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#53 - 2010

Every visitor to the College comments on our stunning grounds and landscape gardens and it’s all thanks to our hardworking grounds team led by Richard Evans.

Luckily their work did not go unnoticed as in 2010 we were awarded ‘Independent School Sports Ground of the Year’ by the Institute of Groundsmen for the second year running! Evans had constructed an impressive portfolio of evidence showing how the College had improved its grounds over recent years to host community events as well as the College’s usual extensive programme of rugby, hockey, cricket and football fixtures. Headmaster Gregg Davies said “Our grounds have always looked absolutely first-class in a year when snow, drought, and heavy rains have tested our grounds team to the limit!” The award was reported in the Henley Standard:

Our grounds are showcased perfectly here on the front cover of  our 2010 prospectus, now starting to look much more in line with our modern printed prospectus of 2019.

Those on the Shiplake College expedition to Kenya of July 2010, on their 25 days of travels, bonded like no other. Even though they pitched camp on volcanic rocks, were besieged by ticks, suffered twisted ankles and even a scorpion sting, they looked out for each other and looked after each other.

Not only did Shiplake achieve a record A*-C pass rate of 90% but the College's academic added value results were exceptional. For the second successive year, highly effective teaching and learning added an average of 1.6 grades to every subject for every pupil. All but one academic department added at least one GCSE grade to the achievement of each boy. "There is no magic formula for our academic added value," says Gregg Davies, Headmaster. "We work hard providing interesting and patient teaching. Teachers offered numerous extra clinics before school, during lunchtimes and into the evenings. Our pupils received exceptional support. Small classes and a determination not to allow any pupil to disrupt any other pupil's progress for a single second have paid dividends. Frequent monitoring and outstanding pastoral care help to ensure that the vast majority of pupils exceed their original academic expectations."

The OVS Magazine features a lovely round up of the year and lots of news, articles and photographs, including these two photographs from the back page, taken at Henley Royal Regatta, of the same people, 31 years apart!

Also in 2010:

- Rowing history was made when eight girls took to the Thames for the first time. In the past, girls had won races as individuals, pairs or as a quad but this was a major step forwards towards an eight.

- The inaugural ‘Shiplake Scramble’ race took place at the College with over 350 runners in a 10k race and 60 children in a two kilometre race to raise money for charity.

- Harold Pinter and Samuel Beckett provided the inspiration for the College's three play homage to two of the twentieth century's most influential playwrights.