Year 7s afraid of bullying, homework, and finding their way around


A fear of bullying, keeping up with homework and finding their way around are among the main concerns for year 7 students as they begin at secondary school.

A study of 800 children, aged eight to 15, discovered that six in 10 of the primary-aged pupils are worried about being bullied in year 7.

The amount of homework, not being good at sports activities and not being clever enough are also among their most common concerns.

The secondary pupils, meanwhile, told researchers that there was a lot more bullying at secondary school than primary. Reasons cited for bullying included being either too clever or not clever enough (69 per cent), tastes in music or television (49 per cent), or for not being good at activities such as sports (44 per cent).

Secondary school bullying was more commonly reported as verbal abuse (74 per cent), having personal belongings stolen (41 per cent), and being physically attacked (35 per cent). 

The study found that a significant amount of bullying takes place in the classroom with 74 per cent reporting this as a location where they had been bullied.

The study has been carried out by parenting website Parentdish and anti-bullying charity BeatBullying. Emma-Jane Cross, CEO and founder of BeatBullying, said: “Many children are worried about moving from primary to secondary school. It’s a hugely exciting time – with a new school, new teachers and new classmates, but it can also be very scary. 

“Young people have told us that having a ‘buddy’ or ‘peer mentor’ makes them feel safer and happier about going to secondary school.”

Jessica, 15, is a BeatBullying mentor who was bullied in school at the age of 13. She now organises anti-bullying assemblies for new students before they start school. She explained: “The verbal bullying in class made me feel very upset and stressed, and my grades started to drop. In the end, it was one of the reasons I decided to move schools.” 

Practical advice for parents on spotting if your child is being bullied is available at


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