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Education Department >  Comprehensive education >  Instruction in forms 1–6 > 
 Instruction in forms 1–6
Pupils at the lower stage (forms 1–6) have the majority of their lessons with the same group of pupils and in their own classroom. Typically, the maximum class size in forms 1–2 is 25 pupils and the maximum class size in forms 3–6 is 32 pupils. Young schoolchildren’s groups may comprise pupils of different ages.

Each class has its own class teacher, who teaches most of their lessons. As well as the class teacher, there may be a special needs teacher, a teacher for pupils of immigrant origin or a special needs assistant. For some lessons, the class may be divided into smaller groups. Some subjects, such as languages, are taught by subject teachers.

Weekly lessons at different levels

Forms 1–2 19
Forms 3–4 23
Forms 5–6 24

Helsinki schools comply with a time allocation scheme based on the relevant Government Decree and the municipal policy.

Integration of education

In the initial forms (1–2), education is often provided in an integrated form. This means that subjects and subject groups are combined into an integrated whole and the contents of different subjects are dealt with in parallel. Instruction may be implemented through projects, themes or thematic modules and diverse teaching methods. The teacher is responsible for ensuring that the objectives of different subjects are achieved.


 Teaching subjects, forms 1-6
- Mother tongue and literature 
- A language starting in form 
- Optional A language starting in form 4 or 5 
- Mathematics 
- Natural and environmental studies 
- Religion/Ethics 
- History

Arts and practical subjects:
- Music 
- Visual arts 
- Craft 
- Physical education 
- Elective subjects in forms 3–6
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