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Flegg pupils' survey of boys vs girls

PUBLISHED: 15:15 08 May 2009 | UPDATED: 13:52 03 July 2010

“You boy at the back, keep quiet and do your tie up!”

Those are words that most men may recall from their schooldays as teachers admonished them for their poor behaviour in the classroom.

“You boy at the back, keep quiet and do your tie up!”

Those are words that most men may recall from their schooldays as teachers admonished them for their poor behaviour in the classroom.

But now a survey at a Norfolk high school has revealed that some teachers may have been unfair to focus on the unruly behaviour of male pupils.

According to pupils and staff at Flegg High School, in Martham, near Yarmouth, the vast majority - 77pc - believe girls get away with more in lessons. And it may come as no surprise that 93pc think that girls are neater than boys.

The survey is part of an ambitious school project to see why girls at Flegg High continue to get better GCSE results than their male counterparts.

As well as the perception that girls can misbehave in their classroom without being punished, the Are Boys Smarter than Girls film project has revealed that GCSEs may not be geared properly for practically- minded boys.

Yesterday, the final stage of filming took place for the 10-minute documentary, which could help schools across the county combat any educational gaps between girls and boys and improve all their standards.

Year nine pupil Emily Pratt was not surprised that boys seem to be picked on in the classroom more.

She said: “Girls get away with more as boys are always seen as the main suspects. Girls are also better at their lessons because they work harder.”

The film survey project, involving community movie maker Michelle Savage's Shelly Telly, has also shown that boys are keen not to be seen as bookworms and have to show off in their classroom to their peers.

They also prefer activity and challenged-based lessons.

Pupil Matt Barnes said he had noticed that some girls were not told off for chewing gum or wearing their ties wrongly.

The project was set up after a 2008 Ofsted report noted that “girls continue to achieve better than boys, which reflects the national trend, but the gap between boys' and girls' attainment in 2007 was too wide”.

Deputy headteacher Mike Ward agreed that boys were underachieving compared to girls because of peer pressure and the need to change the way GCSEs are taught. But he firmly refuted suggestions that girls were treated better than boys.

He said: “I disagree with that fact and would be very, very surprised if any of my teachers acted like that.”

Other survey results showed that only 24pc thought boys were brighter than girls and 77pc said that girls were better at doing what they have been told.

It is hoped the Are Boys Smarter than Girls documentary will be premiered in Norwich in June and that copies could be sent to schools across the region.


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