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Poland education: grade levels

A comparison of the Polish, Canadian, American, British, and German grade level systems



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

Below, we outline the different grade levels, and years of compulsory education, in Poland. We also compare Poland’s grade level system to that of five other countries—Canada, the United States, Britain, France, and Germany, and one international curriculum—the International Baccalaureate (IB).  continue reading...


On this page:


For each country, we highlight the years of compulsory education in blue. This doesn’t apply to the IB program, though, since it’s not affiliated with any one country.

Starting age

Poland

Canada

US

Britain

France

Germany

IB

0+

Nursery

Nursery

Nursery

Nursery

Kinderkrippe

3-4

Preschool

Preschool

Preschool

Nursery

Petite section

Kindergarten

Primary years programme

4-5

Preschool

Junior Kindergarten

Preschool

Reception

Moyenne section

Kindergarten

Primary years programme

5-6

Kindergarten

(Grade 0)

Senior Kindergarten

Kindergarten

Year 1

Grande section

Kindergarten

Primary years programme

6-7

Grade 1

Grade 1

Grade 1

Year 2

Cours préparatoire

Grundschule

Primary years programme

7-8

Grade 2

Grade 2

Grade 2

Year 3

Cours élémentaire première année

Grundschule

Primary years programme

8-9

Grade 3

Grade 3

Grade 3

Year 4

Cours élémentaire deuxième année

Grundschule

Primary years programme

9-10

Grade 4

Grade 4

Grade 4

Year 5

Cours moyen première année

Grundschule

Primary years programme

10-11

Grade 5

Grade 5

Grade 5

Year 6

Course moyen deuxième année

Hauptschule

Primary years programme

11-12

Grade 6

Grade 6

Grade 6

Year 7

Sixième

Hauptschule

Primary years programme

12-13

Grade 7

Grade 7

Grade 7

Year 8

Cinquième

Hauptschule

Middle years programme

13-14

Grade 8

Grade 8

Grade 8

Year 9

Quatrième

Hauptschule

Middle years programme

14-15

Grade 9

Grade 9

Grade 9

Year 10

Troisième

Hauptschule

Middle years programme

15-16

Grade 10

Grade 10

Grade 10

Year 11

Seconde

Hauptschule

Middle years programme

16-17

Grade 11

Grade 11

Grade 11

Year 12

Première

Höhere Handelsschule

Diploma programme

17-18

Grade 12

Grade 12

Grade 12

Year 13

Terminale

Diploma programme

Poland

Poland is unique in that it has a shorter period in which education is compulsory. Compulsory education in Poland starts at the age of 6, at the so-called zero year (zerowka) or Grade zero (in either preschool or elementary school). It ends at the age of 14—the equivalent to Grade 8 in many countries.

This means Poland only has 9 years of compulsory education. This is shorter than in Canada and the US, where children are required to attend school for at least 10 years. In both Canada and the US, school attendance is required from grade 1 until at least Grade 10 (in some provinces and states, students are required to complete high school).

Britain

In Britain (and all of the UK) as well, compulsory education is 12 years. Children must attend school from the reception year (right before Year 1) until Year 1. In France and Germany, meanwhile, compulsory education runs 9 years, from Grade 1 to 9 on the North American system.

Germany

In Germany, students, at age 12, can attend Realschule, Mittelschule, Gymnasium, or Gesamtschule, instead of Hauptschule. Each of these types of secondary school has a different focus and grade range.

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Disclaimer: We cannot guarantee the complete accuracy of the school information on this site. Please contact schools directly to confirm all details.