The Benefits of a Girls' School
Freedom from stereotypes
One of the most important things you can give your daughter is self-confidence and self-belief – qualities that girls’ schools deliver in abundance.
Girls’ schools minimise stereotyped, gender-weighted expectations. There is no such thing as a girl’s subject or a boy’s subject and girls are free to follow their inclinations with little of the pressure they might otherwise feel.
The facts speak for themselves. Recent independent research by the Institute of Physics, for example, found that girls who attend independent girls’ schools are significantly more likely to study Physics to A-level than girls in any other kind of UK school, including independent co-ed schools.
At Queen’s more than 50% of girls take a science at A-level and alongside the doctors, vets and dentists which we have produced historically, we are seeing an increasing number of girls going on to study typically male-dominated subjects such as computer science, physics, astronomy, maths and engineering at university.
Girls at Girls’ Schools Association (GSA) schools are more likely to study Sciences, Maths and Languages. They are:
• 75% more likely to take Maths A-level
• 70% more likely to take Chemistry
• two and a half times as likely to take Physics
• more than twice as likely to take most languages.
An inspirational environment for girls
To state the obvious, girls at GSA schools are surrounded by female role models - from their peers and older girls to alumnae, not to mention many of their teachers.
Queen’s is a small welcoming community where each girl is known as an individual. Behaviour which is understanding, respectful and kind is modelled by staff and expected of all our pupils.
At GSA schools the curriculum, enrichment clubs and all extended learning opportunities are designed with girls in mind – whether academic, sports or the arts, activities are offered which will inspire and engage girls with a range of different interests and aptitudes.
Queen’s alumni regularly return to school to talk to pupils about their various career paths. We are grateful that a great many of them feel strongly that they want to give something back. This can be enormously powerful for our pupils and serves to both expand their horizons and inspire them for the future.
GSA schools create nurturing environments where girls feel okay about taking charge and putting themselves forward.
With only girls in the classroom and on the sports field, both intellectual and physical confidence can grow. Every girl has every opportunity to become a leader, a form captain, a Head of House. They learn not just how to shoulder responsibility, but also how to take risks, inspire and lead others. This is particularly the case in Queen’s Sixth Form where every girl selects a specific role of responsibility, leads clubs, mentors younger pupils and acts as an ambassador for the school.
It’s true that ‘real life’ is co-ed, but it’s also true that teenagers are not adults and that by allowing them the opportunity to develop a strong sense of self away from the scrutiny of the opposite sex, girls’ – and boys’ – schools can help children to become more confident adults. By the time they enter the co-ed world of university, work and life, they have acquired the life skills and self-confidence to succeed.
• Half of the Sunday Times top 10 independent schools are GSA schools.
• Six of the top 11 schools for sending students to Russell Group universities are GSA schools.
• Four of the top 11 schools for sending students to Oxbridge are GSA schools.
Girls who attend GSA schools achieve a disproportionately large share of the top grades in ‘difficult’ subjects. Bucking national trends, over 55% of girls at GSA schools take a STEM subject at A-level. Just under two fifths take Maths and just over two fifths take at least one science. In Physics, for example, 13.4% of all entries from girls come from GSA schools, (above the 5.2% baseline), but they are awarded 25.9% of the A*s and 20.5% of the A or A* grades.
A quarter of girls in GSA schools take at least one language A-level and they are twice as likely to take French or Spanish at A level. In French, for example, the percentage of entries from GSA schools is 12.2%, but they are awarded 31.7% of the A* grades and 21.1% of the A or A*s.
In essence, the GSA is a badge of excellence that lets you know your daughter is being taught by those who know how to get the most out of her academically whilst also understanding her as an individual so that she can learn and grow in confidence and develop her specific talents.