Viherlaakso Upper Secondary School
Viherlaakso is a modern and innovative upper secondary school in terms of spirit, pedagogy and methods of teaching. There are approximately 550 students studying in Viherlaakso at the moment but the school will expand during the next few years. Viheri, as we call our school, is one of the largest and oldest upper secondary schools in Espoo.
Get a general or arts-oriented upper secondary education in Viheri!
At our school students should set realistic yet challenging goals, plan their studies for a full school year and do their best to achieve their goals. The life of a student is a balanced mixture including hobbies, social life and academic work, providing an individual with good future prospects. Essentially the most important thing is to learn good study techniques and study habits which means focused, intensive studying on a daily basis both at school and at home.
At the start of their studies students will be introduced thoroughly to the studying culture of the upper secondary school, for example school rules and studying techniques in different subjects and the required IT skills to work in digital learning environments.
Second and third year students make their own schedules based on their choices in subjects. In Finland the upper secondary school syllabus includes at least 75 courses. One course lasts seven weeks and each week includes three 75-minute lessons.
Courses are offered in three different types: compulsory courses, advanced courses and school-based applied courses. The students have to study 47–52 compulsory courses depending on the number of foreign languages in their syllabus and the level of maths they are studying.
During the third school year students are studying courses aimed specifically for the matriculation examination and they will take at least four exams in the examinations.
The Values of Viheri
Viherlaakso Upper Secondary School as a school is steered as a school is steered by the values defined by the Espoo City Council. These values are
customer and citizen-orientation
tolerance and equality
creativity and innovativeness
partnership and community spirit
effectiveness and efficiency
Viheri Values in Practice
Sustainable values are the basis of all education. At Viheri we consider the meaning of the school to be the students’ growth in personality and our practices are evaluated and developed on that basis. Our goal is for the students to feel that they study meaningfully both regarding their educational goals and life management and value their study results. The interaction between students and teachers and the teacher’s relationship with the student have a significant influence on the student’s mental growth. Also, the students’ relationships with one another are important for good study results, and thus the practices at our school must promote the interaction and social relationships between the students.
Students are confident in their own abilities and appreciate themselves. Education and counselling are provided to help students find their own unique academic path and potential new interests and intellectual resources. Students will be aware of their own cultural background. Students tolerate diversity and respect other people’s beliefs and individuality.
The joy of work and responsibility
The student understands the meaning of work and learns to appreciate it. The students can plan their studies and learn to make solutions meaningful for themselves and the community. He is an active student and capable for critical thinking. The students are aware of their actions and responsibilities for the group.
At Viheri special attention is paid to the student’s interaction skills, especially language skills and means of expression, as well as the use of media. As the student becomes skilled in languages and masters many means of expression, the student is cooperative and ready for active interaction with others. The atmosphere that supports learning and growth of the student’s personality is based on open and immediate interaction with one another.
Courage and honesty
The aim of teaching at Viheri is to enhance positive attitude. Open discussion is a way how the members of the work community find new meanings in their daily life, and have the confidence to influence the future. Honesty and solving the everyday challenges strengthen the cohesion of the community and helps to encourage the sustainable development, growth and well-being.
Creativity is an important value in our school. The traditional definition of creativity is that creativity always brings out something new whether it’s a new problem, problem-solving method, a new perspective or a product.
Creativity is rarely something completely new and original; usually a creative solution is the outcome of combining previous knowledge in a new way. Although a key feature of creativity is thinking outside the box, it’s also persistent processing of information.
We believe that every student can be creative and creativity of each student can be developed. We think that creativity is much broader feature. Creativity is an activity, enthusiasm for learning, the pleasure of ones own success and performance, skills to solve problem as well cognitive as social. Teaching from the perspective of creativity, is above all, supporting the learning, the development and the maturity of the student’s unique personality and identity.
Creativity is not something limited inside boundaries of a certain subject. The creative process is always an outcome of analysis of the knowledge, feelings and methods acts of studying.
The Agreement for good studying
The students, teachers and parents share a vision of good learning.
Friendliness is a good behavior as greeting, participation, helpfulness, gratitude, obeying rules and guidelines during the school day. Each member of the community maintains and develops a common good atmosphere at our school.
The teachers, staff and students treat each other equally and with respect. Every member of the school community is committed to work together.
The good quality of studying and teaching requires planning. All of the rules and schedules, work habits, study practices are planned and agreed with together and the students at the beginning of the course. During the planning process they will also discuss what the students are expecting of the teacher in oder to learn better and more. They will also discuss the role of a teacher. How one can learn better using different working methods and how the teacher is helping them to learn and understand better.
Commitment, responsibility and results
The teacher and the students discuss also about the student’s obligations such as a commitment to study according to planning and the responsibilities for the group. In this way, the student is expected to create a positive atmosphere in class. The student is also expected to know what good learning means in a certain course.
The compliance with the planning
The teachers are committed to intervene to the poor studying. If the student does not study according the rules, the student may be suspended.
There are also other staff as a nurse, a psychologist and a social worker available for the specific problems.
History of the Upper Secondary School of Viherlaakso
If you think of Espoo in the 30’s and 40’s, it was considered to a Swedish speaking small village in the countryside near Helsinki. In 1940 the number of inhabitants in Espoo was 11540 and there was not Upper Secondary School for finish speaking children in Espoo. Viheri was founded in 1939 and the first School building was built in 1947.
At this stage, state and local governments were not able to meet the growing educational and training needs which was proven to be very clear in many localities. Fortunately there were enthusiastic and willing citizens to donate their time and money to create private schools for needed locations. Later the school was sold to the City of Espoo.
Viherlaakso Upper Secondary School
E-mail address: viherlaaksonlukio(at)espoo.fi
02070 ESPOON KAUPUNKI
Kutojantie 2 D, 1st floor
E-mail addresses: firstname.lastname(at)espoo.fi
tel. 050 542 5631
tel. 040 639 4104