Finland: The Gold Standard of Active Schooling Systems

The country’s educational system has been hailed as one of the most successful in the world. Children don’t start school until the age of seven, have no school uniform, and are rarely given homework. Yet despite this, Finland consistently ranks among the top educational systems globally. According to the OECD Pisa survey, Finland ranks well across multiple areas, including reading and science. Interestingly, Finnish children are also among the happiest in the world, demonstrating that their approach to education is not only having a positive impact in terms of results but on wellbeing too.

Now pupils in Finland could benefit even more as active schooling is being encouraged by the government. Setting out that children should spend at least three hours a day getting active, schools are set to play a core role in the government’s renewed focus on physical activity. The school curriculum is set to be shaken up too, giving children the freedom to learn in non-traditional ways.

Taking the current active schooling approach further, Finland is expected to remove some of the typical desks and chairs found in classrooms. Allowing children to move around while they’re learning regular subjects, from science to history, could have a hugely positively impact on learning. The country is one of the first to put forward such recommendations and go forward with their implementation but if as successful as Finland’s other initiatives, it could quickly spread to other countries too. 

Active schooling, where physical activity is delivered in schools, is already being picked up across the UK. With a huge range of benefits, including instilling healthy lifestyle choices and reenergising children to learn, more educational establishments are turning to encouraging activity in the classroom. From completing a daily mile run to quick and easy active breaks between lessons, there are plenty of ways that active schooling can be implemented.

While Finland can be held up as the gold standard when it comes to active schooling thanks to its bold move, other countries are gradually recognising the advantages of taking action too. With Finland leading the way, others are sure to follow in their footsteps.