High school

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High school is a name used in some parts of the world, and particularly in North America, to describe the last segment of compulsory secondary education. It is preceded by primary education. High school is also the name used to describe the institution in which the final stage of compulsory education takes place. In many countries, and especially in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, such institutions are known generically as secondary schools. There are many different types of secondary school in the UK and some such schools, especially in Scotland and the north-west of England, are known as high schools. However, in the UK the term high school is used only for the naming of some schools and is never used as a synonym for secondary school or secondary education.

In the non-English speaking world there exist the words, Hochschule, hogeschool, ung. gymnasieskola, høgskole, højskole in German, Dutch/Flemish, Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish respectively. All these literally translate to high school but they all refer to institutes of tertiary education. This is also the case for Oberschule/Gymnasium (German lit. upper school), escola secundária (Portuguese lit. secondary school)) and, between 1949-1994, högstadiet (Swedish lit. the last stage of secondary school). In Canada, the French word for high school is : école secondaire


[edit] Australia

Main articles: Education in Australia, List of schools in Australia, Queensland state high schools

High school is a term used for secondary schools in Australia. In Victoria the name was officially changed to secondary college in the early 1990s, however some of the adult population refer to the period as "high school". In the Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania high school is 7-10, and students go to senior school for 11-12.

In some states TAFE institutes/colleges offer high school equivalent courses, usually undertaken by adult students who left school without completing/undertaking Year 12 leaving certificate requirements. There are also private commercial education facilities offering Year 12 leaving certificate courses, often to students wishing to improve on their High School results in order to obtain entry to, or better placement opportunities at, university.

The exact length of secondary schooling varies from state to state, with high schools in New South Wales and Victoria serving years 7-12, and Western Australia, Queensland, Northern Territory and South Australia serving years 8-12. In 2007 Northern Territory is introducing a Middle School system for years 7-9 and high school will be years 10-12.

It is compulsory to attend school until the age of fifteen in all states and territories except for South Australia and Tasmania, where attendance is compulsory until age 16. In Western Australia the age has recently been raised to 16 and will be 17 from 2008.

The matter of compulsory attendance has been complicated by various initiatives at Commonwealth and State level to ensure that young people are in school, training or employment. There are calls to replace compulsory attendance age with compulsory achievement requirements, meaning that students must complete their final year level rather than being able to leave at reaching "leaving age". There are also calls to make attendance to the end of year 12 mandatory.

[edit] Canada

Main article: Education in Canada

Secondary schooling in Canada differs depending on the province in which one resides. High schools (sometimes called Secondary Schools) generally begin from grade 9 through 12 and generally has a set up similar to that in the United States. In Vancouver, Canada, high schools are from grades 8 to 12. However in Quebec, high school is from Secondary 1 to Secondary 5 (grades 7 to 11[1]). In Quebec most students follow high school by attending a CÉGEP, which is comparable to a two-year junior college and is obligatory for Quebec students wishing to go on to university in Quebec. Vocational CÉGEP is three years. Education in Canada is compulsory up to the age of 16. Students may continue to attend high school until the ages of 21 (the cut off age for high school). In Canada, those 19 and over may attend adult school.

Originally in Canada, schools have been divided in Canada by religion, although most provinces abolished these. Provinces such as Ontario, Alberta, and certain cities in Saskatchewan are exceptions, publicly funded by a separate school board. Quebec has replaced the system with a French/English system in 1998. Quebecois must attend a French school up until the end of high school unless one of their parents previously attended an English-language school somewhere in Canada (immigrants from other countries cannot use this exception). High schools can also be offered in French in Ontario.

[edit] Hong Kong

Main article: Education in Hong Kong

Secondary education in Hong Kong is largely based on the British schooling system. Secondary school starts in the seventh year of formal education, after Primary Six, called Form One. Students normally spend five years in secondary schools, of which the first three years (Forms One to Three) are free and compulsory like primary education. Forms Four and Five students prepare for the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination (HKCEE), which takes place after Form Five. Students obtaining a satisfactory grade will be promoted to Form Six. They then prepare for the Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination (HKALE) (colloquially the A-levels), which is to be taken after Form Seven. The HKALE and HKCEE results will be considered by universities for admission. Some secondary schools in Hong Kong are called 'colleges'. In some schools, Form Six and Form Seven are also called Lower Six and Upper Six respectively.

The HKCEE is equivalent to the British GCSE and HKALE is equivalent to the British A-level.

As of October 2004, there has been heated discussion on proposed changes in the education system, which includes (amongst others) reduction of the duration of secondary education from seven years to six years, and merging the two exams HKCEE and HKALE into one exam. The proposed changes will take effect within the next few years.

[edit] India

Main article: Education in India

In India, high school as such does not exist: instead, grades IX and X form part of a formal contingent course ending in the respective board examinations, like the ICSE or CBSE. Based on these results, students select combinations of various subjects to be studied in much greater detail for their grade XII examinations, like the ISC.

[edit] Israel

Main article:Education in Israel

In Israel, high school or Tikhon (intermediary school, in Hebrew) is a three-year school period, from the 10th to the 12th grade. Only the first year of high school is compulsory, yet most pupils in Israel attend high school. High school prepares the pupil to the Bagrut examination, which is obligatory in order to continue to higher education institution and in order to be accepted for most jobs.

[edit] Japan

Main article: Secondary education in Japan

The Japanese word for a high school is kōtōgakkō (高等学校; literally high school), or kōkō (高校) in short. High school in Japan covers years 10 through 12, and it is not mandatory. Most Japanese pupils attend high school. High schools in Japan are referred to by MEXT as "upper secondary schools." However most English-language newspapers and sources use the term "high school". Many school boards also use "high school"; for instance the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Board of Education uses "senior high school".

[edit] Malaysia

Main article: Education in Malaysia

Secondary education, like primary education is now compulsory in Malaysia. Primary schools run from Year 1 to Year 6 (also known as Standard 1 to 6, for children aged 6+ to 12+), at the end of which they sit for the UPSR (Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah or Primary School Assessment Examination). Secondary schools run for seven years, known as Forms 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Lower 6 and Upper 6. Not all schools offer all forms. Many secondary schools stop at Form 5. Forms 1 to 3 are known as the lower secondary level and at the end of Form 3, pupils sit for the PMR (Penilaian Menengah Rendah or Lower Secondary Assessment) examination. This replaced the SRP (Sijil Rendah Pelajaran) or LCE (Lower Certificate of Education) where a pass was required for promotion to Form 4. At the end of Form 5, pupils sit for the SPM (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia or MCE Malaysia Certificate of Education), equivalent to the O-Level examination. (The label is based on the old British examination known as the 'School Certificate' examination.) At the end of Upper 6, pupils sit for the STPM (Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia, formerly HSC Higher School Certificate). (The label is based on the old British examination, the 'Higher School Certificate', and this name is still used in Australia.) Automatic promotion up to Form 5 has been in place since 1996. They are also known as "Japs."

[edit] New Zealand

Main article: Secondary education in New Zealand

In New Zealand students attend secondary school from Year 9 to Year 13, covering the ages from 13 to 18. Schooling is compulsory until the student's 16th birthday. Secondary school is colloquially known as "college". NCEA is the Government-supported school qualification.

[edit] Republic of Korea (South Korea)

Main article: Education in South Korea

In South Korea, students from grades 10 through 12 attend high schools. A student may choose, however, the class he or she wishes to take for liberal arts. High schools in South Korea may also have subject specialty tracks. For example, university-bound students may choose to go to an academic science or foreign language specialty high school (Hangul:인문계 고등학교;Revised:Inmun-Gyae godeung hakgyo) ; while other students may choose a vocational track high school which emphasizes agriculture, commerce, or technical trade curriculums (Hangul:실업계 고등학교;Revised:'Sil-ub Gyae godeung hakgyo)

High schools are called 고등학교 (Revised: godeung hakgyo; McCune-Reischauer: kodŭng hakkyo), meaning high school.

[edit] Republic of Ireland

In the Republic of Ireland secondary school starts at the age of 12, and lasts five or optionally six years. After three years (age 15-16), every student takes a compulsory state exam known as the Junior Certificate. Typically a student will sit exams in 9-11 subjects; English, Irish and Mathematics are compulsory.

After completing the Junior Certificate, a student may continue for a further two years to take a second state exam, the Leaving Certificate, around age 18. Students typically take 6-8 subjects. Except in exceptional circumstances, subjects taken must include English, Irish and Mathematics. Leaving Certificate results directly determine admission to university via a ranking system managed by the CAO. More than 80% of students who complete the Junior Certificate continue to the Leaving Certificate.

There is an optional year in many secondary schools in Ireland known as Transition year, which some students choose to take after completing the Junior Certificate, but before starting the Leaving Certificate. This year includes no exams, instead focusing on broadening horizons. The year is often structured around student projects such as producing a magazine, charity work, running a small business, etc. Regular classes may be mixed with classes on music, drama, public speaking, etc. Programs vary from school to school.

In addition to the main school system, Ireland has a parallel system of vocational schools, which place less focus on academic subjects. There is also a prominent movement known as Gaelscoileanna where every subject is taught through the Irish Language.

[edit] Singapore

Main article: Secondary education in Singapore

Based on results of the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE), Singapore's students undergo secondary education in either the Special, Express, Normal courses or the Integrated Programme which was implemented in 2004. Both the Special and Express are 4-year courses leading up to a Singapore-Cambridge General Certificate of Education (GCE) 'Ordinary' - 'O' level examination. The difference between Special and Express is that the former takes higher Mother Tongue, which can be used as a first language in exams instead of the subject "mother tongue" that Express students take.

The Normal course is a 4-year course leading up to a Singapore-Cambridge GCE "Normal" - "N" level examination, with the possibility of a 5th year followed by a Singapore-Cambridge GCE "Ordinary" - "O" level examination. It is split into "Normal (Academic)" and "Normal (Technical)" where in the latter students take subjects that are technical in nature, such as Design and Technology.

After the second year of a secondary school course, students are typically streamed into a wide range of course combinations, making the total number of subject they have to sit for in "O" level six to ten subjects. This includes science (Physics, Biology and Chemistry), humanities (Elective Geography/History, Pure Geography/History, Social Studies, Literature, etc.) and additional mathematics subject at a higher level, or "combined" subject modules.

Some schools have done away with the O level examination, and pupils only sit for the A level examination or the International Baccalaureate at the end of their sixth year (known as Year 6 in Anglo-Chinese School Independent, or Junior College 2 in the Raffles Schools).

Co-curricular activities have become compulsory at the Secondary level, where all pupils must participate in at least one core CCA, and participation is graded together with other things like Leadership throughout the four years of Secondary education, in a scoring system. Competitions are organised so that students can have an objective towards to work, and in the case of musical groups, showcase talents. [2]

[edit] Taiwan

Main article: Education in the Republic of China

The secondary education in Taiwan includes junior high school, senior high school, vocational high school, military school, and complete high school. The traditional secondary education institutions were established in "Japanese colonial time." Today, they include many features from the United States.

After six years in elementary school, the rules state that children must enter junior high school, or their parents may be fined. There are three grades in junior high. Children who achieve the third grade can choose to enter senior high school, vocational high school, or complete high school. If children want to continue their formal education, they must sit for an exam. Generally speaking, the grade to enter high school and complete high school is highest, while it is lower to go on to vocational high school and military school.

Senior high school has three grades. Graduates from senior high school often continue on to university. Vocational high school has three grades as well. Children who complete vocational high school can then enter a technological university. Complete high school is like that of American high schools, in that it has grades seven to grade twelve.

There are also international schools such as Taipei American School (TAS) and Taipei British School (TBS). These schools are from grade 1 to grade 12. English is spoken during all courses. Since the curriculum concurs with the corresponding country's curriculum, graduates from these international schools generally do not stay in Taiwan for their undergraduate degree.

[edit] South Africa

Main article: Education in South Africa

In South Africa, high school begins at Grade 8 (the eighth year of education). Students study for five years, at the end of which they write what is known as "matric" (officially the Senior Certificate to be changed to the National Senior Certificate in 2008) If enough passes are attained on the higher grade (subjects can be on either a Higher or Standard grade), they may progress on to university.

An alternative examination is possible in the Independent Examinations Board (IEB) exams. They are set up by a board, representing many private schools.

[edit] United Kingdom

Main article: Education in the United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom secondary schools offer secondary education covering the later years of schooling (the term high school is not very much used, especially in England). State secondary schools in England and Wales are classed as either (selective) grammar schools, (non-selective) comprehensive schools or academies. Within Scotland, there are only two types of state-run schools, Roman Catholic or non-denominational. Most secondary schools in England and Wales are comprehensive schools. Grammar schools have been retained in some counties in England. Academies (previously known as city academies) are a new type introduced by the current Labour government for England. The major distinction is in who runs them and where their funding comes from. Independent secondary schools generally take pupils at 13.

The table below lists the equivalent secondary school year systems used in the United Kingdom:

Scotland England, Wales Northern Ireland Equivalent Ages
Primary 7 Year 7 Year 8 11-12
Secondary 1 Year 8 Year 9 12-13
Secondary 2 Year 9 Year 10 13-14
Secondary 3 Year 10 Year 11 14-15
Secondary 4 Year 11 Year 12 15-16
Secondary 5 Year 12
Lower Sixth
First Year College
Year 13 [ Post 16] Lower Sixth 16+
Secondary 6 Year 13
Upper Sixth
Second Year College
Year 14 [Post 16] Upper Sixth 17+

[edit] England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Main articles: Education in England, Wales, Northern Ireland

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, students usually transfer from primary school straight to secondary school at age 11. In a few parts of the UK there are middle schools for ages 9 to 13 (similar to American middle schools), and upper schools for ages 13-18. It is uncommon, but sometimes secondary schools (particularly in South West Wales) can also be split into 'Upper' (ages 13-16) and 'Lower' secondary schools (ages 11-13).

Education is compulsory up until the end of year 11 (the last Friday in June in the year a person turns 16), and schooling can continue for a further two years after that. Traditionally the five years of compulsory secondary schooling from ages 11 to 16 were known as "first year" through to "fifth year," but were renamed a in the 1990s to Year 7 through to Year 11 (Year 8 to Year 12 in Northern Ireland). After Year 11 a student can opt to remain at school, transfer to a college, or to leave education and seek work. Those who stay at school enter Years 12 and 13 (Years 13 and 14 in Northern Ireland). These years are traditionally known as the Sixth Form ("Lower Sixth" and "Upper Sixth"), and require students to specialise in three to five subjects for their A Levels. In ever-increasing numbers since the 1990s some students also undertake more vocational courses at college such as a BTEC or other such qualification.

This is an unusually specialised curriculum for this age group by international standards, and recently some moves have been made to increase the number of subjects studied. After attaining the relevant A Level qualifications the student can enter university.

[edit] Scotland

Main article: Education in Scotland

In Scotland, students transfer from primary to secondary education at approximately age 11. Pupils usually attend the same secondary school as their peers, as all secondaries have 'intake primaries'. Pupils either attend a Roman Catholic, or non-denominational school according to their or more commonly their parents' beliefs. Pupils in Scotland attend the same secondary school throughout their education; there are no sixth-form colleges in Scotland.

The first and second years of secondary school (abbreviated to S1 and S2) is a continuation of the 5-14 curriculum started in primary school. After which students choose which subjects they wish to study with certain compulsory subjects such as English and mathematics. These are called standard grades and take two years to complete with an exam at the end. After standard grades, some students leave to gain employment or attend further education colleges, however nowadays most students study for Highers, of which five are usually studied. These take a year to complete. After which some students decide to apply for university or stay on for 6th year, where other Highers are gained, or Advanced Highers are studied. Due to the nature of schooling in Scotland, undergraduate honours degree programmes are four years long, which compares with three years for the rest of the UK.

[edit] United States

Main article: Secondary education in the United States

In the United States, high schools generally consist of grades 9, 10, 11, and 12, although the inclusion of grade 9 varies by school district. A student that is not initially enrolled in a pre-kindergarten class will generally graduate from high school in the year of their 18th birthday if they were born between January 1 and August 31, but this varies by state depending on the kindergarten cut-off date, which ranges from August 1 in Missouri to January 1 in Connecticut[3]. A few American schools still incorporate grades 7 through 12, but the norm is usually either grades 9-12 or grades 10-12. For purposes of the GPA and subject requirements used for college admission, grade 9 is usually considered the first year of high school regardless of whether the student is in the last year of a 7-9 junior high program, or the first year of a 9-12 high school program. High school is generally defined as being grades 9-12, while "secondary" school, or "secondary" education refers to grades 7-12. Secondary Education teachers are certified to teach grades 7 through 12.

About 90% of American students complete high school, however in some cities the graduation rate is much lower (such as in Santa Ana and Los Angeles, California, where less than 50% of students graduate).[4][5] A high school diploma or GED certificate is usually required for entrance into a two or four-year college or university and to other post-secondary education programs.

As a practical matter, while laws in most states mandate school attendance at least until graduation or age 16, many require attendance until age 17 or 18. (However, enforcement of truancy laws is sporadic.) Conversely, students who have failed a grade may remain in high school past the age of 18. In general, students over 18 attend alternative high schools, with the end result being attainment of a GED. State laws vary on the cut-off age for students to receive free public education services. Many states have adult high schools for people generally 19 and over.

[edit] See also


[edit] Additional reading

[edit] External links

cs:Střední škola de:High School eo:Mezlernejo es:High School fa:دبیرستان fr:École secondaire ko:고등학교 nl:Middelbaar onderwijs ja:高等学校 no:Videregående skole pt:Ensino secundário simple:High school fi:High School sv:High school tl:Mataas na paaralan th:ไฮสคูล zh:高級中學

High school

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