General procedures and the curriculum
The school year is divided into five seven-week periods. The total number of courses required in high school is 75. The students can complete their high school studies in 2-4 years. Depending on the length of their studies, they must choose 4-7 courses per period, sometimes even more. To allow more time for sports, for instance, the student can choose a lighter schedule and longer study program. It is even possible to take a whole period off if needed.
The school day is usually from 8.20 to 15.10. The length of the school day depends on the individual study program. The training sessions for the athletes are mainly held from 7.30 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. At the beginning of each school year the students receive the teaching program and time table for the whole year. This enables them to take into account their own individual needs and interests in planning their own schedules on a long-term basis. In this, they are assisted by Group Advisors and special Guidance Counselors. In the non-graded system, students are not confined to a certain year level, but can choose courses according to their own ability and standard.
Each seven-week period ends with a test week. The students receive their course grades on the last day of the period. After each period, they receive computer lists showing the grades of all courses taken and their grade point average. Retests are arranged several times a year for those who have failed courses. A student is entitled to one retest for one failed course; should he fail again, the course must be repeated. If a student wishes to improve his other grades, he must repeat the course.
The curriculum is based on the national system. In addition to the courses set forth in the national curriculum, Mäkelänrinne offers optional, applied and integrated courses in various subjects. One example of the wide choice of subjects in Mäkelänrinne is the extensive language program, which offers advanced courses in English, Swedish, German, French and Russian. Instruction is given even in elementary and intermediate Latin, Spanish and Italian. The majority of the students choose advanced courses in Mathematics. In Physical Education, students may express their wishes as to the events offered in each period. Groups are then formed accordingly in a wide range of events.