Basic Education

Emphasis of the school

Emphasis of the school

  • all-round education and national culture are important to us
  • we value the multiculturalism of our school
  • every person is valuable as a individual
  • we are responsible for our selves, each others and our environment
  • it is important that we treat others in the way we want them to treat us

With upbringing we mean escorting into growth. In co-operation with the homes we want to support the individual growth, development and learning of every child and youngster. We believe that every child can grow to be a harmonious whole, stable and independent human being who is able to appreciate one’s self and other people. During this growth, knowledge of one’s own cultural identity and good interaction skills are important. We believe that becoming ethically responsible is an important part of extensive civilization.

The foundation of our school’s spirit

1. Responsibility and freedom

We raise and educate our students to take responsibility of one’s self, own actions, and studying. We also teach our students to treat others and to take care of the environment in a responsible way.

2. Caring

A caring atmosphere is developed in a place where a person is holistically valued as a unique individual. A person is listened to, helped and supported when needed. Problems are encountered and they are tried to be solved in the best possible way.

3. Respecting one’s self and others

We are all different. We are all valuable. Everyone has a right to be treated well. We are honest to each other and to our selves. We do not harm anyone. We appreciate the work of others and our selves.

4. Openness

With openness we mean that we encounter and respect one and other in a open way and without prejudice. We also try to openly face new situations and learn new things.

5. Achieving goals together

A person develops in co-operation and in interaction with others. We invest into learning to work in different kinds of groups and with different aged people in our school. We also emphasize the importance of the meaning of co-operation and interaction in studies.

Admissions

Admission Criteria for Turku International School (grades 1-9)

Turku International School (TIS) is intended mainly for

  • international families moving to Finland and living and working temporarily or permanently in Turku and surrounding municipalities
  • Finnish families returning to Finland after years abroad

The language of instruction is predominantly English. Students applying to TIS should already have English skills when applying. Students applying to TIS are expected to be able to follow the instruction and express themselves (oral and written) in all subjects within the curriculum.

All applicants will be tested. Our testing team uses tests appropriate to each grade. The entrance exam focuses on assessing the applicant´s language skills in English (oral and written). First graders are tested on their oral and prereading skills.

The applicants who pass the test are admitted to TIS according to their total score on the entrance exam. In the event of there being more applicants than the limited number of places available, the places will be awarded to the linguistically most competent children according to the test results. Guardians are advised to contact the TIS principal to inquire the student situation of the grade in question.

The language proficiency assessment is arranged in TIS

  • in February for those pupils applying within Finland
  • throughout the year for students applying from abroad
  • in early August before the start of the academic school year for students applying from abroad and moving to Turku during summer (June-July). In Finland the academic school year starts in August and ends in May.

In order to apply, guardians need to fill in the online application form https://link.webropolsurveys.com/S/F5B6A0110FE6365B

Applications to Turku International School will be handled individually. Critical questions regarding admissions are the applicant´s abilities in English, the applicant´s educational history, and the family’s long-term plans.

The grade-level placement of the admitted students is decided by the school administration and is based on the law for Basic Education in Finland.

FAQ Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply to Turku International school (TIS)?

The school is intended for international families moving to Finland, working temporarily or permanently in the Turku region and also for Finnish families returning to Finland after years abroad.

Is it possible to apply to TIS in advance?

It is possible to start the application process while living abroad. We recommend filling in the online application well in advance, if you are planning on moving to Finland.  Guardians are advised to contact the TIS principal Mirjam Virtanen to inquire the student situation of the grade in question.

Please note, that in order to finalize the application process and confirm a student’s school place you need to have a residence permit and an address in Turku/Turku region. To get a residence permit to Finland, you have to contact the Finnish immigration authorities.

Can my child go to TIS even though we don’t live in Turku?

You need to live in Turku or its surrounding areas. Please contact the principal Mirjam Virtanen in order to find out from which municipalities in the Turku area students can attend TIS.

What is the TIS admission test like?

All applicants must take the admission test to TIS. The admission test is to ensure that the applicant knows English well enough to study in TIS. The applicant does not need to practice for the admission test. The admission test will take about 1-2 hours depending on the grade.

The admission test includes:

Gr 1: interview and activities to help see the level of the applicant’s pre-reading skills

Gr 2-3: interview and simple reading comprehension and spelling tasks

Gr 4-6: interview, reading comprehension and writing tasks

Gr 7-9: interview, grammar, reading comprehension and writing tasks

For gr 2-9 the applicant is also required to take a short mathematics test. This does not have an effect on the admission decision making process but it will give the school diagnostic information in advance. If needed the applicant’s level of Finnish can also be tested in some cases to determine the best Finnish group.

Is it possible to start studying in TIS without knowing any Finnish?

No prior knowledge of Finnish is required. However, all students must take Finnish lessons at their own level. In Basic education (grades 1-9) the Finnish National Core Curriculum is implemented and Finnish language is a compulsory subject.

Is it possible to start school at the age of 6? 

By law, gr 1 students should turn seven during the year of starting school and therefore it is possible to apply to 1st grade at TIS during the calendar year the child reaches the age of seven.

If guardians would like their child to be admitted earlier, the child must take a psychological test. Children who are one year younger can be admitted providing that the guardian presents an assessment of school readiness made by a Finnish psychologist before the child’s participation in the aptitude test.

Why are students placed lower in TIS than in some other countries?

Educational systems are not comparable in terms of curricula and class levels. TIS follows the Finnish school laws whereby children start school at the age of 7. Students coming from abroad are placed with their own age group. Regardless of the class level, the knowledge and skills of students of the same age are more or less the same in Finland as abroad. In Finland the mandatory preschool (“grade 0″) covers many aspects of first grade in other countries where children already start school at the age of six.

Can the applicant be tested againif she/he did not pass the language proficiency test.

Applicants can be tested again in 12 months.

How much are the school/tuition and application fees?

Basic education in Finland is free of charge. TIS is a public school and therefore there are no school fees. The school materials and daily school lunch are free of charge as well.

However, that also means that we only serve families living in the Turku area, so you need to have a residence permit and an address in Turku before we can admit your child to TIS.

Does the school have boarding facilities?

Turku International School is a day school and the school does not provide any boarding facilities. Therefore, all our students live with their families and they must have a guardian in Finland.  In addition, the school can´t arrange accommodation or visas.

Note for applicants outside of Finland

Turku International school welcomes applications from outside of Finland, with a priority going to families relocating due to job opportunities or families returning to their homeland. We will only consider for admission students under the age of 18 who will reside locally with family members or a legally appointed guardian.

School specific curriculum, grades 1-9

Guide to TIS Curriculum (primary)

Curriculum support material

Student Support

Study welfare team

Key persons

Principals, counsellors, curator, school psychologist, special education teachers, school nurse

Students’ welfare work is the responsibility of everyone working in the school and it is carried out in co-operation with homes. The key persons in the welfare team are listed above. The student whose issue the team is considering can attend the meetings and the same applies to guardians, form and subject teachers.

The main goal of the team is to take care of the students’ physical, mental and social welfare. The team also promotes the safety and welfare of the whole school community.

Careers guidance

The study consellor advises students in matters such as general studies, career choices, further education and work life. The guidance is given in lessons as well as at personal and group meetings. The work is carried out in co-operation with other teachers and the student welfare team. The guidance also includes visits to work places.

School curator

Our school curator, Ms Jatta Auremaa, works for all levels of students in the school. Her office is on the 1st floor in A-wing.

The school curator is a school social worker who aims at solving the students’ problems in studying. She also works in co-operation with guardians, teachers, the school welfare team and external experts. If needed she also guides families how  to contact specialists outside school. Both guardians and students are welcome to discuss even personal matters with the curator.  All discussions with the curator are confidential.

The curator helps and supports the students in matters such as:

  • problematic situations in studies (absences, lack of study motivation and disability to concentrate on work in class)
  • challenges in social relationships (conflicts at home or elsewhere)
  • clearing bullying cases
  • matters related to life control
  • guidance and advice on study benefits

School psychologist

Our school psychologist Petri Tiitta’s office is on the 1st floor in A-Wing. Make an appointment for consultation.

The school psychologist aims at helping you in matters related to mental welfare, study motivation and coping with stress in particular.

The responsibilities of the school psychologist:

  • psychological investigations and evaluations related to the students’ study habits and welfare
  • offering consultation for teachers and other staff
  • guiding and advising guardians
  • guiding and advising students
  • analysis of the activities and harmony of student groups and classes
  • co-operation with the principals and other staff; plans for crisis situations, for instance

Special Education Teachers

Special education teacher’s job is to support the students in their studies and when they have learning difficulties at times when the students’ ability to work is decreased abruptly, temporarily or extensively. The situation may be caused by a physical or mental illness or particularly difficult curcumstances in life.

On the other hand, the development of a student’s study skills, time management, feeling of responsibility, mastery of life skills or motivation may require special support and guidance.

Special education teacher for grades 1-9 is Mrs Lisa Paavilainen.

More information to be found here:

Handbook of pupils’ support

Health care

The aim of school health care is to promote the health of pupils and to support healthy growth, development and psychological wellbeing in cooperation with parents, teachers and other pupil care. School health care involves health inspections for pupils, monitors development and directs and supports school pupils on welfare and lifestyle issues. A student can get in contact with a nurse in all matters of growth and development, buddy relationships or nutrition, sleep and physical activity. School health Care is based on the Health Care Act (1326/2010) and the State Council Regulation (338/2011) and is free of charge for the student.

Please note!

School health care does not include the actual medical treatment, except for the treatment of incidents which happen during school day.  In cases of sudden illness and outside the school period, the primary treatment site is your health clinic. Health clinics are used for e.g. Flu, ear and eye infections, and skin rashes. Recreational accidents are also handled at health clinics. When health clinics are closed, in urgent cases, contact the Turku Area Joint emergency department, 02 3138 800.

School nurse:

  • School nurse Lena Savander is available on Tuesdays and Fridays between 8 – 3 o’clock.
  • The nurse’s office is located at Varissuo School, Kuopuksenpolku 1.
  • The nurse can be reached by phone on these days at number +358 44 907 3619

School doctor:

  • School doctor is also available through school health care.
  • School doctor’s appointments are always booked in advance with the nurse.
  • Note! In cases of sudden illness, leisure accidents and outside school time, the primary treatment place is your own health clinic.

Dental check-ups:

  • Dental check-ups are organized for schoolchildren 1., 4. and 8. grade.
  • For all oral healthcare issues, please contact your oral health care clinic, at 02-2660644.
  • If the pupil has moved from elsewhere to Turku, the guardian is asked to contact the oral health care reservation number in order to ensure the participation of the student in oral health inspections.

Annual check-ups:

  • The students will have an annual health check-up, of which 1., 5. and 8. class check-ups are carried out jointly by the nurse and the doctor, other check-ups by the nurse.
  • Depending on individual needs, other visits may also be agreed upon.
  • School health Care takes care of students ‘ vaccinations and participates in school student welfare work.

School accidents:

An accident at school is an accident that happens during school hours, on the way to school or home from school, on a school trip or other activities related to the school action plan, camping trips, excursion, etc.

  • In the event of an accident:
  • Contact a school nurse, teacher or emergency department at U-Hospital (tel. 02 313 1420).
  • The nurse or teacher will provide first aid, if necessary, will instruct you on further treatment, make an accident notification and notice to the insurance company.
  • The primary place of treatment for school accidents is the joint emergency call of the Turku region, TYKS U Hospital, Kiinamyllynkatu 4–8, Turku, tel. 02 313 1420.
  • Dental accidents are carried out at oral health care offices, with an appointment of 02 2660 644.
  • If desired, the treatment may also be sought by the private sector, then call close to the 09 4532 316 to ensure reimbursement policies.

Student Council

Student Council members