Finland International School Maldives: A new approach to learning

Finland International School Maldives (FISM) takes a new approach to learning. We follow the Finnish education system with a Maldivian twist.

In FISM, students and their futures are valued. The teachers, along with other staff ensure that the mental and physical wellbeing of the students is taken care of. We see learning as a way to explore ourselves and the world around us. Our teachers always make sure that we know that we have great potential and that they have trust in us.

Our school is one of the newest international schools in the Maldives as it was first opened to the public in January 2019. It was also the first school in the Maldives and in Asia to introduce Finnish education.

When our school first opened, we had 4 HUBs (grades) consisting of 200 students in total. Since then we have grown tremendously. As of now, there are a total of 9 HUBs and more than 400 unique students, plus our beloved teachers. In the primary level, each hub includes 50 students with 3 class teachers (two Maldivian and one Finnish), and in the secondary level, we have homeroom teachers and numerous subject teachers working together.

Majority of the students are from the Maldives, but we do have dozens of international students from different countries. This creates a truly international vibe at the campus.uFISM means a lot to us students, and also to teachers, which makes our school feel like one big family.

Here, we teach each other, we grow, we are kind to one another, we are responsible, and most importantly, together we make an unstoppable team. In our school, we focus on fun and interactive learning. This makes us students much more keen on learning and studying. Although it is not a problem to be competitive at times, here we focus more on working together as a team, sometimes even engaging in friendly competitions.

One of the most unique things about our school is the breaks that we are given several times a day. Having breaks helps us students to have some time to freshen our minds between lessons, moments when we can just socialize, do activities, play games, or just relax. All these help us students in FISM to have an open mindset, and promote curiosity as well as creativity.

At Finland International School Maldives, we take our own initiative in our learning, which makes our thinking a lot more independent than always relying on the teachers or parents. Instead of doing tests all the time, we do more work on projects which will help us in the future.

Our grades are not only based on the exams we do but also on the work we do in class. This gives us students more peace and even if we don’t do well in a test, we will have another opportunity to get a good grade based on the work we do in class.

The teachers in our school do not burden us with too much work but give us an adequate amount of work with more than enough time to finish it. They don’t always stick to the textbooks, which helps us understand the topics further, and during lessons, our teachers don’t just make us copy from the board or book. Instead, they give us examples and elaborate on the topic, which assists us in our daily thinking. They also make sure that we feel comfortable and safe in our learning environments, and if you are feeling like you need to talk to someone, the teachers will always be there to listen.

As students, we hope to get more learning opportunities in the future, for instance, going to different countries or meeting new people in order to broaden our perspectives. In addition, we want the school to continue teaching us life skills, such as collaboration, leadership, teamwork, and problem solving in order for us to have a future where we are able to overcome challenges independently.

We are excited that our school is now a member of ISA, which will for sure provide us with even more opportunities to achieve these dreams. Throughout our time studying in Finland International School Maldives, we have developed a new way of thinking and learning. Our school has given us a lot of opportunities to grow as individuals, as students, and as a school community.

Here, we introduced a new approach to learning in the Maldives. We are taught the essential units in education as well as many life skills in order for us to navigate through life as we grow.

We hope that FISM will continue to shine even more in the future.

Malysa Hussain Naseem and Mariyam Laira Mamdooh,FISM Year 7 students

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