According to research conducted on behalf of the Good Schools Guide, single sex education still rules the roost in both the public and private sectors. The study revealed that whilst the number of girls’ schools has dwindled since the 1970s, girls sitting their GCSEs performed better in single sex schools than in mixed-sex environments.
As one of the leading private schools in Solihull, Saint Martin’s School is a proud provider of single sex education. Here we discuss the reasons why girls-only schooling produces improved results and makes for a better experience for both pupils and their parents.
Developing with confidence
For many girls the pressure of co-ed environments can mean that educational aspirations are often put on the ‘backburner’. For girls educated at single sex schools the opportunities available to them both inside and outside of the classroom are extended.
Girls tend to thrive in the single sex environment as there is simply no separation between the subjects that boys and girls ‘should’ study. In single sex schooling, there is no polarisation of traditional male and female subjects, instead pupils look at their education without the blinkers choosing to pursue subjects that they enjoy, minus the competition and distraction created by the presence of the opposite sex.
Designed for individuality
There is something very individual about single sex education, combine this with the small classes available at Saint Martin’s and the whole process, from nursery and junior school to senior school and Sixth Form, is motivated by individuality.
Boys are notorious for dominating teacher time, meaning many girls in co-education could miss out. However, in single sex schools girls have the time and support to focus fully on the wider learning experience.
An environment for progression
It’s no secret that girls tend to mature much earlier than boys, however, in mixed environments this can have a disadvantageous effect on education for girls. The increased maturity on a mental, physical and emotional level means co-education can hold talented young girls and women back. In a single sex school however, there are no such stumbling blocks.
In addition to being able to progress at a pace that they find comfortable and challenging, the single sex environment ensures leadership roles that would be filled by headstrong boys in co-education schools are filled with independent girls who are growing in confidence every day. Girls are also encouraged in single sex classes to take the intellectual risks they want to, with full support from experienced and qualified teaching staff.
Entering the world with open eyes
Whilst many parents may argue co-education ensures that their child is fully prepared for the mixed sex environments found in workplaces and higher education, the evidence provided by the Good Schools Guide and other resources suggests there is more to be gained through single sex study.
Not only do girls educated in single sex environments benefit academically, but outside the classroom they are learning the co-operative and team working skills that they will need in work and life, regardless of the gender differences that they may encounter.