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A primary school (in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, and South Africa), junior school (in Australia), elementary school or grade school (in North America and the Philippines) is a
school A school is an designed to provide s and s for the teaching of s under the direction of teachers. Most countries have systems of formal , which is sometimes . In these systems, students progress through a series of schools. The names for ...

school
for
primary education Primary education is typically the first stage of formal education Formal learning is education normally delivered by trained teachers in a systematic intentional way within a school A school is an educational institution designed to p ...
of children who are five to eleven years of age. It typically comes after
preschool A preschool, also known as nursery school, pre-primary school, or play school, is an educational establishment or learning space Learning space or learning setting refers to a physical setting for a learning environment, a place in whic ...
and before
secondary school A secondary school describes an institution that provides and also usually includes the building where this takes place. Some secondary schools provide both lower secondary education (ages 11 to 14) and upper secondary education (ages 14 to 18) ...
. The
International Standard Classification of Education The International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) is a statistical framework for organizing information on education Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, value (ethics ...
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
ISCED Level 1
: Primary education or first stage of basic education.Annex III in the ISCED 2011 English.pdf
Navigate to International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED)


History of elementary education

During Greek and Roman times, boys were educated by their mothers until the age of seven, then according to the culture of their location and times, would start formal education. In
Sparta Sparta (Doric Greek Doric, or Dorian ( grc, Δωρισμός, Dōrismós) was an Ancient Greek dialect. Its variants were spoken in the southern and eastern Peloponnese as well as in Sicily, Epirus, Southern Italy, Crete, Rhodes, some ...

Sparta
until twelve, it would be at a military academy building up physical fitness and combat skills, but also reading, writing and arithmetic while in
Athens , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens montage. Clicking on an image in the picture causes the browser to load the appropriate article. rect 15 15 985 460 rect 15 475 485 874 rect 500 475 ...

Athens
the emphasis would be on understanding the laws of the
polis ''Polis'' (, ; grc-gre, , ), plural ''poleis'' (, , ), literally means "" in Greek. In , it originally referred to an administrative and religious city center, as distinct from the rest of the city. Later, it also came to mean the body of cit ...

polis
, reading, writing, arithmetic and music with gymnastics and athletics, and learning the moral stories of Homer. Girls received all their education at home. In Rome the primary school was called the ''ludus''; the curriculum developed over the centuries featuring the learning of both Latin and Greek. In AD 94,
Quintilian Marcus Fabius Quintilianus (; 35 – 100 AD) was a Roman Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *Roman people, the people of ancient Rome ...

Quintilian
published the systematic educational work, ''Institutio oratoria''. He distinguished between teaching and learning, and that a child aged between 7 and 14 learned by sense experience, learns to form ideas, develops language and memory. He recommended that teachers should motivate their pupils by making the teaching interesting, rather than by
corporal punishment A corporal punishment or a physical punishment is a punishment The old village stocks in Chapeltown, Lancashire, England Punishment, commonly, is the imposition of an undesirable or suffering, unpleasant outcome upon a group or individual, ...
. The
trivium The trivium is the lower division of the seven liberal arts Liberal arts education (from Latin "free" and "art or principled practice") is the traditional academic program in Western higher education. ''Liberal arts'' takes the term ''Art ( ...

trivium
(grammar, rhetoric and logic) and
quadrivium In liberal arts education Liberal arts education (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, know ...
(arithmetic, geometry, astronomy and music) were legacies of the Roman curriculum.


The medieval church and education in Europe

As the Roman influence waned, the great
cathedral school Cathedral schools began in the Early Middle Ages The Early Middle Ages or Early Medieval Period, sometimes referred to as the Dark Ages (historiography), Dark Ages, is typically regarded by historians as lasting from the late 5th or early 6t ...
s were established to provide a source of
chorister A choirboy is a boy member of a choir, also known as a treble. As a derisive slang term, it refers to a do-gooder or someone who is morally upright, in the same sense that " Boy Scout" (also derisively) refers to someone who is considered honora ...
s and clergy. Kings School, Canterbury dates from 597. The
Council of Rome The Council of Rome was a meeting of Catholic Church officials and theologians which took place in 382 under the authority of Pope Damasus I Damasus I (; c. 305 – 11 December 384) was the bishop of Rome A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, o ...
in 853 specified that each
parish A parish is a territorial entity in many Christianity, Christian denominations, constituting a division within a diocese. A parish is under the pastoral care and clerical jurisdiction of a priest#Christianity, priest, often termed a parish priest, ...
should provide elementary education: religious ritual but also reading and writing Latin. The purpose of education was to explain salvation, not social change. The church had a monopoly on education; the feudal lords concurred and allowed their sons to be educated at the few church schools. The economy in most of Europe was agrarian and the children of serfs started work as soon as they were able. It was accepted as a truth by Christians that man was created by God in the image of
Adam Adam (; Aramaic: ܐܕܡ; ar, آدَم, ʾĀdam; el, Ἀδάμ, Adám; la, Adam) is a figure in the Book of Genesis of the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew: , or ), is the Biblical canon, canonical collection of Hebrew ...

Adam
with his share of
original sin Original sin is the Christianity, Christian doctrine that holds that humans, through the fact of birth, inherit a tainted nature in need of regeneration and a proclivity to sinful conduct. The biblical bases for the belief are generally found i ...
and that a boy was born sinful. Therefore, only the teachings of the church and the
sacrament A sacrament is a Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ' ...
s could redeem him. The parishes provided elementary education- but had no requirement to provide it to every child. The need was to produce priests, and in a stable kingdom such as that of
Charlemagne Charlemagne ( , ) or Charles the Great ( la, Carolus Magnus; 2 April 748 – 28 January 814) was King of the Franks The Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of Germanic peoples The historical Germanic peoples (fro ...

Charlemagne
, administrators with elementary writing skills in Latin and the arithmetic needed to collect taxes and administer them.
Alcuin Alcuin of York (; la, Flaccus Albinus Alcuinus; 735 – 19 May 804) – also called Ealhwine, Alhwin, or Alchoin – was an English scholar, clergyman, poet, and teacher from York, Northumbria. He was born around 735 and became the ...
(735–804) developed teaching material that was based on the catechetical method- repeating and memorizing questions and answers, although often understanding the information was not important. These skills were also needed in the great abbeys such as
Cluny Cluny () is a commune in the eastern French department of Saône-et-Loire, in the region of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. It is northwest of Mâcon Mâcon (), historically anglicised Linguistic anglicisation (or anglicization, occasionally a ...
. There was a divergence between the needs of town and monasteries and we see the development of the parish, chantry, monastic, and cathedral schools. With the entry of women into church life, convents were established, and with them convent schools. Girls entered at the age of eight and were taught Latin grammar, religious doctrine, and music, and the women's arts of spinning, weaving, tapestry, painting, and embroidery.
Bede Bede ( ; ang, Bǣda , ; 672/326 May 735), also known as Saint Bede, The Venerable Bede, and Bede the Venerable ( la, Beda Venerabilis), was an English Benedictine The Benedictines, officially the Order of Saint Benedict ( la, Ordo Sanc ...

Bede
entered the
monastic school Monastic schools ( la, Scholae monasticae) were, along with cathedral school Cathedral schools began in the Early Middle Ages The Early Middle Ages or Early Medieval Period, sometimes referred to as the Dark Ages (historiography), Dark Ages, ...
at
Jarrow Jarrow ( or ) is a town within the of , a part of the of in . in , it is situated by the and is home to the southern entrance / exit of the . In the eighth century, the monastery of Saint Paul in Jarrow (now ) was the home of , who is re ...

Jarrow
at the age of seven and became a writer and historian. s were the result of charitable donations and educated the poor. Beginning in 804, parishes were obliged to have a school from 804, and cathedrals had to establish
schools A school is an educational institution An educational institution is a place where people of different ages gain an education, including preschools, childcare, primary-elementary schools, secondary-high schools, and universities. They provi ...
after the
Lateran CouncilThe Lateran councils were ecclesiastical councils or synods of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, wi ...
of 1179. Elementary education was mainly to teach sufficient Latin for the trivium and the quadrivium that formed the basis of the secondary curriculum.


Renaissance

While Humanism had a great change on the secondary curriculum, the primary curriculum was unaffected. It was believed that by studying the works of the greats, ancients who had governed empires, one became fit to succeed in any field. Renaissance boys from the age of five learned Latin grammar using the same books as the Roman child. There were the grammars of Donatus and
Priscian 270px, Priscian, or the Grammar, relief from the bell tower of Florence by Luca della Robbia Priscianus Caesariensis (), commonly known as Priscian ( or ), was a Latin grammarian and the author of the ''Institutes of Grammar'', which was the stan ...
followed by '' Caesar's Commentaries'' and then
St Jerome Jerome (; la, Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus; grc-gre, Εὐσέβιος Σωφρόνιος Ἱερώνυμος; c. 342–347 – 30 September 420), also known as Jerome of Stridon, was a Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belo ...

St Jerome
's Latin
Vulgate The Vulgate (; also called , ) is a late-4th-century Latin translation of the Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, H ...
. Wealthy boys were educated by tutors. Others were educated in schools attached to the parishes, cathedrals, or abbeys. From the 13th century, wealthy merchants endowed money for priests to "establish as a school to teach grammar". These early grammar schools were to teach basic, or elementary grammar, to boys. No age limit was specified. Early examples in England included
Lancaster Royal Grammar School Lancaster Royal Grammar School (LRGS) is a selective grammar school (day and boarding) for boys aged 11–18 in Lancaster, Lancashire, England. It also has academy An academy ( Attic Greek: Ἀκαδήμεια; Koine Greek Koine Greek (, ...
,
Royal Latin School The Royal Latin School (RLS) is a co-educational grammar school in Buckingham Buckingham ( ) is a market town in north Buckinghamshire Buckinghamshire (), abbreviated Bucks, is a ceremonial county in South East England that borders G ...
, Buckingham, and
Stockport Grammar School Stockport Grammar School is a co-educational independent school File:Share enrolled in private institutions at the tertiary education level, OWID.svg, Share enrolled in private institutions at the tertiary education level (2015) An independ ...
. The
Reformation The Reformation (alternatively named the Protestant Reformation or the European Reformation) was a major movement within Western Christianity in 16th-century Europe that posed a religious and political challenge to the Catholic Church and in ...

Reformation
and the
Dissolution of the Monasteries#REDIRECT Dissolution of the monasteries {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
(1548) disrupted the funding of many schools. The schools petitioned the King,
Edward VI Edward VI (12 October 1537 – 6 July 1553) was King of England This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the island of Great Britain from 12 July 927, when it emerged fr ...

Edward VI
, for an endowment. Examples of schools receiving endowments are
King Edward VI Grammar School, Louth King Edward VI Grammar School (sometimes abbreviated to KEVIGS or KEVIS) is a grammar school located in Louth, Lincolnshire, England. History As early as the 8th century schooling was available at Louth,King Edward VI Grammar School, Norwich and
King Edward VI School, Stratford-upon-Avon The Grammar School of King Edward VI at Stratford-upon-Avon (commonly referred to as King Edward VI School or shortened to K.E.S.) is a grammar school and academy An academy ( Attic Greek: Ἀκαδήμεια; Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Gr ...
, where
William Shakespeare William Shakespeare ( 26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English playwright, poet and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's greatest dramatist. He is often called England's and the " of A ...

William Shakespeare
was thought to be a pupil from the age of 7 to 14.


Paupers and the poor

Though the Grammar schools which were set up to deliver elementary education, they did require their entrants to already have certain skills. In particular, they expected them to be able to read and write in the vernacular. There was a need for something more basic. This was addressed by
Dame school The Dame School is a historic meeting house, school, and now local historical museum, on New Hampshire Route 152 in Nottingham, New Hampshire. The single story wood-frame Greek Revival structure was built in 1840 as a church; according to loca ...
s, then
charity school 300px, ''The Blue Coat School'' (in this case Christ's Hospital, London) as drawn by Augustus Pugin and Thomas Rowlandson">Augustus_Pugin.html" ;"title="Christ's Hospital, London) as drawn by Augustus Pugin">Christ's Hospital, London) as drawn by ...
s, often set up by the churches ( C of E schools), Bell's British Schools and Joseph Lancaster's National Schools.


Educational philosophies

Certain movements in education had relevance in all of Europe and its diverging colonies. The Americans were interested in the thoughts of ,
Joseph Lancaster Joseph Lancaster (25 November 1778 – 23 October 1838) was an English Quaker and public education innovator. He originated the saying "a place for everything and everything in its place". The height of popularity of his system came in the firs ...
, and the Prussian schools.


Levels of education


Terminology: descriptions of cohorts

Within the English speaking world, there are three widely used systems to describe the age of the child. The first is the "equivalent ages", then countries that base their education systems on the "English model" use one of two methods to identify the year group, while countries that base their systems on the "American
K–12 K–12 (spoken as "k twelve", "k through twelve", or "k to twelve"), from kindergarten Kindergarten (, ) is a preschool educational approach based on playing, singing, practical activities such as drawing, and social interaction as part of t ...
model" refer to their year groups as "grades". Canada also follows the American model, although its names for year groups are put the number after the grade: For instance, "Grade 1" in Canada, rather than "First Grade" in the United States. This terminology extends into the research literature. In Canada, education is a Provincial, not a Federal responsibility. For example, the province of Ontario also had a "
Grade 13 Thirteenth grade or grade thirteen is the final year of secondary school A secondary school describes an institution that provides secondary education and also usually includes the building where this takes place. Some secondary schools provide b ...
," designed to help students enter the workforce or post-secondary education, but this was phased out in the year 2003.


Primary schools

In most parts of the world, primary education is the first stage of
compulsory education Compulsory education refers to a period of education that is required of all people and is imposed by the government. This education may take place at a registered school or Homeschooling, at other places. Compulsory school attendance or compulso ...
, and is normally available without charge, but may also be offered by fee-paying
independent school An independent school is independent in its finances and governance. Also known as private schools, , privately funded, or non-state schools, they are not administered by local, state or national s. In , an independent school usually refers ...
s. The term grade school is sometimes used in the US, although both this term and elementary school may refer to the first eight grades, in other words both
primary education Primary education is typically the first stage of formal education Formal learning is education normally delivered by trained teachers in a systematic intentional way within a school A school is an educational institution designed to p ...
and lower
secondary education Secondary education covers two phases on the International Standard Classification of Education The International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) is a statistical framework for organizing information on education Educatio ...
. The term ''primary school'' is derived from the French ''école primaire'', which was first used in an English text in 1802. In the United Kingdom, "elementary education" was taught in "elementary schools" until 1944, when free elementary education was proposed for students over 11: there were to be primary elementary schools and secondary elementary schools; these became known as primary schools and secondary schools. * ''Primary school'' is the preferred term in the United Kingdom, Ireland and many
Commonwealth nations The Commonwealth of Nations is a voluntary association of 54 sovereign states. Nearly all of them are former Crown colony, British colonies or dependencies of those colonies. No one government in the Commonwealth exercises power over the othe ...

Commonwealth nations
, and in most publications of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a List of specialized agencies of the United Nations, specialised agency of th ...

UNESCO
). * ''Elementary school'' is still preferred in some countries, especially in the United States and Canada. In some parts of the United States, "primary school" refers to a school covering
kindergarten Kindergarten (, ) is a preschool educational approach based on playing, singing, practical activities such as drawing, and social interaction as part of the transition from home to school. Such institutions were originally made in the late 18th ...

kindergarten
through to second grade or third grade (K through 2 or 3); the "elementary school" includes grade three through five or grades four to six. In Canada, "elementary school" almost everywhere refers to Grades 1 through 6; with Kindergarten being referred to as "preschool."


Elementary schools

Though often used as a synonym, "elementary school" has specific meanings in different locations. *
Elementary schools A primary school (in Ireland, the UK & Australia), junior school (in Australia), elementary school or grade school (in the US & Canada) is a school for primary education of children who are four to eleven years of age (and sometimes up to t ...
also known as
Board School School boards were public bodies in England and Wales between 1870 and 1902, which established and administered Elementary school (England and Wales), elementary schools. School boards were created in boroughs and parishes under the Elementary Edu ...
s were first established in England and Wales in 1870 by the Forster Act (Elementary Education Act 1870). Most of these schools became primary schools in the late 1940s, following the historic compromise in the
1944 Education Act The Education Act 1944 (7 and 8 Geo 6 c. 31) made major changes in the provision and governance of secondary schools in England and Wales. It is also known as the "Butler Act" after the President of the Board of Education, R. A. Butler. Historians ...
. *
Elementary school (United States) A primary school (in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, and South Africa), junior school (in Australia), elementary school or grade school (in North America and the Philippines) is a school A school is a ...
: were first promoted in 1647 in the
Massachusetts Bay Colony The Massachusetts Bay Colony (1630–1691), more formally The Colony of Massachusetts Bay, was an English settlement on the east coast of America around the Massachusetts Bay Massachusetts Bay is a bay on the Atlantic Ocean that forms part of t ...
. Today, there are currently approximately 92,858 elementary schools (68,173 public, 24,685 private). In the United States, elementary schools usually have six grades with pupils aged between 5 and 11 years old.. The
Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) was passed by the 89th United States Congress and signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on April 11, 1965. Part of Johnson's "War on Poverty The war on poverty is the unofficial n ...
was designed to fund
primary Primary or primaries may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Music Groups and labels * Primary (band), from Australia * Primary (musician), hip hop musician and record producer from South Korea * Primary Music, Israeli record label Works * ...
and
secondary education Secondary education covers two phases on the International Standard Classification of Education The International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) is a statistical framework for organizing information on education Educatio ...
. It also emphasized equal access to education and established high standards and accountability. *
Elementary schools in Japan in Japan is compulsory. All children begin first grade in the April after they turn six-- kindergarten is growing increasingly popular, but is not mandatory—and starting school is considered a very important event in a child's life. History ...
were first established by 1875. In Japan, the age of pupils in elementary school ranges from 6 to 12, after which the pupils enter
junior high school A middle school (also known as intermediate school, junior high school, or lower secondary school) is an educational stage Educational stages are subdivisions of formal learning Formal learning is education normally delivered by trained teac ...

junior high school
.


Theoretical framework of primary school design

School building design does not happen in isolation. The building (or school campus) needs to accommodate: * Curriculum content * Teaching methods * Costs * Education within the political framework * Use of school building (also in the community setting) * Constraints imposed by the site * Design philosophy Each country will have a different education system and priorities. Schools need to accommodate students, staff, storage, mechanical and electrical systems, storage, support staff, ancillary staff and administration. The number of rooms required can be determined from the predicted roll of the school and the area needed. According to standards used in the United Kingdom, a general classroom for 30 reception class or infant (Keystage 1) students needs to be 62 m2, or 55 m2 for juniors (Keystage 2). Examples are given on how this can be configured for a 210 place primary with attached 26 place nursery and two-storey 420 place (two form entry) primary school with attached 26 place nursery.


Building design specifications

The building providing the education has to fulfill the needs of: The students, the teachers, the non-teaching support staff, the administrators and the community. It has to meet general government building guidelines, health requirements, minimal functional requirements for classrooms, toilets and showers, electricity and services, preparation and storage of textbooks and basic teaching aids. An optimum school will meet the minimum conditions and will have: * adequately sized classrooms—where 60 m2 in considered optimum but 80 m2 for the reception class * specialised teaching spaces * a staff preparation room * staff welfare facilities * an administration block * multipurpose classrooms * student toilet facilities * a general purpose school hall * adequate equipment * storage * a library or library stocks that are regularly renewed * computer rooms or media centres * counselling, sick and medical examination rooms Government accountants having read the advice then publish minimum guidelines on schools. These enable environmental modelling and establishing building costs. Future design plans are audited to ensure that these standards are met but not exceeded. Government ministries continue to press for the 'minimum' space and cost standards to be reduced. The UK government published this downwardly revised space formula for primary schools in 2014. It said the floor area should be 350 m2 + 4.1 m2/pupil place. The external finishes were to be downgraded to meet a build cost of £1113/m2.


Governance and funding

There are three main ways of funding a school: it can funded by the state through general taxation, it can be funded by a pressure group such as the mosque or the church, it can be funded by a charity or it can be funded by contributions from the parents or a combination of these methods. Day to day oversight of the school can through a board of governors, the pressure group, or the owner. The United Kingdom allowed most elementary education to be delivered in
church school in Finland. A Christian school is a school A school is an educational institution designed to provide learning spaces and learning environments for the teaching of students (or "pupils") under the direction of teachers. Most countries have ...
s whereas in France this was illegal as there is strict
separation of church and state The separation of church and state is a philosophic and jurisprudential concept for defining political distance in the relationship between religious organizations Religious activities generally need some infrastructure to be conducted. F ...
.


Accountability

This can be through informal assessment by the staff and governors such as in Finland, or by a state run testing regime such as
Ofsted The Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted) is a non-ministerial department Non-ministerial government departments (NMGDs) are a type of department of the Government of the United Kingdom that deal with matte ...
in the United Kingdom.


See also

*
Dame school The Dame School is a historic meeting house, school, and now local historical museum, on New Hampshire Route 152 in Nottingham, New Hampshire. The single story wood-frame Greek Revival structure was built in 1840 as a church; according to loca ...
*
Early childhood education#REDIRECT Early childhood education Early childhood education (ECE; also nursery education) is a branch of education theory that relates to the teaching of child Biologically, a child (plural children) is a human Humans (''Homo sap ...
*
Educational stage Educational stages are subdivisions of formal learning, typically covering early childhood education, primary education, secondary education and tertiary education. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) r ...
* Virtual reality in primary education * Vocal school (Blab school)


Notes


References


External links


National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) (United States)

Elementary Schools with Education and Crime Statistics (United States)

Australian CensusAtSchool (Australia)

Canadian Education Statistics Council (CESC) (United States)

Office for National Statistics (ONS) (United Kingdom)

BB103_Area_Guidelines_for_Mainstream_Schools (2014) UK

National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) (United States)

OECD Standardised designs (2011)
{{DEFAULTSORT:Primary School Educational stages
School A school is an educational institution designed to provide learning spaces and learning environments for the teaching of students under the direction of teachers. Most countries have systems of formal education, which is sometimes compuls ...
School terminology School types