Forest School is London’s only diamond school and is one of the few schools in the country to be structured in this unique way.
This means that our 1,350 boys and girls are taught in single-sex classes at key stages of their education within the same school grounds.
At four, boys and girls are taught together in the Pre-Preparatory School before moving into single-sex classes at seven. From 7-11 in the Preparatory School and then 11-16 in the Senior School, boys and girls are taught separately, before joining a coeducational Sixth Form at 16.
Unlike at single-sex schools, however, boys and girls spend time together during breaks and during co-curricular activities.
Addressing gender stereotypes in the classroom
Forest teachers teach both classes of boys and classes of girls. While the content is the same, our teachers can employ differing techniques of delivery to each group.
Unlike at coeducational schools, Forest teachers can address the differences they see between boys’ and girls’ learning and behaviour. This is important as while some gender-specific traits can aid learning, there are some that are less useful in the classroom.
We know, for example, that in general girls tend to take a more step-by-step approach to learning. Forest teachers see this and can encourage their girls’ classes to take more calculated risks in their work - a quality that tends to come less naturally to girls.
This is particularly important at A level, where pupils need more than just a methodological approach and bite size revision to achieve the very best grades.
Diamond teaching has also enabled the School to encourage a wider definition of masculinity among boys and femininity among girls. There has, for example, been good take up of traditionally male-dominated subjects like physics by girls at Forest.
By challenging gender stereotypes in the classroom and by encouraging boys and girls out of their comfort zones, Forest pupils are gaining skills that both single-sex and coeducational schools cannot teach.
The best of all worlds
A diamond school offers the same benefits of a single-sex education while at the same time encouraging boys and girls to grow together outside of the classroom. The best of all worlds.