Established in 1894, The Armidale School (TAS) is an Anglican, co-educational, GPS boarding and day school of around 620 students located on the picturesque New England tablelands in northern NSW. TAS has more than 220 boarders from Years 6 to 12 – and with almost half of our senior school students being boarders, TAS has a long history of specialist, seven-days a week, residential care.
At TAS, we believe that education for our boys and girls is more than just academic achievement, but about giving them a broad range of opportunities so they become compassionate, courageous and committed young men and women.
TAS values and promotes individual academic performance and effort from Transition (pre-Kindergarten) to HSC level. Instilling a passion for inquiry-based learning, TAS is an International Baccalaureate World School, offering the Primary Years Programme in Junior School (T-5) and the Middle Years Programme in Middle School (Years 6-8), which has its own academic and boarding precincts. In Senior School (9-12), students have one of the broadest subject offerings of any regional school in NSW and are supported in managing the expectations of achievement, responsibility and independence.
A hallmark of TAS is its rich leadership, service and adventure program. Activities such as cadets (TAS is the third oldest cadet unit in Australia), surf life saving and Rural Fire Service are complemented by service trips and expeditions in Australia and overseas.
As a residential community, TAS seeks to combine the best qualities of home within an environment that is conducive to academic success. The Heads of House of our boys and girls boarding houses are all teachers, supported by a number of other staff. A high standard of wellbeing and pastoral care is central to the TAS ethos.
In addition to being one of nine members of the Athletic Association of Great Public Schools of NSW (and the only one outside Sydney), TAS is also a member of Round Square, a global organisation of around 200 schools that share similar values, and service, exchange, and leadership opportunities.
In the PYP, TAS Junior School students will learn about significant key concepts through units of inquiry (UOI).
There are six transdisipinary themes which can be covered over a year which are:
Who we are
Where we are in place and time
How we express ourselves
How the world works
How we organise ourselves
Sharing the planet
Units of inquiry interweave subject areas such as Mathematics, English, Creative Arts, Science and Technology, Geography and History. The trasnsdisciplnary approach encourages students to make their own connections between what they learn in core subject areas and how this relates to the world around them.
Apart from our students developing a love of inquiry-based learning influenced by their Learner Profile, the PYP also aligns with our broader educational philosophy. TAS is a member of the Round Square group of schools which have a strong focus on the Round Square IDEALS (Internationalism, Democracy, Environment, Adventure, Leadership Service). One of the early influencers of the development of the IB was Dr Kurt Hahn who also founded Outward Bound and the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and upon whose educational philosophy Round Square is based. Dr Hahn believed that education should include physical fitness, challenge and adventure, a sense of compassion through service and development of self-reliance and self-discipline.
The MYP has been implemented at TAS since the start of 2018 and since that time one of the most profound changes we have seen with our Middle School students is in their levels of engagement with their academic work as they become more familiar with inquiry- based learning.
Teaching the NSW curriculum according to MYP methodology has allowed for greater freedom to explore inter-disciplinary learning through global contexts, promote critical thinking and engender heightened creativity and expression. The IB Learner Profile effectively outlines the skills we want all our Middle School students to develop and lies at the heart of the Middle Years Programme. This will be most evident in the Year 8 Community Project, for which students work in small groups, research a ‘need’ in their community and then act on that need to develop a solution.
The MYP fits perfectly with our whole-school academic strategy; the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) is now implemented in Junior School and our Senior School begins with a comprehensive elective choice structure for Years 9 and 10, before the focus and attention is turned to the HSC program of Years 11 and 12.
It also aligns with our broader educational philosophy. TAS is a member of the Round Square group of schools which have a strong focus on the Round Square IDEALS (Internationalism, Democracy, Environment, Adventure, Leadership Service). One of the early influencers of the development of the IB was Dr Kurt Hahn who also founded Outward Bound and the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and upon whose educational philosophy Round Square is based. Dr Hahn believed that education should include physical fitness, challenge and adventure, a sense of compassion through service and development of self-reliance and self-discipline.