An Introduction to Girls’ Schools

New to girls’ schools? We’ve created this course for you

The first program of its kind designed specifically for educators in Australian and New Zealand girls’ school

Challenge your understanding of the practicalities and best practices for teaching and learning in girls’ schools. Led by renowned education futurist and academic Prof Erica McWilliam AM, the course uses classroom research undertaken by Prof McWilliam in Australian and New Zealand schools, backed with advice from experienced principals of girls’ schools.

An Introduction to Girls’ Schools is an entirely asynchronous on-demand online course that helps staff to better understand the nuances and best practice of working in an all-girls school. The self-paced course consists of three modules, each taking around eight to ten hours to complete. It encourages collaboration and discussion with colleagues creating opportunities for staff to make important connections within the school.

Participants can schedule their own involvement, including start date for the course after which they will have 30 days to complete the program. Estimated time to complete the course is 20-30 hours.

Watch this video for a snapshot overview of the course

Download the course brochure

The course will:

  • Look at pedagogical strategies that work with girls in the classroom and during remote learning.
  • Help teachers to ‘hit the ground running” with best practices and relevant research.
  • Support teachers new to girls’ schools to understand what it means to teach in a girls’ school.
  • Consider common challenges faced by girls’ school educators.
  • Provide feedback and guidance from an expert on girls’ education.
  • Deliver practical advice from accomplished and respected principals of girls’ schools.

How does it work?

In a clever combination of on-demand online learning and practical applications, the course is made up of three modules. The self-paced program allows participants to progress through each stage at their convenience while supported by course facilitator Prof Erica McWilliam, adjunct professor in the Faculty of Education at QUT.

Course outline:

Unit 1: High Expectations, High Support

The theme for this unit is building teaching capacity for low threat high challenge learning for girls.

Learning objectives:

  • Optimising student engagement from day one
  • Broadening a teacher’s collaborative repertoire
  • Accessing the thinking of effective teachers about classroom practice.

The high expectations, high support classroom is not a ‘set and forget’ initiative, it needs to be built and sustained through explicit practices that ramp up the learning challenge and ensure that every girl feels included and can experience success.This unit reveals the strategies and practices of successful teachers and successful classes along with advice from a panel of experienced heads of girls’ schools.

Unit 2: Not Yet and What If

The theme for this unit is using praise to build girls’ learning readiness and learning outcomes.

Learning objectives:

  • Differentiating praise effectively in the classroom
  • Building ‘stickability’ in high challenge learning tasks
  • Designing better questions.

Because giving and receiving praise is so important, teachers, like parents, need to be aware of some of the pitfalls and possibilities of using praise to improve girls’ learning readiness and learning outcomes.This unit aims to optimise awareness of how teachers can work to minimise anxiety and maximise possibility when it comes to girls and their learning both inside and outside the classroom.

Unit 3: Establishing a Positive Culture of Learning

The theme for this unit is collaboration in the classroom, staffroom and online.

Learning Objectives:

  • Engaging as an active schoolwide collaborator
  • Seeking opportunities for leadership
  • Building a collaborative learning community in the classroom
  • Rethinking pedagogy and culture for remote learning.

How do we model collaboration for the girls and build collaboration into the learning environment? This unit assists teachers seeking to build and sustain more collaborative cultures in their schools, staffrooms and classrooms both in-person and virtually.


Assessment consists of three case studies requiring written responses of 250-400 words each. Individual feedback is provided by Prof. McWilliam.


$275 per participant (member schools) $495 (non member schools) plus GST

Discounts are available for 10 or more participant per year.


Places are limited. Contact [email protected] to find out more.

Registration Form: An Introduction to Girls' Schools

Complete the details below to receive course access.
  • Please provide your school email address
  • Please provide a daytime phone number