Documentary aims to dispel some Gordonstoun myths

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Gordonstoun School – new fly-on-the-wall documentary series from Sky TV

MORAY’S TOP PRIVATE school is hoping that a new television documentary series will explode the myth that it teaches in a harsh ‘military style’ environment.

Sky TV crews have been filming at Gordonstoun School for a series that will receive its first airing on November 6 under the title ‘A Different Class’.

The documentary seeks to show a modern school and explode several myths that have stuck with the Moray school over the decades. The opening episode features pupils as they arrive after the summer holidays – facing six weeks before they will see their families again at mid-term break.

However, talk of the new arrivals being cut off from all contact is one myth that is exploded, as the documentary reveals pupils in regular contact with families through email, telephone, text and even Skype.

“We have seniors who keep a very close eye on the juniors,” the school principal Simon Reid says, adding: “I am straightforward with the parents and the pupils about how support works and all the subconscious things that go on.

“There will be some difficulty, they will feel homesick. We all understand that – but do we have structures in place to manage that? The answer is yes.”

While a harsh regime of military-style hikes may no longer feature on the school curriculum, Gordonstoun pupils do still face compulsory camping expeditions in the Cairngorm Mountains.

Mr Reid said of these: “A lot of schools are trying to pull people away from risk – we are not. We cannot guarantee their 100% safety being in the mountains.”

A Different Class airs on Sky 1 at 7pm on November 6.