All public education is free in Norway, and the classes are taught in Norwegian. The different municipalities in Norway are responsible for the running and administration of their public schools. The school year runs from August to mid-June, and consists of two semesters with a Christmas holiday (from mid-December to early January) in the middle (for more information in Norwegian, see: Skulerute).
Barneskule (primary school)
Children begin Norwegian primary school at the age of 6 and then leave at the age of 13. It covers the 1st to the 7th grade. In the first grade, pupils spend their days playing educational games, learning social skills and basic education (e.g. learning the alphabet, basic addition and subtraction and basic English).
From the 2nd to the 7th grade, children are taught a wide range of subjects from maths to gymnastics and English to social studies. Children do not receive official grades during primary school.
The municipality of Kvam has five public primary schools, each covering a geographical area:
- Ålvik skule (Granvin - Ytre Ålvik)
- Øystese skule (Steinstøberget - Kaldavadet - Bjelkaneset - Nes)
- Norheimsund skule (Mo - Kvamskogen, Nes - Norheimsund - Kaldestad, Kaldestad - Vangdal, as well as Seland and Tolomarka)
- Tørvikbygd skule (Vangdalsberget - Tørvikbygd - Eide / Åse, as well as Heradstveit)
- Strandebarm skule (Ljones - Røyrvik - Linga - Bakkaskogen, Dysvik - Våtavik, as well as Nybru - Nes - Leirstein - Gravdal.
In addition, the privately run Norheimsund friskule, a Christian school, offers primary school education.
Ungdomsskole (lower secondary school)
Norwegian lower secondary school begins at the age of 12 or 13 and lasts for three years. It covers the 8th to the 10th grade. During lower secondary, pupils are graded and need to maintain good grades in order to attend their upper secondary school of choice. When pupils are in the 8th grade, they have to pick an elective (valfag), typically a foreign language or additional English or Norwegian studies.
The municipality of Kvam has two public lower secondary schools, each covering a geographical area:
In addition, the privately run Norheimsund friskule, a Christian school, offers lower secondary school education.
Vidaregående skule (upper secondary school)
Norwegian upper secondary school consists of three more years of schooling. While formally optional, upper secondary school is attended by most, and there are few jobs available for young adults who leave school after lower secondary.
Upper secondary schools in Norway are separated from lower secondary schools, meaning that all pupils have to re-enrol, and begin at a new school when they start upper secondary. Unlike primary and lower secondary schools, public upper secondary schools are run by the province. The municipality of Kvam is home to one public upper secondary school, Kvam vidaregåande skule, as well as to the privately run Framnes kristne vidaregåande skule. For more information on upper secondary school, please refer to the web site of the province of Vestland (in Norwegian).
Pupils in upper secondary school may follow either a general studies path (studiespesialisering) or vocational studies (yrkesfag), and have the choice of many sub-paths within these options, depending on subjects they would like to specialise in.