Course Details and Content


“He experienced so much wonder and excitement in the past three and a half weeks. We cannot be more pleased with this summer adventure…”

The Gordonstoun motto is Plus est en vous – There is more in you than you think; we see this come alive in students as they prove to themselves the truth of this statement. By taking part in the extraordinary breadth of activities, alongside some super new friends and supported by our lovely staff – well that is how the magic happens! 

Study Choices

English as an Additional Language (E.A.L.) (ages 8-16)   [Expand]

Students will be assigned to the appropriate class according to information received from parents prior to the course, using the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). Lessons will then be tailored to the needs of the students in each group and will provide the opportunity to practice the four core skills of language learning: listening, reading, writing and speaking. For more advanced students there is the opportunity to read great literature in the original language and examine current issues whilst beginning to develop and justify points of view in speech and writing.


Literature and Creative Writing (ages 8-16)   [Expand]

This course is suitable for students for whom English is their first language or for those who have a strong command of English and is aimed at improving skills through a study of Literature and Creative Writing. Students are encouraged to  develop their literary criticism through close analysis of a range of texts and extracts, including poetry, prose, short stories and plays. There will be workshops on creating engaging openings to stories, using effective imagery, and creating tension and suspense in a variety of genres.


Computing (ages 8-16)   [Expand]

The computing course will combine topics including computer programming, PC building, cyber security as well as developing many ICT skills. An interest in computers, gaming or programming would help although not critical as we can work with students of all abilities. The course will be skills based and mostly practical, with some more advanced students having the opportunity to complete high level tasks including designing and building a video game using Unity.


International Citizenship (ages 13-16)   [Expand]


This course is suitable for students who have a strong command of English or who are native speakers. It is aimed at improving spoken English through debates and presentations, but also with particular emphasis on the positive skills of dialogue to promote understanding and empathy; this is particularly in line with Hahn’s vision of young people from many nations as a ‘brotherhood’. Students will be encouraged to consider key global issues such as world religions, political ideologies, social media, fake news and the environment; they will learn to challenge what they are taught and to develop and express their own opinions in ways which celebrate diversity and promote global peace and co-operation.


Our Natural World (ages 8-12)   [Expand]

This course is suitable for our younger age students with a good level of English. They will learn about and appreciate the biodiversity of our natural world and the value of our natural environment to global health, our society and economy. Many of the lessons will take place outside; we are fortunate to have the Gordonstoun campus at our disposal, which provides 200 acres of woodland, and the nearby Moray Firth beaches, cliffs and rockpools boast an impressive array of bird and sea life. Classroom sessions will be adapted to suit age and English ability, but will include research and project work, as well as practising more formal speaking skills through presentation and debate.


Social Enterprise and Social Entrepreneurship (ages 13-16)   [Expand]


This course is suitable for students for whom English is their first language, or who have a strong command of English. On this course students will work in teams and learn about enterprise and being an entrepreneur. Workshops on spotting a business idea, creating a business plan, sourcing finance, presenting the idea and taking the idea to completion will help students become more confident in their individual creativity, and presentation and problem-solving skills. A social enterprise is one that has no shareholders but instead gives its profits to social causes. The culmination of the course will be an event, planned and presented by students, which promotes and benefits their chosen social cause.


Gordonstoun has an excellent sports centre, a climbing wall, an all-weather astroturf pitch, an indoor heated swimming pool, four squash courts, 12 tennis courts and a 400m track.

A wide range of sports and team games is available and attention will be paid to individual fitness and skills. Badminton, basketball, football, hockey, volleyball, tennis, squash, swimming and athletics are included.

Creative Arts

Art & Craft

Gordonstoun’s art centre will be the venue for tuition in art. In the past students have designed T-Shirts and silk paintings, made tiles and jewellery, and tried clay modelling.


Students will be taught in the school’s workshops, where they will develop their abilities and be introduced to the skills of working with wood, leather, glass, metal and enamel. Items such as candlesticks, ornamental clocks and mobiles have been taken home with pride by students of all ages.

Music Making

In music making all students are involved in collaborating to create a concert at the end of the course. Beginners will learn an instrument and the musically gifted will have opportunities to showcase their talents.

Recreation and Social Time


Options may include:

  • The City of Elgin with its historic ruined Cathedral and museum.
  • Beautiful scenic drive to the West Coast along the banks of Loch Ness, with possible sightings of the Loch Ness Monster!
  • Inverness Castle in its historic setting on the banks of the River Ness.
  • Cawdor and Brodie Castles – both of which are in easy reach of the school.

Recreation Activities

Optional recreation activities include clay target shooting, horse riding, golf, cookery, ten-pin bowling, karting, ice-skating, cinema and, of course, shopping!

Social Time

In the evenings, between activities and during option sessions, there will be opportunities for individual choice and creative recreation; there will also be discos and socials. Outdoor facilities for football, volleyball and tennis will be available at all times.

Sailing & Outdoor Adventure

Gordonstoun’s tradition includes education through experience in adventurous activities and ocean sailing – often the highlight for many students.  A special feature of the three week courses will be the six day Adventure Programme. During this, students are looked after and instructed by a team of highly competent and experienced staff well used to teaching young people.  Even our youngest students see this adventure programme as a special time and gain greatly in confidence from it.

Outdoor Adventure

Students will undertake a programme of adventurous activity: canoeing, rock climbing, abseiling, kayaking, coasteering, gorge walking, canyoning and mountain biking may be amongst the options offered.


Students will spend three days sailing off the beautiful Scottish coast. Students will take full part in activities depending on age and experience.

We aim to build the young people’s confidence in teamwork and leadership through specific activities, such as the obstacle course, low ropes and initiative tests, however these life skills are also built in a whole host of other activities in our comprehensive programme, from sailing a boat to group performances.

Sample Timetable

Sample timetable
Girl on surfboard