The School Year at Hogwarts
The year begins on September 1
Hogwarts Express leaves King’s Cross Station at 11 a.m., bringing students to Hogsmeade Station where the 2nd through 7th years ride horseless carriages up to the castle and 1st years cross the lake in boats with Hagrid
The start-of-year feast
Classes begin on September 2
Quidditch trials during the second week
Halloween Feast on the evening of October 31
First Quidditch match in the beginning of November
Second week of December McGonangall takes names of those who are staying over the Christmas holidays
End of first term is usually about a week before Christmas and most of the students and some of the teachers go home
December 25: Christmas Feast
Shortly after January 1: Hogwarts Express returns and start of second term
Easter holidays - two-week break, students go home, exact dates vary every year
Exams are held the first week of June
Results come out the second week of June
Leaving Feast, sometimes called the end-of-term feast, the evening before the Hogwarts Express goes back to London
the Hogwarts Express returns to London during the third week of June
All staff and students leave Hogwarts during the summer except for Filch
Daily Routines at Hogwarts
The day begins with breakfast in the Great Hall. During breakfast, the morning mail arrives in a flurry of hundreds of owls. A bell signals the start of the first class at 9 am.
There are two morning classes with a break between (signaled by a bell), followed by lunch and a break.
After lunch, classes resume at 1 pm. It is not clear if there are one or two classes in the afternoon.
Supper is served in the Great Hall toward evening, after which the students are expected to be in their House common rooms for studying and socializing.
Curfew for older students is 9 pm (6th and 7th years)
Curfew for younger students is 8 pm (1st through 5th years)
There is no set bedtime after supper.
McGonagall goes around at the beginning of December having kids sign up who are planning to stay at Hogwarts over the holidays
St. Valentines Day
Nothing particularly seems to happen for Easter, but Mrs. Weasley does send the kids Easter eggs filled with sweets.
There is a week off at Easter, so presumably some of the students go home. Students studying for O.W.L.s or N.E.W.T.s generally stay over the holiday for uninterrupted studying, however.
The Deathday Party
Grading and Assessment
During their first four years, students need only to pass each subject before advancing to the next level the following year. Regular exams and lessons usually seem to be graded on a numerical scale from 0 to 100, even though Hermione is known to have received 112% in Charms in Philosopher’s Stone, and 320% in Prisoner of Azkaban in Muggle Studies. If students fail in their year, they need to repeat it in the following school year. To qualify as a registered practitioner of magic, students must study for the compulsory Ordinary Wizarding Level (O.W.L.) examinations taken at the end of the fifth year. If a student scores well enough on an O.W.L., he or she may take advanced classes in that subject for the final two years in preparation for the Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests (N.E.W.T.), an in-depth examination given at the end of the seventh year. A U.K. student generally takes only three or four A-Level subjects and exams, just as a typical Hogwarts student takes only a few N.E.W.T.-level subjects.
Most O.W.L.s consist of two parts, a written theoretical test and a practical demonstration of skills before the examiners. Subjects are graded on the following scale:
O = Outstanding
E = Exceeds Expectations
A = Acceptable
P = Poor
D = Dreadful
T = Troll
The O.W.L.s roughly corresponds to the General Certificate of Education O-Level (replaced by the GCSE), and the N.E.W.T.s to the A-level, (sometimes replaced by the IB) examinations used in the English, Welsh and Northern Ireland secondary school system. To proceed to a N.E.W.T., a student usually needs to have achieved at least an E in the O.W.L. of the same subject, although some professors (e.g. Professor Snape) insist upon a grade of O. Students who fail in their exams or who do not achieve high enough grades do not continue with the subject in their sixth and seventh years.
At the end of their fifth year, students speak briefly with their head of house to decide which classes to continue in depending on their O.W.L. scores and their goals after school. The classes they decide to continue are considerably more advanced. Because they dropped one or more classes, students in their sixth and seventh year may get several class sessions off per week. The heavy workload that each class requires means that students usually spend these times studying and doing homework. At the end of their seventh and final year, students take the N.E.W.T. exams, which test what the student has learned over the past two years. Many professions require high grades in these tests, meaning that students must work hard to ensure that they pass.
Real British high schools do not have graduation ceremonies or award diplomas. Students may leave whenever they have reached age 16, though most stay on long enough to take the tests they need for jobs or entrance to university. Hogwarts follows this model.