Brockhurst (boys) and Marlston House (girls) aim to combine the best features of the single sex and co-educational systems through a mix of single sex academic teaching and co-educational activities.
It is well recognised that boys and girls learn differently and mature at different rates in the Primary years. For example, in general girls are more mature than boys at this age and frequently progress more quickly with their reading. Often they enjoy and find it easier to engage in sustained work and to complete it to a high standard. Boys, by contrast, frequently benefit from short focused tasks suited to their enthusiastic but sometimes more variable concentration and often they are impatient about completing tasks or taking time to write neatly. As a consequence of these differences, girls often outperform boys in co-educational classes which can have negative effects on a boy’s sense of self-esteem and desire to succeed. There can also be differences in the types of topics that best engage the respective interests of boys and girls. We have adapted our teaching methodology to take account of these and other differences in the following way, which we call a ‘diamond model’ of teaching:
In our pre-prep (Nursery, Reception and Year 1) the children are taught together in co-educational groups. Then, from Year 2 to Year 6 children are taught apart in small single sex classes which is when the differing learning needs of boys and girls are at their most marked. Finally, in Years 7 and 8, the boys and girls join back together again into co-educational academic classes which enables us to introduce greater academic setting across key subjects and streaming for scholarship exams.
This diamond model is a highly effective method for helping all children to achieve their academic potential and to become confident independent learners with enquiring minds.
Outside the classroom we are fully co-educational in every other sphere of extracurricular school life. This enables our children to gain the full benefits of social interaction through sharing our outstanding facilities. Our facilities and country setting enable us to offer a very broad extracurricular programme which helps us to develop well rounded individuals who are enthusiastic and appropriately self-confident.