Head's Recommended Reading
As the Head of a GDST school, I am particularly interested in articles and books on girls’ learning and development. I believe it is important to draw on the latest research on how girls learn and thrive, so that we can fulfil our aim of enabling girls to develop the skills, knowledge, resilience and confidence they need to realise their full potential and personal best, both inside and outside the classroom.
Sexism in School: Girls Speak Out
Sally Williams and Bridget Harrison
What’s behind the headline that two-thirds of teenage girls have been sexually harassed at school by boys? Experts say it’s out of control and affecting academic performance. Teachers say they can do little to stop it. Here schoolgirls from across the country reveal a culture of intimidation – and describe life in the classroom today.
“When I was 11, my parents considered sending me to a mixed school, but the all-girls school near us was better academically. At the time I felt pretty annoyed. My teenage years were coming and that meant freedom and going to parties. How was I ever going to meet boys? As it turned out, it was the best decision we ever made – my school has allowed me to grow up in my own time, given me the confidence to find out who I am, how I want to dress, without the pressure of having to impress boys” (Phoebe, 18)
Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood
In this sane, highly engaging, and informed guide for parents of daughters, Dr. Damour draws on decades of experience and the latest research to reveal the seven distinct—and absolutely normal—developmental transitions that turn girls into grown-ups. Providing realistic scenarios and welcome advice on how to engage daughters in smart, constructive ways, Untangled gives parents a broad framework for understanding their daughters while addressing their most common questions. Perhaps most importantly, Untangled helps mothers and fathers understand, connect, and grow with their daughters. When parents know what makes their daughter tick, they can embrace and enjoy the challenge of raising a healthy, happy young woman.
The Curse of the Good Girl: Raising Authentic Girls with Courage and Confidence
Simmons digs deep into how girls communicate and what they are really saying when they do. Best of all, she offers many suggestions for parents and those working with girls that will help you help them reconnect or stay connected with the authentic self within. Her thoughts on perfectionism will give you cause to pause. Simmons is currently based at The Hewitt School in New York, as Girls' Research Scholar in Residence.
Raising Girls Voices
Megan Murphy, Executive Director of the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools, considers all-girls schools from a male perspective. She hears from Paul Burke, Vice President of the NCGS Board of Trustees and Head of The Nightingale-Bamford School, along with Jamie O’Donnell, a current Nightingale parent. Paul and Jaime share perspectives from their unique vantage points: the male head of an all-girls institution and as fathers who selected an all-girls education for their daughters.
The Myth of Effortless Perfectionism
Tara Christie Kinsey and Rachel Simmons
On February 7, 2016, Hewitt's Head of School Tara Christie Kinsey, along with noted Girls' Education author and researcher Rachel Simmons, presented "The Myth of Effortless Perfectionism" at the National Coalition of Girls' Schools Global Forum for Girls' Education. The Hewitt School is a leading independent school for girls in New York City, USA, founded in 1920 and now home to over 500 girls from 5-18yrs.
Effective Pedagogies for Girls’ Learning
Gender issues have been a focus for many educational research studies in recent decades, sparked by the differential responses of girls and boys to schooling. Differential retention rates, an apparent gender gap in achievement between girls and boys, subject choices at GCSE and A level, access rates to University, have all been scrutinised, with ambivalent outcomes. This research review focuses on one aspect of this gender debate: effective pedagogies for girls’ learning. In so doing, an attempt is made to consider whether girls and boys are best taught in single-sex classrooms, whether learning is better facilitated in such classrooms, whether girls and boys have different learning styles, whether there are girl-friendly pedagogies which are distinct from pedagogies which support boys’ learning.
Single-Sex Schools and ‘Pupil Innocence’
Single sex schools allow pupils to keep their innocence for longer, according to Tony Little, headmaster of Eton. His comments, reported in the Telegraph, sparked a volley of opinions on everything from sex education to eating disorders, which only served to show that while the great British public may be living in the twenty-first century, they’re still all too ready to wheel out the stereotypes, says Alun Jones, President of the Girls’ Schools Association.
Smart Girls in the 21st Century: Understanding Talented Girls and Women
Barbara Kerr and Robyn McKay
Studying decades of smart girls, Kerr and McKay provide a sound, research-based framework for partnering effectively with smart girls to enable their journey to becoming “eminent” women. Using the words of smart girls to make their case, the authors explain each developmental phase of a smart girl’s journey, from childhood through college and beyond. Every smart girl can find herself in these pages, and the parents and teachers of smart girls will find language, lessons, advice, and…comfort. Once you have been introduced to the beehive of smart girls, you will be hooked.
The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance---What Women Should Know
Katty Kay and Claire Shipman
Kay and Shipman are journalists and their competence in that regard shines through the pages of this important book as they report in-depth interviews that have informed their thesis This is a solidly researched book providing insights into what some might term a confidence “gap” between men and women. By the end of the read, however, it is clear that there are practical ways in which we can all become braver as we step through new thresholds of opportunity. They believe that confidence can be learned, and you will, too, after reading this book.
BBC Radio 4: Today
Discussion from the 27th January’s Today programme about how girls see them themselves and their intelligence in relation to boys at age 5 and the change by age 6. It is about 5 mins long and begins at 1:31:24.
'By secondary, it’s too late' – readers on promoting girls' school sports
Recent research by Women in Sport has revealed that there’s still a gulf in attitudes towards physical activity between girls and boys across secondary schools in England and Northern Ireland. The charity, which aims to make sport more accessible for females across the UK, found that girls are still turning away from school sports in high numbers. We asked teachers, parents and pupils what should be done to stop this trend.