Reception (school)

Reception, Year 0, Primary 1, or FS2 (foundation second year) is the first year of infant school in [England and Wales]] (except Northern Ireland and Scotland). It comes after nursery and before Year One in England[1] and Wales or Primary 2 in Northern Ireland.

Pupils in Reception are usually aged between four and five.[2] Children start school either in the term or in the year in which they reach five,[3] depending on the policy of the Local Education Authority. Reception is the final part of the Early Years Foundation Stage of education.[1]

Most areas admit entire year groups in September, regardless of which month they were born, meaning that some pupils will be starting primary school in the month of their fifth birthday, while others will be almost a year away from this milestone.

Other areas admit Reception pupils in the term of their fifth birthday, while some admit pupils in September if they were born between September and February, and in January if they were born between March and August.

There is no reception year in Scotland as children progress directly from Nursery to Primary 1 (equivalent to English Year Two) in the August nearest their fifth birthday. Generally this means that a complete intake into P1 ranges from four and a half to five and a half years old.[4] It is also possible for parents of children born in January and February to defer admission by one year, so that they start at five and a half rather than four and a half.

Early year groups in the UK
England & Wales Scotland Northern Ireland Age
Reception Primary 1 P1 4-5
Year One Primary 2 P2 5-6
Year Two Primary 3 P3 6-7

Previously, children in England and Wales had started school later than children in Northern Ireland, where the starting age was generally four, dependent on the date of the child's birthday.


  1. 1 2 "The national curriculum - GOV.UK". Retrieved 2016-03-27.
  2. "School reception class - From pregnancy to children aged 5". Retrieved 2016-03-27.
  3. "School age". Retrieved 2016-03-27.
  4. "Starting school - Transitions -". Retrieved 2016-03-27.

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