Diamond school

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Diamond school, diamond model, diamond shape and diamond structure are similar terms that apply to a type of independent school in the UK that combines both single-sex and coeducational teaching in the same organisation. Typically, the establishment will be all-through, often with a nursery setting, and boys and girls are taught together until the age of 11, separately from 11-16, before coming back together again in a joint sixth form.

Diamond schools are often the product of the merger of a boys' and a girls' school, thus it is possible that at KS3 and KS4 girls and boys can be taught separately on different sites. It is a common feature that boys and girls combine outside the classroom in activities for academic trips and visits and in some co-curricular activities, such as choirs, orchestras and the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme. Other coeducational schools adopt a "partial" diamond model in which certain subjects (e.g. STEM are taught to gender segregated sets or classes, typically drawn from Key Stages 3 and 4 (Years 7 to 11).

The degree of gender separation has recently been brought into focus by the Al Hijrah judicial decision that total gender segregation in coeducational schools is illegal in England and Wales.

Diamond schools in the UK independent sector include:

Schools that are moving towards a diamond shape:

  • Ipswich High School[17], formerly a member of the Girls' Day School Trust, announced[18] in September 2017 that from September 2018 it would adopt a diamond model and admit boys for the first time in its 140 year history.
  • Leweston School[19], previously a single-sex girls' school, announced during 2017 that it would move towards a diamond structure[20] for the delivery of STEM subjects in Year 9 to 11 whilst moving to become coeducational during a four year transitional period from 2018 to 2021.

Schools that have abandoned a diamond shape:

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