Thanks to every member of this community who has demonstrated an amazing level of agility in adapting to our ever-changing circumstances. I appreciate your understanding as we provide teachers with the time to plan for online classes, which is very different and more time-intensive than the planning required for face to face classes, especially when considering how to best keep students engaged and motivated in the online space (which is becoming more challenging with each lockdown). Activities that are appropriate in a face to face classroom do not necessarily translate well in the online space, especially as teachers ensure they are creating an environment that encourages self-direction and self-determination in the learning process. The latter is especially important for us, as the feedback provided by the students last year indicated that they really appreciated having online access to all resources and activities so that they could self-pace their learning and access their teachers during the online lesson time. As per our usual processes, we will continue to review and evaluate to ensure we are providing the most relevant and up-to-date programs.
What the research is saying about students who attend all-girls schools
We are the proud members of the Alliance of Girls’ Schools Australasia, and one of the membership benefits is the steady stream of research that we have access to that supports us in our review and improvement planning at the College.
One of the most recent studies shared with us comes from the UK and “has found that girls who attend single-sex girls schools are generally more confident and in control than girls attending state and independent co-educational schools”. Here is a summary of that research. The full research summary can be accessed via this link.
Mental toughness has been used to describe “how a person deals with challenges, opportunities, stress and pressure”, and is related to the mindset that a person adopts in whatever situation they find themselves in, regardless of the circumstances. “Mental toughness is closely related to growth mindset, character, resilience, grit, learned optimism and other similar characteristics. It is also strongly correlated with performance, wellbeing, positive behaviours, aspirations and employability. Like a growth mindset, mental toughness can be learned and developed over time”.
“Overall, the updated analysis found that girls attending UK single-sex schools possess higher mental toughness scores than girls attending co-educational schools, particularly for emotional control and confidence. Students at girls’ schools demonstrate greater commitment, greater life and emotional control, higher interpersonal confidence, and greater confidence in their own abilities.”
The “good news” is that mental toughness is a trait that can be developed and improved. Mentally sensitive individuals who are open to changing their mindset will “consciously seek to change”, resulting in improved coping mechanisms to deal with stress and pressure.”
This research resonates with the findings from the Mission Australia Youth Surveys 2020 which found that students at girls’ schools reported better than the national female average in the areas of physical and mental health, and this was during the pandemic.
While we certainly pride ourselves on the academic achievement of our students, we know that supporting mental health and wellbeing, and providing a robust social and emotional curriculum, will lead to long-term benefits for our students.