The Diamond Model
Single sex teaching in a unique, coeducational environment
Ipswich High School’s Diamond Model approach to education is unique in Suffolk but is increasingly favoured by leading schools across the country. It is an approach which not only gets the very best from pupils, but also from teaching staff, as they are able to tailor their professional techniques for girls and boys in different subjects.
What is the Diamond Model?
The term Diamond Model refers to the shape of the educational journey; with boys and girls being taught together in the lower years of the Prep School, separately for some subjects from age 10 – 16, and together again in the Sixth Form.
Why do we follow the Diamond Model?
Ipswich High School has incredible expertise and experience in single-sex teaching and we have used this, combined with analysis of significant educational research to formulate our approach to learning.
We believe that teaching boys and girls separately is still important in several key subjects at specific times of their educational journey. Our approach gives us the flexibility to do this.
The Diamond Model recognises that, as girls and boys reach their teenage years, they approach their learning in different ways. Boys, for example, are more spatially aware, and girls have well-developed verbal skills. It is right, therefore, that as a modern educational institution, keen to deliver the best possible methods of teaching for our pupils, we should take this into account and shape our learning accordingly.
In addition, evidence shows that boys and girls can face traditional gender stereotypes in some subject areas. For example, there is a lower proportion of girls taking STEM-related subjects at university and this is attributed to a lack of engagement at school. By teaching girls and boys separately, each gender has a chance to thrive in science lessons. Conversely, boys often lag behind in literacy and language development and separate teaching of English enables boys to study texts for example which are of more interest to them. This is often distinct from girls’ literary interests.
However, coeducational teaching in subjects such as the humanities enables all pupils to participate in the synthesis of new ideas and active discussions.
By teaching boys and girls separately in core subjects at critical times in their educational journey, our teaching staff can tailor our pedagogy to best suit the needs of each group, getting the most out of every individual. This enables accelerated learning.
Alongside the ability to tailor teaching, the Diamond Model also allows pastoral care to be focused on the gender-specific needs of the pupils. This system also provides the opportunity for pupils to develop positive and respectful relationships with others in a coeducational setting.
How can this approach benefit my child?
At Ipswich High School we aim to recognise and value the individuality of each child, providing opportunities for them to develop their potential within a happy, supportive community. The Diamond Model allows us to blend the benefits of single-sex teaching in a coeducational environment, preparing them for the real world.
While pupils are taught in a way that suits their gender and age, the core values of both boys and girls education remain the same.
The school has a unique, warm character with an outstanding academic provision – a perfect ethos for happiness and success.
Ipswich High School’s Diamond Model Approach*
PRE-PREP TO YEAR 4
YEARS 5 TO 6
Separate teaching for some Sport and Performing Arts activities
YEARS 7 TO 8
Separate teaching for English, Maths, Science, Sport, DT, Food and Performing Arts
Separate teaching for English, Maths, Science and Sport
YEARS 10 TO 11
Separate teaching for English, Maths and Sport
*Correct at time of publishing.