Girl-centred education

You want your daughter to thrive. What better choice than a school that specialises in girls’ education with its focus on understanding the ways that girls learn best?

Why choose a girls' school?
  • Single-sex schools create a culture of strong academic achievement, particularly for girls
  • Girls’ schools buck the trend in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths)
  • Girls feel empowered to defy gender stereotypes
  • Girls’ schools build self-esteem and enhance wellbeing
  • Girls’ schools tailor teaching to girls and provide an aspirational environment

From the Alliance of Girls' Schools Australasia. For detailed information on these benefits visit their website.

Shelford is proud to be a small school for girls

At Shelford we take the challenge of educating tomorrow's women very seriously. It is widely acknowledged that boys and girls have very different cognitive, social, physiological and developmental growth rates. Recent research has helped us to understand the differences between male and female brains and the way that boys and girls learn and single-sex schools can cater for these differences.

Single sex girls' schools are able to meet the needs of female students. An all girls' environment means that girls can do everything, and at Shelford they do. They have the freedom to learn, lead and participate and their achievements are celebrated.

We encourage our girls to take intellectual risks in a safe and co-operative environment where deep thinking and respect for others is valued and applauded. At Shelford, girls can be girls and we encourage each and every student to be her best every day. We acknowledge that one person's best is not another's and that being the best we can be is both a challenge and an obligation.

As educators, we continue to strive to ensure that our students are equipped to be active and informed citizens who are committed to life-long learning and discovery. Above all, we seek to develop in our students, the confidence and maturity to forge their chosen paths in life, to build and nurture quality relationships and to contribute to a better world.

Relevant research about girls and young women

New data analysis showing girls' school students outscore co-ed girls

A new report analysing Australian and New Zealand PISA data from 2015 and 2018 reveals that girls attending single-sex schools outperformed girls from co-educational schools on academic measures of science, mathematics and reading. Students from girls’ schools also reported higher academic aspirations, more adaptive and flexible teachers, stronger feelings of school belonging, and a significantly lower prevalence of bullying.

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Troubling attitudes of some young people regarding gender equality and violence against women

A research survey by Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) has found that most young Australians aged 16–24 support gender equality, reject attitudes supportive of violence against women, and say they would act (or would like to act) if they witnessed the abuse or disrespect of women. However, the survey also found evidence of troubling attitudes among some young people, and particularly among some young men. Nearly one-third of young men aged 16–24 agreed that many women who were raped had led men on and later regretted it, while 18% said that women often make false allegations of sexual assault.

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The science of resilience: Enabling all children to find positive pathways to adulthood

Throughout our lives, particularly during periods of transition, internal and external factors present us with opportunities for adaptation or maladaptation. Children’s long-term responses vary with the type, timing and intensity of adversities they face, along with their individual sensitivities, the socialisation practices they have experienced, and the buffering supports available to them. Since children each have unique backgrounds, there are multiple but equally valid pathways that lead to resilience and wellbeing. Even young people at high levels of risk can be prevented from developing negative adaptation when they are supported by strategic prevention or intervention efforts.

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Travel, team sport and leadership development are the keys to self-confidence in children and teens

The Hands up for Gender Equality report by University of Queensland researchers has found that the top three contributors to self-confidence in both girls and boys are travel, team sport, and leadership opportunities. In particular, school excursions and family travel are the primary source of the development of self-confidence. The report also found that girls derive just as much confidence from team sports as boys, and that leadership experiences – whether holding a leadership role or taking part in leadership courses – provide equally positive benefits for students.

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A single-sex education program in Iceland which aims ot reduce gender stereotyping in young children

The Hjalli education model for nursery and primary school students in Iceland aims to improve gender equality through children practising behaviours usually associated with the other sex. Children wear an identical uniform but boys and girls are taught separately for most of the day to counter stereotyped gender roles and behaviour. Girls are encouraged to develop self-confidence by running through the snow in bare feet and climbing trees and walls, while they are also strongly discouraged from crying and sulking. Boys take part in 'structured gender compensation work' to strengthen their empathy and caring natures. This can include practising babysitting by caring for gender-neutral dolls or playing at being hairdressers and beauticians.

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