How many schools are there in Canada

The Canadian school system

The Canadian school system

The special thing about the Canadian school system is the large selection of subjects, the close relationship between teachers and students and the high level of education. Since the school system is a matter for the individual provinces, you will find a wide range of different regulations. Most Canadian students attend state schools, which are typically comprehensive and all-day schools. The regular school time is 12 years, except in the province of Québec, there it is only 11 years.

The structure of the school year and the school system

The Canadian school year starts in early September and runs through the end of June. Just like here, there are two school years of five months each, i.e. September to January and February to June. Canadian students have two months vacation in summer, around 14 days at Christmas and one week in mid-March.

At the age of six or seven, Canadian students are first enrolled in primary school (Elementary / École primaire), followed by Junior High (Junior Secondary / École secondaire) and finally Senior High (Senior Secondary / Cégep).

Canadian high school

The regulations vary from province to province, in most regions junior high school comprises grades seven to nine, and senior high school is attended from tenth to twelfth grade. After the twelfth grade, the students then have their graduation. Advanced Placement Courses (AP) are also offered to help students increase their chances of being accepted into college after graduation. Canada has two official languages, English and French. The language that is not spoken in the respective province is offered as a foreign language in the school.

In addition, there is sometimes »French Immersion«. That means parents can send their children to a French-speaking kindergarten, followed by a French-speaking elementary and middle school. At secondary high school, the language of instruction is then English. For students who previously only had French lessons, there are selected subjects in French, similar to bilingual lessons.

Compulsory subjects, electives and "extracurricular activities"

Canadian schools offer their students so-called "extracurricular activities", extracurricular activities such as various sports. After school closes at around 3:00 p.m., you can then pursue sports or other activities.

The most popular sports are

  • rugby
  • ice Hockey
  • lacrosse
  • baseball
  • volleyball
  • Field hockey
  • basketball
  • athletics
  • Soccer

Other activities are for example

  • Bands
  • Chess club
  • drama
  • Musical theater
  • yoga
  • Debate Club
  • Computer club


Just like in the USA, the grading system consists of letters, which can also be supplemented with a + or -:

  • A = very good
  • B = good
  • C = satisfactory
  • D = passed
  • F = failed

What is special about the Canadian school system

During your student exchange in Canada you will quickly find out that team spirit and the connection to the school play a big role at Canadian high schools. Unlike in Germany, where pupils cannot get home quickly enough after class, Canadian pupils spend their free time at school and take part in "extracurricular activities".

The high school is not divided into Hauptschule, Realschule and Gymnasium; all students go to one school. There are also many electives and you can put together your own schedule. The schools are often very well equipped with computers, specialist rooms for music and gymnastics or the like.


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