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First grade (called Grade 1 in some nations) is the first grade in Elementary school. It is the first school year after kindergarten. Pupils are usually 6 to 7 years old in this grade level; they are sometimes called "first graders".
- In Bahrain, the minimum age for the first grade is six years old.
- In India, children enter Class 1 or 2 at ages 6 to 7.
- In Malaysia's education system, First Grade or most commonly known as Standard or Year 1 begins at the age of seven.
- In Bulgaria, the minimum age for the first grade is six years old.
- Children start this grade in Finland the year they turn seven and end it the year they turn eight.
- In France, it would correspond to CP (Cours préparatoire) which is the first year of elementary school.
- In Germany, it would correspond to 1. Klasse.
- In Greece, all children from 6 to 15 years old must attend school. The Greek education system equivalent of primary schooling (dimotiko) usually begins at age 6. Public schooling, including books, is free of charge.  Greece
- In Ireland, the equivalent is known as First Class or Rang a haon, Students are usually 6 or 7 years old as it is the 3rd year of primary school.
- In Portugal, children enter the 1st year of school (1º ano) aged six or five, in September of the year they turn six years old. It marks the beginning of the First Cycle of Basic School.
- In Sweden, the age is seven.
- In Russia, from six to seven years old.
- In Ukraine, the age is seven.
In England, the first year of school is called Reception, and the pupils are 4 to 5 years old. However, the first compulsory schooling age starts when the child is 5 and this year is Year One. As most primary or infant schools have a reception which acts like the compulsory school years i.e. they wear uniform and have the same school hours, most children start school in reception. This year is the equivalent of Year Two 
In Scotland, 1st grade is equivalent to Primary 3. Pupils in Primary 3 aged between 6 and 8.
In mathematics students may learn about addition and subtraction of natural numbers, and about measurement. Basic geometry and graphing may be introduced. Clock and calendar time and money may also be in the curriculum.
In language first graders are taught the fundamentals of literacy, including reading sentences, writing very simple statements and mastery of the alphabet, building on what the students have learned in kindergarten or other forms of pre-school (although because first grade is the first compulsory level of education in many U.S. states, the level of literacy in incoming students can vary widely). The expectations for first grade have changed. Curriculum is typically based on state standards developed by educators in each of the 50 United States. First graders are now expected to read and comprehend stories ranging in lengths and difficulty.
In the USA, students are also typically introduced to the concept of social studies with an emphasis on establishing ideas of history or civics in either a personal or in a larger sense. Some states focus on the basics of US history and patriotism is taught, with a focus on the founding fathers and the time period surrounding the American Revolution; other states require a social studies focus on family relationships in first grade, leaving community, state, and nation studies to higher grades. Basic geography is also taught in the 1st grade. Focus on the persons municipal area and culture, along with basic state geography may also be focused in 1st grade, depending on the state. First grade science usually involves the discussion of matter, plant and animal science, earth materials, and balance and motion, along with the human body, and basic health and nutrition.
Science as inquiry is taught and practiced in first grade. Students are encouraged to observe the world around them and begin asking questions about things they notice. As they become more comfortable investigating the world around them, students will also begin asking better questions and making better, more advanced predictions.
- In New Zealand, this level of class is called J2 or Year 2. Children generally start this level between the ages of five and six.
- In Brazil, the minimum age for the first grade was changed from seven to six years old.
- "Ensino Básico e Secundário". cdp.portodigital.pt (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2012-10-15.