What makes HEI Schools approach different
HEI Schools is the first comprehensive concept that licenses Finnish early childhood education to the whole world. HEI is founded in partnership with the University of Helsinki.
We have strong values that drive everything we do
Inspiring and competent teachers – extensive teacher training program
HEI Curriculum is based on extensive cognitive research
HEI Spaces are designed to calm children down enabling them to focus and learn
Each child is recognized holistically and has their own learning journey
Education experts of University of Helsinki are a part of our daily working team bringing the latest discoveries in education to everything we do
Explore hei way in a nutshell from this video
The defining first years
Child’s first 7 years are the magical years, those defining years that will leave lasting impact on a person’s life. Majority of child brain develops in these early years – defining and shaping child’s personality, health, cognitive growth and learning capabilities.
The essential skills for life
Children are not just learning for school or standardized testing but given foundation for lifelong learning beyond academic skills. Children are equipped with 21st century competences such as focus, creativity, problem solving, self-expression, self-care, social-emotional, multiliteracy, collaboration, grit and resilience.
We want children to be the active agents in their own learning and development. We inspire them to think in a variety of ways: with creativity, compassion and resourcefulness. Why give ready answers when the world is changing all the time. By empowering children with capacity to ask questions instead of giving them answers, we instil the love of learning and discovery.
Research based model from Finland
World renowned Finnish early childhood education emphasizes viewpoints from child’s perspective. The Finnish model has been rigorously tested for decades with outstanding learning results. It is combining the best and latest learning philosophies, models, practices with consistent development, to meet the highest standards in education.
University of Helsinki is our co-founder. Education experts of University of Helsinki are a part of our daily working team bringing the latest innovations in education to everything we do.
Understanding the phases of development
Research shows that introducing new skills when children are ready to receive them leads to learning, not frustration.
The Finnish education methods are supporting children’s learning and development without toxic stress that can come from pushing children to learn too much too early.
People in general learn the best when steered by their own interests. This holds true for children and adults. Finland has very high learning outcomes with purposeful play and nurturing guidance from educated teachers. This way learning becomes fun and productive!
Children learn while they play
Children do not play so that they can learn, but rather they learn while they play. There are various forms and levels of play and a professional teacher knows how to foster play with countless possibilities for children to learn. Play can happen through more organized project-based learning or it can happen through free play. The teacher’s role in free play is to guide, document, and participate to further enrich in order to enhance learning.
Inspiring and competent teachers
Our teachers look at the world through a child's perspective, because all children learn in different ways and different pace. At HEI Schools we provide teachers with tools and guidance to accommodate children’s natural curiosity and to fully support each child.
We highly value our teachers and recognize them as educators whose role research proves to be very influential in child’s learning. HEI Schools trains its teachers thoroughly and offers continuous training and ability to be part of a global HEI teacher community.
Safe havens for learning
Research shows that your physical surroundings can impact your behavior, thoughts, emotions and well-being. Because children learn with all five senses, our schools need to be more than just functional spaces.
Our creative learning spaces are designed to support our curriculum and daily activities, providing children with a safe, calm and stress-free learning environment — every day. This can be seen in our lesson plans, materials, services and interiors, without compromising our educational goals.
We are driven by values
Curiosity & Creativity
Curious children are creative children.
Curiosity is the driving force of learning. Creativity stems from playful exploration. We create rich learning environments for children to explore with their senses. When natural curiosity is acknowledged and nurtured, children begin to ask questions about the world around them.
Children have the right to be heard and included.
Children have a variety of ways to express their opinions, create their own play and show their emotions. We encourage participation by giving children opportunities to make decisions regarding their daily lives. This supports children’s growth as responsible members of society, while strengthening their confidence and sense of belonging.
Culture of trust
Culture is built on mutual respect and a commitment to shared responsibilities.
Feeling safe, respected and trusted are basic preconditions for any human being to learn. When people trust each other, they grow and learn. When children are surrounded by a culture of trust, they are free to explore, experiment and move through their space with ease.
Sustainable way of living
Taking care of our communities without compromising the planet.
Sustainability is not only about being environmentally aware. At our schools, children are educated to be respectful and compassionate people who respect diversity and contribute to creating a more sustainable world — both culturally and environmentally.
Learning everywhere & all the time
Learning is a constant, complex and interconnected process that isn’t limited to specific activities or inside the classroom. At our preschools learning is approached holistically, where each interaction – with other children, teachers or nature – presents a possibility for learning. Our learning environments are carefully designed to encourage children to interact, explore, rest and unwind.
Your child’s learning journey
At our schools children are recognized holistically. We pay close attention to children's social-emotional, physical, creative and cognitive growth and character development. Our curriculum is designed to support this growth.
Day at HEI Schools
This is a typical day at HEI Schools. Each day varies according to the curriculum activities. Our days have been designed with thought to have the right balance of lessons and free play, movement and rest, excitement and calmness, group activities and individual timeindoors and outdoors.
Learning happens everywhere
Learning happens everywhere - children learn during every moment of the day. At HEI Schools, all moments are learning moments; whether it’s putting on your own shoes; pouring your own milk or learning science through a hands on science project. The teacher’s role is to enhance the situational learning.
Learning by exploring
Children also learn through guided experimentation, and this is achieved by doing projects. The term “project-based learning” is part of our educational approach and involves a collaborative effort from both children, and teachers. The project exploration can be done in a small group, or with the whole class. Teachers draw inspiration from thoughtfully designed materials and will select a suitable project that fits the children’s developmental age.
What Children will learn at HEI Schools
Learning forms of expression
At our schools, we support the learning and development of children’s various forms of expression. We familiarize them with different art forms and their cultural heritage. We offer children opportunities to express themselves through musical activities, visual arts/crafts and bodily/verbal expression.
Exploring and interacting with the world around me
Exploration and curiosity are key elements of learning. We promote children’s natural abilities to observe, analyze and understand the world around them. We support the development of children’s linguistic and mathematical skills through different activities in everyday life. Through science and environmental education, we strengthen children’s relationship with nature and support their awareness about the surrounding environment.
Understanding the world we live in
We support children in understanding diversity in their local community, as well as the practices that activate respect for diversity. We support children’s growth as conscious human beings, and help them to understand what it means to be an ethically responsible member of society.
Practising a healthy way of living
We build a basis for a healthy way of living which consists of physical activity, nutrition, rest, self-care and care of others. This learning area supports other learning areas and helps children manage their daily life, and routines.
Mixed age groups
At our schools, children have the right to learn and develop individually, and in group settings. We provide children with opportunities to learn interaction skills and social norms within a group of peers. It is crucial for children to learn how to consider others, while building their foundational skills for life.
Rich language environment
English language in HEI Schools is taught by using two languages together throughout instruction, native language and English. This method is widely recognized all over the world as an effective way for children to learn another language.
HEI Schools is a global community
HEI Schools is a network of local communities where we foster meaningful connections by collaborating with other schools, families and teachers across the globe.