Parallel Education - The Best of Both Worlds

Girls and boys thrive together at Haileybury thanks to our unique Parallel Education Model.

Both learn and play together from our Early Learning Centre (ELC) Program until Year 4. From Years 5 to 12 they attend mostly single-sex classes.

However, girls and boys attend the same campus, take some elective classes together, share school grounds and socialise together.

This unique method of teaching and learning recognises the diverse educational needs of all students and the importance of boys and girls spending time together.

Haileybury College opened in 1892 as a boys school. It began admitting girls in 2000 and Haileybury Girls College was formally established in 2002. Girls now make up 45 per cent of students.

Under parallel education, learning and activities reflect the students’ age, gender and the nature of activities. ELC and Junior School (Prep to Year 4) classes are co-instructional.

Middle School (Years 5 to 8) classes are separate, with interaction for appropriate activities, co-curricular and social programs such as Drama, Music, social and community activities.

Senior School (Years 9 to 12) classes are single-sex except where co-educational learning is advantageous. Each gender has separate study and recreation areas but can share a range of community areas.

This model is used across all Melbourne campuses and has seen enrolments increase dramatically over the past decade. In 2019, they exceeded 4,350.

Academic results have improved across all year levels and Haileybury was last year named Australian School of the Year.

Haileybury CEO | Principal Mr Derek Scott says exceptional learning outcomes are derived by having single-sex classes in the important middle years and, where needed, in the senior years.

“While boys and girls benefit from learning together in their early years, better educational outcomes are derived through single-sex classes in the important middle years,” he says.

“In the senior years, it is important to have a structure that supports the nature of the learning. This works best as single-gender in most classes, but combined classes are implemented when better learning outcomes will be achieved in that environment.”

Vice-Principal Community Engagement & Advancement Mr Scott Doran says this enlightened approach recognises diverse learning needs and offers the best of both worlds.

“The Parallel Education Model is based on a very clear idea—that single-sex classrooms within a co-educational school create the best learning environment,” Mr Doran says.

“Children can study free from distraction and maximise their chances of achieving academic excellence, but of course benefit from the social advantage of each other.

“As they grow older, boys and girls mix freely in the playground and attend Music, Drama and other activities together. All students benefit … regardless of their gender or learning type.”

If you would like to see our Parallel Education Model in action, you are welcome to attend the next Haileybury Open Morning at your preffered campus: