Young children joining primary school are normally into the second phase system of education in UK after leaving nursery school.
For the vast majority of children going onto primary education it’s fairly enjoyable after the initial adjustment, although for a few children the routine is too much to successfully adjust.
School day and classes for all ages of primary school children for all 4 nations of the UK start around 08.50-09.00 to 15.00 each school day Monday to Friday.
Primary school age UK in state maintained education
England & Wales children primary school age UK is from 4-11 years old where in Scotland pupils start primary at 5 and leave at 12 years of age. Pupils attend primary classes for up to 190 days a year 5 days a week, Monday-Friday with some schools allowing shorter days for the first few weeks as a settling in period.
According to Haringey Council: Most children start school in the September after their 4th birthday. However children are not legally required to attend school until the term after their 5th birthday” in UK.
Effectively, children can start school primary education at 4-5 years old.
Parents can send children to reception class in England & Wales or P1 in Scotland at 4 years of age, although it’s not compulsory for a child to attend school in UK until they reach 5 years old.
Although not compulsory if a late 4 year old is capable, and is settling in well then it’s good for a child to be introduced to primary school life, and parents have the option to miss school days if necessary before the child becomes 5 years old.
A year one primary school child in England & Wales is 5 years old and has started the first year of compulsory UK education at school after being enrolled in the first week of September after a child’s 5th birthday.
Northern Ireland primary school starting age is 4 years old with new birth month starting allowances being implemented for September new school year.
Scotland primary school age grade
Children at 4/5 years old starting primary education until 11/12 years of age from P1-P7. Primary school grades & age:
- P1 – Age 4-5
- P2 – Age 5-6
- P3 – Age 6-7
- P4 – Age 7-8
- P5 – Age 8-9
- P6 – Age 9-10
- P7 – Age 11-12
England & Wales primary school grades & age:
- Reception – Age 4-5
- Year 1 – Age 5-6
- Year 2 – Age 6-7
- Year 3 – Age 7-8
- Year 4 – Age 8-9
- Year 5 – Age 9-10
- Year 6 – Age 10-11
Key stages in UK primary school education
KS1: Consisting of early years or key stage one primary UK school age is for 4-7 year olds in reception, year 1, 2, 3 in England & Wales.
In Scotland children starting lower primary school attend in P1, P2, P3 meaning they are 5-7 years old respectively.
Smaller primaries tend to have small playgrounds and playing fields where they have separate lunch times in the school canteen for lower school age children so they can have space and time for lunch without competing for space with older children.
Primary curriculum for schools in UK provides for children to build up knowledge & understanding of a range of subjects including numeracy, English, music, science, UK history, languages, and geography from an early age.
Class sizes in primary school have up to 30 children for pupils aged fro 4 to 12 years old, although smaller schools have fewer students, even only 3 per class.
Primary pupils stay in one class all year with the same teacher & class teacher assistant for all subjects except PE, music and any booster lessons for additional learning help, such as primary school maths & English.
Primary key stage 2
KS2: Comprises pupils aged between 7-11 at primary schools in Wales & England.
In upper primary pupils continue building on the knowledge they have learned with increasing difficulty of all subjects taught in the first 3 years.
Teachers also introduce language learning for pupils 8-11 years old and older primary students get to play more contact PE sports & activities as they get progressively older.
Mixed ability level classes are a theme throughout a child’s primary school life from 4-12 years of age.
Once a child complete all years of primary they are eligible for secondary education transition reaching secondary school age England & Wales 11 years old and Scotland & N Ireland 12 years old.
School leaving age for primary age UK children Scotland is 12 years old in P7 and 11 years of age in year 6 for England & Wales.