Charlotte Garside, Girl 5, Born With Primordial Dwarfism Starts Primary School (PICTURES)

It was a big day or all primary school children - and an even bigger one for Charlotte Garside, Britain's smallest schoolgirl.

The five-year-old is no bigger than a newborn - and smaller than her favourite teddy - yet she joined a class of pupils her own age for the first time last week.

Charlotte, who is 68cm tall and weighs 9lbs, was born with a form of Primordial Dwarfism so rare doctors don't even have a name for it.

Charlotte Garside, left, began primary school last week

The day marked a milestone for proud parents Scott Garside and Emma Newman who have battled to give their daughter as normal a life as possible.

But despite being warned she could die before the age of one, Charlotte has developed into a boisterous and inquisitive girl.

Emma, 30, of Withernsea, East Yorkshire, said: "Although Charlotte is a one in a million baby with some health problems, she is not the sort of person who will fade into the background.

"She may be small but she has a massive personality and wants to do everything a normal five-year-old does.

"She is very inquisitive and the school have already told us she has a learning age of a three-year-old, which is higher than we thought.

"Of course I was worried she could get hurt by the other children, but she has her own tutor look after her and she's not as fragile as you'd think."

When she was born Charlotte weighed less than 2lbs, measured 25cm and had to be dressed in dolls clothes.

Charlotte with her parents Scott Garside and Emma Newman

Emma carried the tiny baby around in the front pocket of her hoodie and put her in nappies the size of a credit card.

Now measuring less than 70cm, she still wears clothes for newborns and is even dwarfed by the family's pet cat.

But ask sisters Chloe, 15, Sabrina, 12, or Sophie, eight, and they will tell you she makes her presence felt.

Chloe said: "She might look like a doll but she's made of strong stuff. She loves tearing around the house and being thrown in the air.

"When people first meet her they are afraid she might break if they touch her - but she's quite scrappy and doesn't sit still for a second."

As well as a weakened immune system and cysts on her liver, Charlotte's mental and physical development has been delayed.

But Scott, 26, and Emma, feel the best way to see what Charlotte is capable of is by testing her in mainstream education.

Emma said: "There are a lot of unknowns but Charlotte has a way of surprising you when you least expect it. We didn't know if she would live this long.

"We didn't know if she would be able to interact with people and there have been times when we thought we might lose her.

"But she keeps on thriving and I can't wait to see what the next year brings."