Grades 7 through 9
A large portion of the lower secondary schools offer some of a selection of subject-emphasis curricula. Some of the available choices include a physical education, a communications, an information technology, a mathematics, a creative skills and expression as well as a crafts option.
In the seventh grade, most of the subjects are common to all pupils. Optional subjects may be selected starting in the eighth grade. The availability of the options is subject to pupil wishes and school resources. Therefore, the selection of optional subjects is specific to each school.
All of those who complete the Finnish curriculum of comprehensive education, grades 1 through 9, are eligible for further studies in an upper secondary educational institution: either a general upper secondary school (lukio) or a vocational education institution. The City of Tampere student guidance and counselling website presents various options available after the ninth grade. You can find information about the post-basic education joint application procedure and the various choices you can make in applying.
Performance relative to objectives is assessed from several perspectives throughout the school year. Grades 5-9 issue an interim report card at the end of the autumn term. Grades 1-8 issue a school year report card at the end of the year. It describes the pupil’s performance relative to the set objectives throughout the school year.
Those completing grade 9 receive not a school year report card, but a basic education certificate at the end of the spring term. It describes the pupil’s overall performance over the grades 7 through 9 at the conclusion of each subject curriculum with regard to the national curriculum objectives and assessment criteria. Teaching in a given subject may have ended for a given pupil before grade 9, in which case their final assessment for that subject may have been concluded prior to the 9th grade. At the beginning of each school year, students are reminded which subjects will end for them after that year.
The purpose of these evaluations is to support learning. Therefore, pupils will practise self-assessment as well as giving and receiving peer feedback. Apart from pupil performance and learning, working skills and conduct are evaluated. No separate grade is assessed for working skills; it is instead included in each subject’s assessment.
Compulsory education has been extended to the age of 18 years, which means every pupil must continue their education after basic education. Each young person must study, for example, in general upper secondary education or vocational education and complete an upper secondary education qualification. Only then will a young person have completed their compulsory education.
This is a major change, as under the previous law, compulsory education terminated along with basic education. Now, it is compulsory to remain enrolled until either the age of 18 or whenever an upper secondary qualification is complete. Upper secondary education qualifications include the matriculation examination at the end of lukio and vocational qualifications. With a qualification, it is easier for a young person to get a job.
In basic education and throughout secondary education, support and guidance for pupils/students is increased to ensure the right place to study for every young person.
The extension of compulsory education will apply to all young people moving from basic education to secondary education.
The extension of compulsory education: