Primary and Secondary Schools in Italy

Liceo Linguistico Europeo G. Parini

Barzanò, Italy
The Liceo Linguistico Europeo G. Parini is a secondary school private, created in 1979. It's a wonderful school where you can learn English, Spanish, French or German.

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About Primary and Secondary Schools in Italy

Based solely on the size of Italy’s population, the amount that is annually allocated to its primary and secondary education system—close to 70 billion dollars—is really quite impressive.  Similar to education programs in some European countries (and very different than others), Italy’s schools receive plenty of government support, and do a fantastic job of preparing its country’s students for either a university education or vocational training, the latter of which is designed for the more career-minded students.  Below we will examine the primary and secondary school system in Italy, describing and defining the various levels students may pass through on their educational journey.
Scuola Dell’ Infanzia (Kindergarten)
Children in Italy are legally compelled to attend school from the age of 6-15, but for many students their formal schooling begins at age 5 at one of the many scuoloas dell’ infanzia, or kindergarten programs.  Here students will, among other things, learn pre-reading techniques and gross and fine motor skills, along with tactics on how to cooperate and socialize with their newly found peers.  This stage of education spans just a single year, but the time spent here is a very important step in preparing children, both academically and socially, to enter and succeed in primary school.
Scuola Elementare
Scuola elementare, or elementary (primary) school, is home to Italy’s children for 5 years of their education, typically from the age of 6 through age 11.  During this time, children will be exposed to a varied curriculum, one that includes studies in the Italian language—reading, writing, grammar, etc.—mathematics, science, technology, social sciences, music and art.  Students who successfully complete this program earn the required diploma for entrance into secondary school, called the Diploma di Licenza Della Scuola Elementare.
Scuola Media Inferiore
Similar to junior high school/middle school in the U.S., scuola media inferiore is designed for children ages 11-14.  Here students receive instruction in many of the same subjects taught in primary school, only more advanced, but it is also where students begin to discover their academic ability and their career aptitude in certain fields.
Liceo Classico
After students receive their diploma from the scuola media inferiore, the number of options available to them in terms of their future educational path is considerably enhanced.  For those students who wish to pursue one of the many Bachelor and Master’s Degree programs, the “upper secondary schools,” called liceos classico, are where most of these students will attend.  These programs help prepare students for the university by offering college preparatory courses in a number of different fields, including mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics and language—both Italian and foreign.
Institutos Tecnico and Institutos Magistrale
While most upper secondary school students (14-19) will typically opt for the 5-year liceo classico educational track, to help prepare them for a university education, some career-minded students may choose instead from one of the other two options available through Italy’s education system:  Instituto Tecnico (Technology Institute) or Instituto Magistrale (Specialized Secondary Institute)
As the name suggests, the institutos tecnico specialize in providing secondary school students with an advanced technology education, training the future computer and electronic specialists of Italy’s tomorrow.  The institutos magistrale, on the other hand, cater to those students looking to begin their career immediately after secondary school.  These schools offer courses in the theory and practical application techniques for a number of different career fields, all aimed at providing students with the information they’ll need to enter into and succeed in the workplace after graduation.

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