The Old Diocesan Issue5 Mar2020 - Page 9



A farewell wish
Principal Guy Pearson’s final
magazine message outlines
the fundamentals that make
Bishops what it is – and how
the ODU might add to this
A
s this is the last message
I will be writing for The
Old Diocesan, I thought
I would reflect on what
the fundamental pillars are that
make Bishops what it is.
The first is that we are the
Diocesan College, an Anglican
church school. This was the
primary basis of our foundation
by Bishop Robert Gray back in
1849. Of course, we welcome
boys and staff of all faiths and
religions today, and respect their
beliefs, but it is important that
we acknowledge our foundation;
certainly, we should not apologise
for it. The Chapel at Bishops is
central not only in its geographical
placement, but also in setting the
tone and the values we aspire to in
growing our young boys into men.
The second defining aspect
of Bishops is that it is a boys’
school. This may be obvious, but
it is important in light of the fact
that almost all new schools in the
world are co-ed. I believe strongly
that boys are best served by being
at a boys’ school. One of the most
important advantages of singlesex education is the opportunity
it presents to create a learning
Principal of Bishops Guy Pearson, who is retiring in June.
environment that accommodates
what boys and young men need.
Schools for boys understand and
celebrate boys; we know that boys
develop at different rates, and we
know how to teach in ways that
serve boys best. We also know that
schools for boys foster a sense of
belonging and lifelong friendships.
Bishops balances the innate
need that boys have to belong to
something bigger than themselves
with celebrating and allowing
each individual to flourish.
Then there is the House and
pastoral care system. I have visited
most boys’ schools in South Africa,
and many around the world, and
have never come across a stronger
House system than we have at
Bishops. It is significant because
it breaks a big school down into
smaller units, and gives the boys
a special and more focused sense
of belonging, which is so important
for them. At Bishops, the fact that
each day boy House has a physical
building to accommodate it makes
things extra-special.
And finally, we have the
Bishops philosophy: our belief
in the education of the “whole
boy” – body, mind and spirit.
It is important that we continue
to fight for the balance between
academic, sporting and cultural
programmes. This philosophy
not only ensures that we produce
well-rounded young men; it also
allows every boy to find his niche
at Bishops, and ultimately the world.
I believe these are the four pillars
that make Bishops what it is – and
if any of them should change, it
would become a fundamentally
different school.
I have enjoyed a positive
relationship with the OD Union
during my tenure as Principal.
While the school and the OD
Union are separate entities, they
are inextricably linked – and so they
should be. The relationship between
the school and the ODU should be
to mutual benefit of both; after all,
an OD is only an OD by virtue of
having been a Bishops boy. The
school needs the support of ODs
and we encourage them to send
their sons back to Bishops. We need
to promote the notion that Bishops
boys are Bishops boys for life.
It has been a privilege to be
the 14th Principal of Bishops,
and I thank the OD Union for its
support over the past seven years.
THE OLD DIOCESAN | 7





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