Middle school

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Middle School is a general term for schools of secondary education sector .

In general, this is understood to mean middle - level schools (e.g. 10 to 16 year old students, ISCED Level 2 secondary education first stage ). The term is used both for types of school education in general and for specific types of schools within a school system .


Today, middle schools are secondary schools with an intermediate level (M-branch), with the exception of Bavaria. Middle schools in Bavaria are subject to a slightly different definition and offer U. does not even have a special M-branch (e.g. middle schools within comprehensive schools in Bavaria). However, a middle school has to meet special criteria compared to a normal Hauptschule without an M-branch. It is practice-oriented to prepare students for an apprenticeship. There are three elective subjects :

  • Technology (technical drawing and workpieces),
  • Economics (computers and office work) and
  • Social (cooking and planning, formerly GtB (commercial-technical area), KtB ( communication technology area ) and cooking).

The middle school differs from a Realschule in that it places greater emphasis on vocational orientation (practice-oriented teaching approach , introduction of vocational branches of technology, economics, social affairs from the 7th grade onwards). This gives you the opportunity to prepare comprehensively and age-appropriately for the demands of the economy and the transition to vocational training. Through the more intensive career orientation, the students get to know professional fields better, acquire initial knowledge and skills and are enabled to make their own career choices. Company visits and internships enable students and companies to have close contacts, possibly also for later company training. There is no early determination of a professional field or even a profession. Another difference is that a school class is taught by the same teacher in most subjects (usually the main subjects) (class teacher principle).

The term middle school in individual German countries:


General education middle school (AMS)
School division
Country Austria
Type of school (general) Not secondary school
ISCED level 2
Classification (national) General school / General compulsory school  (1.2)
requirement Elementary school diploma
Duration 4 years
Levels : 5th - 8th School level (1st – 4th grade)
Standard age 10–14
Graduation none
type of school New Middle School  (NMS)
number 323 -  (NMS 2011/12)
student 34,324 -  (NMS 2010/11)
Newly introduced as model tests for 10 to 14 year olds  (12.1), model test according to § 7a SchOG

Deviating from the German and Swiss language usage, the school for 10 to 14 year olds is technically referred to as middle school, while the subsequent education is called higher school (general or vocational, AHS / BHS) if it leads to the Matura (university entrance qualification), or intermediate vocational school , when used with an Associate degree ends. This early setting of the course at the age of 10 and 14 is a - critically viewed - specific feature of Austrian education. Middle school specifically refers to all schools that go beyond compulsory schools ( elementary school / elementary school, secondary school with polytechnic or special school ), which is why the AHS lower level (and colloquially the entire grammar school ) is also called that. Otherwise, until the 2000s, there were only a few secondary schools (schools with an independent curriculum).

Since Austria joined the EU, experiments have also been carried out in Austria with an explicit middle school (subject: general education middle school ) as part of the harmonization of school systems ( Lisbon strategy and Bologna process ) . This was first implemented as a cooperative middle school as a school experiment or an autonomy project for a secondary school or AHS lower level.

A completely new type of school, the new middle school, has been tested since 2008/2009 . This is to replace all secondary schools by 2015/16, so it will be the normal form of a non- secondary school . It is a further development of the system of performance groups , but with the curriculum of the AHS lower level, which is intended to simplify the transition to a secondary school.


In Switzerland, the canton school ( grammar school / maturity school ) and other schools at the same level are referred to as middle schools.


In Italy there has been a middle school since 1962 ( scuola media inferiore , today called Scuola secondaria di primo grado ( lower secondary level )), which is attended by all pupils in the sixth to eighth grade, the secondary level 2 (ninth to thirteenth grade: Scuola secondaria di secondo grado ) is historically often referred to as scuola media superiore (upper middle school) and the Matura diploma accordingly as diploma di scuola media superiore , see also middle school (South Tyrol) .


In Japan, middle school encompasses grades 7 to 9 and follows on from six-year elementary school.

United States

Web links

Wiktionary: Middle School  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Bavarian State Ministry for Education and Culture, Science and Art: The Middle School in Bavaria . In: bayern.de . Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  2. a b c Austrian school systematics , status 2011/12;
    Federal Ministry for Education, Art and Culture, Department V / 1 - Education Statistics, Documentation, IT Administration Applications (Ed.): School Form System. Index of key figures for school types in the Austrian school system. 2002
  3. Schools in the school year 2010/11 according to school type ( Memento of the original from November 14, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.statistik.at archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Statistics Austria
  4. current stock: locations, neuemittelschule.at
  5. Schoolchildren 2010/11 by detailed type of education and gender, ( Memento of the original from May 13, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.statistik.at archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Statistics Austria (pdf)