Events for anniversary yeart

Call for musicians at the Viikki and Haaga teacher training schools

For the anniversary year, the Viikki Teacher Training School set up a Facebook group to find former pupils and students who are musicians.


The purpose of the group was to help call together former and current musicians at the Viikki and Haaga teacher training schools for the 150th anniversary celebration. Rehearsals and other practicalities were organised remotely, and the gala celebration was held at Finlandia Hall on 13 April 2019.


Anniversary themes

For our anniversary year, we selected five anniversary themes that tied in with our sustainable development themes. Each class in grades 1–6 examined the themes during the year in an order of their choosing. In grades 7–9 and upper secondary school, the themes were discussed in morning assemblies, for which pupils and students gather in the auditorium each morning as part of a long-standing tradition.


For pictures and more information on some of the themes, see here (only available in Finnish).


IN AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER (first period), the theme was our school and its history.


In accordance with the theme, topics covered in the morning assemblies included the early stages of our school, our equality and diversity plan, the 150th anniversary products, life at our school in the 1980s, the things we can find on the Viikki Campus, and the story behind Kaarina Kaikkonen’s artwork Kohti aurinkoa, kohti kuuta (“Towards the sun, towards the moon”), which hangs in the school cafeteria.


IN OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER (second period), the theme was food and ecological food production.


This theme involved discussion about how food production and climate change are linked, how to grow useful plants at home and what ethical concerns are related to keeping animals. We also heard the recollections of a teacher who has worked in our school for 30 years, and learned how the school’s traditional nativity play was created and how it has evolved.


IN DECEMBER AND JANUARY (third period), the theme was wellbeing.


In this period, we had several alumni come share their views on wellbeing. How does the use of one’s own language affect wellbeing? How can theatre promote wellbeing? What is the significance of democracy and the opportunity to be involved? Moreover, we discussed reading and wellbeing, how to nurture the brain and how to promote one’s own wellbeing and coping.


IN FEBRUARY AND MARCH (fourth period), the theme was our school’s history and equality in education.


For example, we heard what teaching practice was like in “the old days”, what it was like at our school during wartime, what the pupils of the girl school were like in the 1950s, and how it felt for the first boys to join the girls in the 1970s.


IN APRIL AND MAY (fifth period), the theme was the future.


How do novels depict the future? What about the arts? What could future inventions be like? What could school be like in the future?


Symposium for parents and guardians on 27 September 2018

On the eve of the National Home and School Day, we organised a symposium for parents and guardians on the initiative of the parents’ association Viikin Norssin Tuki, which attracted some 100 participants. The event kicked off with anniversary coffee and cake, during which participants could buy our school’s anniversary products.


The event’s invited speaker was Professor Kirsi Tirri from the University of Helsinki, who talked about the CoPErNicus study in which our school’s pupils and students took part as a study population. The study is based on Carol Dweck’s mindset theory, according to which individuals approach learning from one of two angles: either they believe that their qualities are fixed or that they can shape their qualities. These two mindsets have now been verified using neuroscientific tests, which our pupils and students have also undergone.


Doctor Reetta Niemi, one of our teachers, talked about developments in pedagogical classroom research: how teachers can study and improve their teaching through action research. Doctor Anni Loukomies introduced interventions that seek to increase pupils’ and students’ interest in natural sciences. Research Professor Timo Partonen, a parent himself, talked about how chronotypes affect our sleep rhythm and offered advice on how to improve the quality of sleep.

Viikki Day on 11 September 2018

In grades 7–9 and upper secondary school, the anniversary year kicked off with a joint Viikki afternoon with the theme “On the move in Viikki, together”. One of the key strategic focus areas of our anniversary year was the entire school community’s wellbeing.  Doing things together and exploring Viikki’s versatile surroundings were carried out through different visits and workshops for different grades.


The nature day for grade 7 pupils was supposed to take place in the Viikki nature reserve, but the event was moved indoors due to rain. Seventh-grade pupils toured six checkpoints around the school with their peer mentors. At the checkpoints, they studied the chemistry of water, learned about invertebrates, solved mathematical problems, familiarised themselves with maps, learned nature vocabulary in foreign languages and wrote stories about forest-themed art photos.


Grade 8 pupils took a field trip to the Museum of Technology by the Vanhankaupunginkoski rapids, which offers a window into the history of Finnish technology and industrialisation. Grade 9 pupils took a field trip to the Viikinmäki wastewater treatment plant, the largest wastewater treatment plant in the Nordic countries.


Upper secondary school students first attended a lecture on how sleep affects wellbeing and coping in upper secondary school studies. The lecture was held by Timo Partonen, research professor at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare. In the afternoon, upper secondary school students were divided into small groups according to their activity of choice. The groups took field trips or participated in workshops. Thanks to the diverse programme, students could get to know a variety of places near our school. The workshops offered students an opportunity to spend time creating things together in various learning environments.

Anniversary symposium on 9 April 2019

Research, experimentation and development (RED) activities are a central part of the Viikki Teacher Training School’s operations. To mark the anniversary year, we organised an anniversary symposium in which Finnish and international researchers talked about how teacher training promotes equality. Our teachers, pupils and students also introduced their RED projects at the symposium.

Anniversary exhibition 1–12 April 2019

As part of the Kevätkeikaus spring event held on 30 March, our pupils and students were the first to visit the Viikki Teacher Training School anniversary exhibition between 9.00 and 14.00. The exhibition offered an overview of our school’s traditions and festivities and took us on a trip down history lane, from the school’s foundation to the present. The exhibition also featured portraits made by our current pupils and students of their peers who studied at the school 25 years ago.

School anniversary on 11 April

Our school celebrated its 150th anniversary on Thursday, 11 April 2019 at the school. We wanted a day of doing things together as a community, enjoying each other’s company and learning more about one another. During the day, we formed class pairs to participate in the workshop and anniversary celebration and shared a meal in our cafeteria. Each class pair took part in the communal workshop that produced handmade pieces for an artwork to which the whole school community contributed. In the celebration, we heard, saw and experienced the school’s past and present through words, images and music. The celebration starred staff, parents, alumni and former student teachers.

Alumni meeting on 13 April 2019

During the anniversary week, we offered our alumni the opportunity to meet with their class at the Viikki Teacher Training School (Kevätkatu 2, Helsinki) on Saturday, 13 April 2019 from 11.00 to 15.00. The meetings were preceded by a joint morning assembly headed by Principal Reijo Honkanen in the auditorium at 11.00. After the assembly, participants could have brunch at the school cafeteria, tour the premises and visit the anniversary exhibition.


Gala celebration at Finlandia Hall on 13 April 2019

The gala celebration of the Viikki Teacher Training School’s 150th anniversary took place at Finlandia Hall on Saturday, 13 April 2019. The dress code was formal.


The event was open to all alumni and former staff of the Viikki Teacher Training School and its predecessors. Current upper secondary school students also attended the gala programme at Finlandia Hall.


Kasvun paikka anniversary publication

Kasvun paikka is the Viikki Teacher Training School’s 150th anniversary publication. The publication includes two history sections. The first is written by Laura Kolbe, professor and school alumna, and covers the school’s history from 1869 to 1994. The second covers the years 1994 to 2019 and is also written by an alumna, history scholar Sari Aalto. In addition, the publication also includes profiles, letters from pupils, students and student teachers, and numerous photographs. The publication is a great way for people to refresh their memories of their school days and gain an overview of developments in Finnish education policy. The anniversary publication is edited by the award-winning textbook author Inkeri Hellström, teacher of Finnish language and literature at the Viikki Teacher Training School. The book’s launch party was held on 9 April 2019.