FOR more than 90 years, Trafalgar School has seen boys roaming its corridors.
But now, the school formerly known as the City of Portsmouth Boys School, is getting ready to welcome its first female pupils.
Girls from primaries across the city had their first taste of life in secondary school yesterday as part of their transition.
In total, 38 girls will start at the school from September, and yesterday they met some of the staff and had lessons in subjects such as maths, science and art.
Maddy Smith, 10, from Northern Parade Junior School in Hilsea, said: ‘Other people are a bit nervous about it because there are so many boys in school.
‘But it’s quite exciting because it’s different. I’m looking forward to it.’
It makes it real that the school is changing. It’s good to see such excited, smiling facesSteve Labedz, executive headteacher
Lola Yearsley, 11, is at Corpus Christi Catholic Primary.
She said: ‘I feel really nervous because it’s the first time that I have been around quite a lot of boys.
‘There have always been more girls than boys at my school.’
Diercy Mbaso, 11, is a pupil at Victory Primary.
She said: ‘It’s exciting. It seems fun here, getting to know different people. I am looking forward to it.’
The decision for the school to go co-educational was made as there was not enough demand in the city for a boys-only school.
Executive headteacher Steve Labedz said: ‘It makes it real that the school is changing.
‘It’s good to see such excited, smiling faces.
‘These girls are going to be the pioneers so we want them to have a brilliant time.
‘They are going to be breaking new ground with everything that they do.
‘I believe in mixed education. I believe that the girls continue to bring something to the boys’ education that they don’t get otherwise.
‘I believe that the girls will get something from it too.
‘School isn’t just about cramming for exams.
‘It’s about getting the right jobs to be successful in life.
‘I believe you do better in a mixed environment.’
The Portsmouth Academy for Girls has applied to become a co-educational school and is waiting to hear from the Education Funding Agency about whether or not the application has been successful.