We believe that a broader curriculum broadens minds and that learning happens both inside and outside the classroom.
Our ethos is inspired by the desire to create responsible, compassionate, dynamic individuals with the confidence to be all they can be. We have understood the benefits of out-of-classroom learning experiences for over 80 years, however, no research had been done to quantify the true value of our character-building broader curriculum. Until now. In 2016 we commissioned Dr Simon Beames, from the Moray House School of Education at the University of Edinburgh, to carry out a study designed to understand the lasting influences of these experiences. He found that 94% of respondents said that out-of-classroom learning experiences had an overwhelmingly positive influence on their personal growth and 74% said it helped them on their career path.
Since Gordonstoun’s foundation, this belief and understanding has also spread to a broader global community. Dr Kurt Hahn, the school’s founder, was the driving force behind the Outward Bound Movement, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and Round Square, an organisation of 160 independent schools in forty countries worldwide.
The Duke of Edinburgh's Award is the world’s leading youth achievement award, which incorporates physical activities, volunteering and expeditions. It owes its existence to the vision of our founder and its roots can be traced to Gordonstoun.
Soon after Gordonstoun welcomed its first pupil, Dr Kurt Hahn decided that all young people in the local area should have the opportunity to benefit from his teaching. So he created the Moray Badge which HRH The Duke of Edinburgh himself gained as a pupil at the school. The Moray Badge was such a success that Hahn wanted to make the award a national one. He consulted with Prince Philip and persuaded him to give his name to what became the Duke of Edinburgh's Award in 1956. Since then it has spread across the world to over 140 countries and millions of young people have grown and developed by taking part in it. We encourage every student to build confidence, character and friendships by doing the Duke of Edinburgh's Award at both Silver and Gold Level.
The Outward Bound Movement, is another organisation that has its roots at Gordonstoun. Now the Outward Bound Trust, it is an educational charity that has used the outdoors to help develop over 1 million young people from all walks of life. They run adventurous and challenging outdoor learning courses that equip young people with valuable skills for education, work and life. Just like Gordonstoun.
Round Square: Our uniquely broad curriculum offers students the chance to broaden their horizons in many ways. We were the founding member of Round Square, a world-wide association of 122 schools that all share our ethos of teaching social responsibility as well as academic excellence. Round Square provides pupils with the opportunity to take part in global and regional conferences, go on international exchanges and volunteer for life-changing projects around the world.