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FRIDAY 26 January 2018
Dear Parents


I am grateful to our Learning Support Co-ordinator, Marileen Harrod, who has assisted me in preparing this letter after a presentation to staff on the subject of Executive Functioning. Executive functioning skills are skills that some people seem to have naturally and in abundance so that they might think they do not need to be taught, practised or supervised. They are less exciting than solving a really challenging problem or writing a haunting, evocative piece of poetry. But these skills impact on everything we do and not developing them can lead to considerable stress, if not chaos.

Executive functioning skills fall into two categories and while we tend to merge them into the two headings, I am listing the ten skills below:

I know the above reads as quite a mouthful and in reality we lump them together as planning (thinking) and making things happen (behavior regulation) but breaking these down does enable us to see that a specific aspect can be a stumbling block. For instance, a boy plans well and follows his schedule responsibly but as soon as there is an unexpected change – a spontaneous family event, change of match day, change in homework – he is completely thrown.

So he is well planned and committed, provided everything goes to plan. If the plan gets broken, he can’t fix it so he has to learn to be flexible. Another boy is totally relieved that there is a change in plan so now he is absolved from meeting his other commitments. Over-flexible or some might say, a task-avoider. Similarly for children who have a slow output, struggle with handwriting or are easily distracted, executive functioning is very challenging but for such children developing these skills is even more important because these skills assist in managing a boy’s other difficulties.

Asking these four questions will assist him in using these skills properly:

What needs doing and by when?
Preparing for a test, final practice of an oral, music exam, packing dishes ….

What do I need?
What books do I need to bring home? Do I need my geometry set? ….

What are the steps needed to achieve the above?
Packing correctly – both coming to and leaving school. This is books, stationery, sports kit, musical instrument and so on. I see many boys going home groaning under the weight of a full desk of books rather than taking home only what is needed ….

What will being done look like?
I have packed everything I need, I understand the four experiments for the test ….

The advantage of the weekly planner is that work and preparation are broken up into sizeable chunks even if it is completed in the homework period. If there is a sudden change then that “chunk” is moved to a different time of day – and with this in place he must manage himself to do all these things, regulating his behavior and delaying the things he would possibly much rather be doing. He learns to use the planner and look at the overview – will it work? – and then reflects – did it work? If there were problems, how does he avoid them in future? This meta-cognitive skill involves consciously looking over his planning and behaviour to ensure he has used his executive functioning skills effectively.

As the adults we need to help our boys do this.

  • Check that everything is on their planner – music lessons, cricket match as well as homework. I would include household chores – he must have at least a few a week however simple or quick to complete.
  • Then check that it is being carried out, has the work been done, does he have the correct items packed for the next school day? It does not help if we pack for them – a chart on the wall of what is needed for each day is a great help.

Our role as adults is to monitor and help, not do. If a teacher tells a boy every Tuesday, 5th period that he must go to music in the 6th period, he never learns to remember. But if we monitor whether he gets up at the start of the 6th period and if he doesn’t remind him and then help him to find a way to remember in future, he learns to take responsibility for his attendance.

For busy teachers and parents it is often much easier to do as much as we can for our boys then we know it is done and it takes half the time – but in doing so we do not empower them. Boys can be quite exhausting in terms of avoiding developing these skills or not wanting to use them but if we persevere and train them we will empower them.

Kind regards

Sunday 28 January 2018

Charlton Grade 4 and 7 Mentorship Event

Venue: Kirstenbosch

Time: 09h30 to 13h00

Monday 29 January 2018

Grade 6 Teacher/Parent Meetings

Venue: Grade 6 Classrooms

Time: 18h00

Wednesday 31 January 2018

Grade 7 Teacher/Parent Meetings

Venue: Jagger Hall for a short meeting, then Grade 7


Time: 18h00

Thursday 1 February 2018

Class Reps Meeting (all new Class Reps - please take note)

Venue: Rossall Pavilion

Time: 07h45 (arrival from 07h15)

Friday 2 February 2018

Brooke Grade 4 and 7 Mentorship Event

Venue: Rossall Pavilion

Time: 16h30 to 18h00


Brooke Family Braai


Venue: Prep Pool

Time: 18h00 to 20h00


Request for Flower Arrangements


We would greatly appreciate volunteers to provide weekly flower arrangements for the foyer and Headmaster's office. If you are able to help, please contact Mrs Kerven.

Making Application for Fathers & Sons Camp

This tent camp is for boys in Grades 5, 6 & 7 and their Dads on Kromrivier farm near Riviersonderend, approximately 2 hours from Cape Town. It will take place from the afternoon of Friday 2 March to Sunday 4 March. This camp will appeal to all who enjoy outdoor pursuits such as swimming, mountain biking, braaing, fishing, canoeing, hiking and shooting.

New Dads need to be aware that they are providing their own tent, provisions and camping equipment. A map to the site, instructions and a list of suggested equipment will be sent out later.


Please click on this link and complete the online application form.

Please do not email or phone or hand deliver application requests.The online system will ensure that all applications are fairly processed on a first come first serve basis with the proviso that we want a cross-section of boys at camp from the three grades.

Successful applicants will be informed and a waiting list will be kept if the camp becomes full. Please note that numbers are limited and younger siblings below grade 5 must wait their turn to come to camp in future years.

The fee will be R305 per person. The fee is for special activities, site use, prizes, camp memorabilia, toilet hire, etc. The fee will be debited to the parent’s school account after the application is confirmed.

Second Hand Shop Request

The Second Hand Shop is no longer able to launder the items that are dropped off. Please ensure that you only bring in items that are clean and neatly folded.


The operating hours are:

Tuesday and Thursday 07h15 to 08h15 and 13h15 to 14h15.

Water Polo

Water Polo teams will be finalised and added to MyBishopsLife by Wednesday next week.
Dr Michael Mol Presentation

As January draws to a close and New year’s Resolutions begin to fall by the wayside, we bring you the solution!

Dr Michael Mol is coming to Bishops and he will share expert tips and advice on how to be a better, healthier you in 2018. Please support this event as ALL proceeds will be donated to the Hamilton Mvelase Bursary Fund . A healthy breakfast is included in the price (R250). Tickets are available here. For further details please contact Nikki Matthews at the Bishops Trust Office.


School shoes
Thank you to the three boys who donated their old school shoes. We are in contact with a school in Khayelitsha that urgently needs shoes. All further donations welcome.

We are collecting old Sunflower Fund bandanas/buffs to make toys for shelter dogs. If you have any spares at home, please send them to the library.

We are encouraging boys to fill 2 litre plastic bottles with litter in order to make ecobricks. These bricks are useful for dealing with our waste and are used to make houses in less-privileged communities.



Aftercare is run by Mrs Verity Erlangsen.

The times are as follows;

Mondays to Thursdays 14h15 to 17h00
Fridays 13h00 to 17h00

Her contact number is 021 6597242.

VUSA Fundraiser


Please click HERE to RSVP. Payment will secure your booking

You may visit the VUSA Website here.


Staff Contact Details

If you need to contact your son's subject teacher directly please find the relevant email addresses under MyBishopsLife /Academic/Subject Details.

Prep Talent

Congratulations to James Grieve, Grade 6, who auditioned successfully for a role in The Sound of Music which will run at Artscape in May. He has been cast in the role of Kurt.
Grade 7 2017 Leavers' Gift
This beautiful mosaic was a gift to the school from the Grade 7 class of 2017. It has been placed on the exterior wall of the Second Hand Shop. Thanks to last year's Grade 7s for this truly special gift!
Fir Road, Rondebosch, Cape Town, 7700
Phone:+27 (21) 659 7222 | Fax: +27 (21) 659 7227