Page 12 - Independent Schools Magazine
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   In taking this step Leweston
will be only one of a handful of schools in the country, and the only one in the local area, offering a structure which combines the academic bene ts of single-sex education with the all-round advantages of co-education.
The School’s move to co- education will be phased in over a four-year period. Boys will initially be welcomed into Sixth Form from September 2018 with a mixed intake for Year 9 from 2019.
The Head, Mrs Kate Reynolds said ‘The pupils in our Prep are already enjoying the positive
impact of a co-educational environment and it is clear
that parents are increasingly seeking a family school that can serve both their sons and their daughters. Indeed, many current and prospective parents have been telling us they wish their sons could stay or join.
As a result, the Governing Body strongly believes that we should be offering a Leweston education to boys and girls, providing a school that serves the local community and modern family life”.
“Our experience, however, has taught us the strengths of
single-sex education and we appreciate many families choose Leweston because of those strengths. We understand the importance of our individual approach to teaching and learning and to support this we have taken the decision to adopt a diamond model for Years 9 to 11 in STEM subjects and some sports. This means that girls and boys will be taught separately in Maths and Science, areas where there are well-documented advantages to single-sex education.”
Work has already started on converting existing facilities to
accommodate boys, including changing rooms and boarding accommodation. A Housemaster will join the boarding team. All classrooms, teaching facilities and supplies will be reviewed to ensure that they cater as well
for boys as they do for girls and all of the new facilities in the school development plan are being considered with both genders in mind.
Almost all of the teaching staff at Leweston have co-educational experience and many already teach co-educational classes in the Prep School.
A conference promoting careers in engineering to girls was held in Aberdeen last month (September) with over 40 pupils from across Aberdeen taking part. The annual event was created in 2016, as a partnership between St Margaret’s School for Girls and the University of Aberdeen.
The inaugural ‘Girls in Engineering’ conference took place in October last year to huge success and was the biggest event of its type to take place in Scotland, with some 90 secondary school pupils from across Aberdeen city and shire, and as far a eld as Glasgow and Edinburgh taking part.
Last month’s event was aimed at primary age pupils and also saw P7 pupils from Ferryhill Primary and St Joseph’s Primary in attendance.
The event included presentations and practical workshops designed to challenge and inspire the girls.
Activities included ‘The Energy Transition’, where students found out about the energy technologies being used to allow society to move away from fossil fuel power sources while considering the underlying themes of sustainability, energy ef ciency and materials. They also constructed a roller-coaster ramp using everyday materials. Former pupil, Abbie Thompson, who is currently studying Engineering at Aberdeen University, also delivered a talk to the pupils. Dr Euan Bain, Dr Israel Osofero, James Power and Head of the School of Engineering, Professor Guz, were in attendance, offering support and advice to the pupils.
Miss Anna Tomlinson, Head of St Margaret’s School for Girls, said, “Following last year’s successful inaugural ‘Girls in Engineering’ conference, we are once again excited to collaborate with the university in this way.”
Picture courtesy Sarah Christie - The University of Aberdeen
Moving to co-ed ‘diamond’ model
Leweston School, Dorset, has announce the introduction of co-educational ‘diamond model’ as part of a move which will welcome boys into all year groups by 2021.
Junior girls’ engineering conference
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