"Through a fully co-educational experience, gender does not limit pupils' thinking or participation in the School curriculum and extensive co-curricular programme." - ISI Inspection, April 2017
Educating boys and girls together is education in its fullest, richest and broadest sense: it is balanced, stimulating, challenging and exciting. It places young people in an environment of learning that enables them to discover how best to work together.
Same-sex education simply doesn’t offer the same depth and diversity as co-education. To understand the world, young people need to understand diversity. Learning from a young age that our interpretation of what we see, hear and feel is based upon a range of contexts, including gender, is a hugely enriching experience. It’s also vital to forming strong relationships and developing effective communication styles – essential qualities of a happy life and a good educational outcome.
A DCSF study concluded that there was “little evidence to support the notion that the dominant learning style of boys differs from those of girls”; to identify exclusively girl-centred or boy-centred learning strategies is therefore meaningless. The study also concluded that ways of teaching that appeal to boys are equally girl-friendly: “they characterise quality teaching, and as such are just as suitable and desirable for girls as for boys”.
Co-education poses its own challenges. We work with young people and guide them as best we can as they reach a reasonable understanding of the world; sometimes the journey is easy, at other times it presents challenges. But with every challenge comes an opportunity for learning, and an invaluable opportunity for growth.