Century of tradition gone as Guildford Grammar senior school welcomes girls

Year 11 students James Moore and Sophie Carrington. Photo: Martin Kennealey
Year 11 students James Moore and Sophie Carrington.Photo: Martin Kennealey
Year 11 students James Moore and Sophie Carrington. Photo: Martin Kennealey Year 11 students James Moore and Sophie Carrington.Photo: Martin Kennealey

ONE of WA’s oldest boys’ schools opened the doors to girls on Monday in a move to reflect the modern workplace.

The historic day wound back more than a century of tradition at Guildford Grammar School.

Decades of boys-only education ended on the first day of term in 2018 as 49 girls joined the senior school.

Among the 21 girls to start Year 11 were students from the all-girls school Perth College.

Guildford Grammar School principal Stephen Webber said the decision “aligned to a world in which our students live”.

Senior enrolments at the school are up by 60 students.

“The school has been coeducational in the preparatory school for over 40 years and a key reason for the change was to enable all of our students to enjoy the benefit of our senior school programs and to graduate from Guildford Grammar School.”

The New Year welcomed girls in Year 7, 8 and 11 and by 2019, the school where students wear the emblem ‘Go Forward’ will be fully co-educational.

Mr Webber said gender was not a factor in the recruitment of two new roles to accommodate the change, simply “just the best person for the job”.

The school has welcomed a co-education transition coordinator and a director of girls sport.

Mr Webber said female teachers represented 42 per cent of teaching staff at the senior school.

“Educational research continues to demonstrate that the major factor in student achievement and well-being is actually the quality of the person who is teaching and their ability to build positive relationships with students,” he said.

Guildford girls will have full access to the school’s curriculum choices and participate in a flexible sporting program.

As part of a standard curriculum review, the school has added the subjects of dance, Guildford gourmet, smart fabric technology, and solar and wind power.

Preparations for the change focused on improvements to upgrade outdoor ‘socialisation’ furniture, sports courts and the addition of girls’ toilets.

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