Elementary and Junior high schools
Children must enter elementary school (shogakkou) in April following their 6th birthday and study there for six years. After finishing elementary school, students must enter junior high school (chugakkou) for additional three years. Most local public schools have their own school attendance zones. At any grade level, children can choose to switch to private school. As a rule, children must attend school approved by the government regulation, although an increasing number of students choose to attend unregulated school, which include most “international schools” or to study at home.
After junior high school, students can enter (senior) high school, wherethey normally study for additional three years. There are three types of high schools: One offers regular (academic) education, the second offers vocational education, and the last one offers comprehensive education where students can choose from a wide range of academic and vocational courses.
Note: Gaccom’s school directly currently covers all public elementary and junior secondary schools.
Before starting compulsory schooling, children aged 3 and up to school age can receive education in kindergartens. There are also full-time and part-time nursery schools and day-care centers for preschool children, including new-born babies, available throughout Japan. Kindergartens, nursery schools, and day-care centers can be either public or private, and tuitions vary across institutions and regions. Programs for 4 to 5 years old preschoolers at these institutions have some similarities due to the government standards regardless of the names of schools, although private institutions tend to offer specialized programs such as sports and arts.
・MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) 2005. Procedures for Entering Japanese Schools
・Wikipedia. Education in Japan.