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Shiplake College is renowned for delivering outstanding pastoral care. This reputation has been built and maintained over a sustained period of time, largely due to the belief in a holistic approach to education shared by all staff and other members of the College community.

Pastoral care at Shiplake is primarily built upon the House system. Pupils in Year 9 and above are assigned to one of five core Houses upon joining the College. Houses are a huge part of the Shiplake community, as members spend so much time with each other and develop a sense of togetherness and spirit. 

Each House is run by a Housemaster or Housemistress who is always on hand to offer their support to pupils in all academic, co-curricular, emotional and social domains. They are ably supported by other leadership staff, the House Matron and a dedicated team of tutors.

A significant strength of the College is that every staff member takes the time to get to know each pupil individually. This allows them to gain an understanding of individual preferences and concerns, and offer help where necessary. The pastoral care committee meets regularly to ensure that no pupil slips through the net.

The provision of support, advice and guidance spans across all areas of College life. Staff interact with pupils in the classroom and more informally in Houses and around the campus. Established structures are in place which monitor pupils’ academic and social progression. All aspects of development are discussed openly with parents, including a regular reporting cycle and year group parents’ conferences. Less formal channels of communication are also utilised, with Housemasters and teachers all easily accessible to parents. 

40% is the proportion of boarders in Years 9-13