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Mixed private school separating sexes for lessons

(7 Posts)
wem Thu 25-Aug-11 08:41:28

Two private schools in our area, one boys' and one girls', have recently merged. Their approach to the new co-educational environment is to still separate them for lessons, because 'When teaching is adapted to take into account gender differences during adolescence, the academic performance of all pupils improves.'

They seem to think they have created the best of both worlds, whereas my instinct is to think it's the worst of both worlds. To split them off like that would seem to reinforce stereotypes and a 'them and us' culture far more explicitly than a going to an entirely single sex school. And the girls lose protection from the risk of sexual bullying and harrassment as they still mix with the boys at all other times.

I know the arguments for educating girls separately, e.g. that they don't speak up as much when boys are in the room, but surely the ideal would be to address that in the classroom, rather than give up and separate them like this. And what if some of the girls would benefit from the style of teaching used for the boys, and vice versa?

purits Thu 25-Aug-11 08:56:25

I have heard of this before and it apparently works. They are split for subjects where there is traditional gender bias eg maths or food tech but brought together again for other subjects eg PHSE.
I am guessing that they go back to mixed classes for sixth form.

bran Thu 25-Aug-11 09:02:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

skrumle Thu 25-Aug-11 10:50:28

"And what if some of the girls would benefit from the style of teaching used for the boys, and vice versa?"

presumably they are using the same teachers to teach them? i would assume that any individual teacher would teach in much the same way whether or not it's boys or girls they have in front of them - so a brusque, aloof teacher isn't suddenly going to get all touchy-feely because the bell has rung and she has a group of boys in front of her instead of the last group of girls?

as far as i was aware the pros of single-sex education are about improved concentration in class, etc i would never have thought of avoidance of sexual bullying/harassment as a reason for sending a girl to a single sex school (i went to a state all-girls school which merged with the nearby boys school during my last year so have some limited experience of both).

ThePosieParker Fri 26-Aug-11 20:33:50

It's not subjects but teaching methods that differ.

pudding25 Sat 27-Aug-11 20:27:44

I went to a mixed private school and we were split up for English and PE but together for everything else. Still can't figure out the logic behind being split for English.

jenniec79 Tue 30-Aug-11 21:51:35

I went to a school that had been a separate girls' and boys' but had joined together. (Day, independent)

Pre-11 (I went to the prep for a year as that's when we moved to the area, most people started at 11) it was mixed. In fact seating was b,g,b,g around the classroom hmm

Then at 11, we were split into single gender classes. The girls on the old girls' school site and the boys over the road in the boys' site. Even different uniforms (girls in navy, boys in grey, and to begin with different school ties!) In first and 2nd year (yr7-8?) we were entirely split for everything, but had different subject classes on the boys site or girls site (eg CDT labs on the boys', but used by all, history based on the girls' etc)

Once we had options for GCSE, the split was a bit more vague, as mixed classes happened to allow timetables to work. Things like music only had enough of us for one group, so mixed, but maths and english stayed single sex.

In sixth form we were trusted to be mixed up again. I chose fairly traditionally masculine A-levels (chemistry, physics, maths - and biology, but that was the one I disliked!) while a fair few male mates chose "girly" ones [shrugs]

Extracurricular things were mixed when it made sense (ie rugby/hockey/cricket team single sex, choir, orchestras, plays, cadets, scouts & DofE mixed) It's never occurred to me before how odd it was that for an institution so intent on keeping the sexes apart, with 6" rules, separated by a ROAD etc, they were happy for us to go off into the wilds of the peak district in a mixed group with a TENT grin

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