Single-sex schools stay top of the class

Nicola Woolcock, Education Correspondent
January 20 2017, 12:01am

The Times

Tamira Mitchell, right, a 16 year old 10th grader helps Winter Smith, a 6 year old kindergartner with her writing assignment at Detroit International Academy for Young Women on Wednesday morning, January 11, 2012.

O número de escolas single-sex privadas pode estar caindo, mas a popularidade e o sucesso desse estilo educativo no setor estatal não mostra sinais de diminuição, de acordo com tabelas publicadas hoje no The Times. Dezenove das 20 escolas estatais mais bem classificadas são single-sex, de acordo com a pontuação média da última prova de desempenho acadêmico realizada no país (GCSE).

General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) é uma qualificação acadêmica feita no Reino Unido pelos estudantes aos 16 anos de idade. Em média os estudantes escolhem 8 matérias, sendo que o mínimo é 6. Três disciplinas são obrigatórias: língua inglesa (não inclui literatura, que é uma disciplina separada e opcional), ciências (compreende o básico de biologia, física e química, que também podem ser estudadas separadamente com mais profundidade) e matemática (há disciplinas opcionais para estudar áreas específicas da matemática com mais profundidade). É possível selecionar outras dentre uma série de opções, tais como biologia, música, negócios, teatro, geografia, contabilidade, história, química, literatura inglesa, direito, estatística, economia, física, religião, computação etc. As notas finais variam de A* – A – B – C – D – E – F.

The number of private single-sex schools may be falling but the popularity and success of those in the state sector shows no sign of waning, according to tables published today in The Times.

Nineteen of the 20 highest-ranked state schools are single sex, according to average scores across eight GCSEs sat by each pupil, including core subjects.

The highest performing is Henrietta Barnett, a girls’ grammar school in Barnet, north London, where the average A-level grade was an A. Another selective girls’ school came second, followed by three boys’ grammar schools.

Del Cooke, head of Henrietta Barnett, said the school’s success was partly down to the incredible competition for places: there were 2,400 applications for 100 places this year and the school has no catchment area so there are no restrictions on who can apply.

Mrs Cooke has led the school for two and a half years and was a headteacher in Surrey for seven years before that. She said: “It’s extremely competitive to get in as everyone who wants to sit the exam has to be allowed to. We do two rounds of exams to make sure we get those with the greatest potential.

“We do have fantastic students and dedicated staff. But the thing that for me is the most extraordinary is that it’s without a doubt the most relaxed school I’ve been in. It’s positive, caring and happy. The students call it their second home and have fantastic relationships with each other and with staff. They are very accepting and encouraging.

There is also masses of extracurricular stuff going on and the emphasis is on initiative and leadership.”
The school has dozens of clubs including a robotics society and a biochemistry society.

“We don’t talk about exams or about coming top,” Mrs Cooke said. “We don’t want them to feel under pressure but to develop their curiosity.”

A record number of girls have received offers from Oxford and Cambridge this year – 39 out of a year group of 132.

Pate’s Grammar School in Gloucestershire is the only mixed sex school in the top 20.

Russel Ellicot, its headteacher, said: “We continually reflect on and refresh our curriculum offer. Instead of focusing on league tables we consider what will best prepare our able students for the next stage in their education.