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Single Sex Education

‘Why should we send our son to a boys’ only school?’ ‘Society is not a single gender so how does it benefit our son to go to an all boys’ school?’ It is really important to ask these questions and it may well be that you ultimately conclude that you would rather have your son attend a co-educational setting. I have myself had that mental quarrel about a single sex education and I have taught in co-ed schools and single-sex schools and indeed attended both as a child.

We believe it is so important that boys have positive role models. Peer pressure is a huge negative on children so we look to address this at Thorpe by focusing on our whole school ethos and involving the older boys to instil a positive attitude in our younger boys. Looking to the older boys and identifying with them is something that can be lost in a co-educational environment so at Thorpe we make the most of emphasising what it means to be a positive male role-model.

I now have my own two boys at Thorpe and I genuinely believe it is the place where they will most flourish. I accept that a single sex education is not for everyone but I would like to present to you the case for an all boys’ school.

Often the perception of boys is that they are not as gentle or compassionate as girls but in an all-boys school there is no need for the boys to put on a tough-guy façade and actually their empathy is significantly enhanced as a result; we firmly believe that we are able to foster greater respect for feelings, respect for one another and, very importantly, respect for women. It is perhaps only in an all-boy setting that we can truly focus on showing the boys what a decent man looks like and that is perhaps the main reason for considering an education for your son at Thorpe.

It is said ‘boys love competition’. In some instance that may be true but actually we believe that it is equally true for girls. What boys do like is challenge. We challenge all our boys every day with the belief that they can be ‘better today than they were yesterday, better tomorrow than they were today’. The whole point of this challenge is that it is unique to every boy – it is not about them comparing themselves with the person sitting next to them, it is about the personal challenge that encourages them to think about what they can do as individuals to push themselves on. As such we look to promote a reflective culture at the school which keeps us all on our toes and pushes us to be the best version of ourselves.

We also look to promote independence in the boys. Developing resilience and personal responsibility is so important; if you do everything for boys you disable them for life – they won’t be able to do homework or coursework and they will keep expecting to be spoon-fed. When things get difficult they may look to drop subjects or find an excuse to get out of something but, as is written in the children’s story, ‘We’re going on a bear hunt’:

We can’t go over it.

We can’t go under it.

Oh no!

We’ve got to go through it!

There are challenges in life and we make sure the boys recognise that and we are proud in how we develop resilience in our boys. We encourage parents to help in this from early on by getting the boys to do just the little things at home such as packing their own bags for school and taking pride in their appearance; resilience starts at home but the role of the school is massively important in a world where the youth are currently facing a mental health crisis.

Education of any child is all about successful partnership. The school and pupils have to work collaboratively but perhaps even more important, particularly for boys, is close parental engagement. Boys’ attainment is raised by 20% where parents are actively involved in their son’s education and we look to work as closely as possible with you to ensure that we know your son in order to get the very best out of him.

Please come and talk to us further about how we look to bring out the best in boys. It is a privilege for us to be an Independent School for Boys and we love what we do!

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Reception places available for September 2022

If you are looking for a Reception place for your son for September 2022 please contact our Admissions team on [email protected]