Background and History

Bishop’s College is one of the oldest private Girls’ Schools in Sri Lanka. The school was founded by the then Anglican Bishop of Colombo, Bishop James Chapman (1845 to 1862) and his wife Frances, originally in 1857 as a mission school for girls of elite Christian families and other European residents. After a lapse of several years the school was re-opened in 1875. It was later administered by the Sisters of St. Margaret who journeyed to Sri Lanka from East Grinstead, Sussex, United Kingdom. For sixty years the Sisters were able to provide the school a long line of dedicated Principals who played a central role in the life of students and staff of Bishop’s College. Charity and community service together with the ideals of truth, loyalty and responsibility were handed down by the Missionaries and is yet upheld by the motto of Bishop’s College itself; “Non Sibi Sed Omnibus”- Not for Self but for All. Bishop’s College towards Independence and thereafter embraced the liberal and progressive thought that dominated the day and embraced a new identity towards nurturing a ‘new woman’ whilst skillfully blending it with the rich traditions of the school.

Guiding Statements

Bishop’s College, as its mission aims to “pursue the highest standards in academic excellence, social integration, personal skills and sporting prowess within a framework of spiritual values, community and respect for diverse culture and discipline”.

The broad vision of the school is echoed by its vision statement: “To be a dynamic, academic institution for girls, governed by a transparent and accountable structure that respects diversity and produces balanced, socially responsible, multi-faceted women with the ability to face the challenges of a continuously changing world.”

We encourage our students to venture out and pursue their desire to follow a degree program so that they will be better equipped to face up to the challenges of the future.

The Faculty

The Faculty boasts of a strong line of leadership in its long history, beginning with the Anglican Nuns from the Sisters of St. Margaret (1875-1887)to its first lay Principal in 1955 and then it’s first Sri Lankan Principal in 1959, to the Principals and Vice Principals of today. The school currently employs approximately 175 professional teaching staff on a full time basis, 25 staff on a part time basis and 20 sports coaches/trainers. Majority of the members of the faculty hold graduate degrees and a notable number hold Masters Degrees by reputed universities in Sri Lanka and overseas. In addition, the school provides internal and overseas training through its policy on Continuous Professional Development to maintain high academic standards within the faculty.

The Student Body

Presently the student strength is approximately 2,000 and consists of a diverse and vibrant mix of girls belonging to multiple religions (Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam), ethnicities (Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim and Burgher) and socio-economic groups. The rich diversity among students is maintained at all times by ensuring equality and social cohesion with a zero tolerance policy towards discrimination or intimidation of any kind. Students are allowed to practice their own faiths not only through the curriculum but also by engaging in religious and cultural activities and observances. Students are also encouraged to engage in religious and cultural events outside their faith and ethnicity to promote co-existence, leadership, community service and camaraderie.

The school prides itself and is well known for maintaining the highest standards of discipline, spearheaded and maintained by the Principal, Vice Principal, Sectional Heads, academic staff, coaching staff and the Prefects’ Guild of the school.

The Prefects’ Guild

The Prefects’ Guild consists of 30 students who are voted in by their peers and faculty and are responsible for assisting the administration in maintaining discipline and carrying out day to day activities of the school. The Head Prefect and Deputy Head prefects lead the Prefects’ Guild and maintain a strong line of communication between the faculty and student body, and they are expected to instill a sense of humility and accountability to the rest of school in keeping with our motto ‘Non Sibi Sed Omnibus-Not for Self but for All’. As Prefects they receive training in mediation, a course conducted by the Ministry of Justice, Sri Lanka, and serve as School Mediators as well. The Prefects’ Guild reflects the high standards in leadership, academic distinction and sporting excellence maintained by the school. Whilst performing their duties, Prefects vie for awards such as ‘leadership and influence’ and the coveted Bishop’s College ‘Gold Medal’ for all round excellence and selfless service.

The Facilities

The School boasts of state of the art facilities, which include libraries, science laboratories, Information Technology laboratories, swimming pool, tennis court, basketball court, an athletic field and an Auditorium which is a much sought after venue for public concerts and events. In addition, the school also has a dedicated Educational Support Unit, which encourages and supports students with learning difficulties in an Inclusive Learning Model.

The school prides itself and is well known for maintaining the highest standards of discipline, spearheaded and maintained by the Principal, Vice Principal, Sectional Heads, academic staff, coaching staff and the Prefects’ Guild of the school.

The Curriculum

Bishop’s College offers a curriculum that extends from nursery school to advanced level, 5 years of age (Nursery) to 19 years of age (Grade 14).The mediums of instruction include Sinhala, Tamil (official languages of Sri Lanka) and English. To enhance English Language and English Literature education, the school has introduced its own curriculum in addition to the national curriculum from Nursery onwards. The school also promotes English education by offering lessons on Speech & Drama, drama competitions, theatrical performances, etc.

Students are offered the choice of following the national curriculum in Sinhala, Tamil or English medium of instruction for the government standardized first examination, namely the General Certificate of Education – Ordinary Level examination at 16 years (Grade 11) offering 9 subjects including core subjects such as English, Sinhala/Tamil, Mathematics, Science, History, Religion and optional subjects such as Health & Physical education, Geography, Business Studies, Western or Eastern music, Art, Oriental dance, English Literature or French.

They then sit for the General Certificate of Education Advanced Level Examination at 19 years (Grade 14) or the London Advanced Level curriculum offered by Edexcel Pearson UK at AS and A2 Levels. Both National Advanced Level curriculum and London Curriculum are of equal levels of difficulty and standard, and form the basis for university admission nationally or overseas.

National Curriculum



Business Studies





English / Sinhala Literature



Greek & Roman Civilization



Home Economics

Logic & Scientific Method


Edexcel Pearson Subjects



Business Studies





English Literature




Applied ICT

Mathematics (Mechanics and Statistics)

Further Mathematics

Religious Studies

School Year and Schedule

The school year is divided into 3 terms namely, January-April (Lent Term), May-August (Trinity Term) and September–December (Advent term). Term end examinations are held from Grade 6 upwards (12 years) at the end of each term and student assessments are carried out mid-term to assess continuous progress.

Grading System and Prize Distribution for Academic Excellence

Grading schemes are un-weighted and marked out of 100. At the end of the academic year (January to December) students with the highest scores are awarded prizes for each subject at the Annual Prize Giving Ceremony. Students excelling in speech, drama, music, singing, recitation and oratory are awarded special prizes. Furthermore students are recognized for ‘all round excellence’ and ‘best result’s as well as for community service, leadership and embodying the school motto.

Sports & Extra Curricular Activities

The school offers 15 popular sports including Basketball, Netball, Hockey, Athletics, Swimming, Cricket, Tennis, Table Tennis, Badminton, Water Polo, Diving, Rowing, Chess, Scrabble and Karate. The school also has a notable history of excelling in Debating, Drama, Eastern and Western Music and singing in both local and international platforms. Bishop’s College is proud to highlight that many of its athletes and performers have gone on to represent Sri Lanka whilst being in school. Student athletes receive School ‘Merit’ or ‘Colours’ Awards depending on their level of achievement and are awarded the coveted ‘Bishop’s Gold’ award for representing the country.


The ‘House’ system is an integral part of Bishop’s College, with every student and staff member being assigned to one of the four houses named after the early Bishops of Sri Lanka; Henley, Ford, Chapman & Copleston. Captains are elected by the respective house members and have to organize all the inter-house competitions held throughout the year, including the annual inter-house athletics meet and swimming meet as well as all the competitions in the arts field. (drama, debating, writing, oratory, spelling bee singing, dancing, music etc) Cumulative house points for sports, arts and discipline, then determine the winner of the prestigious ‘Overall Shield’ presented at the annual prize giving ceremony

Bishop’s College has always encouraged social and cultural integration and continues to mould students by providing opportunities to engage in a variety of projects and programs each year facilitated by 40 Clubs and Societies in the school; many of which focus primarily on charity and community service. The Social Service Club, Art & Design Club, the Commerce &Young Entrepreneurs’ Club, the Science & Math Society, Western & Eastern Music Societies and the Health & Environment Club are but a few. The Social Service Club prides itself in being the recipient of the ‘best project ‘at the Pearson Edexcel community service awards ceremony on many occasions.


There are some Clubs and Societies affiliated to international charters such as the United Nations Club, The Red Cross Society, The Interact Club (District 3220) and the Girl Guiding Company which is nearing its 100th year at Bishop’s College.


Students are recognized for the leadership roles they play within sports and clubs and societies and are afforded positions of responsibility as captains, vice captains, presidents, secretaries, treasurers and office bearers.


The Eastern and Western dancing troupes and marching bands, as well as the Drama Crew are trained by highly skilled professionals and perform at all school events and assemblies and participate in public forums as well.


This ethos of education in turn helps to produce a diverse body of students that are able to make a significant contribution in their tertiary education in both local and foreign universities. In its history of over 145 years of educating young women, Bishop’s College has annually produced competent individuals who have carried the banner of their alma mater to several prestigious universities in the world while over sixty percent of students qualify to enter the national universities of Sri Lanka every year.

Five-Year University Matriculation List


Bryn Mawr College

Cornell University

Columbia University (Master’s)

New York University

Smith College

Purdue University

Georgia Institute of Technology

Wesleyan College

Harvard University (Master’s)

Converse College (Bachelor’s)

University of Pennsylvania

Texas A&M University

California State University, Northridge

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Georgia Southern University

Drexel University

Rice University

Carleton College


Monash University

University of Nottingham

Newcastle University (Medicine) Malaysia

International  Medical University of Kuala Lumpur


The University of Sydney

The University of Adelaide

Edith Cowan University, Western Australia

Deakin University – Melbourne

University of South Australia – Adelaide

James Cook University

Western Sydney University

Monash University

University of New South Wales

University of Queensland

The University of Melbourne

Macquarie University, Sydney


University of Delhi, New Delhi

New York University, Abu Dhabi

National University of Singapore (NUS)

Manipal College of Medical Sciences, Nepal

Tokyo International University, Japan (TIU)

Asia Pacific University, Japan (APU)

Singapore Management University  (SMU)

New Zealand

Victoria University of Wellington

University of Auckland

Public Universities and Institutes - Sri Lanka

The Open University of Sri Lanka

University of Colombo

University of Jaffna

University of Kelaniya

University of Moratuwa

University of Peradeniya

University of Sri Jayewardenpura


University of Tilburg Netherlands

University of Bristol, UK

University of Warwick,UK

University of Durham, UK

Martin Luther University, Germany

University of Nottingham, UK

Vitebsk State Medical University, Belarus

University of Wittenberg, Netherlands

International College of Tourism & Management (ITM), Austria

Private Universities

Academy of Design (AOD)

AMDT (Academy of Multimedia & Design Technology)

American National College (ANC)

Aquinas College of Higher Studies

Asia Pacific Institute of Information Technology (APIIT)

Asian Aviation Centre

Australian College of Business and Technology (ACBT)

Business Management School (BMS)

City School of Architecture

Colombo Institute of Research and Psychology

Colombo International Nautical and Engineering College

Esoft Computer School

Gateway Graduate School

General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University (KDU)

Horizon Campus

Imperial Institute of Higher Education (IIHE)

Informatics Institute of Technology (IIT)

International College of Business & Technology (ICBT)

International Institute of Health Sciences (IIHS)

National Institute of Business Management (NIBM)

National School of Business Management (NSBM)

Northshore College of Business & Technology

Ocean University of Sri Lanka

Royal Institute of Colombo

Spectrum Institute of Science and Technology

Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT)


Ryerson University

York University