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A multicultural school established for sporting events

Finnish PopUp School

Marker Kisakallio, Finland
The Finnish PopUp School is a temporary school established for international sporting events that makes it possible for children of athletes, spectators and tourists to attend school during a trip or event.

What is it all about?

“Sports is universal. By combining sports and school, intercultural interaction between children can happen in a new way.”

Harri Hollo

International sporting events are a hot spot for a region's economy and they enliven the local scene. One of the key goals of these events is to increase the visibility of different sports and to attract new enthusiasts.

For someone with a family these events can be challenging. The children of athletes and spectators traveling to sporting events often have to miss out on school. The Finnish PopUp School concept has been developed to answer this need. Its goal is to set up temporary schools in connection with these major events.

The PopUp School implements the new Finnish national core curriculum, and one of its main focal points is multiculturalism. The Finnish PopUp School creates encounters between locals and Finns by also involving local children in pop-up lessons. The multidisciplinary approach of the PopUp School also promotes the ethical and educational values ​​of the Olympic Movement - the school’s values are respect, tolerance and friendship.

The school uses variable and versatile teaching methods and makes use of technology in the classroom. Students are encouraged to set their own goals, as each has their individual skill set that should be taken into account in learning.

The teachers of the PopUp School are Finnish teachers. The students are children of athletes and spectators who have traveled to the event, as well as local children. The Finnish PopUp School hopes, above all, to export the Finnish model of transversal know-how and competencies to the world and to connect students from different cultures to learn in new ways.

Physical activities and a do-it-yourself approach form the core of the Finnish PopUp School. The concept is based on the methods of the Finnish Schools on the Move program, with a focus on action and phenomenon-based approaches. Teaching is organized in English, French and local languages.

The idea originated in the 2014 World Basketball Championships in Spain, attended by 10,000 Finnish adults and about one thousand children. As the children did not seem to have any interesting or useful activities during daytime, the development of the concept, together with the Finnish Basketball Association, began.

The Finnish PopUp School has been successfully trialed in Montpellier, France, in the Basketball Championships of 2015 and in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in the fall of 2016.

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Intended Outcomes
Target Group
Resources Needed
At least two teachers (co-teaching). Preparations begin even up to a year and a half before the actual sporting event.
HundrED Criteria
The Finnish PopUp School implements the reformed Finnish national core curriculum in an exceptional environment in an interesting way.
Instead of having to miss out on school, the concept brings the school to where the students are.
The model can be implemented following various curriculums.

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Establishing a contract
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Goals and resources
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Planning contents
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Recruiting teachers
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Organizing the teaching
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The Lessons
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