Inspiring Expression: How to Combat the Drop in Girls’ Confidence

Last Updated on : 26th April 2023

Studies show that, for many girls, their natural confidence begins to decline from about 8-years-old and sadly for many it doesn’t recover until they’re over 70. This drop in girls’ confidence is not a function of biology or destiny but one of culture and opportunity.

“Schools need to develop the right mental attitudes, but they also need to design the right structures… most schools are co-ed by accident, not by design. They might appear gender-neutral, but they are not necessarily gender-equal. It is significant that fewer girls than boys think schools provide equal opportunities, and there is by no means universal confidence that their future lives will be free of gendered obstacles.”

Kevin Stannard, GDST Director of Innovation and Learning, The Girls’ Futures Report

Inspiring Expression, a series of three after-school workshops for state-school girls in Reception to Year 2, is an outreach initiative from Streatham & Clapham High School to help foster opportunities for girls to express themselves through creativity.

Learning to take risks, make mistakes and be happy with yourself are skills that need practice. Self-expression and creativity are some of the best ways to do this.

‘In any school you see different pockets of the classroom that encourage children to get messy, to explore, to try new things, to take risks; but the difference in a single-sex girls’ school is they haven’t got the boys to compete with… to get to the bikes first, or to play with the Lego… they are free to explore any corner of the classroom they want, for as long as they want, and really foster those developing interests and curiosities, that in a mixed setting is harder to do.’

Miss Sophie Dowler, SCPS Phase Leader for Early Years

The Inspiring Expression workshops, designed to develop confidence, encourage self-expression and enjoyment through Art, Drama and Music, will be run by Streatham & Clapham’s subject specialist teachers through-out May. They are part of the GDST’s commitment to…

‘Help shape the future for all girls, beyond the walls of GDST schools… and reach as many girls as possible’

(The GDST Girls’ Futures Report 2022)

Places are free but limited and sign up is required.

Go to for more details and to book.

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