Basic education in Turku offers extensive bilingual education, language immersion in Swedish, and content and language integrated learning. In bilingual education, language is used as a teaching instrument for different subjects, which enables the pupil to reach a strong competence of the target language and to practice their cultural and international skills. Bilingual education complies with specific principles established in the curriculum.
In addition to the teaching of religions, schoolwork may include religious events such as services, religious morning assemblies or religious concerts. These events are considered as religious practice.
The student studies either a religion or ethics. Turku organizes teaching of Evangelical-Lutheran, Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Islamic religions, as well as ethics teaching.
When the student participates in religious education the school year report will not mention which religion’s curriculum the student has followed. If the student has been exempted from religious education at school because they receive their religious education in their own religious community, religion will not be marked on the school year report as a subject.
Teaching in schools is based on the curriculum, which in turn is based on laws and regulations. The curriculum illustrates practical school work and all schools must follow it, which means it is a standard. The National Board of Education has approved the national core curriculum of basic education, and the municipality-specific section of Turku City basic education curriculum for years 1–9 is based on it. Additionally, school-specific specifications for organizing teaching have been described on the schools’ curriculums or school year plans.
Non-residents, meaning persons living outside Turku, can apply for a right to study in the schools of Turku. The parent or guardian should deliver the application directly to the school they wish to apply to.
Special classes mean classes that emphasize certain subjects by the specific decision of the Education Committee.
Language-oriented classes start in the first year. Classes emphasizing music, mathematics, sports and art start in the third year.
The student’s local secondary school is determined by the primary school. The student has a right to apply for some other school as well regardless of area borders.
Parents or guardians of the students will be informed about the transition to the seventh year during the turn of the year. Information sessions will be held in secondary schools in January.
Parents or guardians of students will be informed about applying to special classes in December.
When moving on to the third year in Turku it is possible to apply to a special class. Apply through the Wilma Turku system by 13 January 2019 at the latest.
Language-oriented classes start in the first year. However, it is possible to take in a few extra students when moving on to the third year, if there are places in the class. Students who wish to apply to a language-oriented class should do so during the application period.
A notification about compulsory education will be sent in the beginning of January to all children resident in Turku who are about to start their school that year. The pupil has a right to get to the school of their local school district. Children who will turn 7 that year or are older than that and who have not yet started school should be enrolled for compulsory education. Enrolment can be conducted on the Wilma system during the enrolment period in January. Specific dates will be announced separately.
Transition from preschool to primary school
Local schools co-operate with preschool units to make it easier for the child to start school. The co-operation forms and practices vary among schools and areas. Every school has assigned a contact teacher who coordinates the co-operation between preschool education and the school. Local schools organize visiting days for new students in spring.
A student will be provided a special diet if they have a food allergy or hyperergia, or for religious or other ethical reasons. The need for a special diet is evaluated at the school health care. The reported diet must be followed on a regular basis.
If the student needs a special diet for health reasons, the parents need to contact the school nurse annually.
School transport applications concerning charter transportations (+ attachments) for the school year 2021-2022 should be delivered to the Education Division School Transports by 31 May 2021.
You should apply for school transport by sending an application form either via email or by regular mail to the Education Division School Transports. Any attachments, such as expert opinions, should be delivered together with the application.
The school bus card is valid in the buses of Turku’s internal public transport on schooldays and it entitles for two trips per day. Time limit for changing buses is 75 minutes.
Loading the card
A granted bus card should be reclaimed from the Public Traffic Service Office (Aurakatu 5). A student whose right for school transport remains valid to the following school year should load their card at the Service Office in the beginning of August (no need to post a new application).
Organizations, communities, companies and private persons can rent school facilities outside teaching hours (mostly weekday evenings and weekends).
The costs for renting school facilities can be found on the application form. The principal of the school may also allow the use of school facilities for free or for 20% discount if the criteria mentioned on the application form are met. The renter must also pay for a supervisor if the principal demands that a supervisor needs to be present.
Morning and afternoon clubs are meant for first and second year students as well as for other students who are in special needs education.
Turku International School offers Afternoon club for or first and second year students in English.
School menus can be found in Finnish on the web pages of Arkea Ruokapalvelu:
- Menus for primary schools (arkea.fi in Finnish)
- Menus for secondary schools and upper secondary schools (arkea.fi in Finnish)
According to the Basic Education Act the student has a right for free school transport if the way to school is longer than 5 km or it takes longer than 2,5 hours (3 hours for over 13-year-olds). The transportation benefit may also be granted based on the dangerous nature of the way or on an expert opinion that the way to school is too difficult or tiresome compared to the health or developmental level of the student.
Parents have the primary responsibility in the upbringing of their child. The school is responsible for the child’s teaching and bringing up as a member of the school community. The task of the school is to provide the parents or guardians information so that they can follow and promote the learning and school attendance of their children.
The law on basic education obligates schools to co-operate with homes. The co-operation may be related to:
- the learning of the child
- writing a curriculum
- developing the operations of the school
Basic education means general education for the entire age group and it covers school years from 1 to 9. Basic education is free of charge and its objective is to provide the abilities and competence for the studies of the next education phase. Teaching is based on the accepted curriculum.
The student’s local school is determined by their address of residence. The student can also apply for another school but the student has a primary right to get to the local school of their student area.