From its beginnings in 1958, St John's Grammar has been a co-educational school. We believe that the education of boys and girls together is the most natural setting for learning.
The myth persists that both boys and girls achieve more academically without the "distraction" of the opposite sex. The research is, however, ambivalent. It is extremely difficult to prove the success of a group of students is principally due to their separation from the opposite sex. In fact, considerable research shows it is teacher quality, socio-economic status and the intelligence of individual children that are the major determinants of student success. Consequently our focus is on recruiting and retaining excellent teachers, the provision of high quality professional learning opportunities and facilitation of teams of teachers collaborating with each other.
The primary concern of St John's Grammar School is for the individual care and progress of each student. Fortunately, in a co-educational environment, the curriculum offerings provide broader opportunities for both girls and boys. For example, whereas some schools may not have Food Technology facilities, or Design & Technologies workshops, St John's Grammar offers both of these, and children may select courses according to their interest in non-traditional areas.
The basis for offering as wide a curriculum as possible is that this has been shown to improve self-esteem, and a love of learning. It is also for this reason that St John's Grammar offers a range of electives from Year 8. Vertical classes are used in the Arts in some instances to provide even greater offerings for students in Years 8, 9 and 10.
As students develop physically, and change emotionally, it is quite common to observe that boys may not succeed at the same rate as girls in the upper primary and lower secondary years. The reasons for this are complex, and require much research. A number of initiatives are being undertaken to examine why some boys are disinclined in their schoolwork in those years. While boys may go "off the boil" during those years, it follows that more girls than boys may well receive the accolades and rewards from their teachers.
In the later years of secondary schooling, any imbalance is soon corrected, and again with all other factors being equal in a co-educational environment, and with the appropriate motivation from staff, any difference in academic progress according to the gender of students diminishes. Participation by girls in the Sciences and Mathematics may be slightly lower in number than boys, but the evidence is that girls who select these subjects succeed just as highly as boys and frequently better than boys.
In a co-educational school we offer leadership opportunities for both girls and boys, and it is usual for co-captains to be a boy and girl. This reinforces a message to the whole school community about the equality of the sexes. Within staff appointments, it is the endeavour of management to see that there is equality of opportunity in staff appointments to positions of authority in the administration of a department, of a House, or a sport.