Finland Day Two
Teachers visited two pre-schools today. This is up to age 7 years, so includes UK Reception and Year 1/2 children.
- Early childhood education is up to age 7 years and is called kindergarten and pre-school.
- Plans and assessments are similar to the UK Early Years Foundation Stage Profile.
- Children are taught 4 hours per day - 19 hours a week. This teaching and learning is through play and in the mornings. The afternoons are 'child-care' and naps - at a cost to parents.
- The ratio of teaching/support is 1 adult to 8 children.
- When children move up to primary school, which is 7-12years, teaching hours are gradually increased. 7-8 yrs is 19 hours a week; 9 yrs is 22 hrs; 10 yrs is 24 hrs: 11/12 yrs is 25 hrs.
- Children and teachers are given trust and freedom to teach and learn through play.
- There is a huge focus on learning outside - 3 hours per day, playing in the mud, puddles, sand and snow, climbing trees, etc.
- Learning focuses on skills such as sharing, independence, resilience, risk-taking and self-evaluation.
- Values and goals are: 'supporting the growth and development of the child so that his/her mental and physical safety is realised'. There is NO teaching of reading, writing or maths before 7 years of age, Yet Finland has one of the best education systems and pupil results in the world!
- Promoting independence: children from 2 years of age dressing/un-dressing themselves; serving their own lunch; sitting quietly waiting their turn; having responsibilities etc.
- The use of natural resources and nature in the curriculum.
- Priority of being Eco-friendly and a good citizen.