The City of Helsinki’s general upper secondary schools adopted new curricula in 2021. If you started your general upper secondary school studies in or after August 2021, your education will follow your school’s new curriculum.
Photo: Maija Astikainen

The new curricula focus on our students’ well-being and participation. The students of our general upper secondary schools are important members of their school community. It is important to us that our students participate in the development of their school’s teaching and operations and also influence the matters important to them at the city level. You can read more about community spirit at general upper secondary schools here. 

Changes at general upper secondary schools 

With the adoption of the new curriculum, the students at our general upper secondary schools will be completing study units instead of taking courses. The scope of study units is indicated with credits: one study unit equals two credits.  

Different transversal competences are a new addition to general upper secondary education. They form the common goals of school subjects. The way in which transversal competences are realised is defined in all the subjects and study units of our general upper secondary schools. The transversal competences are:   

  • well-being competence 
  • interaction competence 
  • multidisciplinary and creative competence 
  • societal competence 
  • ethical and environmental competence 
  • global and cultural competence.

General upper secondary schools can form cross-subject study units by combining study units in different subjects. Every school year, our general upper secondary schools organise a cross-subject study unit with the theme carbon-neutral Helsinki. This study unit is made up of study units in natural sciences and other subjects.  

General upper secondary school students can now more easily follow their individual study paths. Our general upper secondary schools now also offer more comprehensive guidance and support for learning. Additionally, we place more emphasis on cooperation with higher education institutions, international operators and working life. 

The curriculum was a joint effort  

The City of Helsinki’s general upper secondary school curriculum was prepared together with general upper secondary school principals, teachers, students and student welfare.  

A large number of general upper secondary school students participated in preparing the new curriculum. All of our students had a chance to read and comment on the curriculum during its preparation. We also organised workshops, at which our students brought up their thoughts about well-being, participation, assessment and cooperation with higher education institutions and working life. We took the students’ thoughts into account in the curriculum’s preparation.