The upper secondary schools of the City of Espoo improved their ranking or retained their spot from the previous year in the national comparison of upper secondary schools. The comparison of upper secondary schools is conducted by Yle, the Finnish national public broadcasting company, based on student performance in compulsory matriculation exam subjects.
No less than four upper secondary schools in Espoo made it to the top fifteen. Eleven Finnish-speaking and one Swedish-speaking upper secondary school in Espoo were included in the ranking. This year’s graduating class in Espoo includes 1,337 students in total.
Success is a sign of long-standing work
“I am delighted to hear that all our upper secondary schools placed well in the comparison. This is a result of persistent work. Every school did well, which is great news,” says Tapio Erma, Executive Superintendent of General Upper Secondary Education.
“We are also satisfied to be in a situation where a lot of learning takes place outside the school, for example through international and business cooperation. This encourages deeper learning and sparks new kinds of enthusiasm,” says Erma, summarising the strengths of Espoo’s upper secondary schools.
“The new curriculum took force in 2016, the year when this year’s graduates entered upper secondary school. For its part, the curriculum has helped us renew and develop learning,” says Erma.
Investments in eLearning reflected in the results
“Espoo-based upper secondary schools began implementing educational technology several years ago, already before any matriculation exams were held in digital format and before this year’s class entered upper secondary school. As a result, the final shift to digital technology and a fully digital matriculation examination did not feel like big or confusing steps,” says Vice Principal Elina Oja from the Etelä-Tapiolan lukio upper secondary school.
“Espoo started preparing for electronic matriculation exams immediately upon learning that this reform was in the making. The digitalisation of the examination has, for its part, encouraged us to shift to digital learning,” says Tapio Erma, Executive Superintendent of General Upper Secondary Education.
Etelä-Tapiolan lukio the best in Finland
The Etelä-Tapiolan lukio upper secondary school earned the top spot in the national comparison of upper secondary schools. A total of 129 students graduated from the school this spring.
One of the graduates is Liinu Yli-Hongisto who received her graduation cap on 1 June 2019. “It feels great to tackle such a big project and finally put on my graduation cap. After completing courses for three years and finally taking the exams, one really gains a sense of accomplishment,” says Liinu Yli-Hongisto, describing her feelings on graduation.
The stress that upper secondary school students feel has sparked public debate over the past academic year.
Liinu Yli-Hongisto found the atmosphere at her school accepting and encouraging. “In my experience, the students in my upper secondary school take work seriously but also know how to have fun. Studying has been a lot of work from time to time. Thankfully, teachers and other students have been there to provide help and support whenever needed.”
“The well-being of our students is an important underlying factor behind excellent learning results,” concludes Tapio Erma, Executive Superintendent of General Upper Secondary Education.