Welcome to the Homepage of Senior Secondary School of Äänekoski
In one English course the students at Aanekoski Upper Secondary School had a writing task to describe the school for an imaginary foreign student coming to their school for an exchange year. These are some of the descriptions.
I go to upper secondary school at Aanekoski. There are about 250 students in my school. My school is non-graded, so we have no classes, just groups. We have lots of choices in subjects. Of course we have a lot of compulsory courses, but we also have very interesting specialization and applied courses. You have to go through 75 courses, if you want to get A-leves. But as I said, you have certainly many interesting alternatives. You can study at your own speed because you have time from two to four years.
One school year is divided into six periods and the maximum amount of hours in the week is 45. At the end of the period, we have exams for every subject. And we get school reports after every period too. And then finally, when you have studied your courses, we have to take the matriculation examination, which is a school leaving exam. When you pass the exam, you can apply to university and it's also a very good starting point for polytechnics for example.
But maybe the best thing about my school is that we have no school fees. Even the meals are free. And we have also free medical services. But you have to buy your school books and other materials.
The atmosphere in my school is good. The teachers are not too strict and the students are relaxed and friendly. And the groups are a great thing because they are often different. So you can meet new people if you don't already know all the students.
My school at Aanekoski
Our school, the Upper Secondary School of Aanekoski, is a very nice school. It is situated near the center of the town, only about half a kilometre from it. There is a comprehensive school in the same building too, so there are quite a lot of students here. There are three different buildings in the school area. We have three sports halls here, so if you have sports you don't have to go far.
This school is a good choice for a person, who has finished comprehensive school. This school is a non-graded school, so we have to study a set number of courses. You can study almost everything here. There are compulsory, specialization and optional courses.
There is very good atmosphere here. The students are very friendly and helpful. Only the pupils on the seventh grade of the comprehensive school are a little wild, but they will grow up. The teachers are very friendly and helpful, and they always give some good advice even if you don't need any. And that is sometimes annoying, but they are just trying to help us.
What is typical of our school is that there are some good students and those who always have some problems. Luckily there are extra courses in some subjects which will get those students back to the "track". This is our school in a nutshell.
More detailed information
Äänekoski Senior Secondary school is a good general school, that accentuates equally on every subject. The principle of the school is to send happy and balanced young adults with information, skills, feelings and will into the world. We have here over 200 students in the senior secondary school and about that much in the upper stage of the comprehensive school, which is in the same building.
We Finns start school at the age of six or seven. The first six years we go to the lower stage of the Finnish comprehensive school and after that we have three years in the upper stage. The comprehensive school is compulsory for everyone and it´s free including the meals at school and the transport to the school for the pupils that live far away. In the lower stage we have only compulsory subjects except that you can choose the foreign languages you study. But English and Swedish are compulsory for everyone. But in the upper stage you can choose some languages, needlework or art.
After the comprehensive school you can choose if you want to go to the vocational school or start working, but many of us choose the senior secondary school to get into the universities or vocational colleges or just to get more time to decide what you want to do. The Senior secondary school usually takes three years, but you can do it in two or five years, too. It´s non-graded, so you can do it at your own speed and that´s good especially for the athletes or musicians. You have to do at least 75 courses to complete your studies. We have a lot of compulsory subjects in the first year, but you can choose if you want to do shorter or more advanced courses in mathematics. If you want to study some subjects more, we have specialization courses for example in languages like French, Russian and German.
There are also many interesting applied courses which are optional but some of them like the computer courses are good for the future. These optional courses give everyone a chance to study the subjects they want. Also the senior secondary school is free including the meals and the medical and dental services, but you have to buy yourself the books and the other material.
We have five or six periods and 3-7 courses in each of them. One period takes 5-6 weeks and after each of them we have a week for test, when we don´t have other school. If you don´t have a test, you can be at home and study for the next test or take part in the preparation lessons. The test takes 1-3 hours starting at 9 a.m. and ending at 12a.m. We have usually the marks from 4 to 10 and you get your report after every period. You can also study the courses at home and just to do the exam or you can do two courses at the same time spending half of the time in both of them. No one tells you what you should do, because you have chosen this school yourself and you are the one who´s responsible for your studying. So, if you want to cut the classes and fail, you´re free to do it. But everyone has a chance to raise their marks. There´s a fall and a trinity term and four longer vacations; summer, fall, Christmas and sports vacation and some days free. We usually have school from Monday to Friday but sometimes also on Saturday. The lessons take 45 minutes and after each of them we have a break of 15 minutes. Our schoolday is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or something between that. You can have some free lessons in your day.
There´s more at our school than just the studying. We have celebrations like Christmas, the Independence Day and the end of the school year celebration. Some of the students of our school usually take part in competitions for example in basketball and football. We also have a student body chosen to advocate the students of our school and students elected to a position of trust in every class and they organize different kind of occasions like sports days. We have also international activity and co-operation.
There are about 20 teachers, a tutor helping us with studying, a public-health nurse and a student counsellor in our school and they are all helpful to the students who want to extend their knowledge. Together we students and the other staff of our school create an atmosphere that´s friendly and a stimulating environment for learning.
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