Boys benefit from collaboration with girls’ schools

QE has been developing its links with two high-achieving girls’ schools to enable boys to benefit from encountering different perspectives in their studies, whilst improving their social and inter-personal skills.

Forty-one boys from the Year 10 Gifted & Talented cohort joined 100 girls from North London Collegiate School to take part in a series of academic symposia designed to share ideas on a wide range of issues.

Students were divided into groups of 10 and each group was given a theme to discuss, chaired by Year 12 students from the two schools. The subjects included Art, Music, Classical Civilisations, Geography, History and Science. Seven QE teachers took part and materials for three of the symposia were provided by QE.

The symposia were based on six sources, including written articles, images and videos and each student gave a short talk on one source, followed by whole-group discussion.

QE teacher Tahmer Mahmoud, who is responsible for Academic Enrichment, said: “The event was designed to stretch pupils’ thinking within the subjects represented. It included the use of material at a level beyond what they would usually encounter in their GCSE courses, such as articles written by academics.”

Year 8 students enjoyed a day-long debating consortium with girls from The Henrietta Barnett School (HBS).

The day, which was hosted by QE, was spent discussing topical motions. Pranesh Varadarajan, Norbert Sobolak and Paavan Sawjani reached the final alongside three girls from HBS, debating the motion This House believes that the UK should not have a monarchy.

All the boys enjoyed their first experience of debating outside the school and are now looking forward to competing for places in national competitions from next year.