Mäkelänrinne, a non-graded Finnish senior high school and sports school
Mäkelänrinne is a non-graded senior high school and one of the 13 sports schools in Finland. It was the first day school in Finland to start experimenting with the non-graded system as early as 1972.
Finnish high school students are 16-19 years of age. The majority of Mäkelänrinne students come from Helsinki and the vicinity, but the school also attracts students from other parts of the country.
The aim of the system is to offer the students greater freedom in planning their individual study programs and schedules. The students can determine the total length of their high school studies as well as their daily timetables within each study period. This allows them to plan their studies to suit their individual academic and athletic needs. Thus the students learn to take more responsibility for their own studies.
The school atmosphere is motivating and open, and the relationship between teachers and students is warmer and less formal than usual.
The sports associations have welcomed this opportunity to raise new generation of promising young athletes. Each year the number of applicants exceeds the number of places available. The correlation between the course grades and the Matriculation Exam results is good, and academically Mäkelänrinne stands clearly above the national average. The teachers face a dual challenge: how to cater for the needs of the academically-minded top students, and how to help the young athletes combine their educational and athletic goals.