The middle school of Variska was completed in 1990 and it has been designed by the architect Asko Halme. The new wing, designed by the architect Kimmo Mansisto, was opened for use in August 2022 upon the start of the school year.
Variska comprehensive school has ca. 600 students and offers teaching for grades 1–9. The school is located within the historical scenery of the Old Vaasa – an asset that is put to use in the school’s everyday life as well as celebrations and events. The most important objectives of our school are the wellbeing of our students, involving everyone, a positive self-image, and learning to respect everybody. Each of use is important as an individual and as a member of the community.
- Variska Comprehensive School has an active Student Body. The task of the Student Body is to promote the pupils’ opportunities to have an impact in the school life, to involve the pupils in the practical implementation of activities, and to plan out joint activities for all the pupils of the school.
- Variska Comprehensive School participates in “tukioppilastoiminta” (supporting student activities) – a model where some pupils volunteer to act as instructors, mediators, and simply friendly people, who can ease the way of new pupils, shy pupils, or pupils otherwise in need of any kind of support to get accustomed and integrated in the school environment. The goal of these activities is to promote socially skilled behaviour in schools, to involve the children and the young in all school activities, prevent social problems from growing, and developing the pupils as individual actors.
- The school has adopted the anti-bullying programme (called KiVa – a wordplay based on the Finnish words for anti-bullying and nice) already in 2010. The programme aims to prevent bullying, intervening bullying effectively if it happens, and following up on the development of these interactions.
- Variska also participates in the Green Flag Programme, internationally known as Eco-school sustainable school programme. In 2012, the school was awarded the Green Flag certificate for fulfilling the criteria.
- The national Schools on the Move program also encourages increasing the general activity level of the school and involving students in sporty activities in the school day.
- Variska Comprehensive School is a school whose pupils read. The reading skills of the pupils are promoted consistently while also engaging in an inclusive sense of literacy and bringing forth multiliteracy and multilingualism.
- Our school is international, and the school’s corridors are filled with many different mother tongues. Camp schools and visits happen both abroad and in Finland. One of the most popular forms of camp school is the Variska Eräkerho (Variska Wilderness Skills Club) who go hiking in Lapland every autumn.
- Middle school pupils can study in weighted-curriculum education in sports, mathematics and sciences, and languages.
- Yxgärden the historical garden and the Alkula Garden function as Variska’s school gardens. Alkula grows vegetables and root vegetables especially for the home economics classes of the middle schoolers. Variska’s middle-schoolers can also get summer jobs in either of these gardens.
- Our school has six small groups for classes 7–9, a preparatory class, and a JOPO class (a programme for flexible teaching – formed by combining letters from the Finnish words for flexible basic education) for the students in grades eight and nine. The JOPO class has the same goals as mainstream education, and therefore cannot be considered special education. We emphasize active ways of working and studying in authentic surroundings.
- These channels provide glimpses to Variska Comprehensive School: