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Dear Parents and Guardians

The term is in full swing now and appears to have started well. These wonderful autumn days are certainly most enjoyable and I hope you have had a chance to enjoy some family time outdoors. With the onset of colder weather often comes an assortment of clothing that doesn’t fit our dress code. We have quite adequate items to keep the boys warm, that fit with their uniform, so we ask that boys please comply with our accepted dress code.

We held our termly Evensong this week and, once again, it was a joy to have our boys singing together. We were blessed to have not only a guest preacher, Revd. Canon Natalie Simons-Arendse who delivered a special message but also a group from the Cape Town Male Voice Choir who sang two beautiful items. Add to this our impressive choir and the wonderful singing of hymns and it was indeed a special service. My thanks to our Chaplain, Music Department and all those who made this possible.

This weekend we take on our local friends at SACS and we wish our sportsmen well for the fixture.

Our Muslim community celebrated the end of the fast with Eid and we hope this important occasion of family and friends went well.

Diversity, Equity and Belonging

This week our Grade 12 History classes went to the Truth to Power exhibition in the Old Granary in Cape Town where the legacy of Archbishop Desmond Tutu is comprehensively covered and celebrated. I had the privilege of accompanying them on one of the days and found the exhibition moving and informative. I would recommend this highly to parents and indeed any visitors you may be hosting in our city.

We are busy finalizing a set of workshops for our Grade 8 boys on inclusion where we hope to have them engaging with each other on the important matters of unconscious bias, belonging and diversity. We intend to have these under way before the exams start.


We have already had cases of concussion in our sports programme and I urge you to read the Concussion Protocols carefully. Click here.

We take the safety of your son very seriously indeed and will do all we can to ensure he plays his sport safely and only returns to sport if he is medically cleared to do so. 

Final Thoughts

In this week’s assembly I told the story of James Stockdale who was held as a prisoner of war for almost seven years in Vietnam. He was interviewed by the well-known author Jim Collins and his thoughts on optimism and realism make interesting reading. I have attached the assembly for your interest and discussion with your son.

Finally, with the onset of exams, please keep motivating and encouraging your son as best you can. As a parent of a teenage boy (albeit some years back!) I know how hard it can be sometimes and I urge you to help him by removing distractions and setting boundaries. In addition to his preparation, he may be involved in sport and Eisteddfod prelims so good planning is also important.

All the best for the upcoming weeks. It will be strange to have a full five-day working week again!

Kind regards

Antony Reeler


The Stockdale Paradox

James Stockdale was a military man – a naval aviator who flew for the US out of aircraft carriers. In September 1965, while flying a mission for the US forces in Vietnam, Stockdale’s plane was hit and he ejected only to be captured by the Vietnamese and held prisoner in what ended up being called the Hanoi Hilton – the most brutal prisoner-of-war camp you could imagine.

He survived the most horrendous experiences including being tortured. He self-mutilated on three separate occasions to prevent his captors from parading him as a prisoner. He was held for years in solitary confinement in a cell one meter wide by three metres long and the only form of communication was a code he and his fellow prisoners devised of tapping to communicate. He survived this for seven and a half years before his eventual release in February 1973.

He went back to the military, teaching and eventually ran for Vice President of the USA as Ross Perot’s running mate on the independent ticket.

I tell you this story for a reason – there are many such stories of incredible triumph of human spirit, the will to survive and the ability to overcome the most awful things. This story has something though in it that makes it worth telling.

Stockdale was interviewed by Jim Collins, author of “Good to Great”, and said the following:

“I never lost faith in the end of the story, I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade.”

When Collins asked who didn't make it out of Vietnam, Stockdale replied:

“Oh, that's easy, the optimists. Oh, they were the ones who said, 'We're going to be out by Christmas.' And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they'd say, 'We're going to be out by Easter.' And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart.”

Stockdale then added:

“This is a very important lesson. You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end—which you can never afford to lose—with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”

Collins went on to describe this as the Stockdale Paradox and said:

What separates people, Stockdale taught me, is not the presence or absence of difficulty, but how they deal with the inevitable difficulties of life. In wrestling with life’s challenges, the Stockdale Paradox (you must retain faith that you will prevail in the end and you must also confront the brutal facts of your current reality) has proved powerful for coming back from difficulties not weakened, but stronger…”

This is the combination of optimism, pessimism and realism. The optimist believes that all will be fine in the end, no matter what. The pessimist believes that the worst will happen – again no matter what. Both have a fatalistic view on life and while they expect different outcomes, they resign themselves to the fates.

The optimist says the glass is half-full. The pessimist says it is half-empty. The realist says there is water in the glass.

The realist looks at his situation a little more closely and that is what Stockdale speaks of. He realised he was in an awful situation. He realised that he needed tremendous courage and fortitude to survive and he does all he can to control what he hopes is a positive outcome.

I ask you thus to be realistically optimistic! Have faith in a bright future – whether it is yours, your school’s or your country’s. But – at the same time look at the challenges along the way, look at the realities we face. Don’t be blind to your challenges. When I have been asked by overseas colleagues or friends about SA I am always optimistic but I do acknowledge we have a long journey to undertake. I share with them the realities of crime, poverty, education and health but I also share with them stories of incredible courage and human kindness.

When you are having a tough time, hopefully nothing like Stockdale endured, acknowledge that, assess your situation realistically, stare it in the face with all its difficulties and ugliness and deal with the issues with a belief that you can influence your future and you can overcome the reality of your situation.



James Boustead (our Bishops golf captain) won the Erinvale Junior Championship over the weekend, with a score of 71. Congratulations James on this amazing achievement.

This weekend’s Sport VS SACS


Bishops rugby plays SACS away in the first of the annual two part series which bodes to be full of drama as both SACS and Bishops boast a proud rugby heritage and tradition, as well as a very vigorous respect for each other on and off the field.

It is well known that the game of rugby had its origins in South Africa at Bishops in the early 1860’s. Bishops headmaster of the day, Canon Ogilvie, had his boys play an irregular version of the game and this modified version was the game suspected to have taken place between the two schools in 1862.

Ten years later the first officially recorded game between SACS and Bishops was held in 1873. The first ever played at Newlands, in April 1890, was contested between the two schools. SACS versus Bishops which also served as the intervarsity match of the day when both schools had yet to surrender their college classes.

The recent stats since 2004 sees Bishops winning 22 of the 32 matches played.
The 1st XVs  kick-off at 12h00 on the Memorial. The match will be streamed on the SuperSport Schools App and YouTube live.


Our 1st XI team has had an incredible start to their 2022 season. We look forward to watching them live this weekend as they also play SACS away.

The match will be live on the SuperSport Schools App at 7:30pm Friday the 6th May.

Soccer Leadership

Congratulations to Tyrique Nair who has been selected as Captain of Bishops Soccer. He will be assisted by Thomas Barton as the Vice-Captain.  We wish you all the best for the season ahead.

Wynberg Soccer Festival

A squad of 18 soccer boys took part in the Wynberg Soccer Festival on Friday and Saturday, 29 - 30 April. The boys played with great enthusiasm and determination. The competition was tough, but the team performed well, walking away with two wins, two losses and a draw. 
Well done to Ioannis Kontopirakis and Jamie Bailey, who scored 6 out of the 8 Bishops goals between them.

A special mention must be made of Jamie Bailey who scored a hat-trick in the team's 4 - 2 victory over Zwaanswyk.


My Bishops Life Parent Portal

We remind parents to utilize our online portals:

Please click here for help.

SOCS Sports Parent Portal

We make use of a software programme for sports information and we are hoping that this app will give you sports fixtures, results and other pertinent details easily from your smartphones. 
Follow these simple steps to be able to access all sporting details via this method, anywhere, anytime. 

Laptops or PCs and mobile phones: 

  • Go to a browser on your smartphone and browse to the address
  • Click on the Sport tab
  • Add to home screen and call it Bishops Sport.
  • Now at a click of a button from your cellphone you can see What’s on, access Maps, details of fixtures and more. 
  • When checking click on the ‘What’s On’ page, choose the date and sporting code and then click on the relevant team. 

The Sports coaches will be increasing their use of this platform to communicate important information to you, regarding details around the various fixtures. We are hoping this will limit the need for too much email communication and hence we encourage you to use this platform as your first port of call. 

The Team sheets with boy’s names are password protected the password is Bish@ps.

We would welcome any feedback from you and will happily answer any further questions you may have. 

School Bus

Please note school runs an early morning bus collection, click here for collection points and times. We have a few spaces available, please email to reserve a spot.

Click here for bus routes and application form.

Law Society

On Thursday evening, the Law and Politics Societies were hosted by Mr. Brett Herron MP, a member of the National Assembly of South Africa. The speech was very interesting and exposed the boys to the ways of modern politics in South Africa.



What is rehabilitation training?

Rehabilitation training aims to ensure athletes can return to their sport with minimal risk of re-injury in the shortest time domain.

Click here to watch our short video from the SPW team.


Breakfast Meetings

The ODU in partnership with Citadel, is hosting a series of Breakfast meetings (Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban) with two high calibre and well known speakers who are looking at the impact of recent events on our country. 

To find out more or register to join one of these meetings click here.


This year we had a very special reunion.  The Class of 1952 celebrated their 70TH Reunion at The Mitre. Watch their photo-video by clicking on this link.

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