A Diamond Model School
Leweston is unique in the local area as the only school offering the diamond model of education.
What is a diamond model?
The diamond refers to the ‘shape’ of the educational experience. Boys and girls start their learning together in fully co-educational classes up to Year 8. From Year 9 to Year 11 they are taught separately in Maths and Science, but join together for other subjects, clubs and enrichment activities. Sixth Form is again co-educational in preparation for the world of higher education and work.
Why choose the Diamond Model?
The diamond model is often described as 'the best of both worlds' enabling pupils to access the academic benefits of single-sex education with the all-round advantages of a co-educational school.
There is strong evidence that girls and boys learn better in single-sex environments at key stages in their education. The diamond structure allows boys and girls to benefit from tailored learning and delivery techniques for boys and girls at an important stage in their development. Rather than increasing gender divisions the diamond model breaks down the stereotyping of subjects as being seen more suited to girls or boys, encouraging girls to be active in science and boys in the humanities and creative arts whilst the same curriculum is taught to both.
ISC Data published in 2016 revealed that GCSE performance for girls and boys is higher in a diamond model environment rather than a fully co-ed one. 96.4% of girls achieved 5 A* – C grades compared to 89.7% in co-ed and 97.8% of boys achieved A* – C grades compared to 87.6%. There was no difference in attainment at A Level.
Why is Leweston's diamond focusing on STEM?
There are nearly 20 schools across the country teaching variants of the diamond model: different sites, one site, separately for all subjects and separately only for some. Leweston's model teaches boys and girls separately for Maths, Science and Sport but brings them together for the humanities.
Our choice to concentrate the diamond model on STEM (Maths and Science) subjects is supported by evidence from the OECD which reports that girls are particularly vulnerable to low self-confidence which hampers their ability in science and maths. A survey commissioned by Microsoft found that girls in the UK become interested in STEM subjects just before the age of 11 but this drops sharply when they turn 16 and their interest does not recover. However in other subjects research from 8,000 mixed-gender schools across 33 different OECD countries shows that boys perform better when they are outnumbered by girls; specifically, where there are at least 60% girls in a class. The positive academic attributes of girls, such as higher motivation and concentration levels, positively influences boys and does not impact negatively on the attainment of girls.