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All BOY school? Or mixed school? Opinions please?

(56 Posts)
TiramisuTartsandPiesInOrbit Fri 21-Sep-07 13:01:59

I have started thinking about secondary school for my son (he is 5, I am early).

Has any of you any experience with single sex schools? I am quite keen on an all boy school, but I wonder if I do this will I then
a) deprive my son of the company of girls or;
b) keep him focused on his school work.

My son likes girls, his best friend is a girl, though he also says he loves her, and will marry her, and asks about the birds and the bees.

The school I have in mind is an all boy catholic school. I am taken by the idea of this, and would appreciate any feedback on this.

Wisteria Fri 21-Sep-07 13:03:22

It's a personal thing - I am of the 'no way over my dead body' persuasion though...
Are you catholic yourself?

TiramisuTartsandPiesInOrbit Fri 21-Sep-07 13:04:55

We are a catholic/anglican family, he is baptized catholic and goes to a RC primary school now. He has religious interests, and speaks of being an altar boy.

Sunshinemummy Fri 21-Sep-07 13:06:10

DP went to an all boys Catholic school - it was run by Christian Brothers and was pretty brutal by all accounts. I personally got a lot out of going to a mixed school and still have schoolmates of both sexes, although we are also considering all boys for our DS (he's 18m, I am also early).

Wisteria Fri 21-Sep-07 13:17:22

I don't agree with single sex schools, IME they tend to engender a fascination with the opposite sex similar to alien sub-species etc when it seems a far more natural rite of passage at a mixed school as they become friends and aren't seen as anything special, not explaining myself terribly well but I went to a single sex school and my dcs go to mixed, I know which one seems better to me.

TiramisuTartsandPiesInOrbit Fri 21-Sep-07 13:21:30

My friend has a 14 year old in a single sex catholic boy school. He is the nicest, most polite boy you could wish for. Healthy interests, and not too keen on girls yet. Not sure if it is the school or the way my friend is bringing him up that should be credited.

claricebeansmum Fri 21-Sep-07 13:22:05

The arguments for are

1. Boys don't get distracted
2. Less afraid to make mistakes and will take risks
3. No gender divide on subjects


1. Girls raise level of behaviour
2. Learn how to deal with girls - not another species
3. Girls give completely different perspective

mumblechum Fri 21-Sep-07 13:25:20

My ds isn't intrested in girls in THAT way yet, but says that he's glad his grammar school is mixed as the atmosphere is good, boys and girls get along as friends and he thinks it would be a bit too aggressive in a boys school with all the testosterone flying.

Gobbledigook Fri 21-Sep-07 13:30:11

I prefer single sex schools for secondary education.

I went to a girls grammar, my brothers went to a boys grammar - I don't think it affected the way we interact with the opposite sex at all. I saw plenty of boys out of school at other activities and, later, when I was working (Saturday jobs).

Gobbledigook Fri 21-Sep-07 13:31:08

'IME they tend to engender a fascination with the opposite sex similar to alien sub-species'

Not imo OR ime

Gobbledigook Fri 21-Sep-07 13:32:25

Especially if the child has siblings of the opposite sex and has mixed activities outside of school.

School isn't the only place to meet and interact with peers is it?!

Wisteria Fri 21-Sep-07 13:39:27

grin - it was only my opinion Gobbledigook and what I experienced from the schools I went to!! Obviously it does depend an awful lot on the lifestyle you lead outside school as well.

I have just spent 3 weeks on holiday with my dd and her friend (all girls school), their attitudes to boys were completely different and I was a lot less concerned about my dd.

fizzbuzz Fri 21-Sep-07 14:01:56

Boys do better on co educational schools

Girls do better in single sex schools.

In my experience as a teacher, I often sit a naughty awkward boy next to a girl. The behaviour always improves as girls seem to have a civilising influence

larry5 Fri 21-Sep-07 17:15:02

My elder son went to an all boys school and my younger one to a mixed school. Ys has always been much more at ease in mixed company.

3littlefrogs Fri 21-Sep-07 17:26:13

But fizzbuzz - it is such a pain for the girl. Dd gets this all the time and it makes her life at school a misery. sad

fizzbuzz Fri 21-Sep-07 17:49:48

I know it's a pain for them and I don't particularly like doing it.

However we have to put them in a seating plan as part of school policy, and boy/girl is the favoured approach.

I do put them boy boy/girl girl sometimes if they are not a particularly difficult class, but when you have 5 naughty boys in a class you have to do something so the whole classes learning isn't affected

RTKangaMummy Fri 21-Sep-07 17:57:54

DS went to a mixed PRIMARY and is now in year 8 at boys indep school

There is a girls school that stuff like choir/orchestra/drama/CCF/and lots of other stuff is done together

He does lots of out of school stuff in mixed company

I think he has the best of both worlds

btw it isn't aggressive but a school of polite young men, who hold open doors for you etc etc


mimsum Fri 21-Sep-07 21:07:27

ds has just started in y6 of an all-boys school - he's absolutely delighted there are no girls there (although I'm not so sure he'll be quite as delighted a few years down the line wink)

gawkygirl Sat 22-Sep-07 23:21:42

My DS goes to an all-boy secondary school which is fantastic and the best opportunity for him but I do worry about how he will relate to girls/women. His out of school activities are either solo (guitar) or boy-only (rugby, cricket, scouts).
Can someone suggest a mixed activity that he could try to fit into his busy life?

snorkle Sun 23-Sep-07 00:00:39

Bigger risk of seeing/treating the opposite sex as an alien species imo (I have met some like this, but am quite aware that not all turn out that way). To me single sex schools provide a rather artificial environment that's not consistent with real life - but they do have plenty of proponents and there may be some advantages - especially in your case if you like the ethos of the school.

I'm very happy with my dc's co-ed school.

snorkle Sun 23-Sep-07 00:03:51

gawkygirl, aren't scouts mixed these days? Could you find a mixed troup for him if not?

Hallgerda Sun 23-Sep-07 08:36:36

My DS1 is at a single sex school, and is happy and doing well there. Hormones haven't struck with full force yet wink, but when they do, there do seem to be some opportunities to meet girls from another single sex school nearby (joint maths workshops, business days, that sort of thing). You might want to find out whether the school you're thinking of has similar arrangements.

The education system currently seems to favour girls; I looked at one mixed school that clearly regarded boys as The Problem Gender. A single sex school may be better able to keep boys motivated.

As at RTKM's son's school, all the boys are terribly polite at DS1's school smile.

3sEnough Sun 23-Sep-07 08:44:49

I went to an all girls school - pretty academically pressured. I am glad there were no boys there as I wouldn't have opened my mouth in class! I have lots of friends who went to both mixed and all boys schools - all of them did well, although the boys who didn't meet up with the girls school were a bit awkward in later life. Summary - worked for me - make sure he has a regular social group involving the opposite sex!

seeker Sun 23-Sep-07 08:51:43

My dd has just started at an all girls' grammar schoo - her choice, not mine! Someone once said that in an ideal world she would send her daughters to an all girls school and her sons to a mixed school so that they can be civilized by other people's daughters! I was very unsure about the all girls school, but there were so many other things in its favour - not least dd's wishes. However, she does go to Scouts - mostly boys. I was very keen that she should mix with boys and think of them as normal human beings, not as an exciting alien species!

gawkygirl Sun 23-Sep-07 10:22:47

Snorkle: I know that some Scout groups are mixed but our area has yet to join the 21st century. Besides he has some good mates at the current group, which he has only fairly recently joined from the other local group (which he didn't enjoy half so much), so I don't want to move him.

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