Shiplake College

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Shiplake College
Shiplake college crest.png
Motto Latin: Exemplum Docet
("The Example Teaches")
Established 1959
Type Public school
Independent day and boarding
Religion Church of England
Head Master Gregg Davies
Chairman of Governors The Rt Hon Tim Eggar
Founder Alexander Everett
Location Shiplake Court
England Coordinates: 51°29′53″N 0°53′39″W / 51.498056°N 0.894167°W / 51.498056; -0.894167
Local authority Oxfordshire
DfE number 931/6050
DfE URN 123285 Tables
Students c. 400
Gender Boys; Coeducational Sixth Form
Ages 11–18
Houses 8
Colours Black, Maroon and Gold
Publication Riverbank
Campus 45 acres
Athletics 17 sports
Former pupils Old Vikings

Shiplake College is an independent day and boarding school in Shiplake, by the River Thames just outside Henley-on-Thames, England. The school, with 410 pupils, admits day boys from 11–18 and boarding boys from 13–18. Day and boarding girls join the College in the Sixth Form.[1]

The College offers small class sizes, multi-sensory teaching, sporting facilities and pastoral care. Pupils are encouraged to pursue a broad education taking part in plays, concerts, the Young Enterprise and The Duke of Edinburgh's Awards as well as many other extra-curricular activities. Courses are organised to develop leadership and management skills. The College aims to 'add value' to pupils of all abilities both inside and outside the classroom and has an extensive learning development department to provide support to all students.

According to the Good Schools Guide, the College is "A good school on an upward curve, with a charismatic, no-nonsense, forward looking head (complete with iPad and tweets) plus a dedicated team in an enchanting location." [2]


Shiplake College was founded in 1959 by Alexander and Eunice Everett. The land on which the school now stands was bought by Robert Harrison in 1888 and the original buildings date from 1890. The main building, which houses Skipwith House and the Great Hall, was built as a private residence for the Harrison family. The house was sold in 1925 and was at first a private home to Lord Wargrave and then a prep school, before being sold to the BBC in 1941. Initially the BBC used Shiplake Court as a storage facility until in 1943 the BBC Monitoring Service moved to Caversham and the house became a hostel for BBC staff. The BBC closed the hostel in 1953 and the house remained largely unused until the arrival of the Everetts in 1958. The College now stands in 45 acres of land on the banks of the Thames. In late 1958 the Everetts purchased Shiplake Court with the intention of founding a school which duly opened as Shiplake College on May 1, 1959. In 1963, John Eggar, a Derbyshire cricketer who had been a housemaster at Repton School, became headmaster. By the time he retired in 1979, numbers had increased to 300.[3]

Girls aged 16–18 were introduced towards the end of the 20th Century, forming a co-educational Sixth Form. The College now stands in 45 acres of land on the banks of the Thames and the site and buildings have been imaginatively adapted to the needs of the 21st Century.

Exam results[edit]

In 2013, 83% of pupils achieved 5 or more A*-C GCSEs (or equivalent) including English and Mathematics.[4] At A Level, Shiplake broke its record at A*-B, with 51% of pupils gaining these grades, up from 42% in 2012.[5]

The school has a broad admissions policy, taking into account all aspects of a pupil’s potential on entry, not just academic potential. Consequently, results naturally have a greater span than those schools who actively select according to academic ability. Despite this, there has been a significant upward trend in GCSE and A Level results over the last ten years; a reflection of a greater focus on academic rigour. Many pupils achieve far higher grades than they were predicted to when they joined Shiplake College, with value-added at an academic and personal level a strength of the school. Most pupils leave for a variety of university destinations including Exeter, Warwick, London, Cambridge, Harvard, Nottingham, Birmingham and Newcastle.[5]


The Houses are at the heart of College life. The pupils are allocated into one of five houses with Boys becoming members of either Orchard or Skipwith (if they are day boys) or Burr, Everett or Welsh (if they are boarders). Girls are members of Gilson House, whilst Upper Sixth boys reside in College. Pupils in years 7 and 8 are members of the Lower School.

Extra-curricular activities[edit]

The College's pupils follow non-academic pursuits. Leadership skills, teamwork and confidence are discovered and developed through the extensive programme of sports and activities.

On Tuesday afternoons, the majority of students take part in Combined Cadet Force, allowing them to receive specialist training in a division of the armed forces. Drama and Music are also very popular at the College, with regular concerts and performances occurring across the year.

The college also has an expedition society, where students spend a month in Kenya.[citation needed] Pupils help out at the Kikunduku schools project and participate in a wide range of other activities such as climbing Mount Kenya.


The College has a strong sporting ethos. The Good Schools Guide notes that "Rugby, rowing, hockey, cricket, athletics and netball plus a good smattering of minor sports and house fixtures are important, improving, inclusive and competitive (notable successes against much bigger rivals). In line with school spirit, fixture boards welcome the opposition and wish them luck."[2]

Rowing is an important school sport, with the College's location on the River Thames. In 2011, the 1st VIII came fifth in the Schools' Head of the River Race[6] and fourth in The National Schools Regatta. Also in 2011 the J16 VIII won the 1st VIII event at The National Schools Regatta.[7] Two boys represented England and Great Britain in 2006.[citation needed] and four boys represented Great Britain in the summer of 2013.[8] Most notably, former pupil Will Satch claimed an Olympic Bronze medal at London 2012 in the Men's Pair event.[9]

As well as rowing, the College plays Rugby. Former pupil Tom Howe now plays for London Wasps. Every season, Shiplake take part in a local rugby event called 'Friday Night Lights' hosted by Henley Hawks RFC. In November 2013, Shiplake beat Merchant Taylors' School, Northwood 26-7 in front of a crowd of over 500 people.[10]


The following have served as headmasters of the school:[citation needed]

  • Alexander Everett (1959–1963)
  • John Eggar (1963–1979)
  • Peter Lapping (1979–1988)
  • Nick Bevan (1988–2004)
  • Gregg Davies (2004 – present)

Notable former pupils[edit]


External links[edit]

Further information