New Head appointed to Gordonstoun Junior School

19 November 2021

Gordonstoun Junior School has appointed a Scottish educationalist to be its new Head. Cath Lyall has been Interim Head since August and has now been appointed to the post permanently after a rigorous selection process. A graduate of Glasgow University, Mrs Lyall has previously taught at state and independent schools, including Applegrove Primary and Glasgow Academy, over a twenty-year career which has also seen her involved in sports coaching and drama direction as well support for learning. Mrs Lyall lives with her husband Andrew at Gordonstoun, and they have two children who attend the school.

The Principal of Gordonstoun, Lisa Kerr, said,

“Cath understands what makes Gordonstoun different: we equip children with resilience in the face of a challenge and compassion for their fellow humans; skills that have proved hugely important over the past 18 months. Too often a Gordonstoun education is inaccurately depicted as being about morning runs and cold showers. In fact, it’s about nurturing confidence by filling schooldays with exciting lessons as well as sailing, sport, adventures in the countryside, music, drama and so much more. Cath herself is an assured and compassionate leader as well as having a desire to drive continual improvement. She strongly believes in the value of our unique approach and has seen first-hand how it provides firm foundations at a crucial stage in a child’s education.”

Gordonstoun’s Junior School has around 120 pupils and shares a 200 acre campus with the Senior School. The Junior School exemplifies Gordonstoun’s approach to character education: every pupil learns how to sail, goes on expeditions, learns a musical instrument and benefits from outstanding facilities including science laboratories, a theatre, a full size Astroturf, a dance studio and a large indoor sports centre.

Speaking after her appointment, Catherine Lyall said,

“Both of my children are educated here at Gordonstoun and it still surprises me sometimes when they tell me what they have done in a day. They will say that they learned about geography by going abseiling, had a maths lesson in the woods and then went out kayaking on the lake. That’s what makes this a truly unusual school and I am thrilled to become its Head.”

For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact Eleanor Bradford

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Gordonstoun is an independent boarding school which was established in Moray in 1934 by Dr Kurt Hahn, a Jewish exile who fled Nazi Germany. He founded the school with the ideal of developing better world citizens equipped to contribute to society. Dr Kurt Hahn was the driving force behind the Outward Bound Movement and The Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards. Gordonstoun has been a pioneer of character education which, as well as academic subjects, includes outdoor activities, sailing and service to the community. Three generations of British Royalty were educated at Gordonstoun, including the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales. Approximately one third of the pupils at the co-educational boarding school receive financial help in order to attend. The school was described as ‘outstanding’ and ‘sector-leading’ in its most recent inspection.