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Single Sex vs Co-Ed Schools

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  • Boys can be a pain in the bum sometimes!!
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      10.01.2009 00:37
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      It doesnt really matter

      I don't know the answer to this but I can give my experience. I think no matter where you go there will be distractions, like bullys or people who get you into 'the wrong crowd' etc I've always been in mixed sex schools and to be honest it was only when I reached 14-15 that I became distracted by boys in class. Normally, around the age of 10 I would go to school and play 'kiss chase' in the playground, it would normally be me gathering all the cute boys to play. But that was during break. When I was 16 I did get distracted by boys in class, but who doesn't get distracted by something that looks better than your lesson!? I think as well if your in a mixed school you have a better idea of how to treat the opposite sex. It also means you feel comfortable around both sexes. I still have a lot of intelligent male friends that I met at school and I'm very glad I got to meet them!

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        05.10.2007 16:34
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        It all comes down to opinion - as facts could support both sides.

        I attended a single sex boys school from the age of 6-13 and then mixed schools for the rest of my education, so I know first hand the advantages and disadvantages of both single sex and co-ed schools. I always assumed that boys and girls worked better separately, because there's less distraction. Indeed, I experienced this first hand - guys muck around much less when there's no girls to "impress" - and generally work much harder. However, I was reading an article in The Observer which suggested that this was not true, at least in the case of girls - they looked at the example of Belgium - where co-ed schools are in the minority, and where girls and boys who study together acheive better results than those who do so apart. This seems fine, but there is a great amount of research into single sex/co-ed study which has produced entirely different results: - that "both boys and girls in single-sex schools had a greater chance of being entered for higher tiers of key stage 3 mathematics and science than their peers in mixed comprehensives. The greatest difference was in science, where girls in girls schools had a 40 per cent greater chance of being entered for the higher tier." (NFER report) - "In 2005, the proportion of A grades achieved at A-level in all-girl independent schools was, on average, 10 per cent higher than that of girls in co-educational independent schools, in all three sciences, maths, further maths, French, history and geography." Furthermore, many religions tend to prefer single sex schools - and considering most of the world follow some sort of religion, it could be said the most considerate form of action would be to conform to the interests of the majority. Critics often argue that placing children in single sex education does not open their eyes to the real world as school is supposed to, and when they move on to university and jobs, where they have to work with the opposite sex, they are awkward, inefficient and generally more incompetent than people who have being "hanging around" with the opposite gender for years. While it is true that single sex schools dominate the league tables in terms of results - it's likely this is to do with the fact that these schools are grammar schools/ religious based schools and so do better anyway. At the end of the day, schools will follow whichever route guarantees that their classrooms are full and their bank balance is in the positive. In the UK, that seems to indicate a shift towards co-education and mixed schools: the number of single-sex state schools has fallen from nearly 2,500 to just over 400 in 40 years.

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          10.04.2007 20:52
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          in brief mixed sex schools rock the socks off of single sex schools

          Singlesex schools are forsure a better learing place but mixed schools.. you learn and it helps your social skills too.....( it is also easier to get laid) that is my opinion. i go to a mixed school and i hit it up(get some cuddely) almost every weekend... thats what i call the life of a porno star... now i am gonna write blabber/giberish to finish this off.. did you know it is iligal to spraypaint someone elses cow???

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            24.01.2007 15:33
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            which will you choose

            Since world war number of single sex schools have been declining in the UK. Nowadays you will find rare single sex secondary schools. Ones that are still going are either religious schools, privately run schools or grammer schools. Studies in Europe and America have indicated that single sex schools are outperforming mixed schools where both girls and boys attend. In America Bush has been giving more money to single schools and now there are more single schools there than before Bush came in power. Best known single school in England is Eton, It was founded by Henry V1 in 1440 and is privately funded. Privately funded schools in England are called Public schools. I am not sure of studies that suggest better performances by single sex schools. Most of students in single sex schools come from better off families. Mixed sex schools accept students from council estates which the posh schools don't. Education in England is biased. Those who can afford it send their children to good schools because many of the state run mixed schools are failures. Students from these schools have no chance with public schools or grammer schools that still exist in some counties. Whereas mixed school makes both sexes learn about each other and thus improve living skills, majority of single sex schools provide better education. If I was a parent and I had a bit of cash in the bank I would send my school to a public school. The investment in education mostly pays off because your child will be guaranteed a good job. Reputations of schools matter a lot for top jobs.

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              22.01.2007 09:56
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              Debate on education

              In the field of education in the UK single sex education has a longer history than mixed sex education however in the present day it is the mixed education system mainly in the form of the state run comprehensive education that is the format that educates the majority of students. Many people have quite strong views on whether single sex education is better than mixed education even if for the majority there is little option but to send their children to mixed sex schools. Even in a mixed sex school it is still possible to find children in single sex classes for some subjects, in my last school Public, Social and Health Education (PSHE) was taught in single sex groups as well as some Science, Maths and English groups. I must admit I do not have strong views on either side of the debate. I know that as a parent I would be inclined to have my children educated in single sex schools if I could afford it however this is more to do with the fact that a lot, but not all, of the top private schools are single sex and I would be paying for the level of education rather than a belief that single sex education is better. In my own local authority there is still a Grammar School system for which an entrance exam must be taken and both of these schools are single sex as well and in the case of the girls school regularly finishes in the top 25 state performance tables based upon exam results. One of the main arguments against single sex schools is that by not having a gender mix the child social development will be impacted upon as they do not encounter peers of the opposite sex and therefore may grow up with a very stereotyped view of the opposite sex. Such a view does have some merit however it should be noted that whilst a child spends a significant amount of time in the classroom it is not the only place that they learn social skills or form opinions of what gender means. The home has a far greater influence where they will encounter members of the opposite sex in the form of parents and siblings. In addition outside interests and clubs will also provide contact with the opposite sex and many single sex schools will arrange such activities and joint ventures themselves and hence the argument that social development will be affected is relevant but not a major argument against in my opinion. Within the classroom there are some very real benefits to having a mixed sex class. Traditionally boys are seen as being greater risk takers than girls whilst girls often have a more methodical approach to activities. Combining these two qualities can provide a useful learning tool when carrying out group activities as the girls have a calming influence on the boys whilst the risk taking element provides a creative element to the work. Obviously such traits are not present in all and this is a generalisation however it does hold true based upon my own experience in the majority of cases. By removing such elements then group work can suffer however it also can be overcome in a number of ways and in some cases working in a single sex environment can encourage students to undertake roles that they would not otherwise have to do in a mixed group. One of the benefits advocated by supporters of single sex education is that the distractions of the opposite sex are removed, boys are less likely to do the posturing and showing off in front of the opposite sex in order to look cool and hard and there is definitely some merit in this viewpoint. It is also recognised that girls tend to out perform boys in most measures of academic achievement with boys more likely to become disengaged from the curriculum and switched off to education and as such by having single sex schools there is the opportunity to remove the social pressures and also ensure that lessons contain a subject content that will be more of interest to boys and encourage them to learn. A similar argument for girls applies as at a certain age in mixed class rooms some girls feel that it is not cool to be clever or work hard as it will not make them appealing to boys and they need to ensure that the act and dress in a way that will make them stand out for entirely non educational reasons. A single sex classroom or school to a certain extent removes this pressure and can create a better, safer learning environment. Inclusion is a key buzz word within education at the moment in a drive to integrate as many pupils as possible into mainstream education and to create a learning environment that is diverse and reflect all parts of society and clearly a mixed education school has a much better opportunity to do this that its single sex counterpart. In terms of preparation for the outside world a mixed sex school has some clear advantages. For a child from a single sex educational back ground then often university or the work place could be the first environment with members of the opposite sex that they find themselves in, given that by now they will be at least 16 and more likely 18 then it is very late in their development to find themselves in such a situation and given that on its own this is a major period of change then also having to come to terms with new social group dynamics is also a an added strain. From my own personal experience of friends who were educated in single sex schools I can think of only two who really struggled with this and to be honest both would have struggled had they come from a mixed sex school as they had naturally shy and with drawn personalities in the first place. Another key buzz word we hear from the government with regards to education is that of choice. It is this concept that provides support for the existence of both types of educational facility as to do away with one in favour of the other would deny both parents the opportunity to choose what they think is best for their children and also school leaders to decide how best to educate those students trusted to their charge. Personally I can see benefits in both forms of education and even within a mixed education school some classes are better suited being delivered as single sex classes whilst in others a mix of genders just as a mix of abilities can be a positive thing and encourage a wider and higher level of learning. Thanks for reading and rating my review.

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                09.06.2006 16:37
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                Abolish single sex schools

                I’m 26. I have spent the last 10 years on meds and in therapy. There were many factors contributing to that…but guess what I’m about to tell you? That’s right. Going to a single-sex school damaged me, badly. Four words: SEXUAL AND EMOTIONAL IMMATURITY. Between the ages of 5-11 I was in a mixed environment: so infant and primary school. During this time, it is fair to say that I liked girls, and they seemed to like me. To date, the years between age 7 and 11 are still the best ones of my life. Neither was I an academic failure during this period. I was ‘among’ the best 2-3 students in our year. I actually enjoyed learning stuff. At age 11 we moved to a London suburb and I was sent to an all-boys school. As my mum would repeat ad nauseam, “there is plenty of time for girls once you’ve done your exams and have a good job”. At this school, I was the only one who didn’t know anyone (most kids went in clusters, from local primary schools). Initially, kids stick to who they know. So I was lonely. I assume that if girls had been around, I would have occupied myself ‘getting to know them’. I’m such a bad boy huh, being interested in girls. Tut. It happened that I began “getting too close” to the female teachers. I mean, I’m not gay, and there were no girls around who, if they were willing, could keep that aspect of my personality occupied… At age 14 I had a male teacher take me aside and say ‘several reports have been received’…I felt like a criminal. I guess I was really. Oh well. Some boys in our school used violence as an outlet for their sexual frustration. I did that eventually, starting fights for no reason. I also started directing some of that energy into academia. Did pretty good. At age 16 we took our GCSEs and again I was one of the best in the school. No social life to speak of, but my parents were pleased. What a great vindication of a single-sex school. Yeah, except I had been drinking since 13, and, after my last exam, began my long association with Prozac. so onto the sixth form and by this point I was so unhappy that I couldn’t even study. I dropped out at 17 and would have happily killed myself if it had not been for the possible [in my mind] obituary : “Ben, 17, died having no friends and not having kissed a girl since the age of 11. indeed, he may now be scared of girls. Literally scared. what a loser.” So I went to a co-ed sixth form. Girls. Should be great huh? It didn’t turn out that way. I faced girls with suspicion, because of the female-teachers-incidents, and also with 6-years worth of desire. I just had no idea about how to talk to girls, I had no idea about the elementary rules of interaction (i.e. if she has a “boyfriend” [what was that? I had no idea.] then that means No.). I used to constantly harass this one girl – I was completely unaware that I was sexually attracted to her. I had no idea. Again, a teacher got involved and my parents were called in. The teacher could see what was happening with me, and was not condemning in what she said, but again my parents just didnt have a clue. I must have had the emotional age of a 6-year-old – a big regression had taken place during my single-sex schooling. Whenever I saw a girl I liked I hyper-ventilated and my face seized up. whenever I saw a girl who I didn’t like, but who made it clear that she liked me, I just hated them. By this point, women had proved to be nothing but trouble. My mum helped out with this too, "there is plenty of times for girls later", as she had been saying since i was 11. So I hated them. I got into the habit of combating this with vodka, which I used to take to school. So now I need to be drunk just to talk to women. I mean, what the fuck??? So I got through sixth-form (on meds) and went to university at 19. Girls. Should be great huh? Once again, it didn’t turn out that way. I faced girls with suspicion, because of… You get the picture. So I dropped out of university, went through some bad times, and at age 21 was at rock-bottom. At that point – it was a straight choice between killing myself or going to university again, ostensibly to study but actually to see if I couldn’t actually have one last try at getting laid (I had had sex, but only with prostitutes. That doesn’t really count, does it?) As it happens, I did [eventually] get sex, but my lack of experience and emotional maturity meant that I fell into patterns of fantasizing and dependency. At this point, I had serious mental/personality issues. Oh yeah, I also decided to go into regular therapy. Turns out that saved my life. I am ‘on the mend’… It’s been a long time. I guess I’m writing this so as to save some poor bastard from the same fate. No doubt their decision-makers are reading. I should also add that my relationship with my mother will probably never recover from this. And today, I am not a person who says "never" very frequently. Sure, not everyone from my school turned out like me, but with all the “anecdotal evidence” that one comes across…exactly. A final note: if you saw me, or even spoke to me, you would [usually] have no idea as to my past. Like, seriously. No idea. Please don’t send your kid to a single-sex school. It’s just not worth it. All the best

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                  05.06.2006 15:26
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                  Split them, mix them it doesn't really matter

                  I recently read a review on this, by a member SILVIETTA 2005 and I rather liked it however, I too attended both variations of mixed and single sexed schools here's what I think. Mixed schools from the onset for a young impressionable 6/7 year old is kind of daunting! I remember way back as a young little missy coming home and asking my mom why did God make boys? she answered "to keep you on your toes" - well after despising the little creatures that kicked me, pulled my pig-tails and tripped me as I walked, I did manage to get my own back, I did better in school them and I ignored them which is the best medicine. Then along came the beginnings of adolescence and WOW- the hormones changed and the boys suddenly became interesting although still up to antics which, I later discovered was just a means of gaining attention from the pretty girls. Now I am sure you can imagine the levels of concentration in a class room with all the hormones flying about and the levels of jealousy and warfare between the girls gunning for the same guy!!! Way too distracting if you ask me. Along came my 16th year of life and my mom saw my academic side failing slightly and decided "with asking me first", if I would like to attempt an all girls school!!!! With much hesitation I decided to go as I was athletic and the new school offered high sporting levels with bursaries. Shockwaves through my body on the first day!!! Very pretty young girls perfectly groomed, excellent posture and a good command of the English Language, my first phonecall home was "I don't think they are going to like me" only because I was not as formal as this in a mixed school. Well I survived there a year and I did extremely well in sport and academically I achieved far greater results, less note passing in class, less staring as there were no boys and no sneaking off to the bleachers for a kiss. We had two brother schools for our single sexed school and many socials were arranged for us to meet and mix, as well as all the competitive sporting events for which I competed in track, swimming, cross country and field events so plenty interaction with boys. We just appreciated them a bit more for seeing them less. And it was harder to get up to tricks with the chaperone's always on the lookout. I found I made better friends of the girls without constant warfare over the boys at school and that aleviated a lot of social pressure which our kids don't need today. and as the other member failed to mention in single sexed schools some of your friends do have brothers. I went back to my original school and the very first thought in my head was "are the boys still going to like me?" crazy is it not? My daughter is 6 years old and in her first year of school and I recently asked her what she thought of the boys for this review? - she, without hesitation said:-) They smell, they kick, they pull her hair and they pick their noses! - ha-ha I laughed, things have not changed in all these years gone by. My view, mixed schools are fine but you need to put academic pressure on them at a certain age as they are easily distracted by hormones which, is NOT their fault but mother nature's itself. A good things is that girls may learn to express themselves well with boys around and never feel inferior to them. They will also see on a daily basis a boys growth and development easier and give them insight to how they think and vice versa. It is also nice to be able to compete on a mixed level academically (and win) ha-ha! My thoughts on single sexed is that they are healthy, they give the child the chance to find themselves before they are pressurised into making adult decisions - like sex etc... They have the opportunity to advance themselves academically as well as in sport and as I said to find themselves and decide what they want to be and do for the rest of their lives, instead of getting into serious relationships and settling down too young. There are also many mixed academic challenges where girls and boys can compete so they are NOT alienated - Gosh convent girls were often thought of "Angels with a devils fork" My child does not have the choice to schools as in our area they are all mixed schools I simply chose one that offered a good Christian foundation and I just HOPE and PRAY that the boys will always pick their noses!!!!!

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                    16.11.2005 15:52
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                    SCHOOLS SHOULD BE MIXED!!!!

                    mixed schools should be everywhere! we should all go to a mixed school. i am 12 and have 2 good friends in the ajoining girls school, but they finishfor lunch and break later than us and i hardly get to see them. It is so unfair! we should have a mixed school and finish at the same time. i have already said this to my teachers and they also think this would be good for the school. there are even doors joining the 2 schools. it is so unfair. and we also are also disencouraged from seeing the girls at lunch and break. why cant they just listen and let us have a joined school.

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                      13.10.2005 18:43
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                      Why I'm glad I am part of a mixed school

                      Over the past 13 years I have been lucky enough to attended the top comprehensive in my region. However, just a short walk away from my home (and considerably closer than my school-25 miles away) is the local all-girls school. When the choice came came to chose where to attend, I wanted to go to the all girls school. All my friends were going there, and also I wanted to experience being a 'girls school girl' from the inside. From the outside, if you went to the girls school, you were cool, attractive and yes, snobby, but only because you could be. Other schools in the area admired the reputation of the girls school pupils. However my parents decided what would be best was to get up at the crack of dawn everyday for 7 years to catch a bus (and now drive) the distance to one of the most academically reputable schools in region. I hated them for it. The school was a city school, was in bad need of re-decoration, and I didn't know a soul on the day I arrived. But thankfully I made friends, found my identity within the school and have graced through the last 7 years with ease. Getting good grades in my exams, having an amazing bunch of friends, a great social life and the credit of my school's name upon my ucas form. In stark contrast is the girls school. I now never speak to any of my friends that decided to go there. And as I've grown older I have realised that the image of being a girls school girl, is a stigma I am glad I do not have. For because I live close to the girls school, I socialise in the same clubs and bars as it's pupils on the weekends. The girls are snobby, and think they are better than everyone else because they have experienced a private education. The refuse to look at you, if you are not wearing your hair in the typical boufant tradition. Basically you are below them because you don't look like them. It just about sums them up. Now I'm not saying every girl in that school is nasty, but it has been my experience through several other friends that attend there, that the girls are just as bitchy within school as out of it. Due to the lact of male interaction, the girls go over the top when any boy so much as looks in their direction, and for that reason they have the worst reputations. They are called 'easy' and although I know it is probably not the case for about 90% of them, because they go to that school-they are now stereotyped. Much in the same way that people assume I am a nerd because of the school I attend, the girls school girls are assumed to be snobby and selfish as well as two faced. I pity the repuatition they have aquired, but at least after their 7th year they can start afresh in a new institution. Only, however if they get rid of that stupid boufant hair style...

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                        23.09.2002 08:46
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                        It was the best of times...

                        The original essay has been subsequently deleted. And so to save the hassle of contacting dooyoo to eradicate this from existence, I am going to write absolute drivel instead. All the bad ratings in the world are a blessing by comparison - I only logged in for the nostalgia trip. (October 2010) It pains me to look what I penned here eight (!) years ago. I was 18yrs old and so painfully naive. I was never a good student. Indeed it took this idle slacker six years to finish a physics degree, and so I imagine a strict grammar school (thus good grades) was the best thing that ever happened to me. On the flipside, a repercussion of studying at single-sex schools meant postponing my adolescence until my early 20s, which wasn't so beneficial. Though my contributions here are somewhat embarrassing, they make me wish I hadn't stopped. These days I can barely string two sentences together.

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                          22.08.2002 21:37
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                          I went to a girls school from the ages of 11-15, through no choice of my own. I was accepted into grammar school after taking the 11+ and at that time there were no mixed grammar schools in Birmingham. I would have preferred to have gone to a mixed school as at primary school I always got on equally well with boys and girls. After I did my GCSE's, I escaped to a local college, which was mixed (although the subjects I took, apart from law, were mostly taken by females anyway). A lot of parents want their children to go to single sex schools, but why is that and are there really any advantages? I can not answer every side of the story but I can write from my own experience. Disadvantages: Bitchy atmosphere Put 32 girls together and there is a recipe for disaster. Anyone who has read Enid Blyton books will know about that, but bullying, spitefulness and vindictiveness are all qualities that can show their ugly heads when groups of girls are forced to spend every day together. Of course this can happen in mixed schools too, but the boredom of having no boys around leaves a lot of time to bitch and pick on each other. I found this especially prevalent in years 7-9, when the entire class of 32 girls spent the whole day together, with no classes divided into sets until year 10. Outdated attitudes In my girls school the uniform was a skirt (not just a skirt obviously). Freezing cold in winter and expensive considering the amount of tights I got through, laddering a pair daily on average. Then in the summer you get wolf whistles and pervy comments from dirty old blokes who should know better. In a mixed school, you can argue that on the grounds of equality, girls can wear trousers. In a single sex school, there is no basis for this argument so even though they are impractical, uncomfortable and downright disgusting, school skirts remain. The next annoyance was the lack of sports on offer. I was keen on football and played it at primary school, as well as basketball. But oh no, we were young ladies and had to play netball, hockey and tennis. And that's it. And yes, you guessed it, we had to wear sodding skirts (really silly short kilts that fly open constantly) for PE too. Paaathetic. Not to mention the obsession with sewing lessons and cookery lessons, when many of us would have preferred something more "masculine", but no, there was no choice again. Obsession Ok, so there's no boys around, but with plenty of hormones and no outlet for them (unless you are that way inclined), the topic of conversation, classroom notes and whispers was constantly sex and boys. We were obsessed. We passed notes around about who had done what, made lists of who we fancied, and even, blurgh, resorted to fancying teachers out of sheer desperation. The fact that two male teachers were sacked from my school for sleeping with pupil is surely no coincidence. The poor girls probably had no contact with any other males. So, blokes, if you want to have an ego boost, even if you're 50 and balding, go and work in an all girls school. Unnatural From the ages of 11- 15, I had virtually no contact with any males, other than my Dad and the few male teachers there were. The only other men I came into contact with were brothers of friends and people who lived in the area where I had a paper round. I don?t think this is a very healthy or natural way to grow up. It meant that when I started having boyfriends, I was inexperienced at even talking to blokes. In every day life as an adult, a person will come into contact with people of both sexes at work and outside, so this forced segregation during puberty makes no sense to me. Some claim that the opposite sex are just a distraction from studying, but surely school is about more than studying? Besides, some of the top schools in the country are mixed. Research has shown that boys do bett er in mixed schools and girls do better in single sex schools. Maybe this is because girls can be competitive- they were in my school. At the end of the first years we had exams in every subject and lists were pinned up, showing exactly where you had come out of the whole class. I was proud to be top of English, but it's not very nice when you are at the bottom. Girls tend to be quieter and less willing to answer questions in class when there are boys around. They don't want to seem like "swots". Advantages Promotes Opportunities for that sex This depends on the school. My school ran self defence classes for some time, and also encouraged girls to study sciences and maths, subjects of there is a shortage of females students, especially at the higher levels. In years 10 and 11 we had PSE (personal and social education) lessons, some of which involved discussions about contraception (a bit late in my opinion). I don't know how this works in mixed schools, but I can't imagine a group of 14 year old lads taking a talk on the pill and condoms very seriously. Mind you, we had a laugh at attempting to putting the condom on a banana. This one is not a very good advantage because surely any good school, mixed or single sex, would encourage pupils and give them opportunities. Keeping Love Life separate This is one of the few advantages I can think of. I can't imagine being at school with someone I was going out with and having to cope with that relationship being scrutinised and talked about. When I went out with anyone whilst I was at school, it was totally separate from school, nobody even had to know about it unless I told them, and I liked it that way. Improved Behaviour? I had to add this bit after reading in another opinion on the same subject that single sex schools have improved discipline. As I never went to a mixed school I don't know what they are like (apar t from watching Grange Hill), but there was very little trouble at my school. Apart from pupils sleeping with teachers, a gang of year 9's all being suspended for systematically stealing food from the canteen and selling it on cheaper. Oh and then there were the usual pregnancy scares, smoking in the toilets and the girl who hated the school so much she brought a knife to school and smeared bodily fluids over the toilet. Nice. Then there was the day a huge gang of youths decided to meet in the playground, and the horrible day when one of our teachers was murdered. My school took discipline very seriously and things that you would have got away with in a normal comprehensive, in my school you were threatened with expulsion, as I was several times. I don't think that just because a school is single sex that it means it will have better behaved pupils. Not when I am a student anyway! So, in conclusion I would have to say I disagree with single sex education. School is about more than academic results, but should teach people to get along with others, whatever sex. Many young people in this country do not come into regular contact with the opposite sex until the age of 18 and I fail to see how this can be healthy or natural. Segregating the sexes creates a forced fake atmosphere which is not replicated in life, and can often cause problems with relationships as people just do not understand each other.

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                            20.08.2001 16:25

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                            • "Boys can be a pain in the bum sometimes!!"

                            Although l have merely a one sided experience of mixed sex schools - l feel that made me more aware - Advantages: Mixed sex schools make girls & boys more at ease in each others company, Its much better fun, Kissing at break times!! - Disadvantages: Competition between the sexes can be fierce, There can be a lot of hurtful name calling etc, Boys can be a pain in the bum sometimes!!

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                            28.07.2001 02:20
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                            Go to school for 5 years, make friends with all your classmates, go to their birthday parties and then when you are 11 years old the boys go one way the girls go another. This is what used to happen and I think looking back that it was so cruel. It was even worse if you lived in a village with one sex the majority as from the age of 11 you were separated and things changed for ever. Your friends were then the ones you went to school with and so the sexs did not mix. Mind you the schools were separated as well with Grammar and Secondary. This starts to separate the villages too with "my son/daughter done better in her exams than yours". I was lucky and had a brother and male contact but a lot of girls didnt and then started to treat boys as aliens and couldnt make a conversation with them. My children went to mixed school and never knew any different. Their attitude to the opposite sex is so much more natural than in my day - yes it is going back a long way. Of course we had the odd "yeuk I sat by a boy/girl today" but they could talk to the opposite sex without as my Mum would say "being silly". I hope we never go back to the days of single sex schools. It did a lot of harm with relationships and shyness. Todays kids are more open with each other and can talk on any subject together. This was awkward if you went to single sex school. It never made any difference in exam results either. When I left my old school was going to go co-ed and all the talk and worry was something else with the a. they'll distract each other b. boys will do better/worse/faster/slower. After a couple months you would have known no difference from when it was all one sex.

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                              08.07.2001 15:13
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                              I attended an all girls school, not because my parents wanted me to, but because it was the only school in my 'catchment' area. It was very hard for me because I simply don't relate to girls. Back then I guess you would have called me a 'tom boy'. Now, at 28 I'm known as 'one of the lads'. I simply don't get on with or understand girls. In my opinion your average girl is gossipy, bitchy, and talks about the strangest things (make-up, clothes, hair etc). To be forced into five years of this, was tough. My best friend at school ended up being an even-less-girly-than-me lesbian. We were both bullied (I have written an op on it in the 'bullying in schools' section) because we were both different. She was a lesbian and I just didn't fit in. I doubt anyone could have explained why, I just didn't, and I still don't today. People (and children in particular) are very good at spotting someone who is different, and whether they feel threatened by something they don’t understand I don’t know, but when they pick up on differences, they let you know about it. My sister found going to an all girls school hard because she is so girly, that she has never learned to interact properly with boys/men. She is almost 30 now, and still finds it very hard; she lays the blame directly at the feet of the single sex school. It is argued by some, that attending a single sex school is better for your education because there is no distraction. I am not sure that I agree, and even if it is true, at what cost? School should be about social education as well as academic achievement, and single sex students go on to further education or out to work finding themselves socially inept when it comes to dealing with the opposite sex. My school became mixed the year after I left, and for those that got to attend the new school, I say Hoorah!

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                                05.07.2001 05:41
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                                Now i went a an all boy's school in Forest Hill SE london where being gay was an outragous thing and being labeled as gay was an insult of the highest order. Now just down the road from our school was a mixed school and they always called us u got it GAY well this caused no end of fights set up in cages around the corner from our school and more police breakups than you could imagine. Boys schools are all well and good but it doe's seem to cause friction in the sense of territory i e the football pitch was the footie teams ie me and the lads and the bottom playground was for the POOFS which were basiclly all the so called nerds. At this point i would like to state that i'm not predujuiced against anyone and this was years ago when being gay was unacceptable alot less so than today. There were fights every night that were even organized two days in advance and we all seemed to have to compete to be the worst in the class i suppose thats just a being seen as an idol thing lads seem to have. Now i got a reasonable education but also a reputation as a bully(see my op on bulling at school)which was great for a while till you suddenly relise that you put people through hell. The mixed school seemed to contain many more highly educated kids of both sexes and generally seemed to be a lot less competative even with girls to fight over. I don't really believe that there is that much difference in a mixed school or a boys/girls school,but there is more competion in a single sex school. Sex in this society is becoming less of an issue and it's becoming less of an issue now so i beleive that the benefit of a mixed school is children see each other as equal. I believe that all schools should be mixed and the ludicruos idea of single race schools is crazy and a step back in the wrong direction,children need to see each other as equals to make this world a better place for all.

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