The Gordonstoun Student Development Scheme (SDS) is a system of recording endeavour and achievement in all areas of school life. It is designed to act as a framework to help guide students through the extensive and broad curriculum and help them both to appreciate the school’s philosophy and then hopefully to live and experience that philosophy through their daily lives.
The objective of the SDS is to ensure that every student is fully involved in all areas of Gordonstoun’s broader curriculum through participation in a wide range of activities regardless of ability or inclination.
Categories within the SDS
The SDS is divided into seven categories which are listed below with some examples of activities which may be included in each category.
Responsibility in House and School
Service and Experience in the Wider Community
Summary of International Citizenship
In order to record their involvement in the SDS, every student is given access to their own online blog. Students are responsible for ensuring that appropriate endeavours and achievements are recorded regularly and systematically on their blog. Tutors are responsible for monitoring their entries. Through discussion with his or her tutor, a student will be encouraged by his/her success but also motivated towards participation in those areas which may not be immediately appealing. Thus over the years a student will build up a portfolio of achievements and ensure that his/her experience has been as comprehensive as possible. Parents have access to their son/daughter’s blog and this is a valuable way of following their progress through the school year.
Full reports are produced by the housemaster and housemistress at the end of a student’s lower school and sixth form – this forms a Record of Citizenship and Development. These reports, based on information from the SDS and elsewhere, use the SDS headings so that all parties can see a full summary of a student’s involvement and achievement.
Each student’s Record of Citizenship and Development at Year 11 and Year 13 is assessed by house staff with recommendations made to the Principal on the granting of The Founder’s Award. This can be presented as a pass, a merit or a distinction, depending on the level of achievement. In the rare circumstances of a student not having achieved the basic expectation of the SDS, The Founder’s Award will not be granted.
All students understand from the outset that they are working towards the Record of Citizenship and Development and the Founder’s Award.