The Armidale School opened its doors to the first students in February 1894. It was established by private investors keen for northern NSW to have its own English-style boarding school for boys. Today, more than a century later, TAS, as it is widely known, is a fully co-educational day and boarding school catering for students from Pre-Kindergarten to Year 12 from right across the country.
We are Stronger Together
Originally known as the New England Proprietary School, its name was changed to The Armidale School in 1896 a year before it joined the Association of Great Public Schools of NSW (AAGPS) in 1897. TAS is proud to be the only regional and only co-educational member of the GPS, and values highly the close relationships it has with the metropolitan GPS schools.
Over the years TAS has continued to connect with associations and organisations that support its educational philosophy. TAS is a member of the Round Square Association of Schools which upholds ideals of education through adventure, leadership and service. TAS is also an International Baccalaureate World School teaching the Primary and Middle Years Programmes. As a regional school, our connections to the University of New England, New England Conservatoreum of Music and the New England Regional Art Museum are close and the support is genuine.
Third Oldest Cadet Unit in Australia
The TAS Cadet Unit, established in 1898 and now the third oldest school cadet unit in Australia and it continues to be a living tribute to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, including the 95 Old Boys and four staff who lost their lives in conflicts from the Boer War to Afghanistan. Our tributes and respect to the sacrifices made by our former students are reflected in our weekly assemblies, in our Anzac Day and Remembrance Day services.
A War Memorial of National Significance
In our Memorial Hall opened in 1957, are three stained glass windows by M Napier Waller and they are of national significance given these are the only windows he designed in regional Australia. Napier Waller is best known for the stained glass and mosaic designs in the Shrine of Remembrance at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. Our windows at TAS, like the hall in which they are housed, were funded by donation from the TAS Old Boy community following the Second World War and installed in 1961. The three individual lights represented the three arms of the forces: the Navy on the left, the Army in the centre and the Air Force on the right. Above the Army badge in the taller central light is the School’s crest, with the sword of the crusader placed centrally below and behind the inscription ‘These windows are dedicated to the memory of Old Boys of this School who served and gave their lives in World Wars 1914-1918. And 1939-1945.’
Light and Shadow
The history of the school is filled with light and shadow, growth and prosperity, challenges and progress. It has changed with the flows of world history and with the seasons of the land. Like many schools of its age, TAS too has had episodes in its history of darkness and sadness for some of our students. For each and every victim of abuse suffered in the past at TAS, we are sincerely sorry and ask that you contact the school or the police. Our resolve to be vigilant about the wellbeing of each one of our students past and present is absolute. The future of the school is bright with a strong, connected community of alumni, families and staff.
A Company Structured for the Future
Since 2010 TAS has been a company limited by guarantee, with the school’s board of directors accountable to 24 members, equally representing the Old Armidalians’ Union, Parents and Friends Association, the TAS Foundation and the Anglican Diocese of Armidale. The resolve of the founders was to establish a school with a philosophy which embraced the ideals of an independent mind and spirit and promoted the Christian ethic.
TAS has a diverse collection of written, photographic, filmed, digital and textile items that convey the history of the school and those who have been part of its community from its earliest manifestations to the present day. A selection of the archives is on display in cabinets in the Lower Maxwell Room, originally built as a library. The adjacent Sandilands Studio – named in honour of three brothers who gave their lives during the Second World War – is a memorial to the rich history of military service to the country by Old Boys of The Armidale School. Other items of historic interest are also on display in other locations at the school.
If you are interested in contacting us about the TAS archives, please email [email protected] or call TAS Reception on 02 6776 5800.