The College theme for the past fortnight has been ‘Thinking about your future’. Last week, representatives from The NCS Network came in to speak to Sixth Formers about opportunities to help with community projects this summer. In assembly this week, Mr Edwards addressed junior year groups and explained that they too should begin to think about what their future holds.
Mr Edwards explained how with increasing life expectancies and retirement ages, many Shiplake pupils will spend 50 or 60 years at work, undertaking several careers. It is therefore important that pupils should begin to think about what they might like to do when they leave school, and staff have a responsibility to assist them in making these important decisions.
Dreams and ambitions, no matter how prestigious, should not be discouraged. Many Shiplake boys have arrived at the College and on day one outlined their goal to play rugby for England. The chances of success are undoubtedly slim, but several have gone to realise their dreams at junior level, and it will not be long before an Old Viking receives a senior cap.
At this stage, flexibility is key. None of us know exactly what the jobs of the future will be. For example, NASA are planning a mission to Mars in 2033. This requires astronauts, but greater difficulty lies in solving all the problems that a three year space trip creates. This may trigger a whole new range of industries and jobs. Therefore being too precise is not necessarily beneficial; some ideas on what sort of areas you would like to work in is a good start.
The assembly was rounded off by a discussion surrounding the best and worst careers. The New York Times publishes a list of the best jobs every year; basing their judgements on criteria such as the chances of getting the job, working hours, job satisfaction, working environment, pay and job security.
Of course, every individual has their own priorities, and consequently will rank these criteria in different orders. It is estimated that many students will leave university with a debt of £45,000. If you have made the wrong choice for university study and decide to change career direction after leaving university, starting more training, this can end up even more expensive. This highlights the importance of giving the topic some thought, and creating a plan for the years ahead.
Mr Edwards finished with: “So theme of the week, the month, the year and the decade is think about what you are good at. Think about what you like doing and where there might be a gap for your skills in the working world.”
Food for thought!
Nowadays, virtual gaming is often a multi-sensory experience embracing the most advanced modern technology, where astonishing graphics bring virtual environments to life. Indeed, it can even be difficult to distinguish between a scene portrayed on a screen compared with looking out of the window. However, a recent ‘craze’ demonstrated that there will always be room for simplicity. User addictiveness is the key, and this was certainly achieved by recent development ‘Flappy Bird’.
Featuring retro style 2D graphics, the computing involved in engineering the game is relatively straight-forward. The objective is to direct a bird between sets of pipes which arrive thick and fast. Any collision immediately ends the game. It sounds remarkably simple, but ironically the incredible difficulty of achieving a high score was the main reason which attracted users.
The game enjoyed a sudden rise in popularity in early 2014, becoming the most downloaded free game across the globe. The Vietnamese creator earned upwards of $50,000 per day via advertising. His sharp rise to fame and fortune was not welcomed, however, as he decided to withdraw the game from smart phone App stores just weeks after the craze began.
In reality, this unexpected turn of events further fuelled the game’s popularity, with phones possessing the download selling for ridiculous prices over the internet. Budding entrepreneurs spotted an opportunity and suddenly numerous imitations of the game became available.
As the College was alive with Flappy Bird fever, IT teacher Mr Caine decided to set Lower School boys a related challenge. Using multimedia authoring tool ‘Scratch’, the boys were tasked with a producing a close replica of the Flappy Bird game. Entrants’ efforts were judged on usability, fun and similarity to the original.
The winner was Year 8 pupil Ethan Caldeira (pictured centre), who was awarded a £15 iTunes voucher. The edible runners up prizes were claimed by Joe Belcher (right) and Rafe Koser (left). Mr Caine said: ‘All three winners produced great attempts. The deciding factor was Ethan’s ability to make the pipes continuously move towards the bird rather than transferring between static screens. The boys’ practice on Flappy Bird replica Splashy Fish obviously paid off’
Fancy playing? You can give all 3 versions a go by following the links below:
Last weekend, the boys and girls of Burr House embarked on a monumental challenge to row one million metres on 5 ergometers. The sponsored challenge was in aid of Muvea, a Kenyan boy who Burr House are supporting financially to allow him to receive a full education. Some of the money raised will also be used to improve the gym facilities in the boarding house.
The rowing marathon began just after 1:00pm on the Saturday, with the Sixth Form lead out crew setting out at a ferocious pace. They managed to achieve 100,000 metres in the first 1 hour and 15 minutes. This continued until 3:00pm when the rest of the senior boys and juniors took over. Staff arrived continuously throughout the afternoon to contribute to the rising total. Burr pupil Matt Godwin was gutted that injury prevented him from helping the cause, but still make a valuable contribution by single-handedly looking after the spreadsheet used to keep track of progress.
The fast pace continued once the teams had perfected their changeovers and by 4:15pm, the total had reached 250,000 metres signalling that the rowers were a quarter of the way through the challenge. The ergometers didn’t stop moving until dinner when pupils were pleased to see a crew of staff including Mr Brown, Mr Armstrong, Mr Rowlinson, Mr Muhley and Mr Duncan come and relieve them. This allowed students to have a well-deserved break and digest their dinner before the evening slog began.
The halfway mark was reached by 7:30pm but a bigger milestone was around the corner as the Domino’s delivery man arrived to a huge roar as he had not only come to donate pizzas but he also rowed a few metres. As the night progressed, the music spurred rowers on despite Housemaster Mr Dix selecting songs from his teenage years. When the curtain was finally drawn on day one’s efforts at 11.30pm, the team had rowed over 750,000 metres. The House was in great spirit after such a successful day.
The ergometers started again early on Sunday morning, with rowers knowing that the target of finishing for brunch was in sight. The Headmaster and his daughter Anna popped in to lend a hand; each clocking up several kilometres. As the boys and girls started to wake up, the rowing got faster and faster and all of a sudden there were only 100,000 metres left to row. At this point, Olympic bronze medallist Sarah Winckless arrived to help with the final stint.
As the final few metres were rowed there was a big cheer and a celebratory huddle before everyone headed into the Great Hall for a well deserved brunch.
Members of Burr House wish to thank Mr Beaumont and his team for the catering, Dominos for the free pizza and all of the staff and pupils who came by and rowed some metres on the guest ergometer. Most importantly, thanks should go to everyone who kindly sponsored the pupils’ efforts.
To view more photos from the weekend, please check out our Flickr gallery here.
This term, Year 10 History pupils have been studying the Cold War. The topic covers the original division of Germany following the end of World War II in 1945, the Berlin blockade and subsequent airlift, and the construction of the Berlin Wall starting in 1961.
Many staff at Shiplake have diverse backgrounds, working in other areas aside from education before joining the College. In recent weeks, Mrs Green and Mr Howorth have shared their expertise with Sixth Form Business students on marketing and advertising respectively. Last week, it was the turn of College Bursar Neil Walne, who served in the army for 23 years before arriving at Shiplake in 2005. He kindly dropped in to a Year 10 History lesson to shed further light on what life was like in Germany at this time, having been stationed in Germany for two years during the mid-eighties.
British troops were positioned strategically to help protect the inner German border. This was in order to prevent Soviet troops crossing into West Germany. Political and military tensions were running high, and although there this never progressed to large-scale fighting, there was a very real threat.
Neil explained to the pupils how the period involved a number of tactical demonstrations in order to intimidate the opposition. The army would regularly carry out training exercises to illustrate how prepared they were for any attacks. The “3Cs” – credibility, capability and communication – were often used as required criteria for these manoeuvres. This sent a powerful message to opposing troops, and these tactical mind-games were often credited as a major reason why tension never escalated into full-blown warfare.
Solidiers also spent time completing less glamorous tasks, including patrolling the border and guarding missile depots. Fortunately, there was a job rotation policy in place which ensured nobody was faced with a boring role for long. This helped to maintain concentration, as well as sanity!
The pupils enjoyed listening to Neil’s presentation, complete with many nostalgic photographs, and also took the opportunity to pick his brains on anything they were not sure about.
Beneath Hengistbury Head, the ever-changing landscape of Christchurch Bay provides a dynamic and dramatic visual example of the physical processes that shape land forms. This was an ideal location for a recent two day Year 10 Geography fieldwork trip.
When Geography teachers threw an orange into the foaming waves, pupils recorded that the prevailing wind roaring across the Atlantic caused the oranges to drift 37 metres in just five minutes. With the pastel painted beach huts fetching up to £250,000 on the buoyant local property market, coastal engineering is required to protect this fragile environment. It is not hard to see why the properties carry such high value, as many of them provide idyllic views across the tranquil salt marshes.
Pupils completed annotated sketches of protective groynes and where concrete sea walls merged with natural sand dunes as man tried to resist the threatening change of depositional drift on this long-shore coastline. As the teachers advised pupils on their research for upcoming coursework assignments, they noted how this winter’s terrible storms had eroded the cliffs. There was significant slumping. Pupils took photographs for their coursework study, paying particular attention to strata which had recently been eroded.
Battling against gale-force winds, pupils completed two beach surveys calculating the gradient of the beach as it narrowed and also examining particle size of sediments deposited on the beach. Crossing on the Sandbanks Ferry, the pupils then headed to the Brenscombe Outdoor Activities Centre for welcome respite from the bitterly cold winds. After an evening meal the pupils spent a valuable hour writing up the results of their surveys and developing their site sketches.
Early on day 2, all 46 boys arrived at Lulworth Cove and were immediately confronted with the power of geographical change. Much of the car park was cordoned off as a minibus had recently sunk into a sink-hole and the beach-side café had been destroyed by recent storms. Looking along the coastline, it was clear to see where the hard Portland rock had resisted weathering whilst the soft central areas of chalk had been eroded to create the bowl shaped cove.
As permeable chalk is an excellent water filter, pupils were surprised by the clean, cooled taste of the water which had flowed through the chalk from the cliffs above. This time the orange scarcely drifted at all as it bobbed in calmer waters.
After lunch, the group visited the cliffs above Durdle Door, an archway carved in the cliffs through millennia of erosion. Slightly further along the coast, a solitary stack standing alone in the blue waters could be easily identified as the next stage of Durdle Door. On the beach, huge white lumps of chalk, created by a recent landslide, demonstrated the environmental dangers associated with the coastline, as a couple had recently lost their lives.
“Exceptional winter weather made this trip even more valuable than in recent years. Over the past four months, there have been a number of dramatic and highly visual changes to the natural environment. Pupils were clearly surprised and interested asking many perceptive questions and making some sharp observations,” said George Seccombe, Head of Geography.
Since announcing the sad news in January that Nick Bevan had passed away, the College has been inundated with messages of condolences and tributes. Nick had a truly remarkable impact on Shiplake College during his 16 years here, presiding over an era of great change, and is fondly remembered by all those who had the pleasure of knowing him. To celebrate Nick’s life and achievements at Shiplake, we will be hosting a memorial service on Saturday 22 March 2014 at 2.00pm.
All are welcome to join us for the service in the Shiplake Parish Church, which will be followed by tea and cake in the Great Hall. We have already received a huge number of enquiries from Old Vikings and other friends of Nick wishing to pay their respects, and hope that this date will allow many of you to do so.
To assist with our preparations for the day, we would be grateful if you could email email@example.com to indicate your intention to attend, although this is not essential.
There was a busy week of sporting action at Shiplake as the weather finally allowed our football and hockey teams to get back into action.
The 2nd XI launched a memorable second half comeback to claim their first victory of the season. Having struggled before half term, the win provided welcome relief and is a reward for the team’s had work. Things did not go to plan initially, with Cokethorpe dominating the early stages and looking dangerous in attack. Nicholas Burnage managed to grab a goal for Shiplake but at the break, the visitors were 2-1 in front. Mr J Davies gathered the boys together for an inspirational half-time teamtalk, and although there was hairdryer in sight, it certainly seemed to have the desired effect.
The defence tightened up considerably, limiting the opposition to speculative long shots which never looked like troubling the goal. Roared on by vociferous support from the 1st XI and other spectators, Shiplake thought they had equalised after a superb team goal finished calmly by Ruairi Van Raalte. However, to their dismay, the linesman’s flag had been raised and the goal was chalked off. This did not deter the maroons for long, as the equaliser soon came via Matthew Horsfall from a set piece. Late on, Matt Pollard popped up with a memorable winner which floated over the keeper to send the sidelines into jubilation. What a result!
On Wednesday 26th February Shiplake U16A played their first home fixture of the 2014 season. The game started well with Shiplake controlling the midfield and enjoying plenty of possession, so it was a surprise when against the run of play Cokethorpe scored a scrappy goal on the break. However, Shiplake were undeterred and carried on about their business. It wasn’t long before their persistence paid off with Henry Foster volleying into the top corner for his 4th goal of the season. This was followed shortly after by a Ben Tait goal drilled into the bottom corner from the edge of the box to put Shiplake 2-1 in front at half time.
In the second half, Shiplake continued where they had left off and it wasn’t long until Adam Hunt and George Greenaway added to the tally. Despite the odd Cokethorpe attack there was little threat to the Shiplake goal. Thanks to some gritty work in midfield from Hunt and James Dinsdale, Shiplake came forward with wave after wave of attack. Cokethorpe tired due to the constant pressure and gave away two penalties in the latter stages. The first was saved brilliantly by the keeper but the rebound was slotted home by Ben Arnold and the second was calmly finished by Guy Greiner. There was to be a final twist in the tale as with the final kick of the game Cokethorpe scored a screamer from just inside the Shiplake half. It was to be merely a consolation though as the game finished 6-2 to Shiplake.
The U15A boys struggled to get out of the traps at home to Leighton Park, with a slow start costing them dear. The visitors looked assured in possession and were quicker to react to loose balls, allowing them to build a commanding 4-0 lead. In the second half, Shiplake markedly improved and will take heart from drawing the second period 1-1. Miles Burnage grabbed the Shiplake goal.
The U14A team also struggled against Leighton Park on Thursday afternoon, going down to a 5-0 defeat.
The 1st XI took on Lord Wandsworth 2nd XI in a warm up match before facing their first team next week. The first half was a very cagey affair littered with mistakes with both sides showing their half term induced rustiness. However, Shiplake began to dominate in the second half with strong surging runs from Dan Deakin and Jamie Westbrook. After conceding an unfortunate goal, Shiplake camped out in the oppositions D for much of the second half with Jamie Westbrook scoring two goals to give us our first win of the season. Man of the match went to Dan Deakin.
Thanks to Cameron Grossman for providing the following report:
The Shiplake team took to the pitch confident of getting a third win under their belts. Shiplake started the game poorly, conceding a goal in the early stages with poor marking at the far post. They then pulled together as a team having realised that the work rate needed to be picked up. The partnerships between the back four of Oran Mehmet, Charles Marsden, Chris Baker and Cameron Grossman grew stronger as the game went on. Billy Sayers and Dom Allen applied great offensive pressure to earn a short corner that was hit just wide.
Shiplake increased the tempo by closing down the opposition in their own half, with Will Gresswell intercepting the ball on the half way line, running down the left hand side putting in a cross that Dom Allen finished off to make the score 1-1. Spirits were high and the team worked well with each other with Antony Miarli, Harry Marsden and Jamie Lewis controlling the midfield.
Shiplake started the second half well with Oran Mehmet making a rare attacking run across the pitch then passing the ball to Billy Sayers who fed Dom Allen for his second goal. Confidence was high and Shiplake were playing the most flowing hockey so far this term. From a fast taken 16 out to the right hand side, Dom was put clean through for his hat-trick and he calmly dribbled round the keeper to score. It was a great team effort that resulted in a 3-1 Shiplake victory.
After a right royal thrashing down at LWC earlier in the term, the U14As knew they would be under the cosh from the first pushback. However, this was not the case. Shiplake defended stoutly, smothering most of the opposition’s incursions into the 25. However LWC did manage a solitary goal mid-way through the first period. This defence was complemented by some highly efficient counter-attacking which ended up with Marcus Hillman smashing in the ball from close range just before the half time whistle.
The second half saw the Shiplake run out of steam and in doing so conceded three further goals as LWC piled on the pressure. This was a much improved performance but there is still much to work on. Final score: Shiplake 1 – 4 LWC
Shiplake 3rd XI 2-2 Lord Wandsworth College
Goals – Kieran Leach, William Gresswell
Shiplake U14B 1-1 Lord Wandsworth College
Goal – Joe Tucker
During the recent February half term Year 13 BTEC Travel and Tourism students travelled to Barcelona for a three day trip to support their studies of European destinations. Arriving in the city late on the Friday evening after a three hour flight, the group located their hostel before exploring the local area and getting ready for their first day of sightseeing.
On Saturday morning the group headed to the waterfront - a scene of heavy recent regeneration following investment from the Spanish government. The day started with a visit to l’Aquarium de Barcelona, located in the Port Vell harbour. Next on the agenda was a trip up the hill to Montjuic and the 1992 Olympic Park. Although the park is now virtually deserted, the Olympic stadium is still an impressive demonstration of architecture and the elevated position provides fantastic views over the city and harbour.
No trip to Barcelona would be complete without a trip to the Sagrada Familia, the iconic church magnificently designed by Gaudi. Construction work is still ongoing, but there is no denying the beauty and distinctiveness of the building. After a well deserved siesta, the day activities finished with a tour dinner back in the city centre.
On Sunday morning, the group left the hostel and set out for a visit to Nou Camp - the home of FC Barcelona. This was undoubtedly the highlight of the trip for the many football fans amongst the party. The ground’s capacity is 99, 786 spectators, making it the largest stadium in Europe. The stadium tour took the group through the museum, changing rooms, pitchside dugouts before climbing numerous flights of stairs to reach the boxes and commentators seats in the roof. After the Nou Camp, the group headed to the heart of the city and the world famous ‘Las Ramblas’. Despite visiting Barcelona at one of the quietest times of the year, the streets were busy, the markets bustling and it was warm enough to sit outside in the sun and people watch. With Rory Moore celebrating his 19th birthday, the group ended the tour with dinner in a local restaurant.
Tired after three busy days, the group left Barcelona with many fond memories of the city and in most cases a desire to return.
Shiplake College has been offering BTEC Travel and Tourism (Level 3) since September 2011 and it is fast becoming a very popular and successful subject. With 75% of the first cohort achieving a Distinction (equivalent of A* at A2) last summer, it is unsurprising that so many students are considering it as one of their Sixth Form options.
During February half term, whilst many of us were at home watching the Winter Olympics in Sochi, a group of Shiplake pupils took on mountainous challenges of their own. The boys, led by DofE Manager Steve Macpherson, travelled to Fort William in Scotland for an introduction to winter mountaineering. The training programme was designed to offer an opportunity to learn the basic requirements of winter mountain equipment and clothing whilst developing the confidence, skills and techniques needed to safely navigate and route find around mountains in winter conditions.
Spending an enjoyable three days trekking on Scottish hills and mountains, the pupils covered a huge range of skills and topics, including:
a. Winter equipment and clothing.
b. Safety and recognition, avoidance and basic treatment of hypothermia.
c. Winter mountain navigation.
d. Route finding and planning techniques for white out.
e. Applied winter survival and rescue techniques. Digging emergency snow shelters.
f. Use of ice axe and crampons – ice axe arrests; emergency braking; step cutting, kicking steps; fitting crampons.
g. Step cutting and kicking steps.
h. Self arrest without an ice axe.
i. Correct choice, carrying, and use of ice axes.
j. Basic rope belay work to ensure safety on steep or exposed ground in winter.
k. A daily assessment of weather and snow conditions along with avalanche awareness and prediction.
l. Winter mountain weather.
m. Ascent of winter Munros, easy snow gullies and ridge.
The group travelled all the way to Fort William in a Shiplake College minibus; a 500 mile, 12 hour journey! On arrival the group received a briefing for upcoming days of training before sorting out their kit ready for the early start the next day. The course was run by professional instructors from the Snowgoose mountain centre and each day built on the previous day's training, culminating with the whole group taking part in a full quality winter mountain day.
The trip was a great success and the boys found it challenging but rewarding. All have indicated that they would like to return next year and build on their skills. The weather was kind on the whole, although visibility on the hill was down to a couple of feet most of the time which made for interesting navigation.
For once we were not short of snow, the opposite in fact. Deep snow above 600m made the going quite tough; maybe the boys should pack some skis next time!
The College is delighted to announce the launch of the John Turner Building £100,000 campaign. This appeal has been designed to provide the best-possible resources and equipment for the new John Turner Building, due to open in September 2014, and to give all members of the Shiplake community past and present an opportunity to be a part of this exciting development.
In addition to creating first-class Music, Art and Learning Development Departments, the building is addressing the long-standing need for a place where pupils of all ages can collaborate, reflect, read and research, with access to a variety of digital learning technologies. There will also be a Lecture Theatre with tiered seating for up to 140 people, providing a superb venue for a wide range of uses such as recitals, performances and presentations.
The campaign brochure has been sent to all current parents, staff and Old Vikings and is also available to download as a PDF document below. The brochure explains the campaign in more detail and outlines how you can contribute to its associated range of imaginative funds. With opportunities to support one or more of the specific areas within the new building, at a level that you feel comfortable, we believe there will be at least one fund that appeals to everyone. Participation is just as important as the level of giving, with personalised donation options ranging from £20 to £3000. Whatever the amount, your generous gift will make a real difference to the pupils and staff at Shiplake College and all donations will be recognised appropriately.
For further information, please visit the development section of this website or click on the links below to find out more about the campaign's associated funds:
Click on the links below to download the following John Turner Building £100,000 Campaign documents: