In addition to Finnish and Swedish, basic education is provided in English, French and German (see foreign-language education). It is also possible to complete grades 1-6 following a Montessori pedagogical educational programme.
The following subjects are included in the comprehensive school curriculum: mother tongue and literature, mathematics, a foreign language, the second national language, religion or ethics, social studies, music, visual arts, crafts, physical education, home economics and guidance counselling.
In grades 1-4 there is also instruction in the environment and nature studies. This subject is divided into biology and geography in grade 5. Physics and chemistry are taught from grade 5, and health education starts in grade 7. Schools also offer optional subjects that are decided either by the school itself or the municipality.
The foreign languages that are offered in Finnish-language comprehensive schools are as follows: English, Swedish, French, German, Spanish, Latin and Russian. The first foreign language starts predominantly from grade 3. A second language, which is optional, can be chosen, starting from grade 4.
Pupils who are not members of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church are instructed in ethics instead of religion.
Starting from grade 3, it is possible to study music or the visual arts with a special emphasis in the curriculum. Pupils for these music and visual arts classes are selected by using aptitude tests.
Many of the comprehensive schools offer various focus areas in their curricula in grades 7-9. Optional focus areas are offered, among others, in physical education, communication, information and communication technology (ICT), mathematics, creative expression, and crafts.