Thinking about sending DD2 to a school which takes predominantly boys - has anyone done this?(14 Posts)
We are thinking about moving our DD2 to a UTC which specialises in engineering and technology. These are the areas that interest her most and also where her strengths are.
It would be for next September at the start of year 10. However, although it is a mixed school the ratio of boys to girls is about 10:1. This would mean only 10 -15 girls in her year.
At the moment she is at a mixed school but doesn't have many friends, mainly I think because she doesn't fit in with the other girls.
She is keen to move because she thinks the subjects look really interesting. I have made it clear to her that there won't be many girls and she has said she's not not bothered.
I wondered whether anyone else had a daughter who has been at a school with a similar male to female ratio and what their experiences were.
I would be more concerned about the UTC itself - their reputations are decidedly patchy.
I'm also looking into that, I believe this year's gcse data is published early October although the most recent data shows them performing slightly better than her current school. There's a long way to go before we make a decision but statistics only tell you so much, how happy she will be is also important.
I went to a school that had been an all boys and still was approximately twice as many boys as girls.
It meant that we did woodwork, Technical drawing and metalwork and I haven't ever had a sewing or cooking lesson. I liked that.
It did mean that the girls facilities at times were slightly squashed. Some of the male teachers had started by just teaching boys (and often had been to all boy schools) so were a little frightened of this alien species. This could be good when they automatically assumed the girls weren't part of any horseplay, funny (when they told the boys to carry our chairs) or irritating when we couldn't take part in something because none of the (few) female teachers wanted to join in.
I once met someone who had been one of the first girls in. She said there were 3 girls (out of about 75) in the year and she had such an amazing time her parents thought perhaps they shouldn't leave her there for the sixth form as they weren't sure if she did any work
They did, and she did very well.
For friendships in my year I was lucky and the girls really bonded as a group and the boys were quite protective. My dsis' year the girls were cliquey and bitchy and the boys kept as far away as possible.
I'm an "old boy" from a school which was split 95% boys 5% girls. I loved it. I know that times have changed, but I received a lot of extra attention in the more traditionally male subjects, such as physics. On the downside, I was talked out of taking further maths in school as I would have been the first girl to do so and ended up studying by myself to take an alternative higher maths paper instead. She will need to be prepared to speak up and not sit back & be passive in & out of class.
My DD joined a boys school for their mixed sixth form.
It was a resounding success.
I went to a boys school for 6th form about a million years ago. Ratio of boys to girls was about 4:1 in my year and I guess 10:1 in the whole school. I think it made for a pretty odd environment. Boys yelling out scores out of 10 for girls' appearance as they came into dining hall. Girls treated as strange and exotic creatures. Felt very pressured. I didn't enjoy it at all but I was a particularly unattractive and shy teenager which probably didn't help. Other girls did enjoy it.
I think it depends on whether you value girls' sport as part of the curriculum and other activities such as dance and music when choosing a UTC. They are focussed into one area and have historically taken children who are the lower achievers in schools. When they have higher achievers they don't always do so well with them. Therefore the number of middle or high achievers in the school would interest me. Is it full of the disaffected? I would look very closely at the ethos, how hard the children work, behaviour and class management and quality of teaching. Some of this can be very patchy in UTCs. Bare results don't tell you much and whether these pupils have reached their potential is what you should look at.
Thanks for all the comments so far. I will need to find out how they manage PE.
UTCs are failing left, right and centre mainly because a model where you join at 14 means your intake is dominated by students who aren't happy with or not succeeding at their current school, which can be difficult. Generalising, girls who choose to move are more able and more interested in the engineering/maths side, as it is more of an unusual choice for them. There may be more boys who are simply rejecting their current school system and are looking for something different.
You may find that even though it's male dominated, this doesn't mean that the sexes mix better socially, it may just mean that your DD has a much smaller pool of potential friends. If you visit during the day, look around at the students socialising and see whether there's a gender split.
My Dd went from a girls
A boys for yrs 12 and 13
Omg boys of that age are SO MUCH NICER than girls
Not in a Pervy way but just so bloody nice, she's made
Some great friends and blossomed
I went to a sixth form with almost all boys.., the girls in my experience have to band together and be nicer to each other.., the main problem would potentially be teaching style or / and quality of the school generally
DfE published the provisional 2017 GCSE results on 12th October 2017 which will help you get an insight into your UTC. But generally they really do need to be avoided - not a model that works.
Agree with both QOD and yikes. Find the right school for your DD, but if she's not girly, a school that has far more boys than girls could be great.
DD1 ended up on a uni hall where she was the only girl with 6 boys. She loved it! Said boys are so much easier to deal with and so much nicer; none of the cliques, gossip, worry about looks and clothes etc. that her female friends had to deal with.
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