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A primary school in Český Těšín, Czech Republic.
A small primary school in Norfolk, England
Elementary school in Višňové (Slovakia).

A primary school, or elementary school, is a school in which children receive primary or elementary education between the ages of about five to about 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 a fee-paying independent school.

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.

The term grade school is sometimes used. The terms first school or infant school may also used though these, strictly speaking, refer to different educational programs. Note in the USA grad school is often used as a term, this is actually postgraduate education and not grade school level.

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]

"Michlal" Elementary school in Ramat Gan (Israel).
A Shōgakkō or Elementary school class in Japan

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. ^ 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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The Guardian

The Guardian
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 12:46:04 -0700

While most of the 600,000 families applying for primary school reception places across England found out this week they had been accepted by their first, second or third preferences, it was not the case for an unlucky few, such as the Beevers family ...

The Guardian

The Guardian
Wed, 16 Apr 2014 04:56:15 -0700

Parents need to demonstrate why their child must go to the primary school to which they are appealing. Photograph: Felix Clay. The parents of thousands of children will learn on Wednesday that they have not been allocated their first choice of primary ...

The Guardian

The Guardian
Wed, 16 Apr 2014 05:45:54 -0700

England's first national offer day for primary school places has been marked by a decline in the number of parents receiving their first choice in some parts of the country, as councils race to open new classrooms to accommodate swelling school rolls.

The Guardian

The Guardian
Wed, 16 Apr 2014 03:52:34 -0700

National offer day: did you get the primary school place you wanted? Families of more than 600,000 four-year-olds in England find out which primary school their children will attend on Wednesday. Did you get the school you wanted? Tell us in our open ...

The Guardian

The Guardian
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 10:52:59 -0700

"It's alleged the women were involved in a bogus resignation letters plot at Adderley primary school in Saltley," the force said in a statement. Adderley primary was mentioned in detail in the original dossier outlining the supposed "Trojan Horse ...
The Columbian
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:12:10 -0700

Police arrested Woodland Primary School Principal Mark Houk on Thursday morning following an investigation into allegations that he physically abused a mentally disabled third-grade student. Houk was booked into the Cowlitz County Jail on suspicion of ...

The Guardian

The Guardian
Fri, 11 Apr 2014 10:49:57 -0700

More than a fifth of children in the worst affected parts of the country are expected to miss out on their parents' first choice of primary school next week as pressure on spaces continues to rise owing to the increasing birth rate. In the first ...

Harrogate Advertiser

Harrogate Advertiser
Sat, 19 Apr 2014 08:28:58 -0700

Primary school allocations were revealed this week and 94 per cent of parents or carers of primary age children secured their first school preference across North Yorkshire. A council spokesperson said: “The figure is very slightly lower than last year ...

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