Introduction: Primary schools admit children from the ages of 5 through to 11. Some primary schools are split up into Infant and Junior levels. These are usually separate schools on the same site. The infant age range (Key Stage 1) is from age 5 to 7. The Junior age range (Key Stage 2) is from age 7 to 11.

The year groups at primary School level are:

Year R (Reception) (age 4 – 5)
Year 1 (age 5 – 6)
Year 2 (age 6 – 7) The year when SATs testing takes place for Key Stage 1
Year 3 (age 7 – 8)
Year 4 (age 8 – 9)
Year 5 (age 9 – 10)
Year 6 (age 10 – 11) The year when SATs testing takes place for Key Stage 2

Please note that in some areas of England (Eg Suffolk and Sussex) First and Middle Schools replace Primary Schools. First Schools go from age 5-9, whilst Middle Schools go from age 9-13.

Other Primary Issues

Homework – Most primary schools now set some form of homework for most children. At the lower end of the primary age range it might be basic reading practice at home, or finding out about a certain subject. Higher up the primary age range, homework will probably involve learning spellings and times tables for a test each week, or doing research on a certain topic. Most schools now provide their children with a homework diary so that the parents can be certain what homework their child has been given that week. Usually this is checked and signed by the class teacher. The parents should be informed at the beginning of the school year just how much time their child should be spending on their homework. Obviously if the homework is causing anxiety and stress it would be a good idea to clarify with the class teacher what it is your child should be doing and how long this should be taking him/her. More and more schools are starting homework clubs where the children can stay behind once normal school has finished. Apart from completing their homework, the children might do some sort of physical exercise and/or be fed, before their parent arrives to take them home.


Bullying – Bullying is an issue which thankfully most schools take more seriously than ten or twenty years ago. All schools should have in place a school “bullying policy” which states how the school and the teachers deal with incidents of bullying. Some primary schools now have “mentors” or “watchers” who are specially trained older childer, who keep a watch on the younger children at playtimes. The idea is to make sure that all the children are safe and happy when they are on the playground. Most primary schools now have a “school council” which operates to give the viewpoints of all the children in the school through specially elected representatives from each class. Again the issue of bullying is one which can discussed at this level.