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Diocesan College, or Bishops as it is known locally and internationally, is an open and independent school situated in the leafy suburb of Rondebosch in Cape Town at the foot of Table Mountain. The sprawling school grounds and unique architectural style make it one of the country’s most beautiful places of study.
A boy who graduates from Diocesan College will leave with an excellent all-round education, ready and prepared for the challenge of leadership. This great school, founded in 1849 by Bishop Robert Gray, has for decades provided South Africa and, in many instances, the rest of the world, with her leaders, be it in the boardroom, Parliament or on the sports field.
Bishops continues to affirm itself as a true learning organisation, with all systems co-ordinated to focus on learning in every sense of the word – through an appreciation of excellence in all its forms, technology, sport, music, innovation, creative thinking and leadership. It is this constant striving towards achieving the extraordinary that sets the Bishops boy apart. He may or may not be a great academic, an international or social sportsman, but he is involved and interested and he never stops striving towards excellence.
The Anglican Church is a fundamental pillar of the education provided at the school, but all denominations and religions are welcomed. There are two chapels, both central to life at Bishops. The older and smaller Brooke Chapel is used for more intimate services. In many cases Bishops’ boys have married from this quiet haven, baptised their children there and later been buried from there. The bigger War Memorial Chapel was built in memory of the Bishops boys who died in service in World War I and is used for daily and Sunday services.
Music, art and drama are part of every boy’s day from the moment he enters the Pre-Preparatory school until the day he matriculates. The boys are encouraged to sing in the choir, play an instrument and to become “professional” listeners.
The school’s modern and superbly equipped Molteno Library is one of the most well-used facilities at the school. The ever-growing number of computer stations, linked to the Internet and the school’s Intranet, mean the boys really use the facility for research, learning and pure enjoyment of reading. An innovative and internationally renowned development at the school has been the introduction of the laptop project. This initiative enables boys, staff and parents to use computers and the school Intranet as central tools to connect, communicate and learn.
Sport is compulsory, with team sports developing a sense of camaraderie among the boys, and of working together towards a common goal. In the winter all boys are expected to play either rugby or hockey and in the summer cricket or swimming. Also offered are athletics, basketball, fencing, golf, rowing, squash, tennis, waterpolo and much more.
Boarding facilities are available for weekly and full-time boarders. The strongest argument in favour of boarding at Bishops is the fun, camaraderie and excitement that go along with staying full time at the school. Often it is the moments in the school’s boarding houses that provide the most enduring memories of a boy’s school experience.
Day-boys, too, have a home base at school in the form of their House. When each boy begins grade eight he is allocated to a House that remains his base for the remainder of his school career. The House is where the boys go before school, during break and after school before their sports commitments. The House system is a way of breaking up a large body of pupils into smaller units where individual boys can have faces, names and identities of their own.
An education at Bishops is a privilege for any young man, but those at Bishops are constantly reminded of their place in the broader South Africa. Understanding the meaning of abundance and scarcity are as much part of their education as history and mathematics. It is this acknowledgment of one’s place and role in broader society that helps make Bishops’ graduates leaders of the future.
- A Levels
- National Senior Certificate (State)
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