Primary school education is most often referred to as elementary school or grade school and is usually composed of grades one through six. The main purpose of primary education is to give children a strong foundation in the basics of a general curriculum, with emphasis on reading and math.
A primary education is for children who are approximately five to eleven years old. There are exceptions, of course, in the case of children with learning disabilities and those in special education. There are no age restrictions in these instances.
The subjects targeted by primary education are reading, math, social studies, science, physical education and health. Subjects are not intended for intensive study. Rather, they are meant to be taught for general exposure and to lay the groundwork for more rigorous study later on.
Skills that are the focus of primary education include those that reinforce basic math and reading mastery. Skills that lead to reading fluency and comprehension, as well as number recognition and basic mathematical operations, are among those most emphasized by educators during primary school.
Targeted Learning Problems
A quality primary education seeks to help all students succeed, especially those who have learning problems or disabilities, such as dyslexia and attention deficit disorder. If these problems are addressed early -- at least by third grade -- students increase their chance of finishing high school. To that end, special educators, tutors and interventionists are often used by elementary schools.
Early childhood education, particularly kindergarten, is sometimes part of the equation when its program is aligned with state objectives. Not all states have mandatory kindergarten attendance policies. Also, the fifth and sixth grades are sometimes classified as being part of the middle school or junior high school. Therefore, there is no official policy that explicitly dictates the grade levels that have to be included in primary education.