“If education is to be for life, education must, with certain inevitable limitations, be life. What we are doing now…is to enable parents to send children at the same time to a private school and to a coeducational school. This is a new dimension in South African education. It is a bridging dimension. It is a broadening dimension…” – Rev Howard Kirkby
Kingswood is known for pushing boundaries. For leading the way. For making the difficult, yet right, decisions. This, this is the Kingswood we know.
For this week’s #ThrowbackThursday we look back at when in 1973 Kingswood College opened its doors to girls for the first time, making it a coeducational school.
As we welcome more pupils back to our school, the sense of family and togetherness is returning to our campus. As we all know, a family takes on many shapes and forms and at Kingswood we embrace the diversity of the pupils and staff that make up our Kingswood family.
Watching our girls and boys interact and socialise, is one of the unique things about our school – and it is wonderful to watch these friendships develop and unfold.
Could you even imagine a Kingswood where girls were not part of the Kingswood fabric?
We asked some of our Grade 3s to weigh in on coeducation and here is what some of them had to say:
“It’s good to be friends with boys” – Amyliso
“Girls are funny, we need them in class” – Oliver
“It’s good to have boys in the class because they keep things in balance” – Annabelle
“I am a social person. So the more friends the better” – Max
“It just makes sense. The boys can see how the girls are and the girls can see how the boys are.” – Nthando
When the decision was made to allow girls to join Kingswood College, our school was one of very few private school in South Africa to put aside the monastic model of teaching in favour of one which allowed both boys and girls to attend the same school, in a private school sphere.
In the book Still Upon a Frontier by the Rev Howard Kirkby, he quoted the following about the introduction of girls to the school: “If education is to be for life, education must, with certain inevitable limitations, be life. What we are doing now…is to enable parents to send children at the same time to a private school and to a coeducational school. This is a new dimension in South African education. It is a bridging dimension. It is a broadening dimension…”
We truly believe that the fact that we have both boys and girls under the Kingswood College flag is one of the things that make us unique. It fosters camaraderie and equality and our pupils push each other to be better, to excel and to exceed in the various spheres of the school.
We asked our Grade 7s to have the last say and here is what some of them said:
“I think that it’s important to have both boys and girls in class together, because it is good to collaborate, and to have a mixture of friends: boys and girls.” – Mercedes
“With having boys and girls together in class we really are an unstoppable team – Bonga
“It is so important to be in a co-ed school because you will learn to be more confident in socialising with boys and girls which will help you when you leave school.” – Yolisa
“I like being in a co-ed school because we can learn to treat both genders in the same way.” – Mihir
I think Mr John Gardener (then Headmaster) would be so impressed with how far we have come since the proposal was first made to make Kingswood College co-ed, especially with what these young people have to say about being in a coeducational school – it was worth it!