Harviala school is a Finnish primary school located in a rural area in Janakkala municipality. We are about 5 km away from the nearest village, Turenki. Our school has about 125 pupils from grades one to six, all of them coming from the area around the school. Our teaching staff consists of six class teachers, an English teacher and a part-time special education teacher. We have one full time and two part-time school assistants working in our school. In addition to our primary school pupils and staff, we have a pre-primary class of 16 pupils, one pre-primary teacher and three day-care staff for the class. A day-care centre of about 40 children (aged from 1 – 5 ) operates in the same school building, and although it being an administratively separate unit, we collaborate in many ways.
Harviala school follows the Finnish national core curriculum of basic education with its objectives and core contents of subjects. According to our teaching and learning principles the pupils play an active role in their own learning process. The learners exercise their social skills interacting with other pupils of various ages in different situations and in varying compositions of groups. We run collaborative workshop activities in which the pupils’ individual skills and learning styles are taken into account. Thinking and learning to learn is one of the objectives in the workshops. Different age groups work together in the workshops and teachers and school assistans work tightly together in planning and implementing the workhops. The workshops are multidisciplinary modules, following the core contents and objectives of environment and nature studies, combined with contents of mother tongue and literature (Finnish), mathematics, art, music, religion and ethics. In the upper classes also some contents of history and English are included into the modules. In each grade four weekly lessons are dedicated to workhop activities.
The vision of Harviala school is ”Individuals in collaboration”. Our values and objectives state that each and every pupil and member of our staff are treated as unique and valuable individuals just as they are. Everyone in Harviala school will show both self-respect and respectful manners towards other people. We value diversity, accept everyone as they are and do not approve any kind of discrimination. Acting in accordance of our common values and rules we form an affluent and safe school community.
Being quite a small school, we are proud of our long traditions with Comenius and Erasmus+ collaboration. Our school has been actively involved with other European schools since the year 2000 and our latest Erasmus+ project with schools from Northern Ireland, Ireland, Spain, Greece and Italy ended in May 2017. Along with the projects, and both old and new European contacts, we have been able to bring an international dimension easily to our everyday school life. We are dedicated to teach our pupils to be open-minded and appreciative towards other people, their countries, they way of living and their cultures. The pupils take interest in new languages, new ways of thinking and they learn to understand the global world today. In our opinion, European school cooperation motivates both the pupils and the staff and it brings authentic international experiences to our school.