Your schooling


Each state in Australia has its own education system but the Australian Government takes a strong interest in maintaining the quality of Australian education for both Australian students and students from overseas. The education system has four stages with easy transition from one stage to the next . Every child must attend school from the age of 5 years to 16 years.
The school year is divided into four terms and runs from late January until December. There is a short holiday between terms and a long summer holiday in December and January. Students attend school from Monday to Friday each week. School hours vary slightly across Australia but are generally from 9.00 am to 3.00 pm each school day.


School day

In Queensland, high school students move between classrooms for different lessons. Students do not remain in their classrooms during morning tea and lunch breaks unless it is raining. They sit in the grounds, under the trees, eat their lunch (either brought from home or bought at the school canteen) and talk with their friends. Some students like to play sport or have school sport training.
There are also lunch time activities and club meetings for those who wish to attend. During break times it is important to eat and socialise with other students in order to get to know them.


Learning style

Education in Australia focuses on student learning rather than students being teacher directed. Students are encouraged to talk to their teacher and take part in discussions. The ability to express opinions clearly and concisely is a valuable skill. In many instances, students can decide their own research topics and work at their own pace independent of their teacher.


No smoking / drugs / alcohol policy in schools

Queensland Government schools do not permit the unlawful use of drugs; and possession of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs is not acceptable in any Queensland Government school. If you are found to possess or use illegal drugs your education contract with EQI will be cancelled and you will be sent home.


The Preparatory Year

Between the ages of five and six, children can attend full-time Preparatory school. The Preparatory Year provides a foundation for Primary Education but is not compulsory.


Primary education

In Queensland, children attend primary school from Year 1 until Year 7. In these first years at school students receive general elementary education with an emphasis on the development of language and literacy skills (including languages other than English), simple maths, moral and social education, health, environmental studies and creative activities.


Secondary education

Students spend three years in the junior section of high schools and this is usually followed by two years in the senior section of the high school. Secondary education is generally comprehensive and state schools are co-educational. Assessment and examinations are held periodically throughout the school year (from the end of January to mid-December). The school year is divided into two semesters, with two terms of approximately ten weeks each.

Students usually attend school from 9.00 am to 3.00 pm, Monday to Friday. There are generally no organised clubs or activities after school (although some students will practice sport) so most students leave the school and travel home or meet their friends. Students will usually have homework at night and on weekends but there are no classes on the weekend and cram schools are uncommon. Students are encouraged to keep their school tidy but they do not have to do the school cleaning, this is done by professional cleaners.


Tertiary education

Students can choose from a wide range of technical, academic and professional courses in universities, higher educational institutions and colleges of Technical and Further Education (TAFE).

Related document​​

Your schooling information (PDF, 1.19MB).

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Last reviewed 21 July 2016
Last updated 02 September 2016