As a co-educational school catering for girls and boys, we have to be mindful of both the collective needs of high school children as well as the specific needs of boys and girls within our care.
One of the advantages of a co-educational school is that girls and boys comfortably interact and work alongside each other. They learn naturally to accept each other as equal partners in school and in life.
We have to be mindful in teaching however, that girls and boys are not the same. According to the article, “How Boys and Girls Learn Differently” by Dr Gail Gross from The Huffington Post, “generally speaking.., girls have more serotonin and oxytocin than boys which makes girls more sensitive to others’ feelings. They, on the whole, have the subtle ability to communicate through body language which boys sometimes just do not get!
This is also the reason why, generally speaking, girls can sit still for longer periods of time than boys. Neuroscience tells us that girls have a larger hippocampus, where memory and language is stored. This means they develop language skills, reading skills, and vocabulary much sooner than boys. On the other hand, boys have a larger cerebral cortex which means they learn visually and have better spatial relationships. This could improve their ability in engineering and technology.”
Our task at Reddam House Umhlanga is to understand these differences, design our learning programmes to be mindful of these differences, but not limit girls or boys to what they are generally perceived to achieve. Our task is to keep a balanced perspective and to encourage them to exceed these expectations. Of course, girls do become engineers and many boys are able to express their emotions!
At Reddam House Umhlanga, we believe that co-educational schools are best equipped to produce confident, well-adjusted young adults.