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  • Writer's pictureAngie

Practical tip – Schooling - Compulsory school start, curriculum, and its options in state schooling

Updated: Dec 28, 2022

In the canton of Vaud, compulsory school takes place over eleven years of study divided into two levels: primary level and secondary level I.

The primary level lasts eight years divided into two 4-year cycles, called the first primary cycle (cycle 1) and the second primary cycle (cycle 2). Secondary level I (cycle 3), lasting 3 years, leads to a secondary school leaving certificate marking the completion of compulsory schooling. At the end of the 11th year, various connecting options to general education or occupational specialization are possible.

In accordance with the Compulsory Education Act (LEO), children enter compulsory school at the age of 4 by 31 July. More information on this subject is available on the Registration for the 1st year of compulsory school page.

The documents in the below link present the characteristics of each of the three cycles in this path: the different disciplines and the timetable as well as the methods of evaluation, certification, and access to connecting classes.

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