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Educating Boys



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Educating Boys

Forest Hill School has been educating boys since the 1950s and makes the intentional choice to offer a dynamic and stimulating comprehensive education to boys in south east London. Whilst there are endless debates about the pros and cons of single sex education, we have outlined the key reasons why we believe boys benefit from an all-male learning environment at Forest Hill…

1. Teaching is focused on boys

There is a recognised body of research which suggests that boys learn differently from girls. They develop at a different pace and possess different strengths. While girls generally refine their reading and writing skills sooner, boys are naturally more spatial and visual. At Forest Hill School, we understand these differences and our staff are experts at teaching boys. Everything at Forest Hill – the curriculum, the lessons, the extra-curricular activities and the learning environment – is planned exclusively around the needs of our students. 

2. No gender stereotyping

Breaking down the stereotypes society has imposed on what are considered appropriate activities for boys is one of the many things boys’ schools do very well. At Forest Hill School, there is no room for gender stereotypes. Boys are expected to fill all the roles within the school from prefects and house captains to dancers and artists. They learn to pursue areas that interest them, no matter what is considered socially acceptable.

3. Less comparison, more confidence

Because boys tend to mature later than girls, there is sometimes a lot of stress on them at a mixed school as they are constantly being compared to their female classmates. Forest Hill’s learning environment allows boys to develop at their own pace, without the comparisons and without social distractions, and this helps them build confidence.

4. More relaxed environment

We believe that the environment at Forest Hill School is more relaxed in the absence of gendered desires to impress. Students can be true to themselves and are willing to take more risks as they are not afraid of failing in front of the opposite sex. This makes the classroom feel dynamic and free, and gives the boys more opportunity to share ideas and participate in conversation without feeling self-conscious.

5. Exposure to greater opportunities

We offer a safe place for boys to take chances, express their emotions and discover subjects such as the creative arts and classic literature. Although it may seem counterintuitive, we believe that a boys’ school can actually help students become more developmentally rounded as they are inspired to involve themselves in all aspects of school life that may otherwise be unduly influenced by girls in a co-educational environment. This opens up their choices for academic goals and future career aspirations. Every year, we see some stunning performances at GCSE and A Level, and a large number of students gaining places at Russell Group universities and other prestigious institutions, including Oxbridge.

6. Lasting friendships

With gender stereotypes and gender distraction out of the picture, students can concentrate on their learning and on extracurricular interests. Some experts say that this lack of pressure and competition gives rise to more welcoming attitudes toward peers and the easier formation of platonic relationships as well. We know that many of our boys form strong friendships that last well beyond their school years.