Single-sex schools in favour

HEATHER SIMPSON
Last updated 09:12 26/06/2014

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Separate single-sex colleges on one site in Blenheim is the preferred option for the future of secondary school education, a straw poll of school children reveals.

Pupils at Bohally Intermediate school were set a homework task of a different kind yesterday when asked by the Marlborough Express what kind of secondary school they would like to be taught in.

The future shape of secondary colleges in Blenheim proved a hot topic with the nine 12-year-old pupils.

Bohally Intermediate school principal Andrew Read said pupils passing through the ranks of primary schools would be the most affected by any college shake-up.

Pupil response to the Ministry of Education options should be key to the community consultation taking place over the next month, Read said.

"Too often as adults we underestimate the contribution of students themselves.

"What they have said quite articulately is they have thought through the issue and they know what they want in a secondary school. Their voice should be promoted."

Ella Williams said young people learn more efficiently in single-sex classes, but two schools on one site would still allow social interaction at break times. Tom Downes agreed studies have shown boys and girls work better when they are at the same-sex school.

Ben Alexander said in subjects that are low in numbers they could combine boys and girls classes, giving pupils a wider range of subject options. Jack Winstanley said single-sex classes were less distracting but some co-ed classes would benefit students.

Rebecca Hobson said two separate single-sex colleges on one campus would allow for a mix of students in co-educational classes, sports and socially. Sam Smith was in the co-education college camp. Girls and boys interacted in life, so school life should be a natural environment to grow up in, Sam said. Olivia Robinson agreed a co-ed school was the way to go.

Ghananta Duppati believes that same-sex colleges should remain on both their present sites.

"A co-ed college would cause unnecessary distractions for academic progress for both genders. This will also be an unnecessary expenditure, which could be used for resource building and other required facilities with individual colleges," Ghananta said.

Nikcarla Laird said the status quo was her preferred option. Boys and girls would work well in limited merged classes and in same sex classes.

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