Pupil support and guidance
Pupils are entitled to the support they need. Everyday pupil welfare support is about hearing, caring, and taking into account the needs of the pupils. Pupils receive support for their learning and are guided in their studies and in study planning.
Guiding a pupil’s learning and supporting their schooling is based upon recognizing the problem areas in a pupil’s learning. The teacher takes into account the pupil’s pre-requisites and different needs both in the group and in individual guidance. The teacher collaborates with guardians, other teachers, support staff, and various experts. Support is given through a three-level system (general – enhanced – special support) according to the needs of the pupil.
General support is short term with learning support given on an as needed basis. This type of support is provided to many pupils when learning presents challenges and needs are assessed on a pupil-by-pupil basis. We aim to provide support proactively and as early as possible.
If general support is not enough, then enhanced support is given based upon a decision by the principal. Enhanced support is more diverse, stronger, and longer-term than general support and aims to prevent the accumulation of problems.
If enhanced support is not sufficient, then a pupil will be given special support. At this stage, the pupil’s subject syllabuses can be individualized. Individual needs and learning difficulties will usually be evaluated by a psychologist.
Special support will consist of education based upon the decision regarding special support, other forms of support for primary education and close cooperation between the pupil and guardian, and teachers, other support staff and other possible experts. The pupil’s objectives are recorded in a personal plan for organizing the teaching.
More information about learning support can you found in Chapter 7 of the curriculum (pdf file in Finnish)
Student welfare is about taking care of a pupil’s health, safety, and well-being by systematically addressing grievances. Every teacher and school staff member participates in student welfare work by taking into account the different needs and situations of the pupils and by ensuring a safe and positive atmosphere. In order to do this, cooperation is needed with the pupil, guardians, teacher and student welfare staff, as well as, where appropriate, experts outside of the school, and others.
Student welfare personnel participate in the development, the organization and implementation of student welfare on an individual basis in cooperation with the school’s staff. Student welfare services include a psychologist, student welfare professionals and school health care services. Visits are confidential. Cooperation with other parties, if it is in the best interest of the pupil, is always agreed with the pupil and guardians.
A psychologist helps to solve learning difficulties. You can turn to the psychologist if you have challenges in relationships and receive support and advice on the challenges of emotional development and behavior.
School social workers (kuraattori)
The school social worker helps with life management problems and friend relationship problems. Pupils and families can receive discussion support and guidance.
The activities of the school nurse are preventive activities that promote health and well-being. Pupils attend health checks, sometimes involving a doctor. A school nurse helps in sudden situations such as injuries or illnesses during the school day.
More information about student welfare in the curriculum can be found in Chapter 8 (pdf file in Finnish)
The aim of guidance counselling is to create a positive understanding of yourself as a learner and to learn to recognize one’s own strengths. The aim is to awaken professional interest during the school path by familiarizing yourself with the professions, jobs, and business life in the surrounding area. The aim is to focus on future postgraduate studies and working life.
In grades 1-2, guidance counselling supports the development of pupils’ readiness and skills to study. It is important to grow into responsibility for schoolwork, tasks and learn how to take care of your own belongings. Teachers carry out guidance every day and give pupils encouraging feedback.
Grades 3-6 promote learning the development of learning skills. Pupils are supported in identifying and developing their study strategies and strengthening the ability to set goals for themselves and assess their achievement. The guidance takes place mainly in connection with the teaching of different subjects and other activities of the school.
Gradually, the pupil learns to recognize and appreciate his or her own and others’ abilities and skills. Teachers also constantly guide the development of interaction and group skills and support the realization of pupils’ participation and opportunities for influence in the school community and in the surrounding area.
Guidance counselling is a separate subject in grades 7-9 and is implemented according to the curriculum and school guidance plan. Pupils are informed about the role of different subjects in the selection of postgraduate studies. The key is to focus on working life, entrepreneurship and the skills needed in the future. Periods of familiarization with working life are important courses of action.
The guidance counsellor that is responsible for guidance holds guidance classes, meets pupils individually, listens, guides, and collaborates with the pupil to plan his or her study path. There is also cooperation with guardians and, if necessary, other experts can support the planning of postgraduate studies. In order to make their future dreams come true, the pupil needs adult guidance and encouragement!
A student counsellor is called an “OPO”.
More information in the curriculum here (pdf file in Finnish)
and in the pupil guidance plan (pdf file in Finnish)
Photo: Matti Varjo