A Winter Camp with Hidden Curriculum 2016 FICEA winter camp

The core content of 21st century education is about creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration, which are also the educational purposes of our Finnish winter camp. Good education influences people silently.


It is of the very importance that for arts of education to hide the education purposes.

-Vasyl Sukhomlynsky



The Deputy Mayor’s Speech at the Opening Ceremony

Finnish winter camp was officially started on January 2016 and was jointly organized by us, Finland-China Education Association (FICEA), and cities of Tampere and Sastamala. Students and teachers coming from different provinces of China gathered in Finland and started their Finnish Education Winter Camp by attending an official ceremony in our headquarters in Tampere. 


During the opening ceremony, Deputy Mayor Leena Kostiainen, who is in charge of the basic education in Tampere, addressed her warm welcoming speech on behalf of the city to students and teachers who had come all the way from China. In her speech, she shared her experiences and feelings about being a mother, a teacher and a principal. Her dialogue with the students eased the misgiving the guests might have felt in a new situation, bringing them closer to each other.


In addition to Kostiainen, representatives of different groups of students and teachers also gave speeches and expressed their anticipations of this camp. 



Mayor Leena Addressing Her Speech


   Representatives of Chinese Groups and FICEA

Experience ofCreativity, Critical thinking, Communication and Collaboration

Taking into account those 4 Cs in education, our expert team and Finnish schools designed this Finnish Education Winter Camp, which includes courses in Finnish schools, Outside School Courses, Arctic Creative Courses, Arctic Snow and Ice Experience Courses, Nordic Cultural Courses as well as some other activities. The aim of these courses was to familiarize students with the local life and let them experience it themselves. During the camp, students were able to study and play with their Finnish age-mates and experience the ideas of Learning by Doing and Learning through Playing, which are important features of Finnish education. The goal was to offer them a possibility to experience the school days as if they were Finnish students themselves.


Chinese and Finnish students having their lunch together  




Chinese and Finnish students having lessons together  


Chinese and Finnish students playing together  

Courses in Finnish schools

Our expert team paid a lot of attention to course design and the selection of schools to be able to familiarize Chinese students with Finnish Education during the two-week winter camp.

During the school visit, students were divided into different classes according to their ages. Even though they did not speak the same language, they used gestures and body and eye movements to communicate with each other. They experienced Learning by Doing and helped each other in need. For Chinese students, many courses like carpentry, cooking and home economics were quite different from the courses they had been accustomed to. Nevertheless, with the help of Finnish teachers students were able to learn and master the core concepts in short order.


Learning to bake gingerbread cookies           


Learning to bake muffins


                                Sewing lessons


Let me try

 Having their P.E. lesson


Outside School Courses

Both in Finland and China, the Outside School Courses are the core elements of National Curriculum and Local Curriculums. Our team combined them to be able to offer students inspiration and knowledge.


Outside school science course


                     Reading in library


Visiting museum

 Arctic Creative Courses

As Learning by Doing is one of the core concepts of Finnish education, it is also the most important concept in our winter camp. In the arctic camp, Finnish teachers delivered creative courses, which were prepared by the expert team. At the end of these creative courses, students created their own snow sculptures. First, they discussed about their own ideas together and then implemented them as a team. The judge for their work was a polar bear, which made students happy by rewarding them with certificates.


Creative snow sculptures preparation course


Group discussion


Sculpturing a swan


Students and teachers with the Polar Bear Judge


Certificate awarding for their works

Arctic Snow and Ice Experience

Children wearing winter sports clothing and carrying sports equipment were guided by local Finnish coaches. For many of the students, it was the first time they tried winter sports, such as snow sledding, snow walking or snowmobile ride. They also got to meet arctic animals, which helped them to understand the local nature. Students were very excited to have a snow fight with their friends. After that, they had a traditional Finnish sausage barbecue. 


Arctic sunset


Feeding arctic fox


Snowmobile ride

Nordic Visit

The Nordic culture is quite different from the Chinese one. However, experiencing a new culture can be a window for the children to view the world with a new perspective. During their tour in World Design Capital Helsinki, they visited Esplanadi Park and bought some souvenirs from a marketplace. After shopping, they went to see the Helsinki Cathedral and did the posture of Thousand-hand Bodhisattva as in the picture. Our team leaders also gave them a presentation on great Finnish musicians when visiting Sibelius Park. 


Students did the gestures like Thousand-hand Bodhisattva


Snow fight in Sibelius Park

Stockholm Trip

Students saw a new culture in Stockholm, which is the founding city of the Nobel Prize and sometimes stated to be the Venice of the north. They visited the City Hall where the Nobel Prize ceremony is organized and pondered their own future dreams.


Nobel Prize introduction

Students and Teachers Sharing Their Thoughts:

The most unforgettable part was our school visit. First, we felt a bit shy, but later on we were very happy to know the Finnish students. Many pupils even had tears in their eyes when we said goodbye to the school we had visited.

Zhou Zhiying

It would’ve been better if I had planned the snow sculpture a bit more before implementing it. Besides that, I think teamwork and communication are also very important things when it comes to outcome. Within the team, we can express our thoughts and divide our workload.

Liu Zeyu

Since I familiarized myself with Finnish education, I started to think how to use less time to finish more work.

Zhang Yongchen

My English competency improved because of the communication with local people. My grammar and pronunciation mistakes were not a problem for us. 

Chen Xinyue

Finnish students provided me encouragement and assistance. When we left the school, we exchanged our contact information and got a poster with the pupils’ signatures. I was moved into tears because of the poster. Finnish school impressed me.

Liu Qiyue

Finnish students are active learners because of the guidance that their teachers offer. Exams, marks and ranks are not so important in here. Instead, they are encouraged to master things that they will need in their future life. They do not study just because of exams.

Han Genchen

Finnish teachers always finish their lessons on time and there is a break of 15 minutes between. I don’t feel tired of having lessons here.

Yang Shuhang

I think the entire winter camp, which contained school visits, course experiencing and arctic camp is very special. It is obviously different from the ones I have attended with my students before. This Finnish Winter Camp is truly an educational camp. Even my students’ behavior improved during these weeks.

Ms Zhao Suxia

What impressed me the most was the self-discipline of Finnish students, which is also a good aspect for Chinese students to learn. There were many interesting contents and hands on activities. This allowed us to experience some of the core features of Finnish education and its courses. Chinese children learned a lot from the Finnish students.

Ms Ren Luyan

This is my first time to see the huge amounts of snow in the arctic area. However, I was surprised that I don’t feel as cold as I imagined when checking the temperature. Besides that, I think it is very comfortable to stay here and I think we have lots of aspects that we can learn from Finland. Water, food and air are all very clean here. People are also very nice and kind, which makes me feel happy. My students learned a lot!

Ms Wang Jingling



Students sharing their thoughts

Media Reports

Like many other FICEA events, also The Finnish Education Winter Camp was visible in Finnish media. Media representatives photographed our happy little guests and their interaction with Finnish students.



Finnish media are interviewing


Article from Aamulehti


Article from Pirkkalainen


Kuriiri’s article


Even though Chinese students spent only two weeks in Finland and Sweden, they gained both knowledge and friendship. They had lots of fun playing games and having some competitions. They had their laughter and they had their tears too, and we believe the experience will be memorable.


Anyhow, the 2016 Finnish Summer Camp will be here soon…