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Education at the European Schooling Helsinki is divided into a two-year nursery cycle (years N1–N2), a five-year primary cycle (years P1–P5) and a seven-year secondary cycle (years S1–S7).

Here at ESH the allocation of lessons is mostly consistent with the European Schools. However, there are some minor deviations in individual subjects and in the number of lessons. Instead of religion/ethics, the school provides religious education and, unlike other European Schools, secondary years 3–5 include health education as a compulsory subject. In addition, information and communication technology (ICT) is also a compulsory subject in secondary year 3.

The school has three language sections: Finnish, English and French. Pupils and teachers alike work together across sections to create a close community whether in class or outside the classroom and irrespective of what language we are using. Starting in the first primary year, pupils study English, French or German as their second language (L2), which we also call the ‘working language’. ESH pupils therefore have the opportunity to master a second language starting from a young age and continue to develop their language skills to reach a very high standard by the time they graduate. As their third language (L3), pupils can study Finnish, Swedish, English, French or German starting in the second secondary year. Starting in the fourth secondary year, pupils may choose Finnish, Swedish, French, German, Spanish or Italian as their fourth language (L4). If necessary and if possible, the school may also teach other official European Union languages besides those mentioned above as their third and fourth languages (L3 and L4 respectively). In addition, the school may offer advanced studies in the language of the section (L1) and in the second language (L2), as well as Latin and Greek, as elective subjects at secondary level. Here at ESH language lessons are taught in target language to pupils who speak various different languages as their mother tongue. Our pupils are multi-lingual and we celebrate our linguistic diversity and talents.

Our strong academic focus on languages is reinforced by our multicultural and multilingual staff as well as through our participation in European Union funded educational projects such as Erasmus+ or various individual pupil exchange programmes. ESH pupils are given many opportunities to meet and work with pupils throughout Europe thanks to these initiatives.

Foreign-language instruction is implemented in groups of pupils speaking different languages as their mother tongue.

The school year consists of 180 working days.

School Calendar