Schools in Zurich

Public schools in Zurich canton are free to all residents. School education consists of 11 years of study. School consists of kindergarten, primary(elementary and middle) and secondary schools.  On Wednesdays, schools are open only until mid-day for kindergarten and elementary schoolchildren.

The typical school year runs from the 3rd week of August to the first week of July.  Kindergarten runs for 2 years, children typically start Kindergarten when they turn 4 before July 31 of the school year.

Primary School:
Elementary school(classes1 to 3), middle school (classes 4 to 6).

Universikum program: In addition to the elementary school, the city of Zurich offers the “Universikum” program for talented students. They deepen or supplement the curriculum and are aimed at gifted pupils from kindergarten to 6th grade. The school/teachers will have the information.

Secondary School:
Lower secondary School: Classes 7 to 9, at the end of which children have three different paths, according to their grades and interests.

Upper Secondary School:
Segment-A students: Gymnasium : The highly academic ones take the Gymnasium entrance exam, if successful, the children will attend the Gymnasium, which leads to a direct University education. This can take 2-3 years.

Segment-B students: Students who don’t qualify the Gymnasium entrance exam or are not interested in Gymnasium, can opt for vocational training, while still pursuing the last 3 years of school. This route is practical skill based and there are about 230 different vocations to choose from. Children are encouraged to choose 4- 5 areas and attend a trial 2 to 3 day internships at vocations of their choice, before they apply for the actual apprenticeships in Year 9.  The trials happen at real places of work – like science labs, chocolate factories, banks etc.  The students divide their study time between the school and the place of work, gaining both theoretical knowledge and practical skills. Depending on the number of years of vocational training, the VET certificate or Diploma are awarded. Typically, students can continue this education at  Fachhochschule or a vocational college – Höhere Fachschule.

Extra Reading:

The Stadt site:

Universikum Program:

Zurich School Holiday Calendar :

For a list of private schools: