Friday, 1 March 2013

Party Girl




One of the many surprises that we had when we came over here, in London, is that most schools are single-sex. In the British system, boys and girls are pretty much educated separately. How weird. This is especially true for secondary schools: finding a mixed one in London is nothing short of a challenge. I had to give up.

In France, single-sex schooling is seen as old fashioned and most (if not all) schools are mixed. Even my parents went to a mixed school. Single-sex schools were abolished a long time ago and I get very shocked reactions when I explain that my daughters are in a girls-only school. People look at me as if I was coming straight from Victorian times.


My French friends’ main concern is that my daughters won't interact with boys and this might damage their future ability to have healthy relationships with men. Some have even implied that they might, you know, bat to the other side because of such an education, which I thought was a really silly comment.


Well, fear not, dear friends, fear not. My daughters seem perfectly alright and given the fact that my older one keeps texting, calling and meeting boys I think that her level of interaction with boys is actually a lot higher than mine at a similar age.

My teenage daughter keeps going to discos and social events and I am ashamed to say that her social life is much busier than mine. She prepares a social event as if it was a math test, with clear deadlines of what needs to be done and when. She gets herself ready like a pro. Basically, I just have to pay for everything. Because that's my job, right? She chooses the colour of her nails. I could now open a Spa salon because I am often tasked to do her nails, her hair... That said, what she does best is choosing the right outfit. She researches the web and makes collages with what she likes. And then she explains to me that it is a bargain. I cannot win. I wish I was 13 again. We have had outfits delivered from all over the world.

As for my French friends, well, I will tell them not to worry!

16 comments:

  1. There's something funny there with the text appearing twice.


    Most local authority schools are co-ed. It's the private and Catholic schools which are often single-sex plus the odd one.



    When I was at school, the only single-sex schools in the area were the Catholic boys and girls schools, plus two local authority girls schools and one boys although they later became co-ed.

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  2. I went to a co-ed school that had single gender classes for about 1/2 the day. (I guess that was their compromise...) And, I can guarantee you that, in spite of the desires of the school elders, we were all most interested in the opposite gender.

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  3. I went to an all girls school from 13 onwards but I'm still perfectly capable of dealing with men. Your daughter sounds like she has a busier social life than me too though!

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  4. I went to a school which had the boys school and the girls school on the same site. The only part that connected the school was the bike shed. Guess where we all hung out at break time?

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  5. Funny, I've done it all; French school, English, and my own kids in American schools, and I loved (and hated) being in an all girls boarding school when I took my A-levels in Felixstowe, East Anglia. I studied harder, and I think girls are more competitive when they are together. I also ended up dating one of the teachers (male) after I graduated. We met at a pub in London, and I was crazy about this older man, "late 20s" when I was 18. Sounds like your daughters are getting the best of both.

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  6. Yes, I think single sex schools make girls MORE keen to get out and meet boys since they are making up for lost time! except for the quiet ones who seem to miss all the teenage rebellion bit anyhow.

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  7. I went to an all girls high school and I'm still not sure what the advantages are. Anyone who thinks it will cause homosexuality needn't worry. Couples from whatever orientation will find each other regardless!

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  8. I went to an all girl school and yes, everyone worried about the same thing. But it didn't turn out that way. We girls and guys find our ways! :)

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  9. We do indeed. I am not worried for my daughter at all. I know she will be fine!

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  10. They will indeed. That said, just like you I don't understand why girls could be educated separately. It sounds so backwards. It must be my French side...

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  11. Well, I think that my daughter is no exception then. She keeps texting boys. Somehow I am confident that she will be fine...

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  12. I don't know how it is all going to pan out. I am a bit worried because their education couldn't be more different than mine...That said, they seem fine and happy, which is what matters in the end!

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  13. I would say...boys? I don't know. My daughter seems eager to meet boys and it sometimes worries me.

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  14. I know. I must have done something wrong...I have to admit that I am a bit jealous of her social life!

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  15. It is funny, isn't it? Boys will be boys. I am still struggling to understand why boys and girls are educated separately in this country but hey, I am sure that my daughters will be fine!

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  16. Where we live, most primary schools are mixed. But it is a different story for secondary schools: most of them are single-sex. I know of one exception (out of 10 secondary school) around here, but that's all.

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