AIBU about wanting to send our children to a same-sex school?

(123 Posts)
NJBradley Sat 23-Jan-16 21:09:08

My DH doesn't feel sending our DCs to a same-sex school (Lancaster Grammar schools), is right saying it stifles their interactions with the opposite sex etc. and all the usual arguments.

What do you think and how best to change his mind?

ABetaDad1 Sat 23-Jan-16 21:17:49

Never did me and DW any harm. I went to a boys boarding school and DW a girls grammar.

DSs go to mixed school now but in fact bizarrely were the only two boys in a girls school for much of their primary years. There is a bit of boyfriend-girlfriend stuff now they are older which I didn't have but really it doesn't make a jot of difference in the end.

On balance I would say for boys a mixed sex school is possibly slightly better but for girls its possibly a slight detriment at least up to 16.

BoboChic Sat 23-Jan-16 21:22:16

I like co-ed, which is fortunate given that I live in France where single sex schools are few and far between. Far, far more girls do maths and science to 18 in France than in the UK. I am shocked at how many so-called top academic girls schools offer finishing school style education in the sixth form (French, Art and English Literature for A-level? Pffff).

Haggisfish Sat 23-Jan-16 21:24:18

I wouldn't like single sex education.

TheDowagerCuntess Sat 23-Jan-16 21:31:57

I loved my single sex school environment.

As for stifling interactions with the opposite sex - it's not prison. grin I had interactions with the opposite sex all the time (I had a brother, he had friends), just not 9am-3pm, 5 days a week. And even then, there were sometimes interactions.

This sounds really pious, and I don't mean it to; I probably didn't really appreciate it at the time, but I certainly do looking back - it was a great environment for focusing on learning.

iseenodust Sat 23-Jan-16 21:32:25

Our catchment school is single sex and that was one of the reasons we didn't go with it for DS.

SparklesandBangs Sat 23-Jan-16 21:33:21

My DD went to a girls school, one is at Uni doing a STEM subject having got v good A levels, she has no more difficulty in interacting with boys than girls.

DD2 went to the same school but changed for A levels to an the boys school as she wanted to do a particular A level, no issues integrating.

I wouldn't hesitate to do the same again and neither of them have any regrets from being at a single sex school

steppemum Sat 23-Jan-16 21:41:19

my ds goes to a single sex grammar and dd will go to the girls school next door in sept. We didn't chose them because they were single sex, but because they were the only grammars accessible from where we live.

I have mixed feelings about them, I think there can be advantages and disadvantages, most of which depend on the school.
So the advantages (when it is a good school, which makes the advantages work for the kids):

- there are no subjects which become viewed as 'girls' subjects or 'boys' subjects, which is very freeing for both.
- boys schools seem to 'get' boys in a way that many schools don't. There has been a lot written about how conventional education is more girl orientated (in style). Whether that is true or not, ds' school really gets boys.
- the boys school has a lot of male teachers, lots of good role models
- there is no sexual tension, no derogatory comments to the girls, no wolf whistling, no kissing in corridors, no panic because your ex boyfriend is walking into your next lesson. This is particularly important for girls, but actually the lack of sexual distraction is helpful to both.
- I went to an all girls school and there was a very ingrained sense that women could do anything, nothing was off limits, which has never left me.

Can't think of any more off the top of my head. None of the above are impossible in a co-ed school.
What I like about our set up is that the two schools are next door. There is a space where they overlap and there is a fair amount of hanging around 'talking' at lunchtime. Also joint sixth form, and joint buses to school (lots of kids bus because it is selective) So the schools are quite linked and there is quite a lot of social interaction.

Molio Sat 23-Jan-16 22:18:26

OP I don't like single sex education but if the two Lancaster grammars were the best schools on offer available to me (and they're definitely very good) then I'd overcome my reluctance and go for them.

Bobo one of my DDs did French, Art and English at an academic co-ed - why the Pffff? She's done two degrees at Oxford and is onto her PhD. I'm not at all clear why that A level diet is to be snorted at tbh, if a student doesn't fancy STEM - the world needs arts people too.

Twowrongsdontmakearight Sat 23-Jan-16 22:32:48

Both my DC go to single sex grammars; it was their choice as there is a coed grammar locally too. They seem to be very happy there. I went to a girl's grammar and DH to a coed comp. He was the most keen that DC go to single sex especially DD as no girls at all in his year at school did sciences. He also wanted fewer distractions with the girlfriend/boyfriend business.

anonooo Sat 23-Jan-16 22:37:41

I hate single sex and sorely wish our local ones were not all single sex. Gawd to live in Europe instead of this backwards land.

SanityClause Sat 23-Jan-16 22:45:13

I am a great believer in single sex education.

Society sends so many messages about the things that are for girls and women, and those for boys and men. In a single sex school, there is less of that.

We went to visit a girls' grammar school when DD1 was in year 6. We were in a physics room, and the teacher was talking to DD about how sometimes girls were amazed to discover that they were good at physics, because they thought that was for boys. DD1 was confused because she had been at a girls' school from 4, and didn't see ability in science as a male attribute. Some of the people in her class were better at science than others, but they were all girls.

As it happens, she does prefer subjects like English, art and drama. But so does her boyfriend, who went to a boys' school.

BoboChic Sat 23-Jan-16 22:50:42

I'm an arts person, Molio. But I think that A-level French is a scandal and English and Art are way too narrow to constitute a post-16 education.

I did maths and biology to 18, in addition to English, French, Latin, Italian, Philosophy, History and Geography (gave up German at 17). The maths has served me well.

Soooosie Sat 23-Jan-16 22:54:10

I agree with your DH. Also an all girl grammar will most likely be a stressy hothouse with high levels of bitchiness, self harm, anorexia, competitiveness. Education is more then grades

Twowrongsdontmakearight Sat 23-Jan-16 23:05:09

Good grief Sooosie. Not sure which girls grammar you went to be no signs of bitchiness, anorexia or self harm at my school nor DD's! But yes both were / are very hot on grades.

steppemum Sat 23-Jan-16 23:12:59

Soooosie.

My own all girls school was very academic and it wasn't remotely how you describe.

My nieces go to very selective girls grammar and it isn't how you describe.

The school my dd will go to in sept is super selective girls' grammar, and current parents say its pastoral care is second to none and really caring nuturing atmosphere, not as you describe.

I often see that on mn as a negative to all girls schools. I am sure that is true of some, and when the atmosphere gets like that then it is poisonous. But lots of people (like me) come on and say their experience of current schools isn't like that.

So I would be wanting to talk to current girls and their parents and discover what the atmosphere in the school is like.

Seriouslyffs Sat 23-Jan-16 23:14:47

Do you have a boy and a girl OP?
There are definite advantages for girls to be educated away from boys, less advantageous for boys, but if your DS has girls around, sisters cousins and friends, it's less of a problem.

Soooosie Sat 23-Jan-16 23:45:12

I work one day a week in a girls grammar. Also one day a week in a mixed sex school.

BackforGood Sun 24-Jan-16 00:27:17

My 3 have all gone to single sex schools. None have been "stifled from interactions with the opposite sex" grin due to the fact they are only at school for 190 days out of the 365/366 in a year, and even on the days they are at school, they are only there from 8.30 - 3.10, and for most of that time they are in lessons.
The vast majority of any time they would be socialising, they can be socialising with people of either sex.

steppemum Sun 24-Jan-16 07:52:03

fair enough scooosie, but as I said before, not all girls schools are like that, so important to talk to current pupils and parents and see what THIS school is like.

But I think that goes for most of the pros and cons - which ones are true of THIS school?

maybebabybee Sun 24-Jan-16 07:59:46

I'm inclined to agree with your DH in all honesty...don't really 'get' single sex schools.

I went mixed myself so no personal experience but I do know that in my town the girls from the single sex grammar school were the worst for sneaking around with boys etc....as they had no male friends. Funnily enough my boss went to a single sex grammar and she was only talking the other day about how the girls were very bitchy and she hated it. And my DP went single sex for a few years and also hated it.

Ultimately though everyone has different experiences and views, don't they. Eg, I would not send my DC to a grammar or a private school full stop. But I'm sure there are many delightful ones around, j just disagree with the principle behind them.

It really depends why you think your DC would be better off in a single sex environment.

SuperScribbler Sun 24-Jan-16 08:39:55

I went to an all girls grammar back in the 80s. The liberating thing for me academically was that there was no obvious bias between what would have been considered "girls" subjects and "boys" subjects, that I had noticed at my co-ed. in fact more girls took A level physics, than A level Eng Lit. More girls went on to study BScs than BAs. No idea if the same holds true these days.

We mixed socially with boys from the boys grammars a lot out of school.

kimlo Sun 24-Jan-16 08:51:49

Dd1 goes to an all girls school. If there had been any real choice I would have chosen the mixed school thats just down the road but the one she goes to is a better school.

Actually in primary there were only 3 boys in her class so shes used to a girl heavy enviroment anyway.

Diamogs Sun 24-Jan-16 08:53:22

I've one of each. DS went co-ed, DD single sex. Both their choice.

DD says she feels more confident putting her hand up and less self conscious because there are no boys there to ridicule her if she gets things wrong.

The girls also make little effort with their hair and make-up in comparison to DS' school, even though DDs school have a much more relaxed attitude to hair and make-up. A family friend who is in y11 at the school puts it down to the fact that no one makes an effort as there are no boys there so there is no pressure to "look good for the boys".

DD is (in spite of having a brother and always been encouraged to see nothing limited because of gender) very girly - and doesn't have any interest in boys. Quite frankly if it means she doesn't have the same teen experience as me then I'll be happy with that.

2016IsANewYearforMe Sun 24-Jan-16 08:58:12

Soosie hmm

I'd choose the best school. Whether it was single sex or coed wouldn't be as important as the "overall package."

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