As part of the diverse co-curricular enrichment programme at Shiplake, pupils have the opportunity to join a number of clubs and societies to further stimulate their individual interests or explore something new. There are a wide variety of groups available, many of which run during our dedicated co-curricular activities sessions on Tuesday and Friday afternoons. Other clubs meet at lunchtimes or after College to avoid a conflict of interest with other academic and co-curricular commitments.

Details of the clubs and societies currently on offer are available below:

Art Club

Art teachers at Shiplake give young artists the freedom to express themselves creatively in lessons and put their own stamp on their work. However, expression can sometimes be limited by the constraints and requirements of GCSE and A Level courses. The Art Club allows students passionate about the subject to experiment and attempt ambitious projects using a diverse range of media, while workshops are frequently held to learn a new skill or technique. 

Pupils can of course use the club as an opportunity to spend additional time on their art coursework.

Available on Tuesdays and Fridays.


Basketball is on offer for pupils in Year 11 and above by invitation only. There is the opportunity to hone existing skills or learn new ones. Most sessions finish off with a lively match. There will also be the chance to play in matches against other local schools.

This will be run on Fridays.

Chess Club

Available on Tuesdays only. Learn to play chess or challenge more experienced players. The skills developed can be useful in so many other fields. Opportunities will be available to test participant's skills and guile against enthusiasts from local schools if the talent is there!

Clay Pigeon Shooting

This activity is run at Royal Berkshire Shooting School, who offer coached sessions from beginner to advanced level. There will also be sessions run at Shiplake, with laser clay pigeon shooting. There is an extra cost for this activity.

This will take place on Fridays, and is available for all pupils in Year 9 and above.

Computing Club

Computing Club, is a place where you can explore and experiment and bring your ideas to life.  There are no set activities; rather we ask that everyone who signs up has some project or goal in mind that they wish to pursue in Computing Club, with the help of staff and other pupils.  Such projects might be to learn a programming language, make an app, create a website or set up a media server with a Rasberry Pi, but don't let those ideas limit you!

One thing to note - Computing Club is not simply for those who want to play on their computers. The only games that you'll be playing are the ones that you have made yourself.

Only available on Fridays.

Cookery Club

Leavers who go on to university soon discover that cookery is a rather vital skill which is often neglected by 21st century teenagers. Cookery covers all the basic skills required to maintain a healthy, balanced diet while living independently.

Pupils soon learn how to make classics such as spaghetti bolognaise, chilli con carne and cottage pie. Staff with a passion for cooking frequently drop in to deliver master-classes in their favourite recipe or cuisine. There is of course, plenty of scope for culinary flair.

We teach pupils to cook and bake a variety of dishes including curries, stir fries, cookies, fajitas, burgers, bread, scones and pizza, as well as teaching the rules of kitchen safety and hygiene. We invite guest bakers from among the College staff and are open to recipe suggestions from students. There is a £15 charge per term for this activity. No-one leaves hungry!

Available on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Darts Club

Improve your darts skills and hone your maths at the same time! The darts club is new but we are hoping to gain enough interest to be able to hold a House competition or even challenge one of our local rivals to an inter-school match.

This club is on Tuesdays only, and is open to all pupils in Year 9 and above.

Debating/Public Speaking

This club attracts pupils who enjoy debating, and develops understanding, confidence and public speaking skills. Pupils are given the opportunity to develop existing skills or learn new ones. There are competitions organised between Houses and against teams from other schools at prestigious local events.

Only available on Tuesdays.

Design and Technology Club (DT)

Technology enthusiasts can join Design Club to enjoy more time in the workshop completing practical tasks. Pupils will work on a variety of tasks from helping build sets for the junior production to the manufacture of a computer games console.

Older pupils welcome the additional opportunities to work on ongoing coursework projects, while others take on new ambitious projects. They also have the opportunity to use the specialised tools and machinery with the assistance of the DT staff.

Junior DT Club (for Years 9, 10 and 11) will take place on Fridays.

Senior DT Club (for Years 12 and 13) will take place on Tuesdays.

Duke of Edinburgh (DofE)

The DofE award scheme is one of self-development and personal motivation. Students will formulate their own exciting and challenging programmes of activities in which they will learn new skills, help others, have fun and gain a great sense of achievement.  Employers and universities highly value the DofE awards and know what it means too be an award holder. At Shiplake, we offer programmes at all three levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold, and students achieve an award by completing a personal programme in four sections; volunteering, skills, physical and expedition.

DofE runs on Monday after Games for Years 10 and above.

First Aid Course

This course offers pupils the opportunity to gain a qualification as well as learning a new skill. The First Aid at Work Certificate will give students a certificated and employer recognised qualification. The course is only available to pupils aged 16+ (Year 12/13).

The course will run over 10 x 2 hour sessions (4.00pm-6.00pm) and will cost £185.00 per student. 

This course is run on Fridays for Year 12 and 13. 

Golf for Beginners

Learn to play what some people feel is one of the hardest sports! Pupils will be expertly coached by one of the professionals from Henley Golf Club. The cost will be £70.00 per pupil for the term (based on a group size of 10). All equipment will be provided.

This will only be available on Fridays.

History Club

History meets Hollywood. This is an opportunity to watch some of your favourite historical films on the big screen in a relaxed and informal setting. Historical films (based on real-life events) are chosen by vote and a film review activity will follow each cinematic offering. (Meet on Tuesdays)

Japanese Club

The Japanese Club offers pupils a chance to gain an insight into the 'land of the rising sun' and its fascinating culture. Pupils wishing to take the first step on the ladder to learning the charming Japanese language may also find the club fitting and insightful.

Please note that this will not available for the spring term of the 2016-2017 academic year.

Motors, Bikes and Bits

Pupils will be given the opportunity to tinker with engines of different sizes and learn how to service and maintain them. The aim will be to build a motorised vehicle with the various automotive wrecks we have at our disposal. This activity is aimed at those who like tinkering with motors etc. We will dismantle and assemble a variety of motors and machines with the intention of building something new.

Media Club

Media pupils have the opportunity to use the specialised equipment and software with the assistance of the Media staff.

Only available on Fridays for Years 12 and 13.

Model United Nations

This is a worldwide institution that hosts competitions throughout the UK to provide students with the chance to sharpen their debating skills and improve their confidence. We are seeking to enter our first team into a competition and encourage those with a passion for politics and an interest in public speaking to take part. This is a new and exciting opportunity for all those with an interest in current affairs.

Run on Tuesdays.

Outdoor Education

From January to June, Year 9 pupils take part in a carousel of activities aimed at giving them outdoor skills and experiences, many of which will be useful to them if they choose to enrol in the Duke of Edinburgh programme in Year 10. The activities are mountain biking, canoeing, archery, climbing, expedition food and cooking, tent-pitching, map-reading and first aid.

Archery is available on Tuesdays.

Mountain biking, climbing, air rifles and clay-pigeon shooting are all available on Friday afternoons.

Outdoor Experience

Students are introduced to a range of activities delivered by College staff.  Activities initially take place on a weekly rotation, followed by a period where they concentrate on individual pursuits.  

Mountain Biking

Using our own bikes, students are instructed in safe riding techniques before exploring the local trails, accompanied by a qualified instructor. This will take place on Fridays and is available for all pupils in Year 9 and above.

Kayaking and Canoeing

Qualifies coaching staff give basic instruction and develop paddle skills which can then be used for future trips and expeditions along the Thames and beyond. Please note that this will not be available for the spring term of the 2016-2017 academic year.


This is taught at Queen Anne's School by our own staff.  Pupils are shown how to use the climbing wall and equipment safely before going through the basics of climbing. The wall is small but sufficiently challenging, even for those who have some experience. This will run on Fridays and is available for all pupils in Year 9 and above.


We use the facilities at Reading Sailing Club in Sonning. We offer sailing experience and teach basic techniques, such as capsize drills. Those who have sailed before can use this time to improve their skills. Please note that this is not available for the spring term of the 2016-2017 academic year.


The archery range is located next to the rifle range and our programme offers a good introduction to this Olympic sport. This will run on Tuesdays and is available for all pupils in Year 9 and above.

Air Rifle Shooting

Open to those new to shooting or those who have experience and want to use this time to improve their skills. The shooting range is located near the boat houses. This will run on Fridays and is available to all pupils in Year 9 and above.

Performing Arts

This option will run on Fridays only.

Senior Orchestra (Friday, 3.15pm - 4.00pm - Lecture Theatre)

The Senior Orchestra rehearses a wide range of music from well-known classical pieces to music from film and television.  The Senior Orchestra play a leading role in the high-profile public concert series.  Pupils playing an instrument are required to attend, particularly those studying GCSE or A-level Music and those pupils having instrumental lessons in school. 

Covers Band Workshop (Friday, 3.15pm - 4.00pm - Hendrix Room)

The Music Department wishes to set up a high profile Covers Band to play at important events both at College and in the community. Pupils will be invited to attend.

Chamber Choir (Friday, 4.15pm - 5.00pm)

The College's auditioned Chamber Choir performs at many high profile concerts and services. We are again looking to perform in the community and make a recording this year.  All Current members must attend.


Younger members of the College have a lively programme of co-curricular drama including the annual Junior Drama Festival.  In addition there will be a range of visiting practitioners, street dancing and physical theatre workshops.

Junior Production (Friday  Tithe Barn)

The Junior Production is the main school production for the year and is available to anyone in Years 7, 8, 9 and 10. All of Years 7 & 8 are involved and then anyone from Years 9 and 10 can come along and either get involved in an acting capacity or as part of the backstage team working on staging, costumes or lighting, everyone who wants to be involved can be, no audition process. The main parts are traditionally given to years 9 and 10 for this production. This production has historically included over 100 students in the school and is the highlight of the Drama Department’s year! The performances run 1 - 4 February 2017.

Photography Club

Photography pupils have the opportunity to use the specialised equipment and software with the assistance of the Photography staff.

This club will be for Years 12 and 13 and run on Fridays.




Supervised prep sessions are available for day pupils and Year 10 and 11 pupils on Tuesdays or Fridays. An activity other than prep must be chosen for the other activity afternoon.

Pool Lifeguard Course

The qualification would be valuable on CVs as well as enhancing the opportunity of getting part-time work. Information about the qualification can be found here. The course will run on 10 x Tuesday afternoons (3.15pm - 5.45pm) and 3 x Saturday mornings (8.30am - 12.30pm on 13 January, 24 February and 17 March). Attendance at all sessions is mandatory in order to pass. The cost is £250.00 per student. Maximum of 12 pupils.

Senior Production

The Senior Production is exclusively for Years 11, 12 & 13 but you do not have to be studying Drama at GCSE or A level to take part. There is an audition process for this production, unlike the junior production and so spaces are more limited. The show tends to be something a little more challenging and is designed to push the boundaries of theatre and stretch our most able actors. There are also opportunities to get involved in a backstage capacity if you have some prior experience in a specific area e.g. lighting. This production tends to be the show that we have taken to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival the summer before reworked for a larger cast. The performances run 16 - 19 November 2016.

Only available on Tuesdays.

Shiplake Enterprise

Shiplake Enterprise gives students the opportunity to take their first steps on the road to entrepreneurial success. Students will be put into small teams and given a brief to create a product or service that they can market and sell to the school community and the general public. A stall at the Shiplake Christmas Fayre has been secured to help the students reach their potential target market. Students will have the chance to not only decide what they sell, but also to create a blog that will keep customers up to date with their teams work and a practical understanding of handling finance.

Available Tuesdays and Fridays.

Shiplake Podcasting and Song writing Club

Podcasting will enable students to work together to write, record and produce a podcast (radio show) that can be published to the Internet for members of the public to download and listen. In order to produce a regular podcast, students will need to adopt a number of different roles, including planners, script writers, presenters, journalists / reporters, audio technicians, jingle/music writers, editors and online podcast service administrators.

Students interested in song writing, whether that's writing lyrics and/or music, will be able to use this club to focus on developing those creative skills. Students will also have the opportunity to record songs they've written and use the Shiplake Podcast to broadcast those songs to the world!

Sound Recording

Able musicians can make the most of our brand new state-of-the-art recording studio in this club, which allows them to create recordings of exceptional quality. First class equipment, as used by professional artists, can introduce all kinds of effects to pupils’ tunes.

This club will be run on Tuesdays, and is available for all pupils in Years 9 and above.

Spanish Club (Friday)

Whether you just want to get a better insight into Spain and its fascinating culture, or to take the first step on the ladder to learning the language, this is the club for you.


It is a system of self-defence devised and defined as the scientific use of the body in a method for self-defence, conditioning the body both physically and mentally gaining the maximum use of its facilities to bring about the rapid defeat of one’s opponent. Whether you are new to martial arts or experienced this activity can help train the mind and body.

Please note that this will only be offered to the Lower School in the 2017/2018 Autumn Term.


We are offering a weekly Art Workshop to 12 pupils in Year 4 and 5 at Shiplake Primary. Head of Art Mrs Hema Gillings will head up a team of Year 12 and 13 student volunteers offering a carefully devised programme of sculpture, printing and painting. The emphasis will be on fun, variety, trying new things and developing current skills.

Please note that this is not available in the spring term of the 2016-2017 academic year.

Pupils show strong creativity, performing to a high standard in a wide variety of activities.
ISI Inspection - Spring 2015