How does this change fit in with the College’s mission, vision and values? The College’s mission statement focusses on providing an excellent all-round education that allows students to contribute as global citizens who think creatively, reason critically, communicate effectively and develop the necessary skills to learn for life. We can all see the affects increased globalisation, technological advancements and more recently the global pandemic and social movements have had on the world around us and in the workplace. In reflection of this the educational landscape is evolving quickly with students today requiring an education that is quite different to that of even the generation before them. We need to look to the future to see what students require, to see the College’s mission continued.
The tradition and values of Scots College remain unchanged; to provide an holistic education with strong Christian character, to train for loyal citizenship and service. And guided by this heritage we adapt to ensure Scots students continue to receive a quality education and are ready for the world outside the school gates.
You have always been about boys only education, why the change? We know boys’ education and pride ourselves on the quality education we provide all students. However the educational landscape and workplace have evolved and therefore we must continue to review and evolve our current offering to ensure we are continuing to provide all students with the best education for their futures. The world outside the College gates is co-ed and attitudes towards gender-based roles and subjects no longer exist, welcoming girls and changing to become fully co-educational will allow all students access to a quality education in an inclusive and diverse environment where they can learn from one another socially and academically. In short, Scots College believes the move to co-education best prepares students for their future.
The move to co-education across all Year Levels would increase the number of options in schooling for both boys and girls.
Are you looking to increase the overall roll? With the construction of the McKinnon Block, the College increased its roll capacity and thus has the ability to enrol additional students. The same as the Senior School the number of spaces available to girls is limited to ensure a managed transition. This allows us to grow the roll gradually while maintaining the same personalised education for all students as we develop the required teaching and learning facilities for a growing roll. There would be no change to the current number of spaces available to boys and students currently attending the College are guaranteed a place in the following year.
How will the Junior School manage the increasing roll numbers while maintaining small class sizes and personalised learning? It is clear from surveys we have undertaken in the past few years and in the consultation process that small class sizes has consistently been one of the main reasons for choosing Scots College. This is why the Board have resolved to set specific class size limits. In Years 1 and 2 classes will have a maximum number of 15, in Year 3 of 20 and in the Senior Syndicate Years 4-6 of 22 in each class.
Once we reach the class size limit, a waitlist will be developed and at some Year Levels if numbers allow we will consider opening additional classes.
We envisage that these increased numbers would also allow us to add additional learning support.
Although we will use our best endeavours, as we transition to this, we may not be able to precisely meet these limits in 2021 but are confident this will not have a material impact.
How would co-education impact upon leadership roles for students? It is anticipated that there will be more leadership opportunities for students. We are excited to introduce a mentorship programme for the girls from Senior to support Middle to Junior students, similar to the boys’ current mentorship programme. While it would be unlikely girls would be able to hold formal leadership positions in the initial year there are many opportunities to develop leadership roles. The growing number of student groups and committees is an excellent example of this, where students are leading groups such as the environmental council, QSA (queer straight allegiance), well-being and Tasi Noa Wha (Pasifika group) in addition to the House competition.
What pastoral support will be available for my daughter? Pastoral Care is important for boys and girls, especially during their early adolescent years. To ensure the girls feel supported and safe a Middle School Dean with primary responsibility for the pastoral care of the girls will be appointed. This Dean will work alongside the existing pastoral care support team with House Deans, College Counsellor, Nurse, Chaplain and Middle School Leadership Team.
In the Junior School pastoral care will primarily be overseen by individual classroom teachers, the same as it currently is for boys. Our small class sizes allow teachers to have an in-depth knowledge of their students. In addition we have Junior and Senior Syndicate Deans, Assistant Principal, College Counsellor, Nurse and Chaplain who work together to care for Junior School students.
Will the College eventually become 1:1 boys and girls? Initially there are limited numbers of places available for girls. This allows us to grow the roll gradually while maintaining the same personalised education for all students. Over time we would need to develop the required teaching and learning facilities required for a growing roll.
Is there an enrolment preference for girls over boys to balance classrooms? There is no change in the spaces available to boys and all current students are always guaranteed a space in the following Year Level. The spaces available for girls is initially limited to allow us to grow the roll gradually while maintaining the same personalised education for all students as we develop the required teaching and learning facilities required for a growing roll.
Ensuring a balance of girls and boys in the classroom is an essential part of our planning at a timetable level.
Will there be scholarships available to girls in the Middle School?
To provide the same opportunity for girls as there are for the boys some scholarships will be available for girls entering Years 7 and 9 in the Middle School. These scholarships allow students who would not otherwise be able to afford to attend the College, the opportunity to have an independent Christian education, this is key in our mission.
Information regarding application dates and scholarship types will be available on the College.
Scholarships are not offered in the Junior School.
Will my daughter be the only girl in her class? No this will be avoided through careful planning at a timetable level.
What will the number of girls classes look like in the Diamond model? The girls class is set at the same maximum number as the boys of 24.
What sporting opportunities will there be for the Junior and Middle School girls? The Senior School girls took to our current sporting programme with great enthusiasm at both social and competitive levels across athletics, badminton, mixed handball, mixed touch rugby, netball, futsal, floorball, hockey, rowing, mixed water polo and basketball. Further involvement has extended to cricket, football and swimming although small numbers prevent us from entering full teams at present across cricket and football. Girls in the Junior and Middle School will have access to the same sporting programmes as the boys.
In the Junior School, girls will have the same sporting and cultural opportunities as the boys and over time as numbers increase we will be able to expand the current programmes. The Year 5 & 6 Thursday sporting programme offers a variety of codes for students to choose from in addition to the ability to add more teams to the Miniball and Futsal programme the Junior School competes in at ASB Sports Centre.
Middle School girls will have access to our sporting programmes with directors of sports in many codes in addition to the new Year 8 potential pathway to podium programme. All students in Years 7 & 8 take part in the Thursday afternoon specialist sporting programme with a large variety of codes to choose from.
Both the Junior and Middle School take part in a robust fixtures calendar and the move to co-education will allow us to expand the current fixture options. Many of the current schools we meet for fixtures are co-ed themselves and we can also begin to include girls’ schools.
What experience do teachers have with co-education? Many of our staff have previously taught in co-ed schools and with the change to co-education in the Senior School all Middle School staff are already teaching a co-educational classroom.
Staff continue to undertake regular Personal Development as part of their ongoing learning. Staff PD continues to focus on the changing classroom, digital learning and catering for learners with a diversity of needs.
Will my daughter be in the same House as her brother? Yes. Traditionally students are placed in the same House as their family. Girls in the Senior School who had a family connection are in the same House as their brother, father or grandfather was. This allows one common linkage to the College’s pastoral care system for each family.
What changing facilities and toilets will be available to these younger girls? Additional girls facilities were added before the co-educational Senior School and more will be developed by January 2021. We are aware that girls, especially those in the Middle School will need facilities such as these where they feel comfortable.