OYK (en)

Comprehensive and upper secondary education

Siltavoudintie 24
00640 Helsinki


tel. +358-9-7206730
fax  +358 -9-72067360

Principal Mirva Lindström
Assisting principals Altti Pikkarainen
Niina Ikonen
Pia Sirkiä
Secretary Päivi Palola


Guidance counsellors

comprehensive school Laura Kevätniemi
Niina Ketonen-Mustakorpi
upper sec. school Matias Huttunen
Marianna Jalkanen

Email addresses: firstname.lastname@oyk.fi

Comprehensive and upper secondary education


Oulunkylän yhteiskoulu, founded in 1924, comprises both the upper level of comprehensive school 7th to 9th grades, ages 13 to 15 and the upper secondary school ages 16 to 18. There are approximately 900 pupils altogether and 80 teachers. We all operate in the same school building.

Our school is located about 8 kilometres north of the centre of Helsinki (the capital of Finland) in beautiful surroundings. The school building has gone through a thorough renovation and enlargement in recent years and is now well-equipped for up-to-date teaching and learning.

Proud of traditions

The school has long traditions in music and acting (theatre) as well as pupils’/students’ good results for further studies.  We all aim to make school a safe place where everybody can learn in a pleasant environment. The educational philosophy is to provide pupils and students with skills and knowledge they need in the future. It is important to respect traditions but also to develop learning, teaching and the school as a whole.

Students are encouraged to participate actively in learning and make proposals for improvements and strengthen joint responsibility.

In addition to learning students/pupils and teachers organise theme days, sport events, excursions to museums and exhibitions, festivals and go to the theatre and participate in local or national projects.  Cooperation with other schools in the area is essential to lighten the general education track – that is, moving from lower level to upper forms. 


Teachers are experienced and qualified with university degrees and a teaching certificate. They work both in the upper and the upper secondary level. Usually they have one main subject and one or two other ones. Teachers are very devoted to their work and want their students to achieve good results. The most important is to value every student as a person.

In the comprehensive level we have two teachers who take care of the pupils with special needs. Those pupils get extra guidance in a small group. They study in the small group a few lessons a week otherwise they stay in their class.

Comprehensive level

All schools follow the Finnish national curriculum, but they are also allowed  to create their own profile. Pupils in Oulunkylän yhteiskoulu, in the comprehensive school,  are chosen from the area surrounding the school, but it is possible to make an application to get in from outside the school district.

The number of pupils in a class vary from 18 to 32.

Every pupil has at least 30 workhours a week during 7th to 9th grades –  30 courses per year.

Compulsory subjects: Finnish, Swedish, English, maths, physics, chemistry, biology, geography, history, social sciences, religion/ethics, health education, PE, art, music,  home economics, handicraft, media.

Optional subjects: French, German, art, handicraft, PE, domestic science, information technology, music

The total number of compulsory courses is 78 and options at least 12.

Classes with emphasized teaching

Any pupil from the city of Helsinki can apply to the special music class. They are chosen by an aptitude test. Musicality test corresponds to the entrance requirements of a school with special instruction in music. The program includes playing music together, practising ear training and studying theory of music. The aim of the instruction is to provide the pupils with the necessary theoretical knowledge required for the leaving certificate of the music school at the end of the comprehensive school (at the age of 15-16). Pupils take an active part in the school choir, the classic orchestra and rock bands. Music classes and smaller ensembles perform both in and away from school, every year they have a week’s conserttour abroad. Private tuition is given in instruments such as flute, saxophone, electric guitar, bass and drums. Oulunkylän yhteiskoulu is a pioneer in including the teaching of rock music in the curriculum.

Another class of emphasized teaching and learning is mathematical-scientific.  Pupils are chosen on grounds of interest and good results after completing the lower level. The pupils take 6 different special courses in three year’s time.

Finally, we also have a class with emphasized teaching on PE.

Upper secondary school


Students are chosen in order of the average of their leaving certificate (in the 9th grade). The upper secondary school continues the teaching and the education task of basic education. The aim is to gain good possibilities for applying for further studies such as university, polytechnics.

Starting places 125. Every student follows his own study plan. The guidance counsellor meets the student personally and helps to make his own plan. A group advisor is also available for the students. Creativity is highly valued, manual and artistic skills, too, besides good knowledge. Students get used to independent work, do research on a smaller scale and achieve an extensive all-round education. At the end of their studies they take the national matriculation examination, which they can take in three parts.


In addition to the final examination talented students complete a diploma in visual art, drama, music. Diplomas are based on the criteria drawn up by the Finnish National Board of Education.


We follow the Finnish national curriculum and in addition we offer a wide variety of in-depth and applied courses.

A student must complete at least 75 courses during 3 to 4 years.

Compulsory courses: 47 (or 51) and 28 (or 24) in–depth courses and applied courses.

The group size in the course can vary from 15 to 40, depending on students’ choices.

Compulsory courses: Finnish, English, Swedish, mathematics, biology, geography, physics, chemistry, religion/ethics, philosophy, psychology, history, social sciences, music, art, PE, studies guidance, health science.

In-depth and applied courses: French, German, Spanish, Italian, communication courses, courses in natural sciences, information technology, arts and music courses, drama, fitness and other sports courses, home economics, textile work, tutor course, improvement of learning skills course.

Some happenings during the year arranged by the students in the upper secondary level

  • welcome party for the starters
  • Christmas porridge party
  • school leavers’ show and car driving in the centre of Helsinki in February
  • old dances show in February
  • Celebration for matriculation

The school year starts in the middle of August and ends in May-June. (190 workdays).