Gordonstoun supports call for Outdoor Education in all schools
Friday 29 April 2022
Gordonstoun, the Moray boarding school which inspired the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, supports a call for at least one week of residential outdoor education to be compulsory in all Scottish schools.
A formal consultation opened today on a Member’s Bill put forward by Liz Smith MSP which would place a requirement on all local authority and grant-aided schools to provide at least one week of residential outdoor education for all 12-16 year olds during their time at school.
Principal of Gordonstoun, Lisa Kerr, said:
“Gordonstoun was an early pioneer of outdoor education and it remains a core part of our uniquely broad curriculum. We see every day that, by challenging young people, we build confidence and resilience – character traits which help them for life.
“Research conducted by Edinburgh University on the lifelong impact of out-of-classroom experiences at Gordonstoun found that it had an overwhelmingly positive influence on our former students and helped them in their careers.
“We are lucky in Scotland to have easy access to incredible countryside and these experiences need not be expensive. Camping in the Scottish wilderness can teach young people more about teamwork in one week than they would learn in a whole year in the classroom.”
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Gordonstoun is a not-for-profit independent boarding school which was established in Moray, Scotland 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 also worked with former pupil Prince Philip to establish The Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards. Gordonstoun has been a pioneer of character education which, as well as academic subjects, includes outdoor activities, sailing and service to the community. Three generations of British Royalty were educated at Gordonstoun including the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles. 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 and was voted the best boarding school in the UK in 2021.