IELTS Model Essay: Boys’ And Girls’ Schools

IELTS Model Essay Boys and Girls Schools

Here is another of my IELTS model essays for IELTS Writing Task 2. It’s a discuss both views essay question from the IELTS General Training Test:

Some people think that it is better to educate boys and girls in separate schools. Others, however, believe that boys and girls benefit more from attending mixed schools.

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

(Cambridge IELTS Book 8 General Training Test B)

This question topic is education, specifically whether schools should be co-educational (i.e. both girls and boys) or single sex (i.e. separate schools for girls and boys).

The two views in this task are clearly opposite ones: one view argues for separate schools; the other for co-educational schools. You will probably support one view, but you still need to acknowledge the arguments for both views, including the one you disagree with. This means you need to present the arguments for both views.

If you’re going to practise your writing using this question, but you are struggling to generate ideas for your  IELTS essay, it’s a good idea to look online for arguments for the two views. For example, here is an interesting article which gives arguments for single sex schools. (Personally I think some of these arguments are a bit exaggerated!)

My Essay Plan

Here is my essay plan. Remember, it’s really important to plan your IELTS essay or you can get lost when you write. I find it difficult to write a clear, coherent essay without a plan.

View 1 (it’s better to have separate schools for boys and girls)

  • fewer distractions from opposite sex (fashion, behaviour, etc) so can focus on study
  • girls more likely to study subjects traditionally seen as boys subjects – e.g. science

View 2 (boys and girls benefit more from co-ed schools)

  • schools can challenge these stereotypes, girls outperforming boys in the UK in science
  • they learn to socialise with members of opposite sex – important social skill

My View

  • schools can proactively encourge girls in subjects like science
  • school is both a learning environement and social one too, so crucial to allow mixing of genders – school should reflect real world because it is preparing young people for the real world

My Essay

Some people think that it is better to educate boys and girls in separate schools. Others, however, believe that boys and girls benefit more from attending mixed schools.

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

Many countries offer parents the choice of whether to send their children to single sex schools or co-educational schools, and there are various arguments for both systems.

One justification for educating boys and girls separately is that young people will not be distracted by a desire to impress members of the opposite sex through such things as fashion, behaviour, body image or make-up. This not only means that students can instead focus on their studies, but they are likely to feel more confident. Another reason is that in a girls’ school, girls are more likely to do well in subjects traditionally seen as “boy’s subjects”, such as science, because they don’t have to overcome these stereotypes.

However, such stereotypes can be challenged. When schools actively encourage girls to study these so-called boys’ subjects, they can attain high levels. In the United Kingdom, for example, where co-educational schools are common, girls are now achieving higher levels of attainment in science than boys, which seems to undermine the argument that girls do better in single sex schools. It should also be recognised that schools are not just educational environments, they are also social settings, and having boys and girls mixing together means that young people learn to socialise and work together with members of the opposite sex. Without that socialisation, boys in particular pay have difficulty interacting with girls as they get older.

Personally I feel that if schools actively challenge traditional gender biases towards certain subjects, then there is little justification for single sex schools. And I think it is important to recognise the importance of a school in developing social skills, and therefore mixed gender schools seem to be the ones most parents prefer. After all, schools are supposed to prepare young people for the real world, and there in most countries there is little if any gender segregation.

(309 words)

Posted in IELTS Model Essays.

Charles Cornelius is a PGCE and CELTA-qualified teacher and former IELTS Examiner with 25 years' teaching experience all over the world. He has worked for some of the major English language schools including International House, IDP and The British Council. He holds a MA in Education from the University of Bath. His courses, for both English language learners and teachers, have been taken by over 70,000 students in over 160 countries around the world.

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