The School Year

Details about term times and school holidays in Brazil...

Brazilian law demands that every child between the ages of 6 and 14 receive at least 200 days schooling per year. It is up to the individual school to decide on the division of this academic year across the calendar year.

The only other legal stipulations which the government make are for July to be a holiday month and that there should be another break, called a Recesso Escolar, at the end of the year.

The academic year therefore usually starts in early February, but this depends upon when Carnival falls that particular year. This widely celebrated national holiday and festival can fall on any Wednesday during the month of February. If it falls at the beginning of the month, the school term will start immediately following it; if it falls at the end of the month, schools will usually start at the beginning of February and have a short break for Carnival festivities, as appropriate.

This first term of the year runs through until the end of June and the second term starts at the beginning of August. This term then continues until early December when the school summer/Christmas holiday starts to coincide with the Recesso. Within these terms, schools will also schedule week-long half-term breaks, but the exact dates for these are up to the school itself.

All schools observe national holidays, as well as Teacher's Day (on 15 October) and give the children the day off. If the holiday falls on a Tuesday or Thursday, most private schools will also add the Monday or Friday in order to create a long weekend.