Responsibility is at the heart of Gordonstoun's philosophy of citizenship. It may seem unfashionable, but we teach students to be responsible; we encourage them to stand up and be counted.
As a result, the young people who leave Gordonstoun are competent, confident and have skills that will help them stay ahead at university, in their careers and in their lives.
At Gordonstoun, students progress from managing their own lives to playing a part in the school community: precursors to participating in and serving the wider community as adults.
While the qualities of responsibility and leadership may have declined at some other schools for fear of litigation or due to academic pressures, at Gordonstoun they are an essential part of an education in citizenship.
Leadership, however, is always seen as the part played by an individual in a team and for the team. Learning how to follow is no less important.
All our students have extensive opportunities to practise and develop responsibility and leadership:
In Boarding Houses
At all of Gordonstoun's nine Houses we encourage students to communicate, interact and to be responsible for each other, to develop skills they will use in later life.
All students undertake important tasks and play a part in House Councils and other forums. Sixth Form students share responsibility with House staff for ensuring that House communities run harmoniously and smoothly.
In Lower School
Younger students receive as much supervision and guidance as in any other boarding school. At Gordonstoun, however, they also learn how to look after themselves, to manage their affairs and to balance being independent with being part of a community.
They learn formally and informally, from staff and by interacting with older students.
Like most of us they also learn through experience, through the occasional mistake and even by failure. When this happens, we have well-developed systems in place to reassure them and help them learn.
Students also learn about responsibility by taking part in Year group committees and through the Duke of Edinburgh's Award. In Year 11 they can also take part in a Sports Leader Award scheme and a Peer Group Counselling course.
At Sixth Form
House Captains, Heads of Services and Sports Captains are all posts of significance.
In addition, Colour Bearers – senior students elected by their fellows and by staff – are the conscience and driving force of Gordonstoun's ethos.
Each term a boy and a girl are appointed from the Colour Bearer body to be Head Boy and Head Girl. They are known as Guardians, named after the supportive rulers of Plato's ideal state.
As such they share, with staff, responsibility for the management and health of the Gordonstoun community.