School and Leisure

Last updated: 15.04.2013 // Norwegian children start primary school at the age of six. Their school day lasts for around four hours and later increases to six or seven hours. Unlike in Australia, children in Norway do not wear school uniform. They move to lower secondary school at the age of 13.

Norway is in the Northern hemisphere, and therefore the seasons are opposite to in Australia. As such, the school year starts in mid-August and finishes for Midsummer, around the third week of June. There are two terms each year, called semesters. The school holidays include a week in the Norwegian autumn (October), a fortnight at Christmas, a week in February, and about a fortnight around Easter. The long summer holiday is from June to August. Most schools have a compulsory ski day, when everybody spends a day on their cross-country skis together. There is also an option to choose downhill skiing for those who prefer that.  

Most students stay on in upper secondary school until they are 18 or 19. Here they can choose between continuing with their academic studies or learning a craft or trade. There are many options to explore, including: 

· Health & Social Studies

· Fashion & Textiles

· Building & Construction

· Restaurant & Food Processing

· Service & Transport

· Agriculture, Fishing & Forestry

· Electricity & Electronics

· Technical & Industrial Production

· Media & Communication

 Children in Norway speak Norwegian and they start to learn English at the age of six. At the age of either 10 or 13, they can choose a second foreign language to study. The most popular choices after English are Spanish, French and German.

The school day is usually shorter than in Australia, with most schools finished by about 2pm. This leaves the children more time to play with their friends and to spend time with their families. However many children go to after school activities.

Norwegian children and their families take part in sports and outdoor activities all year round. These range from walking, cycling, handball and swimming to skiing, ice-skating and sleding. Three out of four Norwegian children regularly take part in sporting activities or belong to some kind of sports club. Football and athletics are the most popular sports. Children can also join folk dance groups or martial arts classes, become members of the Scouts or Guides, or join their school band or choir.

Children in Norway also relax by spending time with their friends, chatting online or playing computer games: just like children in Australia!

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