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Supportive Programmes

Special Assistance

Special assistance can be given to students who are experiencing temporary difficulties with learning, depending on the resources available at school. Special assistance is arranged with the subject teacher, as requested by the student, guardian or recommended by the teacher. Please note that special assistance cannot be provided when learning difficulties arise due to extra holidays taken.

Special Education

FISTA has three special education teachers; Kristiina Launiala for grades 1, 3-4 and 6, Christiana Andem for grades 2 and 5, and Sanna Vilkman for grades 7-9. The special education teacher assists students with challenging subjects and learning difficulties. Articulation training is also provided for grades 1-4. The student receives individual assistance. In addition, exercises are given for the child to practice at home.

Special education is usually provided in small groups or as simultaneous teaching. The special education teacher meets each 1st grader at the beginning of the school year. Based on the classroom teacher and special education teacher's observations, the students will be given extra support for mathematics, reading and writing or other subjects. Guardians' requests are also taken into account.

In reading and writing instruction classes, it is hoped that more serious difficulties can be prevented in advance. First and second graders are seen as the key ages for receiving assistance. Students attend lessons in small groups for approximately one hour weekly. Guardians are welcome to observe lessons.

Finnish as a second language

Instruction in Finnish as a second language (S2) covers the syllabus of the mother tongue and literature for pupils with Finnish as a second language. In Tampere, instruction in Finnish as a second language is given to all pupils of immigrant origin and returnee pupils who need to have it. A child learns to speak Finnish rather quickly, but a deeper knowledge of Finnish, sufficient for academic and studying purposes, usually takes 5-7 years. Therefore, pupils with Finnish as a second language need S2 instruction during all basic instruction.

At the beginning of the course of study an individual educational plan is made for the pupil if necessary. Instruction in S2 is given either as differentiated in-class education or separately for a small group of pupils, ranging between 1 and 6 hours, according to the needs of the student. Instruction in S2 concentrates on the pupil's personal development of the central areas of language and vocabulary acquisition. In addition to instruction in S2, the pupil is entitled to have remedial teaching in other subjects, such as in mathematics.

Student welfare

Student welfare promotes the well-being of the student by work that is done by all members of the school community. All schools with basic education have their own student welfare teams that meet at regular intervals. In their meetings, the team discusses matters that concern the well-being of a student or a whole class. The student welfare team also coordinates and develops the school's work in order to promote the students' well-being and to take their special needs into consideration in school work.

A student welfare team consists of the school psychologist, school social worker, guidance counselor, school nurse, guidance counselor, special education teacher, principal or vice principal, classroom or homeroom teacher.

School social workers and school psychologists

Pupils in basic education and their parents and teachers can have conversational support and expert consultation on request from the school social workers and school psychologists. Matters needing consultation can be, for instance, learning and concentration difficulties, problems with schoolmates, problems in behaviour, neglecting schoolwork, bullying, matters concerning the mental health of the pupil and acute crisis connected with going to school. Solutions to these problems are usually found by joint effort with the home, teacher, school psychologist and other members of the student welfare team. School social workers and school psychologists are also members of the pupil welfare team of the school. The parents can, if needed, contact the school psychologist or school social worker directly and make an appointment with them

The school psychologist helps and supports students, their families and the teachers in matters related to schoolwork, and the student's growth and development. Together with parents and teachers, the psychologist studies and sorts out problems related to the student's school work, and other situations of everyday life, clarifies the need for support and treatment, and offers short-term therapeutic counseling. Parents may also contact the school psychologist directly when help is needed.

School psychologist Katja Karhunen phone: 050-307 8348

The role of the school social worker is to support and help the student in his studies and social development. An effort is made to prevent, correct and remove factors causing social disorders and social problems at school. Cooperation between students, their families, the teachers and the school health care service plays a central role here. The school social worker directs students and their parents to services outside of the school when necessary, and cooperates with a variety of service-givers. Students can go to see the school social worker either on their own initiative, or after being asked to do so by their parents, a teacher or the school nurse. The main aims of the school social worker's activities are to support the social growth and well-being of students, and to help them to a more comfortable adjustment to school.

School social worker Kirsi Vanhanen phone: 040-801 6814