Empowering young women from an early age

Antonia Beary, headmistress of Mayfield School explains how single-sex education can support girls during their formative years and help them to explore the education opportunities available to them.

Mayfield School for girls

Mayfield School

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The following article is from Relocate Global's Guide to Education & Schools in the UK 2017. Packed with information on British education with expert tips for those relocating and the professionals supporting them, the guide is a must read for:
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A single-sex education responds to the needs of today and tomorrow. Antonia Beary, headmistress of Mayfield School, explains.

The benefits of girls' schools

A woman in today’s world is expected to balance many roles. She will need independence, confidence, leadership, integrity, courage and ambition – qualities that will be nurtured and developed by the right school environment. Girls’ schools are specialists in girls, and I believe this equips them best to support young girls during their formative years. Our teachers are at the forefront not just of contemporary education but, specifically, of contemporary education for girls.Girls and boys mature at different rates, so in a learning environment it makes sense to give both girls and boys what they need at each varying stage in their development. Girls’ schools provide an education that is carefully tailored to the needs and developmental stage of each girl.One consequence of this is outstanding examination results. Year after year, girls in single-sex schools achieve significantly better grades than girls in coed schools. Yet exam results are not everything. We aim to produce confident, independent women. With only other females in the classroom and on the sports field, girls in single-sex schools have the space in which their intellectual and physical confidence can blossom. They have the freedom to be themselves and to explore fully all the education opportunities available to them.

All-girls education: no gender stereotypes

One of the great benefits of an all-girls school is that there is no gender stereotyping. Girls don’t just enjoy equal opportunities, they enjoy all opportunities. Girls excel as much in physics, engineering and design technology as they do in English, drama and art. They are free to pursue and achieve in every sport their school offers. We believe there should be no limitations on a girl’s ambitions, both professional and personal.Every school claims to have excellent pastoral care. The difference in girls’ schools is that we really do understand what makes girls tick. This understanding means we can give the right kind of support and create safe environments in which they feel comfortable taking risks and asking questions. As a result, they become more resilient and sure of themselves. Roles like head of house need to be filled, and they need to be filled by girls. The girls learn to shoulder responsibility, as well as how to inspire and lead others.Girls’ schools have an excellent track record in helping students gain places at their university of choice. Six Mayfield pupils have started at Oxbridge institutions this year, all studying science- or mathematics-based subjects.Whether your daughter goes straight into employment or opts to continue her studies at university or college, girls’ schools prepare the way. We open girls’ eyes to possibilities and help them to take the practical and imaginative steps necessary to achieve their ambitions – whatever they may be.
The Guide to Education & Schools in the UK is designed to help relocating parents make informed education choices.
  • Employers: Access the free digital guide here, request a free print copy .
  • Relocation professionals: Access the free digital guide here. 
  • Parents: Access the free digital guide here or purchase a print copy here
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