There is an abundance of research out there that suggests single-sex learning environments are highly beneficial for students, including higher levels of achievement in many cases. This is true particularly of female students. Though it is difficult to generalise about all schools, I have teamed up with a Catholic girls’ school in Twickenham to explore the commonalities that tend to distinguish most single-sex schools and their undeniably advantages.
All girls or all boys’ schools tend to offer quite a relaxed environment to students, despite being top of their game in an academic sense. This is because the students don’t need to worry about impressing the opposite gender; something which can become quite distracting, particularly for teens and young adults. Students tend to feel that they can speak more openly and honestly during lessons. They are more inclined to take risks because they don’t fear messing up in front of their peers. What’s more, students in single-sex schools can freely gravitate towards untraditional subjects, without embarrassment. This leads to more dynamic classrooms, with passionate conversation and creative imagination.
In single-sex, independent schools, the curriculum can be tailored to suit the gender of the students. As such, teachers are truly able to reach and engage the class. For instance, at a boys’ school, teachers can opt to explore certain literary texts that might be of interested to the boys, and vice versa.
Of course, every child is different and has their own unique learning style. No school is right for every single child and there are undeniable advantages to both co-educational and single-sex schools. At the end of the day, parents must assess what they think is right for their own child, whilst also asking the child themselves for input in the decision. There are also many other factors to consider when choosing a school for your child, so be sure to weigh up all of your options.