Nestled deep in the Scottish countryside, the caring and supportive environment at Gordonstoun is different to the strict, bootcamp image of former years.
A key feature of the school is its excellent pastoral care, with staff who make every effort to support the students. In addition to providing a strong academic programme, Gordonstoun makes provision for students with Autism and other differing needs. Pupils whose first language is not English take GCSEs in their native language, as well as the traditional GCSE subjects.
The expeditions or “expeds” are a central feature of this boarding school’s life and groups of Year 12 students travel independently to the West coast of Scotland. The Round Square Programme, founded at the school, gives students unparalleled opportunities to volunteer to work in one of Gordonstoun’s life-affirming projects. These include caring for disabled children in a Romanian orphanage and helping villagers in Thailand to build much-needed water tanks.
Gordonstoun’s 80 foot boat, complete with its own crew, enables pupils to sail for periods of up to five days, learning how to cook and to manage life at sea. Few schools can offer this opportunity – and students told us that these sea voyages created bonding experiences with their fellow classmates
The headmaster, Titus Edge, feels that the skills students develop in self-reliance, teamwork and resilience help them to manage their academic work and to perform better in exams. We left with the strong impression that Gordonstoun’s holistic approach gives students a resilience and an understanding of the wider world which equips them well for life beyond school.
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