Everett House is located above the College reception, with magnificent views of the River Thames. The modern House accommodates approximately 55 pupils, predominantly made up of full and weekly boarders. A small number of day pupils have joined Everett in recent years which has added an extra dimension to the energetic House dynamic.
Mr Tom Armstrong became Housemaster of Everett in September 2014. Mr Armstrong joined the English Department at Shiplake in September 2011, and has enjoyed a successful first four years at the College. He lives on site with his wife Emma, son Ruaridh and daughter Isla, and their black Labrador Tally.
Everett has a friendly and informal atmosphere, with two common rooms providing plenty of space to relax, along with a pool room and games consoles. House staff strive to provide a homely and welcoming atmosphere in which the boys can explore new opportunities, find out their strengths, be supported in their weaknesses and have their achievements celebrated. The House offers a ‘home away from home’ environment that is so important in a boarding school. It is a place where individuality is welcomed, and a community to which all members are proud to belong.
There is, of course, plenty of time allocated for concentrated work and independent study, with a House computer suite available for pupils to use in addition to their own study rooms. Boarders live in shared dormitories in Year 9 and progress into smaller rooms with greater privacy and independence as they move up the College. The interaction between staff and pupils is built upon mutual respect. Tutors combine awareness of the needs of young teenagers with sensible, consistent guidance to aid all pupils’ personal development.
Mr Armstrong is a talented sportsman and enjoys applying his knowledge in a coaching capacity. During the Autumn Term he coaches the Shiplake 1st XV alongside Head of Rugby, Mr Sam Beckett. The team have enjoyed considerable success in recent seasons, often causing upsets against considerably larger schools. After the Christmas break, Mr Armstrong’s sporting focus switches to rowing, where he works with the senior crews and never passes an opportunity to take to the river himself. This includes the annual Shiplake College Regatta where the Boat Club staff race against the senior 1st VIII. Mr Armstrong is a keen skier and enjoys the theatre.
Mr Armstrong is supported by Everett Matron Mrs Karen Strickland and Assistant Housemaster Mr Darius Bluck. Mr Bluck arrived at Shiplake in November 2012, and currently manages the Economics Department. Having studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at York University, he went on to study a masters in the Politics and Economics of Development. After a short period of time working for an NGO, Mr Bluck moved into teaching. Outside the classroom, Darius enjoys playing basketball as well as outdoor hikes and painting. He is heavily involved in the Duke of Edinburgh programme and Young Enterprise schemes at the College.