Trying to remember how boys and girls were treated within my primary school was difficult to examine compared to the current schooling situation. Sure, both genders were allowed to participate in the different activities which took place – these were part of the curriculum. However, sports were aimed more at supporting the boys within the class and activities such as baking and art were generally focussed at the girls. This type of separation continued during “Golden Time” – a short period of time on a Friday afternoon which allowed for children to freely choose from a list of activities, what they would like to do. Each week it was clear which activity particular children would pick, and the activities such as sewing were predominantly girls. It would be almost frowned upon for a boy to be within that activity.
To summarise on my experience, whilst I did not feel excluded from any particular activities at school, on reflection I can see that there was not an entire focus on the inclusion of both genders into both types of activities, and instead there was an emphasis on selected activities being encouraged to individual genders.
Times have changed since then. With the introduction of the Curriculum for Excellence, and of course the changing expectations and understandings from people’s general lifestyles, it is becoming less of a “girl activity” or a “boy activity”. Criteria’s for the curriculum allow for inclusion of all, regardless of things such as gender or ability. The future is encouraging for children to be within a more inclusive society regardless of gender, social class or ethnicity.