Students usually begin filling the schoolyard from 8.30am with the first class beginning on, or just before 9am.

A short break is taken before 11am and a longer lunch break occurs during the middle of the day. In some areas, primary school students are allowed another short break in the afternoon.

The last school bell typically rings at around 3.15pm. Just as in Australia and New Zealand, students attend school from Monday until Friday, with weekends free.


School term and holiday dates vary right across the United Kingdom, with the timing of holidays being set according to local council rules.

While there are slight differences in term dates, even within individual countries, most school terms in the UK are characterised by a long summer break, allowing teachers and students to enjoy the nicer weather and a series of shorter breaks through the year, with Christmas and Easter factored in to time off.


Schools in England will usually take six major breaks during the school year. A week-long spring break is the first holiday of the year, followed by the Easter Holidays which usually last two weeks. A short half-term break usually occurs in summer, of one week or less, followed by a long summer holidays period, stretching from early July until late in August. A one-week autumn break allows students and staff to re-energise, before a Christmas and New Year break starting a few days before St Nicholas arrives, and concluding a few days after the New Year celebrations wind up.


The majority of Scottish schools will take a long break over the summer, roughly six weeks in July and August. Then schools will take three shorter breaks through the year, inclusing one over the Christmas and New Year period, one in Autumn (October) and also in Spring (March or April).


For most schools in Wales, students and staff enjoy a short autumn half-term break of up to one week in October. Christmas holidays generally begin around December 21, finishing a day or two into January. A one-week Spring half-term break occurs in February, a slightly longer Easter holiday follows, and finally summer holidays, split into two parts. The first part, a short break of one week or less, takes place in late May or early June, while a longer break extends from mid to late July until early September.


Schools in Northern Ireland typically have up to two months of summer holidays in July and August. Schools also take more than one week off to celebrate Christmas and the New Year, another week for Easter, plus public holidays and school development days through the year.