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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Secondary school in Iraq

Secondary school is a term used to describe an educational institution where the final stage of compulsory schooling, known as secondary education, takes place. It follows on from elementary or primary education.

There are many different types of secondary school, and the terminology used varies around the world. Children usually transfer to secondary school between the ages of 10 and 16 years, and finish between the ages of 16 and 18 years, though there is considerable variation from country to country.





In India, high school is a grade of education from Standards IX to XII. Standards XI and XII are also called Higher Secondary School, Senior Secondary School or Junior College. Usually, students from ages 14 to 18 study in this section. These schools may be affiliated to national boards (like CBSE, ICSE, and NIOS) or various state boards. Education is compulsory until age 14. Although most are stand-alone day schools, some popular schools are residential. Traditional second stage in formal education, typically beginning at ages 14 - 16 and ending at 16 – 18 [1].

The distinction between elementary and secondary education has gradually become less marked, because of the proliferation of middle schools, junior high schools, and other divisions.


Students are typically aged between 12 and 19. It takes six years to complete but some schools allow their students to skip the fourth year. Schools offer English, Irish(Gaeilge),Mathematics, French, German, Spanish, Geography, History, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Business Studies, Economics, Home Economics, Music, Art, Woodwork, Metalwork, Classical Studies and other subjects. Not all schools offer all of these subjects.[citation needed] There are 734 schools in Ireland.[citation needed]


In Australia, secondary school refers to high school, from Year 7 to Year 12.[citation needed]


In Canada, secondary school refers to high school (grades 912), with the exception of Quebec which goes from Secondary 1 to Secondary 5 (grades 711).

England and Wales

In England and Wales, secondary school is for children from the ages of 11 to 16 or 18.[2] Secondary school incorporates Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 of the National Curriculum (Year Seven to Year Eleven) and can also include sixth form. After 16, compulsory education ends, and young people can decide whether to continue their studies further, either at school or sixth form college, or start working.

Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, the Government provides a nine-year compulsory education to students in the territory. Students are promoted to secondary schools after finishing their primary school education. Presently, secondary schools have seven grades (Form/Secondary 1-7), but starting from school year 2009–2010, the 3–3–4 scheme will be implemented, and Form 4–6 will be changed into Senior Secondary 1–3, while Form 7 will be cancelled and universities will provide four years of education instead of the present three years.

United States

Following the European model, "secondary school" is considered the first grade beyond elementary. This is the 5th, 6th, or 7th grade in the U.S.

In the United States, the term can refer to two types of schools. The first type is the same thing as a high school (grades 912) while the second type refers to an alternative school which is sometimes called a secondary school. For example, the school "Richmond Secondary" refers to the traditional high school, while "Richmond Secondary School" refers to an alternative school.


The names used to describe the institutions used for secondary education vary from country to country. Sometimes, the same terminology is used in different countries but with very different meanings.

See also


Simple English

Secondary school is the next step up from primary school. Secondary school is also commonly known as high school.

In Australia a person will generally start secondary school when they are at the age of twelve and finish when they are either 16 or 18, depending on whether they finish with years 11 and 12. In secondary school a person will advance through the year levels (or grades) each year.

In the United Kingdom, a person generally starts secondary school at age 11 and finish at either 16 or 18 depending on whether the secondary school has a sixth form offering post 16 education.

Generally there are five to six years of high school. The first year of high school is normally either grade 7 or 8, and then proceeds on to year 10 or 12.

In some schools in Australia years 11 and 12 are just a normal part of high school. Though some other schools may only progress through to year 10, in this case students will then go to college (years 11 and 12).

At the end of secondary school, students will usually take a unified examination. For example, students finishing secondary school in England take the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE).


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