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Should You Choose A Single Sex School For Your Child?

There are many advantages to single sex schooling, and this is a popular choice for many parents - but just as many people feel strongly about sending their children to a coeducational school where both genders learn together.

The best choice for you will come down to personal preference, but here are some guidelines to help you to make an informed decision:

  • How does your child learn? There is a fair amount of research suggesting that girls and boys learn in different ways and this is often used in the argument for single sex schools. If your child has been in a coeducational school until now, how have they got on? Some teachers at single sex schools have received training specifically for teaching that particular gender so it is sometimes the case that the style of teaching is different than in coeducational schools. That said, there has been gender research in Norway which suggests it’s advisable to look at children as individual learners rather than separating them by gender.
  • What are your child’s strengths? A single sex school may be a good idea for children who excel in a subject typically thought of as dominated by the opposite sex. For example, a girl who shows an aptitude for STEM subjects may feel self conscious in a class dominated by boys, or worry about not performing as well as boys. Similarly, a boy who enjoys such as drama may feel more confident in an all-boys school where the subject is not considered as "for girls.” This may also prevent any unconscious or implicit bias from teachers interfering with their learning
  • What does your child prefer? Some children will have their own strong opinion on whether they should go to a single sex school, and it’s important to bear this in mind. After all, your child is the one who will be attending the school, so their opinion should carry some weight in the decision.
  • Is it feasible to send your child to a single sex school? This may be the most important question to ask yourself. Is there a suitable single sex school close enough to you to be feasible? If attending a single sex school will necessitate boarding for some or all of the school term, are you and your child happy with this? It may well be the case that although you would like to send your child to a single sex school, you don’t want to send them to a boarding school and so it is a better option to opt for a coeducational school that’s closer to home.
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