Highschool or High School? One Word or Two Word Spelling?

Is highschool one word? When you look up “highschool” on Google or Bing, you’ll get results about local or prestigious high schools, high school news, and even a Wikipedia page with information about high school.

Is Highschool One Word?

“Highschool” is not a correct word, but people often confuse the spelling. “High school” is the correct spelling of the word.

Another word that is often confused is “kindergarten” and its spelling. You can read about it here: Kindergarden or Kindergarten? How to Spell Correctly!


Is High School Capitalized?

“High school” isn’t a proper noun. It’s not the name of a specific high school; only schools, in general, can be referred to as “high schools.”

So, if you are writing about schools in general, use two words that are not capitalized: high school.

If you refer to one particular school, it is a proper noun and therefore can be capitalized.

For Example:

Lakeside High School

Mountrush High School

Nampa High School

East High School

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What Is High School?

High school is a term used to describe an educational level in some countries, typically after the completion of middle school or primary school.

High schools are institutions of secondary education, and they prepare students who may want to attend college or university in the future.

The typical age to attend high school is 14-18 (U.S.) or 11-18 (Ireland and U.K.)

The educational system is different in every country, with high school consisting of four years in the USA and five to seven years in the U.K. and Ireland.

High school is split into grades: usually 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th (USA) or years 7 through 13 (England), with older students attending more advanced levels of study.

High school students are also called high schoolers or high school kids.

In other countries, high school may be referred to as secondary school or grammar school.

Example Sentences With High School

  • “I graduated from high school in 1982. There were only seventy students in my graduating class!”
  • “I went to high school in El Paso, Texas.”
  • “My two grandchildren are at the age where they’ll soon be attending high school.”
  • “That school is a very good high school.”
  • “I’m going to a private high school. It’s expensive but worth it!

High School Subjects

High school subjects include math, science, history, physical education, English and foreign languages.

Subjects are what you study in high school. If you want to be a doctor someday, you might have to take biology in high school.

Many high schools also offer A.P. (advanced preparation) courses and college credit courses to help students prepare for college.

Students can also take some extra classes (called elective classes in the USA) in various areas of study. These can be undertaken along with their basic classes to help them learn new life skills or broaden their academic knowledge.

Examples of elective classes include art, psychology, cooking, computers and personal finance.

High School as a Noun

High school is considered a common noun.

A common noun is a generic name for a person, place or thing. For example, cat, cafe, girl and president are common nouns.

High school is also considered a countable noun. This means we add an “s” to high school when made plural, for example, “there are two high schools in my town.”

Take a look at some other example sentences with high school as a noun:

“The high school is only 3 miles from my house.”

My wife and I were talking about where our son should go for high school.

“We had to make sure our daughter got into a good high school so she could get into a good college.”

High School as an Adjective

High school is considered a compound adjective.

Please note that this rule will change according to different style guides, but in general, we only hyphenate a compound adjective when it comes before the noun.

High School is also an adjective that describes high schools in general. So, you can say “high-school students,” “high-school teachers,” and so on.

Take a look at some example sentences with high school as an adjective:

  • “The high-school football team lost the game.”
  • “My daughter is a high-school senior this year, and she’s decided to go to college in the fall.”
  • “All the girls loved the high-school gym teacher.”

Using the hyphen improves clarity.

While unlikely, the sentence can be misinterpreted. For example, the term “high” is often used to describe the feeling when you take drugs.

So to describe someone as a “high school student” might actually mean that the student is under the influence of drugs, depending on the context of the sentence!

It is important to check your style guide, such as the Chicago Manual of Style or the APA before you decide to hyphenate high school (adjective).

highschool student

High School in the U.S.

High school is the second stage of secondary education in the U.S. Students are generally between the ages of 14-18.

College aptitude tests such as ACT (American College Testing), teacher recommendations, and achievements are reviewed by colleges and universities when evaluating potential students.

This is what high school grades are in the U.S.:

High School Grades USA

High School in the U.K.

High schools may be referred to as secondary school or sixth form college in the U.K., although it varies by location.

Children study for GCSE exams in Year 11 and A-levels in Year 12/13.

GCSE is short for General Certificate of Secondary Education. It is the main public examination that students take at age 16, and they start studying for these exams in Year 9 or Year 10, with the completion of the exams by the end of Year 11.

A-levels are studied in Year 12 and Year 13. They are taken by students aged 17 or 18 years old and qualify them for university.

High School in Japan

Japan has a junior high school (three years) and a high school (three years). Students are generally between the ages of 12-18.

Junior high school (lower secondary school) covers grades 7-9, and the students are roughly 12-15 years old.

High school attendance in Japan is not compulsory; however, around 97% of students attend.

High school has no final examinations. Students will need to take some entrance exams to qualify for a place at university. Most universities have two rounds of exams.

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Commonly Asked Questions

Is High School Hyphenated?

We may be able to hyphenate high school when forming the adjective “high-school,” as in “high-school sweethearts.”

What Is the High School Junior Age?

A junior in high school is 15-17 years old in the U.S.A.

What Is the High School Senior Age?

The high school senior age is 17-18 years old. This is the standard in most U.S. states but may differ elsewhere.

In Conclusion

High school is second-level education that helps prepare students for college and their career.

Highschool is an incorrect word and instead, we should write the word “high school.”

High school follows the rules of a common noun and should not be capitalized unless it is referring to a specific school.

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Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.

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