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A primary school in Český Těšín, Czech Republic
A small primary school in Norfolk, England
An elementary school in Višňové (Slovakia)
"Michlal" Elementary school in Ramat Gan (Israel)
A Shōgakkō or Elementary school class in Japan

A primary school or elementary school is a school in which children receive primary or elementary education from the ages of about five to eleven, coming before secondary school and after preschool. It is the first stage of compulsory education in most parts of the world, and is normally available without charge, but may be offered in a fee-paying independent school. The term grade school is sometimes used though this term may refer to both primary education and secondary education.

The term primary school is derived from the French école primaire, which was first used in 1802.[1]

  • 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]
  • Elementary school is preferred in some countries, especially in North America.

In the United States, "primary school" may refer to a school with grades Kindergarten through second grade (K-2). In these municipalities, the "elementary school" includes grade three through five.[3] The terms first school or infant school may also be used in North America though these, strictly speaking, refer to different educational programs.

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.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Online Etymology Dictionary". 
  2. ^ Primary school. In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved on 12 June 2007, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online: http://search.eb.com/eb/article-9061377
  3. ^ http://www.cartersville.k12.ga.us/
  4. ^ Bruce Ryburn Payne, Public Elementary School Curricula: A Comparative Study of Representative Cities of the United States, England, Germany and France (1905), p. 155.

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primary_school — Please support Wikipedia.
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8274918 news items

BBC News

BBC News
Fri, 23 Jan 2015 06:10:32 -0800

Imagine going to class and having your great-granny sitting at the desk next to you. Well that's just what happens for kids at a primary school in Kenya. Priscilla Sitienei has started going to lessons for the first time in her life at the age of 90 ...

Kent Online

Kent Online
Sat, 24 Jan 2015 16:22:30 -0800

Roles were reversed when a pupil turned head teacher – and he treated all his staff to a box of chocolates. The newspaper club at Minster Primary School held a competition for pupils to win the chance to take over the hot seat for a day. Members of the ...

Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Telegraph
Fri, 23 Jan 2015 08:52:30 -0800

Elmgrove Primary School principal Jayne Jeffers said the school plans to reopen and that she would be engaging with the police and the Belfast Education and Library Board. A heavy police presence had been deployed around the school on the Beersbridge ...

Northampton Chronicle & Echo

Northampton Chronicle & Echo
Sat, 24 Jan 2015 23:30:00 -0800

Simon de Senlis Primary School, in East Hunsbury, is one of only six in the UK to have been recognised for their pioneering efforts and innovation in rethinking teaching, learning and assessment. Examples of the school's work include innovative use of ...

The Guardian

The Guardian
Mon, 19 Jan 2015 23:10:29 -0800

Officials run into 'amber-red' hitch over new primary school 'levels'. In our diary: document reveals experts' unease; Sats marking moves online; mixed messages from Ofsted … and the academy with the £90k advertising budget. Trouble ahead? Pupils ...

BBC News

BBC News
Thu, 22 Jan 2015 18:03:45 -0800

Earlier this week, scenes of schoolchildren running away from tear gas fired by police in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, sparked condemnation and even a hashtag, #OccupyPlayGround. Pupils at Lang'ata school were protesting at the loss of their playground.

Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Telegraph
Thu, 22 Jan 2015 13:14:34 -0800

Elmgrove Primary School in east Belfast is to close on Friday due to a 'communication of a threatening nature' sent via email. Also in this Section. Dagenham named UK burglary hotspot · Complaints over new TV debate plan · DUP leader Peter Robinson to ...

Irish Times

Irish Times
Fri, 23 Jan 2015 16:56:15 -0800

Discussions are continuing between the Data Protection Commissioner and the Department of Education on a new primary school database which will hold a range of personal information about pupils, including information about ethnicity and religion, and ...

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