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single sex education for girls - what do you think?

(35 Posts)
katiebdee Tue 28-Jun-11 11:35:48

Do you have a daughter at an all girls school? What are the advantages and disadvantages? I am currently thinking about this for my daughter who is in Year 5. I'd always thought I'd only go for a mixed sex school, as I had felt it was important for girls to learn to deal with boys in preparation for the real world - and some all girls schools do seem to get terribly bitchy.

However, I can now see that there are advantages in a curriculum and teaching that is aimed at girls - and that she might flourish in that environment. She already gets fed up with the way that some boys tease at primary school - but is it better to learn to deal with that or to escape it for a while during your teenage years. I wouldn't consider an all girls school if she didn't have an older brother, but as it is she spends plenty of time with boys! What do you think?

Portofino Tue 28-Jun-11 11:46:27

I went to a Girls Grammar school and have to say that I really liked it. Much less distraction. I still mixed with boys outside of school.

Madsometimes Tue 28-Jun-11 11:53:12

Dd1 is going to a single sex school in September and is looking forward to escaping from boys. She does not have any brothers but will start at Scouts.

nokissymum Tue 28-Jun-11 11:53:29

Went to girls only school, loved it, made loads of friends from the boys only school next door wink 20 odd yrs later we're all still friends, and planning to gatecrash their upcomming reunion with 10 other girls.

We were a bit "delicate" though and expected to be treated like ladies, and actually were. The girls from the mixed schools always seemed a bit rougher hmm

willali Tue 28-Jun-11 13:02:13

I was always dead against single sex education for both boys and girls (DH and I both experienced it). However as it turns out my DD is much better suited to single sex whereas my DS flourishes in a co-ed school. I am now persuaded of the benefits FOR THE RIGHT GIRL. Only you can know whether your girl will benefit.

Kiggy Tue 28-Jun-11 16:24:39

My DS is at an all boys state school and DD is going to an all girls in September.
There is lots of research suggesting children do better academically if educated separately and there are plenty of out of school activities in which they can mix with the opposite sex.

My two have also got on much better since not being at the same school.

bigTillyMint Tue 28-Jun-11 16:28:38

I went to an all girls school in the 70's. It was stuck in the 1950's. Happily I think things have moved on since then.

DD desperately wanted a mixed school (and so did I for her), luckily she got one and loves it so much.

However, all the friends who wanted all girls schools are loving them too.

Horses for courses!

crazycarol Tue 28-Jun-11 19:08:21

Much of the research indicates that girls do better at single sex schools
particularly if they want to pursue a career in science.

However it does not always suit every girl. My dd is at a single sex secondary school, after a co-ed primary. DD got very annoyed at the boys in primary school and was quite excited at the prospect of no boys! At her school they are "twinned" with a local boys school and come together for extracurricular activities etc, and there is a co-ed 6th year in preparation for life after school. It certainly suits her to be at a single sex school, especially during the hormonal years! Less distractions.

MoreBeta Tue 28-Jun-11 19:16:53

The 'Diamond' approach is used in some co-ed schools. That means:

Mixed lessons up to age 11

Single sex 12 - 16 (but with a bit of mixed for choir, plays etc)

Mixed lessons at 6th form.

I think that is probably best of both worlds. I went to single sex (boys) which became mixed in my final year and DW went to a girls grammar but mixed with boys outside school.

I think single sex probably works better for girls than boys up to 16 but after that I know that many girls want to go to co-ed because they get tired of the 'bitchy girl' atmosphere in an all girl school. I also think girls need to learn how to deal with boys/men in a quasi work setting before university.

EverSoLagom Tue 28-Jun-11 19:27:46

I went to a single sex school and loved it.

My parents were initially dead against the idea and made it compulsory for me to do mixed extra-curricular stuff - i played in a youth orchestra and joined the Air Cadets. I think i turned out just fine. wink

scotchbroth1 Thu 30-Jun-11 14:10:10

There are two all girls secondaries in our city, one state catholic and one private. I may consider it for DD as education is very different to life beyond school. Girls learn in a very different way from boys (more intuitive, with books pen paper etc.) and it helps if their teachers can tailor things the girls way without worrying about boys different learning styles or other distractions they bring. Undecided but am following with interest.

acorntree Thu 30-Jun-11 14:22:31

Interested to see MoreBeta's comments - I went to mixed primary, all girls grammar for 11-16 then mixed sixth form. I honestly think I had the best of both worlds.

LolaRennt Thu 30-Jun-11 14:28:04

I would have loved the opportunity to go to a single sex school, I was such a self conscious teenager and would have done really well I think. unfortunately in the states single sex schools are the luxury of the privately educated

cordyblue Thu 30-Jun-11 14:31:25

I went single sex from 8, as did DH. Our girls will from 11, but I like the idea of co-ed before then personally.

If we had a boy, it would be the same.

cordyblue Thu 30-Jun-11 14:35:19

Sorry, pressed submit too soon. The reason why I like all girls is that in a single sex school, there can be the sporty ones, the academic ones, the scientific ones, the arty ones, the ones who learn best intuitively, the ones who learn best using pen and paper, the majorly outgoing ones, the shy retiring ones. None of this is based on sex and you can truly have the full spectrum of different types of girls achieving their potential with nobody fussing over them being 'the girls'.

TheSecondComing Thu 30-Jun-11 14:35:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cat64 Fri 01-Jul-11 00:38:52

Message withdrawn

LadyWellian Fri 01-Jul-11 01:09:04

I was keen for DD to go co-ed as she is an only child but as the girls' school she has got into for September is fantastic I'm prepared to make that concession. grin

Also they have a mixed 6th form. She said she liked the idea of that as "by the time I'm in the 6th form I'll e old enough to have a boyfriend".

I said "you just keep thinking like that, sweetheart!"

I think in hindsight a lot of it is about personal experience. I went to a co-ed school (not an only but have a sister) and thought the 'demystifying boys' aspect was worthwhile. But in hindsight I spent a lot of time and energy in the lower years on unsuitable crushes that hopefully DD will avoid.

LadyWellian Fri 01-Jul-11 01:09:41

be, obviously.

LovelyDaffs Fri 01-Jul-11 01:23:43

Dd1 started her single sex grammar in sept I think I'm in the same part of the country as The Second Coming, so could be the same one (begins with an A). She has really enjoyed it and has blossomed, has a big group of friends whose only distraction is talking about Robert Pattinson. I'd say in comparison to her friends who went co ed she is younger in her attitude. They all have boyfriends, I think it's little more then hand holding, but a sort of badge of honour. Dd is just interested in her friends and doing well at school. I'm hoping dd2 will do the same and ds will go to the boys.

wordfactory Fri 01-Jul-11 09:34:22

DD went to a co-ed prep and now attends a single sex secondary school.

She had always adored the rough and tumble of her prep and so we were both a little apprenhensive that the school would be very serene.

Actually she loves it. Yes it is quieter, but as she now views her academic success as more and more important, she values it.

Another postive is that the girls are not remotely bothered about their appearance during school hours (parties are another matter wink ). She gets up and out in thrity mins each morning. No hair straightening. No make up. The uniform is silly and no-one cares.

The school also has a huge focus on drama, singing, art etc which really appeals to my DD.

Having had concerns I must say, I am sold.

GRW Fri 01-Jul-11 11:01:36

I have a daughter in year 8 at an all girls grammar. She's an only child and I'm a single mum, and part of me wanted to opt for the co ed grammar school so she wouldn't feel awkward around boys. In the end I allowed her to make the choice.
So far she doesn't seem to miss having boys around, and girls do seem to do well academically in a all girl environment.

Korinna Fri 01-Jul-11 16:48:11

I went to a co-ed school in Italy (no single sex schools in Italy since 1929) the bitchiness, bullying and hatred I received from the girls made me truly miserable. Thank goodness there were the boys! I made friends with a group of other 'nerds' and we spent our time doing nerdy stuff together. I have a truly healthy relationship with men, a lot of my friends are men and I am happy and relaxed in their company. My friends from the UK who had single sex education seem to have a much less mature attitude towards men - either flirt and blush or want to spend their evenings out with 'the girls' - being only with women bores me to death and I wound not wish that to anyone.

Yellowstone Fri 01-Jul-11 22:49:13

My four girls are co-ed and the better for it. Academic results haven't suffered and socially the three eldest are way better off (DD4 is still primary so boys aren't especially on her radar).

I was at a single sex school but given the choice would have preferred co-ed.

LovetheHarp Sat 02-Jul-11 07:48:20

I also went to co-ed in Italy and I agree that it is very different over there.

My children go to state co-ed schools and there is such a huge divide between boys and girls! I never experienced that at school in Italy, and I think it is cultural. No all girls' nights out, no all girls parties when I was growing up. Girls and boys went out together, were invited to each other's houses - there were no gangs of boys/gangs of girls and interests were widely shared. There was little stigma in subjects, in fact a lot of my friends went on to study engineering and now engineering in Italy is dominated by girls at university level.

When I came to the UK as a teenager, I couldn't believe it that any boy you were friendly with automatically thought they had a green card to making a pass or flirting! It was very hard for me to adjust to that way of thinking!

I think to my own children it would make no difference if they were in a single sex school as the divide they impose on themselves seems so huge!!

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