Learning, Believing, Achieving – Edition 5, Term 3.
Date: August 30, 2018 Posted by: Alana Ripepi
Bookweek is a terrific week in the life of the school. I want to thank our wonderful Library staff (Kerrie, Clare, Karla and Kimberly) on both campuses for nourishing our students’ love of reading, our parents for their costume-making skills, and our teaching staff for entering into the spirit of the week. We had a wonderful parade at KBJ on Wednesday morning and again at WRJ on Friday morning, with lots of parents present cheering the students on. Many people are aware of my view, backed by research, of the critical importance of reading as one of the single-most important factors in learning and developing thinking skills and I’m really pleased that TAS continues to strongly nurture a culture of reading in a society where social media sources are competing with written text for attention in both the younger and older generations.
Week 6 is also when Year 8 travel up to Camp Paterson, near Mareeba. I managed to visit for an afternoon and had a wonderful time with the staff and students. The camp site is a wonderful facility and the surrounding terrain provides opportunities for many different challenges. Mr Osmond and Ms Beveridge do such a wonderful job with our award-winning Outdoor Education program, and you can see the teamwork, resilience and skills growing amongst the students. I was lucky enough to be put with a very decent group for the night-time orienteering challenge, so thanks to Charlie, Phoebe and Grace for winning the challenge and patiently explaining to me the tactics. I also want to thank our wonderful teaching staff for their commitment to camp – their wholehearted support of our outdoor education program helps make it so successful, whilst many other schools struggle to get staff to go away on camp. It also helps explain why the TAS student’s camp attendance rate is very high – everyone buys in!
Whilst camp was muddy in parts, nothing could match the messiness of the WRJ Obstathon on Friday afternoon. My thanks to the wonderful parents who drive this event, arrange the equipment, man the canteen with home-baked goodies, and encourage the kids. It really is a wonderfully enjoyable event, although many of the students seem to suddenly want to give the Principal a hug after they have been through the mud pit…
After watching an Opti-MINDS dress rehearsal on Friday afternoon at KBJ assembly, teams from both campuses attended JCU last Sunday and performed really well, visibly entertaining the usually emotionless judges! Interestingly, on Sunday it was also Open Day at JCU, as well as the opening of the Integrate18 Art Show at the Lux Gallery at JCU, which had many TAS student works on display. The growth and energy of performing and visual arts at TAS is exciting to watch – Gala Night last Friday evening was a showcase of so many terrific student performances, some of which you can forget the performers are still students, whilst numerous recent Art shows give an insight into the high standard and quality of our student art. You could be mistaken for thinking we are a School of Excellence in the Arts!
Finally, CHESS was enormous last week. The Inter-school competition was held at TAS where Cairns has the strongest participation rates of any region in Queensland. In addition, the participation rates of girls in Chess at TAS is very high. Thanks to Mr Long for his great leadership of Chess, supported by Mr Lade (KBJ) and also our secondary coach, Mr Patrick Williams (WRS). Results for TAS Chess are available at http://tas.qld.edu.au/fnq-interschool-chess-championships-report-finals-2018/ . The weekend saw the Cairns Open Chess Championship, also held in the Bishop Centre, where school parent Mr David Spuler won the overall tournament and two TAS students shared the Primary student age-title (Angela Xiang and James Nguyen). Thanks to Andrew Fitzpatrick from Queensland Chess who continues to work with and support TAS to build the profile of Chess in schools in Cairns.