Are you considering senior school choices for 11+ or 13+? Here are a few thoughts on why you might choose a single sex school.
Few would dispute boys and girls are wired differently. They develop physically and emotionally at different speeds, learn in different ways and diverse motivating factors will inspire them. By studying in a tailor-made educational environment which recognises these differences, it is easy to comprehend why children in single sex schools thrive.
Teaching styles, subject choices, sporting opportunity and a full extra-curricular programme are entirely focussed on either boys or girls.
Boys express themselves differently. They tend to need more coaxing to be forthcoming in class than girls. In a single sex environment they are less likely to be intimidated or embarrassed by peer pressure, especially if they lack confidence.
In a similar way girls may find the presence of boys within the classroom intimidating, especially when they reach the teenage years and their hormones are running wild. At this crucial stage in their education, for both boys and girls, a mixed environment can be distracting and hence a barrier to learning.
With the dawn of social media, children appear to grow up so quickly, often feeling pressure from peers. In my opinion, a single sex school environment seems to allow children to be themselves for longer, without pressure to ‘perform’ allowing for their sole focus to be on learning and building supportive friendships, which often last a lifetime. To gossip, laugh and play, without the pressure to grow up too soon.
Of course learning to thrive in a mixed community is an important part of growing up. This can however be attained just as effectively through social interaction outside the classroom. In my experience, all single sex schools deliver a comprehensive programme of mixed social and extra-curricular activities, often through building close relationships with another single sex school locally.