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For a week in June, I attended Longhill School, Rottingdean to experience life in a big co-ed school. I wondered whether it would be more difficult to focus in larger classes and if I would feel that I didn’t want to look too clever in front of the boys.
In the first classes I was in I noticed the girls didn’t seem to want to put up their hand in lessons in case they were teased for ‘sweating’ – trying too hard. It seemed it’s not ‘cool’ to be clever, particularly if you are a girl.
But on the second day I joined the top set classes which were completely different. Teaching standards were incredible and everyone wanted to learn. Girls contributed as much as boys and there was no teasing. The teachers were full of energy, passionate about their subjects and they worked very hard to engage with the students who were all self-motivated and very intelligent. I was blown away by this.
One big difference was that I actually found myself spending quite a bit of time getting ready in the mornings for Longhill, whereas at Roedean I generally just roll out of bed and into my uniform before leaving for school. You do want to look your best when there are boys around...
Overall I really enjoyed my week at Longhill, although equally I appreciate what I have at Roedean; small classes and individual attention, committed and enthusiastic teachers and single-sex education where we can just really be ourselves. We can turn cartwheels in our skirts here and no-one bats an eyelid!