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School Schedule in Finland

In Finland, basic education lasts for 9 years from elementary to secondary school. It includes grades from 1-9. Elementary education is from the first to the sixth grade and secondary education starts from the seventh grade. Kids from 6 years old, starts primary education a year before basic education, which is either attended in the school or daycare premises.

All children under the age of 18 years old, who resides in Finland permanently must attend compulsory education, which includes pre-primary, basic, secondary education, high school or vocational school.

The school schedule

Finland among most countries used The Gregorian calendar, which is the world's most widely used civil calendar. The school schedules were translated to English from the Finnish National Agency for Education- Opetushallitus. The programs include the dates of the schools working days and holidays in mainland Finland. The Finnish dates are written (1.5), which means May 1, similar to British English. Schools start in Finland in August. The Autumn holiday (syysloma) usually begins in October, the Christmas holiday ( joululoma) starts in the third week of December, and the Winter holiday (talviloma) starts in February. School ends on the last week of May or the first week of June.


Companies are often flexible to parents with small children and grant them holidays during these periods. Some working parents might struggle to get babysitters during these holidays; however, daycare centers, sports clubs, and other entities organize day camps. Having a detailed schedule early on makes it easier to plan what to do during these holidays.

Finnish kids are taught to be independent on an early age. There is no law in Finland that states when children can stay alone at home. However, it is not recommendable to leave kids alone all day. Typically parents leave their kids for 2-4 hours after school.

Short school days

First to sixth graders usually have a short period of about 21-25 hours per week. In comparison, 7-9 graders have an average of 30 hours per week. However, schools can decide if they want to have longer school hours.

There are traditionally afternoon clubs (iltapäiväkerho) for 1st-3rd graders on the school premises or organized by the Lutheran church. Some schools and local associations offer 1-2 hour clubs for kids who do not want to go to the afternoon clubs.

School lunch is free

Schools in Finland offer nutritious lunches, but Finnish food might be a culture shock for foreign kids. The buffet consists of vegetables, salad, potatoes, rice or pasta, meat, fish, or a vegetarian meal to choose from. Children can choose to drink skimmed milk or water. Allergies, ethics, or religious diets are considered when planning the kids' school meals. However, snacks are unnecessary unless kids have a more extended school day or go for a class trip. The school lunch is also a learning environment for children to learn about well being and growth, nutritional health and the Finnish food culture.

School equipments

School kids in Finland get basic equipments such as pencils, sharpeners and erasers in school. However backpacks, pencil cases are necessary to buy. Also children have sports activities in school that are recommendable to learn such as swimming, skating and skiing. Parents should encourage their children to learn these activities in school because it is necessary subject for the whole basic school period.


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