The power of an all-girls education: engaging, enriching and empowering young women


At Surval Montreux, an all-girls environment, it is perhaps inevitable that we look to surround our students with examples of female role models and influencers, and of issues impacting girls around the world, thereby encouraging them to go on to advocate for the rights of girls globally and empowering them to find ways to make a difference in the immediate and longer-term.

It is easy to state our commitment to helping our students develop as balanced, confident, resilient, compassionate individuals, equipped with the tools and skills to face the challenges they may confront in tomorrow’s world. But how do we maximise the advantages of the context of an all-girls environment to achieve this?


Engagement must start with a feeling of belonging. Girls are generally quick to establish friendships, and, whilst helping girls navigate their friendships can be an emotional journey for all involved, there is no doubt that girls naturally feel a sense of connectedness with their all-female peers.  The all-girls environment provides a supportive environment where girls can navigate what is often a rocky period of complex emotions and character development during the teenage years and can grow in self-awareness, free of some of the social pressures which may come with being in a mixed environment.


In an all-girls environment, all opportunities are available for girls, with no potentially misguided questions asked about whether it is more suited to males or females, be it about subject options, their choice of enrichment activities or positions of responsibility. Girls are free to follow their interests unconstrained by any perceived limits on expectations. Surrounded by an unquestioning openness to opportunities and exposed to a comprehensive programme of activities, sports, trips and clubs, girls are more likely to give things a go and thereby develop wide-ranging interests.


We seek to empower girls by instilling in them the confidence to speak up and grasp opportunities, to take the lead.  This starts in the classroom, where, in our highly personalised learning environment with an average class size of 10 or under, we focus on girls taking ownership of their learning rather than relying heavily on the teacher to be the font of all knowledge. They are encouraged to think critically and flexibly and to problem solve, skills which they will need in the fast-changing workplace.

In summary, our role is to educate and empower young women to be proud of who they are and to see themselves as the equal to anyone. The mindset instilled through a girls-only education seeks to raise the students` awareness of their natural advantages during their time at school and to help them articulate what they are gaining from their school experiences. The impact of their all-girls international education here at Surval Montreux is unlikely to become fully evident until later in life as and when they find themselves living and working in multicultural environments, leading and managing teams and companies, embarking on their creative business venture,  working for an NGO, or sitting in a boardroom.


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