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Canadian provincial grade levels

Comparing the education and grade levels of provinces in Canada

The education system in Canada is an interesting one. And it continues to evolve.

Below, we look at two main features of this system. First, we describe the main levels of education in Canada. We then compare the grade structure of all provinces and territories.

Levels of education

  • Early education: This is education for children under five. It can include nursery school or preschool. Early education isn’t compulsory in Canada.
  • Elementary school: Elementary or primary school normally runs from grades 1 to 12. In many provinces in Canada, it also includes Kindergarten. In Ontario, elementary school includes 2 years of Kindergarten—Junior Kindergarten (JK) and Senior Kindergarten (SK). Kindergarten isn’t compulsory anywhere in Canada.
  • Middle school: Middle school is sometimes also be called “junior high school” or “senior public school.” It’s offered in most provinces. In some provinces, elementary school goes from kindergarten or grade 1 to grade 8 (and so may include middle school). In most provinces, middle school runs from grades 6 to 9 (age 12-15). In Ontario, though, it normally only includes grade 7 and 8.
  • High school: High school, also sometimes called “senior high school” or “secondary high school,” marks the end of compulsory education in Canada. It normally runs from grade 9 to 12. It ends in grade 12 in all provinces except Quebec. In Quebec, after grade 11 students instead proceed to a pre-college or university program such as CEGEP.

Canadian provincial grade structures

Each province in Canada has its own grade structure. Below, we outline the grade structures of all 12 Canadian provinces (source: Wikipedia entry on Education in Canada). This includes Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, the Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Ontario, PEI, Quebec, Saskatchewan, and the Yukon.

 

Alberta

 

Elementary

Junior High

High

 

 

Kindergarten

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

 

British Columbia

 

Primary

Intermediate

 

Secondary

 

 

Kindergarten

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

 

Manitoba

 

Early years

Middle years

Senior years

 

 

Kindergarten

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

 

New Brunswick

 

Elementary

Middle

High

 

 

Kindergarten

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

 

Newfoundland and Labrador

 

Primary

Elementary

Junior high

Senior high

 

 

Kindergarten

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

Level I (10)

Level II (11)

Level III (12)

 

Northwest Territories

 

Primary

Intermediate

Junior secondary

Senior secondary

 

 

Kindergarten

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

 

Nova Scotia

 

Elementary

Junior high

Senior high

 

 

Primary

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

 

Ontario

Elementary

Middle

High

 

Junior kindergarten

Kindergarten

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

 

PEI

 

Elementary

Intermediate

Senior high

 

 

Kindergarten

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

 

Quebec

 

Primary school

Secondary school

College

Garderie (reschool)

Maternelle (Kindergarten)

1

2

3

4

5

6

7 (Sec. I)

8 (Sec. II)

9 (Sec. III)

10 (Sec. IV)

11 (Sec. V)

1st

2nd

3rd

Saskatchewan

 

Elementary

Middle

Secondary

 

 

Kindergarten

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

 

Yukon

 

Elementary

Junior secondary

Senior secondary

 

 

Kindergarten

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

 

More about Canadian provincial grade levels

Education is compulsory in all Canadian provinces for at least 10 years. Compulsory education begins in Grade 1, at the age of 5 or 6, and ends sometime in high school.

In most provinces, students must attend school until the age of 16 (around grade 10). In Ontario, Manitoba, and New Brunswick, students are required to go to school up to the age of 18, or until a high school diploma is earned.

If you want to learn more about the Canadian education system, read our guide. You can also read our guide comparing Canada's grade structures to those of other countries.

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