Wednesday, 23rd July 2014

Shiplake College cufflinks are still available in the traditional chain-link style, for a bargain price of just £20.

The timeless products, featuring the traditional College crest, are popular with current pupils, Old Vikings and parents. They provide an excellent memento of your association with Shiplake, no matter what relationship you have with the school. 

 The cufflinks are available for collection from the College or they can be posted to you for a small additional fee. All proceeds go to the Boat Club Supporters’ Association.

If you are interested in purchasing a pair, please email


Tuesday, 22nd July 2014

A selection of Shiplake’s most promising rowers travelled to Nottingham earlier this month for the latest round of GB rowing trials.

Accompanied by Mr Tom Fitton, we initially put two pairs forward for the first race off. Max Hearnden was partnered with Joe from Winchester College, while Harry Hogan was due to row with a friend from Reading Blue Coat. However, after he pulled out with illness, fellow Shiplake 1st VIII member Harry Berkley stepped in at the last minute.

With only the top seven pairs set to qualify for the final round of trials, the pressure was on immediately. Max and Joe came in 16th place, while Harry and Harry earned a remarkable 10th best time. Whilst this was not enough to qualify automatically, it was a phenomenal effort given their lack of practice together.

In view of this, Harry Hogan was invited to attend the final trials and joined up with another rower whose pairs partner had pulled out injured. Unfortunately Harry did not make the GB boats but he came very close. The whole experience was extremely valuable for him and puts him in the top 35 juniors in the country. Harry’s stepfather Martin Cruddace commented: “We are really proud of Harry and the GB under 23’s better watch out over the next year or two!”

Max and Harry Hogan will be hoping to continue their excellent progress at university next year while Harry Berkley will once again row for the Shiplake 1st VIII as he enters Year 13. 

Monday, 21st July 2014

At the end of each academic year, the Shiplake Art Department hosts a Private View to show off the work produced by GCSE and Sixth Form artists across the year.

This year’s event was as exciting and vibrant as ever. Pupils’ increasing confidence with experimenting with different types of media was clearly evidenced, as a variety of paintings, sculptures and other 3D work was displayed in the Great Hall.

Many Old Vikings popped in to inspect the artwork as the event coincided with their drinks reception to bid farewell to staff moving on to pastures new. The atmosphere and ‘buzz’ around the room suggested that all visitors were impressed with what they saw.

Head of Art Mrs Gillings commented: “The diverse range of work clearly displayed pupils’ willingness to work to their strengths. It was lovely to hear complements from various visitors, while the pupils themselves were impressed with the overall appearance of the exhibition. This is a credit to them as of course it was their work on display! All those that took depart deserve our congratulations and I am looking forward to working with many of them in the new John Turner Building next year.”

The Private View event also saw the launch of our ‘Secret Postcard Exhibition’. All entries are warmly encouraged ahead of the new Art Department’s unveiling in September. 

Friday, 18th July 2014

Departing Year 13 pupils and their parents joined staff on the final evening of term for the 2014 Leavers’ Ball.

With a black tie dress code, gentleman donned stylish dinner suits while ladies arrived in glamorous ball gowns. The Head of College, Tom Arnold, and Senior Girl, Sissi Pongratz, arrived in VIP fashion in a chauffeur driven 1960s Ford Mustang.

In total, there were over 200 guests at the splendid event, which began with a drinks and canapé reception on the lawn in front of the Prize-Giving marquee. Legendary Catering Manager Mr Steve Beaumont, overseeing his final Leavers’ Ball at Shiplake, then called diners into the marquee for a fabulous three course meal. The exquisite duck main course was a particular hit with guests as they reminisced about the previous two or five years the pupils have spent at the College.

The meal was followed by dancing to excellent music from five-piece band Freeze Frame. After burning off energy on the dancefloor, the event ended with a traditional English breakfast served in the Great Hall in the early hours of the morning.

College Housemaster Mr Nick Brown, who himself is leaving the House to take on a new role in September, commented: “I thoroughly enjoyed this year in College House, due in large part to the efforts of the boys and their families. The atmosphere was great and I hope that all pupils have happy memories of your last year at Shiplake. I certainly will of my final year as Housemaster.”

The students will of course return to the College on Thursday 14 August to collect their A Level results. The majority will begin university courses across the country in September, with some choosing to take time out on a gap year and others bravely entering the world of work. The College then hopes to welcome all leavers back to Shiplake as Old Vikings at various events in the months and years to come.

Please click here if you wish to purchase professional photos from the evening.


Wednesday, 16th July 2014

On the penultimate day of the Summer Term, pupils gathered in the prize giving marquee for the final assembly of the academic year. This gave everyone a chance to celebrate and recognise notable achievements, ahead of the main prize giving ceremony on the following day. The assembly particularly focussed on accomplishments in co-curricular domains including sport, outdoor pursuits and performing arts.

The assembly began with Duke of Edinburgh’s Award staff handing out certificates to successful pupils. Bronze award winners spent three months working on skills such as public speaking and cookery before completing a wet and windy expedition. Silver winners worked extremely hard to reach their goals but found it to be a very worthwhile experience. Gold award winners were deservedly recognised but will receive their awards later this year at Buckingham Palace from a member of the Royal family. Members of the CCF were then given their basic army certificates.

Outgoing Senior Master Mr Richard Mannix stepped up on stage to commend pupils and Houses who have behaved exceptionally this year. The Bevan Trophy is awarded to the House who were awarded the most excellence slips per pupil. In total, 3,863 excellence slips were awarded to pupils in Years 9 to 13. Skipwith came in 3rd place with 9.08 slips per pupil, last year’s winners Everett came 2nd with 11.02 while Orchard claimed the top prize with 11.70. The Graham Vick Lower School Trophy went to the Olympians who edged the Titans by just one more excellence slip per person.

Star performers across the College were Joseph Perry (Olympians, 41), Toby Gorringe (Titans, 41), Duncan Eglinton (Titans, 45), Joshua O’Hare (Olympians, 46), Will Bailey (Y9, 35), Kieran Leach (Y10, 51) and Freddy Ellis (Y11, 22).

Next, Director of Music Mr Paul Jones invited pupils who have excelled in the arts to receive commendations, half and full colours. A full list of winners can be viewed here. The Neilson Trophy, which combines the results of the inter-House Drama, Art and Music competitions, was won by Orchard House. Head of House Charlie Hancock was delighted to receive the trophy.

Director of Sport Mr Austin Kersey summarised the exploits of pupils in summer sports rowing, cricket and tennis. Our rowers’ successes have been well documented, particularly the medal-winning crews at National Schools’. Cricketers Matt Dalrymple and Miles Bridgeman put in exceptional individual performances, with best innings of 112 and 79 respectively. In tennis, Marcus Hillman and Laurenz Class made progress in the national ‘Road to Wimbledon’ competition while the College reached previously unchartered territory in the AEGON Championships. A full list of colours and award winners in tennis and cricket can be viewed here.

Rugby awards were handed out before Christmas but Alex Collis and Bodie Deane received their rugby badges. Girls’ Sport Captain Sophie Arnold was given another special mention for her outstanding contribution to sport at Shiplake. She has been an absolute credit to the College throughout her two years. Eleanor Waite has been appointed as Sophie’s successor for next year.

The results of all remaining inter-House events  were revealed, with all points contributing towards the Baldry Trophy for all House sport. To cap a remarkable year for the House, this was also won by Orchard.

Deputy Headmaster Mr Rob Jones invited newly elected prefects to collect their badges and ties from the Headmaster. Congratulations to Yeem Chanthanawan (Head of College), Daniel DiGiulio, Freddie Ireland, Anthony Miarli, Charles Marsden, Will Janes, George Lawley, Sam Hallatt, Phillip Green, Charles Galligan, Tom Harman and Emma Haynes (Deputy Head of College) who will all be prefects next year. Emma Haynes also becomes Deputy Head Chapel Warden, and she joined Head Chapel Warden Barney Aldridge on stage to receive their gowns.

The final part of the service allowed pupils to bid farewell to leaving teachers, which culminated in a standing ovation for Richard Mannix.

Congratulations to all award winners and to Orchard House for their resounding and consistent successes in House events this year.