Jyskä Primary School is a comprehensive school for grades one to six. In our school we have 440 pupils who study in twenty classes. In addition, we have two small groups for pupils in need of special education, and they are partly integrated into regular classes. In Jyskä School we have 20 classteachers, three subject teachers and four special education teachers. Our school is one of the biggest primary schools in Jyväskylä.
In Finland the basic education is organized and financed by state and municipalities. It is governed by The Ministry of Education who also legislate the basics of the curriculum. The curriculum is drawn up locally by teachers and authorities.
Parents always have a right to get their children in the nearest local school. They also have a right to apply for an enrollment at another school.
Compulsory education starts at the age of seven. In basic education there are normally approximately 20-24 learners in a class. The groups can be divided in some subject lessons (like maths or English).
The grades 1-6 (Primary School) are mainly taught by a class teacher and the grades 7-8 (secondary school) are mainly taught by subject teachers.
All teachers have a master's degree from the university. The teachers have a large freedom to choose the methods of teaching and the learning environment where to teach. They are encouraged to organize their teaching outside the classroom, to make expeditions and excursions.
Many teachers plan their teaching together and co-operate on projects between groups of same or even different ages. The new curriculum, which will be in use from autumn 2016 on, encourages the pupils to research environmental phenomena through school subjects.
Evaluation and assessment
The teachers evaluate learning by exams as well as by observing the progress of their pupils. The pupils get a report card every year, and/but/or the evaluation can also be an assessment conversation between the teacher, the pupil and the parents.
In Finland there are not any compulsory national tests in any grade or in any school subjects. The teachers can use the ones they choose to. The National Board of Education uses national tests every year with a random sample – as the Pisa tests – to evaluate the quality of education.