Situated in a magnificent 150 acre estate in the heart of the north-east Scotland, nestled between the sandy beaches of the Moray coast and the more rugged terrain of the Scottish hills, Gordonstoun offers a unique brand of independent education. Its holistic approach prepares students to make a positive contribution to society, achieved through a distinctive ethos based on the modern interpretation of Kurt Hahn's vision of Internationalism, Challenge, Responsibility and Community Service, - now known as the Four Pillars. The ethos at Gordonstoun is based on the belief that education is primarily a preparation for life and that a schoo's success must be judged not solely on its academic achievements but also on its students' development as human beings.
The School's motto, Plus est en Vous - there is more in you - encapsulates the essence of Gordonstoun, where the friendliness and happy atmosphere is evident as soon as you drive through the gates. Gordonstoun is a fully co-educational boarding school with 600 pupils from the ages 8-18.
Junior pupils enter the Junior School, Aberlour House, from age 8 and can make a smooth transfer to the senior school at age 13. Approximately one third of the School's students come from overseas, representing 40 nationalities, and this helps create an important mix of language and culture.
An integrated curriculum ensures the best academically plus a strong emphasis on developing personal qualities. Junior School pupils follow the English National Curriculum and Senior School students study a range of subjects through a broad foundation course, followed by a two year course for GCSE examinations. Sixth Formers prepare four subjects to AS level and continue with three to A2. Information Technology is used throughout the curriculum utilising a campus wide IT network. Sports facilities include extensive playing fields; a sports centre with indoor playing surface, heated swimming pool, multi-gym, climbing wall, squash courts, and a floodlit Astroturf playing surface. Regular sports fixtures take place in all major sports. A new state of the art Sports Hall was officially opened by Her Majesty The Queen in September 2010. There have been recent Sports Tours to Croatia, Barbados, India, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Las Vegas. Drama, Music and Dance performances regularly represent the school at important competitions and festivals. The Drama department regularly perform at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Music Department most recently has toured Singapore and Malaysia.
The School's outdoor education programme offers unparalleled opportunities. Expeditions and Seamanship play an important part in the curriculum. Participation in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award is also strongly encouraged. All Gordonstoun pupils take part in expeditions in the Scottish Highlands and sail open boats in the Moray Firth and on the School sail training vessel, Ocean Spirit of Moray, off the West Coast of Scotland. Longer voyages take place in the holidays. In a world that has become increasingly materialistic, service and community remain central to the School's philosophy. Rescue and Community Services, designed to meet the needs of the local and wider community, include a section of the Grampian Fire Brigade.
Gordonstoun pupils have one major international experience during their time in the school whether on exchange or on an international service project. Gordonstoun is a founder member of Round Square, a world-wide network of schools committed to education through Hahnian principles. The unique Gordonstoun education programme presents students with significant life-shaping opportunities which result also in memorable and fulfilling experiences and we believe our students come home from School with more than just good exam results and they leave us ready to make a real difference in the world.