Jump to content

Co-Ed versus Same Sex

  • Please log in to reply
104 replies to this topic

#1 aquarium2

Posted 23 May 2019 - 01:24 PM

I am currently looking at private high school options in Sydney for my daughter and trying to work out which will suit her best between co-ed and single sex.

She is on wait lists for Wenona, Redlands, PLC (Pymble), International Grammar School and Roseville College. Tomorrow I am going to look at Abbotsleigh.

The single sex girls schools tell me that girls do better in that environment whilst boys do better in a co-ed school.

At the co-ed school that I visited yesterday, they tell me co-ed is the future and that private schools in Sydney lag behind the rest of the country in that regard.

I realise it's only one factor but I am trying to figure out how much weight should I apply to this.

What are you experiences?

Edited by aquarium2, 23 May 2019 - 01:27 PM.

#2 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 23 May 2019 - 01:31 PM

I went to a single sex high school. I found the girls were just as mean  and cliche as in my co ed middle school (intermediate). I personally believe the co-ed campus, single sex classes model is probably the best. It takes the best of both types and puts them together. My girls school didn't offer subjects like tech drawing which the single sex boys school up the road did.

#3 Hands Up

Posted 23 May 2019 - 01:33 PM

I’m a huge fan of co-Ed but there are definitely pros and cons either way.

At the end of the day it’s the culture of the school that makes the difference.

#4 Abernathy

Posted 23 May 2019 - 01:36 PM

I think co-ed with single sex classes is the best of both worlds. But not always an option.


Posted 23 May 2019 - 01:37 PM

I am definitely pro co-ed.

What does your daughter want?

We were allowed to choose, all my brothers and sisters chose co-ed.

My girls all went to a co-ed, and they often say they are glad I didnt send them to an all girls school (no boyfriends either)

#6 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 23 May 2019 - 01:37 PM

i’m a fan of co ed - life is co ed after all.

both my kids are co ed - and that’s worked out well thus far.

i was single sex the whole way through....and it was fine, i turned out ok - it was a bit limiting through, it was quite an insular (for want of a better word) experience.

#7 Ayr

Posted 23 May 2019 - 01:41 PM

My boys went to single sex and it was brilliant. My current teen is at a coed and it's not great. I am yet to come across a *good* coed high school because all the ones in the three areas we have lived in are average. If we had stayed where we were they all would have gone to single sex schools and both schools have a better name than the coed we have had the option of. I am currently looking into Lindfield learning village for my two who are still at school.

Edited by Ayr, 23 May 2019 - 01:41 PM.

#8 seayork2002

Posted 23 May 2019 - 01:48 PM

We are going coed with DS, there are quite a few single sex schools around us but we never considered them at all.

It was an automatic choice to go coed really (sorry not technically true we looked at one private school but I forgot it was single sex)

And we would be the same if we had a girl

added - we are in NW Sydney

added again of all the parents I know with daughters at my sons primary only one has children either in and going to a girls school (siblings)

Edited by seayork2002, 23 May 2019 - 01:56 PM.

#9 NotBitzerMaloney

Posted 23 May 2019 - 01:54 PM

IGS is a very different school than the others, and the least of that is about coed vs single sex.

Ditto for Abbotsleigh and it’s academic focus vs the others.
The research does say girls do better in single sex, which is uncomfortable when we all know that life is co-ed.

Why don’t you also look at Barker for coed on Nth Shore? It’s more  like the other single sex schools you are looking at, from a cultural perspective.

Mine are at single sex. The one decision was more about physical location (and I’m really glad about that now as it was UNS vs LNS) and the other was completely about culture and ethos.

Not sure this is a helpful response! Choose school and culture over single sex vs coed :-)

Edited by NotBitzerMaloney, 23 May 2019 - 01:55 PM.

#10 aquarium2

Posted 23 May 2019 - 02:15 PM

Thanks for the responses so far.

My step son is at IGS in Yr11, which we chose for him as we thought he would benefit from a co-ed environment - his primary school friendships were equally boys and girls. Also he had a natural ability with languages. So it has suited him well.

My daughter (y3) doesn't have a preference really - she's just interested in what the uniform looks like! She likes the idea of PLC because they offer agricultural studies right up to HSE.

#11 Kreme

Posted 23 May 2019 - 02:28 PM

I think there are a lot of factors to consider, and some of them are more significant than coed vs single sex. I know kids that have been removed from almost every school that you have mentioned for various reasons, so getting the right school culture for your child is more significant than the gender mix IMO.

However, my DD has started at a public single sex high school this year and I can definitely see advantages. She’s doing better academically, she’s proud if her achievements, she’s more confident, she “has a go” at things and doesn’t worry about looking foolish. The biggest improvement is in some of the typically “male” subjects like maths and science, where she previously had to fight to be seen as talented because the boys were viewed as the superior students in these classes.

I read some research recently that claimed that there is a drop in self confidence in girls from age 12 or so, and this was seen across the board, with the only exception being girls who attend all girls schools. I’ll see if I can find it.

For my son I probably favour a coed school. I don’t see much of an advantage in having an all male environment.

#12 PrincessPeach

Posted 23 May 2019 - 02:29 PM

View PostAbernathy, on 23 May 2019 - 01:36 PM, said:

I think co-ed with single sex classes is the best of both worlds. But not always an option.

More school's really need to offer this option, I can see so many benefits.

#13 Prancer is coming

Posted 23 May 2019 - 02:40 PM

My understanding was of the research is that girls perform better in single sex, but boys in co-Ed.  But I also believe public school kids tend to perform better at uni, and I am wondering if there is anything in there to do with learning to be back in a co-Ed environment (obviously not all private schools are single sex, but would be interesting to research further).

Friends with boys in single sex do see the advantages.  Their boys are left getting on with their studies rather than trying to impress girls.  The learning environment can be tailored to the particular needs of boys.  And they can do subject areas like dancing, writing, sewing, which are generally seen as girl orientated, with more confidence.

For me, I have children of both sexes, so have no interest in sending them to different schools.  I believe you need to learn to mix with everything.  Having said that, my girl is very confident and also achieves well in a boy dominated area.  If my kid was shy or reserved maybe I would be more interested.  I did have a friend with a Tom boy that had more boy friends than girls who sent her kid single sex in high school, and I did think that was an odd choice, and I think there have been some hassles with the move.

#14 Ruf~Feral~es

Posted 23 May 2019 - 02:42 PM

I think it very much comes down to the child, and I would love more options of the coed school, single sex classes.  

There are also a brother/sister school setup near us where tey are two separate schools but offer some courses together, and enable the girls to access some of the 'boys' courses and vice-versa, so they share facilities which increases their subject offerings.

My two are both at single sex schools.  I think it has been wonderful for DD.  I see a difference between her and some of her friendship group compared to her earlier school friends who are at co-ed.  She absolutely loves it, and has commented (now that they are 15 and boys are appearing on the scene more and more) that she is glad there are no boys at school. She does lots of drama and music with the boys school too, so there is a lot of interaction through the week, as well as parties and gatherings on weekends.  

My DS is one of the ones who does not seem to be thriving at his boys school though.  Not sure if it is him, the school, the single sex issue - he has anxiety and depression - would this be better or worse if there were girls in his class?  No idea.

Overall though,  It depends on the school community and the kids themselves.  There is no one best fit.

Edited by Ruf~Feral~es, 23 May 2019 - 02:43 PM.

#15 Kreme

Posted 23 May 2019 - 03:04 PM

View PostPrancer is coming, on 23 May 2019 - 02:40 PM, said:

My understanding was of the research is that girls perform better in single sex, but boys in co-Ed.  But I also believe public school kids tend to perform better at uni, and I am wondering if there is anything in there to do with learning to be back in a co-Ed environment (obviously not all private schools are single sex, but would be interesting to research further).

Not all public schools are coed either.

Also the culture and demographics of the school can have an impact I think. Friend 1’s kid went to a big elite private boy’s school that is very multicultural. Arrives at Uni with lots of people of different backgrounds and is thriving. Friend 2’s son went to an elite catholic boy’s school with very little diversity. Started at same Uni and hated it. Lots of comments about “too many Asians” etc. He has no trouble relating to girls as long as they are white and went to Monte or Loreto.

#16 Gumbette

Posted 23 May 2019 - 03:18 PM

DD is currently at a co-ed private school.  We have one of each and really wanted to avoid 2 separate drop offs & pick ups.  Unfortunately DD hates having boys in her class and finds them disruptive.  We're moving her to a single sex private school in Y7.  We'll probably send DS to a SS high school as there are so few co-ed private ones to chose from.  DD's high school has a bus that will pick up & drop off up the road so we'll be able to avoid the double drop off & pick up thankfully.

#17 Natasha123

Posted 23 May 2019 - 03:42 PM

When I did my Grad Dip Ed the lecturers explained there is no conclusive research on any claims made for or against single sex or co-ed. Too many confounding factors and bias in research - so we were told not to pay any attention to spin marketed in this regard by schools in general, be they state or independent. PPs have given lots of pointers in regards to whether it would suit a particular child or not, and this seems a sensible way to go.

#18 Veritas Vinum Arte

Posted 23 May 2019 - 03:53 PM

My DDs comment on arrival at an all girls school (from a primary school where 3/4 of the class were boys) was

1) the teachers don’t yell
2) everyone wants to learn.

She is very bright and working ahead of her year level so is blooming in her new environment.

Actually the truth is DD is more likely now to be the one getting in trouble as she is chatty.

Edited by Veritas Vinum Arte, 23 May 2019 - 03:54 PM.

#19 premmie

Posted 23 May 2019 - 03:58 PM

I went to a co-ed Jewish private school in Sydney. I've always been in favor of Co-Ed education. Life is Co-Ed. Learning to relate to and have meaningful friendships with the opposite sex is part of growing up.

I take that there is some evidence kids might do better academically in a single sex school, but the benefits of having strong friendships prior to and during puberty with the opposite sex and normalizing those relationships outweighs the benefits longer term in my view.

#20 mumworkingos

Posted 23 May 2019 - 04:02 PM

I have one girl in SS private school and one girl  in private co-Ed. I thought it came down to their personalities and the stronger willed girl would thrive in coed. It turned out that our younger girl hates co-Ed.

She finds the boys misogynistic even in upper primary. The boys swear, are aggressive, comment on the girl’s bodies ( fat or skinny) and are loud and disruptive. She wants to go back to the SS next year.

She has no problem calling the boys out on their bad behaviour but it is wearing her down. We decided there is plenty of time for that when she starts working and for now want her to enjoy her school time.

Edited by mumworkingos, 23 May 2019 - 04:06 PM.

#21 Cimbom

Posted 23 May 2019 - 04:03 PM

I'm not sure there is any point to the research in this area given that there are very few single sex schools in low SES areas and certainly not enough that the sample size would be comparable to well off areas. Socioeconomic indicators play a far bigger role in academic outcomes than most other considerations. If I had kids it would be co-ed all the way.

#22 my3cubs

Posted 23 May 2019 - 04:28 PM

Like some PP’s my elder daughter hates having boys in her class as they are dominating, don’t want to learn & she ends up doing all the work in group situations. She asked to go to the all girls Grammar school half hour away, sat the exam & has been offered a scholarship for high school. They are currently at a coed private Anglican with a 50/50 split. If they had single sex classes she would stay.

I was always a fan of coed but have had to change my thinking when I realised how unhappy she was.

#23 Drat

Posted 23 May 2019 - 04:51 PM

Co-ed 100%

Much more real world. I can't say i've enjoyed teaching in single sex schools/classes as much as co-ed.

#24 Jane Jetson

Posted 23 May 2019 - 06:55 PM

View Postmumworkingos, on 23 May 2019 - 04:02 PM, said:

She finds the boys misogynistic even in upper primary. The boys swear, are aggressive, comment on the girl’s bodies ( fat or skinny) and are loud and disruptive. She wants to go back to the SS next year.

This was why I was rather keen on single-sex education for DD1 especially - she's not what you'd call shy, but she has had a hard time from boys in primary school. A girl or two as well, but more boys, and the boys were nastier.

And we always draw on our own experience, don't we - in mine, teenage boys are into sexual assault and issuing loud sexualised insults, so I'd rather give the DDs a few extra years away from that. Life is co-ed, but co-ed life involves a whole lot of misogyny. They'll have to learn to deal, but a couple of extra years away from it will help - especially for DD1, who doesn't need discouragement in the STEM side of things (though DD2 is a tough little cookie who gives as good as she gets). Let 'em concentrate on academics, rather than who thinks they're so fugly nobody would ever hit that, or who thinks they're a s*ut because they're blonde with big boobs in Year Seven.

Anyway, DD1 is flourishing in single-sex education and has actually told me that she likes not having boys around to bring her down and undermine her. It's working for us so far.

#25 TrixieBelden

Posted 23 May 2019 - 07:06 PM

I went to a single sex school and didn’t find it insular - it was radical. Every authority figure I saw was female. To this day I find it bizarre to look at a picture of something like a cabinet meeting and see so few women.

I don’t regret having that experience and how formative it was.

Life’s not coed; it’s overwhelmingly male.

23 user(s) are reading this topic

1 members, 19 guests, 3 anonymous users


'My parenting style is Survivalist'

A helicopter or tiger mum, I am not.

8 mums reveal their favourite nappy bags

We asked a bunch of mums which nappy bags they love the most.

Why you shouldn't bother throwing a big first birthday party

If you're feeling the pressure to host an all-out, over-the-top shindig for your baby's birthday, I hereby grant you permission to throw the rules out the window.

The 24 baby names on the verge of extinction this year

If you're on the hunt for the perfect baby name and don't want a chart-topper like Oliver or Olivia, then do we have the list for you.

'My mum doesn't seem that interested in my baby'

Q: My mother and I have always been close, but now that I have a baby, she has not helped out as much as I thought she would.

New guidelines: "Bottle-feeding mums need support too"

Breast is best, but mums who can't, or choose not to breastfeed need support too.

Dads also struggle to 'have it all', study finds

Men and women both experience work-family conflict.

Language development may start in the womb

Study found babies can recognise foreign languages before birth.

Meet the baby born from an embryo frozen for 24 years

Experts say little Emma is a record breaking baby.


From our network

Five things you need to know about flu and pregnancy

As the 2017 flu season begins in earnest, here?s what you need to know to protect yourself and baby.

Mum tips to keep your pre-baby budget in check

Money might be funny in a rich man's world (or so ABBA told us), but for the rest of us it's a major consideration – particularly before having a baby.

5 easy ways to make your maternity leave last longer

Maternity leave is a special time for you, your partner and your new little bundle. The last thing you want is for financial worries to stand in the way of that joy.

10 ways to keep your 'buying for baby' costs down

Becoming a parent is full of surprises – not least of all finding out that, for such small beings, babies cause a lot of chaos and expense.

5 ways to prepare to go from two incomes to one

Here are some ideas for getting that budget in shape, ready for being a one income family.


Baby Names

Need some ideas?

See what names are trending this year.

Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.