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Shiplake College

Shiplake College - Weekly Bulletin

Dear Parents

You will be aware of the sickness bug that has resulted in the absence of many pupils and a number of staff. Given the current level of absences and the necessary recovery time at home, it has been decided that all Saturday fixtures and training (football, hockey and rowing) will be cancelled, as have the LAMDA lessons. The rugby 7s at Seaford on Sunday will also not take place.

Boarding activities, for those who are able, will continue as normal on Saturday and Sunday. At this stage, it is expected that the Junior Production rehearsal for Year 9 and 10 on Sunday will still go ahead.

For clarity, the College will be open tomorrow (Friday), as the academic side of the school is continuing largely as normal, and there will be a full bus service; there will be no buses on Saturday.

We have received a number of questions regarding the cleaning regime on campus and treatment of those who have been infected. As such and for information, I thought it would be helpful to detail the actions taken by the medical wing in accordance with NHS guidelines and the cleaning regime, in case of further queries:

  • Pupils who show symptoms are isolated, either in the medical wing or houses and then returned home as soon as practical.
  • The medical wing staff use disposable protective clothing when dealing with all infected pupils; this is then disposed of in the specified manner.
  • As normal, all medical wing bedding has been laundered separately at high temperatures.
  • The medical wing has been cleaned and disinfected as normal each day and also following any incidents of diarrhoea or vomiting.
  • Guidance on a 48 hour period between the last episode of diarrhoea or vomiting and a pupil’s return to school has been reinforced to all parents.
  • Any pupils who complain of not feeling well or who show any symptoms have been asked to remain at home.
  • Guidance on the need to wash hands frequently and maintain personal hygiene has been reinforced.
  • The normal cleaning regime in the houses, catering facilities and wider school has been followed. Where incidents of diarrhoea or vomiting have taken place, the area has been cleaned and disinfected. Matrons and cleaners are aware of the protocols and the risk areas (door handles etc); this has been reinforced to all houses by the senior matron. There are adequate stocks of bleach and disinfectant spray in all houses.

I’d like to thank everyone for their efforts over the last couple of days and particularly the medical wing, matrons, cleaners and house staff.

Mr Neil Walne

Lower School Parents’ Conference

The Lower School Parents’ Conference (for pupils in both Years 7 and 8) is on Friday 10 February (Sports Hall, 3.30-6.00pm) prior to the start of half-term. Following very successful trials, we are continuing to use an online booking system in order to better manage the timing of our Parents’ Conferences. We kindly request that all Lower School parents visit where 5-minute appointments with individual teachers can be booked and schedules created very easily.

Full instructions can be viewed here and a video demonstration is available here. If parents discover that a teacher is fully booked, please be assured that you will be able to request feedback in writing or a phonecall at the earliest convenience. We respectfully ask that all parents make appointments in this way as it will not be possible to see teachers without an appointment. We do hope that you find this facility useful and please contact me should you encounter any problems.

Mr Paul Jones (
Assistant Head, Academic Studies


Urgent message for the parents of Year 9 and Year 11 pupils

The NHS nurses will be in school on Wednesday 22 February to vaccinate Year 9 pupils for Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio and Meningitis ACWY. Year 11 pupils will receive Meningitis ACWY only. Consent forms were due back on Wednesday; any outstanding forms not received by the morning of Friday 27 January will mean your son will not receive his vaccination.

The link to the form is please sign and return to College as soon as possible if you have not already done so. Thank you.

Mrs Debbie Mundy
Senior Sister Medical Wing

Sleep Deprivation

I have discussed the issue of sleep deprivation in young people with Years 7-10 this week. There is an increasing body of evidence to suggest that those in this age category require around 9-10 hours of good quality sleep per night, but many fall well short of this. The accumulation of poor or missed sleep, known as ‘sleep debt’, can have negative impacts on academic performance and mental wellbeing. Staying off mobile devices for an hour before bed is a strong recommendation, as exposure to blue light can interfere with the body’s natural sleep/wake cycle. Please could I encourage parents to support us on this front and ensure that pupils arrive rested and ready for the day. More info can be found at the National Sleep Foundation (

Dr Gareth Hughes
Deputy Head Academic

Year 9 Battlefields Trip

A reminder that deposits for the Year 9 Battlefields trip in April need to be with me by Monday 23 January. Full details can be found here.

Mr Nick Brown
Deptuy Head Pastoral and Teacher of History

Forthcoming Events

  • Junior Drama Production: Wednesday 1 - Saturday 4 February
  • Lower School Parents' Conference: Friday 10 February, 3.30pm
  • GCSE Subject Fair for Year 9: Thursday 23 February, 6.00pm
  • Sports Tour Dinner: Saturday 4 March, 6.30pm
  • Year 10 Parents' Conference: Friday 10 March, 3.30pm
  • Music Concert: Thursday 16 March, 7.00pm
  • Open Morning: Saturday 18 March, 9.30am
  • Boarders' All-In Weekend: Friday 17 - Sunday 19 March (compulsorary only for Friday 17 March)
  • Lunchtime Concert: Friday 24 March, 12.40pm
  • Music Scholars' Concert: Thursday 30 March
  • Year 12 Parents' Conference: Friday 28 April, 3.30pm

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