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Dear Parents/Guardians

The school year has finally come to a close and what a year it has been. There will, no doubt, be time for us all these coming weeks to reflect on personal and professional experiences, what we overcame, what we still have to overcome and what we learned. I read a recently commissioned report at PWC on what the business world may look like in 2030 and one of the character traits valued in the future is adaptability. Perhaps Covid has, instead of taking so much away from our boys this year, given them skills that will help them thrive in their future working lives!

I do want to repeat my thanks to the entire Bishops community for this year. To the staff who adapted so extraordinarily well and managed to keep us going, the boys who quickly accepted their lot and moved on, the parents who supported us and their boys while trying to keep their own working lives going, and indeed the entire community. It is my fervent hope that we do not just return to what we did before but look critically and carefully at everything we do, using the lessons of Covid to make Bishops a better place.

You may be aware that Bishops supports an initiative in Langa that uses rugby as a vehicle for social outreach and upliftment and provides academic support as part of a structured after-school programme. Whilst COVID suspended most of the VUSA programmes the feeding programme continued and VUSA coaches were eventually feeding 500 children every day. The coaches became cooks and social support personnel and their contribution was superb. But the Bishops community too were magnificent in their response, donating food, resources, time and so much more to help. I urge you to read more about this remarkable project here and I thank those who continued to support Vusa through Covid and beyond. The latest initiative, as sport slowly returns, is to continue playing rugby and providing meals but also to use a mobile library, which was kindly donated in the form of a fully-laden “tuk-tuk” to encourage reading as a life skill for the youth of the Langa community. 

I had the privilege of attending Epic for three days recently. Part of the activities I was part of included a short hike to see San art and to hear Peter Hyslop talk about not only the art itself but the topography and history of the place. It was a fascinating experience and the deeply respectful way that Peter spoke about the past was something I will remember for a long time indeed. The boys are truly privileged to have had this opportunity as part of their experience. Clearing of alien vegetation, swimming in rock pools, hiking, water activities and many others were also part of our experience as we saw our boys in the wilderness living a simple life outdoors away from the city and after the tough experiences of a Covid year. The visit to Elizabethfontein Primary was most uplifting and the partnership between them and Bishops is wonderful.

I am deeply grateful to our staff who made this happen and to Graeme Klerck in particular who put it all together. The logistics of organizing 140 boys in four different bases doing many different things, sorting out transport, food, medical support and so on was eye-opening and I thank him and the staff for making this possible.

Carol Service
Last night I spent an hour together with my family watching the Carol Service and, once again, was blown away by the “can do” attitude which has been a hallmark of this year. To Mark Mitchell, Fr Monwabisi Peter and the team - my sincere thanks for this meaningful and special service that was so uplifting and a fitting spiritual end to the year. Our very cores have been tested this year and the human need for spiritual upliftment has never been greater. Last night I felt uplifted and inspired and I thank all those who made this happen too.

We really do hope you enjoy the music, visuals and words and hope that you might even consider watching it again on Christmas Eve.
In order to enter the online event – please click here for the link.

We say farewell to a number of staff this year and I would like to honour them and thank them for their contribution, some over an extraordinary period of time. We thanked them at our final outdoor assembly and at a private function for academic staff and many of you are aware of their departure through House communication.
I list them here with their years’ service to Bishops in brackets:
Caleb Nel (4 years) is relocating to Gauteng
Caroline Berry (4 years) is relocating to KZN
Gerry Noel (13 years) is returning to Michaelhouse on promotion
Cheryl Gammon (10 years)
Jenny Campbell (12 years)
John Lanser (22 years)
Dave Ledwidge (23 years)
Dean Sudding (25 years)
Yvonne Bulgen (26 years)
Elizabeth Snyders (27 years)
Rosie Hugo (31 years)
Peter Hyslop (37 years – the longest serving Art teacher Bishops has ever had and one of the longest serving teachers in our history!)

Verna Leverzenchie (6 years) on promotion to Wynberg Girls High
William Shabangu
Aliece van der Merwe
Jamie Brassell
Matthew Shone
Olwethu Peter
Matt Last
Liam Furniss
Lwandile Dubazane
Edward Bester

We are pleased to report that we have been able to fill all these posts with excellent replacements and look forward to welcoming the new staff at the start of next year.

Start of 2021
As you are aware, we are starting College on Wednesday 27 January due to the late completion of Grade 12 exams and the subsequent marking process which ends on 22 January. There are a number of other activities prior to the actual starting day and boarders are required back earlier but please read the separate communication in this regard.

I urge you to support us in one simple request. We have been fairly relaxed about appearance this year and understandably so. We are going to go through a process of looking at uniform and appearance (including hair rules) but until the rules are either changed or ratified as is, the existing rules remain in place and will be enforced. Please make sure that your son’s hair is cut appropriately in a neat and conservative style according to his hair type, that he is cleanly shaven and that his uniform is neat and tidy at the start of the year.

Final Thoughts
I close with words I read recently that are, perhaps, relevant to our experience this past year. They speak of how two extremes are often needed for full appreciation of an experience but also speak to how we look forward to the year ahead.

“There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state with another, nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness. We must have felt what it is to die, Morrel, that we may appreciate the enjoyments of life.
" Live, then, and be happy, beloved children of my heart, and never forget, that until the day God will deign to reveal the future to man, all human wisdom is contained in these two words, 'Wait and Hope.”
― Alexandre Dumas

Thank you for all your support this past year and for making me feel welcome in the Bishops community. I am looking forward to a family holiday and a good start to the new year.

I wish you a Blessed Christmas for those who celebrate this special time in the Christian calendar and a wonderful New Year. Let us look forward to 2021 with hope and a positive attitude.

Kind regards and best wishes,

Tony Reeler


Grade 10 Epic
On Wednesday our Grade 10s returned from their 16 day Epic journey. This year, like many other events, posed a huge challenge to put together due to Covid. Thank you to our Epic Director, Graeme Klerck, for a phenomenal trip coordinating and managing a tour like this takes months of planning and sacrifice from all involved.

The boys had many amazing experiences that no doubt challenged them physically and emotionally. Their comfort zones were stretched by some way and they all achieved way more than even they expected. Activities ranged from 3 day hikes, abseiling, a variety of water sports, mountain biking and a few outreach activities at various local schools. Well done to everyone!

Please click here to view the Epic 2020 photo albums.

Maths Olympiad
The South African Mathematics Olympiad is the biggest Olympiad in the country.
Over 100 000 learners participated in the 2020 Olympiad.
The first round is written in March. The junior division consists of separate papers for grades 8 and 9 and the senior division of one paper for grades 10 to 12. Each paper consists of 20 questions with multiple-choice answers and learners have one hour to complete the paper. Each school is provided with the solutions. For this round, the teachers mark the papers.

Learners who attain 50% or higher in the first round qualify for the second round which is written in May. There are separate papers for the juniors and seniors. This time the grade 8 and 9 learners write the same paper. Learners have two hours to complete twenty questions.

The best 100 senior and junior learners from the previous round qualify for the third round.
What separates us from many schools is that the entire cohort writes round 1. Of this 60% of our students made it to round 2. This year, being unprecedented in many respects, meant that the juniors did not write round 3. However, the seniors still went ahead and wrote, and Bishops had the largest number of students making that round – 12 in total.

At the annual prize giving that took place on 21 November, Bishops was awarded the most prestigious school award – the top performing school in the country. This is no small feat, and it comes down to the buy in from all the boys and Mathematics Department. We can all feel incredibly proud of this achievement.

Composers Concert
One of the highlights of the musical year here at Bishops is the annual Composers’ Concert. Unfortunately, this year we were not able to hold this concert live. However, the music staff, boys and friends of the music department decided to get together and record some of the compositions written by Bishops boys over the lockdown period. Composition is really the pinnacle of the Bishops Music journey - when students are finally able to use, or lose, the taught process and write something of themselves.

For convenience sake we have presented this concert in three parts so you can watch/listen to them over a series of evenings. I encourage you to take the time to engage with these wonderful pieces of music. Please feel free to share the links with friends and family as we would like as many people as possible to enjoy this peak of creativity.
Below are the three links:
Bishops Composers’ Concert – Part 1
Bishops Composers’ Concert – Part 2
Bishops Composers’ Concert – Part 3

Founders Week and Golf Day
The Bishops annual charity golf day, sponsored by Citadel, will take place on Monday 8 March 2021 at the Royal Cape Golf Club.
Email Bobby Couves or Andy Davis to book a 4 ball, sponsor a hole or prizes.

The ODU is happy to announce the inaugural Bishops Community Founders’ Week to be held on the Bishops’ Campus and in our branches worldwide, from Monday 8 March to Friday 12 March 2021

The annual Founders’ Day celebrations with the school, parents and ODs will form part of this Week and be held on Friday 12th March 2021. In association with The Bishops College PA, Prep & Pre- prep PA, Bishops School and OD Union, we have planned many different events for the week. We are delighted that this is a Bishops Community initiative, which has been welcome by all involved.

The beneficiaries for funds raised will be, the soon to be established, OD Invest in our Future Fund (IIOFF), which will provide financial aid and mentorships to Bishops matriculants from 2021 onwards for tertiary education, training, career guidance and psychological assistance.

Please click here to see the PDF document or follow the link for more information

The Public Relations Group
The members of the College's Public Relations Group are thanked for their impressive input, which, sadly, was limited exclusively to the first term of the year. Opportunities for further involvement in the life of the school obviously did not materialise, due to the pandemic. Despite this, we acknowledge the fine contribution which was made by the boys in this group, and thank all concerned for their time and trouble.

Congratulations to Rowan Howard on his appointment as Captain of Cricket for 2021.

Ten Club 2021
The following are to be congratulated on their selection to the Ten Club for 2021: Khelan Dheda, Gabriel Dyssell-Hofinger, James Elliott, Gus Farara, Daniel Holgate, Sanjan Naidoo, Nicholas Pabst, Joseph Ruiz von Walter, John Smith and Dylan Wood.

Inter-house Mountain Biking
An exciting inter-house mountain bike event took place at the end of October at the Constantia Uitsig bike park. House teams rode a challenging, fast paced circuit battling it out for the fastest times. Congratulations to Gray for winning the event with an excellent time of 4.55 narrowly beating Ogivilie with a time of 4.56. Fast rider was Storm Lanfear from Gray House with an outstanding time of 4.23.

My Bishops Life
Please may we ask that you check your access to the My Bishops Life portal in light of the imminent release of reports.
Navigate to the Bishops website and login to the College My Bishops Life.

Help with access to My Bishops Life logins will not be available after the 11th December, as those administrative staff will be on leave.

The TechDesk Office Hours
Operation Hours/Procedures during School Holidays are as follows:

Tech Desk office on Campus will be CLOSED between Monday 21 December 2020 – Tuesday 12 January 2021
Tech Desk office on Campus will be OPEN between Monday 7 December 2020 – Friday 18 December 2020
and again between Wednesday 13 January 2021 – Friday 22 January 2021.

For all hardware support requests outside of the above hours, kindly contact Dell Call Centre (080 016 7000).
If parts need to be replaced, an engineer will schedule a next-business-day appointment with you at your home or venue of your choice.
Should you experience software problems during this period, use Windows repair tools inside Windows to fix the error.
If you are unsuccessful in resolving your Laptop problem, please contact:
Bytes Managed Services on 011 373 4248 ( Carmi Africa )


We wish to sincerely thank the Bishops Grade 6 and 7 parents for creating another magical Christmas party for the VUSA children. With COVID restrictions limiting activities, parents got to work arranging an incredible gift bag which was again decorated with love and care by the Bishops boys.  Parents contributed products and services as well as raising a whopping R56,000. The beautiful gift bags were filled with stationary, toiletries, blankets, a printed VUSA t-shirt (for staff and children), toys, treats, cooldrinks and of course a brand new rugby ball. The VIP children were transported to Bishops in style by Tops n Nos Transport and arrived at Lutgensvale, where parents had created a Christmas wonderland with a beautiful tree, fairy lights, reindeers and all.

Shoprite joined the festivities and catered boerie rolls and treats through their #WeActForChange pop-up party series and the children were surprised and delighted with a visit from their Springbok heroes, Siya Kolisi and Scarra Ntubeni. 

Thank you to the Grade 6 boys for donating their awesome go-carts to VUSA.  VUSA children tested them out at the party and these will now be donated to schools and ECD centres in Langa.

There are too many people to thank for putting this day together but please know how special this day was for each and every VUSA child.  Thank you for your time, contributions, (products and financial) and most importantly for creating a beautiful end to a difficult year.

Please click HERE to view the VUSA’s end of year newsletter and Status report.

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