Each year, Shiplake College offers a number of scholarships and exhibitions to reward excellence and to celebrate exceptional talent. Scholarships are offered to pupils demonstrating outstanding academic ability or excellence in a major co-curricular domain. All scholars are expected to maintain an exemplary level of behaviour and commitment to their studies, as well as contributing actively to their field of scholarship.
Generally, scholarships are available for pupils applying for all three of the major entry points (Year 7, Year 9 and Year 12). They are, however, reviewed regularly and therefore also available to existing pupils who have demonstrated exceptional improvement in a particular field during their time at the College - such scholarships awarded 'out of process' are normally honorary and come with no financial discount.
Year 7 scholarships are held for two years and must be re-applied for at the end of Year 8, with a view to continuing following Year 9 entry. Year 9 scholarships are held for three years, provided the boy’s conduct and performance in their scholarship domain is preserved. Pupils are then required to re-apply in Year 11 and may be offered a further scholarship for Sixth Form. Year 12 scholarships are held for two years, provided the pupil’s conduct and dedication to their area of excellence is maintained.
In recognition of their achievements, scholars offered a 10% reduction in the fees, whilst exhibitors are offered 5%. In exceptional circumstances, higher values may be awarded. However, parents of scholars who anticipate that they will experience difficulty in meeting the balance of the tuition fees are encouraged to simultaneously apply for a means-tested bursary after registering their child.
Details of the types of scholarships available and assessment criteria are available below. If you require further information, please contact the Admissions team on 0118 940 5221.
Year 7 and Year 9 academic scholars (and applicants for the Year 7 Eggar Scholarship) are required to attend a separate scholarship assessment, usually at the end of the day of their main entrance examinations. This assessment takes the form of a presentation on a subject of the applicant's choice, followed by an interview with the Master of Scholars or a senior teacher.
Sixth Form academic scholars will have demonstrated the potential to gain A or A* grades at A Level and attain a minimum of 7 A*/A grades at GCSE. Applicants will also have a proven track record of academic excellence and will have consistently demonstrated respect for learning. Successful scholars will be expected to act as role models in the Sixth Form to enhance the academic standards of the College and inspire younger pupils.
Candidates who apply for an academic scholarship in Year 12 will sit a paper specific to a subject of their choice.
Music scholarships are awarded to outstanding musicians who play any instrument or sing with exceptional ability or, in the case of Year 7 applicants, those who show considerable potential.
External candidates must obtain a specialist reference from their current Head of Music in addition to a reference from their Headmaster. They will be required to perform two short contrasting pieces on one or more instruments, together with aural and practical tests. There will also be an interview with the Director of Music. Successful scholars will be expected to be an ambassador for Music and its promotion in school and in the community, and will be expected to contribute significantly to the musical life at Shiplake throughout their time at the College.
Music scholarships are available at Year 7, Year 9 and Year 12 and will only be awarded to pupils who have passed the school’s entry assessments. Year 7 candidates should be Grade III or above in their chosen instrument, while Year 9 candidates should be at least Grade V standard. Good sight reading ability is an advantage as is some keyboard skill and a sound knowledge of music theory. Candidates weak in one of these aspects should not be discouraged from applying, though, since the emphasis will always be on potential and commitment to the musical life of Shiplake College.
At Year 12, Music scholarships are based on auditions and a review of written reports from the candidate’s teachers. Candidates would normally have reached Grade VI in their primary instrument and would have passed Grade V Theory. Potential to achieve a similar grade in a second instrument would be an advantage. Students must be willing to participate fully in the extra-curricular musical life of the College and to study either Music A Level or BTEC. The scholarship would also normally be conditional on achievement of an A* at GCSE and the expectation of an A grade at A Level.
Sport scholarships are awarded to outstanding, all-round sportsmen and women who can demonstrate notable standards of performance, character and ambition in one or more sports.
Candidates will be assessed by the Director of Sport and the individual heads of sport. They will be expected to demonstrate exceptional leadership, communication and teamwork qualities whilst also showing a willingness to develop new skills. Candidates will be required to provide a specialist reference from their current Head of Sport and a coach in their specialist sport. Scholars will be expected to make a widespread and valuable contribution to Shiplake College sporting life throughout their time at the College. They should strive not only to raise their own sporting standards but also that of their peers and the College as a whole.
Sport scholarships are available at Year 7, Year 9 and Year 12 and will only be awarded to pupils who have passed the school’s entry assessments.
In Year 7 and 9 sport scholarships are available for sportsmen who can demonstrate the ability or potential to be excellent in a minimum of two but preferably three of the College’s main sports. Those sports would be rugby, rowing, hockey, football and cricket. Year 7 and 9 candidates should not only be talented and skilful players, but should also show confidence, leadership and a depth of understanding in their main sport. It would be preferable, though not essential, if they have achieved some form of county, regional or even international recognition. In advance of the scholarship assessment day applicants should provide a written record of all their achievements from the past two years, endorsed by their current PE teacher, together with references from coaches or trainers. A character reference from their current school is also a prerequisite for entry into the scholarship group. During the assessment process, additional credit is given to those candidates who show the willingness to try sports to which they may not be accustomed.
The sport scholarship assessment becomes more specific for those pupils wishing to apply for a Year 12 award. Applicants must be able to excel in their given sport. They are not necessarily asked to demonstrate ability in other sports but should note that this would of course be advantageous. Boys can apply for scholarships in rugby, rowing, cricket or hockey whilst girls are eligible for rowing, netball or hockey. Candidates would normally be of a regional standard or equivalent. They must have demonstrated commitment, dedication and leadership in their sport. Candidates would be expected to have a high level of fitness and mental toughness. As senior figures at the College, Sixth Form sport scholars would undoubtedly act as role models to younger pupils and should therefore demonstrate an excellent attitude and application across all academic and co-curricular pursuits.
Art scholarships are available at Year 9 and Year 12 entry. Year 9 candidates should bring to the scholarship day a portfolio showing work completed both inside and outside of a school environment. A sketchbook showing off a candidate’s own particular interests would also be advantage.
As there is equal emphasis in Year 9 on 2D and 3D work, scholarship candidates who have completed interesting 3D work should also bring this along to be assessed. If this is not possible, applicants should bring photographs of their work endorsed by their current Headteacher.
The Art department at Shiplake College encourages work in all possible media and is primarily concerned with the development of each individual’s artistic sensibility. Pupils’ own interests and their own independently produced work are considered equally valuable to prescribed coursework.
It is expected that Year 12 scholarship candidates would have the artistic and creative talent to achieve an A* at GCSE and the expectation is that they would achieve an A grade at A Level. Selection will be dependent upon an outstanding portfolio of work which displays candidates’ strengths and representations of various media. Candidates will be expected to complete a creative task on the day of the assessment followed by a short interview.
Drama scholarships are available at Year 9 and Year 12 entry.
Year 9 candidates are expected to be enthusiastic and gifted performers. In addition to this they should have a longstanding involvement in school and youth drama, playing a variety of different roles. Candidates who have completed up to grade 4/5 in the LAMDA or Guildhall Speech and Drama examination syllabus will also be favourably considered. Two weeks prior to their scholarship interview, candidates are asked to send a record of all of the performances that they have participated in to date, detailing the roles they have played. In addition, a written reference is required from the candidate’s current drama and English teachers, as we will also be looking for evidence of strong written English and comprehension skills. For the interview, candidates are expected to bring a prepared 2-3 minute speech and will also be asked to perform a written paper and sight reading task. Scholarship candidates must be willing to study drama at GCSE and A Level.
It is expected that Year 12 candidates will have a proven interest in drama and performing arts and have participated in a number of productions both in and outside of their current school. This can be as a performer, director, set designer or technician. Candidates would ordinarily be predicted an A* for Drama and an A grade in English Language at GCSE. However, if they have not studied Drama at GCSE, the minimum of an A grade would be expected in GCSE English Language. Selection for scholarship will be based upon interview and audition performance, review of references and applicants’ contribution to performing arts in their own time.
Year 7 All-rounder Scholarship
Find out more about our special Year 7 All-rounder Scholarship here.