COVID-19 has certainly had an impact upon us all in one way or another. As we ready ourselves for a staggered return to normality in all aspects of society, I have been reflecting upon more aspects of schooling than I usually do. Although I am usually focused upon curriculum and academics, research indicates that benefits beyond academic achievement may be possible for girls at single-gender schools. One 2015 study by American researcher Laura Hart (https://www.infoagepub.com/mgrj-issue.html?i=p561efbcaa6fd1) investigated the benefits of single-gender education for sixth-grade females over a 3-year period. Girls in single-gender classrooms compared to those in coeducational classrooms rated higher the variables of "academic attitudes" and "student satisfaction with school." Data from single-gender participants indicated a high degree of satisfaction with the single-gender system.
77.3% indicated that being in the all-girl classes had helped them “learn better”.
70.6% said that behaviour in the all-girl classes was better than in mixed-gender classes.
86.6% agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, “I enjoyed being in the single-gender classroom this year”.
73.3% agreed or strongly agreed that they would recommend all-girl classes to new students.
Hart concluded that “a single-gender classroom environment where girls are comfortable and satisfied with their learning experience may ultimately prove to be more beneficial than any instructional strategy”.
‘Clever, Confident, Connected’, is not a motto we arrived at without deliberate thought. The connectedness our girls feel to the school, their teachers and each other is significant. It is certainly more pervasive than in any other school I have attended or taught at. This ‘sisterhood’ is a clear marker of the overall health of our community and is a tribute to your daughters. It also doesn’t hurt that connected girls are also more likely to be academically successful.
Dr John Fry
Deputy Principal - Studies