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While taking part in one of their weekly training sessions on the Moray Firth, the Gordonstoun Surf Lifesaving students encountered a pod of 10 dolphins. They were about to end their training session for the afternoon when they were suddenly joined by the dolphins for half an hour of fun in the water.
The Surf Lifesavers are part of Gordonstoun’s Pool Lifeguard Service which is one of nine
other services at Gordonstoun. Gordonstoun’s service programme is one of the largest and most diverse of any school in Britain and has been an integral part of Gordonstoun’s curriculum since 1936 when the ‘Watchers’ service was founded (this service was the precursor to the Coastguards). Students between the age of 7-18 take part in community service in some form. Senior students give
their time to service for at least one afternoon a week, but many services require far greater commitment.
For example, students in the Gordonstoun  re service are on call 24 hours a day, one week in three, whilst the Tech Team support chapel seven days a week and last year ran about 430 internal and external events over the school year.
Philip Schonken, International Co-ordinator and Head of Beach Lifeguards at Gordonstoun said; “The experience our students had swimming with dolphins during their service training session to become Surf Lifesavers is just one example of the many magical things about this part of the world. I can’t think of a better way for them to have de-stressed in preparation for their exams.”
points towards the changing nature of family life and the importance of weekends for families. The Headmaster added, “The world in which we live
is changing at a fast rate. It is important that we listen to our families and adapt to the changes we see around us.”
The school will absorb the Saturday lesson times into the week’s structure to ensure the very broad educational experience the children and parents currently enjoy is not affected.
No more Saturday school
Magical marine moment
Holmwood House School, Essex, is to cease Saturday morning school from September 2018.
A tradition for Years 4-8 for many decades, the school’s Headmaster, Alexander Mitchell, explained: “We have carried out a wide-reaching consultation on the future of Saturday morning school. We
have spoken to senior schools, parents and staff, and have discussed the matter at length in the Senior Leadership Team and
at board level. In addition, we have consulted Prep schools who have made the transition away from Saturday morning school and gained tremendous insights into the processes they went through to ensure the essence of their schools was not affected by such
a change.”
The recent parent consultation process showed a nearly 70% preference for no Saturdays, market research also suggests a lack of appetite for Saturday school and national research
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Independent Schools Magazine 9

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