Skip to sidebar

For parents and guardians

We wanted to put together a concise information package on the most important general upper secondary school aspects that you, as parents and guardians, should be aware of. We hope that the information will be helpful for your entire family, so that you can support the young upper secondary school student in your family in their studies as best you can, together with the school.

Classless general upper secondary school – general information

General upper secondary school studies are more theoretical than studies in comprehensive school and require more time. It is therefore important that students adopt an effective technique of studying at the very start of the upper secondary school. The working methods used in upper secondary schools are diverse and mainly familiar from the comprehensive school: teacher-led classroom instruction, lectures, discussions, working individually and in groups, and increasingly often also distance learning. Compared to comprehensive school, the share of independent study increases in particular. It is important that the students want to learn and develop their study skills.

During upper secondary school lessons, the students use digital learning environments and learning materials, special programmes, internet materials and social media services for information acquisition and working. Therefore, every student needs to use a laptop in class. The students also use laptops for doing exams and tests, including the matriculation examination.

When studying at general upper secondary school, it is absolutely necessary that the student attends the lessons. The teacher of each study unit will provide instructions on how to take the digital learning materials into use.

The lessons at Tammerkoski Upper Secondary School last 75 minutes. This means that lessons in each study unit are held three times a week, in other words there are fewer subjects during the day than in basic education.

General upper secondary school studies are categorised as compulsory and optional. National optional study units are mainly studies directly related to compulsory study units, and students must complete at least 20 credits in them. The matriculation examination is based on both compulsory and national optional study units, i.e. they should be completed before participating in the matriculation examination.

Students may complete their general upper secondary school studies in the minimum of two and the maximum of four years without special permission. The classless upper secondary school provides students with an opportunity to make individual and flexible choices, but it also means that they are responsible for how their studies progress.

Starting the upper secondary school

Students are divided into homeroom groups. Each group has a homeroom teacher, equivalent to the class tutor in earlier studies. The first school year at Tammerkoski Upper Secondary School begins in one's own homeroom group, in accordance with the ready-made timetable. The first period includes a study unit of guidance counselling (OP1), which is led by the homeroom teacher and guidance counsellor. During the first school year, some of the lessons of the study unit OP1 are held in period 4.

The OP1 study unit is aimed at developing study skills right at the beginning of general upper secondary school, making it easier to adapt and get used to the new learning environment, new people and the school practices. From the second period onwards and throughout the rest of the upper secondary school, students study in changing subject-specific groups.

The students make the rest of their first-year selections during the OP1 study unit with the help of a guidance counsellor, tutor and their families. At this stage, the groups become mixed with others, and it becomes clearer what it means to study in a classless general upper secondary school.

Communication between home and school

The homeroom teacher is the person who knows the young people in the group best, so they are the person to contact if you need to clear your own child's school-related matters, especially absences. The homeroom teacher will contact the parents or guardians if necessary. The parents or guardians should keep their contact information up to date on Wilma. The communication between school and home takes place mainly through Wilma messages.

Progress in general upper secondary school

The school year is divided into five periods during which students study subjects offered by Tammerkoski upper secondary school. At the end of each period, the students get their grades or pass marks, which are shown on Wilma. No other separate certificates are issued until at the end of general upper secondary school. Wilma shows the student's accumulation of study units, which should be followed. During general upper secondary school, the students must select a minimum of study units granting them 150 credits; there is no upper limit. In the first and second years, it is advisable to accumulate approximately 60–64 credits, so that no more than 30 credits remain for the last year. This means completing approximately 12–14 credits per period.

In addition to numeral grades, letters T, K, H and S may appear on Wilma.

  • T (täydennettävä) stands for the study unit to be supplemented, e.g. some assignments may not have been returned or exams taken.
  • K (keskeytetty) means that the study unit has been interrupted and must be taken again to be completed.
  • H (Hylätty) means that the study unit has not been passed.
  • S (suoritettu) means that the study unit has been completed.

The study records should not include T and K marks. After each period, a resit examination is arranged, in which the student can renew the exam they have failed. The students are also allowed to take the resit exam if they have been given the mark T for a study unit or if they have been sick on the day of the actual examination during the period’s final period. Wilma keeps the family informed about the student's success in general upper secondary school. If you feel that there are alarming signs or unclear issues on Wilma, do not hesitate to contact the homeroom teacher.


Each period of studies ends with a final period that lasts seven working days. In each period, every study unit has a whole day allocated for it. The final period may include exams, presentations, study excursions or project work.

Study units completed elsewhere

Some of the study units may be selected from the general upper secondary schools' shared online offering or from another educational institution or, upon separate agreement, they may be completed independently. Study units can be completed by attending various online study units, Tampere Upper Secondary School for Adults, Tampere Summer University and Tampere University, for example.

Remedial teaching and remedial study units

In different study units in various subjects, it is possible to receive remedial teaching, but this must always be negotiated with the teacher of the study unit in question. You can also contact your homeroom teacher or the guidance counsellor if your studies are not going well, and you want help. Our school arranges so-called remedial study units in languages. In addition, the special needs teacher arranges two study units where you can enhance your study skills. It is also possible to attend läksykerho at 14.40 every Monday to do homework and get help in doing homework.

Remedial study units:

Refresher study unit in the basics of English

Refresher study unit in the basics of Swedish

Remedial study unit in writing

READ study unit


Absences from lessons are cleared through the Wilma system. The absences of underage students are cleared by the parent or guardian. Students aged 18 or over clear their absences themselves. Requests for temporary exemption from schoolwork are also submitted via Wilma well in advance, either to the homeroom teacher or the principal. The recommendation is not to take any holidays during the final period, as arranging new tests causes problems. A large number of absences may constitute grounds for interrupting a study unit or even studies at general upper secondary school. In connection with registering absences in Wilma, the teacher writes a warning in the notes field if there is a risk of a study unit being interrupted. This is done after the fourth absence. After this, the teacher discusses the situation with the student. The subject teacher determines the exact number of lessons the student needs to take to still complete the study unit.

If the student is absent for over a week, a medical certificate is needed. The certificate needs to be sent to the school office by email or in paper form as soon as possible.

Updated 17.4.2023