Trouble viewing this Newsletter? Open in your browser here.

Dear Parents and Guardians

I hope that the term has started well for your son and that he has settled into the school routine. With two weeks now passed, he should have a good idea of what is expected academically, be involved in his extra murals and also be aware of what is expected from him as a Bishops boy in his behaviour and conduct.

I continue to be impressed by the improvement in the general manners of our boys and commend them and their parents on the obvious effort that has been made in this regard.


We try to establish an environment where there is good discipline, based on our values and based on the mutual understanding of the needs of others and the community. Our Code of Conduct is clear with regard to what the expectations are of our boys with regard to their behaviour. The Code can change from time to time and we have changed our consequences for vaping in an attempt to limit this scourge that has affected our school and indeed every school I know. The ease with which boys have access to vapes and vaping devices is a concern, as is the attitude that this is a “less harmful” practice.

Last year we spent some time educating our boys and parents about the dangers of vaping and will continue to do so. For now, we have increased the consequences for being caught vaping at school to two Saturday DTs with additional consequences for the boy who brings the device to school. Should this not be a sufficient deterrent, we will be looking at suspending boys from school who vape on the campus. We ask for your support as we try to encourage our boys to make healthy choices that are not harmful to themselves and impact on the rights of others.


By now, many of you will be aware of the many technological applications that exist that can be used by our boys. The latest we have been looking at is the artificial intelligence application ChatGPT, which allows for the writing of essays and text in a format that is quite remarkable. Simply put, this programme writes for you – and almost anything.

We are busy looking at how we manage this going forward as we need to both embrace technological change and use that to our benefit but also encourage and develop individual thought and process. This is indeed a challenge for educational institutions around the world and we are following closely how universities and schools will be dealing with programmes like this.

It remains important to us that our boys develop skills such as critical thinking, analysis and writing yet we are also aware of the need for us to use tools that can benefit their education. We will keep parents informed as we develop our philosophy around AI and these new programmes but ask that you look at this yourself to remain informed about these developments.

2024 Term Dates

The dates for the 2024 school year have been published by government and we have set the Bishops dates accordingly. This was done in consultation with the other independent schools in Cape Town to ensure consistency and make parents’ lives easier. Please have a look at these dates on our website here.

Please also note that not only is it a legal requirement for children to be at school, it is also extremely disruptive to boys and staff if a boy misses school for an extended period of time. Permission to miss school must be sought – usually through the House Director for periods of one or two days but through my office for periods longer than that or days that are at the beginning or end of the terms. I ask for your support in this matter as we try to plan our terms with full programmes throughout. Please avoid making holiday plans during term time as, while it may be a wonderful opportunity for your son to travel, he does miss out on academic work which remains his responsibility to catch up upon his return.

Prize Giving

We will be holding Prize Giving on 17 February outside on the Piley Rees. We will start promptly at 8am, to enjoy our beautiful weather, but also before it becomes too warm. In this ceremony we will acknowledge the Grade 8 – 11 prize-winners from 2022. By doing so at this time of the year, we are able to assess the full academic year gone past and set a good academic tone for the year ahead.

Attendance is primarily for the boys, but we warmly invite the parents of prize-winners to attend, if you are able to do so. Please can we ask you to be seated by 7:45. Parking is on the campus but also on the Sahara Field if necessary. The boys will be informed if they are winning a prize, four days before the event, so that they can then communicate with their parents. The ceremony should take 1 hour, and then there will be refreshments served on the Chapel Lawns. We will continue with a normal school day after the ceremony.

Final Thoughts

My thanks go to all who were involved in the Experience Bishops day where over 500 people visited our campus with a view to seeing firsthand what we do. Our PR boys were superb as they hosted small groups of parents and spoke to them about the Bishops experience.

My thanks also go to those who arranged the welcoming service for our new boys on Wednesday as they were officially welcomed into the Bishops community.  

I shall be away this weekend supporting our cricketers in Gqeberha as they take on Pearson and Grey High in their annual Eastern Cape fixture. Mr Peter Westwood always acts as Principal in my absence and will thus be taking assembly this week. He has continued our emphasis on our new Values Statement and will be covering Humility as a value this week. His assembly is attached below for your interest and discussion in your home.

I wish you well for the next two weeks.

Kind regards

Antony Reeler



Two weeks ago Mr Reeler spoke to you about the value of courage. In the list of the 5 values most important at Bishops courage reads:

  1. Courage

The ability to be brave in the face of adversity, exhibiting not only physical courage but, more importantly, moral courage and courage of one’s convictions. Having the strength to stand up against injustice not only with opponents but also with friends and peers.

I have said before from this lectern that I do not think it is possible to live well without the value of courage and that it is important to face new challenges often and practice being courageous. We become more courageous the more we practice being courageous and we cannot do this if we never accept a new challenge.

Today I would like to talk to you about the next value on our list, humility.

  1. Humility

Having a modest view of one’s own performance. Recognising personal ability and privilege yet not being boastful, understanding that others may not be in the same position. “Not thinking less of oneself but thinking of oneself less.”

Last week I spoke at the memorial of a man who worked in School House for nearly 41 years. from 1959 to 1999. Meshach Masiza was a wonderful man and a legend in our school amongst the staff, boys and Old Boys, especially those from School House. Meshach Masiza was the most dignified, the warmest, kindest and most friendly man you could wish to meet. Those of us who had the privilege of either working with him or being served by him all knew what a remarkable person he was. A few years back a special function was held at the ODU and Meshach Masiza was made an honorary OD.

His portrait hangs in School House, an example of a good man and a strong gentleman for generations of School House boys. High among the values which characterised Meshach’s life was humility. He was a very gifted man in terms of what he did and how he built relationships with people, but he was the most humble man and this humility showed itself in his profound faith and dependence on God, in how he was always interested in the boys and how they were feeling or doing, in his gratitude for the blessings of life (even in the difficult days of apartheid), in his warm humour and in his gentle but cheerful greeting of every person. Humility is a very attractive quality. The bible encourages us, “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgement…”. But humility is also about thinking about yourself less and thinking about others more. This is what Meshach Masiza did at Bishops for four decades and through his loving concern for others and humble and generous approach to all relationships, he built up an extraordinary reputation and legacy.

So can I encourage you, as I encourage myself, to live courageously so that you truly live, but also to live humbly, not necessarily thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less and so thinking about others more.

Heavenly Father, Let me have too deep a sense of humour to be proud.
Let me know my absurdity before I act absurdly.
Let me realize that when I am humble I am most human,
most truthful, and most worthy of your serious consideration.
Amen. (Daniel A Lord)


WCED Academic Awards

At the annual awards ceremony presented by the Western Cape Education Department on Thursday this week, the top performing pupils and schools in the Western Cape in the recent matric exams were announced. I am proud to inform you that Bishops came third in the province behind Rustenburg Girls and Herschel who claimed the top spot. Rob Kotze received an award for being in the top 40 individuals (no places were announced outside the top 5) and Dieter Karlein came joint first in Mathematics. I am very proud of the Class of ’22 for improving one place in the ranking since last year and for their excellent efforts.


ABRSM exams

We congratulate the following pupils on obtaining a distinction for their music exam last year.
Grade 3 Guitar - Alexander de Fondaumiere
Grade 4 Guitar - Nicholas Henry
Grade 4 Guitar - Alexander Horrell
Grade 5 Trumpet - Max Davies
Grade 6 Voice - Matthew de Jager (who did an internal exam based on the ABRSM syllabus)

Music Production Exams

Last year, in conjunction with Keith Farquharson of The Academy of Sound Engineering, the Bishops Music School introduced the Rockschool Music Production graded examinations. These examinations cover areas such as music producing, recording engineering, mixing, mastering and electronic music composition. This is the world’s first ever graded music syllabus in this music technology sphere and Bishops is the first school in South Africa to offer these exams of part of their music programme.

Six students wrote the exam with an average of 84% and we congratulate two pupils, Bradley Calow and Aidan Booysen on obtaining a distinction for their exam.

Music Eisteddfod Awards

We congratulate the following students on their gold diplomas at the Cape Town Music Eisteddfod:
Gabriel Comitis:
Strings Romantic 14 years and under
Kaspar Holm:
Strings Sight reading 16 years and under
Strings Concerto 16 years and under
Strings Sonata 16 years and under
Kieran Hollis: 
Strings Sight reading 16 years and under
Strings Concerto 16 years and under
Strings Romantic16 years and under

We also congratulate Kaspar Holm and Kieran Hollis on being awarded medals and cash prizes:
They shared the award of the Phyllis Brodie medal for Best Violin Concerto 1st movement.
Kaspar was awarded a cash prize and a medal for the Best Strings Performer over 16 years and Kieran was awarded a cash prize and a medal for the Best Strings all-round 15 years and under.



The Cape Youth competition and the Cape Open were held on the first weekend of the December holidays. Julian Boeddinghaus competed in his first fencing competition, Kieran Hollis won bronze in U15 foil and Joshua Diggle won silver. The epeeists had a tough competition in the Cape Open - Daniel and Aidan Richards reached the last 16 and Daniel won bronze in the semi-finals. Joshua Diggle won gold in U17 foil. A brilliant start to the beginning of the 2023 season.


VLC Champs and Western Cape Champs

Western Camp Champs Results:
1st Team:
Jett Bacher - 4th Place in the scull.
Sebastian Cheminias, Didi Marx, Jett Bacher, Josh Traut and Joseph Power - 1st Place in the coxed four.

Jack Breslin, Cameron Redfern, John van der Watt and Matthew Maurel - 1st place in coxless four.

Won 1st place finishes in all the scull, quad, and Octuple divisions – and received a trophy, well done.

VLC Champs in Johannesburg 
U15 Results:
Well done to Jordan Planting and Stuart Hudson who place 3rd in the double.

Zeekoevlei Novice Regatta

Last Saturday novice regatta was held at Zeekoevlei and the Bishop's Rowing Club did exceptionally well.
The results are as follows:
1x (Scull) - 2nd (Benjamin Redfern) and 3rd (Gabriel Elsey) Place
2x (Double) - 2nd Place
4x (Quad) - 1st Place
8x (Octuple) - 1st Place
1x (Scull) – Angus Bromley 2nd Place
8x - 1st Place


Congratulations to Patrick Gilson who has been appointed captain of the Bishops Climbing Club for 2023.

Tennis Captain

Congratulations to Jack Crafford who has been selected as the Captain of Tennis for 2023.


Our Bishops 1st Team Waterpolo side travelled up to St Andrew’s for the SAC Shield Tournament, where they ended up 10th out of 12 sides. The team comprised of 5 grade 10s, 5 grade 11s, and  3 grade 12s.  The coaching staff knew it was always going to be tough playing against the top teams, which were also predominantly made up of grade 12s. The highlight was there excellent performance against Grey High School where they showed their promise for the future.
The team bonded brilliantly and definitely came out of the tournament as a far more united unit. Special mention must be made of our Captain Ben Hatty and vice-Captain Trento Lambrechts who both lead the lads exceptionally well.

The 2nd Water polo Team depart for the Pearson U19 Water polo Tournament, we wish them well for their games.


Bishops Prayer Group

We would love any parents to join us to Connect and Pray every second Thursday at 7.30am in the Mitre (opposite Bishops Astro)
The whole Bishops Community is invited from Pre-Prep to College and we look forward to meeting you.
If you are unable to join on Thursday 9th February and would like to know further details, please e-mail Louise:


OD Dinner

All OD’s are invited to the OD Dinner taking place in March. Catch up with old friends and new and enjoy a relaxed evening with us.


We still have a few spaces left for stalls at the Bishops Carnival taking place on 3 March.  Should you want to sell any of your goods/products at the event, please click on THIS LINK to access the request form to have your own market stall.

ODU Committee

Nominations for the next ODU Committee close on 16 February.  Be sure to get your nominations in before then.
Should you know anyone who may be interested or if you would like to nominate yourself, please click on THIS LINK.

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