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Gender-related consequences of early school transfer at 11+ years

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A unique early transfer scheme is described for one English secondary school and its eight feeder primary schools whereby all Year 6 children transfer to secondary school four weeks before the end of the summer term. The scheme has many implications. The main focus here comprises gender contrasts in children's perceptions of school life and curriculum subjects. Questionnaires were administered to all children before and after the four-week induction period, in 2004 and 2005. Prior to transfer, there were few gender differences in anxiety and in perceptions of curriculum subjects. Girls expressed higher levels of general anxiety and subject-oriented worry than did boys at most stages, although the gender contrast diminished in 2005. PE alone generated a relative increase in anxiety among girls during the induction period, arising from a greater improvement among boys set against a modest improvement among girls. The induction period enhanced gender differences in perceptions of subject 'usefulness'.
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Keywords: Curriculum; Gender; Perception; School transfer; Transition

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Exeter, UK

Publication date: June 1, 2007

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