Primary education

School children in primary education, Chile

Primary education, is typically the first stage of formal education, coming after preschool and before secondary school. Primary education takes place in primary school, the elementary school or first and middle school depending on the location.

The International Standard Classification of Education considers primary education as a single phase where programmes are typically designed to provide fundamental skills in reading, writing and mathematics and to establish a solid foundation for learning. This is ISCED Level 1: Primary education or first stage of basic education.[a][1]

Definition

The ISCED definition in 1997 posited that primary education normally started between the ages of 5 – 7, and was designed to give a sound basic education in reading, writing and mathematics along with an elementary understanding of other subjects. By 2011 the philosophy had changed, the elementary understanding of other subjects had been dropped in favour of "to establish a solid foundation for learning".[1]

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), believes that providing children with primary education has many positive effects. It

The ages cited cover a rapidly developing phase of child development. This is studied in the discipline Developmental Psychology , which among other things attempts to describe how children learn.

In Great Britain the first year of primary school, reception, is part of the Early Year Foundation Stage.

The Philosophy of education, of teaching and learning, has, over the millennia, occupied may great minds. It attempts to say what children should be taught.