In my last blog post, I did research about how the school starting time affects students. Now, it’s important that there are examples from other countries who have changed their school starting times.
School in Finland is very different than schools in Canada. In Finland, students can choose to graduate in 3 or 4 years. The requirements to graduate are a couple classes in each subject and so students can decide when then want to take each class. Each class is 75 minutes long and occurs 3 times a week. Also, each round of classes (we have semesters) are only a month and a half long. Usually school starts at 8:15 and ends at 2:45 with an hour long lunch and 15 minutes in between each class. At the end of the round of class, each class has a 6 hour exam. Teachers and staff are called by their first names, the schools have a smaller amount of students (around 400) and some classes have only 4 students. There is minimal homework (at the most, 45 minutes) and the school provides free food for the students. (1) 30% of Finland’s students have a tutor or some extra help in the first 9 years of school and the schools all function the same way because they are all funded by the government. (2) Students in Finland spend the least amount of hours at schools compared to all OECD (The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries. The average amount for Finland is 640 hours in a year, 899 in England, 847 in France and 800 in Japan. Most schools have a week off in the fall, 2 weeks during Christmas, 4 days for Easter and a week in February. The summer vacation is usually 2 months long from the beginning of June to the End of August. (3)
1:“What to Know About Finnish Schools During Your High School Exchange Program.” Greenheart Travel, https://greenhearttravel.org/blog/high-school-finland/what-to-know-about-finnish-schools-during-your-high-school-exchange-program.
2:“Why Are Finland’s Schools Successful?” Smithsonian.com, Smithsonian Institution, 1 Sept. 2011, https://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/why-are-finlands-schools-successful-49859555/.
3:Risku, Mika, and Eija Aalto. “Finland Puts Flexible Holidays Ahead of Longer School Days.” The Conversation, 15 Nov. 2019, http://theconversation.com/finland-puts-flexible-holidays-ahead-of-longer-school-days-23378.