Mr Jones and I’ll happily say something, as well. To commemorate this very important occasion we’ll be ‘laying’ a sealed cannister which will contain ‘2020 memorabilia’ that your grandchildren, perhaps, may unearth in 20 years’ time. What a year: so significant in so many ways. Its earlier phase featured an almost paralysing drought and brutal fires, but thankfully, with increasing age, it’s become, at least in one sense, kinder to everyone. We’ve welcomed rain and with that new hope for the future – certainly you looked younger when you sent your children back to us. Our students will write their forecasts for the next 10 – 20 years and their reminiscences will be laminated and placed with other significant ’20-year markers’ in the cylinder.
However, nothing’s often all good or all bad in life. A sobering reflection of mine (yes, I’ll perhaps be given the opportunity to have some small contribution here) will be, as I indicated to all Middle School students and staff today, the weird feeling about having missed face-to-face interactions with all of the young people for whom I’m responsible. Term 2 was hard: we were at school and all of our collective charges were with you. For you, this was probably the silver lining to our cloud. Your families were together. But seriously, there is very little in this world that makes less sense than an empty school! Here was difficult for us and it’s my hope that we’ll remain on an even keel.
Back to celebration: of course, you’ll be able to see our 20th birthday and thanks to this tech age, you’ll be with us in spirit, after a fashion. As part of their commemoration of our 20th year of operation, those intrepid young and very accomplished bagpipe players, Archibald Pengilley and Gus Sevil will provide our musical scores. All Middle School students will celebrate others in our wider school, as well – but I’m not in a position yet to reveal what exactly this will be – but I’m sure you’ll approve.
We’re having a mufti day on Friday: we’ll collect gold coin donations from our students and all proceeds will go to St Christopher’s Home (for children) in Fiji. As you may know, in a normal year a group of Year 8s would travel to St Christopher’s to serve the Sisters and children for the larger part of the Term 3 vacation. We won’t be there in person, but we can still contribute to these children whose ages, generally, range from several months to about 13 years.
Until next week, then
Mr Mark Harrison
Head of Middle School
What a term in White House! Even though the boys are exhausted and nearing the end of their first full-term for the year in the boarding house they still have hearts of gold and have participated in all that has been thrown their way.
In the lead up to, for many of them, their first Passing Out Parade and between their sports training and games as well as other musical commitments this generous group of young men each wrote a letter to one of our Australian Deployed Service personnel. These boys took the time to say thank you for all that is sacrificed by these men and women by commenting on their admiration and for some; their hope to join the armed forces in the future. Those who took part have shown true empathy for these men and women, hoping to convey to them their appreciation of the work that they do not only for peacekeeping but also in supporting Australia’s humanitarian commitments.
“Writing these letters to the soldiers was a fun and great experience for me and found that it would be extremely powerful for them too. I am exceptionally grateful for their work and service towards Australia, my family, friends and myself.
“If any more students would like to Support the Troops you can send an email that will be forwarded on to a deployed service person at [email protected], it would be tremendously appreciated if you could.”
Miss Belinda Macri
Deputy Head of White House
MR IAN LLOYD
Junior School will be spending the next three days meeting with a team IB Leaders as we have our Primary Years Programme evaluated and reviewed upon. This marks the culmination of a huge amount of work our school has prepared and I thank all our teachers, parents and students who will be involved over the next few days. You will see a fantastic collage of classroom displays in this week’s section of TAS Talks and again, I thank Mrs Veronica Waters, our PYP Coordinator for outstanding dedication and leadership over the years.
Rather than an assessment of the standards and practices implemented since we adopted the principles of IB, it is an opportunity for us to have a guided reflection and feedback about the journey on which we embarked almost 10 years ago. The process is not only informative, it is very supportive, designed for us to consider, map out and then prepare our direction for future years. We will be in a position to report back to you all very soon.
I was really pleased to have had the opportunity, along with our Kindergarten teacher, Mrs Anna O’Connor, to Zo with a good number of our current parents and answer questions about our program. In fact, it really was more one way than this suggests, with information and audio-visual clips being shared and discussed by Anna and me with parents able to see what our Kindergarten program at TAS has to offer. It was a really relaxed and pleasant way to achieve this goal and one which may well open the way to other sessions like this in the future.
The preparation for our summer sport season is now almost complete and, as the weather warms, you can feel that summer is not far away. Iso, it is a great opportunity to think back and remember what a great winter of sport we have had and the engagement our students demonstrated as they participated in a good range of sports. Of course, this doesn’t happen without the support of the school and our parents and despite the trying circumstances, there is no doubt that it has been a highly enjoyable and satisfying time. As stated previously, we are very fortunate to live in our region and remain less impacted by the restrictions that have constrained so many others.
Although already having hosted a visit from TAS Bear, Year 4 were again successful last week as a result of the fabulous engagement they showed committing to their new Unit of Inquiry. Mrs Waters could not have been happier with their maturity and insight as they began their study and for this, it was clear they should be worthy recipients. Congratulations to them all.
Mr Ian Lloyd
Head of Junior School
Happy birthday to Neave Drain, Albie Brauer and Ed Benham who all celebrate their special days this week.
Congratulations to the following students for receiving School Spirit Awards last week:
Bridei Stewart, Bronte Polson, Hunter Crane, Neave Drain, Nancy Ma, Matilda Polson, Sahib Singh, Edward Gillman, George Drain, Lucas van der Werf, Libby Ditchfield, Tommy Blanch, Chloe Dennison and Cormac Downes.
The Junior School students and teachers are really looking forward to sharing our learning journey as an IB school in our remote evaluation visit on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
The selection of photos below provides a tiny window into how amazing our classroom learning environments are looking and of the constructivist approach to learning and teaching. This visit is the culmination of a self-study conducted over 18 months whereby all stakeholders have reflected upon our implementation of the programme.
Mrs Veronica Waters
IB PYP Coordinator
TAS really did ‘Net, Set and GO’ on the weekend! Bridei, Carla, Neave and Eva represented their school so well in their teams with Eva winning the Players Award for the second time this season!
The Go team were up against PLC on Saturday. The two teams were evenly matched which made for a very exciting game! There was some excellent shooting work by Chelsea, Mila, Minnie, Katie and CC.
Next week is our final game of the season and we are excited to show the ACSC Queens how much we have improved this season!
Mrs Anna O’Connor
This week in football, we played the Red Rockets. They were a very good team. We lost 5-0. The stars of the week were Xavier who was a strong defender, Toby who saved many goals in goalie and Casper who did some great dribbling and almost scored a goal. Josh also put in great effort and when he fell down, he got straight up again. I think that we did a great job playing against this strong team, even if we lost. Everyone stayed focussed, tried their best and I think we have improved a lot over the season.
Lucas Van Der Werf (Year 4)