We are HEI Schools - Anne

We are HEI Schools - Anne

Lifelong learning is at the core of what we teach our children - growing and learning something new everyday.

At HEI Schools we focus on learning about each child as an individual. With a growing staff, we are asking our HEI Schools team about themselves in the same way as the children. Today we are talking to Anne Rusanen who is our Co-founder and Head of Design. Please get to know Anne!

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Things I enjoy at HEI Schools…

I love the energy and talent of the people I am privileged to work with. Everything is possible and we are motivated together to create this meaningful, world changing project. We are all designers in our own right, driven together by disruptive thinking. I truly believe we have the capability to challenge the way children are educated and change lives to permanently impact the world.

Things I enjoy at home…

In a hectic world, I enjoy spending quality time at home with my son. As a contrast to my busy work life, I want to do things slowly and wonder together with him as much as possible. At home I try to mute my phone and live in the moment. After work, we cook and sit together at the dinner table and talk a lot. He is a funny, bright 8 year old and teaches me something new everyday.

Things I can do well at HEI Schools...

I love to inspire people and make their thoughts and ideas fly. The best compliment I have ever had for the design of HEI Schools is that it just FEELS good. I consider this simple sounding compliment to be a major success. Our small team has executed the entire branding and design of our product from a concept level to what it is today.



Things I can do well at home…

I try to practise more down beat time at home and I have picked up painting again. Painting with oil colors truly teaches me patience, since you have to wait weeks for paint to dry between layers. The finished piece is less of a goal than the journey itself.

At HEI Schools we are currently practicing...

To focus and dream at the same time. Our pace of conquering the world is quite hectic–we are learning to keep our feet on the ground and head in the sky.

At home we are currently practicing…

Rapping. I am apparently not that cool, but definitely give it a go.



HEI Connect

HEI Connect

HEI Schools holding a week long pop-up connecting children across the globe at the New Nordic Museum in Seattle

During the week of May 13th-19th, New Nordic Museum will feature a children’s popup “HEI Connect” joining the children of Seattle to the global HEI Schools community. New Nordic Museum is pleased to feature this popup hosting “HEI Connect”, which is a program HEI Schools uses to connect children in different HEI Schools locations all over the world. Children at the museum will have the opportunity to join with the spirit of HEI Schools by filling out a card with their handprint and contact information to a HEI Schools child in Finland, Australia, China or South Korea. A reply will be sent back from a new friend across the globe.

Join HEI Schools and make a new friend in May!

Lasse Lipponen heads Lien Foundation study

Lasse Lipponen heads Lien Foundation study

HEI Schools Co Founder and Head of Pedagogical Content Lasse Lipponen leads early childhood education research study.

HEI Schools approach to education is based on the latest research in education. Our Co Founder and Head of Pedagogical Content, Professor Lasse Lipponen led a team of professors in a study commissioned by the Lien Foundation that uncovered solutions to driving change through early childhood education.


By Amelia Teng

May 9, 2019

Walls between pre-school education and early intervention must be broken down: Study

(From left) Co-principal investigator Lynn Ang, professor of early childhood at University College London; principal investigator Lasse Lipponen, professor of education at the University of Helsinki; and co-principal investigator Sirene Lim, academic lead of the early childhood education programme at the Singapore University of Social Sciences. ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

(From left) Co-principal investigator Lynn Ang, professor of early childhood at University College London; principal investigator Lasse Lipponen, professor of education at the University of Helsinki; and co-principal investigator Sirene Lim, academic lead of the early childhood education programme at the Singapore University of Social Sciences. ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

SINGAPORE - There has been much progress in the pre-school sector but children with special needs and those from low-income families still need more support.

And training teachers to understand that their job is far more than just imparting knowledge to their young charges must be a top priority, said a group of 35 leaders from the early childhood development sector who cut across the education, health and social services.

They came to this consensus in a report released on Thursday (May 9), which examined the progress made in the early childhood sector and looked at what more can be done.

The walls between pre-schools and fields like health, social service and early intervention should be broken down, they said, and more early childhood educators need to be equipped to support children who do not seem to fit in, whether by their developmental needs or complex home backgrounds.

The report, commissioned by the Lien Foundation, a philanthropic group, comes seven years after its first study of the pre-school sector, where the group had called for the Government to be in charge of pre-school education, and to provide it free for all children.

The latest research effort was led by principal investigator Lasse Lipponen, professor of education at the University of Helsinki; and co-principal investigators Lynn Ang, professor of early childhood at University College London, and Sirene Lim, academic lead of the early childhood education programme at the Singapore University of Social Sciences.

At a press conference on Thursday, Associate Professor Lim said that the process of canvassing the views of the 35 key leaders from a range of disciplines, including the education, health and social services, is "seminal", given the fact that practitioners in the fields of early childhood and early intervention have not really worked together here in a significant way in the past.

The interviews were conducted between April and September 2018, and the report was completed in March this year.

Prof Ang said that educators and professionals all need to look at children from different perspectives to consider their "education, care and health", rather than being fixated on their own specialisations.

The three academics said that based on their findings, there should be a review of the career pathways of pre-school teachers and early intervention professionals, so that practitioners in both groups can better work together to meet a child's holistic needs.

Their recommendation, which is part of the report, comes as the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) announced in April that it would be setting up a workgroup to look at how to better integrate children with learning needs into pre-schools.

The ministry had also said that from July, early intervention programmes will be transferred from MSF's Disability Office to the Early Childhood Development Agency in stages, so that the agency will have better oversight of developmental needs of all children under the age of seven.

The Lien Foundation report cited fresh figures to show the increasing demand for early intervention.

In 2018, there were more than 5,500 new cases of pre-schoolers diagnosed with developmental problems, compared with an average of 4,362 new cases each year from 2015 to 2017.

These figures came from the Child Development Programme at KK Women's and Children's Hospital and the National University Hospital, the two main centres which screen children aged six and below.

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/education/walls-between-pre-school-education-and-early-intervention-must-be-broken-down

Partner talks - HEI Schools Jakarta

Partner talks - HEI Schools Jakarta

“We think all parents in the world can agree on one thing– they want the best for their children. However, determining the term ‘best’ can have many different perspectives. The most important is to recognize each child holistically and understanding what’s best for each child. We believe Indonesian parents are interested in new approaches and methods that are based on the latest research in education and pedagogy which can cultivate the very best for their children.”

We had the opportunity to connect with our Partner Teddy Koentjoro and the HEI Schools Jakarta team during our Spring 2019 Management training. Please read further about his thoughts on education in Indonesia, becoming a father and creating future changemakers.

Can you tell me when you first found out about HEI Schools? What sparked your interest?

We found HEI Schools through Google! How wonderful these days what technology can do connecting us from both worlds digitally. Personally I am never a fan of the conventional education system, I always thought that the approach towards education is in need for a disruption and there are many improvements needed. This is the least we can do from our part to contribute in a small way for the betterment of education in Indonesia.

You and your wife are recent, first time parents. Did this have any effect on your interest in HEI Schools and early childhood education?

Yes, being a first time parents, it definitely gives us more motivation in making sure we can realize HEI schools with the best possible standards in Indonesia and attracting passionate local and international educators to participate in our community.

What do you think would attract Jakarta families the most to HEI Schools?

We believe that the HEI Way culture and values will attract the forwarded thinking parents in Indonesia. It’s important to educate families that HEI Schools’ approach and methods are based on the latest research in education and pedagogy which are rigorously tested in preschools across Finland. It is not only a highly researched preschool model with proven results, but also ranked the best globally.

In Indonesia, what is a common theme in early childhood education?

“Learning through play” is a common theme, but it does not have a common connotation.

Is the Finnish model of education well known throughout Indonesian?

Finnish education model is gaining popularity and being looked up to for most individuals who practice in the industry. We hope that HEI Schools Jakarta being the pioneer in introducing this, we can become a source for those who are eager to learn more.

What are parents seeking for their children currently in Indonesia and especially in Jakarta?

We think all parents in the world can agree on one thing– they want the best for their children. However, determining the term ‘best’ can have many different perspectives. The most important is to recognize each child holistically and understanding what’s best for each child. We believe Indonesian parents are interested in new approaches and methods that are based on the latest research in education and pedagogy which can cultivate the very best for their children.

Are there cultural celebrations or practices you will incorporate into your HEI Schools?

Yes. Understanding and appreciating our roots and culture is vital for Indonesia’s future generation.

How do you feel about incorporating HEI mentor teachers in your school?

It’s a brilliant opportunity to learn and exchange ideas for both sides. We believe that each country/market is unique, hopefully with this global HEI families community we all can join forces in contributing to the future of education. Along with HEI mentor teachers, Indonesia’s education community and parents can have a better understanding towards Finnish ECEC. This is one of the key importance in combining knowledge for our teacher’s training program.

What will be the age group of the children attending your HEI Schools?

18 months - 6 years old

What are your future plans or dreams for HEI Jakarta?

We have a common belief as HEI Schools where every child deserves high quality early childhood education, we aim to be accessible for as many children as possible. Our dream is not only to open many locations in different formats but also to provide the right eco-system for current and future educators to partake. Bill Gates quoted “the brilliant minds of the future will focus on more metaphysical questions: how do we make people happier? How do we create meaningful connections? How do we help everyone live a fulfilling life?”. We hope that we can be a part of nurturing Indonesian children who are not only capable of adapting to the changing world, but changing the world themselves.

Any hopes or fears about your new project?

It’s a very mixed feelings journey. We strongly believe that we have the best talent possible taking part in this project, together with HEI Jakarta family, we are going to accomplish and overcome all the hopes & fears. Wish us luck!

Please add anything additional you would like to share about HEI Jakarta and about yourselves!

To all passionate individuals in Indonesia who are interested to take part in our journey, please do reach out to us! HEI Schools Jakarta look forward to collaborating with educators and individuals from various disciplines in defining the future of education in Indonesia.

We are HEI Schools - Jenna

We are HEI Schools - Jenna

Lifelong learning is at the core of what we teach our children - growing and learning something new everyday.

At HEI Schools we focus on learning about each child as an individual. With a growing staff, we are asking our HEI Schools team about themselves in the same way as the children. Today we are talking to Jenna Venäläinen who is our Pedagogical Content Manager. Please get to know Jenna!



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Things I enjoy at HEI Schools…

I love to challenge myself and learn new things. Working with a great team in a growing company gives opportunities for creating and learning new things all the time. The combination of applying my passion towards early childhood education and then sharing the knowledge through HEI Schools is so inspiring to me!

Things I enjoy at home…

I enjoy sports, and especially swimming in natural waters - even when it’s -20 degrees outside. Spending time with my friends and family keeps me alive!

Things I can do well at HEI Schools...

I’ve received feedback about keeping up a good spirit among the team and inspiring others. And that is also my goal when creating content for teacher training and working with the whole HEI Community.



Things I can do well at home…

I love house plants and I have quite a few of them at my home. Luckily I’m also pretty good at taking care of them!

At HEI Schools we are currently practicing...

I’m producing the video content for different purposes at HEI Schools. Learning new things related to that and improving my editing skills are on my practice list at the moment.

At home we are currently practicing…

Previously I haven’t been that interested in cooking but I’m currently inspired by our Graphic Designer Iiris who shares her best recipes with me.



HEI SCHOOLS CHOSEN AS FINALIST FOR FAST COMPANY’S  WORLD CHANGING IDEAS AWARD 2019

HEI SCHOOLS CHOSEN AS FINALIST FOR FAST COMPANY’S WORLD CHANGING IDEAS AWARD 2019

PRESS RELEASE April 8th 2019

Selected from over 2,000 entries, HEI Schools was named a finalist for its impactful work globalizing Nordic wellbeing through education.


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Fast Company media is an international leader in the coverage of innovative and progressive businesses around the globe. Fast Company has named Finland’s HEI Schools as a world changing innovator in education, choosing it as a finalist for the annual Fast Company World Changing Ideas contest. The contest is one of Fast Company’s preeminent award programs, designed to elevate bold concepts and celebrate working projects that are generating social good and making the world a better place. “We are honored to be able to recognize HEI Schools’ achievements in creating a World Changing Idea—and to include them as part of this remarkable list of innovative solutions,” says Fast Company editor-in-chief Stephanie Mehta.

HEI Schools is the first education provider to develop a turnkey model to bring Finland’s world-renowned education success story to other countries. With an initial focus on early childhood education, HEI Schools delivers a complete and integrated package of curriculum materials, teacher training, facility design, and curated learning tools. The package is designed to be easy to implement and culturally neutral, while still delivering the robust program of education, and the essential values of childhood nurturance, that have made Finnish schools so widely admired around the world. Importantly, the goal is not to try to export Nordic social norms or structures, but to empower local providers with the core building blocks of the Finnish approach. This includes practical techniques, foundational principles, and attention to the physical learning environment. To this end, HEI Schools works closely with local partners in the recruitment and training of personnel, as well as in the construction of beautiful learning spaces inspired by Finnish design. The result is that the HEI Schools model, and its educational mission, are easy to identify, understand, and put into practice.

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HEI Schools has developed its model in collaboration with its pedagogical research partner and co-founding institution, the University of Helsinki. The University of Helsinki is a global leader in teacher education, training, and research. Thanks to this partnership HEI Schools is able to integrate the latest findings about childhood development, as well as new practical discoveries in early childhood education and care. Jari Strandman, CEO of Helsinki Innovation Services at the University of Helsinki, notes that the unique collaboration between HEI Schools and the university is already demonstrating its usefulness and importance: “By combining world-leading knowledge about early education with the logistical expertise of the HEI Schools team, and their passion for building a purpose-driven enterprise through holistic design, we are seeing the rapid adoption and development of the HEI Schools model internationally.”

Ultimately, the goal of the HEI Schools model is not simply to produce children who achieve. The goal is for children to discover themselves in a way that empowers them to direct their own lives, to create original ideas, and to help improve the lives of others. Milla Kokko, the CEO and a co-founder of HEI Schools, reflected on the announcement that HEI Schools had been named a World Changing Ideas finalist: “We are honored to be recognized for our efforts to have a positive impact on the world. Our goal with HEI Schools is simple: to provide high-quality early childhood education to as many children and families in the world as possible. As we continue to expand our reach, we will strive to create educational environments that activate young minds, engage communities, and nurture lifelong learning.

Finalists for Fast Company’s “World Changing Ideas” awards will be featured in the May print edition of Fast Company magazine, which arrives on newsstands on April 16th. HEI Schools  educates worldwide, with HEI Schools currently operating in China, South Korea, Finland, and Australia. New HEI Schools locations are set to open in Indonesia, Argentina, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia.

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For media inquiries please contact:

Pamela Lewis / Marketing Communications Manager
pamela.lewis@heischools.com
+358 45 669 0177

Helsinki International Schools (HEI) was co-founded by the University of Helsinki together with experts in education and design. Inspired by the basic values of trust, accessibility, and high-quality design-for-all that support Nordic educational success, HEI Schools provides a model for global implementation of the world-renown Finnish approach to early childhood education. HEI Schools’ streamlined licensing model is fully scalable and offers curriculum, teacher training, learning environment design, curated learning materials, and operational support for local operators around the world.

Learn more about HEI Schools and Fast Company by visiting:

www.heischools.com and www.fastcompany.com

HEI Schools in CNN

HEI Schools in CNN

Can happiness be exported? One Finnish school believes so

By Lianne Kolirin, CNN

April 6, 2019

Helsinki, the capital of Finland, which has ranked as home to the world's happiest people for two years running.

Helsinki, the capital of Finland, which has ranked as home to the world's happiest people for two years running.

(CNN) - Finland has emerged as the happiest nation in the world, and not for the first time.

The Nordic country, home to just 5.5 million people, scooped top spot in the UN's World Happiness Report -- which ranks countries by how content their citizens perceive themselves to be -- in both 2019 and 2018. Furthermore, it has consistently ranked in the top 10 -- since the first report in 2012.

Despite severe and prolonged winters, Finns' positive outlook is boosted by low levels of crime, access to nature, affordable childcare, heavily subsidized healthcare and, crucially, free education.

Compulsory school education also begins at seven, which is late when compared with British children, who begin in the year they turn five, and the U.S., where children enroll before six.

Standardized testing does not exist in Finland and students are encouraged to explore their strengths, rather than compete, in a more relaxed environment, which education experts say can have a lifelong positive impact.

John Helliwell, editor of the World Happiness Report, told CNN that Finnish children posting the highest scores in the OECD's PISA education rankings first attracted international attention to the country's school system. "The same thing is now happening for happiness, with respect to life as a whole," he said.

He said the country's top educators had ensured that the "system move beyond the achievement of test scores to the development of happy and well-adjusted children and adults."

One entrepreneurial Finnish school is now branching out overseas, exporting its lessons globally in a bid to spread, and sell, this happiness.

'Something valuable to offer'

Tests, competition and ranking are all shunned by Helsinki International Schools (HEI), an institution with seven outposts in China, Australia and South Korea, which aims to make "high-quality early childhood education ... accessible for as many children as possible."

It says its concept has proved such a success that six additional branches have opened since the first one in the Inner Mongolian city of Baotou in 2017, catering for 300 children aged three to six. It is now planning new initiatives in Argentina, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

"We soon realized that if we could make this model work in Inner Mongolia, it would probably work anywhere," Milla Kokko, HEI Schools CEO and co-founder, told CNN.

Related article: This is the world's happiest country in 2019

Kokko said: "Clearly Finland has something valuable to offer people around the world." The idea is to collaborate with overseas educationalists rather than export Finnish educators, she added.

HEI Schools recruits, trains and works with local partners to create and run pre-schools which reflect the Finnish model, also using Finnish designers and architects to build inspiring spaces.

"We started by building this very holistic package that people outside of Finland can operate. If the model was based on finding Finnish teachers to run it, we would eventually run out," the CEO laughed.

Kokko said that research shows that children learn most effectively when they are enthusiastic about the subject. "But it's very difficult in competitive environments to say 'just relax and let the children find their own interests.'

"I would say that Finland is not a very competitive society so it has been easier to implement this. When you have the culture to try that, you see that it works, but having a culture of competition and ranking-based models makes it more difficult."

Helliwell agreed, adding: "Education in Finland has not always been first-rate; there were many important reforms introduced several decades ago, something they recount to show that good education is not culture or nation-specific, but can be developed anywhere. Being Finns, and good at sharing (something else that can be emulated and learned), they were responsive to outside interest, and willing to help others to improve their education systems."

Unlike in Finland, the 'satellite' schools are not free. HEI Schools Marketing Communications Manager Pamela Lewis told CNN that national operators decide on their own fees but are "typically ... landing on fees suitable for (the) local middle class."

HEI Schools is now planning new initiatives in Argentina, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

HEI Schools is now planning new initiatives in Argentina, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

'Danger of post-hoc explanation'

Riikka Hofmann, a lecturer at Cambridge University's faculty of education, where she researches educational change, told CNN: "The reasons for the success of any education system are always complex, contextual and there is always the danger of post-hoc explanation."

Related article: Ice swimming embraced by people of happiest country in the world

She added that the interesting thing about Finland's education system is that "it was not developed into its current form in order to tick boxes of success, but in order to be supportive of all children's learning."

Hofmann said that "we do not know whether things that work in one cultural and policy setting will work the same way in another" but pointed out that HEI Schools is instead trying to allow for its model to develop in a "co-constructive" way through its implementation by teachers in different countries.

One place with an almost diametrically opposed educational culture is South Korea, where emphasis is placed on academic achievement within a hothouse system. Seolmi Lee, a parent at an HEI school in Seoul, said she had come to seek an alternative model after majoring in early childhood education herself.

Lee told CNN that she felt South Korean education was stuck in a traditional system where children operated within a "set framework with fixed answers."

She had been impressed that "in Finnish education, children independently take the initiative to decide what kind of activity they would like to do, find answers within the play they choose, and finish the activity without a set time or framework."

HEI Schools also uses Finnish designers and architects to build inspiring spaces.

HEI Schools also uses Finnish designers and architects to build inspiring spaces.

By doing so, children "gained a huge sense of accomplishment and self-confidence, which eventually leads to the happiness of living."

Every parent wanted their child to be happy, Lee said, adding: "I want to teach my child that happiness is something that she has to make herself, rather than somebody making it for her."

Four years of play

Studies consistently prove a solid foundation in early years has a lasting, lifelong impact, according to Sue Palmer, a former head teacher, literacy expert and author of many books including "Toxic Childhood."

Related article: Is Helsinki the world's coolest city?

Studies consistently prove a solid foundation in early years has a lasting, lifelong impact, according to Sue Palmer, a former head teacher, literacy expert and author of many books including "Toxic Childhood."

Palmer told CNN: "My admiration for the Finns is for their education in general and the trust they put in teachers, but specifically for their absolutely remarkable pre-school provision."

Palmer strongly believes the later starting age is key to Finland's success and would like to see more countries follow suit. Two thirds of countries start school at six, 12% at 4-5 and just over a fifth -- 22% -- at seven, she said.

"Nobody in Finland expects children to be reading and writing formally until they are seven which means they get four years of play and early years pedagogy.

"There are a lot of children who are simply not developmentally ready and if you force them you can create a lot of problems."

YU-YANG BAI OF FISKARS GROUP JOINS HEI SCHOOLS AS COO

YU-YANG BAI OF FISKARS GROUP JOINS HEI SCHOOLS AS COO

HEI Schools warmly welcomes Yu-Yang Bai joining the company as COO (Chief Operations Officer) starting from April 1st, 2019.

Yu-Yang Bai (M.Sc. Economics) brings over 20 years of vast experience and knowledge in business launches, program management, and operations of products and services for new markets, across a wide range of lifestyle consumer goods industry, online media and social communities, digital marketing, e-commerce and digital consumer services.

Bai joins HEI Schools from Fiskars Group, the oldest company in Finland established in 1649, where he spent over 6 years leading the development of consumer digital experience, including e-commerce and digital marketing as well as digital services. Over the years, he has worked with major lifestyle brands with great heritage and design DNA such as Fiskars, Iittala, Royal Copenhagen, Wedgwood, Waterford, Gerber, Arabia, Rörstrand etc. Prior to Fiskars Group, Bai worked for Sulake Corporation, the company behind Habbo - world’s largest online community for teens, at various positions such as VP of Global Country Operations for over 7 years.

It’s my great pleasure to join HEI family and the community of HEI Schools internationally. Children are the future of our world. HEI Schools are at the frontier of helping children not only adapt to the changing world, but more importantly to learn how to shape the world of the future, during their own lifetimes and for generations to come. HEI Schools offer a great concept from a unique Finnish perspective and experience which have been highly praised all over the world. As a business, HEI Schools have been growing very rapidly and we will continue optimising our operations for scalable business growth.” Bai expresses his great passion towards early childhood education and the exciting challenge ahead with HEI Schools.

The experience Bai is bringing to the entire HEI Schools organization is very valuable. His years of experience growing large scale operations will bring for us important competence in scaling our operations and making the school opening even more smooth and clear experience for our partners around the world.” says Milla Kokko, CEO and co-founder of HEI Schools.

We are HEI Schools - Mervi

We are HEI Schools - Mervi

Lifelong learning is at the core of what we teach our children - growing and learning something new everyday.


At HEI Schools we focus on learning about each child as an individual. With a growing staff, we are asking our HEI Schools team about themselves in the same way as the children. Today we are talking to Mervi Turpeinen is our pedagogical manager Please get to know Mervi!

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Things I enjoy at HEI Schools…

I enjoy the happy and energetic atmosphere. Every time I come to work I’m full of energy. It feels like we are creating something great and big together. I’m also happy to see our HEI Community growing.

Things I enjoy at home…

Spending time with my loved ones and snuggling with my dog named Gucci.  After spending nine months away in China as a mentor teacher, now I just love being at home with my family.

Things I can do well at HEI Schools...

I’m full of ideas and always excited about trying new things. Having the opportunity to speak in our videos have been super exciting -  I feel like my inner actress has awaken. I’m very passionate about my work, and every day is different, so I don’t feel like working at all.



Things I can do well at home…

I’m a good cook, and also love baking. I could call myself a homemaker.

At HEI Schools we are currently practicing...

I’m still quite new, so I’m practicing many things. I think one important project at the moment is to get all of the people from HEI Community world wide to the same place and help them to start communicating with each other through our community channel.

At home we are currently practicing…

I’m learning kurdish language, so I can communicate better with my boyfriend’s family. I can already make short sentences! Learning a new language is always super interesting.



HEI Schools now open in Korea

HEI Schools now open in Korea

PRESS RELEASE March 28th 2019

Finnish education export HEI Schools opens 3 locations in Seoul - HEI Seongbuk, HEI Janggi and HEI Nonhyeon.

Finnish education is world renowned for academic excellence as well as teaching lifelong learning skills. South Korean partner and CEO Charlie Song has chosen HEI Schools as their educational model, catering to families in Seoul seeking a learning model that fosters independence, curiosity and confidence in their children.

All of the new HEI Schools Korea locations will be sharing a space with the Fillland art school concept that operates an afterschool program optional to HEI Schools children. The learning spaces have been extensively renovated to compliment the HEI Schools curriculum by holistically incorporating the entire learning environment — a strong sense of Nordic design is a cornerstone to the HEI Schools model.

“I am thrilled to have found a partner in HEI Schools. Nordic concepts as a whole are capturing a lot of attention in Korea and felt this educational model would provide the stress-free solution parents in Korea are seeking. They are looking to shift the dynamics from how they were taught as children and focus on a better method for educating children of their own.” says, Charlie Song, CEO of HEI Seoul.

Unique to HEI Schools is the ongoing education and support for teachers. A mentor team of pedagogical experts join the HEI Schools Korea teachers before opening and continue to mentor alongside the local teachers throughout the first months of starting at each HEI Schools Korea location. This commitment to educational excellence is important to Korean families seeking an alternative approach to early childhood education, one that involves learning through play as opposed to more stressful approaches that place focus on testing and competition.

Eero Suominen, ambassador of Finland to the Koreas discusses further, “I’m very happy that HEI Schools have opened here in Korea. Finland is famous for its education system, but less known for its very advanced early education system. But just as the national curriculum in Finnish schools, also early education in Finland is based on scientific research to find the best systematic methods to educate children. In Finland the main principle is the well-being of the children, and as that well-being increases so do learning results, creativity and positive attitudes towards studying and school. I’m glad to see that this approach is in place in HEI Schools and that proper cognitive and socio-emotional development are taken into consideration so children can grow up as a balanced and harmonious person that gives them the best chances of succeeding in life.”

The opening ceremony presentation was highly attended with distinguished guests including Suominen and Yoonmi Kim, trade commissioner from Business Finland. All HEI Schools Korea locations are now open and accepting new applications for enrollment.

For HEI Schools media inquiries please contact:

Pamela Lewis / Marketing Communications Manager
pamela.lewis@heischools.com / +358 45 669 0177

We Are HEI Schools - Pamela

We Are HEI Schools - Pamela

Lifelong learning is at the core of what we teach our children - growing and learning something new everyday.

At HEI Schools we focus on learning about each child as an individual. With a growing staff, we are asking our HEI Schools team about themselves in the same way as the children. Today we are talking to Pamela Lewis who is our Marketing Communications Manager. Please get to know Pamela!

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Things I enjoy at HEI Schools…

What I enjoy most about HEI Schools is the community I am part of. Our whole team is so talented, I know if I need some perspective on a project I’m working on I can turn to anyone to help me look at it in a different way. I am better at my work because of them.

Things I enjoy at home…

I love being home with my husband and our two boys. We spend a lot of time together cooking, doing art projects and watching documentaries. We moved to Finland from the US a few years ago and home for me is anywhere they are.

Things I can do well at HEI Schools...

I love that my job is varied. Some days are more focused on creativity, whereas some require more thoughtful, precise work and then it can shift into a more social space of working. This type of work could not fit my personality or talents more!

Things I can do well at home…

I am building a lifetime yoga practice and carve out time every morning for a headstand to keep me grounded in a really playful way. Cooking and food are also a passion of mine. It makes me so happy that my family loves what I make.

At HEI Schools we are currently practicing...

Right now, HEI Schools is working on producing more video content. It is exciting as a visual storyteller to share our story in a new format and across different departments. The environment is so collaborative, it is inspiring to be working on our individual video projects, but still tying them together with insight from one another.

At home we are currently practicing…

We are working on producing no trash! So far everything brought in can be recycled or composted. It has been so great to be working on it collectively as a family. Things are still a work in progress, but I really hope our effort can make a difference.

HEI Schools and Kide Science join forces to globalize early education

HEI Schools and Kide Science join forces to globalize early education

PRESS RELEASE March 15th 2019

HEI Schools, a Finnish early childhood education (ECE) company delivering the acclaimed Finnish model to early education ECE operators worldwide has just teamed up with Kide Science to include the innovative education model and learning materials as a part of the HEI curriculum. Kide Science supports children’s scientific thinking through play-based learning, which predicts better learning outcomes in school. Pedagogical methods are based on rigorous academic research by Ph.D. Jenni Vartiainen, who is a leading researcher in the field of early science education.

Nordic countries top polls year after year as the happiest in the world. Studies consistently prove that a solid foundation during the early years has a lasting, lifelong impact. HEI Schools and Kide Science have a research-based licensing model established for local partners to provide the best in early childhood education, all backed by academics at the University of Helsinki. In addition, both are part of Education Finland, which is a governmental cluster programme supporting the best education providers in their growth throughout the international market.

Starting from autumn 2019, Kide Science lessons will be implemented in all HEI Schools. Rapid growth and desirability for the concept in different markets show that HEI Schools is fulfilling a need by providing a model not based on heavy stress, ranking, and competition, but on individual success and holistic development of the child – while still not compromising academic achievement. “This is the same ideology Kide Science has had since the beginning. That is why we are so excited about this co-operation.” says Jenni Vartiainen, founder of Kide Science.

HEI Schools and Kide Science are both operating in Finland, China, and Australia, and now they are seeking joint growth in new markets, starting from Korea, Argentina, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait City, which will be open during 2019-2020.

HEI Schools was developed to offer high-quality early childhood education for as many children and families in the world as possible. Kide Science has a high-quality research-based early science education concept, so we cannot think of a better company to work with as they share our vision.” says CEO of HEI Schools, Milla Kokko.

HEI Schools offersis a highly designed, research- based licensing model, established for local partners, to provide the best in early childhood education. A complete preschool package including the curriculum, teacher training, learning environment design, curated learning materials and operational support. All created with co-founder University of Helsinki in 2016 together with experts in education and design – a perfect harmony of Finnish pedagogy and Nordic design delivered to the world.

For media inquiries please contact: Pamela Lewis pamela.lewis@heischools.com / +358 45 669 0177

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