Primary and Secondary School

Schooling in Australia lasts for 13 years. School education includes preschool, preparatory (or kindergarten), primary school, secondary school (or high school), and senior secondary school (or college). Types of schools include government schools and non-government schools. There are 4 school terms each year, including a 6-week long vacation during Christmas time, and 3 short holidays lasting 2 to 3 weeks.

Australian schools are among the finest in the world:

  • Small class sizes (a maximum of 30 students in a class).
  • University-trained and qualified teachers and specialist teachers in subject areas.
  • Facilities of a high standard – including a high level of technology, with all schools having computers and internet access.
  • ‘Gifted and talented’ programs to extend students who are high achievers.
  • ‘High Achievement’ programs, which see the top students studying university-level subjects for advance credit.
  • Individual learning programs for students who require additional learning support.
  • Quality assurance frameworks where schools must meet required standards.

Australian schools do more than just educate students. They prepare them for life − developing communication skills, self-discipline and respect for themselves, their peers and their world. The Australian school curriculum prepares you for your future. Schools aim to develop students into independent and successful learners, confident and creative individuals, and active and informed citizens – with the view to giving them all the skills, knowledge and capabilities to thrive in a globalised world.

Australian schools usually have a number of characteristics:
The teacher's role
The teacher aims to assist students in reaching their individual learning goals.
Class activities
Students commonly undertake projects, group work and self-directed learning.
Dress codes
Most schools enforce dress codes or have a uniform to promote a sense of equality and to maintain a focus on education instead of fashion.
Class sizes
These are kept as small as possible, so teachers can regularly interact with students on a individual basis.
School hours
Schools operate from 9am to 3pm, Monday to Friday. Before-school and after-school care is generally available to those students who require it.
Teacher training
Australian teachers are nearly all university trained, with secondary school teachers having specialist qualifications in their subject area.
Special programs & services

These are available for:

  • Gifted students
  • Students with disabilities to help them reach their fullest potential
English support
International students often have access to English language support to help them adapt to their new school environment.

In this section, you’ll learn about the structure of Australian schools in more detail. It is compulsory for all Australian students to attend school until Year 10 or age 16.

To get more information on how to apply for primary and secondary schools
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