Alakylä Koulu

Path for Entrepreneurship
Rationale and general information

The beginning for the cooperation between Alakylä School and local companies dates from earlier decades. Companies wanted to give food and different goodies to poor families at least a couple of times a year. Still today, many workers in local companies having their kids in the school, they want to introduce they work and businesses to them. Nowadays, the support is directed more to playing and learning and displays the common will to work together. This has taken shape in an institutional bond between the school and its local community, with both students and companies benefiting from and placing the school at the centre spot of the community

Starting Date: Sun, 01 Sep 2013
Budget and financing sources

No additional budget is needed for the school.

Human resources

Each teacher is responsible for finding contacts and organising a visit during the year. However, the time of the year in which the visit takes place is free for the teacher to chose


During the six years long curriculum, every pupil visits about ten different companies, workplaces or public institutions, and gets information about dozens of different professions or occupations. In this way, students see that working is an important part of everyday life and that they might find out more about their future profession or even their future workplace. The visits are connected to the subjects that are taught in class. This allows students to reflect on the application of the knowledge the gain at school in real life. The visits are adapted to the age of the students and the topics covered gain in complexity as the student progress through the classes. It starts from visiting the school and learning about its workers, to visiting public institutions and learning how society functions. In the first grade, students get to know the different occupations at school. They meet teachers, cleaners, headmaster etc. All these workers tell about their work, and children get a glimpse on how many different people and vocations it needs run their school and make teaching and learning in it possible. In the second grade, the children’s parents come to the classrooms on a voluntary basis and present their work. Some parents may even invite the children to their own workplace. In the third grade students start to visit companies outside the school. The decision on which company is to be visited by a given group depends on the national curriculum. For example farming as a source of livelihood belongs to the fourth graders` environmental studies so the year four visits the farm opposite to school.

Find out more on the full case study



The school cooperate with the entire community for this initiative. While the cooperation started by the local community engaging by themselves with the school, it is now the responsibility of all teachers to maintain the relationship alive between the school and its local community

Success factors

• Good project planning with yearly evaluation of actions at no extra costs for school • Connection to the curriculum, Students can see the connection between theory and practice • Cooperation between the school and the local community and geographical proximity with the companies involved • History of cooperation: companies wanted to thank the workers and their families for a good work by organizing family affairs • Learning by doing improves learnings results and team spirit at school • The moment in which the teacher can organise the visit is free during the school year • Contracts are systematically signed with the companies • Supportive and active head master and support from basic education manager- understanding the importance of entrepreneurial education


• Pupils come aware of their backgrounds. They also know what is happening in their and their school´s neighbourhood. • The school´s curriculum comes alive by doing co-operation with the real life actors, learning by doing. • Alakylä school has reached a Quality Label of Entrepreneurial Education as the first Finnish primary school in Europe. • Alakylä School is now promoting its entrepreneurial practices toward all the other schools in Seinäjoki by publishing a “How-to-start” booklet.

Marko Varamaki,