All girls or mixed sex secondary school for DD who has been bullied?(9 Posts)
Posted in secondary schools as well but thought this may be a good place for advice too....
We are in the process of choosing a secondary school for DD. Our choices are an all girls school which performs very well academically & a mixed sex school which doesn't perform as well, although still good.
DD has struggled to make friends at primary school because she is a bit different to the other girls. She is very sensitive, kind, shy child who isn't sporty and is academically in the middle. She likes school but still finds the playground a stressful experience and often gets upset as she doesn't have anyone to play with and is never picked as a partner. I have seen her teacher many times last year as she had experienced subtle bullying and was/is generally excluded from the groups of girls (parties etc). She doesn't really mix with the boys despite having a brother who is close in age to her whom she gets on very well with.
I'm really struggling to decide which environment will be easier for her to cope with. I'm sure she will do well academically at either school as she is a sensible and hard working girl but I am very worried about bullying and her making friends. If she hadn't had such issues with forming friendships I would definitely send her to the all girls school but this is where most of the girls in her current class will go.
I'd really appreciate anyone's experience of sending their sensitive daughter to an all girls school and mixed sex. Will a single sex school give her a bigger pool of like-minded girls to make friends with or is she likely to be excluded/bullied as she is is different?
In my experience, do not send her to all girls!!! I say this as a child who was 'quirky' and I absolutely hated it, it was the total opposite environment to one that would actually suit me and I became very depressed. Obviously I don't know the schools you are considering but in my own experience, all girls tend to have a more specific environment meaning that life is very difficult if you don't fit in!
Very sorry to hear you had such a bad experience Cleopatra. Thanks for sharing.
Sorry I may have been a bit too emphatic with my reply! It was just an experience that still hasn't left me (although I'm working on it) so I harbour a lot of resentment and strong feelings. I hope you find the right place for your daughter
I would personally avoid the all girl school. These schools can be more bitchy than mixed. Also give her a clean break from the girls she is with at school now. Tell the school her past experiences and see if she can be put with similar girls.
I went to an all girls school after being bullied in my junior school and it was fabulous. Not bitchy or nasty in the slightest.
It had a very strong anti-bullying stance, the first years were kept separate from the main school and had a ring of steel around them. It was fantastic. If anyone looked like they were getting out of line and picking on another girl it was dealt with very seriously immediately.
So I wouldn't rule out a school based on mixed/single. I would be finding out their policy regarding bullying and how they police this as a main priority and then looking into the vibe of the schools generally and which seem more suitable for your daughter's strengths.
I would add that my girls school was a Grammar and very academic, I was very average and thrived there.
I agree newera ethos of school far more important than gender selection. I had really positive single sex experience and wouldn't have done as well in mixed. Let your daughter look around both and discuss pros and cons together. I know it may be hard but perhaps try not to fear the worst. Make this a really positive step and if she does struggle then fine deal with it then but don't go into it thinking it is likely she will be bullied/find it hard to make friends...
I have noticed that at my daughter's school. They do have places for girls that have been unable to settle in the more established academic schools.
I think you have to find a school that is renowned for its pastoral care. The children quickly settle in and establish a good friendship group.
Are there any Quaker schools near you? They have excellent pastoral care and the ethos means that bullying never / rarely arises and if it does is nipped in the bud.
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