Robert Gordon's College

Robert Gordon's College

Infobox scottish primary, secondary and nursery school
name= Robert Gordon's College

image size= 280px
caption= The "Auld Hoose" of Robert Gordon's College, by night
rector= Mr Hugh Ouston
type= Private independent coeducational
location= Schoolhill, Aberdeen, Scotland
coordinates= coord|57|8|55|N|2|6|9|W
founded= 1750
motto= OMNI NUNC ARTE MAGISTRA (latin for 'Endowed with every mystery that maketh mastery' or 'Now you should use all your masterly skill')
school colours= yellow and navy blue (tie)
age range= 3 - 18 years
primary years taught= P1 -P7
secondary years taught= S1 -S6
nursery years taught=
number of pupils= 1500 (approx)
number of staff=
website= []

Robert Gordon's College (known by the acronym RGC) is a private co-educational day school in Aberdeen, Scotland.


It originally opened in 1750 as the result of a bequest by Robert Gordon, an Aberdeen merchant who made his fortune from trading with Baltic ports, and was known at foundation as Robert Gordon's Hospital. This was 19 years after Gordon had died and left his estate in a 'Deed of Mortification' to fund the foundation of the Hospital. The fine William Adam-designed building was in fact completed in 1732, but lay empty until 1745 until Gordon's foundation had sufficient funds to complete the interior. During the Jacobite Rising, in 1746 the buildings were commandeered by Hanoverian troops and named Fort Cumberland.

Gordon's aim was to give the poor boys of Aberdeen a firm education, or as he put it to "found a Hospital for the Maintenance, Aliment, Entertainment and Education of young boys from the city whose parents were poor and destitute". At this point all pupils at the school were boarders, but in 1881, the Hospital became a day school known as Robert Gordon's College. Boarding did not return until 1937 with the establishment of Sillerton House. In 1989 RGC became a co-educational school. [ [ History of RGC] ]

The modern school is divided into a Nursery, Junior School, and Senior School, and caters for boys and girls from 4 to 18 years. RGC has long had a reputation as one of the stronger academic schools in Scotland, and follows the Scottish curriculum consisting of Standard Grades in the fourth year, Highers in the Fifth Year, and Advanced Highers in the Sixth Year. In 2006, there was a 90% pass rate at higher, and 35 pupils gained 5+ passes at A grade. 98% of leavers went on to higher education, the majority at Scottish Universities such as St. Andrews, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, but also 10 pupils gaining entry to Oxford and Cambridge.

Arms and Motto

The Latin motto at the bottom of the coat of arms, Omni nunc arte magistra, is variously translated as "Endowed with every mystery that maketh mastery"Fact|date=June 2008 (translated by Professor Harrower)Fact|date=June 2008, "Now you should use all your masterly skill"Fact|date=June 2008 (perhaps the most straightforward), and more literally, "All now masters of art." [Webster, J. (2005) The Auld Hoose - The Story of Robert Gordon's College. ISBN 1-84502-051-0]

This has been the motto of the College since 1881 when Robert Gordon's College superseded Robert Gordon's Hospital. It is taken from Virgil's Aeneid, Book VIII, line 441, where the words are spoken by the god Vulcan to encourage his workers.

The crest of the Gordons of Pitlurg is on the left of the coat of arms and the crest of the Burgh of Aberdeen is on the right. [ [ Arms and Motto of Robert Gordon's College] ]

House system

The school operates four houses, to one of which each student is allocated upon entering the school. The houses compete for different sporting and academic trophies throughout the year, and determine each student's form class.

The four houses are:
*Blackfriars - named for the Dominican monks (or black friars due to their garb), that once had a convent adjacent to the school grounds.
*Collyhill - named for Alexander Simpson of Collyhill who bequeathed a large sum of money to the school, which allowed for more boys to join the school.
*Sillerton - The origin of the Sillerton house name is not clear, but it is believed that, in Robert Gordon's lifetime, he was known as Gordon of Silverton ("siller" being Scots for "silver"), and on a 1746 map, the school is identified as Sillerton Hospital.
*Straloch - named for Robert Gordon of Straloch, one of the first graduates of Marischal College, studying humanities, mathematics and philosophy.

Extra-curricular activities

During the 1980s and 1990s Robert Gordon's College developed a powerful reputation for its debating.

In 2002 the College achieved great success in hockey winning the Scottish Reserve Cup, the Scottish School's Cup and the North District League. The success continues at the college as the North District Under 16 and Under 18 squads are heavily made up of RGC players every year.

In golf they have also had considerable success.Fact|date=January 2008

RGC has the highest intake of the Duke of Edinburgh candidates in the whole of Scotland - more than twice as many as any other taking part in the award scheme. In 2006, 66 candidates are doing the Gold Award. In contrast, in 2005, Aberdeenshire Council produced only 6 Gold Candidates.Fact|date=January 2008

The Combined Cadet Force (CCF) is also renowned for being one of the best in ScotlandFact|date=February 2007. In 2004, the school won the Military Skills Competition in Barry Buddon. This competition allows the top 7 CCF Army sections in Scotland to compete for the trophy. In 2005, they came 2nd. In 2006, they came 3rd.In 2007 they came 2nd.

Notable alumni

Former pupils include:

*Politician Nicol Stephen [ [ Nicol Stephen's MSP site] ]
*Journalist and politician Michael Gove [ [ '85-'85 Class list] ]
*Two-thirds of Scottish comedy act Scotland the What?, Buff Hardie and George Donald [Webster, J. (2005) The Auld Hoose - The Story of Robert Gordon's College. ISBN 1-84502-051-0]
*Singer Sandi Thom [ [ '97-'98 Class List] ]
*Scottish rugby players Chris Cusiter and Stuart Grimes
*Commonwealth gold medal winner David Carry
*Former Manchester United, Aberdeen and Scotland captain Martin Buchan
*Ian Black was a Commonwealth Games gold medalist, and BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 1958 at the age of only seventeen. He later returned to RGC as Headmaster of the Junior School.
*Sir Ian Wood, Scottish businessman and Chancellor of the Robert Gordon University
*BBC Radio Scotland presenter Robbie Shepherd
*John West, Depute Provost of Aberdeen (elected at the age of 18). [ [ Councillor's Biography - John West] ] [ [,,2101086,00.html Guardian Unlimited - Fresh-faced challenge] ]
*Aberdeen City Councillor, Kirsty West, elder sister of John West (above). Elected to Aberdeen City Council in 2007, at age 21, and appointed as Education spokesperson. Attracted public notoriety for her involvement in Council funding cuts to local state schools in Aberdeen in 2008, whilst simultaneously holding a position on the Board of Governors at RGC. [ [,,2101086,00.html Guardian Unlimited - Fresh-faced challenge] ]


External links

* [ Homepage of Robert Gordon's College]
* [ Robert Gordon's College's page on Scottish Schools Online]

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