Deliberately a boys school
St. George's School is deliberately a boys school — in part because there is growing evidence, including brain research, to suggest that boys learn differently from girls and, in part, because for over 85 years, we have seen first-hand the profound effect that a boys’-centered education has on our students.
But let's start with the research. By using FMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging), researchers have been able to identify clear developmental differences between boys and girls. In particular, neurologists have confirmed that the pre-frontal cortex of boys — the area of the brain that focuses on decision making, reading, writing and word production — is typically less developed than girls of the same age. As well, we now know that movement between the right and left brain hemispheres is generally weaker in boys.
Findings: What we know about boys and their learning
Boys are physical beings— they have a natural desire to move and learn best through sensory experiences
Teacher-centred classrooms tend to be difficult for most boys and, at St. George’s we avoid prolonged lecturing, note-taking, and quiet studying and focus more on hands-on learning in physical spaces that actually encourage movement and content manipulation.
Boys respond well to clear expectations and positive reinforcement—they thrive when there is a culture of clearly defined boundaries and opportunities to get tangible feedback.
At St. George’s we have created an environment where there is a sense of fairness and where everyone is accountable to a well-defined values system and rules structure. Accountability for oneself and one's "bros" fosters camaraderie and good character but, more importantly, it empowers the boys to lead and mentor each other to become the very best they can.
Boys thrive under a relational teaching method—they yearn for a strong sense of belonging in which teachers and coaches develop meaningful relationships with their students.
From the playing field to the stage to the classroom, team-based learning at St. George’s fully engages our faculty and boys in meaningful learning experiences that are transformational and lifelong.
A "level playing field" where all subjects are cool
Finally, researchers have discovered that students in a coeducational setting are actually prone to 'gender intensification'; that is, determining in their own right which subjects are suited for boys and which ones for girls and reinforcing those labels. Among applicants interviewed by our Admissions Office, we often see young men who are the product of this type of stereotyping; boys who want to pursue arts or languages yet feel intimidated in a coeducational environment as those subjects have been deemed by their peers to be not 'cool' for boys. In a boys school like St. George's, everything is a level "playing field"; our top athletes are often our top musicians, artists, and academics.
As you read our Strategic Plan, come to understand our approaches to teaching and learning, assess our curricular and co-curricular offerings, view the School's six core values, or look at the diversity of universities our grads have chosen to attend, you will come to understand how, in a world climate where boys are falling behind, St. George's School has become the school of choice for many boys and a leader in boys-centric education.
Download the Why A Boys School? brochure published by the International Boys' School Coalition.