By 2002 our co-ed Sixth Form was well and truly established and going from strength to strength. In September, our Year 13 boys and the sixth form day girls were treated to their own, brand new house.
The Henley Standard reported on the development.
“A new £2 million upper sixth house which will prepare pupils for university life was officially opened at Shiplake College on Saturday by Governor John Bowcock. The house is modelled on the style of university halls of residence, with single rooms grouped around kitchens and bathrooms, and even includes connection to the college computer network. Headteacher Nick Bevan said the development will provide room to properly accommodate the sixth form day girls now entering the college. He added, "It's the seventh building development we have opened since I arrived at Shiplake and I would like to pay tribute to the pupils and staff, particularly housemaster Shane O'Brien and tutor Jane Barr, who helped the move to progress so smoothly. "It's not just the sixth form who will benefit. With the upper sixth form moving out of their boarding houses, junior pupils will enjoy more space and additional leisure facilities in their existing houses:" Mr. Bowcock, who had taken responsibility for many aspects of the construction programme, paid tribute to the architects Nichols, Brown and Webber as well as builders George and Harding. Gratitude was also expressed to their supervisory staff and praise given to 'the home team', led by bursar Jim Mansergh and estate manager David Greer who helped to ensure that the project was completed in less than 12 months. After a prayer of blessing for the new house from chap Iain Robert Prance, parents and visitors were invited to attend.”
We loved looking at this prospectus from 2002. It’s much more up-to date and in line with the vibrant printed prospectuses we see today (however the computer monitors on page 3 are a giveaway!)
On a warm September evening, the Garden Opera performed an outdoor production on The Barber of Seville to over 300 pupils and 200 visitors. According to Michael Edwards’ report from The Court: It was a brave decision to bring the Garden Opera to Shiplake College. The lawn provided an inspired setting on a warm evening, perhaps the last night of summer. The audience set up tables with candles glinting off of the wine bottles as they tucked into their picnics. The long interval between first and second acts gave pupils time to visit the barbecue and for the guests to return to smoked salmon and salad. The question on everyone's lips the morning after was, "When's the next opera?"
After conducting a leadership programme for sixth formers, leadership guru and team-building expert Anthony Wood returned to put the College's staff through their paces. The teaching, estate, secretarial, matrons, technicians and catering staff formed six ten-member teams and were challenged with a number of exercises on the playing fields. They included making a buggy from plastic drums, timber and wood, as well as travelling from one 'island' to another using two ladders.
Shiplake College Staff 2002
Also in 2002:
- Pupils and triplets Rollo, William and Charles Sparkes were featured in The Times as they played for College’s successful U15 Rugby squad.
- Michelin Chef Michelle Roux came to the School to talk to sixth formers and while here, kindly invited the cookery club to visit his restaurant, The Waterside, in Bray.
- James Bailey, studying for A Levels in Year 13, was one of five prize winners in the Boarding Schools Association's essay competition. James won a day's media training in London, with The Times Education editor Tony Halpin, and also received a cheque for his defence of boarding.
- The Old Viking Society set up the OVS Alumni Bursary Fund, outlined in the OVS newsletter “A range of awards from £250 through to £1,000 are available. Pupils in their last year at Shiplake or leavers from the last 5 years are invited to apply. Funds could aid pupils with charitable fund raising, voluntary work providing education, medical or social care. We would also consider supporting sporting events which demonstrate courage, endeavour or skill.”