Robert Gordon's College
Aberdeen City, United Kingdom
About Robert Gordon's College
Robert Gordon’s College is an independent, coeducational, day school of 1638 pupils serving Aberdeen and North-East Scotland. It is attractively located in historic buildings in the heart of the flourishing city of Aberdeen, with beautiful countryside on its doorstep.
Robert Gordon's ‘Hospital’ was opened in 1750, becoming a fee-paying day College in 1881. Evening classes starting in 1909 led to the development of what is now The Robert Gordon University. In 1989 girls were admitted and now make up 44% of the roll. The Senior School has 1083 pupils, the Junior School has 447 pupils and the Nursery has 59 pupils. The Junior and Senior Schools each have their own Head but share facilities and operate as a single organisation.
Remaining true the philanthropic ethos of our founder, Robert Gordon, the College is proud to offer a bursary programme where allocated funds far exceed national averages in the independent school sector. In 2018/19 £1.7 million overall was available for the Senior School Bursary programme.
The school follows the Scottish Curriculum, based on the ‘Curriculum for Excellence’ but taking account of the needs and potential of the pupils. In Secondary 5 most pupils sit five Higher grade exams, across 24 subjects in any combination. Sixth Year pupils choose from 33 Highers and 24 Advance Highers subjects. The school has an outstanding academic tradition. Each year around 97% of leavers move onto University courses across the UK and internationally.
The school’s tradition of academic success is demonstrated by strong exam results year on year. In Fourth Year National 5 91% of all grades were either at A or B and the A-B Higher pass rate is at its highest point of 85%, with 4 out of every 5 grades being at A or B. In S6 63% of Advanced Higher grades are at A or B and 97% of S6 Leavers go on to higher or further education, mostly in Scotland but also to high tariff universities in England including Oxford, Cambridge and London.
Teaching and support staff are encouraged to undertake the best possible professional development and many contribute to national organisations and initiatives. Improvement Planning is based on self-evaluation and a robust Quality Assurance structure. Staff creativity and ambition is encouraged throughout.
Staff are generous with their time both for over 120 extra-curricular activities and for the busy programme of school trips and excursions. Strong musical and sporting traditions engage pupils in high levels of participation and excellence. The school’s 39-acre sports fields at Countesswells, 3 miles from the school, include international standard water-based and sand based hockey pitches and what are widely regarded as amongst the best rugby and cricket pitches in the country.
A House system is linked to the strong pastoral structure, involving Form and Guidance staff and a supportive programme of Personal and Careers education. The school is non-denominational and has developed an ethos in which pupils from all backgrounds flourish in an atmosphere of mutual tolerance and respect, emphasising high standards and concern for others.
£25 million has been invested in facilities since 2009. Pupils have access to Junior School 360- degree classrooms, The Craig Centre for Performing Arts and The Wood Foundation Centre for Science and Technology (The UK’s largest school teaching facility for Science and Technology and regional centre of excellence), onsite swimming pool, and 39-acre Countesswells Playing Fields. Further planned investment include “Greening the Campus,” creating more green space and social areas for pupils, and and indoor Sports Centre development.
Our pupils’ success is built on a strong sense of who they are, what they can achieve and what it feels like to be part of a happy and purposeful school community. The energetic life of the school can be captured by visiting the website
Since she moved to Gordon’s, it’s as if someone has switched on the lights. It’s the best thing we did for her. She says she wishes she had gone to Gordon’s earlier. She comes home happy every day.- Parent
There is a real trust element between pupils and teachers within the school. There is a real sense of appreciation if you work hard and everyone is encouraged to work that little bit harder.- Fourth Year Pupil