Children in Nova Scotia must turn 5 before December 31st the year they start school. The first year is called Primary and the next is called Grade 1 and goes on to Grade 12 which is the final year of high school.
Grades Primary to Grade 6: children attend elementary school for these years and like primary schools in the UK and national schools in Ireland, the pupils have one teacher all day apart from specialized classes such as music and gym. There are two programs from which you can choose. These are English and French. For French, the child must begin in Primary and they are taught everything in French. This is called Early French immersion and is a program run for children who have no knowledge of French. The English program is like primary school in the UK.
Grade 7 to Grade 9 Pupils attend junior high school for these years. Again there are two programs on offer. There is the regular English program and there is late French immersion. Late French immersion is for students entering Grade 7 who have not previously done French immersion and again, everything is taught in French.
Grade 10 to Grade 12 Pupils attend senior high school. Some schools in Nova Scotia now offer the International Baccalaureate which is a recognised and held in high esteem throughout the world. The Regional School Board websites listed below will give information on these programs and the schools that offer them.
Important Note: There are rigid boundaries for school districts so in many ways it is important to visit the schools first and then find the house. The Halifax Regional School Board website offers a service whereby you can submit an address and they will inform you which catchment area the property comes under. The link is http://hrsb.ns.ca/tools/addresslookup/ . The Province is divided into different school boards and their websites can be found through http://www.nssba.ednet.ns.ca and click on their links page.
There are many universities in Nova Scotia and a large percentage of the population go onto third level education. The main ones are: Dalhousie University at http://www.dal.ca, Mount Saint Vincent University at http://www.msvu.ca, King’s University at http://www.ukings.ca and St Mary’s University at http://www.stmarys.ca.