The school system in Korea uses a 6-3-3 approach, which consists of six-years of elementary school, three-years of middle school and three-years of high school. The school year starts in early March and goes to mid-February of the next year. During the school year, students have two vacations and one break: approximately 40 days for the summer vacation, 45 days for the winter vacation and 7 days for a final break. The Education Law of Korea mandates a minimum of 220 days of class in each school year for students in elementary through to high schools.
Kindergartens do not belong to the public education system in Korea yet, although most five-year-old children (seven-year-olds in the Korean way of aging) attend them in order to be prepared for entrance to school. The kindergartens attached to some public elementary schools are inexpensive, but most kindergartens and other courses prior to the elementary school are private and quite expensive.
In Korea, the public education system begins with elementary school for children aged six through eleven. Elementary schools aim to provide children with a basic education to help them become creative and sound citizens of society. The curriculum includes Korean, math, music, arts, science, physical education, and other practical skills.
Middle school is for students of ages twelve through fourteen, and high school for teens fifteen to seventeen. Students can then continue on to college from the age of eighteen. Four-year colleges and universities often offer their graduates courses leading to PhD degrees. There are also two to three-year junior colleges and vocational colleges as well.