Experiences of single-sex (state) schools?(3 Posts)
Went to the open evening of a single sex school in our area today and was very impressed. Head claimed that the majority of pupils achieve more academically in single-sex education than mixed. Do you think this is true? I went to a single-sex school myself and the school had a very good academic track record (though it was a grammar). Are there disadvantages for attending single-sex and is the academic achievement thing over-stated? Now seriously considering this school for our dc, though it isn't the secondary most of their friends are likely to attend. Sixth form would be mixed, btw.
My brother and father were teachers. They always said girls did better in single sex and boys did better in mixed.
There has been a lot of research since then about how boys and girls learn.
I think it depends a lot on the child, the school and the situation.
My DS has been at a single-sex secondary for just over a year now and, so far, I think it's been working fine for him. But then we didn't have a whole lot of choice with the way that secondary admissions work where I live. It was either that good single-sex school, or pretending to be a Catholic to get into the nearby (and fairly average) faith-based mixed school, or travelling quite a distance to a pretty mediocre mixed school. Or moving house.
I do worry a little that the lack of girls at school might cause later issues with relating to women but he does have a younger sister that he has a good relationship with, plus his oldest friend is a girl he's known since nursery. Anyway, I'm a man who went to a mixed-sex secondary school and I was absolutely rubbish around women until I was in my early 20s.
On balance I think it was the right decision for my DS as the school is more-or-less the best fit for him academically. But I would have been much more reticent about it if he didn't have the friendships with girls that he's built up over the years.
In a year I'm going to be facing a very similar decision for my DD - there's a reasonably good girl's school nearby plus the aforementioned and not particularly attractive mixed-sex options. I think in her case the single-sex school will be the best choice but again that's more for the academic fit rather than the single-sex thing. And I would be very much more uneasy if she didn't already have a shrewd idea about boys.
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