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Dear Parents/Guardians

It is with great sadness that we have to suspend contact sport and certain other activities as a result of the new ruling issued this week. They have been put in place as a result of increased Covid infections in the country. While we were hoping that different areas with lower infection rates would be treated differently, this is not the case and we will be forced to comply with the new laws.

This is devastating news for our boys, staff and families and I feel for our boys in particular who were just starting to get into the rhythm of playing sport and doing other group activities that must now be put on hold for a while. I am often asked what leeway we have as an independent school. The short answer in this case is very little. We simply have to comply with the regulations. As soon as those regulations are published, we will be studying them closely to see how we can best serve our boys.

Your son will shortly be writing exams and I ask that you help him focus on this in the coming weeks but that he still maintains his physical activity, albeit on an individual or restricted basis. We will continue to try to provide some form of physical exercise, conditioning and skills training in a non-contact manner as previously permitted.


Apart from the news mentioned above, parents will still get weekly emails from Mr Westwood indicating the number of active cases in the school and various protocols to be observed. At Saturday’s Paul Roos fixture, the Dept of Health official that visited us indicated his satisfaction with our arrangements and how pleased he was with how we managed access and screening. His positive report makes the acceptance of the national ruling hard to swallow but we simply have to follow the law.


The staff diversity workshop identified four main focus areas that will be addressed in the upcoming weeks, trying to find practical ways to deal with issues. The Student Representative Forum (SRF) took the initiative to produce a video in which they told of their pride in the College as a place of belonging but also highlighted some areas where they had felt unhappy. Tutor groups watched the video and were led through a set of questions, created by the boys, to discuss their Bishops experience and where they felt either good or bad about the space. We will be using the Tutor groups and the Life Orientation programme as places where these discussions can be had.


The Protection of Personal Information Act comes into force from 1 July 2021 and we have been examining our systems to ensure we are complaint. We do protect personal information, particularly of boys and parents, and the legal firm we have used to co-ordinate our compliance process has been largely positive about how we have operated in the past. There will be some tweaks to processes but we are doing well in this regard.  


With a return to a full school comes the usual challenges, particularly at the close of the school day, of many vehicles trying to exit at the Campground Road main gate and trying to turn right. This may cause frustration for some and so we remind parents that the exit in Silwood Road is open at this time and it is far easier to leave the grounds that way.

As this is the last newsletter before the exams begin, I wish all our boys all the very best for exams.

Kind regards

Tony Reeler


I’m Bored…

Some time ago I saw a friend of mine at a coffee shop, on his own, drinking a cup of coffee and looking out onto the world. He had nothing else except a cappuccino in his hand – no phone, no laptop, no magazine. As I was walking past far away and didn’t have time to greet him, I sent him a text to ask if he was ok and who he was waiting for. About three hours later I got a reply – he was absolutely fine and he wasn’t waiting for anyone but he thanked me for asking. A week or so later I caught up with him and chatted about the text and that moment in the coffee shop. What he said to me has stayed with me ever since. He said he likes coffee and he likes solitude. He doesn’t feel the need to fill any gap when he is on his own with looking at texts, social media, a book or a newspaper. Sometimes he is quite happy on his own, just enjoying his coffee and thinking about life.

One of the current commentators on millennials and human behaviour, Simon Sinek, sketches the restaurant scenario. You are having a meal with someone at a restaurant. Firstly the phone is out on the table – face up – which means that the phone is more important than the person you are dining with. And face down is not much better. But what happens if that person excuses themselves to go to the bathroom – what do we do? We pull out our phones because we are too scared of boredom. We are too scared to sit in solitude and think we need to fill the gap.

A third comment before I get to my point. Many experts on raising children express concern at parents who constantly entertain their children – either with activities or screens and find things for their children to do.

So – what is my point?

I was told something once that stayed with me. I was told that imagination grows in the places that boredom has created. Simply put, by allowing our brains to be unoccupied by external influences and stimuli, we allow our imaginations to run wild and our creativity grows.

I could make you feel very uncomfortable right now. I could make you sit in silence for 1 minute. What would happen? You would start looking around for someone to connect with – to smile at or to roll your eyes at. Then, if you could, you would pull out your phone and check something. Very few people would use that minute as a chance to think, a chance to reflect, a chance to imagine.

Here’s a challenge then. The next time you are sitting on your own under a tree waiting for your lift, leave your phone in your pocket and look around you. The next time you are at a restaurant enjoying a meal, leave your phone at home. The next time you have 5 minutes on a weekend, go for a walk or sit quietly on your own, without any stimulus such as music or video or even a book but sit alone, in your own company, with the sole companionship of your mind. And see what happens…

You and I are being brainwashed and we often don’t realise it. We are being forced to make decisions that are based on what other people say we should do via targeted advertising and advertising in general. And yet we all want to be known for being independent, different, having our own opinions, strong and so on. Well, if you do want not to be influenced, cut yourself off from time to time. Not all the time mind you. I love social media. I love reading posts and inspirational thoughts on Facebook and Pinterest. I love seeing photos my family posts on Instagram. But I try to practise moderation. I try to have moments that are phone-free and influence free. Meals, coffee moments and walks. I don’t take my phone in to meetings with me. I am trying to be independent. I am trying to think for myself. I am trying to connect better with others. I am trying to develop my imagination in the moments we think are boredom.

Boredom always precedes a period of great creativity. Robert M. Pirsig


School Magazine

The Bishops 2020 School Magazine is now available online. Please either visit the school website or use this link: For those who ordered print copies, these will be available for collection in a couple of weeks’ time. An email will be sent to you when they are ready.


Applications for boarding are open, if your son would like to consider boarding for any grade next year, please email for more information. Click here to get an idea of a day in the life of a Bishops Boarder!

Photo Galleries

A reminder that all photos are uploaded to our website for everyone to enjoy. These are updated weekly with the latest sport, music and cultural events / awards.


Congratulations to our 1st XV on their spectacular win against Paul Roos, the first win against the Paul Roos since 2010. Well done!

Accelerated Art Programme Visit to the Norval Foundation Art Museum

On Saturday afternoon, 15th May, we took a group of 11 members of the Accelerated Art Programme to visit the Norval Foundation Art Museum in Steenberg. Although many of the other AAP members were unable to attend because of sporting and other commitments, the boys who did attended were treated to a wonderful tour of the exhibitions on show by the Norval Foundation Education Coordinator, Ms Lindsay Hendricks. Mr Essop, Head of Visual Arts, who has been so supportive and encouraging of the Accelerated Art Programme, accompanied by Mrs Essop and their three children, joined us on the trip, ensuring it was a real Bishops family outing.

Ms Hendricks took the boys on a walkabout of the solo exhibition of paintings by Georgina Gratrix titled The Reunion and a thematic group exhibition,
Mixed Company which included artwork by South African masters Gerard Sekoto and David Goldblatt. Mr Essop gently encouraged and prompted the boys to engage in discussion and to share their impressions of the work with our tour guide, and soon there was a wonderful dialogue taking place between our guide Ms Hendricks and the boys, as they engaged enthusiastically with the artworks on display.

Museum and gallery visits have always been a key feature of the Accelerated Art Programme, as this kind of experience make a vital contribution to the boys’ understanding and appreciation of arts and culture. We intend to ensure that this tradition continues as an integral part of the programme.


The Mathematics department has worked hard this year to provide more support for our boys who need assistance in Mathematics. A Mathematics support class operates from Monday to Thursday during Open and after school. It is staffed by a staff member and two interns.

An initiative which is being activated this week is an online mathematics support service during examinations. Boys can subscribe to their respective grades under the Mathematics Support Intranet Page to receive updates about useful resources to use during their studies and examination preparation.

In addition, Mr. Matthew Samuels ( will be available online during the examination period via the Teams Platform for any Mathematics related queries.

Golf News

The Western Province Regional Schools Golf qualifying event took place on Sunday afternoon 16 May at Bellville Golf Club. This was the local qualifying event for the SA High Schools Championship, which will take place at Humewood on the 2 & 3 August. The top 2 schools from regionals qualify for the National Championships. Bishops finished in 2nd place out of 15 teams, narrowly beaten by The Golf School of Excellence. This is the first time Bishops has qualified for the SA High Schools Championships. Well done to Christopher Gutuza, Daniel Davidson, Cole Crawford and Sebastian Dorward. Christopher finished in tied 4th place in the individual standings, with Daniel and Cole finishing in tied 6th place.

Running News

Chris Hale recently competed in the Charity Cableway Challenge, which used to be a one-day competition but was extended to 9 gruelling days this year.  Athletes summit Platteklip Gorge as many times as possible during this time, with a free ride down on the cableway on each rotation.  Each lap accumulates to 5kms: 1km along Tafelberg road, 3km up the gorge, gaining 650 meters elevation, and a 1km run along Table Mountain back to the Cableway.  

Each lap is sponsored and all money raised goes to Home from Home, CTEET, and Ons Plek.  A further 10% of the amount sponsored was given to Wilderness Search and Rescue.

Mr Hale took to the mountain attempting to complete as many summits as possible, running down Inda - Venster in the dark, starting with the sunrise every day and rushing off in between lessons to run. He lived and dreamt every step of Platteklip Gorge! During the course of the 9 days, and despite the fire throwing a spanner in the works, he completed an impressive 32 laps, a 20 km elevation gain and 160 km of total distance covered.  He was placed third overall in the rankings, after two foreign runners who had taken time off work to devote all day to their effort.

Miss Rebecca Goble recently ran the Ultra Trail Drakensberg, a 32km trail run that ended up being a gruelling 33,5km with 1200m of elevation gained in the route. It was called The Sundowner run as it started at 13:30 and participants tried to chase the last light of the day. Despite an injury, Ms Goble finished in an impressive 4.38, coming in as the 7th lady home.

Geography Field Trip

The Grade 10 geographers went on a fieldtrip to the Swartland recently.  Most of the morning was spent with OD Nick Pentz on Groote Post farm.  Nick showed the boys a number of farming activities including wheat planting, the renosterveld and alien vegetation clearing, his calving Angus stud cows, the lambing sheep, the game farming animals and the farm’s vineyards.  There is also a breeding project attempting to retrieve the genes responsible for the Quagga’s characteristic striping pattern.  They were also very fortunate to be shown around the Oatlands dairy farm that boasts the highest producing herd in the country.



Congratulations to William Jones (Grade 10, School House) for winning a silver medal in the most recent WP Schools U16 shooting competition.

Accelerated Art Programme Tie Awards

The following boys are to be congratulated on their Accelerated Art Programme tie awards. They have met all the requirements for the award, and continue to show great commitment to the programme. Tristan Carter, (Grade 10 Mallett House), Craig Harrod (Grade 10, Mallett House) and Dane Rogers, (Grade 10, Gray House).

FFSA National Competition 1

Well done to our dynamic fencing duo, Aidan and Daniel Richards who recently competed in the FFSA national Fencing competition in Soweto. Daniel won a silver medal in the U17 epee event and Aidan narrowly lost 15-13 in the quarter finals. Both fencers went on to fence U20 epee. Aidan had cause to celebrate- beating 3 South African fencers in the U20 pools. The latest competition has moved Daniel into 1st position and Aidan into 2nd position in the SA ranking for U17 epee.

Campground Road, Rondebosch, Cape Town, 7700
Phone +27 21 659 1000 | Fax: +27 21 659 1013