A move to full co-education at King's is an important decision that the Governing Body has taken as part of its 2020 Vision for the School (the move to our new campus).
Building on the success of our co-educational Infants and Juniors, as well as our co-educational Sixth Form – where girls have flourished since 1986 – we are moving to full co-education from September 2020.
All pupils joining the school from September 2020 will be taught in mixed classes throughout their time at King's. Those pupils already in the school will move to co-educational lessons from this point onwards. For many, this will be a continuation of their infant and junior experience either at King's or in their primary school.
Building on our strengths
We have all seen first-hand the benefits of co-education in our Infants, Juniors and Sixth Form. We want to extend those social, cultural and academic advantages to the whole community of the School. King’s educational approach has continued to evolve and therefore stood the test of time for 516 years, teaching boys only for the first 484 years and teaching both boys and girls since 1986. We believe that the quality of a child's education is more important than the gender of the child. Our commitment to academic and pastoral excellence, independent learning, development of life-long learning skills, academic and extra-curricular challenge and a range of enrichment opportunities are the blueprint of a King's education and transcend gender alone.
A strategy for a changing world
Educational thinking has changed significantly over the last 25 years and nationally there has been a shift away from single-sex teaching. Around 80% of independent schools are now co-educational and just 10 independent schools nationally operate a diamond model. The world of work has also changed profoundly and at great speed - and will continue to do so. We believe the best preparation for a fulfilling and successful life in this exciting future is a first class education for boys and girls learning together as equals and partners – just as they will work together as adults to take on opportunities and tackle challenges. As a diamond structure school, we have always seen the social and emotional advantages of bringing the boys and girls together. Looking ahead to our new school campus, we believe that learning together in the classroom is a natural evolution and will benefit both boys and girls. Working together intellectually and socially will build confidence and prepare pupils for life after school. Our co-educational Sixth Form has offered the very best preparation for students for the last 30 years, teaching boys and girls together as they prepare for university and the world of work.
Our Governing Body is committed to delivering a sustainable, long-term strategy that supports and benefits all our pupils equally. The move to a new campus in 2020 and full co-education on that campus is a fundamental part of that strategy.
Before making a decision to move to full co-education, our staff and governors reviewed the academic research and evidence supporting both single-sex and co-educational approaches to learning. It is clear that it is impossible to isolate gender as a reason for success in the best single-sex schools. Co-educational schools, girls-only and boys-only schools all appear at the top of the league tables for examination results and this often reflects how selective the school is rather than the gender of pupils.
Evidence shows that the very best schools have moved beyond a 'gendered' approach to teaching. Our approach at King's is designed to teach the individual child and we focus on developing learners who are confident, reflective, resilient, independent and curious - regardless of gender.
Taking expertise & experience with us
As we prepare to move to our new campus in 2020, we are putting in place transitional arrangements and planning meticulously in order to ensure that we retain all the very best of what we offer now when on our new campus. The values and ethos of the School will not change.
We are proud to have a mixture of both male and female staff throughout the whole school, from Infants through to Sixth Form, and they all have experience of teaching and supporting boys and girls, separately and together.
Our extensive knowledge of teaching both in the Senior Boys' and Girls' Divisions will come with us as our teachers and support staff make the move to the new campus. We are confident of our ability to continue to deliver academic excellence for both boys and girls in a co-educational environment, as well as the outstanding pastoral care, for which the school is renowned. Our proposed pastoral and leadership structures will ensure that both boys and girls continue to have the support and 'voice' that they now enjoy.
We are also confident that our ratio of girls to boys will help us be a true co-educational environment. Around half of our school population is boys, which compares favourably with local independent co-educational schools which are around 65% - 70% boys.
Impact on academic learning
We are very proud of the consistently high standards of academic achievement that boys and girls demonstrate at GCSE and A Level. Our results have consistently been the very best in Cheshire East for the last 5 years. We believe that this position will be strengthened further by bringing together boys and girls in Senior year groups. Setting will be 'gender-blind' - grouping together boys and girls of similar ability, consolidating the strength in depth at all ability levels and in all subjects for which we set pupils.
By bringing together our Senior boys and girls into single year groups, we will see an increase in the number of pupils per Senior year. In itself, this brings benefits for pupils. With scale comes opportunity: yet more breadth and challenge for pupils. Varied perspectives and interests will flourish – to everyone’s benefit. Healthy competition across a larger cohort in each Senior year group will strengthen the academic environment and encourage pupils to the highest levels of achievement. We already carefully monitor the sizes of classes and we scrutinise each individual's attainment and achievement levels based on their ability. We will, of course, continue this approach.
Bringing together all of our pupils and staff on to one site will bring many advantages. We will have greater flexibility when timetabling Senior lessons, allowing us to consider broadening the range of subjects on offer as well as making an even greater range of option choices available.
Being together on one site, our Infants, Juniors and Senior girls will for the first time be on the same site as our Sixth Form students, who are fantastic role models for younger pupils. There will be further opportunities for joint clubs, societies and activities where boys and girls can contribute fresh perspectives and ideas. The vast array of extra-curricular activities will be open to all and, being partly pupil driven, the offer is expected to broaden further.
Further information is available from our Admissions Department: firstname.lastname@example.org or 01625 260000