Australian School Academic Year, Curriculum and Costing

An academic term is a part of the academic year. It is the time during which an educational institution holds classes.

The Academic Year runs from the end of January (mid-summer in Australia) across 4 terms, ending towards the middle or latter end of December, allowing for a 5 to 6 week holiday.



  • Kindergarten (QLD) 3- to 4-year-olds
  • Pre-school / kindergarten
  • Kindergarten / reception / prep / pre-primary National Curriculum this year-level will be renamed: Foundation Year
  • Grade/Year 1: 6- to 7-year-olds
  • Grade/Year 2: 7- to 8-year-olds
  • Grade/Year 3: 8- to 9-year-olds
  • Grade/Year 4: 9- to 10-year-olds
  • Grade/Year 5: 10- to 11-year-olds
  • Grade/Year 6: 11- to 12-year-olds
  • Grade/Year 7: 12- to 13-year-olds (SA)


  • Year 7: 12 and 1/2- to 13-year-olds (ACT, NSW, TAS, VIC, QLD, WA)
  • Year 8: 13- to 14- and 15 year-olds
  • Year 9: 14- to 15-year-olds and some 16
  • Year 10: 15- to 16-year-olds
  • Year 11: 16- to 17-year-olds
  • Year 12: 17- to 18-year-olds


Government/public/state schools

  • Primary school fees: AU$70 - AU$300 per year (voluntary)
  • High school fees: AU$250 - AU$800 per year (voluntary)

Catholic schools

  • Primary school fees: AU$2000 to AU$3000 per year
  • High school fees: AU$3000 to AU$6000 per year

Private schools

  • Primary school fees: AU$2000 to AU$2500 per year
  • High school fees: AU$12,000 and AU$20,000 per year

Boarding schools

  • Boarding and education fees: AU$30,000 to AU$40,000 per year

The Australian Curriculum

The Australian Curriculum describes what young Australians should learn as they progress through schooling. It is the foundation for their future learning, growth and active participation in the Australian community. It sets out essential knowledge, understanding, skills and capabilities and provides a national standard for student achievement in core learning areas.

The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) has a stringent and robust curriculum development process to produce a high-quality national curriculum.

Support for School Students

All Australian schools offer a strong welfare structure to ensure the ongoing support of every student. These include:
  • International student coordinators present in every school.
  • A student welfare team.
  • Year advisers.
  • School counselors.
  • Careers advisers to assist students with planning and applying for post-secondary study.
  • English as a second language support staff and programs.
  • Students learn with local Australian students.
  • Accommodation in home stays: all host families must have a police check to meet requirements of child protection legislation and homes must meet required standards; students have a 24 hour emergency contact number.
  • Some schools offer boarding.
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