In the first part of this article the focus was placed on the development of tradition of co-existence of religious elements next to “educational” ones in the initial period of teaching reading and writing. For this purpose, the oldest medieval primers were briefly presented and characterised. The next section examines the presence of religious elements in the primers published in the Second Republic period (1918-1939). Original research showed that, contrary to existing opinion, the religious elements occurred in the primers of this period. The last part presents the issue of the presence of religious elements in postwar primers. The most popular Polish primer by Marian Falski was used as an example. It was noted that the change of regime brought about a fundamental reform of education, which was executed in the years 1945-1950, whereby school chil¬dren were to be shaped in accordance with communist ideals. Secularization of social life resulted inter alia in obliteration of the religious elements from textbooks, but also contradicted centuries of the co-existence of these elements with educational ones.