Research shows that boys and girls not only have distinctive bodies, but distinctive brains. This means that their development is different in almost every way – socially, intellectually, physically and emotionally. So, how do we transition from a childcare or early learning environment to a school full of boys?
Prince Alfred College principal Bradley Fenner says that periods of structured and unstructured play throughout the day fosters engagement and interaction and develops boys’ curiosity to explore ‘things’ within their environment.
“Curiosity is hugely important to a boy being an interested and engaged learner and is actively encouraged,” he says. “They respond by using all their senses, rather than just reading about it or being told about it. This also caters for the majority of boys’ innate need to move, watch things move and make things move.”
Mr Fenner says recent studies show that 50 percent of six-year-old boys have difficulty sitting still for any longer than 20 minutes, making it important to keep sessions each day within this timespan.
“Instruction sessions are short and specific and are brought back individually, or in groups to redirect, further instruct, support or challenge as necessary,” he says.
“This also caters to individual attention and learning needs.”
“Finally, having a quality introduction to the creative areas of music, art, language, speech and drama, along with physical education, by specialist teachers who are well qualified in and passionate about, their subject areas, gives a well-balanced, quality and focused introduction to school life.”