How girls are outperforming boys | Portsmouth High School

How girls are outperforming boys

This week I have heard from no less than three old girls who have just achieved First Class degrees from Cambridge University in a range of disciplines and, to add to this, I have also heard from other former pupils who have achieved Firsts from Russell group universities. It seems to me that every day we hear from our alumnae who have just qualified as doctors or dentists or are embarking on trainee schemes with reputable and prestigious firms.

It is therefore of no surprise to me to read yet again that girls are outperforming boys in the work place.  According to the Telegraph this week girls are now more likely to achieve better results in maths than boys and more likely to enter into traditionally male dominated professions such as engineering and construction.

I know I constantly bang the drum that girls do better being educated in a single sex school but actually girls just do better.  You may wonder why that is especially if you also have sons as well as daughters. I think the response to that question was neatly summed up by two 15 year old girls in a letter they wrote to the Times in reply to Dr Helen Wright’s comments about girls being too influenced by the celebrity culture of “stars” such as KimKardashian. They said that it is boys that have a “problem” not girls and that as a society we need to challenge why there is a need to have scantily clad women on the front cover of Lads’ Mags such as Zoo magazine.  Isn’t this more about boys’ self esteem than girls? I think they have a point.

In a school such as PHS girls grow in confidence and therefore really believe that they can do anything they set their mind to do.  I watched the wonderful performances at Dovercourt’s Family Day last Friday and whether they are three or ten years old the girls displayed self-assurance and poise that belies their age.

This is mirrored in the school right up to the sixth form and this week at school council the girls showed they have a strong opinion on how to improve the school environment and more importantly know how best to convey this to get what they want.

Practice interviews are happening in the lower sixth to give them a head start on the university application process and I thank all of you who have supported the busy programme this week.

If you feel that this has been an opportunity missed don’t worry because we have an academic lecture fortnight planned for the autumn term. If anyone would like to contribute to this series of events (a maximum 20 minute slot first thing in the morning on any topic that furthers the older pupils’ understanding of the world) please do contact Miss Blackwell who puts the programme together.

I cannot believe a whole year has passed since I took up my post at PHS – it has been a great year and I thank all of you for helping me settle in so well.