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Girls - co-ed or single sex secondary?

(154 Posts)
Cornygirl Mon 20-Jun-16 10:34:05

Just that really!?!

FellOutOfBed2wice Mon 20-Jun-16 10:40:03

In my experience and opinion as a former pupil of a girls school and as a teacher who's taught in both environments, girls flourish in single sex environments in a way they don't in co educational environments. I will be sending my own DD to a single sex school.

redexpat Mon 20-Jun-16 10:46:44

If you've got the option go single sex. When it comes to choosing a levels everything is on offer to them. Nothing is considered a boys subject.

You will get posts telling you how bitchy it can get, but that isn't everyone's experience.

FellOutOfBed2wice Mon 20-Jun-16 10:51:50

No, certainly that wasn't my experience. There were some bitchy girls at my school but no more than I've met in other environments.

AndNowItsSeven Mon 20-Jun-16 10:53:04

Single sex for girls, evidence shows they will do better in stem subjects than in co-ed.

LittleBoat Mon 20-Jun-16 10:53:48

Co-ed. A single sex environment for 40 hours a week does not reflect normal life.

AndNowItsSeven Mon 20-Jun-16 10:56:29

Being education with people the same age of you doesn't reflect real life either.

claraschu Mon 20-Jun-16 11:04:08

There are so many things which can't be measured easily. My 3 children have all been in both single sex and coed secondary schools, and all have been happier at their coed schools, but that might partly be because their coed schools generally had a more flexible and creative atmosphere.

BananaL0af Mon 20-Jun-16 11:05:56

There'll always be bitchy girls and cliques - in both co ed and girls only schools. Boys just dilute the oestrogen and provide a distraction.

My girls go to a girls only school, they have no fear of "boys" subjects. And there's a lot of emphasis on equality and women's rights.

LittleBoat Mon 20-Jun-16 11:06:23

Seven I agree, however my daughters co-ed school has mixed age forms - so they are making a step in that direction also.

allegretto Mon 20-Jun-16 11:08:08

I loved going to an all-girls school and hated it when I had to move to co-ed! It seemed so noisy, boy-obsessed and I was bullied because I wasn't interested in being sexy!

RiverTam Mon 20-Jun-16 11:14:22

I'm thinking for DD (who's only 6!) to go for single-sex secondary, mixed sixth form college.

HeadDreamer Mon 20-Jun-16 11:16:52

I would pick single sex if I have the choice.

timeexperiencer Mon 20-Jun-16 11:25:51

I went to a girls school and a mixed sixth-form, & I think it worked really well. At primary school I had picked up 'boys are better at maths than girls', and had five years to get over that in classes full of high achieving girls. We had some explicitly feminist teachers who could talk to us about navigating the world (relationships, careers etc.) in the course of ordinary lessons. We had enough girls planning on taking physics A level for two planned classes (though many girls moved for sixth form, like me).

I don't think there was any more social unpleasantness than my friends in co-ed schools got, though if your daughter much prefers boys as friends to girls I'd take that into account. My experience is of state schools, so I don't know if the atmosphere in boarding or private schools is different.

I moved to study the IB, but I think the social aspect, getting used to competing with boys in discussions, and responding to the blatant sexism, frankly, was really important before uni.
Lots of my friends at school took part in mixed clubs (scouts, martial arts, etc.), and hung out with boys from local schools in town after school, so we didn't have a completely segregated teenage-hood.

I think you have to decide on the merit of the schools first and foremost, but in a tie-breaker I'd go for single-sex education for a girl.

AndNowItsSeven Mon 20-Jun-16 11:26:19

*educated not education sorry.

AndNowItsSeven Mon 20-Jun-16 11:27:25

And as you !

BuddyBlue Mon 20-Jun-16 11:59:48

Not sure I agree with there being evidence to show that a single sex environment is academically better. New research has actually shown that children are better in a co-ed environment until 13 years of age, single sex until 16 and then brought back into a co-ed environment for their 5th and 6th years.

MN164 Mon 20-Jun-16 12:07:40

If the world wasn't still full of adult and adolescent mysogeny then single sex schooling would make little sense at all.

However, we all know that the world is not the utopia we'd like. Saying that "real life" is what you want your 11 year old girl to experience is at odds with what they are able and should be expected to cope with. That kind of "real life" can wait until they are mature enough (insert age at your liking (16/18/35!).

Single sex educated girls
- Do better academically overall
- Do better at STEM subjects overall
- Choose STEM subjects more often
- Earn more money later in life
- Rise to higher ranks in given professions
- Stay married no less than co-ed

On top of that an alarming number of 11-18 year old girls (between 1 in 10 and 1 in 3!!) suffer some form of sexual harassment or abuse at school. You won't be surprised to know that this is almost non-existent at girls schools.

That's the "real world" some 11 year olds experience and are expected to cope with.

eyebrowse Mon 20-Jun-16 12:19:51

IF your dd likes activities or has interests that are similar to many boys she might be happier in a mixed school.

Girls schools often do better because they are also grammar or private schools.

sashh Mon 20-Jun-16 12:24:55

I went to a girls'school - I think they should be banned.

But I know other people who loved their ss school.

I think the bottom line is which school will be better for your individual child.

Badbadbunny Mon 20-Jun-16 12:25:03

On the other side, my son is at an boy's school which he really likes and where there is very little disruption, showing-off, etc.

There's an equivalent all-girl's school in the same town, and they do joint events, such as school plays, joint educational visits, etc., and plenty of mingling on the buses and around town after school. We have neighbours with girls at the girl's school and they really love it too.

Everyone we know says the same that there's no showing-off and competition and that boys and girls alike are more focussed on education in school rather than trying to impress the girls or flicking their hair for the boys. They do enough of that outside school!

BackforGood Mon 20-Jun-16 12:30:29

LittleBoat - that's a poor argument, as there are very few things about school that are a reflection of an adult's life, although, funnily enough working with all female colleagues is very common in a lot of workplaces. Also, pupils tend to be in school for only about 6 - 6 1/2 hours a day, so that leaves a lot of 'recreational time' for mixing with both girls and boys.

LaPharisienne Mon 20-Jun-16 12:34:50

I loved, loved, loved my all girls school. Wonderful, sporty, supportive, happy and totally without the stress of dealing with boys when you're all feeling a bit shy/ awkward.

cingolimama Mon 20-Jun-16 12:46:19

I picked a single sex school for DD, because:

1) There's no such thing as boys subjects and she'll be free to offer her opinion in class without being shouted down and told to "get back to her knitting". There's a great attitude to women's achievement, and it's aspirational in a way that has nothing to do with being sexy, pretty or thin.

2) She won't have to deal with sexual harassment and/or assault, which is a real problem, even at naice, middle-class schools.

I accept that girls can be bitchy. They can also be tremendous sources of support, strength and affection.

Barneythepurpledinowhore Mon 20-Jun-16 12:50:32

Single sex definitely. Girls get more attention from the teachers, and there is less stereotyping on subject choice. Also while bullying can happen in any school, girls, boys and mixed, I went to an all girl's school and on the whole it was a lovely supportive atmosphere. This was in a "rough" area too.

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