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A school that celebrates its ‘all ability’ intake, Shiplake is creative and innovative in how it instils a healthy learning attitude in it pupils. The Shiplake Seven is a mantra engraved in the breast pocket of every maroon, black and gold striped blazer (curious, open-minded, motivated, reflective, determined, creative, independent). The boathouse nestles below the main building and grassy slope right on the bank of a bend in the river Thames. The Lynch, the island beyond owned by the school, makes this area ideal for adventure, rafting and camping exercises...

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What the school says...

Shiplake College is an independent boarding and day school for boys aged 11 to 18 and girls aged 16 to 18. Situated in 45 acres of beautiful Oxfordshire countryside near Henley-on-Thames, we offer an outstanding education based on small class sizes, excellent facilities and dedicated teaching staff. Shiplake has a wholly inclusive environment spanning all areas of College life. All pupils are valued regardless of academic prowess, artistic flair or sporting ability, with opportunities for all to join in and try new things. We are a small community where the upmost effort is made to get to know each and every person. We are renowned for providing exceptional pastoral care, underpinned by our traditional house system. Inspiration fuels every element of life at Shiplake and defines the unique culture of our College. The environment we provide encourages pupils to take inspiration from their teachers, their surroundings, and each other; stimulating all areas of personal development. ...Read more

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What The Good Schools Guide says


Since September 2019, Tyrone Howe (early 50s). Degree from St Andrews (German and international relations) followed by a masters in European literature from Oxford. Formerly a housemaster at Uppingham, Shiplake is first headship. Began teaching career at Marlborough before a stint playing professional rugby for Ulster, representing Ireland, the British and Irish Lions and the Barbarians. Spent five further years in industry before returning to education, coaching all levels of rugby at Uppingham on top of teaching duties. Describes himself as ‘hugely into fresh air and exercise’.

Rugby may be his sport, but we think poker should be his game. ‘Any thoughts about going fully co-ed?’ we asked on our visit. ‘Possibly at some point in the future,’ came the reply. But given the school’s commitment to its sixth form girls,...

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Please note: Independent schools frequently offer IGCSEs or other qualifications alongside or as an alternative to GCSE. The DfE does not record performance data for these exams so independent school GCSE data is frequently misleading; parents should check the results with the schools.

Who came from where

Who goes where

Special Education Needs

Shiplake has a reputation for providing support for bright pupils with mild learning difficulties and every academic year a small number of places are allocated to pupils with these difficulties. These are called Core Places. The initial entrance assessments screen all pupils who wish to come to Shiplake, and pupils are offered one of three types of places: Core, Monitor or Main. Core pupils receive Core Learning Development Support. This entails dedicated timetabled support in the Learning Development Department in place of a modern foreign language in year 9, and in place of one GCSE option subject in years 10 and 11. We believe that the quality of grade is better than quantity of exam subjects. In years 12 and 13 support is provided on a daily basis and is student-led rather than teacher-led, with students bringing the work they have identified they require support with. This helps them to be more independent and also helps to bridge the gap between support in school and support in Higher Education settings. Pupils who are in our Monitor category may have had a history of special educational needs, but are now able to function independently without support in class. We know, however, that these pupils may require examination access arrangements and therefore we keep them monitored in order to ensure that we have the necessary evidence for these arrangements to be put in place where necessary. The majority of pupils are in our Main cohort. Whilst it would be very unusual for a pupil to move out of the Core Group, all of the groups are fluid in nature, as we take account of how pupils change and develop over time. The promotion of pupils' self-belief, self-esteem and self-confidence to become successful and independent learners, is a key aim.

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders
CReSTeD registered for Dyslexia
Dyslexia Y
Dyspraxia Y
English as an additional language (EAL) Y
Has an entry in the Autism Services Directory
Has SEN unit or class Y
HI - Hearing Impairment
Hospital School
Mental health
MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulty
MSI - Multi-Sensory Impairment
Natspec Specialist Colleges
OTH - Other Difficulty/Disability
Other SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
PD - Physical Disability
PMLD - Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulty
SEMH - Social, Emotional and Mental Health
SLCN - Speech, Language and Communication Y
SLD - Severe Learning Difficulty
Special facilities for Visually Impaired
SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty Y
VI - Visual Impairment

Who came from where

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