Bullying In Singapore : Where has Bullying Happened? [2.1]

Bullying In Singapore : Where has Bullying Happened? [2.1]


In the last post, we talked about how a study was conducted among primary and secondary school students on bullying in their schools. So, where does bullying normally occur? Do they differ in primary and secondary school?


RELATED: Research says You Child Plays a Role in Being Bullied

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The Primary school students reported that most bullying took place in areas such as canteens, school fields as well as classrooms. Most of the bullying tend to occur in the canteen. Interestingly, bullying in the school field happens more frequently than in Secondary schools.


RELATED: Overview of Bullying in Singapore: We Know it Exists [1/6]

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The Secondary students report that most bullying occured in the same areas – except bullying in classrooms tend to happen more often than most.

Some parents may ask –

“Why does it happen in the classroom? What is the teacher doing?”

“The canteen is very public. How come bullying can take place?”


Most bullying tend to occur in the canteen during recess or after school. Some parents asked why so, especially since there are many students around at the same time. That itself is an issue. Most teachers prefer to avoid the canteen during the recess time or after school as there tend to be too many students milling around. Even when teachers are available in the canteen, unless they are delegated to patrol during recesses, most teachers will wound up chatting or having a quick meal.  When there are too many students crowding at the same time, interactions between student multiply. Between the hustle and bustle, one may not notice another student being bullied as most students are involved with their own matters.


Most bullying tend to occur in classrooms in Secondary schools during the transition between classes as well as relief periods. As students grow older, most bullies tend to be more assertive and confident of themselves in strengths and prowess. They are also able to assess the class management style of a teacher. Thus, most bullies are not afraid to act out in a teacher’s presence if they deem that they are able to get away with it. Furthermore, quick transition periods allow students to grab quick opportunities to hit out at someone.

(7) Child’s Personality and Capabilities: Average or Branded School? [With Examples] [ How to Select an Appropriate Secondary School]

(7) Child’s Personality and Capabilities: Average or Branded School? [With Examples] [ How to Select an Appropriate Secondary School]

IMG_0472This is the seventh post of the series “How to Select an Appropriate Secondary School”

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The biggest headache that most parents face is if the choice of secondary school will meet our child’s needs. A quick check on the net will surface websites that advise students to look at the the child’s interests, strengths and personalities.

However, after years of observation – I realise a child’s academic performance plays the one of the biggest influencing factor in a child’s success in Secondary School.

Students who believe they are in control of their academic grades will fare better in schools.

Thus in this article, I will be looking at three main things: motivation, self-confidence and strengthssimply because there is never a child who wants to go to school to fail.  

I will be disregarding the child’s interest (this topic was covered here) and other possible influencing social factors (here and here).

RELATED: Science Shows the Best Way to Communicate with a Teenager (aged 12-19) who is not Listening to You

Now, I will be looking at a few scenarios using 2 students with different results: One child does very well for PSLE and another who just barely made it.

Please note that this is just a rough guide and may not necessarily be the truth for your child.

One thing to note is I believe very strongly in Study Skills – Which utilises the different learning styles for learning where students obtain optimal learning for minimum effort.

The reason for this is because scientifically, the knowledge to utilise many different learning styles in study skills are the main differences between weak and strong learners.

This concept has been proven several times. Yet, schools do not devote time to teach these skills in schools as it take up too much time and branded companies are charging at least 4K and above to learn them.

Now let’s look at what happens when a child enters a branded school when he/she barely makes it:1

Never forget that there will also be intense competition in a school, especially branded ones.

Furthermore, when one is not equipped with appropriate study skills, they may have a lot of trouble understanding and absorbing material before the teachers move to the next topic.

However, things might be different if one is equipped with them:


What about if my child does very well? What happens if he/she is smart from the start? If your child is given extra work and subjects as compared to the Primary school, are they able to cope with it to meet your expectations you have already implanted in them?

Remember, no child wants to make their parents unhappy by failing on purpose unless….

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However, if your child is able to manage his/her time very well with many study skills under their belt, it is very likely your child may be able to thrive very well:

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What happens if you chooses to send your child an average school? Are you making a big mistake?

Well, it depends on your child’s aptitude. Even in a neighbourhood school, there is competition and at the end of the year, the teachers may or may not remind them they will be competing with a few thousand students who will be graduating around the same as them.

If your child struggles to understand material, they may still feel overwhelmed even though the pressure is lower:

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If your child is taught a few study skills beyond what they usually use, they may actually be able to advance beyond the pack.

Otherwise, it’s up to the perseverance and full emotional support of home and/or teachers to ensure that they will be willing to spend much effort to study:

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If you have other views, please feel free to share them with me.

Bullying in Singapore: The Statistics [2.1]

Bullying in Singapore: The Statistics [2.1]

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In 2006, a research was conducted by Harvest Centre for Research , Training and Development and Coalition Against Bullying for Children and Youth. More than 4000 students aged 7 to 16 were interviewed via online and pen and paper. To ensure that the surveys conducted were fair, they included students from all four areas of Singapore as well as student care centres.

The online version was PRAQ (Peer Relations Assessment Form). It was a short questionnaire which could be completed in less than 20 minutes and it focused on the following:

  • the nature and extent to which bullying occurred in a school
  • how children have reacted to bullying at school
  • consequences of victims’ feelings of safety, attendance and well-being
  • informing others and outcomes
  • students’ perceptions of teachers’ concern about bullying at school

As all questionnaires were anonymous, the children were very honest in answering their questions.

The physical version was DINO-Map. It consisted a single A4-sized worksheet with pictures and only a few words on it. It was specifically designed with the self-esteem and feelings of target/victim in mind. The first page was for children to identify the types of bullying behaviour that occurred while the second page was a map to indicate where the bullying took place.

The results were stunning indeed. Although this study took place in 2006 and cyberbullying was not widespread as now, it gave extremely valuable insights on the reasons why our bullied children felt and not speaking up. For the next few posts, we will be looking at the results of the surveys.

  1. Where has bullying happened
  2. The types of bullying reported
  3. How victims or bystanders feel about bullying
  4. Whether they skipped school because of bullying
  5. Who the victims tell about their bullying encounter
  6. Whether things generally improved about reporting
  7. What victims think of teachers’ interest in solving their problems


Source: Breaking the Silence – Bullying in Singapore / Edited by Esther Ng and Ken Rigby



Science Says Your Anxiety over Your Child’s Math Scores is Doing More Harm than Good

Science Says Your Anxiety over Your Child’s Math Scores is Doing More Harm than Good

With the recent trend of parents taking PSLE math workshops to help their children with their math homework and assignments, this comes as a surprise revelation to me.

If your child tends to be very anxious over math and breakout in cold sweat, you, the parent, may be just the reason.

 RELATED: 5 Ways to Lower Your Child’s Anxiety

The Study

Four hundred and thirty-eight 7-8 year-old students were assessed in math achievement and math anxiety at both the beginning and end of the school academic year. The team  the team also assessed reading achievement as a control variable  – which they found was not related to parents’ math anxiety.

Parents completed a questionnaire about their own nervousness and anxiety around math and how often they helped their children with math homework.

The researchers believed that the performances of the children depend on math attitudes of their parents than genetics.

Your Responses my Harm Your Children’s Self-Esteem

The interesting study, led by UChicago psychologists Sian Beilock and Susan Levine,  discovered that when parents provide frequent help on the child’s math homework, their anxiety rubs off onto their children and cause them to be extremely anxious over math as well! This hampers the learning rate of their children and they actually pick up fewer math skills as time goes by.

The study found that when parents offer to help their children, regardless of their knowledge, maths-anxious parents may be less effective in explaining math concepts to children, and may not respond well when children make a mistake or solve a problem in a novel way. They may flare up and yell at their children, especially when they seem to make careless mistakes.

RELATED: The Highly Sensitive Child: When Every Constructive Feedback Feels like a Personal Attack

Children, who intrinsically want to please their parents, tend to feel very stressed up over their parents’ reactions. This cause them to be less confident in their subject and creates anxiety if they perceive they will be making mistakes or do not know the subject matter well.

What does this Mean? 

It means that while parents do have a choice to attend Maths Parent Workshop, the outcomes of their children’s achievements lie with their ability to stay calm and respond calmly when they are helping their children with their homework or assignments. If the parents end up yelling or making black faces during the session, the knowledge of solving questions may come down to naught if the children are too stressed up to absorb the learning.

Rather, it is encouraged that parents might want to include math books, computer and traditional board games, or Internet apps that allow interactions of fun and positivity to generate positive feelings instead.

E. A. Maloney, G. Ramirez, E. A. Gunderson, S. C. Levine, S. L. Beilock. Intergenerational Effects of Parents’ Math Anxiety on Children’s Math Achievement and AnxietyPsychological Science, 2015; DOI: 10.1177/0956797615592630