What is The Difference Between Secondary School And High School

It might be tough to understand what a secondary school or a high school is because there are so many words for different components of the educational system that seem to vary depending on the region. So let’s look at what a secondary school is and how it differs from a high school.

Historical Context of High School

The word “high school” was used initially in Scotland, and Edinburgh’s Royal High School, founded in 1505, is the oldest high school in the world. From then on, nations worldwide began referring to their schools as “high schools,” yet not all were the same. For example, in the East Asian region, where the former British colonies adopted the British school system after independence, students must finish four years of secondary school after six years of elementary school before continuing to university education. On the other hand, in China, high schools are only open to students who have completed six years of primary school and three years of middle school.

What is Secondary School or High School?

Secondary school is the educational level that comes after primary school and before higher elective education. In most nations, secondary school can be completed in part as an optional course to prepare for higher education. The transition to high school does, however, require completing secondary education.

On the other hand, High schools instruct students in grades 11 and 12, concentrating on significant subjects and ideas to enable them to connect their lessons to real-life situations and apply what they have learned. Another aspect is instilling in them fundamental values and ideals that will be significant in their later years.

What is a Secondary School in Singapore?

All Singaporeans between the ages of 12 and 16 must attend secondary school. Consequently, a student’s Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) outcomes significantly impact their secondary school path. Singapore has three general secondary school pathways: Express, Academic, and Technical.

Singapore is testing and implementing a system known as subject-based banding, which allows students to select study streams for specific courses rather than their entire course of study.

What is Secondary School in India?

The educational institution after elementary school is “high school.” As an alternative, “secondary school” is frequently used. However, a student is regarded as a high school student once they have completed grade 9. The High School, also known as the Secondary School, offers a secondary level of education, awarding students who have completed grades 10 and 12 with the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and the Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC), respectively.

What is Secondary School in the US?

The United States does not have secondary education, to put it simply. Middle school (grades 6–8) and high school (grades 9–12) can be seen as a component of secondary school technically and by definition because they are given after elementary school. However, it is rare to see someone referring to any US education as a “secondary school.”

What is Secondary School in Canada?

The situation is very comparable in Canada. Grades 9 through 12 constitute secondary school, and Canadian students attend college or university. However, high school in Quebec is from grades 7 to 12.

Secondary School in the UK

According to the Cambridge levels, there are two different secondary schools in the United Kingdom. Students in Cambridge Lower Secondary commonly range from 11 to 14 years old. Giving them a clear path as they advance through the Cambridge Pathway in an age-appropriate manner aids in preparing students for the following stage of their education. Students between 14 and 16 often enrol in Cambridge Upper Secondary. It provides students with Cambridge IGCSE credentials. The University of Cambridge’s IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) program lasts two years and results in exams, set, graded, and certified externally. The most well-known international qualification for students aged 14 to 16 is available through this one-of-a-kind UK government-endorsed Cambridge leveled program, which is available in thousands of schools worldwide.

Secondary School in South Africa

Secondary school, high school, and college are all terms used by South Africans to focus on particular levels of educational institutions. Schooling is only required through grade 10, even though this education is available to students in grades 8 through 12 in South Africa.

Secondary Schools in Australia and New Zealand

The educational system varies a little in these oceanic nations. After finishing secondary school in grade 10, students have two options: the workforce or an apprenticeship. Students may attend senior secondary school (grades 11-12) after secondary school. It is a means of getting ready to start college or a training program.

Is Secondary School the Same as High School?

Yes! And no. Since secondary school is defined as education after elementary school, grades 6 through 12 would fall under this category in the United States. However, a student is regarded as a high school student once they have completed grade nine. However, secondary education is typically compared to high school in the United States in many English-speaking nations.

Objectives of Secondary School

Children receive extensive training in fundamental subjects, including arithmetic, English, science, liberal arts, and languages, during the secondary school years, commonly referred to as the intermediate stage of education. The following are some objectives for secondary education:

It enables students to

  • Develop into a knowledgeable, civic-minded individual with a sense of national and international identity, an awareness of positive attitudes and values, and a respect for social diversity.
  • Develop a comprehensive and robust knowledge base, and comprehend current concerns that could impact students’ everyday life on a local, regional, national, and international scale.
  • Develop effective trilingual and bi-literate communication skills for better studies and career
  • Become a self-directed and independent learner for future study and work by developing and using generic integrative skills.
  • Utilize information and technology in an ethical, adaptable, and efficient manner.
  • Recognize one’s interests, talents, and skills; establish and consider personal goals with hopes for higher education and a future profession.
  • Choose to have a healthy lifestyle that includes engaging in physical and artistic pursuits and appreciating sports and the arts.


A student can only carry on with their education after completing these exams, whether they are in secondary school or high school. A student who has passed the 12th-grade exam is considered a school graduate. Because students receive a certificate for the same, they are referred to as secondary school certificate holders.

Many students attend colleges and universities after high school or secondary school. Thus, the possibilities are endless, and everything is achievable if you put your mind to it.

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