Here our Head, Joanne Croft, talks about the benefits of a girls-only senior school education.
The benefits of a girls-only environment for learning are enormous. Within the first five minutes of walking around any girls’ school, you will see them. It gives them the confidence to explore, and to pursue their own interests and passions away from the gender stereotypes that society continues to give. A single-sex learning environment can help girls to shake free of the stereotypes surrounding subject preferences and approaches to learning. Here, girls feel free to enjoy their learning and can be curious in their discovery of whatever they would like from Science, Engineering, and Maths, to the Arts, English, and Sport. Girls’ schools enable girls to grow as individuals in their own right, not as they perceive themselves in relation to boys
In these crucial senior years, girls learn in a different way to boys, which means that we adapt our teaching methods to suit their needs. Girls like to be secure in their understanding and knowledge, to have time to ask questions and probe so that they are confident that they fully understand their work. It is also recognised, through research, that boys and girls develop at different rates, and a single-sex environment enables teachers to focus on the needs and developmental stage of girls or boys as appropriate, rather than being stretched across both. This thorough approach to learning means that a girls-only education prepares them better for examinations and consequently they achieve better results.
The pressures that teenagers face today are enormous, and a girls-only environment can reduce these. A girls’ only community enables girls to develop their own sense of self, to discover who they really are, and be free to decide who they are going to be in a safe yet motivating environment. It provides freedom for them to take risks, build confidence, be secure in their learning, and ultimately, discover who they are and want to be.
A girls-only school does not exclude boys from all parts of life as social interaction is important. We believe that creating a distinction between academic and social life enables girls to make the most of all parts of life and to be their very best selves.
It may be 2020 but there are still very few women in the top roles in the country and in business. There is an urgent need for a more equal representation of women at Board level in almost every field of employment. There is some evidence from studies in America that seems to suggest that from the age of six girls start to regard themselves as less innately talented than boys. This is of course disheartening news, particularly as it appears to support the view that girls and women will tend to avoid professions that are perceived to demand genius or a high level of intellectual brilliance. Women deserve to be in these positions, and girls’ schools empower the young to know that the future is theirs for the taking. If they put their minds to it they can achieve anything they wish. One of the joys of a girls’ school is the relative freedom from gender-related stereotypes.
We welcome you to come and look around our girls’ Senior School and experience it for yourself. What we have is certainly very special here at Rye.