In Oulu, multilingual pupils whose native language is not Finnish, Swedish or Sami, or whose family uses other languages in addition to the above-mentioned languages, are provided with preparatory education for basic education, Finnish as a second language teaching and teaching in the pupil's own mother tongue.
The goal is for the pupils belonging to different linguistic and cultural groups to achieve basic education knowledge and skills to a level that they have the best possible precondition to further studies. In addition, the goal is to strengthen the pupils' functional multilingualism and support the building of their identities.
Before starting their basic education journey, pupils with immigrant backgrounds can participate in preparatory education organized by the City of Oulu. The pupil transitions to their own local school after participating in preparatory education.
Oulu International School is intended for Finnish and foreign children who will benefit from international programs and whose language skills are sufficient enough to study in English.
Preparatory education for basic education is intended for all immigrant-background children and young people of early childhood education and care and basic education age who do not yet possess the necessary language skills to participate in Finnish early childhood education and care or basic education.
Both newly emigrated and immigrant-background children and young people born in Finland can participate in preparatory education. Participating does not require a residence permit. New pupils are redirected to preparatory education via the coordinator of cultural studies.
The main focus in preparatory education is in Finnish language studies and the contents of the subjects. The teaching follows the curriculum for preparatory education for basic education. Each pupil is also prepared an individual study programme. Usually a pupil studies in the preparatory group for approximately a year.
Primary school preparatory education for basic education is organized in Jääli, Kaakkuri, Kaukovainio, Knuutilankangas, Merikoski, Myllyoja, Paulaharju and Rajakylä Schools, as well as in the Koskela unit of Oulu Teacher Training School. Lower secondary school teaching is held in Kastelli, Kaukovainio, Merikoski and Rajakylä Schools. You can access the school websites by clicking this link.
Preparatory education is also provided for primary school age pupils in inclusive basic education teaching groups. This means that an immigrant-background pupil studies in their regular local school but according to the curriculum of preparatory education.
Studies after preparatory education
After preparatory education, the pupil transitions to a class corresponding to their age level at a regular local school.
The teaching follows the common goals and principles of the core curriculum for basic education, but the pupil's linguistic precondition is taken into account. Pupils' linguistic and cultural identities are supported in school.
Finnish as a Second Language Teaching (S2)
Finnish as a second language teaching is intended for pupils whose native language is other than Finnish, Swedish or Sami and whose Finnish skills are not fluent in all language sectors.
The goal is for the pupil to achieve such basic skills that they are able to function and study in Finnish equally with other pupils in Finnish language community.
Mother tongue teaching
Immigrant-background pupils are offered (when possible) two hours of teaching in their mother tongue per week. A teaching group can be formed if a minimum of six pupils enroll.
Oulu International School (OIS)
Oulu International School operates comprehensive school grades 1-9. The school is intended for Finnish and foreign children who benefit from international programmes and whose language skills are sufficient enough to study in English.