Mitcham Girls High School

Why a Girls' School

The number of girls attending single sex schools has increased in South Australia as parents and their daughters discover the benefits of a single sex setting.

"Girls' Schools provide an environment for intellectual risk-taking free of embarrassment..."  (National Coalition of Girls' Schools)

Research from the National Foundation for Education Research in the UK confirms that girls achieve greater success in single sex schools, are more likely to pursue pathways that meet their interests, become leaders and have positive attitudes about themselves and others.

Moving to secondary school is a very important step in your daughter's life. Moving to an all girls' school may be a very difficult decision to make. To assist you in your decision you may wish to consider that in a single sex environment:

  • girls achieve significantly stronger academic results than any other group in Australia;
  • girl-centred learning leaves no doubt as to who receives the teacher's full attention, or who will be taking maths, science and technology classes;
  • there is a greater sense of connectedness - listening, helping and accepting others' points of view;
  • leadership roles do not need to be shared between boys and girls. All the leadership roles are filled by girls: from the captain of the touch football team to the head of the student body; from the first violin in the school orchestra to the main part in the school play and from all the committee chairs in every organisation to the leaders of every school club;
  • girls see strong female role models and understand that they too can achieve successful outcomes from their own efforts;
  • all activities are open to girls: they participate, influence and lead;
  • girls take on all the roles in the group, providing an atmosphere where students take the risks necessary for genuine achievement;
  • girls thrive and excel in collaborative teams;
  • teachers can match their teaching to the way girls learn and develop their courses to suit girls' needs;
  • girls can work through the challenges of adolescence without fear of embarrassment or harassment;
  • there is no obstacle preventing girls from exploring a career in any area;
  • girls' achievements are celebrated.

We know that, generally, girls outperform boys consistently in terms of academic progress. Significantly, however, more and more research is showing that both girls and boys in single sex settings perform better than their counterparts in co-educational schools.

In an Australian study of 270,000 students, Dr Ken Rowe (Principal Research Fellow, Australian Council for Educational Research), found that both boys and girls performed between 15 and 22 percentile points higher on standardised tests when they went to separate schools.

The latest brain research confirms that there are large differences in cognitive, social and developmental growth rates of girls and boys between the ages of 12 and 16. The sequence in which each part of the brain develops in boys and girls is also different. It is a lot easier, therefore, for single sex schools to accommodate the specific developmental needs of students.

Current neurological research has also provided important insights into the workings of the human brain and how gender impacts on learning.  At Mitcham Girls High School our teaching and learning programs are tailored to girls' learning styles.


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