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Why Girls Only?

At Blackheath High, we believe in the benefits of a single sex education for girls. In a girls-only environment, girls have more freedom to be themselves – choosing the academic subjects and activities that they are really interested in. So not only do they achieve excellent academic standards, they also have a lot of fun. There is much research evidence to show that girls perform better and achieve more widely in an all-girls school.

We put the girls first and focus on what benefits them, there is no conflict of interest. We are interested in what allows them to grow in confidence through the sometimes difficult years of adolescence, and we do our best to ensure that they are happy at school.
The teenage years can be a very stressful time for young people with pressure of school work, exams, relationships and other people’s expectations and we believe that we have a role to play in introducing our girls to ways in which stress can be reduced which is why we introduce them to relaxation techniques and have fortnightly 'mindfulness' sessions. We also have a daily assembly during which we make time for calm reflection.

Girls are overtaking boys in most subjects at GCSE and A level – and they’re getting more firsts at university. But this hasn’t altered disparities later in life. A recent survey of women on company boards, and any analysis of MPs, directors, leaders in the community or universities will show that women are still not represented proportionally.

Schools like ours can help. At single-sex schools, girls are the leaders – head of school, captain of games, leader of the debating society. They find their voices, and get used to the challenges of leadership. Similarly, in the classroom they can take intellectual risks, ask questions, or make judgements without worrying about ‘looking stupid in front of boys’.

In short, an all-girls school builds risk-taking and resilience. In working life, these attributes are essential. Young women need to be brave enough to ask a question at a big meeting, or to disagree with the crowd view. They need to be able to handle the vagaries and unfairnesses of life, to try, and fail, and try again.

That which we are, we are, said Tennyson – “… strong in will/to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

At Blackheath High School, we believe a single-sex education for girls is the best possible preparation for the challenges life will give them.