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A curriculum forms the basis for all school activities and education and steers the teaching and schoolwork. It defines, for example, what is studied at school and which working methods are applied. The curriculum also links school activities to other local efforts aimed at promoting the well-being and learning of children and young people.

The objective of the curriculum is to promote the future skills of the pupils and students. Learning is linked to real-life phenomena, and the studied subjects are explored in the actual environments. Moreover, diverse learning environments are also utilised in the studies.

  • In basic education, assessments carry two important and mutually supportive tasks. Pupil assessments are used to guide and promote the pupils’ learning and improve their self-assessment skills. In addition, the assessments are a tool for determining how well the pupils have achieved the goals set for them.

    The assessed features include learning and skills, work and behaviour. Learning and skills are assessed on the basis of the goals set for different school subjects. Work assessments are a part of the general evaluations carried out in all school subjects, and they are based on the goals set for working skills in the different subjects.

    Behaviour assessments are based on the goals set for behaviour in basic education in Kokkola and on the achievement of those goals. A pupil’s behaviour does not affect the grades or written evaluations given in the different school subjects.

    Assessment discussion

    In the City of Kokkola, annual assessment discussions form a part of the evaluation process that steers and promotes learning. In grades 1–6, assessment discussions are held twice every school year. Pupils in grades 7–8 have one assessment discussion per year, and pupils in grade 9 discuss with their guidance counsellor.

    Assessment discussions are important in terms of the collaboration between home and school. Assessment discussions involve the pupil, their guardian and the teacher. In grades 1–6, the assessment discussions are carried out in the autumn before week 42 and in the spring before week 9. In grades 7–8, the assessment discussions are carried out before week 9.

    School year report and interim report

    At the end of each school year, each pupil will receive a report card with subject-specific assessments of how well the pupil has achieved the goals set for that school year. In the Finnish-speaking schools in Kokkola, one interim report is given per year in grades 7–9. The Swedish-speaking schools do not hand out interim reports in grades 7–9. Instead, a periodic report is given after each period, detailing the pupil’s performance during that specific period.

    The school year report will include written evaluations in grades 1–3, whereas pupils in grades 4–9 will receive numbers in their report card. Optional subjects are graded as passed or failed in grades 4–6. The optional A2 language taught in grades 4–9 and B2 language taught in grades 8–9 are graded with numbers. In grades 7–9, all subjects with less than two weekly lessons per year are graded as passed/failed. A separate grade is not given for optional arts and skills subjects.

    Written assessments are used in instruction organised by activity area. With the exception of the final report, written assessments can also be used to grade pupils who are studying in a language that is not their native language.

    More information on the assessment of the pupils’ learning and competence can be found in the City of Kokkola curriculum for basic education (in Finnish).

  • Optional studies in different grades

    All pupils generally study the same subjects in comprehensive schools, but in certain grades the pupils have a possibility to choose between different subjects. In Kokkola, these selections are made in grades 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 8.

    Options in the second grade

    During the second year of comprehensive school, pupils can apply for a place in a music or mathematics-oriented class that starts in grade 3. The aptitude tests for weighted-curriculum education are organised in the spring, and 24 pupils are chosen for each class. In weighted-curriculum education, optional subjects are included in the lesson hours of the subject studied as weighted-curriculum education.

    Options in the third grade

    In the third year of basic education, pupils can choose an optional language (A2), which they will start studying in the fourth grade and continue until the end of grade 9. For a language study group to be formed, at least 14 pupils must choose the language in question. For more information on language choices, see guide to choosing an A language (A-kielen valintaopas in Finnish).

    During the third year of basic education, pupils make decisions with their guardians concerning the optional subjects they wish to start studying in the fourth grade. In grade 4, the pupils will study two different optional subjects, one in the autumn semester and one in the spring. The City of Kokkola offers a local selection of optional subjects, from which the schools choose each year the ones they will offer.

    Options in the fourth and fifth grade

    During the fourth and fifth year of basic education, pupils make decisions with their guardians concerning the optional subjects they wish to start studying in the fifth and sixth grade. In grades 5 and 6, the pupils will study two different optional subjects, one in the autumn semester and one in the spring. The City of Kokkola offers a local selection of optional subjects, from which the schools choose each year the ones they will offer.

    Transition to the seventh grade and options

    The transition to the seventh grade of basic education often means that many things will change in the pupils’ schoolwork. The transition phase brings with it new subjects, such as home economics, new teachers, and to some even a new school. The integrated subject of environmental studies taught in grades 1–6 is divided into physics, chemistry, biology, geography and health education. Crafts will continue as an integrated subject also in grades 7–9.

    Pupils in grade 7 will choose the optional subjects they wish to study starting from grade 8. In the seventh grade, the pupils will choose two long optional subjects which they will start studying in grade 8 and continue studying until the end of grade 9. There are also different languages available as the long-term optional subjects. In addition, the pupils will choose two short optional subjects that they will study in grade 8. The City of Kokkola has a consistent selection of subjects available for both long and short-term optional studies. There are also school-specific additions. The optional studies are implemented differently for pupils in weighted-curriculum education.

    Options in the eighth grade

    In grade 8, pupils will choose two short optional subjects that they will study in grade 9. The City of Kokkola has a common selection of optional subjects available, and there are also school-specific additions. The previously selected long optional subjects will continue until the end of grade 9.

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