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#46 - 2003

Back in 1959 our founder, Alexander Everett said "I want to found a school that caters for everybody, a place where everybody will be happy. I want to create a system where everybody will have the opportunity to succeed." In 2003 Alexander Everett was back at the College for a memorable service on the 44th anniversary of the College's first day. In front of the College's boys and girls he gave an inspirational address.

"Deep down inside everyone knows what he or she is. Dare to dream. Ideas are free and big ideas cost no more than little ideas. If you do what you love doing, the money will follow. Life is about sharing and giving." 

Mr Everett, concluded by asking the College to give a cheer for the Headmaster, Nick Bevan, "He is a man who has done more for Shiplake than any other single person in its history. He has raised academic standards and put up a succession of impressive new buildings."

Shiplake College Whole School 2003

Headmaster Nick Bevan had a lovely letter published in The Times, it really sums up his passion for boarding.

Sir, At 7.15 last night what might loosely be described as my extended family quietly and contentedly settled down to their homework. Calm prevailed for an hour and a half before younger members prepared for bed while others watched television and relaxed with friends. Teachers were on hand to help with any problems. The pattern is repeated daily with no "coercing or forcing". A boarding education must be the answer to the distressed parent's prayer.

Yours faithfully,

NICK BEVAN (Headmaster),
Shiplake College, Henley-on-Thames RG9 4BS.

The College came out top in Oxfordshire for academic added value — and just outside the top 50 in the UK for improvement in grades between the key stage three tests and GCSE examinations two years later.

Pupils celebrate the GCSE results that took the College to the top of the league 

There was continued success for the Boat Club, as well as a familiar face at their annual dinner, reported in the Henley Standard:

"The highlight of the Shiplake expedition to the London Head of the River event was a win for the J14 octuple. Schools had travelled from all over the country for this national event and Shiplake were delighted to finish ten seconds ahead of their nearest competitor, Yarm School. It was a great triumph for coach Athol Hundermark. The majority of the crew had never raced before and they were thrilled by such a convincing victory in their first ever race. Shiplake took eight crews to the event and the J15 first crew came eighth out of 23 crews whilst the junior second quad came fourth in their division. The J16 4 proved to be disappointing, their steering showing them the delights of much of the River Thames scenery.

The future looks good for the College boat club. Approximately £6,000 was raised by the Shiplake College Boat Club Supporters' Association at their recent charity auction, funds that will be invested in new equipment. Today (Friday) Ben Hunt-Davis is guest speaker at Shiplake College's Boat Club dinner. Ben is a former pupil of Shiplake and an Olympic gold medallist from the men's eight in Sydney."

After 15 years at the helm, Headmaster Nick Bevan announced his retirement and 'Elite Rugby Referee' Gregg Davies was appointed as his successor.

Also in 2003:

- Pupil Joseph Colman won the Gabrielle Derbyshire Cup for best junior individual speaker at the Rotary Club ‘Youth Speaks’ competition.

- There were several successful productions, including Jesus Christ Superstar and Moliere's Les Femmes Savantes.