EDUCATION SYSTEM in ITALY The school year usually starts towards the middle of September and finishes towards the middle of June. There are about 33 weeks of school. There are not mid-term holidays, we have only the Christmas and the Easter holidays. For Christmas we have about 15 days. For Easter we have about 5 days. Education in Italy is compulsory from 6 to 16 years of age. It is divided into five stages: kindergarten (scuola dell’infanzia) – from 3 to 5 years (not compulsory); primary school (scuola primaria or elementare) – from 6 to 10; Lower secondary school or middle school (scuola secondaria di primo grado or scuola media) – from 11 to 13; Upper secondary school or high school (scuola secondaria di secondo grado or scuola superiore) – from 14 to 18; university (università) – from 19. SUBJECTS AT SCHOOL In primary school we have: Italian English Mathematics Life and earth Sciences History Geography Physical Education Music Art and craft activities 6-8 hours 1 hour (first year) 2 hours (second year) 3 hours (last three years) 6-7 hours 2 hours 2 hours 2 hours 1-2 hours 1-2 hours 1-2 hours Lower secondary school provides further education on the subjects studied at primary school, with the addition of Technology and a language other than English (typically French, Spanish or German). IN PRIMARY SCHOOL Until 2004, pupils had to pass an exam to access Scuola secondaria di primo grado (Lower secondary school), comprising the composition of a short elaborate in Italian, a written Math test, and an oral test on the other subjects. The exam has been discontinued and pupils can now enter Middle School directly. IN MIDDLE SCHOOL At the end of the third year students sit an exam which enables them to continue their education. In Italy there are a lot of different school organization. In our primary school our pupils do 36 hours per week. They start school at 8.10 and finish at 16.10 (they stay 8 hours) from Monday to Thursday. On Fridays they start school at 8.10 and finish at 12.30. But pupils can stay at school till 16.10 (paying something to the school). They have lunch at school. In our middle school our pupils do 28 hours per week. They start school at 7.55 and finish at 13.30 from Monday to Friday.