If you’re searching for a great independent school for your daughter, you might be wondering if you should give any consideration to an all-girls school. Each school, be it co-ed or single-gender, has unique elements that make it special and it is important to know what those are. “In an all-girls environment, the focus shifts to teaching the girls how to learn, while helping them to develop their most authentic selves,” says Martha Perry, Principal of St. Clement’s School and an alumna who has experienced the benefits of a girls’ school firsthand. “That, for me, is the biggest advantage.”
While some critics have argued that single-gender schools don’t reflect real life, research has shown them to be advantageous to preparing girls for life beyond school. Here’s a look at the top 5 advantages of attending a girls’ school:
1. They support girls’ learning styles No two learners are the same, but there is evidence that females learn differently than males. At an all-girls school, these learning styles can be supported to the fullest. In addition to our small class sizes at St. Clement’s, our educators support their pedagogical practices with strategies and activities specifically designed with girls’ unique learning styles in mind. This enables girls to get the most out of their learning experience and reach their full potential.
2. They provide opportunities for role modelling Students of all ages have role models all around them. At St. Clement’s, everyone on the robotics team, writing the math contests, or on the debate team is a girl. There are also many intra-grade touchpoints through roles such as reading buddies, Prefects and Grade representatives, even older students who babysit younger students outside of school. Seeing positive and strong young women in their lives reduces gender-stereotyping and offers young girls positive traits they can aspire to.
3. They enable girls to develop confidence that runs deep In an all-girls school, it has been shown that girls feel more comfortable expressing themselves openly and speaking out. This confidence stems from seeing the fruits of her learning style being appropriately supported. When a girl is taught how to learn in a way that is right for her, she is more likely to perform better academically, and this has a snowball effect on her level of self-confidence. When she feels confident, she is more apt to speak out about the things that she’s passionate about, further asserting her confidence. This cycle of intellectual confidence positions her well for future academic pursuits and life beyond school.
4. They cultivate authenticity Girls’ schools are powerful environments in which to encourage reflection and to cultivate each girl’s authentic self. A key component of our unique offering at St. Clement’s is a learning environment where our girls are nurtured and supported, and each of our girls is known and feels valued. This type of supportive environment fosters the development of traits like courage, curiosity, and compassion. Additionally, our broad course offering and breadth of co-curriculars and special interest clubs give each girl an opportunity to try new things, to take risks, and to figure out what they’re passionate about and put those passions into action in ways that are right for them.
5. They inspire girls to dream big When girls are supported intellectually, when they experience positive role modelling, and when they develop confidence and an authentic self; they are driven to envision a bright future for themselves. This is our purpose as an all-girls school; namely, helping each girl to develop sound values and character, thrive in her school years and in life, and prepare academically for her next steps after SCS. In short, helping her to achieve her goals and dreams, whatever they may be.
An all-girls education is about setting the foundation for students so that when they leave the school, they have the tools they need to actualize their goals and be confident leaders.