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#37 - 1994

Shiplake College is known for being ahead when it comes to advancements in technology. In 2019 virtual reality headsets are often used in the classroom to create a fully immersive learning experience. In 1993, the school was taken to ‘the forefront of the technological revolution’ with the installation of a new 16 computer network. See this report from The Court:

Summer 1994 was a busy time for David Harris, recently appointed Head of Information Technology. Coordinating the purchase and installation of a brand-new computer network, he has taken the school to the forefront of the technological revolution sweeping our schools. The 16-computer network (486 33Mhz, 4MB memory, 170Mb hard disk PCs to the cognoscenti) means that boys at the College can develop their IT skills as soon as they arrive. Within a few weeks they are using a state-of-the-art Windows word-processing program (Microsoft Works) to produce printouts of their work of which any business user would be proud. What's more that skill will be with them (and improve) throughout their stay at Shiplake and be particularly helpful to those boys frustrated by their writing difficulties. Meanwhile 6th formers are learning to use the word processor, spreadsheet, database and drawing programs towards a qualification from the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) called Computer Literacy And Information Technology (CLAIT). This forms an excellent foundation for their GCSE, A-level and up-coming university work in whatever subject they choose to take. Lessons take place in the Computer Room throughout the week, but the room is most often full during prep time! To provide an alternative, each of the boarding houses also has its own computer (two for the day boys), identical to the network PCs allowing access to high-powered computing at any time of the day. To future-proof the investment it has made, Shiplake has included a CD-ROM drive with every computer enabling the latest multi-media educational software to be used by the boys. Currently boys have used the Art Gallery, World Atlas, and Musical Instruments CD-roms as part of their project-based prep, giving them visual, aural and textual information. It's early days but things never stand still in computers. House tutors are already asking for cabled connection to the network and the boys want access to the Internet - next summer might also be a busy time for David Harris and his team. Who said school holidays were a perk?

Members of the Old Viking Society celebrated the Schools 35th Anniversary with a full day of celebration on 25 June. The programme for the day was published in The Court:

With the introduction of climbing as a Minor Activities option in the Autumn and Spring Terms, for both Juniors and Seniors, an interest in this sport has grown amongst a number of boys throughout the College. As a result, a Mountaineering Club evolved, fuelled by a growing staff interest, and some additional summer term activities. These included a visit to the impressive climbing wall at Brunel University, an end of term barbecue and a club photograph. The term's finale was the Club's involvement in the production of "Happy and Glorious" in which members abseiled from the main College building!

The boat club had yet another successful rowing season, which saw the apparently endless triumphs of the 1st IV, winning the Schools' Head, two National Schools' medals and several other prestigious events!

Meanwhile, the Shiplake College Boat Club Supporters' Association was making its own publication, Loud Hailer. We enjoyed reading this ‘Your Questions Answered’ section from the back page.

Also in 1994:

- A team of staff and students embarked on a ‘walk for wildlife’ sponsored walk, with funds raised going directly to the WWF conservation charity.

- Shiplake was victorious again in the Henley Rotary Club ‘Youth Speaks’ competition.

- Popular staff member Ian Lowry left Shiplake after 13 years of enthusiastic service.

- Persistent wet weather meant the cancellation of numerous sports fixtures as well as the flooding of Skipwith House!