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More boys than girls in a class

Discussion in 'Primary' started by dela, May 10, 2011.

  1. My daughter is starting reception in September with 8 girls and 22 boys in the class. I have never taught a class with this big a difference between the number of boys and girls. I am feeling a bit anxious and can't seem to separate my thoughts as a teacher and those as a parent. I feel there are more disadvantages for the girls than advantages. What advantages are there for the girls in this class?
  2. Fewer silly fallings out between the girls? In my experience, fewer girls means that they stick together well and fall out less often and tend to toughen up a bit quicker.
  3. CarrieV

    CarrieV Lead commenter

    I have 10 boys and 2 girls, Reception last year had 1 boy and 9 girls. They all seem to manage quite well! I really wouldn't worry, your daughter will have 29 other children, both girl AND boys to be friends with, which is surely all you could ask!
  4. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    But then again fewer girls mean there are fewer people to pal up with when you do fall out.

    I'd hate it for my daughter, however there isn't much you can do. She will probably toughen up a bit and become more of a tomboy than would be otherwise, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing.
  5. flickaz

    flickaz New commenter

    I currently have 15 children in my year 6 class, 11 are boys, 4 are girls (although 1 is happier when with the boys playing football and getting covered in mud etc). The remaining girls socialise with girls from other year groups at play times so no real problem there. From a teaching point of view I love it...boys are way easier!
  6. Worth asking the teacher how he/she will deal with the ratios - could they be encouraged to mix with Y1 or a parallel Yr R class?
  7. Sillow

    Sillow Lead commenter

    Most classes in my school have a ratio of about 2:1 in favour of boys. I didn't mind teaching with 21 boys and 8 girls last year; even though the boys could be a bit rowdy, it was only ever with each other. The girls in that class have continued to be mostly very girly-girl, so I could get them onside by talking about hairstyles, but keep most of the boys (and not-so-girly-girls) on task by being involved in sports teams and letting them follow the World Cup in class. Sometimes I allowed them to choose from two options for written work, gearing one more towards the boys so kept their interest as much as possible.
  8. breadmaker

    breadmaker New commenter

    Don't want to put a downer on some good responses, but with this difference in the numbers, I would say that the teacher needs to be very mindful that the boys do not dominate the whole class sessions. At this age, they tend to be less mature,more egotistical than the girls and less able to wait their turn etc. This classroom management can be hard for an experienced teacher and if the teacher is NQT for example, it may be worth sharing some whole class sessions between T and TA, with lots of careful planning and collaboration obviously and rotated so no one group gets more teacher time than the other, just to ensure that girls have a voice in the classroom and do not feel dominated.
    Obviously, this is not something you can suggest as a parent, but if you ever get the impression from talking to your daughter that this is the case, then it could be worth speaking to HT about it as it can become as real issue in some classes with such a difference in the balance.
    Hope she enjoys starting school.
  9. lardylady

    lardylady Star commenter

    Last year I had 23 boys and 7 girls in my Y2 class and it was the worst class I have ever taught in over 20 years. One of the most settled classes I taught had 7 boys and 23 girls!
  10. taj


    I think it depends on the personality mix of the children rather than the gender mix. My son was in a year group that was top heavy with boys right through his primary school phase. They were split into 2 classes, but his class always seemed to have more problems than the other one and my son often complained how noisy his class was. When they got to Y5, the staff recognised that various problems in the class were impacting on learning, so the two classes were mixed up again. My son was much happier in his new class although the ratio mix (roughly 2 boys to 1 girl) was still the same.

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