DR RACHEL HORTON
Greeting the Junior School students with their beaming smiles as they came back to school on Monday was a wonderful way to start the last week of term. This has been quite an unsettling term at TAS with changing circumstances throughout and it is truly wonderful to be finishing on a positive footing with some students back on-site and the promise of an on-site Term 4 ahead.
While we are thrilled to be able to welcome the students back next term, we will be subject to Level 3 COVIDSafe practices for the foreseeable future, which will mean masks at all times and a wide range of normal school activities and events will be restricted or postponed. Mixing between year levels will also be minimised. Adjustments to normal school operations will be updated on the portal as decisions are made throughout the holiday. All families will also receive a welcome to Term 4 communication during Week 2 of the break with all the detail required for a school return.
For our boarding families residing in areas still under lockdown, there will be additional considerations around a return to school. We are planning for this as quickly as we are able and will be in touch with those families very shortly to give some guidance on students returning.
I know that many of our students are already vaccinated and I would encourage all those who are not yet vaccinated and are able to make appointments to take advantage of this. We will continue to actively seek vaccination options for students and will update families as they come up.
One of my favourite occasions in the school year is the announcement of new student leaders. I have been so impressed by the caliber of the students who will form the TAS prefect body next year and I really look forward to seeing how they will lead the School. Next year’s Senior Prefects, Deputy Senior Prefects and Prefects will be announced to students and staff on Thursday morning. Due to disruptions to processes this term, the remainder of the school leaders will be elected and announced next term.
Wherever you are, I hope you and your family are safe and well and I wish you all a peaceful and happy school break.
Dr Rachel Horton
|Thursday 16 September||Classes conclude|
|Monday 4 October||Boarders return|
|Tuesday 5 October||Classes resume|
MR PAUL GADDES
It’s nearly time again for TAS families to enjoy yummy P&F Christmas Puddings. If you can donate a bottle of brandy, please contact the P&F Exec on [email protected] to make arrangements.
We will again be selling puddings online this year with details to follow. 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]
Hope you can join us to kick-start Term 4 on Monday 4 October from 5.30 pm at the Whitebull Hotel. Book directly with The Whitebull, under TAS, to reserve your seats and allow the hotel to plan accordingly.
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]
Have a fantastic school holiday !!
Mr Paul Gaddes
MR LUKE POLSON
My thanks to everyone for your ongoing support and cooperation as we conclude this week after what has been six weeks of online learning. During this time, our Year 12s have shown their unwavering commitment as they completed their Trial HSC Exams online and our Year 11 students are completing their end of course assessments online as well. Additionally, during this online period, many of our Year 12 students have had Major Works due and I congratulate all of our students in this position for meeting these deadlines. I continually hear positive reports of all of our students for their levels of engagement during this difficult time for everyone.
I would like to take this opportunity to commend our staff for their efforts during this time. Moving to online learning is not simply a task of doing what we would have done in the classroom and doing this via Zoom. It takes careful planning and preparation to ensure that the content is delivered in a meaningful way online and students are engaged. My thanks to all of our staff. As we conclude the term, below is some year group specific information as we wrap up Term 3 and move into the holiday break.
This week many Year 12 students have been finalising their Early Entry applications for University as the deadline for several of these occurs this week. I encourage all of Year 12 to ensure that they have read the information from Mr Taylor (Careers Advisor) and reach out if they need any assistance finalising these. Last Friday I wrote to all of Year 12 to confirm that the HSC will now run from Tuesday 9 November to Friday 3 December. Students have a copy of this timetable. Additionally, NESA have confirmed this week that HSC results will be published on 24 January 2022 and ATARs will be released on 20 January 2022.
Some Year 11 classes will finalise their End of Course Assessments at the beginning of next term. Please be aware that Year 11 runs for the first few weeks of Term 4, and Year 12 content does not immediately begin at the start of Term 4. Students who are considering dropping a subject for Year 12 need to wait until Mr Taylor emails Year 11 to begin this process. This is likely to occur from Weeks 3 or 4 next term.
Students and families in Year 10 have been emailed the subject lines for Year 11 next year. Please ensure that these choices have been submitted through EDVAL by Sunday 10 October (end of Week 1, Term 4).
Thank you to all of the students in Years 8 and 9 who have submitted their initial subject selections for Stage 5 Electives this year. We anticipate that Stage 5 Elective Lines for 2022 will be sent to students and families by the end of this week. Students will also be provided with an EDVAL form to submit their final choices for 2022. Please ensure that these choices have been submitted through EDVAL by Sunday 10 October (end of Week 1, Term 4).
I wish all of our families a safe and restful holiday break.
MR ANDREW O'CONNELL
A moment with Mack
Whilst we have enjoyed seeing a few student faces on campus this week, we are far from school as we know it. It has got me thinking about how returning to school after being away can bring out different responses in kids. Some kids are excited about the prospect of being back at school and seeing their friends, having a routine and enjoying the process of learning. For some though the return to school can bring up feelings of anxiety, even if they are happy about a return to school.
Some kids get anxious at the start of every term, but next term there may be more who will be stressed about the thought of coming back. For the vast majority of our students, if we are all back on campus next term, they will have been away for eight weeks. During the holidays, this is different because it’s generally time to relax and have some fun. This time away from school has included six weeks of online learning. Just as they have had a adjust to learning from home, they will need to adapt to face to face learning again. There will also be restrictions in place, such as social distancing and wearing of face masks. They will also have to interact with peers and adults again in numbers they haven’t had to in a while.
Some of the likely worries students may have returning in Term 4 are;
Kids show anxiety in different ways at different ages. The signs can look like other things (or nothing in particular), so it can be confusing. Signs of anxiety can be physical, emotional, or behavioural. Here are some examples:
Anxiety is a common feeling and most people, including kids, can feel anxious from time to time. Typical anxiety is temporary and is usually in response to a stressful situation and doesn’t interfere with other areas of life. Anxiety becomes a problem when the anxious feelings are intense, don’t go away and/or interfere with daily life.
One way parents can help is an approach called “emotion coaching”. This comes from the work of Psychologist John Gottman.
This approach is not complicated and anyone can do it. It involves a two-step process that parents can use when their child is distressed.
This means you help your child to identify the emotion they are experiencing. So perhaps saying something like “I’ve noticed you’re not excited about going back to school, are you feeling worried about it? It’s hard having been away from school for so long, can you tell me what it’s like for you”. This conveys to a child that their feelings make sense, that they are not wrong or bad for feeling the way they do, and that you see they are worried and want to understand. This step is all about ‘feel it to heal it’.
Support may come in the form of emotional support – this is comforting, reassuring and being hopeful. It could convey a team/togetherness approach: “I’m here with you every step of the way”.
Support can also be practical and can take the form of distraction, redirection, encouragement and/or problem solving. If a child is focused on the uncertainty of what may happen, you can remind the child to focus on the things that are within your/their control, and redirect attention to things your child can do for now. This could be an opportunity for building skills – help model problem solving, making a plan of people your child can talk with at school – remind them of the support network of advisors, teachers, and school counsellor.
The most important thing about this approach is the order of the steps. You need to listen first (validation) and then take steps to help your child to feel better (support).
While emotion coaching is not complicated, it can be difficult for parents to respond with patience and empathy when you yourself are stressed. This approach really is asking you to put your own needs aside and be fully present and engaged with your child. This can be tricky when there are competing demands on your time and emotional resources, attending to your own self-care is vital. Seeking additional support if you need it through a counsellor, mental health professional or GP is a sign of strength and commitment not only to your own health and wellbeing, but to that of your family as well.
You can find out more about Emotion Coaching and Gottman here https://www.gottman.com/blog/an-introduction-to-emotion-coaching/
Ms Alix Goudge
MR HUON BARRETT
Whilst the Winter Sport season did not end with a bang, I am grateful that students were able to engage in sport up until Week 3 of Term 3. When we return to school in Term 4, the Level 3 Guidelines for Schools will certainly impact our ability to wrap up the season, which includes having some form of end of season celebration. In the coming weeks, we will look at some possible alternatives and ways to conclude winter sport.
I commend the numerous students who elected to take part in the TAS 20 Challenge this term. A special thank you to Mr Pennington and his team of students for their creativity and ongoing updating and monitoring of the TAS 20 Challenge. For many students, parents and staff this provided a great source of motivation to stay active during the lockdown.
I also want to acknowledge our fantastic staff who devoted their time and energy towards the various Co-Curricular e-learning Clubs. This provided an opportunity for students to stay engaged with School and connect with staff and a range of activities in addition to their home learning.
As I look to Summer Sport it is inevitable that there will be some disruption to the usual Summer Sport Program. However, please understand that we will be doing our best to provide opportunities for our students to stay active, within the guidelines for schools, as we prepare for a return to sport and the opportunities that we have become accustomed to enjoying during the summer season. I wish you all a safe and happy holiday.
Mr Huon Barrett
Director of Co-curricular
Lockdown has not stopped our debaters from completing their pool fixtures in this year’s National Virtual Debating Competition in recent weeks, with our Opens and Middle School teams through to the national finals and the future of the Year 9/10 team still in with a chance.
The Opens team started their campaign on 3 August against Newcastle Grammar, successfully negating the proposition ‘That professional sports people facing criminal charges should not be allowed to compete until the matter is resolved’. Their second debate on 16 August was more difficult, against both a strong team from Scotch College Melbourne and having the trickier side of the ledger as they sought to affirm ‘That Olympians should not be allowed to seek asylum while representing their country of origin’. Their group round finished in a flourish on 31 August, with a win against Scotch Oakburn College, Launceston. In what was possibly one of his finest debates at TAS, Captain of Debating Hudson McAllister rounded out a well-developed team argument against the proposition ‘That we should only hold international sporting events in democracies’, leaving no-one in any doubt that corruption, human rights abuses and other failings were not limited to ‘non-democracies’. The Opens team finished at the top of their pool with more points than Scotch and NGS; top marks to Hudson, Georgia Donoghue, Alexander Gibson, Henry Moore, Bridget Burnett and Hugo Catterall for their efforts.
Following a win over PLC Sydney and a loss to Calrossy in Term 3, a Year 9/10 team faced Scotch College Melbourne in their final pool debate on last Thursday 9 September. Scotch had the affirmative ‘That all youth clothing should be unisex’ and while TAS successfully countered with attacks on freedom of expression and challenged the power dynamic of clothing manufacturers, we failed to sufficiently clash with shortcomings in the Scotch model of youth being 10 years and under. At the time of writing TAS (Bella Banister, Meg Cory, Bella Fernance, Fred Kearney, Jasper O’Neil and Sofia Paris) sits second on the ladder behind an undefeated Calrossy and above Scotch – with the final group debate between those two schools to determine whether or not TAS proceeds into the finals.
Meanwhile, the Middle School team comprising last year’s national champions Jack Coddington, Daniel Emmery, Samuel Krishnan and newcomer Stella Maroulis, rounded out their pool campaign undefeated. Having beaten O’Connor Catholic College in March, the team took the points over Scotch College Melbourne on 19 August, successfully challenging the notion “That juries should sentence convicted criminals’. A week later on 25 August they faced Carey Baptist College, Perth, coming away with the win having successfully affirmed ‘That consumers should buy Australian brands even if they are more expensive’.
The competition may have been designed to be held online, but the various lockdown scenarios in different states and regions added a new layer of complexity for everyone. Group chats and Google Docs allowed team members to interact with each other during the debate, but there were still issues of dodgy internet connections to make things interesting. Well done to all who have taken part and best wishes for the finals next term.
Mr Tim Hughes
MIC Debating & Public Speaking
MR MARK HARRISON
Well, it’s the end of term: here we are and here you aren’t. The reason behind this week’s inclusions is to give you some idea of how we can stay in touch when we can’t be together. Our various Homeroom groups are doing things variously, so what you see here, while distinctive, is also representative of how we are communicating with one another electronically and differently from the normal Zoom lessons. Ms Steddy’s Year 8 members are doing everything from devising games to videoing their downtime routines. They’re inventive, entertaining and enjoyable – so, with Ms Steddy’s introduction here, I advise you to look at what these people are doing.
This week has welcomed back a small number of day students and they are welcome. This intrepid little group seem happy enough and are busying themselves with Zoom-related activity, physically distanced contact, and mandatory mask-wearing. I hope that we’ll see all Middle School people back in the new term and, of course, look forward to our continued contact in this manner.
In the meantime, on behalf of all staff in the Middle School, I wish you a happy, safe holiday break. While today advertises itself as a typical Armidale day (being predictable only in terms of its unpredictability – because it’s actually very cold), the longer days and the trees are telling me that warmth is near.
Be well, all.
Mr Mark Harrison
Head of Middle School
In my Year 8 Advisor time a number of weeks ago we were talking about podcasts as a way to stay connected and to hear about other people’s ideas and stories, while in lockdown.
I then spoke about the ABC national Heywire competition, which gives a voice for regional youth to share their ideas, stories and issues, and floated the potential of our group making some entries to submit by the middle of September. I then found out that the minimum age to enter is 16 – but the fact that Year 8 only turn 14 years old this year, shouldn’t stop us from having a go at setting up a TAS Middle School Heywire competition!
I therefore challenged my Advisor group and the rest of 8-01 to ‘Create a story about an aspect of your life this year during lockdown as a student living in rural and regional NSW.’ Below are two of the entries so far.
If there are any other Middle School students who would like to create their own ‘Heywire’ response to this lockdown, please email Ms Steddy for the details.
Ms Ingrid Steddy
During the lockdown, lots of people have been affected in negative ways. Being locked in their houses, being unable to see family and friends. I have been one of the lucky people who haven’t really been affected by this. I have been able to stay with my family and with my pets. My dogs have been a reason why I love this lockdown, I get to stay with them pretty much all the time. Magic and Ruby are my dogs, Magic is 11 and a Border Collie and Ruby is nearly 4 and a Jack Russell. They both have different personalities for all of my moods. If you want to do something fun outside, you can throw the ball to Ruby, she doesn’t bring it back but you can still throw it! If you just want to relax, Magic is always in the mood for a pat and if you want to go for a walk, they are both definitely going to be excited. Life during the lockdown hasn’t changed for me a lot. School has been put online but that is pretty much the only thing that has changed for me. I’m still communicating with my friends online, probably more than I did before.
The by-product of my lockdown lunacy is a game called Boja Pelota. It is a cross between paintball, dodgeball and Capture the Flag. So if you have any siblings who you feel like shooting (with paint), keen parents or pets I highly recommend this game.
What you need:
⁃ clothes that you can visibly see and are happy to get, paint on (once you finish the game you could do something crafty with it)
⁃ a paintball gun or other ( get creative if you don’t have one; make one, use a laser tag gun or fill up water balloons with paint, I used water guns and filled it with a food dye water solution )
⁃ 6 objects
⁃ A space to play ( I recommend having a few obstacles. My sister and I play in the vineyards)
⁃ A speaker ( to play banger music… duh)
Objective: To collect your 3 items and and make it back over the border to your side of the field
How to play:
⁃ On your designated playing space divide the field into two halves with a clear boundary
⁃ Choose your side and scatter your opponents objects ( I don’t recommend hiding them because the game will take to long )
⁃ Once you have both placed each other’s objects around your half blast music and begin.
⁃ If you get hit 3 times you are out and the opposition wins ( you could also play that you have to wait x amount of minutes)
⁃ No face shots ( anything that is not visible on a zoom or can be easily covered up is free game)
⁃ No putting objects in unreachable places ( putting it on a branch your younger sibling can’t reach is not smart it’s evil)
⁃ No leaving the playing field until the game is over
⁃ You can only shoot someone on your side of the field
⁃ No physical contact (unless it is the paintball hitting them, obviously)
⁃ Do not play this inside (your family does not need tie-dye carpets)
⁃ Oldest sibling gets to choose the music
Any questions please email me: [email protected]
This is a great way to decide disputes, be active and have fun. Modify this to suit your circumstances…maybe play it in teams. I hope this makes sense. Happy hunting 🙂
MR IAN LLOYD
I don’t believe that there is a great deal that hasn’t already been said when considering the term that was. We have spoken regularly of the concerted efforts of our community and, on behalf of all our teachers here, it has been wonderful to have been a part of it. I spoke to all our students on their return on Monday and when the excitement had calmed, we agreed that it had been simply.…different. Many words have been used to describe the remote teaching and learning situation that was forced upon us but most have looked upon it positively and this is a very good thing. Our children learn so much from us and so again, I thank you for your efforts, your cooperation and your support. It has meant so much to our teachers here on the ground and at home.
I will write to you again before we return next term. But before then, have a wonderful holiday with family and we will see you all again very soon I hope, relaxed and refreshed, ready for the start of a new and exciting Term 4.
Congratulations are in order for the 27 students who completed the Premier’s Reading Challenge this year. We had four students complete the challenge last year, so this is an outstanding effort from the Junior School. It was a pleasure to work with both students and parents to promote the love of reading at TAS. Scarlett Short and Edward Gillman also participated in the MS Readathon, raising funds for Multiple Sclerosis and we are very proud of both students for showing this initiative. Finally, congratulations to our Book Week Story, Art and Bookmark winners whose work is currently displayed in the Hub gallery.
Congratulations to the following students that received School Spirit Awards last week:
Scarlett Shortt, Bella Widders-Major, Carla Price, Tobias Holland, Ivy Rice, Artie Rylands, Liam Hoad, Neave Drain, Hugh Blackwell, Kenan Al Naji, Baxter Carruthers, Matilda Polson, Nancy Ma, Sophie Banister, Edward Gillman, Nate Blair-Pevitt, Sophie Brett, Mila Wright, Jack Wood, Kevin Tighe and Rhidima Das.
Congratulations to the following students that received School Spirit Awards this week:
Wilbur Drain, Umraj Nirmaan, Hasadi Wicks, Anna Trevaskis, Mishkah Alrdadi, Lara Thavapalasundaram, Freddie Post, Ted Draney, Roman Sue, Evelyn Brownlie, Janesh Wijewarna, William Dennison, Hamish Molina, Cecilia Price, Leo Thavapalasundaram, Zana Ross and Xavier Stephen.
Happy birthday to the following Junior School students that have their special day between now and the next edition of TAS Talks:
Ed Benham, Bonnie Blanch, Neave Drain, Sahib Singh, Xavier Stephen, Kevin Tighe, Lucas van der Werf, Jack Wood, Sophie Brett and Daisy Hammond.
Mr Ian Lloyd
Head of Junior School
|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|
|Wednesday 6 October||No Assembly|
|Thursday 7 October||Transition 2022 interviews|
Please find attached a list of summer sports for Term 4, dependent of course, on our situation next term. If your child is not on a particular list and should be, please let me know. It has been a little difficult coordinating sports choices with children over the past weeks, so please let me know if there are any errors. I am still waiting on a few children in Year 4 to choose their sport, so please email me directly with those choices this week.
Coaches for each sport are being finalised this week. More information will be available in TAS talks Week 1 next term.
Mrs Christine Wright
Junior School Sports Coordinator