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Middle school

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Middle School and Junior High School are levels of schooling between elementary
Elementary school
An elementary school or primary school is an institution where children receive the first stage of compulsory education known as elementary or primary education. Elementary school is the preferred term in some countries, particularly those in North America, where the terms grade school and grammar...

 and high school
High school
High school is a term used in parts of the English speaking world to describe institutions which provide all or part of secondary education. The term is often incorporated into the name of such institutions....

s. Most school systems use one term or the other, not both. The terms are not interchangeable. In China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

, Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

,, and Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

, the term middle school is used as a synonym for secondary school
Secondary school
Secondary school is a term used to describe an educational institution where the final stage of schooling, known as secondary education and usually compulsory up to a specified age, takes place...

.

Algeria


In Algeria
Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

, a middle school includes grades 6 through 9, consisting of students from ages 10 or 11 to 13 to 14. Not most people attend Middle School, most skip these grades, as they are not found of importance.

Egypt


In Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, middle school precedes high school. It is called the preparatory stage and consists of three phases: first preparatory in which students study more subjects than primary with different branches. In second preparatory students study Science, Geography, the History of Egypt starting with Pharonic history, passing by the Coptic, Islamic and finally the modern history, Also they study three different languages, Arabic is obligatory; two others are chosen as first and second languages: English, French, German, Spanish, and Italian. They study also Mathematics. Middle School (Preparatory Stage) lasts for three years.
Students are given an overview about future fields of studies.

Tunisia and Morocco


In Tunisia
Tunisia
Tunisia , officially the Tunisian RepublicThe long name of Tunisia in other languages used in the country is: , is the northernmost country in Africa. It is a Maghreb country and is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Its area...

, a middle school includes grades 7 through 9, consisting of students from ages 12 to 15.

Afghanistan


In Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

, education often does not last until middle school. When the Taliban ruled most parts of the country between 1996 and 2001, girls were not allowed to attend school. Since 2001, both boys and girls are allowed to attend school by the government, where it has control.

People's Republic of China


In the People's Republic of China, middle school has two stages, junior stage (grades 7-9) and senior stage (grades 10-12). The junior stage education is the last 3 years of 9-year-compulsory education for all young citizens; while the senior stage education is optional but considered as a critical preparation for college education. Some middle schools have both stages while some have either of them. In English, a number of schools with senior stage education are translated as "High School"; but in Chinese they are all named as "Middle School".

The admissions for most students to enroll in senior middle schools from junior stage are on the basis of the scores that they get in "Senior Middle School Entrance Exam", which are held by local governments. Other students may avoid the exam, based on their distinctive talents, like athleice, or excellent daily performance in junior stage.

Iran


In Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, middle school is considered as a 3 years period, grades 6, 7 and 8. It is called guidance school (راهنمایی: Persian). This term mainly refers to the fact that students get enough information in this period and then can choose what to focus in high school: math, natural science, social science, etc.

Lebanon


In Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

, middle school consists of grades 7, 8, and 9. At the end of 9th grade, the student is given the National diploma examination.

India


CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education
Central Board of Secondary Education
The Central Board of Secondary Education is a Board of Education for public and private schools, under the Union Government of India.-History:...

) classifies Middle School as Class 5 to Class 8 (typically ages 10–13). At the end of Class 8, students sit for a Board Exam.

There are other Central Boards such as ICSE (Indian Certificate of Secondary Education
Indian Certificate of Secondary Education
The Indian Certificate of Secondary Education or ICSE examination is an examination conducted by the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations, a private, non-governmental board of school education in India, for class 10, i.e., grade 10...

).
Each state has its own State Board. Each has its own standards, which might be different from the Central Boards.

In some institutions, providing education for 5th to 10th are known as secondary school.

South Korea


In the Republic of Korea, a middle school is called joong-hakyo (중학교, 中學校, also literally meaning "middle school") which includes grades 7 through 9 (approx age 13-15).

Indonesia


In Indonesia, middle school includes grade 7 through 9.

Although compulsory education ends at junior high, most pursue higher education. There are around 22,000 middle schools in Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

 with a balanced ownership between public and private sector.

Israel


In Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, middle school consists of grades 7, 8 and 9. Several cities have no middle school. There, elementary schools consist of grades 1-8.

Taiwan


Junior high schools (Three years from 7th to 9th grade) in the Republic of China (Taiwan) were originally called "primary middle school". However, in August 1968, they were renamed "citizen middle school" when they became free of charge and compulsory. Private middle school nowadays are still called "primary middle school". Taiwanese students older than twelve normally attend junior high school. Accompanied with the switch from junior high to middle school was the cancellation of entrance examination needed to enter middle school.

Malaysia


In Malaysia, pre-schools (Kindergarten
Kindergarten
A kindergarten is a preschool educational institution for children. The term was created by Friedrich Fröbel for the play and activity institute that he created in 1837 in Bad Blankenburg as a social experience for children for their transition from home to school...

) are meant for children from 5–6 years old. 7–12 year old kids attend Primary School/Elementary School
Elementary school
An elementary school or primary school is an institution where children receive the first stage of compulsory education known as elementary or primary education. Elementary school is the preferred term in some countries, particularly those in North America, where the terms grade school and grammar...

 from Standard 1 to Standard 6. There are three types of schooling depending on the child's spoken language: Malay
Malaysian language
Malaysian or Standard Malay is the official language of Malaysia and a standardized form of the Malay language of the Austronesian family. It is over 80% cognate with Indonesian and is spoken natively by over 10 million people...

, Mandarin
Chinese language
The Chinese language is a language or language family consisting of varieties which are mutually intelligible to varying degrees. Originally the indigenous languages spoken by the Han Chinese in China, it forms one of the branches of Sino-Tibetan family of languages...

, and Tamil
Tamil language
Tamil is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamil people of the Indian subcontinent. It has official status in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and in the Indian union territory of Pondicherry. Tamil is also an official language of Sri Lanka and Singapore...

. 13–17 year old students study in secondary school
Secondary school
Secondary school is a term used to describe an educational institution where the final stage of schooling, known as secondary education and usually compulsory up to a specified age, takes place...

/high school
High school
High school is a term used in parts of the English speaking world to describe institutions which provide all or part of secondary education. The term is often incorporated into the name of such institutions....

. These schools are numbered from Form 1 to Form 5. There is also an optional Form 6 (Pre-university or A level equivalent). This is divided into Lower Form 6 and Upper Form 6. Students may choose to study other equivalent courses instead of taking Form 6 classes.

Form 1 to 3 students are called lower secondary students and Form 4 to 6 are called upper secondary students.

There are three major exams: 1) Standard 6. 5 Subjects
Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah
Primary School Evaluation Test, also known as Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah , is a national examination taken by all students in Malaysia at the end of their sixth year in primary school before they leave for secondary school...

, 2) Form 3. 7 subjects for non-Muslim students and 8 subjects for Muslim students
Penilaian Menengah Rendah
Penilaian Menengah Rendah is a Malaysian public examination taken by all Form Three students in both government and private schools throughout the country. It was formerly known as Sijil Rendah Pelajaran...

, and 3) Form 5. O level equivalent
Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia
The Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia , or the Malaysian Certificate of Education, is a national examination taken by all fifth-year secondary school students in Malaysia...

 -subjects varying, according to the elective and extra subjects chosen by the students.

Australia


Most regions of Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 do not have middle schools, as students go directly from primary school to secondary school
Secondary school
Secondary school is a term used to describe an educational institution where the final stage of schooling, known as secondary education and usually compulsory up to a specified age, takes place...

.

In 1996 and 1997, a national conference met to develop what became known as the National Middle Schooling Project, which aimed to develop a common Australian view of
  • early adolescent needs
  • guiding principles for educators
  • appropriate strategies to foster positive adolescent learning.

The first middle school established in Australia was The Armidale School
The Armidale School
The Armidale School is an independent, Anglican, day and boarding school predominantly for boys, located in Armidale, on the New England Tablelands of northern New South Wales, Australia...

, in Armidale (approximately 570 km north of Sydney
Sydney
Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney is located on Australia's south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. As of June 2010, the greater metropolitan area had an approximate population of 4.6 million people...

, 470 km south of Brisbane
Brisbane
Brisbane is the capital and most populous city in the Australian state of Queensland and the third most populous city in Australia. Brisbane's metropolitan area has a population of over 2 million, and the South East Queensland urban conurbation, centred around Brisbane, encompasses a population of...

 and approximately 170 km inland from the coast). Schools have since followed this trend, such as The King's School
The King's School, Sydney
The King's School is an independent Anglican, day and boarding school for boys in North Parramatta in the western suburbs of Sydney, Australia. Founded in 1831, it is Australia's oldest school and forms one of the nine "Great Public Schools" of New South Wales. Situated within a site, Gowan Brae,...

.

, the Northern Territory
Northern Territory
The Northern Territory is a federal territory of Australia, occupying much of the centre of the mainland continent, as well as the central northern regions...

 has introduced a three tier system
Three-tier education
Three-tier education refers to those structures of schooling, which exist in some parts of England, where pupils are taught in three distinct school types. A similar experiment was also trialled in Scotland....

 featuring Middle Schools for years 7–9 (approx ages 12–15) and high school year 10–12. (approx ages 15–18)

Many schools across Queensland have introduced a Middle School tier within their schools. The middle schools cover the grades/years 5 to 8.

On the Gold Coast
Gold Coast, Queensland
Gold Coast is a coastal city of Australia located in South East Queensland, 94km south of the state capital Brisbane. With a population approximately 540,000 in 2010, it is the second most populous city in the state, the sixth most populous city in the country, and also the most populous...

, Upper Coomera State College
Upper Coomera State College
Upper Coomera State College , established in 2003, is a state school situated in the developing Coomera area in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. It is operated by Education Queensland. As of 2007, the school has grades Prep through 12. The college is divided into 3 sub schools: Chisholm Junior...

 (Prep-12) has three sub-schools; Junior School (Prep-6), Middle School (7–9) and Senior School (10–12).

Currently in Brisbane
Brisbane
Brisbane is the capital and most populous city in the Australian state of Queensland and the third most populous city in Australia. Brisbane's metropolitan area has a population of over 2 million, and the South East Queensland urban conurbation, centred around Brisbane, encompasses a population of...

, Queensland
Queensland
Queensland is a state of Australia, occupying the north-eastern section of the mainland continent. It is bordered by the Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Wales to the west, south-west and south respectively. To the east, Queensland is bordered by the Coral Sea and Pacific Ocean...

, students do not go to middle school. Primary School covers preschool to year 7 (ages 5–12), and high school covers years 8 to 12 (ages 13–17.)

New Zealand


In New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 intermediate schools cover years 7 to 8 (formerly known as Forms 1 to 2, with children aged 11–13). Most primary schools however, do teach year 7 and 8 with students continuing to high school at year 9/Form 3. These primary schools may have a relationship with a nearby intermediate school to teach manual training classes, such as woodwork.

Intermediate schools are rarely found outside of the major populated cities and towns of New Zealand, with the more isolated rural townships often having an Area School with classes from New Entrants to Form 7, Years 1 to 13.

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia, Macedonia


In the countries of former Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia refers to three political entities that existed successively on the western part of the Balkans during most of the 20th century....

, srednja škola/šola (literally translated as Middle School) refers to age between 14 and half – 15 and 18, and lasts 2–4 years, following elementary school (which lasts 8 or 9 years).
The final four years of elementary school are actually what would be called junior high school in USA. Students have up to 12–13 different subjects in each school year (most of them only two 45-minute class periods per week). For example, 8th grade students do not have one subject called Science but three separate subjects called Chemistry, Physics and Biology.

France


In France, the equivalent period to middle school is collège
Secondary education in France
In France, secondary education is in two stages:* collèges cater for the first four years of secondary education from the ages of 11 to 14...

, which lasts four years from the Sixième (sixth, the equivalent of the Canadian and American Grade 6) to the Troisième (third, the equivalent of the Canadian and American Grade 9), accommodating pupils aged between 11 and 15. Upon completion of the latter, students are awarded a Brevet des collèges
Brevet des collèges
The National diploma is a diploma given to French pupils at the end of the , This diploma is awarded to students that are or were within French cultural influence, including France itself, Lebanon and Syria, the latter two within the scope of a League of Nations mandate to France after World War...

 if they obtain a certain amount of points on a series of tests in various subjects (French, history / geography, mathematics) and oral examinations (history of arts). They can then enter high school (called lycée), which lasts three years from the Seconde to the Terminale until the baccalauréat
Baccalauréat
The baccalauréat , often known in France colloquially as le bac, is an academic qualification which French and international students take at the end of the lycée . It was introduced by Napoleon I in 1808. It is the main diploma required to pursue university studies...

, and during which they can choose a general or a professional field of study. (check the french ministry of education website)

Germany


While a school may be called "middle school" it is not a Middle School in the sense of the article but simply a secondary school
Secondary school
Secondary school is a term used to describe an educational institution where the final stage of schooling, known as secondary education and usually compulsory up to a specified age, takes place...

 of a certain type. Depending on Bundesland
States of Germany
Germany is made up of sixteen which are partly sovereign constituent states of the Federal Republic of Germany. Land literally translates as "country", and constitutionally speaking, they are constituent countries...

, Middle School may be comparable to either a Realschule
Realschule
The Realschule is a type of secondary school in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein. It has also existed in Croatia , Denmark , Sweden , Hungary and in the Russian Empire .-History:The Realschule was an outgrowth of the rationalism and empiricism of the seventeenth and...

or a Hauptschule
Hauptschule
A Hauptschule is a secondary school in Germany and Austria, starting after 4 years of elementary schooling, which offers Lower Secondary Education according to the International Standard Classification of Education...

or a combination of both. The middle school in the English language sense has an approximate analog in the Orientierungsstufen which exist in some German states.

Gibraltar


There are four middle schools in Gibraltar, following the English model of middle-deemed-primary schools accommodating pupils aged between 8 and 12 (National Curriculum Years 4 to 7). The schools were opened in 1972 when the government introduced comprehensive education in the country.

Poland



Middle school in Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

, called gimnazjum, was first introduced in 1932. The education was intended for pupils of at least 12 years of age and lasted 4 years. Middle schools were part of the educational system until the reform of 1947, except during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 (1939–1945).

The middle schools were reinstated in Poland in 1999 now lasting 3 years after 6 years of primary school. Pupils entering gimnazjum are usually 13 years old. Middle school is compulsory for all students, and it is also the final stage of mandatory education. In the final year students take a standardized test
Standardized test
A standardized test is a test that is administered and scored in a consistent, or "standard", manner. Standardized tests are designed in such a way that the questions, conditions for administering, scoring procedures, and interpretations are consistent and are administered and scored in a...

 to evaluate their academic skills. Higher scorers in the test are allowed first pick of school if they want to continue their education, which is encouraged.

Romania


Middle school in Romania, or gymnasium
Gymnasium (school)
A gymnasium is a type of school providing secondary education in some parts of Europe, comparable to English grammar schools or sixth form colleges and U.S. college preparatory high schools. The word γυμνάσιον was used in Ancient Greece, meaning a locality for both physical and intellectual...

, includes grades 5 to 8. At the end of the eighth grade students take an exam that counts for 50% of the average needed to enroll in high school.

United Kingdom


In the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, some English
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 Local Education Authorities
Local Education Authority
A local education authority is a local authority in England and Wales that has responsibility for education within its jurisdiction...

 introduced Middle Schools in the 1960s and 1970s. The notion of Middle Schools was mooted by the Plowden Report
Plowden Report
The Plowden Report is the unofficial name for the 1967 report of the Central Advisory Council For Education into Primary education in England. The report, entitled Children and their Primary Schools reviewed Primary education in a wholesale fashion. The collation of the report took around 3 years...

 of 1967 which proposed a change to a three-tier model
Three-tier education
Three-tier education refers to those structures of schooling, which exist in some parts of England, where pupils are taught in three distinct school types. A similar experiment was also trialled in Scotland....

 including First school
First School
First school and lower school are terms used in some areas of the United Kingdom to describe the first stage of primary education. Some English Local Education Authorities have introduced First Schools since the 1960s...

s for children aged between 5 and 8, Middle Schools for 8–12 year-olds, and then Upper or High Schools for 12–16 year-olds. Some authorities introduced Middle Schools for ideological reasons, in line with the report, while others did so for more pragmatic reasons relating to the raising of the school leaving age
Raising of school leaving age
The raising of school leaving age is an act brought into force when the legal age a child is allowed to leave compulsory education increases...

 in compulsory education to 16, or to introduce a comprehensive system
Comprehensive school
A comprehensive school is a state school that does not select its intake on the basis of academic achievement or aptitude. This is in contrast to the selective school system, where admission is restricted on the basis of a selection criteria. The term is commonly used in relation to the United...

.

Different authorities introduced different age-range schools, although in the main, three models were used:
  • 5–8 First Schools, followed by 8–12 Middle Schools, as suggested by Plowden
  • 5–9 First Schools, followed by 9–13 Middle Schools
  • 5–10 First Schools followed by 10–13 Middle Schools, or Intermediate Schools


In many areas Primary School rather than First School was used to denote the first tier.

In addition, some schools were provided as combined school
Combined school
Combined School is a term used in the United Kingdom which has begun to lose its original meaning.When, in 1967, the Plowden Report recommended a change in the structure of primary education in England, it proposed an arrangement of first and middle schools, catering for pupils aged 4–8 and 8-12...

s catering for pupils in the 5–12 age range as a combined first and middle school.

Around 2000 middle and combined schools were in place in the early 1980s. However, that number began to fall in the later 1980s with the introduction of the National Curriculum. The new curriculum's splits in Key Stage
Key Stage
A Key Stage is a stage of the state education system in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the British Territory of Gibraltar setting the educational knowledge expected of students at various ages...

s at age 11 encouraged the majority of Local Education Authorities
Local Education Authority
A local education authority is a local authority in England and Wales that has responsibility for education within its jurisdiction...

 to return to a two-tier system of Primary (sometimes split into Infant school
Infant school
An Infant school is a term used primarily in the United Kingdom for school for children between the ages of four and seven years. It is usually a small school serving a particular locality....

s and Junior school
Junior school
A junior school is a type of school which caters for children, often between the ages of 7 and 11.-Australia:In Australia, a junior school is usually a part of a private school that educates children between the ages of 5 and 12....

s) and Secondary school
Secondary school
Secondary school is a term used to describe an educational institution where the final stage of schooling, known as secondary education and usually compulsory up to a specified age, takes place...

s. There are now fewer than 250 middle schools still operational in the United Kingdom, meaning that approximately 85% of middle schools have closed since 1980.

Under current legislation, all middle schools must be deemed either primary or secondary. Thus, schools which accept pupils up to age 12 are titled middle-deemed-primary, while those accepting pupils aged 13 or over are titled middle-deemed-secondary. For statistical purposes, such schools are often included under primary and secondary categories "as deemed". Notably, most schools also follow teaching patterns in line with their deemed status, with most deemed-primary schools offering a primary-style curriculum taught by one class teacher, and most deemed-secondary schools adopting a more specialist-centred approach.

Some Middle Schools still exist in various areas of England. They are supported by the National Middle Schools' Forum
National Middle Schools' Forum
The National Middle Schools' Forum is a national education association dedicated exclusively to the promotion and support of Middle schools in England.The organisation was first formed in 1991 as the Inter-Lea Middle Schools' Forum...

. A list of middle schools in England is available.

In Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 a similar system was trialled in Grangemouth middle schools
Grangemouth middle schools
Two middle schools operated in the town of Grangemouth between 1974 and 1988. Grangemouth is in the historic county of Stirlingshire in central Scotland and, following local government reorganisation in 1975, became part of the Falkirk District of the Central Region....

, Falkirk
Falkirk (council area)
Falkirk is one of the 32 unitary authority council areas in Scotland. It borders onto North Lanarkshire to the south west, Stirling to the north west, West Lothian to the south east and, across the Firth of Forth to the north east, Fife and Clackmannanshire...

 between 1975 and 1987. The label of junior high school is used for some through schools in Orkney and Shetland which cater for pupils from 5 up to the age of 14, at which point they transfer to a nearby secondary school.

In the Craigavon area of Northern Ireland, the Dickson Plan operates, whereby pupils attend a primary school from ages 4-10, a junior high school from 11-14, and a senior high school or grammar school from 14-19. This is not dissimilar to the middle school system.

Canada and the United States


As noted above, the first junior high school was established in 1909. Advocated by groups such as the National Middle School Association
National Middle School Association
National Middle School Association is an international education association dedicated exclusively to the middle level grades.With more than 30,000 members in the United States, Canada, and 46 other countries, NMSA represents principals, teachers, central office personnel, professors, college...

, the "middle school" concept (grades 6-8) is a relatively new model for the mid-level grades, contrasted with the more traditional "junior high school" concept (grades 7-9).

Conceptual distinctions


Junior high schools were created for the purpose of "bridging the gap between the elementary and the high school," a concept credited to Charles W. Eliot, president of Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

. The faculty is organized into academic department
Academic department
An academic department is a division of a university or school faculty devoted to a particular academic discipline. This article covers United States usage at the university level....

s that operate more or less independently of one another. The middle school movement in the United States saw this model as inadequately addressing the intended purpose of transition by maintaining an emphasis on the high school model, as reflected in the "junior high" designation.

The middle school concept often involves a group of two to eight teachers, depending on the school, from different disciplines working as a team with the same group of students of the same grade level, with each teacher teaching a different subject. This format facilitates interdisciplinary
Interdisciplinarity
Interdisciplinarity involves the combining of two or more academic fields into one single discipline. An interdisciplinary field crosses traditional boundaries between academic disciplines or schools of thought, as new needs and professions have emerged....

 units, where part or all of the entire team teaches on the same general topic from the perspective of different disciplines. The middle school philosophy also advocates assigning students in each team to a homeroom
Homeroom
Homeroom or advisory is the classroom session in which a teacher records attendance and makes announcements. It can also be called Registration or Planning Period...

. By having homeroom daily for various discussions and activities, middle schools try to foster a sense of belonging in students to ease social and emotional difficulties during adolescence.

Middle school in North America carries with it associations of personal and emotional difficulty. Physical and hormonal changes that accompany adolescence
Adolescence
Adolescence is a transitional stage of physical and mental human development generally occurring between puberty and legal adulthood , but largely characterized as beginning and ending with the teenage stage...

 are exacerbated by newfound self-consciousness, social pressures, and the desire for conformity and identity.

Configurations


Middle school is often used instead of junior high school
High school
High school is a term used in parts of the English speaking world to describe institutions which provide all or part of secondary education. The term is often incorporated into the name of such institutions....

 when demographic factors increase the number of younger students. Whereas junior highs tend to only include grades 7 and 8, middle schools are usually grades 6, 7, and 8 (i.e. around ages 11–14), varying from area to area and also according to population vs. building capacity. Other common models includes grades 5–8, and grades 7-9. Alberta, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island junior high schools (the term "middle school" is not commonly used) include only grades 7 to 9, with the first year of high school traditionally being grade 10.

The middle school format has now replaced the junior high format by a ratio of about ten to one in the United States, but at least two school districts had integrated both systems in 2010.

Mexico


In Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, the middle school system is called Secundaria and usually comprises three years, grades 7–9 (ages: 7: 12-13, 8: 13-14, 9: 14-15). It is completed after Primaria (Elementary School, up to grade 6: ages 11–12.) and before Preparatoria/Bachillerato (High School, grades 10–12).

Brazil


In Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, middle school is a mandatory stage that precedes High School
High school
High school is a term used in parts of the English speaking world to describe institutions which provide all or part of secondary education. The term is often incorporated into the name of such institutions....

 called "Basic Cycle" consisting of about three to four grades,5th or 6th to 9th, ages 10 or 11-14. All the schools (Kindergarten to High School) usually are in the same school, so sometimes the middle school starts in 5th grade, sometimes in 6th.

Uruguay


In Uruguay
Uruguay
Uruguay ,officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay,sometimes the Eastern Republic of Uruguay; ) is a country in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to some 3.5 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area...

, the public middle school consists of two stages, one mandatory called "Basic Cycle" or "First Cycle". This consists of three years, ages 12–13, 13-14 and 14-15, and one optional called "Second Cycle", ages 15–16, 16-17 and 17-18. The Second Cycle is divided into 4 options in the 5th grade: "Human Sciences," "Biological","Scientific" and "Arts".

Venezuela


In Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

, public middle schools have a different Spanish name than private schools. The school system includes a preparatory year before first grade, so nominal grade levels are offset when compared to other countries. Middle schools are from 7th grade (equivalent to 8th grade US) to 11th grade, which is equivalent to 12th grade. Graduates are eligible for college.

Professional organizations


The National Middle School Association (NMSA) was founded in 1973. It now claims over 30,000 members representing principals, teachers, central office personnel, professors, college students, parents, community leaders, and educational consultants across the United States, Canada, and 46 other countries.

An equivalent organisation operates in the UK under the name of The National Middle Schools' Forum
National Middle Schools' Forum
The National Middle Schools' Forum is a national education association dedicated exclusively to the promotion and support of Middle schools in England.The organisation was first formed in 1991 as the Inter-Lea Middle Schools' Forum...

.

Further reading

  • Arnold, J. "Needed: A Realistic Perspective of the Early Adolescent Learner." CLEARINGHOUSE 54:4 (1980).
  • Atwell, Nancie. "In the Middle: New Understanding About Writing, Reading, and Learning." Boynton/Cook Pub (1987).
  • Beane, J. "Dance to the Music of Time: The Future of Middle Level Education." THE EARLY ADOLESCENT MAGAZINE 2 (September 1987):18–26.
  • Beane, J. A MIDDLE SCHOOL CURRICULUM: FROM RHETORIC TO REALITY. Columbus, Ohio: National Middle School Association, 1990a.
  • Beane, J. AFFECT IN THE CURRICULUM: TOWARD DEMOCRACY, DIGNITY, AND DIVERSITY. New York: Teachers College Press, 1990b.
  • Cross Keys Middle School. A PLACE OF OUR OWN. Florissant, Missouri: Florissant Public Schools, 1990.
  • Jennings, W., and Nathan, J. "Startling/Disturbing Research on School Program Effectiveness." PHI DELTA KAPPAN 59 (1977): 568–572.
  • Fenwick, J. (Primary Author) Taking Center Stage: A Commitment to Standards-Based Education for California's Middle Grades Students. Sacramento: California Department of Education, 2001
  • "Why Middle Level Schools Are KEY to Young Adolescent Success" Westerville, OH: NMSA, 2003. http://www.nmsa.org/Publications/TheFamilyConnection/Vol8No2/tabid/214/Default.aspx

External links