A day in the life of: One of The Crypt School’s first female students

Boys aren’t scary! Maddie, one of the first girls to join The Crypt School, explains how the historic Gloucester school has smoothly transitioned to a co-educational system.

Since the introduction of girls into the lower school in 2018, The Crypt School in Gloucester has made the transition to a co-educational system as natural as possible for its male and female students – offering a range of co-curricular activities for everyone to mix socially, paying particular attention to pastoral care and providing a strong sense of community.

To get an insight into the perspective of a female student at the former all-boys’ school, SoGlos spoke with Maddie, a Year 8 student, and Hannah Attwood, the school’s Librarian, about the transition to a co-educational system and their experiences.

About The Crypt School

Striving for academic excellence, The Crypt School in Gloucester prides itself on the quality of education on offer, the fantastic opportunities available and its commitment to outstanding pastoral care. Providing a safe and encouraging environment, the School has achieved outstanding exam results over the years.

Its motto ‘Floreat Schola Cryptiensis’ means “flourish Cryptians” which reflects the school’s vision that all children will flourish in its care. With The Crypt School creating a strong foundation of support to guide its pupils, they can all fulfil their potential.

For more information, visit cryptschool.org.

Maddie – were you in the first year of mixed schooling?

Yes, I was. At first, I thought it was going to be really nerve-wracking but honestly it just wasn’t. The teachers treated us all the same and it was really nice – it felt like going into primary school again, obviously with a lot harder work! – but the process was really easy for me.

What’s a typical day like for you at The Crypt School?

We start the day at 8.35am with tutor time, where we do some quizzes, reading or a planned activity. On Mondays, we use this time to have a nice catch up about what happened over the weekend. For first period, I normally have a lesson such as Citizenship or Computing or something really fun to start the day. I do a club of some sort at lunchtime – I’m always really busy! After fifth period, I get on a bus for an hour’s journey home.

Do you take part in any after-school activities?

I take part in Grease, which is the school show this year, so I’m rehearsing Mondays and Tuesdays after school for that. I’m playing Patty Simcox; it’s been a bit challenging, but it’s going to be amazing! We’ve only got a month left until the show, so I’m in rehearsals a lot at the moment.

Why did you join the school given that Crypt used to be an all-boys school?

I joined Crypt because, firstly, it was an opportunity to be put down in the history books, which is an exciting thing for me! Also, I want to be a biologist so the school’s science facilities really appealed. Coming from a mixed primary school, it didn’t feel too scary.

Knowing that there are currently more boys than girls at the school, what advice would you give other girls who might think about joining The Crypt School next year?

I’d probably tell them not to worry – boys aren’t scary, they’re normal humans and they’re not going to hurt you in any way! Also, the teachers will always be there for you and Crypt has worked really hard to integrate girls into the school. You wouldn’t even notice that there’s never been girls here before.

Hannah, how has the school integrated girls into what used to be an all-boys environment?

Hannah: Our recent open day was probably our busiest ever – it definitely felt incredibly popular! We’ve completed one full year of having girls lower down the school now, which has worked really well; they were so brave to be part of the first cohort! Like Maddie said, the school has worked really hard to integrate them as naturally as possible. For example, we’ve got so many lunchtime clubs!

Maddie: Yes, I do choir and acapella, and there’s a jazz band and an orchestra, netball, table tennis, ping-pong, chess, computing… there are loads!

Hannah: There are lots of opportunities for the girls and boys to mix together including with those year groups which are not yet co-educational. The vast majority of the clubs have got boys and girls in them, so we’ve tried to make the transition as natural as possible for students.

Almost a third of Year 8 pupils are girls, with 47 in Maddie’s year group, and many have brothers already at the school which has helped. We hope that 60 girls will join the school in 2020.

Our sixth form has been mixed for years, but our numbers for girls in the sixth form has also increased since the transition. Moving to a co-educational system just seemed like a natural way to go. As a staff member, walking through the corridor now it’s completely normal to see girls lower down the school. They were ever-so confident last year; I was quite taken aback how they just seemed to take it in their stride!

For more information about The Crypt School, visit cryptschool.org.

By Amy Wright

© SoGlos
Monday 11 November 2019

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