No homework and less time spent at school has been every kid’s dream at one point or another – but for the lucky students in Finland, it’s a reality.
Finnish students are spending fewer hours in school and aren’t required to do homework – and they’re coming out on top because of it.
As part of its centenary commemorations next year, Finland has a project to share what works in its schools with other countries. And Saku Tuominen, director of this HundrEd project, says the secret lies in a ‘holistic’ approach to education, with parents wanting a family-friendly approach, the BBC reports.
While children in England and Wales are still in school into the middle of July, students in Finland have already been on holiday for six weeks, in a summer break that lasts 10 to 11 weeks.
They also don’t, in theory, have to start school until they are seven – although most will have been in classes from an earlier age.
But despite fewer hours in school, when it comes to the international Pisa tests, Finland is in sixth place and the UK is 23rd in reading; and Finland is 12th and the UK is 26th in maths.
So how do the Finns seem to start later, have fewer lessons and still finish ahead?
First off, teaching is a high-status job in Finland. Tuominen says it’s a different philosophy from other systems, which he sees as being built around a check-list of tests, league tables, targets and public accountability, according to the BBC.
But before making any assumptions that the laid-back Finnish approach must be the way forward, spare a thought for Singapore or South Korea.
Their children also do better than those in UK schools but with an entirely different approach of long hours and relentless pressure.
So while some may praise the no homework approach to school, others are clearly succeeding with it.
Still, I think most students would have preferred to follow Finlands lead over Singapore or South Korea’s… No homework is every kids dream.