Why we’re confident in the single-sex school model

Monday 27 May, 2019

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For every girl who wears the Pymble uniform, we have a universal goal. This goal is the same whether she is in the Preparatory School or her Senior School years. We aim to deliver a personalised education that challenges and inspires each individual student to follow her passions, achieve her best and live by the College values of Care, Courage, Integrity, Respect and Responsibility – not just during her years at the College, but for the duration of her life.

This does not happen by accident or luck; it’s a result of Pymble’s strategic plan. We intentionally employ staff who have the expertise to know, guide and challenge girls at all ages and stages of their learning and development and to foster a life-long love of learning and scholarship through our Personalised Learning Framework. Gender stereotyping and unconscious bias do not exist at Pymble – in fact our girls learn the opposite: that they can play, compete, learn and lead in any area they wish, from ballet to rugby, from academics to robotics. Equally importantly, our girls learn within a culture of ‘taking a risk’ and ‘having a go’ and are supported whether they succeed or fail. This culture acknowledges failure as an integral part of the learning journey which enables our girls to stop, reflect, try again and, in doing so, develop their knowledge, skills and self-esteem as well as their capacity for perseverance and resilience. As for our values? These are not negotiable.

We believe, and research shows, that our commitment to single-sex schooling makes this empowering environment possible, so it was with great pleasure that I read about a new study from US researchers concluding that girls from single-sex educational environments have been found to be more competitive than their co-educational peers. The study, titled Risk taking and competition in an all-girls’ school, also showed that girls who were educated in co-ed environments competed at higher rates when placed in all-girls groups, thus leading researchers to hypothesise that “nurture matters” when it comes to raising girls who believe in themselves and their abilities.

You can read more about this study and other research into single-sex schools here.

Confidence is an attribute our girls need today, tomorrow and in the future and it starts here at Pymble, where each girl is encouraged and supported to strive for her highest in the classroom, on the sports field or stage and in leadership roles, all while staying true to our five College values. I am proud to say that this encouragement and support continues post-graduation too.