Beyond the Classroom

Robert Gordon’s College has always believed in educating the whole child, in allowing individuals to discover their own talents and interests and to develop these as fully as possible. Encouraging children to enjoy and excel at a wide range of activities nurtures the self-esteem which leads to academic success and personal fulfilment.

Music, Drama and Art provide extensive opportunities in Expressive Arts for Senior School pupils. Opportunities in Music see pupils performing in Aberdeen regularly and touring Europe and the USA biannually. Senior School year groups have the opportunity to both participate and compete in a huge variety of sports. Robert Gordon’s College is the largest centre in Scotland for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and over 450 Senior School pupils participate each year at all levels from S3 onwards. The Combined Cadet Force, (Army, Royal Air Force open to S2-S6 pupils and Pipe Band from P3-S6), is an integral part of the College and provides a unique opportunity to challenge cadets and improve their teamwork and leadership skills.

Pupil Leadership

As a school we pride ourselves on giving pupils of all ages and stages opportunities to take on responsibility. This can be through positions they hold related to extra-curricular activities or through more formal posts. Each form class elects a Class Captain and often a Vice Captain. There is also a Student Representative Committee which acts as a pupil voice for all Senior pupils.

Within subject departments S6 pupils can take on roles of responsibility in assisting staff with younger classes, passing on their advice, supporting them and acting as role models.

The College also has a strong cohort of Prefects; these are pupils in S6 who have been voted for by staff and pupils. They perform many duties round the school and are expected to demonstrate leadership.

Colours and Merit Certificates are two distinct awards aimed at rewarding those who have achieved highly whilst contributing to school life in areas such as Sport, Music, Public Speaking/Debating and other areas of College life which contribute to the Robert Gordon's community.


Senior School trips are well supported by our pupils and generally take place out with term time during the Autumn, Spring and Summer breaks. Our PE Department offers Netball, Hockey and Rugby Tours to team members whilst the Music Department takes the Concert Band, Jazz Band and Ceilidh Group on a tour every second summer.

Modern Languages offers annual trips to Pau, Paris and Madrid.We also offer trips to Hadrian’s Wall (Classics), Iceland (Geography) and the First World War Battle Fields (History). Skiing and Snowboarding trips to the Alps, Canada or the USA take place at Easter. 

In addition to these volunteering trips, S1, S2 and S5 curricular Projects are held in June each year with our pupils travelling as far afield as London, Paris, Berlin, Copenhagen and Sorrento. S3 pupils undertake a week of charitable projects in the local community and S4 pupils participate in YPI (Youth Philanthropy Project).

Outdoor Education

The School’s strong Outdoor Education programme integrates with core curriculum. During the Senior School Projects Weeks there are many opportunities for pupils to engage in a wide variety of activities based in the outdoors. We believe that this type of activity plays an important part in the overall well being of a young person whilst giving the chance to meet new people and try a wide range of different activities.


The College is proud of the four Houses to which all pupils belong. These are Blackfriars, Collyhill, Sillerton and Straloch and all have a long historical association of a personal nature or are related to a location with the school. House membership is one of the ways in which pupils have an identity with a smaller, more accessible group within the larger life of the College.

A huge range of activities, many competitive, are organised by the House staff. From these events pupils gain points which contribute to the annual John Reid Overall House Championship Trophy.

House events cover a huge range of activities from Sport and Music to less traditional activities such as Quidditch and Drama. Cultural interests can also find a place through Photography and Debating. Some events are large and very traditional like the Swimming Gala or Sports Day when pupils of all ages compete together. But despite the houses themselves being long established, new events are being offered regularly to enable pupils to identify with and participate for their House.

Clubs and Societies

There are a large number of extra-curricular clubs and societies in which pupils of all years are encouraged to participate. Running at both lunchtime and afterschool, these range from Kayaking and Mountain biking to Dr Who club and Chess. A Clubs and Societies Fair is held at the beginning of every year, at which pupils can see all that is on offer and chat with the staff who run the clubs. We believe at Robert Gordon’s College that participation in these types of activities is an important part of the development of every pupil, enabling them to discover new interests, gain in confidence and meet new, like-minded friends.

Whichever opportunities a pupil takes, they will grow to feel more a part of the school, to learn about their own abilities and about working with others and to have confidence in themselves.

Their engagement in school beyond the classroom may turn out to be what makes them who they are, as well as impressing universities and employers. Joining in and going out are vital parts of school life.

“Pupils within the School benefit from the wide range of sporting, arts and science, technology, engineering and maths events, activities and competitions as well as music and drama productions.”

Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Education, 2016

“The best part of RGC has been all of the opportunities that I wouldn’t have had anywhere else.”

Simon, S6 pupil