Difference between Middle School and Junior High School
By Theydiffer - November 18, 2015

Education plays a key role in a person’s life and enables him or her to move forward, shaping their mind, character and physical abilities. It is the transfer and acceptance of knowledge, values and skills from one person to another and helps to broaden the mind and develop better understanding of the world and other people.  School is the best place for the most appropriate education to be provided to students according to their age and their competences.

Formal education begins at the preschool level and moves to the primary or elementary level before moving on to secondary, college and university levels. Before reaching the higher levels, students must first pass through the lower levels to understand the basics and develop skills that will help them in the later stages.


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A middle school is a place of learning for children and places them in grades 6, 7 and 8.  On the other hand, a junior high school usually includes the 7th, 8th and sometimes 9th grades.

While the purposes of middle school and junior high are almost the same, they both work hard to prepare students for high school, although each system has its own way of doing this with their own precise purposes and functions.  Middle school is more focused on the students, while junior high is more focused on subjects.

Middle School vs Junior High School

What’s the difference between middle school and junior high school? Originally it was not so easy to differentiate between junior high school and middle school but as education systems developed, the difference between the two became obvious and helped teachers as well as students to work towards bridging the gap between elementary and high school.

According to educators and administrators, junior high prepares the students for high school without putting them with older teenagers and elementary children as it gives them the space to work on their academic subjects in a much better way.

However, it should be noted that in most countries, junior high schools are meant for students in grades 7 to 9 and middle schools are for students in grades 6 to 8.  Students at junior high schools have to attend six to eight different classes according to the subjects they are studying, while the middle school students have classes that cover a combination of subjects for at least two hours or more.

Junior high schools are the training grounds for students that help them work on their studies, assignments and requirements of individual classes that will come in handy when they go to high school. On the other hand, middle school helps students work in a collaborative environment which is academically challenging and more competitive than elementary school.

Comparison Chart

Middle SchoolJunior High School
Middle schools are more about studentsJunior high schools are more about the subjects that are being taught
Middle school teachers focus on combined development and educational needs of students, combining two lessons for better understandingTeachers at junior high teach specific subjects all day and the students have to attend those specific classes
Middle school helps students in their social, organizational as well as personality development skillsJunior high helps students with cognitive, memory development and information processing skills
Middle school has younger students that include grades 6 and 7 or even 8Junior high school has older students as it includes grades 7, 8 and even 9 and prepares for transition to high school

It would not be wrong to say that even though the objective of these two systems is the same, and they both aim to offer the best education and learning to students, they do it in distinctive ways. Not only is there a difference in approach but there is difference in the kind and quality of education that these different educational systems offer to their pupils to prepare them for a bright future.