Why Girls Only

There are many arguments surrounding the benefits and disadvantages of single-sex vs co-educational schools.

Ultimately, each child’s education should provide an environment that is right for them, with teaching that inspires and challenges them, and opportunities that allow them to thrive.

Whether your daughter wants to be an architect, airline pilot, ambassador or actuary, she needs to know that nothing can stand in her way. We believe that Rathdown School sends that message to girls every day. There are many reasons for choosing an outstanding school that is girls-only and every Rathdown student will have her own opinion about what the main advantages are.

The benefits we hear cited most often are:

  • One of the most important things you can give your daughter is self-confidence and self-belief – qualities that girls’ schools deliver in abundance.
  • Girls’ schools minimise stereotyped, gender-weighted expectations. A single-sex education offers girls the chance to be themselves and to know themselves and what they think before they meet the demands and pressures of a world which still seeks to make them conform to stereotypes into which they do not necessarily want to fit. When they do leave a single-sex education system, they have a greater sense of maturity which allows them to make the transition to adult life.
  • Girls feel more comfortable in a girls-only environment where they can relax and just be themselves. They are comfortable ‘within their own skin’, having been encouraged to believe in their own self-worth and individuality without having to meet the expectations and ‘norms’ imposed upon them by their peer group, their teachers and society in general.
  • Lessons and the approach to learning can be tailored specifically to the preferences of the girls. Our focus on offering an education tailored to the interests and aspirations of girls is intrinsic in everything we offer, from our teaching, selection of co-curricular activities and trips and sporting opportunities down to what is on the canteen menu!
  • Girls do better academically in single-sex than in mixed classes (especially in Science, Technology and Mathematics). There is no such thing as a girl’s subject or a boy’s subject and girls are free to follow their inclinations with little of the pressure they might otherwise feel. There are no barriers to learning and girls do not see themselves as automatically disadvantaged.
  • There are more opportunities to play the big parts, take the major solos and lead the team. Greater scope to take on leadership roles and develop skills for leadership that will prepare them for life beyond school. Girls’ schools create environments where girls feel okay about taking charge and putting themselves forward.
  • With only girls in the classroom and on the sports field, both intellectual and physical confidence can grow. Every girl has every opportunity to become a leader, a House captain, or a Prefect. They learn not just how to shoulder responsibility, but also how to take risks, inspire and lead others. It’s true that ‘real life’ is co-ed, but it’s also true that teenagers are not adults and that by allowing them the opportunity to develop a strong sense of self away from the scrutiny of the opposite sex, girls’ – and boys’ – schools can help children to become more confident adults. By the time they enter the co-ed world of university, work and life, they have acquired the life skills and self-confidence to succeed.
  • Rathdown girls leave us as well-rounded, confident and aspirational individuals who are ready to meet the demands of a modern and complex multi-cultural, twenty-first-century society. Whether a budding scientist, creative artist, aspiring musician or talented sportswoman, we encourage them to develop independent thought and to support and challenge each other.

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