School's boy-only group a class act
YEAR 5/6MZ at Coraki Primary School is a little different.
In the class of 25 the only girls are the teachers.
Principal Geoff Spargo began the 'boys only' program this year when he recognised the different learning styles of boys and girls.
"Boys generally have a short attention span and may become disruptive from boredom. They also cope better with routine and rules," he said.
"Research has shown that separating genders in the classroom can work. It fell out of fashion for a while, but we saw a need for this type of class in the area."
The classroom reflects the boys' interests, with sports posters and a footy tipping competition decorating the walls.
Now that they have become comfortable with one another, the boys are getting on better and find they are not only learning more, but enjoying school.
Student Dylan Nabbe is having a great time in the classroom.
"I didn't like school before," he said. "It was always hard to get work done with girls around. They talk too much. I'm learning much more this year."
Classmate Reece Olive agreed.
"We do different work to the girls. It's more visual. And it's a lot easier to concentrate," he said.
The class has two teachers, Maureen Malecker and Audrey Zambelli, who are assisted by teacher's aide Keith Martin.
Maureen, who teaches the class four days a week, has seen a change in the boys, individually and as a group.
"I've found that they've become more co-operative and tolerant. They listen to each other's ideas and give feedback," she said. "They feel successful and confident."
Audrey Zambelli takes the class on Fridays and for sport, and is also proud of the boys and their progress.
"I had some of these boys in Year 4. They are maturing into really good boys," she said. "They're working really well with each other."
The boys interact regularly with a class next door mainly composed of girls for dancing, singing and excursions, but the rest of their class time is boy-only with a curriculum focusing heavily on English, mathematics and technology.
Much of their school work is also hands-on and based on real-life situations, which boys generally respond to better.
Mr Spargo is pleased with the outcome so far.