Gordonstoun pupils 'happy' and 'equipped for life'
7 September 2021
A recent survey of students and parents at Gordonstoun suggests students are happy whilst also being ‘equipped for life’ by the school attended by three generations of the Royal Family.
In the survey of all 550 students and their families who attend the boarding school, 98% of parents say their child is happy and the 97% say Gordonstoun is a friendly, safe and comfortable home from home for their child. The survey was carried out in the Summer Term of 2021.
Gordonstoun’s focus on expeditions and sailing, which are embedded as part of the curriculum, is unique and formed the inspiration for the Duke of Edinburgh Awards. 80% of students say expeditions and sail training are a highlight of their time at school and 89% of current students say they are proud to attend Gordonstoun. A massive 98% of parents say their child has benefited from taking part in expeditions and sailing and that its unique curriculum will equip their child for life after school.
Respondents were spread evenly across classes and year groups.
Principal of Gordonstoun, Ms Lisa Kerr, said,
“It is interesting that, when asked how they would describe the school, both parents and students chose the words ‘international’ and ‘challenging’. Whilst parents said they would also describe Gordonstoun as ‘distinctive’, students chose the word ‘friendly’ to sum up their school. This reflects all the hard work which goes into making Gordonstoun a welcoming home from home and I am delighted that, despite the difficulties of online learning over the past two years, students say that lessons have remained interesting and challenging.”
Gordonstoun founder, Kurt Hahn, believed that young people only realised what they were capable of when they were put outside their comfort zones. This is reflected in the school’s motto, ‘Plus est en vous’, which means ‘there is more in you’ and this pioneering approach continues today, with 90% of students in the survey saying Gordonstoun challenges them to take part in things they wouldn’t normally choose for themselves. Three quarters of students said the school motto summed up their time at Gordonstoun.
The school’s focus on character education, with its associated benefits of personal development, character and challenge, was the biggest reason for families choosing Gordonstoun, as well as its good performance in academic subjects.
99% of parents say that child protection policies and practice are up to date and embedded across the school and 90% of students say they feel safe and trust those around them.
Gordonstoun Survey Key Findings:
- 98% of parents say their child has benefited from taking part in expeditions and sailing and that its unique curriculum with equip their child for life after school.
- ¾ of students said their experience was summed up in the school’s motto, ‘Plus est en vous’ or ‘There is more in you’.
- 98% of parents say their child is happy at the boarding school.
- 97% of parents say the boarding school is a friendly, safe and comfortable home from home for their child
- 99% of parents agree that child protection policies and practice are up to date and embedded across the school.
- 90% of students say they feel safe and trust those around them.
- 80% say lessons are interesting and challenging.
Despite online learning, 63% of students said the school had got better over the last 12 months, 85% said they had the resources they needed to learn effectively and 77% said they feel that they are of service to others in the school and the community. Gordonstoun is the only school in the UK where students can become retained firefighters or volunteer as part of the Coastguard, responding to real emergencies in the community as part of the UK’s Emergency Services.
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Gordonstoun is an independent boarding school which was established in Moray in 1934 by Dr Kurt Hahn, a Jewish exile who fled Nazi Germany. He founded the school with the ideal of developing better world citizens equipped to contribute to society. Dr Kurt Hahn was the driving force behind the Outward-Bound Movement and The Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards. Gordonstoun has been a pioneer of character education which, as well as academic subjects, includes outdoor activities, sailing, athletics and service to the community. Three generations of British royalty have been educated at Gordonstoun, including the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales. Approximately one third of the pupils at the co-educational boarding school receive financial help in order to attend. The school was described as ‘outstanding’ and ‘sector-leading’ in its most recent inspection.