Skip to content ↓

Our diamond model offers the academic benefits of single-sex learning with all the social benefits of a co-educational school. The best of both worlds.


What is the diamond model?

The diamond refers to the ‘shape’ of the educational journey - boys and girls start and end their learning together, but learn separately at key stages and for core subjects between the ages of nine and 16*.

Why do we teach this way?

It has been shown that boys and girls mature at a different pace in their pre-teens. They therefore benefit from different teaching styles and classroom environments during these formative years, so we teach them separately for core subjects from the age of nine in order to give every student the best possible educational experience. 

By the time they reach GCSE studies (Years 10 and 11), our students face cultural legacies in certain subject areas. Boys often dominate the classroom in the Sciences because of the way these subjects are traditionally taught; girls tend to lead in English for similar reasons. Teaching these core subjects separately allows our teachers to adapt their teaching style accordingly. 

What does it look like day-to-day?

Boys and girls are taught the same content, by the same teachers, and given the same opportunities - it is the pedagogy that differs. The result:

  • Teachers can tailor learning and delivery techniques
  • Boys and girls are less self-conscious in the classroom
  • We engage our girls more with STEM subjects, and get boys interested in English and the Arts
  • The individual comes first - smaller classes allow us to focus on each child’s needs, building their education around them

Form groups, clubs and enrichment, social activities and trips are all co-educational, with boys and girls mixing naturally throughout the school day. There are also co-educational project days, such as Year 7 Patterns and Symbols day.

What’s next?

We have always been pioneering, always unafraid to do things differently. Therefore, nothing is set in stone. 

Having introduced boys to Year 7 in September 2017, there are still a number of years before we are educating both boys and girls throughout the entire nine to 16 age group. The diamond model will therefore likely evolve with us over the coming years as we learn from experience. What we can promise you is that we will always prioritise the educational experience of our learners, and do what’s best for them.
 

Girls Boys
  • Kindergarden to Year 4

    Fully co-educational

    Pre-Prep stage

    Up until Year 4 we are fully co-educational, with boys and girls taking all their lessons together.

  • Years 5 & 6

    Single sex
    Maths**
    English
    Science
    Humanities
    Sports

    Co-ed
    Clubs and enrichment
    All other subjects

    [Dame B's is fully co-educational]*

    Years 5 & 6

    From Year 5 at the Junior School, boys and girls enter single-sex classes for core areas, whilst continuing to mix in other subjects, plus clubs and enrichment activities.

  • Years 7 & 8

    Single sex
    All teaching classes

    Co-ed
    Clubs and enrichment

    Years 7 & 8

    In Years 7 and 8, girls and boys take single-sex lessons for all subjects, whilst continuing to mix in both clubs and enrichment activities. 

  • Year 9

    Single sex
    Maths**
    English
    Science
    Sports
    Some humanities subjects (to be determined as our year groups progress)

    Co-ed
    Clubs and enrichment
    All other subjects

    Year 9

    In Year 9 students learn in single-sex lessons for English, maths, science, sports and some humanities subjects, but join together for other subjects, clubs and enrichment activities.

  • Years 10 & 11

    Single sex
    Maths**
    English
    Science
    Sports

    Co-ed
    Clubs and enrichment
    All other subjects

    English, maths and science remain single-sex lessons in Year 10 and 11, whilst students join together for other subjects, clubs and enrichment activities.

  • 6th Form

    Fully co-educational

    6th Form

    Our 6th Form is fully co-educational, with boys and girls learning together in all subjects.

*At the Stephen Perse Foundation, the diamond model is in place at the Junior School and Senior School for students aged nine to 16. Dame Bradbury's is still new to the Stephen Perse Foundation family and has a different history to our Junior School. As such, Dame B’s pupils are taught in co-educational classes for all subjects, before joining the diamond model at age 11 in the Senior School.

**Ability will always be taken into consideration in Maths

“...the excellence of the curriculum is a significant feature in the exceptional achievements of the pupils.”

 ISI Report 2014