Saint Andrew's Secondary School

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Saint Andrew's Secondary School is a government-aided Anglican all-boys secondary school in Potong Pasir, Singapore. It was established in the 19th century and still operates along traditional British lines. There are about 1,500 students.

The school mission statement is "We will produce men of wisdom and stature who will stand in favour with God and man. (Wise heads and hearts; strong and upright bodies; spiritually, morally and socially developed in God's eyes and the eyes of man.)"

Ethos[edit]

A British observer has commented that St Andrew's is highly regarded for its sporting trophies as well as its academic results, and that "With its passion for rugby and cricket, and more than a hint of what used to be called 'muscular Christianity', it probably comes as close as any [school in Singapore] to the authentic ethos of a traditional British boys' school, encapsulated in the splendid School Song".[1]

Students and former students are known as "Saints".

Uniform[edit]

Main article: School uniform

All students wear white short-sleeved shirts bearing the school badge. Lower secondary boys (Secondary 1 and 2) must wear dark blue short trousers with white socks;[2] Bermuda shorts are not permitted. Upper secondary boys (Secondary 3, 4 and 5) now wear long trousers, also in dark blue, although Secondary 3 students have been allowed to do so only since the 1990s.[2] The prefects in Secondary 3 and 4 wear white long trousers. The school tie is to be worn on Mondays and at special events.

Discipline[edit]

The school regards its system of Prefects as an important element in maintaining an ethos of service and high standards of conduct.

Saint Andrew's maintains strict rules for behaviour inside and outside school. There is a new system of demerit points, used in combination with the school's long-standing[3] policy of corporal punishment in the form of strokes of the cane. For 3 or 4 demerit points the penalty is Corrective Work Action or caning on the palm of the hand. Five or more demerit points mean a caning across the seat of the thin uniform trousers.

St Andrew's is very unusual for a Singapore school in that canings may be applied on the palm of the hand as well as across the seat. Canings on the hand, often delivered "on the spot", are less serious and are for more or less trivial offences. Posterial caning, normally inflicted more ceremonially in the office or the Time-Out Room, is the norm for offenses of any significance. Sometimes both are combined, as when a student receives two strokes on the hand and two on the buttocks.

These corporal punishments are usually implemented by the Discipline Master or the Operations Manager.

Students who are late to school four times in a term receive a caning, and are caned again on each subsequent lateness for that term. Students caught smoking or in possession of tobacco products are referred to the Health Science Authority to be fined and counselled, as well as being caned across the buttocks. For very serious offences such as drug abuse, or a second or subsequent offence of fighting or gangsterism, the caning is delivered in front of the whole school ("public caning"); otherwise it may be carried out in class, such as for a first offence of fighting or bullying. Public caning on the buttocks is also administered whenever a case is referred to the police. For a repeat serious offence the student may be publicly caned and then either suspended or expelled.

After a series of bullying cases attracted attention in 2003, the school stated that the situation at St Andrew's was no worse than at any other school, adding that bullies receive a stern warning; repeat offenders or those who injure others are caned and, ultimately, expelled.[4] Any SASS student bringing pornography to school is caned either in public or in class, depending on the seriousness of the case.[5]

In January 2008, two St Andrews 14-year-olds were publicly caned for trying to take a photograph up their lady teacher's skirt. Two other "Saints" had been publicly caned the previous year for the same offence.[6]

The school got more press publicity in May 2011 when two SA boys aged 14 and 15 had engaged in a public dispute on Facebook which culminated in threats of violence. In the end they realised that matters had got out of hand after the school was informed, and both students agreed to bring the case to a close by submitting to a one-stroke caning across the backside. The punishments were duly delivered in the Discipline Master's office on 30 May. One commenter to online forums thought this was wrong and that the boy's behaviour online and out of school was no business of the school, but most felt the school had acted wisely to nip the problem in the bud,[7] although one stroke is a mild punishment at SASS. Three-stroke canings are not uncommon, and the legal maximum is six. The New Paper illustrated this news report with a posed picture of a man with a cane, but this is misleading because the implement shown is a small domestic cane for parental/family use; the secondary-school rattan is bigger and heavier than this.

School song[edit]

"Up and On"
                         
Lives are in the making here,
Hearts are in the waking here,
Mighty undertaking here,
Up and On!

We are arming for the fight,
Pressing on with all our might,
Pluming wings for higher flight,
Up and On!

Up boys! truest fame
Lies in high endeavour
Play the game! keep the flame
Burning brightly ever.

Fair before us lies the way
Time for work and time for play;
Fill the measure while we may,
Up and On!

Life and time will not delay.
Time is running fast away,
Life is now, today;today;
Up and On!

Foes in plenty we shall meet,
Hearts courageous scorn defeat;
So we press with eager feet,
Up and On!

Ever onward to the fight,
Ever upward to the light,
Ever true to GOD and RIGHT.
Up and on!

References[edit]

  1. "St Andrew's Secondary School" at World Corporal Punishment Research.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Sec 3 students forced to wear shorts to school", AsiaOne, 30 January 2010.
  3. "T.F. Hwang takes you down memory lane", The Straits Times, 21 September 1974.
  4. Ben Nadarajan, "Mostly 'thoughtless pranks': St Andrew's", The Straits Times, 13 October 2003.
  5. "Boys taking porn to school - in handphones?", The New Paper, 8 June 2009.
  6. Veena Bharwani, "2 students caught taking 'upskirt' pics of teacher", My Paper (Singapore), 29 January 2008.
  7. Benson Ang, "Caned for their Facebook spat". The New Paper, 31 May 2011.

See also[edit]

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