Groups in Finland


“We are set up for two classes in each year”, the Finnish primary teacher told me, “an ‘A’ class and a ‘B’ class.”

“How are they organised?”, I asked, “Is it by age, ability, or just a good mix of children as we would do in the UK?”.

“Oh no, none of those”, she replied, in a manner that implied that none of those suggestions would ever enter her head.

“We group them based on where they live so that they can learn with the children who live nearest them, travel to school with these friends, and play with them in school and out of school.”

Learning is social and community is central, to this school that is the main thing.


More detailed posts from my Finland trip are here.

Photographs from this school are here.






2 responses to “Groups in Finland”

  1. […] We talked at length about grouping and ability, and the teacher I spoke to was visibly uncomfortable with the idea of setting children, and even of mixing up the members of classes. “At seven years, hese are the longest group experiences we have”, she said “it is important to value that”. (More on grouping here) […]

  2. […] The easter break saw me travel to Finland with a group of Plymouth University students who undertook a two month teaching placement out there. I learned much from seeing a different education system and from talking to the teachers out there. […]

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