High school

High School also refers to the highest form of classical riding, High School Dressage.
Missing image
Japanese high school students in uniform

High school, or Secondary school, is the last segment of compulsory education in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan (Republic of China) (only junior high school) and the United States. It provides a secondary education. The idea was first instituted in France by Napoleon as a way to train future officers for his military.



High school is the former name for secondary schools in Australia. In Victoria the name was officially changed to secondary college in the early 1990s, but to the majority of the adult population they are still "high schools". The exact length of secondary school varies from state to state, generally in New South Wales and Victoria teaching years 7–12, and Western Australia, Queensland and South Australia teaching years 8–12. In the Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania high school is 7–10, and students go to (matriculation) college for 11–12. It is compulsory to attend school until the age of fifteen.

See List of schools in Australia


Secondary schooling in Canada differs depending on the province in which one resides. Normally it follows the American pattern, however in Quebec, high school is grades 7 to 11 [1] (http://www.meq.gouv.qc.ca/daic/pdf/educqceng.pdf). In Quebec most students follow high school by attending a CGEP, which is comparable to a two-year junior college and is obligatory for Quebec students wishing to go on to university in Quebec. Vocational CEGEPs are three years. High schools in the remaining provinces (except Maritime Canada and Alberta) use four grades from 9 through 12, with OAC/grade 13 having been recently removed as a requirement for graduation in Ontario. In Maritime Canada, the high school tenure consists of three grades, 10-12. In Alberta, most public high schools have recently adopted a grade 9-12 format, which has caused over-crowding in some schools. B.C. uses a system similar to Alberta (grade 8-12 or 9-12, depending on regional school boards).

Hong Kong

Main article: Education in Hong Kong

Secondary education in Hong Kong is largely based on the British schooling system. High school starts on the 7th 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, who 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 and HKALE is equivalent to the GCE O-level (or GCSE) and the GCE A-level respectively.

As of Oct 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 merge the two exams HKCEE and HKALE into one exam. The proposed changes will be in effect within the next few years.


See also Secondary education in Singapore

Based on results of the Primary School Leaving Examination, Singapore's students undergo secondary education in either the Special, Express or Normal courses. 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's mother tongue language (English and Mother Tongue) are taught at a higher level (more difficult).

The Normal course is a 4-year course leading up to a Singapore-Cambridge GCE 'Normal' - 'N' level examination, with the possiblity 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 steamed 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.

Co-Curricular Activities 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] (http://www.moe.gov.sg/corporate/secondary3.htm)

Republic of China (Taiwan)

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 are established in "Japanese Colonial Time". Nowadays they include many features from the United States.

After 6 years in elementary school, the rule ask children must enter Junior High School, or their parents will be amerce. There are three grades in junior high. Children who achieve the third grade can either choose to enter Senior High School, Vocational High School, or Complete High School.

If children want to continue studying in school, they should 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 to enter a University.

Vocational High School has three grades also. Children in Vocational High School can enter a Technological University.

Complete High School is like high school in America, in that it has grades seven to grade twelve.

United States

In the United States, high school generally consists of grades 9, 10, 11, and 12, though this may vary slightly by school district. Students usually graduate from high school in the year of their 18th birthday, or the year of their 19th birthday if born in October,late November or December. In some areas, high school starts with tenth grade while a few American high schools still cover grades 7 through 12. This is phasing out however as nearly all high schools in populated areas run grades 9-12. American students are allowed to leave high school at age 16-18, depending on the state, graduation, acceptance into higher education, or other education settings. This age is usually reached during grade 10 or 11 if the standard curriculum has been followed throughout the student's life, without skipping grades or being held back. Thus, the last two years of high school are not compulsory, but most students complete high school and receive a diploma. A high school diploma or G.E.D. is required for entrance into a two or four-year college or university.

As a practical matter, while laws in most states mandate school attendance at least until graduation or age 16, enforcement of the truancy law is sporadic. Conversely, students who have failed a grade may remain in high school past the age of 18, if they have not graduated on time. The public-funded schools must provide education to everyone; however, if an individual proves a threat to himself and/or others, or reaches the age of 21 without a diploma, then most states allow the school to expel the student.

See also

de:High School ja:高等学校


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