“A girl’s years at Shrewsbury High School may be the only time in her life that she will be in an environment that is designed solely with her in mind, with people that put her at the centre of all they do”. SHS Head
At Shrewsbury High school we believe girls do better in an environment created specifically for them and we remain true to the vision of our founders, the Girls’ Day School Trust, who, in 1885, decided to open a school in Shrewsbury with the sole purpose of helping every girl to fulfil her potential and dreams. Girls are at the heart of everything we do. We want each and every one of them to feel known, supported, confident and able to shine and to leave us prepared to shape the world in which they live.
Shrewsbury High School is the only all-girls, all-through school in the area, educating girls from 4-18. We have created a home for fearless learners and through deliberate and innovative design of our physical space, facilities, timetable, curriculum, wellbeing programmes, staffing structures and the shape of our school day, we have unlocked the power of our all-girl, all-through model.
We tailor our approach to how girls learn best and we encourage them to experiment, have a go, be brave, not worry about meticulous detail and to be more robust. This is aided by small class sizes, expert pastoral care, collaboration and team work. We are a close-knit family of big and little sisters who live our values of being respectful, compassionate, ambitious and community minded.
We seek to build resilience and give our girls the chance to fail, recover and try again. If you have the pleasure of meeting any of our year 13 girls you will find them about to go out in the world seeking to be courageous rather than perfect.
Girls’ education matters because it ensures that girls get the bespoke attention that they need to flourish. In a girls-only environment there is less reason to adapt behaviour for others, or to adopt moderating roles in discussion allowing louder voices to take the lead in class or in co-curricular activities. We do not want our girls to learn how to play nice, defer or stay quiet because they are worried that they may look too stupid or too smart or because the teacher knows they can be left to ‘get on with it’.
Free from stereotyping and with all opportunities available to them our girls don’t play second fiddle to anyone. They are free to play all the roles within school life and they do better academically and socially as a result.
GDST schools are engines of change, where a girl learns without any limits placed upon her and where her confidence and resilience can flourish so that she knows not just how to navigate the real world but how to thrive in it and how to contribute to making a better future for all of us.
“The best person in school at Maths was a girl; the best person at Physics was a girl and the best person at Art was a girl…just being told you have the right to reach as far as you possibly can is such a gift to give a young women”. SHS alumna and founder of Good-Loop Amy Williams
Do girls do better at single sex schools?
Analysis by the Girls’ Schools Association in 2021 of data published by the Department for Education from 2018-2019 revealed that when compared to peers at co-ed schools, pupils at girls’ schools were twice as likely to take maths A level and 2.5 times as likely to take further maths and physics. They were also more likely to take A levels in other STEM subjects. The same research reported better levels of academic attainment at all girls’ schools compared with co-ed schools.
A separate study from AQR International – an organisation which provides psychometric evaluation – looked at attributes relating to ‘mental toughness’ in school children. Its findings indicated that pupils educated at all girls’ schools possess ‘higher mental toughness scores…particularly for emotional control and confidence’.
Among other research highlighting the advantages of all girls’ school it has also been concluded that girls are more likely to take part in sport and exercise in a single sex environment and go on to earn more during their careers.
The GDST carried out its own survey with 5,000 state and independently education girls to find out what matters to girls today. This research will inform our work for years to come as we continue to shape the future of girls’ education. To read more about why sex education, and especially a GDST education can make such a difference, read the GDST_The-Girls-Futures-Report-2022.