At Shiplake pupils become a member of one of the houses. Boarders join Burr, Everett or Welsh whilst day pupils become members of Orchard or Skipwith. Boys joining at 11+ are part of the Lower School and girls join Gilson House, the dedicated girls' house.
The houses are at the heart of College life and there is a strong house spirit in evidence with competitions organised for arts, games and music. The houses are run by the Housemaster or Housemistress with assistance from the Matron and the tutor teams and underpin the pastoral care system at Shiplake. Weekly meetings provide an opportunity for all staff to be made aware of any pupils who may need extra guidance or support.