Pupils in this group are aged 1 – 5 years and are distributed as follows:

Baby School: 1 year

Playgroup: 2 years

Nursery 1: 3 years

Nursery 2: 4 years

Year R: 5 years

As a pre-school level, the emphasis here is to acquaint pupils with skills needed to succeed when formal primary education starts.


Pupils in this category range from 6 to 11 years and are distributed as follows:

Grade 1: 6 years

Grade 2: 7 years

Grade 3: 8 years

Grade 4: 9 years

Grade 5: 10 years

Grade 6: 11 years

This is the first formal level of education, the first tranche of the 6-3-3-4 system.


This nomenclature was coined when the Federal Government came up with the Basic Education policy, which disarticulated this level (the first ‘3’ in the 6-3-3-4 coinage, the first three years of the six years of secondary education) from the Senior Secondary level and merged it with the Primary level to form what some prefer to call 9-3-4 system. This level of education has a twin role of preparing students for senior secondary education – the last three years of secondary school – or equipping those who may not continue with senior secondary education with various trades and skills that can make them employable or employers of labour. Subjects here include: English Studies; Mathematics; Basic Science and Technology; Religion and National Values; Cultural and Creative Arts; French; Pre-Vocational Studies and Business Studies.