Compulsory education starts with preprimary education. It lasts one year and begins in the year when a child turns six.
In pre-primary children develop learningto-learn skills through play and joy.

Basic education starts at the age of seven and ends at the age of fifteen. It includes grades 1 – 9. Grades 1 – 6 are taught by the same class teacher in most subjects and grades 7-9 separate subject teachers.

In basic education all children study following subjects
• mother tongue and literature
(Finnish or Swedish)
• the other national language
(Swedish or Finnish)
• foreign languages
• environmental studies
• health education
• religion or ethics
• history
• social studies
• mathematics

• physics
• chemistry
• biology
• geography
• physical education
• music
• visual arts
• craft
• home economics
• optional studies

There are no school inspections or national exams in compulsory education. Teachers assess the pupils’ learning and working skills. The primary aim is to support their learning and development.

In lower grades the assessment is written and generally descriptive and in upper grades the assessment is numerical. Evaluation numbers used are 4-10. Number 10 is the best number.