Paula Park, Admissions Manager shares some insight into one of the most frequently asked questions by prospective families.
At Robert Gordon’s College, regular points of entry are Nursery, Primary 1, Primary 6 and Senior 1 however we do welcome applications for other year groups, and throughout the year. In recent years, S3 has seen growing interest for families who are re-evaluating their current National 5 subject offering. The majority of applications for August entry are submitted by the January of that year for participation in the main assessment process which is usually at the end of January.
Let’s delve a little deeper into the key entry points…
When children join from the very start in Nursery, they are welcomed into an exciting and caring learning environment led by our fully qualified Teacher and Early Years Practitioners. They follow the Curriculum for Excellence at Early Level with the emphasis on learning through quality play experiences to foster curiosity, resilience, leadership and learning. This is enriched by specialist subjects which include Art, French, Mandarin, Music and Physical Education. Our Nursery is an integral part of our Junior School and offers excellent preparation for children transitioning to Primary 1 where all Pre-School Nursery children are invited to complete the Primary 1 assessment. Registered with the Care Inspectorate, Robert Gordon’s College is an Early Learning and Childcare Funded Partner with Aberdeen City Council which can (if awarded) provide fee assistance..
One of the most popular entry points is Primary 1, enabling pupils to make the most of the extensive curricular and co-curricular programme from the very start of their school education. With literacy and numeracy at the heart of our curriculum our Primary 1 Teachers are proud to share the comparison they see from the start of their child’s first day to the end of that all important first term. The children also experience a daily math timetable from the very beginning.
We see many families join in Primary 6 who appreciate the extended transition opportunities where pupils work on a shared curricular programme of work to ensure a seamless progression to Secondary Education. When they move into Primary 7, pupils are taught in our Senior School on a weekly basis for Art, Drama, IT and Science so they become familiar with the senior environments.
I should mention that we often hear Junior School pupils asking to attend the Out of Hours Care clubs. There is support available for families from 7am to 6pm. The team is friendly and welcoming so it’s no surprise when we hear of pupils asking their parents if they can go to After School Club to extend their time with their friends. The Holiday Camps are a big hit too!
S1 is where we tend to see the largest number of new applications each year. This can be a competitive entry point for families who are starting to consider senior education. At Robert Gordon’s, pupils study a wide range of subjects including all three sciences taught separately and three languages over the course of the first two years. The most frequent question here is “What past papers should my child do to prepare for the assessment?” All assessments are age appropriate. My top tip is to not over prepare and do the best you can to your own ability. I can personally say that I have been through this and I remember being really nervous. But, what I soon realised was that everyone was really nice and calming during the whole process.
We continue to see a growing trend of applications for S3 where families are looking for more opportunity and choice in the range of subjects on offer. We are extremely proud to have the broadest curriculum in the north-east of Scotland and a key point here is that we study eight National 5 subjects over two years which can differ from other schools. You can choose three sciences and multiple languages, to name a few. Completion of the National 5 coursework leads seamlessly into S5 where pupils choose from 24 Highers and have free choice rather than choosing from columns. In S6, they choose from any combination of 32 Highers and 26 Advanced Highers, in addition to curriculum enhancement courses.
Robert Gordon's College offers opportunity, choice and support to launch young people to the next stage of their education and future career pathways. Although 99% of our pupils went to their first choice university last year, we do offer a diverse range of future pathways for those looking for alternative careers options, whether that be traditional higher/further education or perhaps a vocational route.
Moving into S1 from a local primary school in Aberdeenshire, I can remember being really nervous on my first day at Robert Gordon's College. But, before I knew it, something just clicked and the nerves were quickly replaced with the excitement of seeing my new friends. There was also a sense of curiosity and confidence developing where I felt encouraged to try new things, consider the future and tap into the opportunities around me. I have fantastic memories of my school days at Robert Gordon’s and can truly say that I made friendships for life. With so many co-curricular clubs and opportunities to meet other children across the year groups, I quickly found common ground with my peers. I am also grateful to the school community for always encouraging me to do everything to the best of my ability and consider future pathways which ultimately prepared me for life beyond school.
Choosing the right school for your child is one of the most important decisions of your child’s life. Take the next step in making that journey for your child and we’ll be with you every step along the way.