Single Gender Schools

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Single-gender Schools Help Students Explore and Shine

Having a community of brothers or sisters by your side during four years of high school can ease the adjustment from childhood to adulthood.

Experts have said that in single-gender classrooms students may feel safer, more open to discovery, and benefit from improved focus, camaraderie, and confidence.

In BBR Education’s conversations with North America’s top boarding schools, we found some great opportunities for same-gender education and discovered a few reasons why you may want to take a closer look.


Safe Environments to Explore and Build Confidence

Any shy child may avoid speaking up in class. An all-girls learning environment is believed to help young women respond to questions and share their opinions—alleviating that fear. Overbrook Academy’s all-girls, Catholic-faith-based academy in New England encourages shy girls to share their thoughts in public speaking courses.

Girls are also said to be more likely to study STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) subjects without boys as peers, such as Overbrook Academy’s newly enhanced oceanography, meteorology, and environmental science courses.

Queen Margaret’s School on Vancouver Island in British Columbia has a STEAM program as well and its faculty promotes innovation and exploration.

Guiding girls to find their passions is also core to Buffalo Seminary’s nondenominational curriculum. With seminars and discussions for humanities courses (using the Harkness Table technique), every young woman has an opportunity to boost her self-confidence and leadership skills, providing an advantage over attending a co-ed school.

Said Buffalo Seminary’s Director of Admissions, Laura Munson, “We’re looking to help build the whole young woman, not just a smart kid who can take a test and do well, but who is she? What is she looking for, and how can we help her get there?”

A Community of Support

Individual attention is a hallmark of St. Margaret School’s riverfront campus in Virginia, which also emphasizes service to others and the community while creating lifelong friendships.

The faculty at Overbrook Academy also believes that enduring female bonds are a key to success. The campus’ weekend trips to museums and aquariums, and the Easter adventure to Italy, “help them [girls] to create friendships and unique memories that will last a lifetime,” said Overbrook Academy’s Principal, Cristina Villaseñor.


Improved Focus

Studies suggest that boys in single-gender classrooms can focus on a wider-range of interests and activities than if they were in co-ed learning environments.

That belief follows at the all-boys Army and Navy Academy, with its long-running tradition of the “warrior experience” —guiding the academic, athletic, and leadership growth of talented young men. Its rigorous schedule of studying and playing hard leads to success.

At Trinity-Pawling School, scholars expand their skills through real-world projects. Practicum for Civic Leadership is the school’s interdisciplinary approach to problem solving, through collaboration, asking questions, and delivering presentations to simulate a workplace. Said Director of Admissions, JP Burlington, “We teach boys to be young men and how to be good citizens – we foster brotherhood, which grows into lifelong friendships.”

Single-gender education advocates believe that boys who learn among same-gender peers are also more inclined to feel encouraged and achieve their full potential.

Oaklawn Academy, an all-boys faith-based academy, follows that family-like environment of support. Young men live and take classes with their age group to help them form bonds, while alumni return to the campus as “big brothers” to offer advice and guidance.

Ready to find the best program for you?

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