The nine classes of comprehensive school in Finland start at the age of 7. All 7–16-year-olds, who are permanently living in Finland, are entitled to take part in basic education free of charge. Textbooks and other materials are also free for pupils.
The objective of basic education is to support pupils’ growth towards humanity and ethically responsible membership of society and to provide them with the knowledge and skills needed in life.
All comprehensive schools in Espoo provide high-quality basic education. Some of the schools offer classes where the teaching focuses on, for instance, physical education, mathematics and science, music, visual arts or performance arts. There are also schools offering English-language instruction, bilingual Finnish-English instruction and language immersion in Swedish.
Comprehensive schools are either primary schools with grades 1–6, middle schools with grades 7–9 or joint comprehensive schools with grades 1–9.
On grades 1–6, pupils have 20–26 hours of classes per week depending on their grade. Classes are usually held in a specific classroom where the class teacher teaches most subjects. Languages, for example, may be taught by someone other than the class teacher.
On grades 7–9, pupils have an average of 30 hours of classes per week. Pupils study both common subjects as well as optional subjects. Subjects are usually taught by individual subject teachers, and different subjects are taught in different classrooms. Each class has their own tutor who attends to class issues and the cooperation between the home and the school.