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Co-ed or Single Sex schools.

(19 Posts)
Falconbird Mon 23-Mar-15 07:28:32

I was educated from the age of 5 until 16 at co-ed schools and really enjoyed most of it. I did quite well but the theory is that girls do better in all girls' school and boys do better in mixed schools. My DH went to all boys' schools from the age of 5 and did well academically but he was socially less well adjusted than I was. (sounds big headed but you know what I mean.)

One of my happiest memories which still makes me smile is playing tennis one summer - aged about 15. The boys' woodwork room was nearby and we suddenly heard the games mistress shouting to the woodwork teacher
"If your boys don't stop ogling my girls they're all on detention."
We turned to see lots of 15 year old boys staring at us appreciatively through the open window." smile

vampirequeen Mon 23-Mar-15 07:58:18

Definitely co-ed. The social aspects outweigh the learning aspect.

granjura Mon 23-Mar-15 08:06:51

Single sex (state) schools do not exist where I grew up (Switzerland) so the question never arose. I think I would have just hated it...

Our girls in the UK went to co-head schools, mainly because this is what was available locally and because of the 'sociall well adjusted element' you mention. However- DD1 was extremely bright abd loved science and wanted to become a vet. The elderly man who taught physics and chemistry at the high school (10-14) she attended was very old fashioned- and would totally ignore the girls in lessons. We did persuade her to volunteer more, put her hand up ... but to no avail. We gently talked to him at parents' evenings- but it was like talking to a wall. And it did put her off. She did chose chemistry, physics and biology for A'Levels- and was put off by being one of 2 girls in her classes, and feeling she had absolutely nothing in common with the boys in those classes. She got glandular fever and dropped out of physics and chemistry and swapped mid year for art and French, against all advice. At that time, I felt she would have probably been much better off in a single sex school. She did extremely well at Uni and in her career anyhow- but she probably would be a vet now had she gone to single sex school (which may or may not have been better than her current career- certainly very different).

I did teach in a single sex school at the beginning of my teaching career - and what you describe was a common occurence. The boy's school was next door- and our girls were forever hanging out of the windows to oggle the boys in the sports ground, and vice-versa! Bike sheds in between the two had to be very closely supervised!!! They were obsessed - and it did make me think it was not healthy.

OH went to a single sex grammar school (Woking Grammar)- and he used to tell me how obsessed they were with the girls, and vice-versa- and how they always tried to go xcountry running where they could catch a glimpse of girls in gymslips!

Falconbird Mon 23-Mar-15 08:35:38

When you're educated in co-ed schools, the opposite sex lose a lot of their allure because you're with them for years.

The incident with the tennis outlined above was I think healthy because we were all in the same buildings and saw each other all the time.

Granjura - I think your DD1 had a bad deal at school. It wasn't unusual for old fashioned male teachers to ignore bright girls especially if the subject was male specific (as if was in the old days) i.e. maths and the sciences.

Thankfully things have changed in the last few years and girls are forging ahead in these subjects.

At my sons' school the metal work teacher often called the girls "lad" because girls in metal work were a new thing.

My sons did needlework and cookery, and they were very good at it. Something they would have been unlikely to have experienced back then in the early 80s. at a boys' school.

vampirequeen Mon 23-Mar-15 08:42:18

I went to a progressive junior high school where boys and girls all experienced needlework, cookery, woodwork, metal work and tech drawing. It came as a real shock to my system when I went to high school and found that the subject were segregated to the extent that if a girl was found in the woodwork/metalwork/tech drawing corridors she was on instant detention and the same applied to the boys regarding the needlework and cookery corridors.

On my first day doing O level physics we were told, "There are six girls taking physics in this class. That's six boys being prevented from getting O level physics." Later the creep found that he quite liked working with some of the girls. Especially in the photographic dark room.

Ariadne Mon 23-Mar-15 08:56:46

Nothing like a good co educational school to make sure each sex sees the other as nothing out of the ordinary! We sometimes used to take girls, from a twee little private 11-16 school, into our Sixth Form, and watch them desperately trying on feminine wiles or to flirt with our boys, who thought it was hilarious.

hildajenniJ Mon 23-Mar-15 09:09:10

I went to a co-ed secondary school. There were no single sex schools in my area. Carlisle had a high school for girls but I wasn't eligible to go there, as I lived way out of the catchment area. I enjoyed my schooling and having no brothers it taught me that boys were not mysterious at all.

Teetime Mon 23-Mar-15 09:15:09

I went to a co-ed Grammar School and I always regret that it wasn't all girls - I definitely had my mind o the boys from an early age. I think I would have concentrated on my education and not got pregnant at 15 and spent the rest of my life catching up with my education! DDs went to co-ed schools and did much the same thing one of them made it to university at 18 though.

J52 Mon 23-Mar-15 09:34:24

I went to an all girls school in London, that had a 300 year old history. In many ways the traditional elements were restricting, but we were taught by dedicated 'blue stockings' who wanted us to reach our true potential. They certainly knew their subjects and apart from languages, we did not have text books.
At a reunion 40 years later it was interesting to see where life had taken others.
Unfortunately, this was in the 60s so there were a lot of distractions, but nearly all the students did 3 A levels.

My own children went to co-ed state schools, we definitely did not want them to go to single sex schools as we had. They received an excellent well rounded education. x

annodomini Mon 23-Mar-15 10:06:15

Co-ed as most Scottish local authority schools were. As an avid reader of Enid Blyton schools stories, I longed for a girls' boarding school, but then, the grass is always greener... The top streams were separate for three years and then we were joined up with the boys, many of whom we knew from primary school. We benefited from an excellent,broad-based education for which I am eternally grateful.

Falconbird Mon 23-Mar-15 14:58:14

I think I had the best of both worlds. When I was 14 I opted for a two year secretarial course within the school.

I loved it - 25 girls and we did work very hard because at the end of it was the certainty of a well paid job.

When we weren't doing secretarial subjects we were back with the boys. Also gym and sports were separate.

When I was 16 and doing O Levels I was asked out by the Head Boy. I had to decline because he was well out of my league but it boosted my teenage confidence no end. smile

granjura Mon 23-Mar-15 19:54:52

How did you come to the conclusion he was 'way out of your league' though!!! Why oh why?

Mishap Mon 23-Mar-15 20:04:29

One of my DDs went to a single sex school (her choice) and I always regretted it. Not only was the school very pressured academically, but she "broke out" a bit as far as boys were concerned when she left.

Ana Mon 23-Mar-15 20:25:51

I went to an all-girls Grammar school (no choice at the time if you passed the 11+) and have sometimes wondered about the perceived benefits of single-sex schooling, although I can see the point about fewer distractions!

I had no brothers or even male cousins and was very naive about the ways of boys and men when I left school. At my primary school I'd got on fine with most of the boys, in the way that children do, but as a teenager I found it difficult to relate to boys of my own age, many of whom attended all-boys schools.

granjura Mon 23-Mar-15 21:07:09

When DD1 went off to Uni, she shared accommodation, by chance, with a few girls and boys who had all gone to single sex private schools. She found it hilarious that they all went mad 'sex, drugs, alcohol and rock and rock (well grunge)' - she always laughed and said she did so well because she had got it out of her system already (no drugs though apart from the odd joint).

seasider Mon 23-Mar-15 23:28:22

I went to a girl's grammar school where the level of achievement was very high. We were taught that we could do/try anything and lots of girls studied science and maths. We got our "fix" of male company on the bus home or at the local youth club. grin

Falconbird Tue 24-Mar-15 07:01:08

Granjura - You asked why I thought that the Head Boy was out of my league. Well I was only 16 and had low self esteem.

I lived in a low rise council flat with my parents and my dad was "rather odd" after the war. The HB was 18 plus. He lived in a very affluent area and was very handsome.

My school was very class ridden because it had a huge catchment area which took in three council estates and three well off areas.

I was also asked out by a school prefect so I was obviously attracting attention from the higher echelons but I preferred lads in my own area.

kittylester Tue 24-Mar-15 07:27:16

Our four eldest went to a mixed junior and then single sex schools (but on the same campus) from 11-18. They have all turned out fairly normal and able to maintain relationships with the opposite sex! The girls particularly benefitted from being taught by strong women who were committed to their careers and (mostly) had families as well!

DD3's education was entirely at mixed schools and she went on to marry the Idiot! hmm

Anya Tue 24-Mar-15 07:31:33

I went to an all girls primary school, an all girls grammar school,and an all woman Teachers Training College. I never had any problems meeting 'boys' outside of school and college and establishing relationships, making friends, etc..

What did come as a shock though was when I started working was to discover that women were not considered equal by some members of society. I'd never come across the Neanderathal attitude that women's place was in the kitchen but neither had I come across those 'professional' types who also considered woman to be non-managemnt material. In the 60s the 'Junior' schools I taught in invariably had a male Headteacher and a male Deputy and an all women staff. Only 'Infant' schools had female Headteachers as that was considered a more suitable position for women.

Things are very different these days.