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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2015 10:19 am 

Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2010 9:57 am
Posts: 266
Having previously pondered the co-ed versus single-gender conundrum in relation to secondary education, I am now deliberating the same for primary. Aside from some well established opinions on social interactive benefits and gender stereotyping, what I have read so far, seems to point towards better advantage for boys in a co-ed environment, whereas educational advantages for girls, in terms of academic performance, seem non-existent?
Would be interested to hear other perspectives, whether by experience or expertise?!
Thank you :)

PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2015 11:12 am 

Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
Posts: 6562
Location: Herts
In my opinion my dds have been academically and socially advantaged by being educated alongside boys.

I don't really see the point of creating an environment so that girls can manage to ask questions in Science (apparently) and get used to everything being safe and cosy.

In my opinion this is simply delaying the day when girls will have to get out there and compete with boys.

Amazing academic performance has to translate into something, it is not an end in itself. DG

PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2015 11:45 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:41 am
Posts: 4364
Location: Essex
Is this more a rhetorical question, or do you actually have access to schools providing single-gender education at primary level, which you are actively considering?

Personally, I would prefer co-ed at all levels; the grammar schools which our two younger DC attend are 'the boys' school' and 'the girls' school', but fortunately both have mixed sixth forms. 'Fraternisation' between main school pupils and sixth-formers on the premises is strictly frowned upon, but at least everyone gets used to having the other lot around, so to speak, and in the case of the boys' school I think it is good for the younger boys to see girls in a position of authority.

All three of ours have had close friends of the opposite gender all the way through primary school, which is something that we have encouraged and we never felt that it had any influence on their academic progress. The eldest, now at university, has never been awkward in the company of girls, one of DS2's (year eight) closest friends is a girl and although his sister's current (year 10) friendship group seems to be a boy-free zone, at the mixed school she attended in year 7, her 'posse' had as many boys as girls in it. I must admit I despair when I see comments like, 'I don't want to send DD to a school where there aren't many girls in the class because it would restrict the number of people she could make friends with'.

Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.Groucho Marx

PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2015 5:51 pm 

Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2010 9:57 am
Posts: 266
Thank you..yes TM, I am currently considering for my youngest DD. Although my eldest dd is now at an all girls secondary, she attended co-ed for primary, and while there was very much a gender divide in friendships, dd being quite sporty, was generally friends with both boys & girls. She now has a huge circle of friends from a wide range of secondaries, but is also very happy at her current all girls school.
My youngest is currently at a mixed junior school, and again the gender divide is fairly entrenched. From friendships to parties and even friendships among the mums, the class is firmly split into both camps. As such, although we have always tried to cultivate & encourage friendships regardless of gender, she has increasingly gravitated towards the girls, and will often complain about some of the unrulier more boisterous boys in her class. As such, having seen both co-ed and all girl schools, she definitely favours the latter!
Personally I like both schools, but lean slightly in favour of a co-ed environment. Which leads to pondering the merits of each…Most of the discussions out there seem to focus on secondary education, but there is not much in terms of primary education. It would be interesting to know if there are any research / statistical comparisons to help make a better informed decision! Thank you

PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 3:25 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:40 am
Posts: 5
This is a very interesting thread mm.

I have one DD and she is in Y3. Since nursery (where, coincidentally, she had about 75% boys in her group) she has loved playing with boys as much as with girls. She's pretty gregarious at the best of times.

Many boys were friends with her back in reception and Y1, but by the start of Y2 we had noticed a definite change in the class (apparently so in the parallel class too). More an more boys appeared to move away from the girls as a whole. My DD found it hard, as she had one very close boy friend and he was actively dissuaded from hanging out with her, by another boy (one of the real alpha males in the class).

Same thing happened in Y3 last year.

Gradually, she has been left with girl only friends, plus one boy who manages to stand up to the other boys and their remonstrations that he is 'playing with a girl'. They make it hard for them and are still trying to get them apart.

I've spoken to parents with older children, about this, as it's clear that in our case, it is the boys choosing not to hang out with the girls any more, rather than the reverse. They have told me that by Y6, the two genders appear to soften and get back together again, usually. Certainly by Y7, they are saying that DC are once again more likely to have a friend of the opposite gender.

That said, many boys in our current class have parents who seem to actively encourage boy only friends/boy only parties and play dates etc. There are parents too, with only female DC, who are the same with girls, excluding boys from the outset.

We, like others, have always encouraged our DD to play with whom she likes, irrespective of gender. Character is more important when there are little anyway. Buy currently she is also more and more disillusioned by the 'mucker-abouter' kids in her class, who atre predominantly and almost always the boys.

Who knows how things will progress for her cohort - I was educated in a similar primary to hers (co-ed and state) and they were some of the happiest days of my life. I then went to an independent girls' school in London which was sheer misery, in comparison. I could only stomach 5 years and went back to a co-ed sixth form as soon as I could.

The thing I remember best is the intense bitchiness. I think I was also unlucky, in that I had a particularly bitchy class of girls to contend with, but this can happen anywhere and in the state or private sector.
I do recall, with some dismay, realising that girls tended to behave better and ***** less, when they had boys around.

This is precisely why my DD will go to a co-ed secondary!

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