Primary and Secondary Schools in China


Click here to see the list of Primary and Secondary Schools in China.

About Primary and Secondary Schools in China

As you might suspect based on the size of its population, the People’s Republic of China is home to the largest public school system in the world, serving nearly two-hundred million students a year at nearly 550,000 institutions.  The system is governed by the state, or more specifically the Ministry of Education, a type of school board that directs and oversees all aspects of both the primary and secondary levels of a Chinese student’s education.  This publicly funded education is offered to students from age 5 through age 18, although it is only compulsory for 9 years, from age 6-15.  According to the Ministry of Education, the primary schools in China have a 99 percent rate of student attendance, with nearly 98 percent of those children successfully moving on to the junior secondary school level.

Primary and Secondary Schools in China:  The Structure and Facts

The 12-year education of a Chinese youth is divided between three levels:  primary school, junior secondary school and senior secondary school.  In most provincial regions of China, six of those years are spent in primary school, with another 3 years each in both junior and senior secondary.

Primary School

Primary schools in China are considered among the very best in the world, with the majority of students performing exceedingly well on statewide proficiency exams.  The overwhelming majority of Chinese primary school students will successfully complete this predominantly academic course of study and go on to succeed at the both junior secondary and senior secondary level, despite the fact the latter of these two levels is not even considered mandatory for students under Chinese law.

As with most countries, the school year in Chinese primary schools is divided between two semesters, with a total of 38 weeks of instruction per year.  This is worth mentioning because it was not always structured in this manner.  Only recently, educational reforms in China have seen the number of school days per week reduced from 6 to 5, and more time added for holiday recess.  These changes, according to student scores, have only enhanced the educational experience for children, rather than having the reverse effect that many Chinese government officials had feared.

Junior Secondary School

The first stage of secondary school under the Chinese system is called junior secondary school, a phase that caters to students ages 11-14, with a very unique structure of curriculum.  In junior secondary school the subject matter is divided into two distinct categories:  state-arranged subjects—usually core classes such as mathematics, science and technology—and locally arranged subjects that are based solely on the needs of the local community and determined by the provincial government.  This helps to ensure that the upcoming generation of Chinese students will be prepared for the realities and challenges of life in the area in which they reside.

Senior Secondary School

Senior secondary schools in China share some similarities with American and European high schools, such as the core academic subject offerings, but in many more ways they are actually quite different.  First, because this stage of school is not compulsory, in order to qualify for senior secondary school admittance students must first pass a rigorous entrance examination developed by the state.  Students receiving above-average scores on this test will generally be admitted to the local “standard” senior secondary school (if they choose) to prepare for future university admittance, while others can elect to attend one of the many vocational secondary schools, at which they can obtain the knowledge and skills required to succeed in one of a variety of career fields.

List of Primary and Secondary Schools in China

Below is a list of schools that match what you are searching for:

Contact: Dulwich College Beijing

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Legend Garden Campus, 89 Capital Airport Road, Shunyi District, Beijing, China
Dulwich College, situated in Beijing, China is an education provider for expat children living in Beijing. The curriculum is formulated according to the guidelines of the National Curriculum for England & Wales. DC caters for children from aged 1-18 and is located in the close proximity of... See full description.
Contact: Fudan International School

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Guo Quan Road, Shanghai, China
Fudan International School , started in 1950 and located in Shanghai, China, is affiliated to Fundan University. The school started offering education in English language in 2006 and aspires to become a model school that effectively interconnects both Chinese and Western teaching techniques and... See full description.
Contact: Tsinghua International School

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