School system

​​​​​​​​Queensland school system

The Queensland School System begins at Prep (4 to 5 years of age) and concludes at Year 12 (average age 17 years old):

  • 7 years of Primary School (Prep - Year 6)
  • 6 years of High School (Years 7 - 12)

Upon completion of Year 12, Queensland students have numerous options to continue their study. Options include study at an institute of Technical And Further Education (TAFE), private college or University.​


Students who graduate from Years 11 and 12 receive the Queensland Certificate of Education, awarded by the Queensland Curriculum Assessment Authority (QCAA).

Many students also choose to receive a Tertiary Entrance Statement, which reports the student's Overall Position (OP) and Field Positions (FP's). OP's and FP's are used to rank students for entrance to tertiary-level education at University or TAFE.

More information about QCAA - Queensland Certificate of Education (PDF, 416KB)

The Queensland academic year

The Queensland academic year consists of two Semesters, with two Terms in each Semester.

Semester 1Semester 2
Term 1
(January to March)
Term 2
(April to June)
Term 3
(July to September)
Term 4
(October to December)

Each of the four school terms is approximately ten weeks in duration, with a holiday period at the conclusion of each term. Schools generally operate from 9am to 3pm weekdays, however some schools operate their own flexible school hours.

Find out current information about school term dates and public holidays​.

Class Sizes

  • Prep to Year 3 - class size target is 25

  • Year 4 to Year 10 - class size target is 28

  • Year 11 to Year 12 - class size target is 25

The Queensland assessment system

The Queensland assessment system measures student performance continuously throughout the year, thereby giving students optimum opportunity to continuously improve their results. Students must submit a number of school-based assessment tasks, including:

  • Assignments

  • Oral presentations

  • Practical exercises and demonstrations

  • Tests and examinations

  • Various subject-specific tasks

Student reports

Students receive student reports at the conclusion of each term.

Student progress is benchmarked by five levels of achievement:

  • ​Very High Achievement (VHA)

  • High Achievement (HA)

  • Sound Achievement (SA)

  • Limited Achievement (LA)

  • Very Limited Achievement (VLA)

Find out more information about the Queensland school curriculum, assessment and r​eporting framework​.​

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Last reviewed 16 February 2016
Last updated 03 March 2017