Shiplake College: Exploring Reviews, Rankings, Fees, And More

Welcome to the captivating world of Shiplake College, where every corner tells a story of growth, discovery, and community. Tucked away in the serene landscapes of Oxfordshire, this educational gem offers much more than just classrooms and textbooks. As you ponder the best educational fit for yourself or your loved ones, join us on a journey to unravel the essence of Shiplake. Through genuine reviews, transparent insights into rankings, and a peek into fees, we aim to provide you with all the tools you need to make a well-informed decision.

Shiplake College Review

Table of Contents

Key Features of Shiplake College

  • Local authority: Oxfordshire
  • Pupils: 521; sixth formers: 191 (133 boys, 58 girls)
  • Age: 11-18
  • Religion: Church of England
  • Fees: Day £22,200 – £28,230; Boarding £39,600 – £43,995 pa

Shiplake College Results

GCSE Results (2023):

    • 33% achieved grades 9-7.

A Level Results (2023):

    • 30% attained A*/A grades, with 62% securing grades A*-B.

GCSE Results (2019 – pre-pandemic):

    • 24% achieved grades 9-7.

A Level Results (2019 – pre-pandemic):

    • 37% attained A*/A grades, with 64% securing grades A*-B.

Boarding Experience in Shiplake College

The boarding experience at Shiplake College is designed to provide students with a supportive and enriching environment, fostering a sense of belonging and camaraderie. Here’s an overview of the boarding experience:


    • Five clean and well-equipped houses cater to students from Years 9 to 12. These houses feature amenities such as games, football tables, sofas for TV, and spaces for socialising.
    • There are separate day and boarding houses, accommodating a mix of flexi, boarding, and full boarders.
    • A dedicated sixth form girls’ house, Gilson, offers some en-suite bathrooms for added comfort.
    • Year 13 boys reside in College House, providing them with a sense of independence and responsibility.
    • Years 7 and 8 students are grouped into houses named Olympians, Titans, or Spartans, with lessons in Year 7 being taught co-educationally.

Living Arrangements:

    • Accommodation includes cosy dorms for two to four students in lower years, fostering a sense of community and friendship.
    • Most Year 13 students enjoy the privilege of having single rooms, offering them a space for privacy and study.

Boarding Options:

    • Approximately a third of pupils board, with the majority opting for flexi and weekly boarding rather than full-time.
    • Flexibility in boarding options caters largely to local families, allowing them to spend weekends with their children.

Weekend Activities:

    • With no Saturday lessons, weekends are dedicated to matches and recreational activities, allowing more family time for day pupils and weekly boarders.
    • Weekend trips offer full boarders and other students opportunities for exploration and relaxation outside of academic commitments.

Extracurricular Activities in Shiplake College

At Shiplake College, students are immersed in a vibrant array of activities that cater to a diverse range of interests and talents. Here’s a glimpse into the plethora of opportunities available:

Artistic Expression:

    • Two expansive art studios provide students with the space and resources to explore their creativity.
    • From ceramic Amsterdam houses to intricate wire animals, artwork of exceptional standard adorns the walls.
    • A dedicated photography studio equipped with full editing technology enables students to produce striking and experimental work under the guidance of specialised teachers.

Musical Excellence:

    • Specialising in soul, rock, pop jazz, and more, students participate in a myriad of musical ensembles, including choirs, bands, and chamber groups.
    • The state-of-the-art recording studio in the John Turner building provides students with the latest technology to hone their musical talents.
    • Concerts, ranging from formal performances to the vibrant Shiplake Rocks festival, showcase the musical prowess of current pupils, staff, and alumni.

Theatrical Productions:

    • The intimate Tithe Barn theatre serves as a venue for a variety of performances, celebrating events such as Pride, Black History, and Women’s Day.
    • Larger productions take place at the prestigious Kenton Theatre in Henley, offering parents an opportunity to enjoy wine and popcorn while supporting their children.
    • Annual events, including lower school pantomimes and whole-school shows, provide students with opportunities to showcase their dramatic abilities.

Outdoor Education and Adventure:

    • The school’s island, The Lynch, along with mainland provisions, offers adventure and outdoor education experiences such as rafting, camping, and archery.
    • The recently opened Davies Centre boasts state-of-the-art facilities, including a boathouse, climbing wall, weights room, and gym, enhancing students’ outdoor and fitness experiences.
    • Students engage in a variety of sports, including rowing, rugby, football, cricket, netball, hockey, and tennis, with many achieving success at local, national, and international levels.

Admissions Process: Entering Shiplake College

Pupils, including both girls and boys, are admitted into Year 7 from a mix of prep and state primary schools. Additionally, around 30 students are admitted into Year 9.

The admissions process involves a comprehensive assessment day covering numeracy and literacy, an extended creative writing task, and a group activity. Candidates are also interviewed by the houseparent or deputy to evaluate their character and attitude. The day then concludes with a sports activity, highlighting the importance of physical activity and participation.

Shiplake College prides itself on being ‘all ability’ and places equal emphasis on character and attitude alongside academic abilities. The head of the school emphasises that they prioritise admitting students who align with the school’s culture and can contribute positively to the community.

In the sixth form (Years 12 and 13), the number of girls exceeds 60, indicating the successful transition to a co-educational model. To enter the sixth form, students are required to have achieved five good GCSEs, including English and maths, with occasional exceptions. This ensures that students have a solid academic foundation for their advanced studies at Shiplake College.

SEN Support in Shiplake College

The academic team at Shiplake College is fully capable of catering to students with the below special educational needs

  • Dyslexia
  • Dyspraxia
  • Speech, Language and Communication

Shiplake College Testimonials and Reviews

Augusto Kozusnik

I speak through the eyes of my son. The order, one of the topics that he valued most, then the quality of the teachers and the dedication. I am very grateful to the school and all the staff.

Nicola O'Hare
Dawn Greenaway
Fiona Robinson

Frequently Asked Questions about Shiplake College

Oxfordshire County Council

Shiplake College was founded in 1959 by Alexander and Eunice Everett. The land on which the school now stands was bought by Robert Harrison in 1888 and the original buildings date from 1890.

Shiplake College has appointed Mr Tyrone Howe as headmaster of Shiplake College from September 2019.

The Lower School has four mixed-ability co-educational forms in each year group. Occasionally, and depending on the cohort, pupils may be set by ability in the core subjects of Maths, English and Science.

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