Middle English scole, from Old English scōl, from Latin schola, from Greek scholē leisure, discussion, lecture, school; perhaps akin to Greek echein to hold.
- 1: an organization that provides instruction: as a : an institution for the teaching of children
- b : college, university
- c (1) : a group of scholars and teachers pursuing knowledge together that with similar groups constituted a medieval university (2) : one of the four faculties of a medieval university (3) : an institution for specialized higher education often associated with a university <the school of engineering>
- d : an establishment offering specialized instruction <a secretarial school> <driving schools>
- 2a (1) : the process of teaching or learning especially at a school (2) : attendance at a school (3) : a session of a school
- b : a school building
- c : the students attending a school; also : its teachers and students
- 3: a source of knowledge <experience was his school>
- 4a : a group of persons who hold a common doctrine or follow the same teacher (as in philosophy, theology, or medicine) <the Aristotelian school>; also : the doctrine or practice of such a group
- b : a group of artists under a common influence
- c : a group of persons of similar opinions or behavior; also : the shared opinions or behavior of such a group <other schools of thought>
- 5: the regulations governing military drill of individuals or units; also : the exercises carried out <the school of the soldier>
A school is an institution designed for the teaching of students (or "pupils") under the supervision of teachers. Most countries have systems of formal education, which is commonly compulsory. In these systems, students progress through a series of schools. The names for these schools vary by country (discussed in the Regional section below), but generally include primary school for young children and secondary school for teenagers who have completed primary education. An institution where higher education is taught, is commonly called a university college or university.
In addition to these core schools, students in a given country may also attend schools before and after primary and secondary education. Kindergarten or pre-school provide some schooling to very young children (typically ages 3–5). University, vocational school, college or seminary may be available after secondary school. A school may also be dedicated to one particular field, such as a school of economics or a school of dance. Alternative schools may provide nontraditional curriculum and methods.
There are also non-government schools, called private schools. Private schools may be for children with special needs when the government does not supply for them; religious, such as Christian schools, hawzas, yeshivas, and others; or schools that have a higher standard of education or seek to foster other personal achievements. Schools for adults include institutions of corporate training and Military education and training.
In homeschooling and online schools, teaching and learning take place outside of a traditional school building.