5th October 2017
Daily summary of the latest news and opinions from the world of independent education bought to you by Education Advisers...
Best of both: Are 'diamond schools' the future of education?
It is an age-old discussion had by parents all over the country as their children near the end of primary school. What would be the best option for secondary – single-sex, or co-educational?
The arguments for and against each system will be familiar, and backed by enough evidence (both of an anecdotal and academic kind) to reasonably conclude either way. Study after study has long suggested teenagers do better in single-sex classes, where there are fewer distractions presented by the opposite sex, for instance. On the other hand, some see co-eds as vital to the social development of a child, allowing them the chance to grow up comfortable around the other sex, building mixed friend groups and adequately preparing them for university and adult life.
It’s a dilemma, but for some fortunate parents, that “either/or” is becoming a thing of the past, as a small but increasing number of schools are presenting a third option: both?
The so-called “diamond” model of education, as it is known, generally involves mixed classes in lower or prep school years, before moving to single-sex academic lessons (albeit mixed for all extracurricular activities outside the classroom) between the key adolescent years of 9 and 11, and then co-ed again for sixth form. Together, apart, back together – hence the diamond.
Pupils 'increasingly turning to brick phones' in backlash against social media
Almost two-thirds of pupils would not mind if social media had never been invented, poll shows
More and more young people are “rebelling” against social media and are using non-smartphones, headteachers and an online safety organisation say.
Nearly two-thirds of young people (63 per cent) would not mind if social media had never been invented, a new survey of secondary school pupils has found.
Almost three-quarters (71 per cent) of pupils have undergone “digital detoxes” to escape social media – and they would do the same again.
The poll, of more than 4,500 pupils at independent and state schools, was commissioned by the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC) – a group of leading independent schools – and Digital Awareness UK.
Respondents indicated that social media had a negative impact on their emotional wellbeing:
Speaking at the HMC annual conference in Belfast, Charlotte Robertson, co-founder of Digital Awareness UK, said apps such as Sarahah – which she says is now trending in schools – are being used "to fire abusive comments” at pupils.
But now young people are increasingly moving away from smartphones, Ms Robertson says “we are now seeing, especially in Year 11 and sixth form, that they are using these ‘brick phones’ and it is being positioned as quite a trendy thing to do.
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