What has the move to co-education meant for the school?
From September 2021, Braeside transitioned from being an all girls’ independent school to providing education for both girls and boys from Kindergarten through to Year 11. The transition is being phased in slowly year after year, with the first boys welcomed into Kindergarten and Reception in September 2021. In September 2022 the Reception boys (and girls) moved to Year 1, Kindergarten boys (and girls) to Reception and a new cohort of mixed Kindergarten and Reception children was recruited. This model will be followed year after year until the school is fully co-educational.
Why did the school decide to make this change?
We believe that a co-educational environment is in the best interests of the children and will benefit their learning and development as we move forward into the 21st Century. The transition has consolidated our strengths as a school as we take the necessary strides towards a modern educational model. Whole families are now able to become a part of the Braeside experience and educational journey.
What parental demands did these changes respond to?
Parental demand for co-educational schools is on the rise due to daily logistics and work commitments affected by the geographical challenge of dropping off and collecting children and siblings from different schools. This in turn, increases traffic congestion in the local area, which exacerbates the issue.
What are the benefits of co-education learning from Kindergarten upwards?
At this young age, socialisation with other children is vital and part of the learning and development curve. It makes sense at this stage for younger children to be educated in a co-educational setting. Parents with children of both genders will also benefit from choosing one school that accommodates both boys and girls.
The working world is co-educational and continues to evolve at great speed. As such, we have seen from the other Oak-Tree Schools that mixing boys and girls together builds life skills as they learn and thrive together as equals.
Has the introduction of boys in school encouraged a more boisterous environment?
At Braeside our ethos is all about creating a safe and supportive environment for children. This, coupled with our high standards of behaviour and expectations, means that the strength of our core values has been unaffected by this move to co-education.
What will the girl/boy ratio be over the coming years?
This will be a gradual process and we expect to have around 40% of pupils attending the school as boys by the end of 2030.
Are boys and girls taught in mixed or separate classes?
As and when boys enter a year group, academic lessons will be conducted on a fully co-educational basis. In addition, our aim is to have as much non-academic and co-curricular activity undertaken on a co-educational basis as possible.
Have the changes affected academic standards at Braeside?
Yes, in a very positive way. Continuing to develop the highest academic standards is, of course, a core priority for Braeside, regardless of the gender of our learners. Our academic ethos, teaching staff, curriculum and small class sizes are the most crucial elements to our academic standards.
Have the changes affected the selection process for school places?
Not at all. All pupils are selected on their own individual merit and not based on their gender.
Have the changes affected the school’s ethos and values?
Not at all. On the contrary, the change actually reflects Braeside’s long-term historical ethos and values of community, compassion and empathy. It has always been our intention to educate happy, confident pupils who are stimulated and challenged to succeed in an ever-changing world. The move to co-education supports this.
What sports do girls and boys have access to?
We are introducing a rich and varied co-educational sports curriculum with options available for both girls and boys.
How has the pastoral care supported specific beliefs and traditions related to mixing with boys at school?
We already have staff who are pastorally experienced in co-educational settings and who are used to working with a diverse pupil roll. The school will also incorporate special lessons in PSHE and will be investing in further resources to support this.