The Canadian High School lasts four years, and students usually attend it from age 14 to 18 years of age.
In Canada there are no school curricula like in Europe, that is, there are no distinctions between high schools and technical institutes or between different types of high school such as scientific, linguistic, artistic or others. The difference is made by the type of educational offer of each single school, or what subjects can be chosen by the students.
Canadian schools can follow either a linear system (4 to 5 subjects studied each semester, for a total of 8 to 10 every year) or annual (8 to 10 subjects throughout the year). Schools often have both common subject courses with a standard program and subjects with an advanced AP program, which give credits for Canadian or American universities for those who graduate in Canada and choose to continue their studies abroad.
The subjects can be chosen upon arrival when the student starts his year or semester, directly at school, or if he wishes, in many cases, even before arrival. One can also choose the English-speaking program or the French-speaking one or even the bilingual one.
The subjects vary a little from school to school but, among the subjects that can be chosen and which depend on the educational offer of the school, one can often find: English, science, physical education, mathematics, computer science, mechanics, nutrition, media, modeling, photography, art, drama , music, Spanish, psychology, carpentry, civics, history, law, geography and social sciences.
Even in the English-speaking programs if the student has a good level of French, he can choose from 1 to 3 subjects to follow in French.
Schools include and provide several sports and extra-curricular activities such as swimming, dance, basketball, ice hockey, hiking, skiing, volleyball, football, sailing, depending on both the school and the region and on the natural offer that surrounds it. Some outdoor sports are in fact more suited to some Canadian regions than others. Certainly, Canadian schools are very suitable for students interested in outdoor sports as well as social activities and to deepen not only the school material and the educational program, but also the non-curricular aspect of education.
There isn’t much homework assigned, but rather long-term projects which need to be presented in class often with the help of an IT support. The schools are equipped with new computers, well-stocked libraries, gyms, theaters and a cafeteria where to eat. The buildings are usually new, clean and painted in bright colors.
Everything is reported daily on the school's website and all unjustified absences may lead to a removal of privileges from the students. Marks are given by following very specific systems and many aspects are taken into consideration such as punctuality, interest shown, ability to work in a group and autonomy are also taken into account.
Children inevitably have to develop independence and responsibility.
Parents are not there to check homework or sign reproach notes written to them by the teachers. Students are supported by tutors or can speak to a counselor if they have problems or need guidance or advice.
The teachers are available at lunch time or after school to explain to those who did not understand or those who missed some lessons.
The High School professors must study at least one year after graduating in order to be teachers.