Difference between Preschool and Pre-primary

Key Difference: A preschool refers to a preparatory school that has been designed for children under the statutory school age. It generally covers children between two to five years of age. Pre-primary is a term that is generally used in context to the time before the primary education of the children. A preschool generally refers to a nursery school. Pre-primary education is associated with studies in nursery as well as kindergarten classes.

Early childhood education plays a vital role in a child’s life. This stage helps in simulation of intelligence and also provides an opportunity to the children to get prepared for a formal school. A preschool is a generic term that covers all kinds of institutions that provide an elementary education to the children. Generally, it refers to nursery schools. In these schools, play based techniques are employed to create a learning environment for the children. These schools specialize in dealing with children under the statutory school age, which generally covers children between two to five years of age. A child is expected to learn various skills involving the alphabets, numbers and spatial awareness in a preschool.

Pre-primary is a term that is generally associated with the education or instructions for the children under the statutory school age. A pre-primary education programme enhances the skills of a child before his/her stepping into the primary school. It generally includes nursery classes and kindergartens. Pre-primary education is followed by primary education. Primary education is the first phase of compulsory education. Pre-primary education is useful for children in many ways; it also helps them get familiar with the school type environment. Preschool and pre-primary education are generally used interchangeably to define initial phase of organized and structured education.

Comparison between Preschool and Pre-primary:

 

Preschool

Pre-primary

Definition

Preschool refers to a preparatory school that has been designed for children under the statutory school age.

Pre-primary is a term that is used in context to the time before a primary education of children. A pre-primary school is the same as a preschool.

Origin

From Latin prae-, prefixal meaning first, fore, prior, pro + Old English scol, from Latin schola "intermission of work, leisure for learning; learned conversation, debate; lecture; meeting place for teachers and students, place of instruction; disciples of a teacher, body of followers, sect"

From Latin prae-, prefixal meaning first, fore, prior, pro + Latin primarius "of the first rank, chief, principal, excellent" 

Types

Some of the types are -

  • Montessori – Developed by educator Maria Montessori, they intend to develop a child’s senses.
  • Waldorf – Based on the teachings of Austrian writer Rudolf Steiner. Teachers need to be Waldorf certified.
  • Reggio Emilia – It encourages exploration and concentrates on the importance of community and self-expression.
  • Bank Street – Based on the educational philosophy of John Dewy. It focuses on hands-on activities, etc.

There are basically two types of pre-primary schools –

  • Nursery - Generally, nursery is used to denote a preschool that focuses on the children from three to five years of age.
  • Kindergarten - They generally denote the first year of schooling. It focuses on 5 to 6 year old children.

Advantages

  • They lay a solid foundation for knowledge, social skills and confidence for children.
  • They assist in easy transition to kindergartens.
  • They provide an educational learning environment to the children.
  • Children get the chance to socialize with other kids.
  • They help in easy transition to a formal school education.

Some of the advantages of pre-primary education include –

  • They help a child to develop some important basic language skills.
  • They assist in developing the communication skills of children.
  • They help a child in understanding his/her own capabilities.
  • They help in easy transition to middle school.
Includes Generally, include nursery classes. Generally, include nursery and kindergarten classes.

Image Courtesy: kohinoorschool.ac.in, craven.k12.nc.us

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