Educational stage

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Formal learning is typically divided into a number of Educational stages covering early childhood education, primary education, secondary education and tertiary (or higher) education. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recognizes seven levels of education in its International Standard Classification of Education system (ISCED, from Level 0 (pre-primary education) through Level 6 (second stage of tertiary education). UNESCO's International Bureau of Education maintains a database of country-specific education systems and their stages.

Organization[edit]

Education during childhood is typically provided through 2 or three stages of schooling, followed by college or vocational training:

The following table introduces the main concepts, although terms and ages may vary by some amount in different places:

Age Education 2 stage 3 stage ISCED
4 Early childhood education Preschool Preschool 0
5 Primary education Primary school First school 1
6
7
8 2
9
10 Middle school
11
12 Secondary education Secondary school
13
14 Upper school
15 3
16
17 4
18

By country[edit]

Australia[edit]

In Australia, children undergo twelve years of formal education (plus Preschool, Kindergarten and/or a "preparatory grade" or "Prep"), usually starting at age four, five or six, and finishing at age 16, 17 or 18. The Years are numbered from 1 to 12.

In ACT, NSW, TAS, and VIC, primary school is Years 1–6, and secondary school, Years 7–12 (see table below).

Year Ages School
Kindergarten 3–5 Day Care
Prep 5–6 Preschool
Grade/Year 1 6–7 Primary
Grade/Year 2 7–8
Grade/Year 3 8–9
Grade/Year 4 9–10
Grade/Year 5 10–11
Grade/Year 6 11–12
Year 7 12–13 Secondary
Year 8 13–14
Year 9 14–15
Year 10 15–16
Year 11 16–17
Year 12 17–18

In WA, SA, and QLD, primary school is Years 1–7 and secondary school, Years 8–12 (see table below).

Year Ages School
Kindergarten 3–4 Day Care
Prep 4–5 Preschool
Year 1 5–6 Primary
Year 2 6–7
Year 3 7–8
Year 4 8–9
Year 5 9–10
Year 6 10–11
Secondary
Year 7 11–12
Year 8 12–13
Year 9 13–14
Year 10 14–15
Year 11 15–16
Year 12 16–17

Brazil[edit]

In Brazil there are three levels of Basic Education: "Educação Infantil" (Preschool in the US), "Ensino Fundamental" (Elementary School in the US) and "Ensino Médio" (High School in the US), which generally are completed by age eighteen. Basic Education is designed to provide the necessary minimum knowledge for the exercise of citizenship.It also serves to develop consciousness for choosing future professions. In Brazil, after the name of the grade one may use the names "série" or "ano". The educational stages in Brazil are divided as follows:

Educação Infantil

Educação Infantil (Brazil Grade) Ages Correspondent in the U.S
Creche 0–3 Day Care
Pré-Escola 4–6 Preschool

Ensino Fundamental

Ensino Fundamental (Brazil Grade) Ages Correspondent in the U.S
1o ano (Primeiro Ano) 6–7 first grade
2o ano (Segundo Ano) 7–8 second grade
3o ano (Terceiro Ano) 8–9 third grade
4o ano (Quarto Ano) 9–10 fourth grade
5o ano (Quinto Ano) 10–11 fifth grade
6o ano (Sexto Ano) 11–12 sixth grade
7o ano (Sétimo Ano) 12–13 seventh grade
8o ano (Oitavo Ano) 13–14 eighth grade
9o ano (Nono Ano) 14–15 ninth grade

Ensino Médio:

Ensino Médio (Brazil Grade) Ages Correspondent in the U.S
1o ano (Primeiro Ano) 15–16 tenth grade
2o ano (Segundo Ano) 16–17 eleventh grade
3o ano (Terceiro Ano) 17–18 twelfth grade

China[edit]

In the People's Republic of China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau), the years are organized in three stages and renumbered within each stage: 6 years in elementary school (小学) years 1 to 6, then 3 years in lower secondary (初级中学, abbreviated 初中) years 1 to 3, then 3 years in higher secondary (高级中学, abbreviated 高中) years 1 to 3. The first nine years (elementary 1–6 and junior secondary 1–3) are compulsory, and the years in higher secondary school are voluntary. Completing higher secondary education or attaining an equivalent level is required before one may receive higher education (高等教育) at universities.

Year Ages Stage
Year 1 6–7 Elementary
Year 2 7–8
Year 3 8–9
Year 4 9–10
Year 5 10–11
Year 6 11–12
Year 1 12–13 Lower secondary
Year 2 13–14
Year 3 14–15
Year 1 15–16 Higher secondary
Year 2 16–17
Year 3 17–18

Hong Kong[edit]

The Hong Kong system was based on the United Kingdom system, with an optional year at kindergarten, six years of primary school (小學) and six years of secondary school (中學), followed by four years at university. Primary 1 – 6 (小一 – 小六) corresponds to Years 1 – 6 in the UK, and Forms 1 – 6 (中一 – 中六) correspond to Years 7 – 12. Usually students begin Primary 1 at age 5 or 6 and complete Form 6 at age 17 or 18.

In Hong Kong, international schools follow the system of the country they are based upon, for example the English Schools Foundation uses the UK year system, and French International Schools use the French collège, école, lycée system. Also, the English term Form followed by the English number is common usage even in otherwise Cantonese conversations.

France[edit]

Education is compulsory from age 6 to age 14 or 16. At the end of the lycée cursus, is the French Baccalaureat exam. It is possible in France to fail a year, and need to resit (redoubler).

Age School Classe Cycle
2–3 École maternelle TPS: Toute petite section Cycle I : Apprentissages premiers
3–4 PS: Petite section
4–5 MS: Moyenne section
5–6 GS: Grande section Cycle II : Apprentissages fondamentaux
6–7 École élémentaire CP: Cours préparatoire
7–8 CE1: Cours élémentaire, 1ère année
8–9 CE2: Cours élémentaire, 2éme année Cycle III : Approfondissements
9–10 CM1: Cours moyen, 1ère année
10–11 CM2: Cours moyen, 2ème année
11–12 Collège Sixième
12–13 Cinquième
13–14 Quatrième
14–15 Troisième
15–16 Lycée Seconde
16–17 Première
17–18 Terminale

Iran[edit]

The Iran system has experienced several changes in the last seven to eight decades. Prior to 1940–1950, the education system had consisted of three levels, called in order: an optional year in kindergarten, six years of primary school, finally followed by six years of secondary school ended up with a diploma. After some improvements during Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, the system was changed to four consecutive periods: two optional years in kindergarten and pre-primary school, Primary School consisting of 5 years, 3 years in Middle School, and finally four years in High School. The system was ended up by honoring a diploma in certain majors, e.g. Math and Physics.

Around 1996–1997, one year was reduced from the entire education system and one was honored with a diploma after three years in high-school. However, if one would have liked to continue her/his education towards university degrees, one would have been required to take the last year, so called pre-university year. This year had been a requirement to participate in the Iranian University Entrance Exam for high school students. Again, around 2012, the system turned back to its previous system, consisting of two 6-year periods.

Ireland[edit]

In the Republic of Ireland, there are two levels of compulsory education; primary school (ca.5–12 years of age) and secondary school (ca.13–18 years). The names of each class are as follows:

  • Junior Infants (4–5 years)
  • Senior Infants (5–6 years)
  • First Class (6–7 years)
  • Second Class (7–8 years)
  • Third Class (8–9 years)
  • Fourth Class (9–10 years)
  • Fifth Class (10–11 years)
  • Sixth Class (11–12 years)

After Sixth Class, students move to secondary school, entering;

Junior Cycle:

  • First Year (12–13 years)
  • Second Year (13–14 years)
  • Third Year (14–15 years) – Junior Certificate
  • Fourth Year [or Transition Year] (15–16 years)

Senior Cycle:

  • Fifth Year (15–17 years)
  • Sixth Year [or Final Year] (16–18 years) – Leaving Certificate

In some schools, Transition Year is compulsory, in others it is optional, and in others is not available.

Italy[edit]

In Italy, education is compulsory from the age of 6 to the age of 16.

note: On parents demand, children can start the "Scuola Elementare" one year earlier.

Educazione Infantile:

  • Asilo nido: 3 months – 3 years
  • Scuola d'infanzia: 3 years – 5 years

Scuola primaria (informally:Scuola Elementare):

  • I elementare: 6–7
  • II elementare: 7–8
  • III elementare: 8–9
  • IV elementare: 9–10
  • V elementare: 10–11

Scuola secondaria di primo grado (informally:Scuola Media):

  • I media – 11–12
  • II media – 12–13
  • III media – 13–14

Scuola secondaria di secondo grado (informally: Scuola Superiore):

  • biennio
    • I superiore – 14–15
    • II superiore – 15–16
  • triennio
    • III superiore – 16–17
    • IV superiore – 17–18
    • V superiore – 18–19

Japan[edit]

Main article: Education in Japan

In Japan, the years are organized in three stages and renumbered within each stage: 6 years in elementary school (小学校) years 1 to 6, then 3 years in lower secondary (中学校) years 1 to 3, then 3 years in higher secondary (高等学校, abbreviated 高校) years 1 to 3. The first nine years (elementary 1–6 and lower secondary 1–3) are compulsory, and the years in higher secondary school are voluntary. Completing higher secondary education or attaining an equivalent level is required before one may receive higher education at universities (大学).

Year Ages Stage
Year 1 6–7 Elementary
Year 2 7–8
Year 3 8–9
Year 4 9–10
Year 5 10–11
Year 6 11–12
Year 1 12–13 Lower secondary
Year 2 13–14
Year 3 14–15
Year 1 15–16 Higher secondary
Year 2 16–17
Year 3 17–18

Malaysia[edit]

Main article: Education in Malaysia

Compulsory education in Malaysia spans a period of 11 years and comprises both primary and secondary education. Kindergarten is optional.

Malaysian primary school consists of six years of education, referred to as Year 1 to Year 6 (formerly Standard 1 to Standard 6). Year 1 – 3 are classified as Level One (Tahap Satu in Malay) while Year 4 – 6 make up Level Two (Tahap Dua). Primary schooling usually begins at the age of 7 and ends at 12. Students take their first national examination, the UPSR, towards the end of the Year 6 school year. Performance in the UPSR has no effect on their resuming schooling; all students continue with their secondary education after leaving primary school.

Secondary schooling usually begins at age 13. Secondary schools offer education for a total of five years, starting with Form 1 and finishing at Form 5. Forms 1 – 3 are grouped together into the "Lower Form" and Forms 4 & 5 are considered the "Upper Form". Students in Form 3 will have to sit for their second national exam, the PMR. They are then streamed into sciences or humanities classes for the Upper Form according to their performance in this exam. At age 17 students in Form 5 sit for the final level of national examinations, the SPM (Malaysian Certificate of Education). Achieving a passing grade in the Bahasa Melayu (Malay Language) portion of the exams is compulsory; failure results in an automatic failing grade for all subjects taken in the examination and the student is held back to repeat Form 5. Completion of the examination signifies that the student has completed formal education in Malaysia; an SPM certificate remains the base requirement to secure most jobs in Malaysia.

After the SPM, students have a choice of either continuing with Form 6 (which comprises 2 years, Lower and Upper Six) or entering matriculation (pre-university programs). If they opt for Form 6, they will be required to take the STPM examination. Although generally taken by those desiring to attend public universities in Malaysia, an STPM certification is internationally recognized and may also be used, though rarely required, to enter private local universities for undergraduate courses.

Educational stages in Malaysia
Year Ages School
Kindergarten (optional) 4–6 Preschool
Tahun 1 (Year 1) 6–7 Tahap Satu (Level One or Lower Primary)
Tahun 2 (Year 2) 7–8
Tahun 3 (Year 3) 8–9
Tahun 4 (Year 4) 9–10 Tahap Dua (Level Two or Higher Primary)
Tahun 5 (Year 5) 10–11
Tahun 6 (Year 6) 11–12
Tingkatan 1 (Form 1) 12–13 Menengah Rendah (Lower Secondary)
Tingkatan 2 (Form 2) 13–14
Tingkatan 3 (Form 3) 14–15
Tingkatan 4 (Form 4) 15–16 Menengah Atas (Upper Secondary)
Tingkatan 5 (Form 5) 16–17
Tingkatan 6 (Form 6) (optional) 17–19 Pre-university programme

New Zealand[edit]

In New Zealand children are required by law to attend 10 years of educational instruction, from the age of 6 to 16. The law also provides in the same legislation that all people are allowed to attend free education to the age of 18, this legislation is the Education Act 1989. Children enroll at primary school when they turn five years old. From years 1–6 students attend primary school. In years 7 and 8 students attend intermediate, or a joint school (years 1–8 or years 7–13). The final years of free education are spent in secondary school (years 9–13). New Zealand also has an old educational staging system.

Primary school: (sometimes includes up to year 8)

Year Level Ages Old system
1 5–6 Junior 1
2 6–7 Junior 2
3 7–8 Standard 1
4 8–9 Standard 2
5 9–10 Standard 3
6 10–11 Standard 4

Intermediate school:

Year Level Ages Old system
7 11–12 Form 1/Standard 5
8 12–13 Form 2/Standard 6

Secondary school:

Year Level Ages Old system
9 13–14 Form 3
10 14–15 Form 4
11 15–16 Form 5
12 16–17 Form 6
13 17–18 Form 7

Norway[edit]

Main article: Education in Norway

In Norway children start school at the age of six; before that kindergarten is voluntary. This school is called "barneskole" (childrenschool):

  • 6–7: First grade
  • 7–8: Second grade
  • 8–9: Third grade
  • 9–10: Fourth grade
  • 10–11: Fifth grade
  • 11–12: Sixth grade
  • 12–13: Seventh grade

The second school is "ungdomsskole" (youth-school). At this level the students are rated with grades in each subject, in addition to behavior and orderliness:

  • 13–14: Eighth grade
  • 14–15: Ninth grade
  • 15–16: Tenth grade

The last school before higher education is called "videregående skole" (ongoing school) and is voluntary, though most choose to attend. At this level students decide among separate career-related schools. The most popular such school is designed to prepare one for further education,[citation needed] while others prepare students for vocations such as mechanics, electricians, cooks and so on. Educational stages in these schools begin again at "one" and are named Vg1, Vg2, Vg3 and Vg4. Some of the more practical schools last only two years, and some students may choose to attend an extra year to study higher education. The typical duration is three years, though some schools offer a four-year program to enable students to engage in more athletics or gather real work experience.

  • 16–17: Vg1
  • 17–18: Vg2
  • 18–19: Vg3
  • 19–20: Vg4

Philippines[edit]

In the Philippines, there are only ten years of compulsory education. School starts on the first or second week of June, while school ends in the last week of March or first week of April. There are three stages of education in the Philippines — elementary, junior high school, and senior high school. The original ten years of compulsory education, was raised to twelve years of education. This policy was implemented in June, 2012. Here is the table:

Grade Age School Stage
Kindergarten 5–6 Preschool Elementary
Grade 1 6–7 Primary school
Grade 2 7–8
Grade 3 8–9
Grade 4 9–10
Grade 5 10–11
Grade 6 11–12
Grade 7 12–13 Secondary school Junior high school
Grade 8 13–14
Grade 9 14–15
4th Year 15–16
Senior 1st Year 16–17 Senior high school
Senior 2nd Year 17–18

Russia[edit]

In Russia, compulsory education lasts eight or nine years and begins the year the child turns seven (8 years) or, sometimes, six (9 years). The first stage of elementary school can last either 3 years (so called 1–3 programme for children starting at the age of 7) or 4 years (so called 1–4 programme for children starting at the age of 6). After of the first stage all pupils enter 5th grade, thus pupils that started at the age of 7 do not attend the 4th grade.

Educational Stages in Russia
Year Ages School
Yasli 1–2 Early
Kindergarten 3–6 (7)
First Grade 7–8 (6–7) Elementary
Second Grade 8–9 (7–8)
Third Grade 9–10 (8–9)
Fourth grade 9–10 (only for the pupils studying by 1–4 programme)
Fifth Grade 10–11 Middle
Sixth Grade 11–12
Seventh Grade 12–13
Eighth Grade 13–14
Ninth Grade 14–15
Tenth Grade 15–16 High
Eleventh Grade 16–17

While it is not compulsory to remain in school after graduating from middle school, a student can't progress to university without graduating from high school or vocational technical school.

Singapore[edit]

In Singapore, compulsory education lasts ten years and begins the year the child turns seven. However, most children receive a preschool education spanning two to three years before entering primary school after which they will move on to a secondary school.

Educational Stages in Singapore
Year Ages School
Preschool 3–6
Primary One 6–7 Primary
Primary Two 7–8
Primary Three 8–9
Primary Four 9–10
Primary Five 10–11
Primary Six 11–12
Secondary One 12–13 Secondary
Secondary Two 13–14
Secondary Three 14–15
Secondary Four 15–16

While it is not compulsory to remain in school after graduating from secondary school, most go on to receive their tertiary education at a junior college, a polytechnic, or an institute of technical education (ITE) before moving on to university.

United Kingdom[edit]

England and Wales[edit]

In England and Wales education is divided into two stages: primary education and secondary education. Required assessment within the National Curriculum takes place in years 2 and 6 (National Curriculum assessments) and Year 11 (GCSEs). School education is generally followed by two years of further education – often in a Sixth form or Sixth form college and then three or four years at university by those who decide to stay in education.

Children begin school either in the school year or school term in which they reach their fifth birthday. Primary schools educate children from Reception through to Year 6, and may be subdivided into infant and junior schools. Alternatively, children may attend private prep schools.

Secondary education is compulsory to the age of 16. Schools have various possible names, such as grammar, comprehensive and secondary schools, which may or may not indicate selective admission or tuition fees (see main article). Sixth Form education is not compulsory at present, and not all secondary schools have a sixth form. There are also Sixth form colleges just for Year 12 and 13 students.

Some secondary schools still use the 'form' system, with Year 7 being First Form (or "first year"), Year 8 being Second Form, et cetera, up until Years 12 and 13, which together make up the Sixth Form (namely lower and upper sixth form). Some independent schools use other naming systems.

In some areas in England, a three-tier system of education is used, in which students pass through three stages: First school/Lower school (Reception to Year 3/4), Middle school (Year 4/5 to Year 7/8) and finally High or Upper School (Year 8/9–Year 13).

Numbering of years in English and Welsh State schools
Year Ages School Key Stage
Nursery 3–4 Early Years / Foundation
Reception 4–5 Infant or Primary
Year One 5–6 Key Stage 1
Year Two 6–7
Year Three 7–8 Junior or Primary Key Stage 2
Year Four 8–9
Year Five 9–10
Year Six 10–11
Year Seven 11–12 Secondary Key Stage 3
Year Eight 12–13
Year Nine 13–14
Year Ten 14–15 Key Stage 4
Year Eleven 15–16
Year Twelve 16–17 Secondary or Sixth form college Key Stage 5
Year Thirteen 17–18

Northern Ireland[edit]

The system in place in Northern Ireland resembles that in place in England Wales, but there are notable differences. Education is compulsory during only 12 years, with pupils starting primary school in the September following their 4th birthday (except for those born in July or August, who start a year later). Years are numbered from this point, meaning that Year 2 in the Northern Irish system is the closest in age range to England's Year 1.

As with England and Wales, education is divided into primary and secondary (or post-primary) sectors, with a division at age 11. The label Key Stage is also used, although with slightly different meanings to those seen in England. As of 2007 the province has a wholly selective system at the post-primary level, with all Year 7 pupils taking the Eleven plus tests. This system will end with the new intake in 2009, with new arrangements as yet to be confirmed.

Numbering of years in Northern Irish State schools
Year Ages School Key Stage
Year One 4–5 Primary Foundation Stage
Year Two 5–6
Year Three 6–7 Key Stage 1
Year Four 7–8
Year Five 8–9 Key Stage 2
Year Six 9–10
Year Seven 10–11
Year Eight 11–12 Secondary Key Stage 3
Year Nine 12–13
Year Ten 13–14
Year Eleven 14–15 Key Stage 4
Year Twelve 15–16
Year Thirteen 16–17 Key Stage 5
Year Fourteen 17–18

Scotland[edit]

In Scotland, education is divided into two stages: primary education and secondary education. Primary education is delivered almost exclusively through primary schools which offer education for pupils aged between 4 and 12. Children are entitled to pre-school education from their third birthday, and must enter compulsory education from the August after their 5th birthday. There is some leeway in the starting date or pupils [1]. Education lasts 7 years in the primary school, before pupils move to a secondary school for between 4 and 6 years, the last two being optional. There is some variation in the phasing of education in more remote areas of Scotland, where provision may be made in a through school, or in other combinations of institutes.

Numbering of years in Scottish State schools
Year Ages School
Nursery 3–5
Primary One 4–6 Primary
Primary Two 5–7
Primary Three 6–8
Primary Four 7–9
Primary Five 8–10
Primary Six 9–11
Primary Seven 10–12
First year (or S1) 11–13 Secondary
Second Year (or S2) 12–14
Third Year (or S3) 13–15
Fourth Year (or S4) 14–16
Fifth Year (or S5) 15–17
Sixth Year (or S6) 16–18

US and Canada[edit]

Main articles: Education in the United States, Education in Canada

In Canada (except from the province of Quebec) and the United States the grades traditionally begin at 1 and run to 12; they are referred to by ordinal number (e.g. "third grade") in the United States and by cardinal number ("Grade Three") in Canada. An additional preceding level called Kindergarten is now standard in most areas, and a further preceding level called Preschool education or Nursery school is not uncommon. In the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, as well as some parts of the state of Wisconsin, kindergarten is split further into junior and senior kindergarten.

At the secondary school level, grades 9–12 are also known as freshman (or "first-year"), sophomore, junior, and senior, especially in the United States. At the post-secondary level (college or university), these terms are used almost exclusively to refer to what would otherwise be grades 13–16, also mainly in the United States. However, at the post-secondary level in Canada, freshman is often called first-year, sophomore as second-year, and so on.

These tables outline the ages, in years, of each grade level. However, students are sometimes older because of grade retention or younger because of grade skipping.

The Quebec system differs slightly, kindergarten (maternelle) is followed by elementary school (école primaire, from grade one to six), then followed by five years of high school or secondary school (école secondaire). This is typically followed by college, a two-year pre-university (university for Quebecers is three years, except Engineering), or three-year vocational program taken after high school. (see Education in Quebec)

Ages U.S. Grade Canadian Grade
Elementary school
5–6 Kindergarten Kindergarten
6–7 First grade Grade 1
7–8 Second grade Grade 2
8–9 Third grade Grade 3
9–10 Fourth grade Grade 4
10–11 Fifth grade Grade 5
Middle school
11–12 Sixth grade Grade 6
12–13 Seventh grade Grade 7
13–14 Eighth grade Grade 8
High school
14–15 Ninth grade (Freshman) Grade 9
15–16 Tenth grade (Sophomore) Grade 10
16–17 Eleventh grade (Junior) Grade 11
17–18 Twelfth grade (Senior) Grade 12

See also[edit]