International School in Vantaa

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FinnGirl
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International School in Vantaa

Post by FinnGirl » Mon Mar 12, 2007 7:38 am

We are moving to the Helsinki area in June or July and are just in the process of looking for a place to live and researching education opportunities for our children. I came across the International School of vantaa and thought it looked very promising. Does anyone out there have their children in this school ? It would be great to hear some firsthand feedback (good or bad !). I have a 5 year old son who is in Junior Kindergarten (in Canada) and an 20 month old who would require daycare. We will be in Helsinki in mid April so I am in the process of lining up some appointments to tour schools. We are planning to stay in Finland for about 3 to 5 years and eventually going back to Canda so I thought it would be important for both of them to keep up in English but of course I still want them learn the Finnish language. I am fairly fluent in Finnish but my husband is not but I'm guessing (and hoping) that the children will pick it up fairly quickly even if we don't speak it 100% at home !?

Any feedback would be appreciated !

Kiitos,
Lisa



International School in Vantaa

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sinikettu
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Post by sinikettu » Mon Mar 12, 2007 8:19 am

THe International School in Vantaa only takes pupils that live in the City of Vantaa not Helsinki.
http://www.edu.vantaa.fi/isv/
The school is located in East Vantaa in the airport area.

They start school in Finland at age 7 years old...
So your 5 year old has two years to wait.

There is a second new International School in West Vantaa.
Located at Kivoksela..
http://www.vantaa.fi/en/i_alaetusivu.as ... 9972;30020
Last edited by sinikettu on Mon Mar 12, 2007 8:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
People do not become more irritable as they grow old - they simply stop making the effort to avoid annoying others.


FinnGirl
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Post by FinnGirl » Mon Mar 12, 2007 8:31 am

Thanks...I was aware of that but the website for the school states that it is:

"A city-operated school. Teaching is provided free of charge. The school is intended for pupils between 5 and 15 years. Kindergarten operates in the same building. The primary language of instruction is English. Teaching follows the Finnish comprehensive school curriculum. The children are admitted on the basis of oral and written tests. Pupils enrolling for upper grades are also tested in maths and English."

I thought since they mentioned students starting at 5 years of age that perhaps they were taking into consideration the early starting age of non-european students.


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sinikettu
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Post by sinikettu » Mon Mar 12, 2007 8:53 am

I have no first hand knowledge of the International Schools in Finland.
But I do know that they are not many vacancies..
The new Kivoksela school in West Vantaa (she added link above) was opened because the elememtary age group was over subscribed at the East Vantaa school.
Plus the fact that the transporting of these younger kids to from school was not so good.

There is on user of this board who does know these schools she is both teacher and mother.
bb/profile.php?mode=viewprofile&u=1722
People do not become more irritable as they grow old - they simply stop making the effort to avoid annoying others.


Rosamunda
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Post by Rosamunda » Mon Mar 12, 2007 9:14 am

All children entering the comprehensive school system are tested for school readiness (this usually happens in their day care establishment). Children entering an English stream will also be tested fot their English (a new test will be introduced this year - for next year's intake - that is common to ALL English language schools in the Greater Helsinki area). Children enter comprehensive education in the year they turn 7 yrs. If there are spaces then exceptionally some 6 yr olds can get places but only if they pass the school readiness test (and the English test). But budget constraints do not normally allow for younger children to enter school (my youngest didn't get a place when we arrived even though he had been schooled since the age of 3 in France).

If you put your kids into an international school then they will not learn Finnish (unless they are exposed to Finnish at home and outside school). Foreign kids go into Finnish foreign language classes which in my experience are inadequate (but I won't rant on this now).

My suggestion is you put your 5 yr old into a Finnish päiväkoti so he can learn Finnish in a natural communicative way through play and fun with other kids. You can still help him at home with his English. There is an excellent bilingual education programme in Finland. So if your son spends 2 yrs in Finnish daycare he could then get into a bilingual school where the first 3 years are intensive (immersion) English, then more Finnish in years 4-5-6. But your son would need good Finnish in order to get into such a school.

There are English daycare places (eg in Vantaa International) but they are not free, they do not always have places and your children will not learn Finnish.

I do not know of any English language daycare places for kids under 3 yrs. It is unusual for mothers of kids under 3 to work, so daycare places are few and far between. Also if you are NOT working you will probably not get a place in public (free) daycare.

If you have any more questions just ask... I do not know the Vantaa school so well, my own kids are in international schools in Espoo (Komeetta) and in Helsinki (Kulosaari). If you use the search engine on this forum you will find a lot of information about those schools and others.


Rosamunda
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Post by Rosamunda » Mon Mar 12, 2007 12:02 pm

sinikettu wrote:There is a second new International School in West Vantaa.
Located at Kivoksela..
http://www.vantaa.fi/en/i_alaetusivu.as ... 9972;30020


This is not an international school. It just has an immersion programme for Finns who would like their kids to learn English from scratch. You would not get into Kivoksela without good Finnish and I would not recommend bilingual programmes for native English speakers who have no Finnish.


FinnGirl
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Post by FinnGirl » Mon Mar 12, 2007 3:49 pm

Thanks for the information !


at5dapa1
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Location: Helsinki

Post by at5dapa1 » Mon Mar 12, 2007 5:39 pm

Hi Lisa!
You will live in Helsinki or in Vantaa?
because there is a school, a International school in Engllish, here in Helsinki, and it is free. There are more then one, but I now one, when my daughter goes.
And if your child is only 5 years old, and you will not stay here forever, it will be better for your child to go to the English Kindergarten first, then to go to English school.
I hope this will help you.
:)


Rosamunda
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Post by Rosamunda » Mon Mar 12, 2007 5:55 pm

As sinikettu mentioned, there is no reciprocal agreement between Vantaa and Helsinki so it is not so easy to get your kids into school in Helsinki if you live in Vantaa. And besides, the school run is no fun in rush hour traffic for small kids. Only Espoo and Helsinki have a reciprocal agreement at the moment, but I'm pretty sure that could change in the near future.

Schools in Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa with an English language programme in the primary section :

On this page:

schools in Helsinki
Last edited by Rosamunda on Mon Mar 12, 2007 5:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.


FinnGirl
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Post by FinnGirl » Mon Mar 12, 2007 5:57 pm

Thanks again for the helpful info. We don't know where we will be living yet but we are coming in April to search for a place. We have a relocation company working for us so I think they will have a lot of information and advice related to schools as well. Can you send me the link to the International school in Helsinki that you are talking about...the one that is free.

Thanks :)


Rosamunda
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Post by Rosamunda » Mon Mar 12, 2007 6:04 pm

All the schools are free except for the International School of Helsinki (ISH- approx 10K€ per annum) and the English School. Ressu, Maunula, Kulosaari, Komeetta etc etc etc are ALL free.

The list I posted (click on the blue) gives you all the schools and says if they are free or not.

PS Who is your relo agent, Transite or FRS ? They usually push ISH on their clients and may not have all the info on the different state schools.


FinnGirl
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Post by FinnGirl » Mon Mar 12, 2007 6:14 pm

The relocation company is FRS. The quote and list of services they provided seemed to be quite resonable...


Rosamunda
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Post by Rosamunda » Mon Mar 12, 2007 9:59 pm

Yes, they are very good. FRS managed our move here and I was really happy with the service they gave us. They helped us to find a house to rent, get the kids into school, did all the paperwork for us and even helped me with my shopping!!! The only criticism I might have had was that they "assumed" up front that we would put the kids into the private International School of Helsinki which was never our intention. In the end we had no choice (all the English language schools were full) so the kids went to ISH for one year but we eventually managed to get places in the Espoo school which was what we wanted. I didn't know this forum existed (2001) and so I had no information to help me make a decision and evaluate the alternatives.


cal_dream
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Re: International School in Vantaa

Post by cal_dream » Sun May 29, 2016 6:09 pm

An old thread, but maybe somebody knows the answer. We will move to Helsinki area this summer, and would like our kids to go to Vantaa International School. We were told that there will be an assessment test. We'd like to prepare for that. Can anyone here give us some pointers to the kind of test we should expect? we have 2nd, 6th and 8th grader. Thanks


Wee Knot
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Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2017 1:08 pm

Re: International School in Vantaa

Post by Wee Knot » Fri Apr 28, 2017 1:10 pm

cal_dream wrote:An old thread, but maybe somebody knows the answer. We will move to Helsinki area this summer, and would like our kids to go to Vantaa International School. We were told that there will be an assessment test. We'd like to prepare for that. Can anyone here give us some pointers to the kind of test we should expect? we have 2nd, 6th and 8th grader. Thanks
Hi there, did you manage to either find information or get experience from this? Our son is about to attend the test in summer. Cheers for your help!


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