On Monday the 14th of May 2018 my Finnish Granny, Mummo, and my mother came to school to talk about Finland. Mummo lives on an island near the city of Kuopio and has to take a ferry across every day. Capital city Helsinki is 5 hour drive south from her house. Mummo was telling the class lots of interesting things, such as life in winter when you can drive on ice to get to the city instead of taking the ferry, the cold dark months of winter and the warm bright months of summer. We also heard about Finnish wildlife that includes animals like lynx, brown bears, wolves, moose and a type of ringed seal that lives only in Finland and is highly endangered with only 380 of them left in the whole world! We logged into a web cam set up where the seals live and were able to watch a seal lie and wriggle on a rock. It was quite funny!
We were surprised to hear that Finnish children usually get their first mobile phones at the age of 7 when they start school. They make their own way to school and can stay home alone until parents come home from work. They also get all their books, supplies and hot lunch at school free of charge. Winter PE includes skiing and ice skating if weather is not colder than -15 degrees. Children usually take a 15 minute break after every 45 minutes of class and get very little homework. This caused a lot of conversation in class! We also learned that Finnish education system is one of the highest rated in the world.
Another interesting topic was Mummo’s guns, a rifle and a shotgun! A lot of Finnish people go hunting but Mummo only uses her guns for target practice. She also told the class how her father, my great grandfather, fought in a war against Russia and was wounded twice during the war. Luckily he survived.
We also got Finnish treats, Karl Fazer chocolate and “salmiakki”, salty licorice. Chocolate was everyone’s favourite but salmiakki wasn’t to everyone’s liking. At the very end we took a photo of Mummo with the class. We all had a great morning and learned a lot about life in Finland. By Leah Harte