What does k-6 stand for?

K6 refers to the six grade levels in Kindergarten known as elementary schooling. As the name suggests this is the first level of education for children. K6 may also be referred to as primary education in countries like the United Kingdom, Latin America, Australia and India, and is the standard used by the UNESCO.

In each territory elementary education has its own characteristics. In Great Britain elementary schools provide children from the working class the opportunity to receive instruction. The term was formerly used to refer to industrial/ public schools in this context. Children between the ages of 5 years to 14 years receive essential learning opportunity in this institution.

Reading, Writing and Arithmetic are the subjects of focus in Great Britain’s public schools. The classroom structure consists of a teacher led classroom where the number of students being educated is also monitored by school students, with responsibility for assisting the teacher. A teacher’s salary in this type of system is weighted against the performance of the students under their tutelage.

Each subject has its assigned level of quality to ensure measurement of students’ progress. Examples of the type of tests administered to determine the student’s ability are as follows: reading a section of a book without hindrance, being able to write words spoken by the teacher and the ability to compute basic mathematical concepts.

Comparatively in the United States elementary education targets children from pre-school to somewhere between grade three to six. However, this is not consistent across the educational system in the States. Usually though elementary education is from pre-school to around grade five. Schools are therefore referred to as grade schools.

In places like India, the range is from Class one to eight, targeting children ages 5- to 15 years old. Similarly, it is the level of education that occurs after kindergarten. Contrasted though in comparison to the other two countries is the fact that elementary education has a sub-section called Middle School. This ranges between classes six to eight.

There are also some fundamental differences with the Indian system of elementary education. In classes one to three children are given lessons in the following subjects: English, Hindi, Mathematics and Environmental Science as well as General Knowledge. Between fourth and fifth class, General Science and Social Studies is introduced as a substitute for Environmental Science. A third language, French or Sanskrit, may also be introduced at this stage of learning. Distinctively in India it may also be split into two, with class three to five representing elementary/ primary education and class two, primary education.

One common thread appears in all countries though that the k-6 or elementary education is the essential and basic beginning of instruction for children in the formative years of life.

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