Empowering our girls to be their best

Thursday 28 April, 2016

Science students

As a parent, it is only natural to want to give your child every opportunity to be their very best self. When it comes to the education of your daughter, the best opportunity you can give her is an advanced, thoughtful and intentional single-sex school. This is not based on hearsay, or personal opinion. It’s a fact.

Australian research shows that when girls are in single-sex environments – free from gender stereotypes or expectations in their subjects, activities or careers – they are more empowered and more competitive in pursuing any area they choose, including the male-dominated realms of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). In fact, girls from girls’ schools are more likely to study STEM at school and pursue university studies and careers in these fields.

Likewise, girls educated in Australian girls’ schools consistently outperform their co-ed peers in NAPLAN and tertiary entrance scores. There is no competition for leadership, participation and risk-taking.

Specific research findings show that girls in girls-only schools:

  • score higher in formal testing
  • show more confidence and assertion in the classroom
  • participate in more and varied types of sport
  • perform better in IT
  • risk new experiences
  • experience less bullying.

Much of the research literature investigates the insidious effect of stereotyping on girls. A review of more than two decades of research reveals that girls who are negatively stereotyped tend to underperform in settings where they are afraid they will confirm the stereotype. To sum up one study: remind a girl in a co-ed classroom that she’s a girl just before a mathematics test, and her marks will drop. In a single sex environment like Pymble Ladies’ College, we replace this cultural programming with gender positivity and empowerment.

Relationships are also pivotal in girls’ schools like Pymble. Girls’ schools are, by their nature, nurturing environments that specifically cater to each girl’s needs, including their social, emotional and physical health. Supporting relationships with parents, teachers and their peers give girls the emotional confidence and strength to go harder after their own goals.

From Dr John Marden’s original vision for the College until now, Pymble stands by the belief, now proven by research to be true, that co-education is better for boys but single sex education is better for girls.

At Pymble, girls are free to be who they want to be, both inside the classroom and beyond.