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Secondary school is an educational institution where the second stage of the three schooling periods, known as secondary education and usually compulsory up to a specified age takes place. It follows elementary or primary education, and is sometimes followed by university (tertiary) education. The term high school originated in Scotland and is also used particularly in North America and North Western England though the two types of school are far from synonymous.
There are very many different types of secondary school, and the language used varies around the world. Children usually go to secondary school between the ages of 11 and 16 years, and end between the ages of 16 and 18 years, although there is considerable variation from country to country.
The following descriptions and definitions pertain to state-funded education unless otherwise stated.
In Australia secondary school is called high school, from Year 7 to Year 12 in every state but Queensland, South Australia, and Western Australia, where high school is started in Year 8. In both Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory, high school constitutes Years 7 to 10 with college (senior secondary) consisting of Year 11 and 12.
In Bangladesh secondary school is called high school from classes 8 to 10. After this the students sit for their Secondary School Certificate. They then take admission to 'college', which is the name for senior secondary consisting of classes 11 and 12.
In Canada secondary schools (also known as high schools) are educational institutions usually consisting of students enrolled in grades nine through twelve (ages fourteen to eighteen), although variations and subdivisions of this structure are fairly common. In Quebec, school years are known as Secondary 1 through to Secondary 5 (grades 7–11).
Hong Kong 
In Hong Kong the government provides a twelve-year compulsory education to students in the territory. Students are promoted to secondary schools after finishing their primary school education. Until the 2008-2009 school year secondary schools had seven grades (Form/Secondary 1-7), but starting from school year 2009–2010 the 3–3–4 scheme is in operation; Form 4–6 has become Senior Secondary 1–3, Form 7 has been eliminated, and universities provide four years of education instead of three.
In India high school is a grade of education from Standards IX to XII. Standards XI and XII are also called Secondary School. Usually students from ages 14 to 17 study in this section. These schools may be affiliated to national boards (like CBSE, ISC, 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.
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.
Secondary school in Malaysia is considered as high school. Students attends secondary school in the age of 13 and usually graduated on 17. There is an optional form(Form 6) for the Pre-University.
|Form 6 / 6th Former(optional)||18-19|
The Form 1 until Form 3 students are lower secondary students, while Form 4 until Form 6 are upper secondary students. There are two major exams in the secondary school, firstly is PMR(Penilaian Menengah Rendah or Lower Secondary Assessment), although it is abolished now. for the 3rd Former and SPM(Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia or Malaysian Certificate of Education) for the 5th Former. The PMR consists eight compulsive subjects such as Malay Language, English Language, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography, Living Skills and Islamic Education(for Muslim students only). While for the SPM, there are six compulsive subjects; same like the subjects taken in PMR except Living Skills and Geography(those subjects are turn to be the elective subjects). There are six sections of elective subjects, such as;
- Social Science and Religion
- Information Technoloy
- Arts and Health
- Technical and Vocational
- Language and Literature
In Ireland secondary schools go from first year to sixth year, with the typical student age being between 12 and 19. It is split into two cycles, the Junior Cycle a three year course with the Junior Certificate taking place at the end of third year and the Senior Cycle a two to three year course with the Leaving Certificate taking place at the end of the sixth year. Fourth year, also known as Transition Year, is optional, but is included as part of the senior cycle. The majority of secondary schools no longer allow their students to skip this year. Subjects vary slightly between the two certificates however English, Irish and Maths are mandatory in both (with the exception of Irish in certain situations) these three subjects are offered at Higher, Ordinary and Foundation Level (except Leaving Certificate English). Other subjects are only offered at Higher or Ordinary Level with the exception of Junior Certificate subject Civic, Social and Political Education which is Common Level. Education is mandatory up until the age of 16 or until the Junior Certificate has been sat. The majority of secondary schools also require students to wear school uniforms and in some cases a Physical-Education uniform as well. Secondary schools are sometimes called "college", e.g. Clongowes Wood College in County Kildare.
In Italy education is organized in 3 levels:
- scuola primaria or primary school (age 6 to 10)
- scuola secondaria di primo grado or lower secondary school (age 11 to 13)
- scuola secondaria di secondo grado or upper secondary school (age 14 to 19).
New Zealand 
In Pakistan secondary school is called high school from classes 9 to 10. After successful completion the students receive Secondary School Certificate. They then take admission to the Junior college, which is the name for senior secondary consisting of classes 11 and 12.
Saudi Arabia 
In Saudi Arabia, secondary school includes grade 10 through 12.
in Somalia, secondary school starts from form 9 and ends in form 12. Pupils start it when they are 14–15 and finish it when they are 18. Pupils will need to study Somali, Arabic, English or Italian depending on the type of school, Religion, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Physical Education, Textiles, Art and Design and occasionally Music. When pupils finish secondary school, they are sent to national training camp before going to either college to train as a primary teacher, joining the army or starting university to attain a degree. Pupils' age can sometimes vary as students may require to repeat a previous year if they had not achieved their required grade or may skip a year if their level of achievement is higher than predicted.
United Kingdom 
England and Wales 
In England and Wales secondary school is for children from the ages of 11 to 18. 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 11 years of compulsory education ends, and young people can decide whether to continue their studies further at school or sixth form college, or leave the education system.
The "Core Curriculum" is the compulsory secondary curriculum for Key Stage 3 and 4 years/Forms 7-11/1-5.
- Science (This may be taught at 3 separate sciences: Biology, Chemistry and Physics)
- Modern Foreign Language is now compulsory for Key Stage 3 children. Usually, the language that is learned is either French, German, or Spanish.
In some schools it may be compulsory to take a GCSE in ICT.
GCSEs must be taken in all of these subjects.
Also compulsory until year 11/ Form 5 are:
- Personal Social Health Education (P.S.H.E)
- Religious Studies (R.S.) or Religious Education (R.E.)
- Physical Education (P.E.)
- Sex Education (S.E.) (Compulsory for Year 7 but optional for years 8–11. No GCSE available. This is usually taught compulsory to year 9 in areas of high teenage pregnancy). This may be taught as part of P.S.H.E. and Biology
A GCSE does not have to be sat in these subjects but a full or short course GCSE may be sat if the student wishes. In some schools (Mainly Independent schools or High achieving selective state secondaries) these subjects are compulsory to do the GCSE exam in.
'Key Stage 3' Year 7-9/ Form 1-3 Curriculum
The "Core Curriculum" plus the other Key Foundation subjects
- Art and Design
- Design and Technology
- Other MFLs (Polish, Welsh (the school will decide, if at all))
As the term High School originated in Edinburgh,Scotland, this is the most common phrase used when referring to the second tier of education in the country. Scotland has a long history of universal provision of public education, and the Scottish education system is distinctly different from the other countries of the United Kingdom. The Scotland Act 1998 gives Scottish Parliament legislative control over all education matters, and the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 is the principal legislation governing education in Scotland.
Traditionally, the Scottish system at secondary school level has emphasized breadth across a range of subjects, while the English, Welsh and Northern Irish systems have emphasised greater depth of education over a smaller range of subjects. In Scotland secondary school is for children from the ages of 11 to 18, compulsory up to the age of 16.
The majority of state schools are non-denominational, but as a result of the Education Act 1918, separate denominational state schools were also established. The vast majority of denominational state schools are Roman Catholic but there are also a number of Scottish Episcopal schools. The school buildings are built and maintained by the Roman Catholic Church were handed over to the state under the Education Act. Since then, the Catholic schools are fully funded by the Scottish Government and administered by the Education and Lifelong Learning Directorate. As part of the deal, there are specific legal provisions to ensure the promotion of a Catholic ethos in such schools: applicants for positions in the areas of Religious Education, Guidance or Senior Management must be approved by the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, which also appoints a chaplain to each of its schools.
Qualifications at the secondary school and post-secondary (further education) level are provided by the Scottish Qualifications Authority, which is the national awarding and accrediting body in Scotland, and delivered through various schools, colleges and other centres. Political responsibility for education at all levels is vested in the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Education and Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning Departments.
United States 
In the United States the term can refer to two types of school. The first type is the same as a high school (grades 9–12), while the second type refers to an alternative school which is sometimes called a secondary school. In some jurisdictions "secondary school" may refer to an institution that houses grades 7–12, or both middle school and high school years, for example "Robinson Secondary School" in Fairfax, Virginia.
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.
- Academy (both private and state schools in Scotland, with no special status)
- Bachillerato (in Venezuela, Colombia, El Salvador, Dominican Republic and Spain)
- Beit-sefer ticon (in Israel)
- Catholic Secondary School
- City academy
- City technology college
- Coláiste (in Ireland)
- Collège (in France)
- College preparatory school
- Collegiate institute
- Community college
- Community school (Ireland)
- Comprehensive school
- Comprehensive high school
- École d'enseignement secondaire (in Canada)
- École secondaire
- Enseñanza Media (in Chile)
- Ensino Médio (in Brazil)
- Escola secundária (in Portugal)
- Escuela secundaria (in Argentina)
- Framhaldsskóli (in Iceland)
- Framhaldsdeild (in The Faroe Islands)
- Grammar school
- Gymnasium (actually upper secondary school)
- Gymnasium (in Denmark)
- Gymnasium (in Sweden)
- Gesamtschule (in Germany)
- Gymnasium (in Austria)
- Gymnasium (in The Czech Republic)
- High school
- Istituto tecnico (in Italy)
- Independent school
- Junior High School
- 중학교,고등학교 (in South Korea)
- 高等学校（こうとうがっこう）often shortened to 高校（こうこう）(in Japan)
- Liceo (in Italy, Venezuela and Chile)
- Lise (in Turkey)
- Lycée (in France)
- Liceu (in Romania and Republic of Moldova)
- Liceum (3-year secondary school focused in general education and preparation for a university in Poland)
- Lukio (in Finland)
- มัธยมศึกษา(Matthayomsuksa) (in Thailand)
- Meánscoil (in Ireland (Irish), in English the term "secondary school" is most common)
- Menntaskóli (in Iceland)
- Middelbare school (in the Netherlands)
- Middle school
- Polyvalente (in Quebec)
- Preparatoria (in Mexico)
- Private school
- Public school (government funded) – see also public school (disambiguation)
- Scuola Media Superiore (in Italy)
- Secondary college
- Secondary modern school
- Secondary school in the Soviet Union
- Secondary technical school
- Secundair onderwijs (in Belgium)
- Secundaria (in Peru)
- Segundo Grau (in Brazil)
- Sekolah Menengah (in Malaysia)
- Sekolah Menengah Atas (in Indonesia)
- Sixth form college (in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Hong Kong and Malta)
- Střední škola (in The Czech Republic)
- Stredná škola (in Slovakia)
- Srednja šola (in Slovenia)
- Srednja škola (in Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia)
- Szkoła średnia (a general name for Liceum and Technikum in Poland)
- Technical High School (in Jamaica)
- Technikum (4-year secondary school of a more vocational and usually more technical type in Poland)
- Upper school
- Ungdomsskole in Norway, Normally attended at the ages of 13-16. Word meaning "youth school".
- Videregående skole (in Norway)
- Vidusskola (in Latvia)
- Vocational school
- Voluntary secondary school
- Voortgezet onderwijs or Middelbaar onderwijs(in the Netherlands)
See also 
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: High schools and secondary schools|
- "Australian School Systems". Australianexplorer. Retrieved 10 March 2012.
- Dictionary definition of secondary school from the Longman Online Dictionary