What curriculum do you follow?
The English School follows the Finnish National Core curriculum. Because we have a special status granted by the ministry, we have been allowed to modify it. The modifications concern the amount of English teaching hours. English is taught as a mother tongue from grade 1 to high school. The students in our high school can drop some courses due to the number of compulsory courses in English.
What is the proportion of Finnish and English in instruction?
Our preschool education and grades 1–4 have the highest proportion of instruction in English. What best characterizes education at these levels is total immersion (the lessons are taught in English and communication is in English).
In 5th and 6th grade, and in secondary school, the proportion of Finnish instruction increases. This emphasis ensures that the students will master the concepts and terminology of each subject in both languages.
In middle school, grades 7-9, English continues to be taught at a native level. The amount of Finnish further increases to ensure that academic concepts in all subjects will be acquired also in Finnish and that a possible transition to a Finnish-medium vocational or high school can be successfully achieved.
What language backgrounds and language requirements does The English School have?
The English School students have varying language backgrounds.
Many students come from Finnish speaking families and are immersed into English during the two-year preschool programme.
A fair number of students also come from bilingual English-Finnish speaking families.
Some students come from families where neither Finnish nor English are used at home.
Although Finnish can be studied as a second language, from 3rd grade onwards both Finnish and English are tested in the aptitude tests (=entrance tests). Therefore the knowledge of both languages is a requirement.