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Primary Schools

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Primary Schools

For specifically elementary schools, see elementary school. For specifically grammar schools, see grammar school. For specifically grade schools, see grade school.
Main article: Primary education

A primary school (from French école primaire[1]) is an institution in which children receive the first stage of compulsory education known as primary or elementary education. It can be divided into public and private.

Primary school is the preferred term in the United Kingdom and many Commonwealth Nations, and in most publications of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).[2] In some countries, and especially in North America, the term elementary school is preferred. Children generally attend primary school from around the age of four or five until the age of eleven or twelve. In some places, primary schooling has historically further been divided between lower primary schools (LP schools), which were the elementary schools, and Higher primary schools (HP schools), which were established to provide a more practical instruction to poorer classes than what was provided in the secondary schools.[3]


In Australia, Primary School is generally for children aged 5–12. In South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland year 7 is part of primary school; in other states it forms part of secondary education. In certain year groups, students in all schools take part in the National Assessment Programme (NAP).[4] The year levels:

Year Ages Notes
Kindergarten 4-5 Referred to as "Kindergarten" in New South Wales, Tasmania, Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and Western Australia "Transition" in the Northern Territory .
Preparatory* 5-6* Referred to as "Pre-primary" in Western Australia and "reception" in South Australia. *New South Wales does not include a Preparatory year, students move from Kindergarten to year 1.
1 6-7
2 7-8
3 8-9 NAPLAN-assessed year.
4 9-10
5 10-11 NAPLAN-assessed year.
6 11-12
7* 12-13* *Only in QLD and SA. Elsewhere, Year 7 is the first year of high school.[5]

After primary school, students move on to high school.


Main article: Education in Canada

In Canada, primary school (also known as elementary school) usually begins at the ages of four through six, starting with either Kindergarten or Grade 1 and lasts until age 13 or 14.

In Nova Scotia "elementary school" is the most common term. The provincial government of Nova Scotia uses the term "Primary" instead of Kindergarten.[6]


Main article: Education in France

In France, primary schools provide education from the age of 6 to 11. The students start in CP (cours préparatoire) then past in CE1, CE2 (cours élémentaires), CM1 and finally CM2 (cours moyens).

Before 1941 primary schools had upper sections called ecoles primaires supérieures, which spanned on four years and enabled students to enter normal schools or clerking professions; such sections were turned into Lycées but cours complementaires remained until 1959, when such courses were turned into collèges d'enseignement généraux.


Depending on the federal state, primary schools provide education from Class 1 to Class 4 or from Class 1 to Class 6. After primary school students may attend a Hauptschule, Mittelschule, Regionale Schule or a Realschule, which are more vocationally orientated, a Gymnasium, which is more academically oriented, or a Gesamtschule, which is comparable to a Comprehensive School.

Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, students attend primary schools for the first six years of compulsory education.


In Ireland, children aged between 4–6 years begin attending primary school. There are eight different 'grades'.

Class Age
Junior Infants 4-5
Senior Infants 5-7
1st Class 6-8
2nd Class 7-9
3rd Class 8-10
4th Class 9-11
5th Class 10-12
6th Class 11-13


Main article: Education in Malaysia

In Malaysia, the first six years of compulsory formalised education take place in primary schools, and starts at the age of seven.[7]

Class Age
Year 1 / Standard 1 6-7
Year 2 / Standard 2 7-8
Year 3 / Standard 3 8-9
Year 4 / Standard 4 9-10
Year 5 / Standard 5 10-11
Year 6 / Standard 6 11-12


In Pakistan, children aged between 4–6 years begin attending primary school.

Class Age
Nursery 3-4
Prep 4-5
1st Class 5-6
2nd Class 6-7
3rd Class 7-8
4th Class 8-9
5th Class 9-10


The medium of instruction is English. After completing kindergarten, or pre-school years, children will then have to go through 6 years compulsory of primary education, from ages 7 to 12. At the end of primary education, students are required to take a standardised national exam, the Primary School Leaving Examination(also known as PSLE). Based on PSLE results, students apply and are sorted into secondary schools for a 4 or 5 year course.


In Somalia, pupils start primary school when they are 7 and finish it at the age of 11 starting from form 1 to form 4. Pupils must firstly have attended casual school known as dugsi and learnt the Muslim holy book Qur'an, and the meaning of the Arabic language. Pupils who had not done this are not permitted to start primary school as they will be examined before starting. Pupils' age may sometimes vary seeing that some pupils achieve higher than their predicted grade and may skip the year while some require to repeat the year if they had not achieved the grade required from them. After finishing primary, students move to intermediate school.


Main article: Education in Sweden.

In Sweden kids go to the primary school (grundskola) through the ages of 7 and 15. After that they can choose to (although it is pretty uncommon not to) study at a gymnasium for three years where they pick a program devoted to a particular direction (i.e. Science, Aesthetics, Civics). During the gymnasium all students have some subjects they have to study, but not during all three years. Almost all children attend a preparatory year at the age of 6. This initial year is not mandatory.

The children don't start receiving grades until their eighth year. This is, however, about to change according to a new proposal from the Swedish government, where grades will be given from the sixth year.[8]

United Kingdom

In the UK schools providing primary education in the state sector are known as primary schools. They generally cater for children aged from four to eleven (Reception to Year Six; in Scotland Primary One to Primary Seven).

In areas that adopted a three-tier system, the term primary school is often used as an alternative to First School, taking in ages up to 9 or 10 years old, although for education planning purposes, the term "primary education" in these areas will still cover the age groups as in a two-tier system.

In the private sector, fee-paying schools which provide primary education are known as preparatory schools, and they often cater for children up to the age of thirteen. As their name suggests, preparatory schools are designed to prepare pupils for entrance examinations for fee-paying independent schools.

United States

In the United States, the term primary school is used in a general way to describe a school housing the primary grades, usually meaning kindergarten (ages five to six) or first grade (ages 6 and 7) to fourth grade (ages 9 to 10), fifth (ages 10 to 11), or sixth grade (ages 11 to 12), though this is more commonly referred to as an elementary school. Very few schools in the US actually use the term primary school as part of their school name and such schools are generally private schools, serving very young children.


pt:Escola primária uk:Початкова школа

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