Pre-school class, compulsory education and recreation centres

For children between the ages of 6 and 16.

Most children begin in a pre-school class when they are 6 years old. After the pre-school class, they begin in the nine-year compulsory school. Recreation centres are a complement to the pre-school class and compulsory education and are intended to offer pupils a meaningful leisure time during times when their parents work or study.

Children who live in Sweden are subject to compulsory school attendance from the autumn semester of the year that they turn 6. Then, most children begin in the pre-school class. After the pre-school class, the children begin compulsory school or equivalent types of school. Every academic year is divided into two semesters, one autumn and one spring semester.

Schools can be municipal or independent

Compulsory schools can be municipal or independent. Most compulsory schools are municipal and the most common is that pupils attend a municipal school close to home.

Every compulsory school has the possibility of having various specialisations, such as English classes or culture and sports classes.

Independent schools are open to all and the teaching must be equivalent to that provided in municipal schools. Independent schools have a different operator (owner) than the municipality.

Pre-school class

Illustrerar förskoleklass

All children must attend a pre-school class from the year that they turn 6, but in some cases, the child can begin at 5 or 7 years of age. The pre-school class is free of charge and comprises at least 525 hours during an academic year.

The teaching shall stimulate development and learning. It must also prepare pupils for continued education. Play, creativity and exploration are important parts of children’s learning.

Activities in the pre-school class

The education shall be based on a comprehensive view of the pupil and his or her needs. The pre-school class is also intended to give the children an opportunity to develop good relationships to classmates and a sense of belonging and security in the group. Likewise, the teaching shall give the pupils an opportunity to develop an ability to cooperate based on a democratic and empathetic approach.

The teaching shall provide the preconditions for the pupils to develop their ability to try and develop ideas, solve problems and translate ideas into action.

In the pre-school class, the pupils get to communicate both orally and in writing in various contexts. Through various aesthetic forms of expression, the children learn to communicate in various ways using, for example, drama, dance, music, art and design. The pre-school class also includes using mathematical concepts for solving problems and exploring and describing events and connections in nature and other places that the pre-school class visits. The pre-school class shall provide the opportunity for the pupils to exercise in different settings so that they can understand what can affect health and well-being. The activities may take place for a maximum of 6 hours per day.

It is the municipalities that are responsible for the pupils being offered a pre-school class. Pre-school classes arranged by independent schools are an alternative to the municipal activities.

Compulsory education

Illustrerar grundskoleutbildning

Compulsory education can be provided in several different types of schools besides compulsory school, also in special-needs compulsory school, compulsory school for the hearing or visually impaired (special school), Sámi schools or preparatory dance education. Compulsory education can also be conducted in various formats abroad.

Activities in compulsory school

Compulsory school shall give the pupils knowledge and develop their ability to seek knowledge independently. The education in compulsory school shall give the pupils knowledge and contribute to personal development for all pupils. It shall prepare the pupils for active life choices, promote well-rounded contacts and social interaction and provide a good foundation for active participation in civic life. Compulsory school shall provide a good foundation for continued education.

Compulsory school curriculum and course syllabus

The school curriculum describes what subjects are included in the education and how they are distributed between the different years. Pupils who attend compulsory school have a right to a number of guaranteed teaching hours. Every academic year is divided into two semesters, one autumn and one spring semester.

The pupils in compulsory school study Swedish or Swedish as second language, mathematics, English, practical-aesthetic subjects, technology, social studies, science, mother tongue and modern languages.

There is a course syllabus for every subject in school. It describes what the purpose of the teaching is and what knowledge your child shall be given the opportunity to develop within the subject.

The activities in school must be consistent with society’s democratic values and everyone who works in school must respect the value of every person and our environment. All pupils shall feel secure and respected and be given equal opportunities in school.

Assessment and learning in compulsory school

In school, the pupil continuously receives information about what he or she has learned in relation to the teaching objectives. The teacher, the pupil and other pupils can provide feedback that contributes to guiding pupils forward in their learning. Teachers and pupils also discuss what the pupil should do to move further in his or her studies based on an assessment of what the pupil needs and already knows. It is important that the pupil obtains an understanding of his or her own learning and need for development.

Development talks in compulsory school

At least once every semester, the pupil, the teacher and the pupil’s guardian meet to discuss how the pupil is doing. This is called a development talk. This talk shall provide a view of the pupil’s knowledge and social development.

During the talk, a discussion shall be held about how the school can support and stimulate the pupil’s development and learning. The talk provides the pupil and guardian an opportunity to influence and take responsibility for the pupil’s schooling. Here, one takes up the pupil’s potential need for extra adaptations and special support, among other things.

In the years that grades are not given, a written individual development plan shall be prepared once per academic year. The individual development plan shall contain written assessments and planning of the pupil’s continued schooling.

Grades and grading in compulsory school

At the end of every semester beginning in year 6, the pupils receive grades in the subjects that were included in teaching. Final grades are set at the end of year 9, when compulsory school ends. The pupil applies to upper-secondary school with the final grades.

The grading scale has six levels: A – F. A-E represent passing results and F is for a failing result. A dash is set instead of a grade if a pupil had such extensive absences that the teacher cannot set a grade.

Special-needs compulsory school

Illustrerar särskola

Special-needs compulsory school is for children between the ages of 7 and 16 who have a developmental impairment/intellectual disability or a non-congenital brain injury. Special-needs compulsory school is adapted to the circumstances and needs of each pupil. The education shall give the pupils knowledge and contribute to development, social interaction and a good foundation for active participation in society.

Activities in special-needs compulsory school

Special-needs compulsory school comprises education in subjects and subject areas, or a combination of them. The education can also comprise subjects according to the compulsory school course syllabi. The education shall provide knowledge and values, contribute to development, social interaction and a good foundation for active participation in society.

Pupils that attend special-needs compulsory school and have a need to go to a recreation centre can apply for a place at a recreation centre that belongs to the compulsory school or a compulsory school for the hearing or visually impaired (special school). Read more in the section on recreation centres below.

Special-needs compulsory school curriculum and course syllabus

The curriculum describes what subjects are included in the education and how they are distributed between the different years. Pupils who attend special-needs compulsory school have a right to a number of guaranteed teaching hours.

The pupils in the special-needs compulsory school study subjects or subject areas. The subjects included are Swedish or Swedish as second language, mathematics, English, practical-aesthetic subjects, technology, social studies and science. Those who do not have a possibility to study the subjects can study the subject areas of everyday activities and perception of reality.

There is a syllabus for every subject in school. It describes what the purpose of the teaching is and what knowledge your child shall be given the opportunity to develop within the subject.

The activities in school must be consistent with society’s democratic values and everyone who works in school must respect the value of every person and our environment. All pupils shall feel secure and respected and be given equal opportunities in school.

Assessment and learning in special-needs compulsory school

In school, the pupil continuously receives information about what he or she has learned in relation to the teaching objectives.

The teacher, the pupil and other pupils can provide feedback that contributes to guiding pupils forward in their learning. Teachers and pupils also discuss what the pupil should do to move further in his or her studies based on an assessment of what the pupil needs and already knows. It is important that the pupil obtains an understanding of his or her own learning and need for development.

Development talks in special-needs compulsory school

At least once every semester, the pupil, the teacher and the pupil’s guardian meet to discuss how the pupil is doing. This is called a development talk. The talk shall provide an all-round picture of the pupil’s knowledge and social development.

During the talk, a discussion shall be held about how the school can support and stimulate the pupil’s development. The talk provides the pupil and the guardian an opportunity to influence.

In the development talk, a written individual development plan shall be written, partly for pupils in years 1-5 and partly for the pupils who do not receive grades in year 6-9. The individual development plan shall contain assessments and prospective planning.

Grades and grading in special-needs compulsory school

in special-needs compulsory school, grades are only set in subjects if the guardian or the pupil so requests. This does not apply to the subject areas, where grades are not set. The grading scale has five levels: A, B, C, D and E. A is the highest grade and E is the lowest passing grade. If the pupil does not meet the requirements for the grade of E, no grade is set.

Recreation centres

Illustrerar fritidshem

The recreation centre is for pupils between the ages of 6 and 13. It is open before and after school hours and during school breaks when parents are working or studying.

The recreation centres supplement the education in the pre-school class and school up through year 6. The objective of the recreation centres is to stimulate pupil development and learning and offer them a meaningful leisure time. At the same time, the recreation centre makes it possible for parents to combine parenthood with gainful employment.

Activities in the recreation centre

The recreation centre supplements school in two ways:

  • By welcoming pupils during the part of the day that they are not in school and during breaks.
  • By giving the pupils partly different experiences and knowledge than what they get in school.

Together, the pre-school class, school and recreation centre shall contribute to the pupils’ all-round development and learning. The education shall make use of the pupils’ desire to learn and should be based on the pupils’ needs, interests and experiences. The activities shall be adapted to pupils having different circumstances.

The recreation centres are open year-round except on major Swedish holidays and Saturday-Sunday. The pupils have an opportunity to be there daytime before and after school and at times adapted to the parents’ work or studies and to the pupils’ needs.

The recreation centres are often coordinated with school. The coordination can involve staff, premises and the educational activities.

For pupils ages 10 to 13, the municipality can also operate open recreation activities. Open recreation activities are an educational activity in a group for pupils in years 4 to 6. Open recreation activities are voluntary and, through educational activities, shall supplement the education in compulsory school and equivalent types of school. The activities do not offer care and supervision in the same way as a recreation centre, but rather offer activities that are adapted to the age group.

Who goes to the recreation centre?

The municipalities are obliged to offer education in recreation centres to pupils from 6 years of age to the end of the spring semester of the year that the pupil turns 13, whose parents are gainfully employed or study, or if the pupil has a need of his or her own due to the family’s situation otherwise.

Education in recreation centres shall be offered as soon as it becomes apparent that the pupil has a need for such a place. The education shall be offered at, or near, the school unit where the pupil attends school. Pupils who due to physical, mental or other reasons need special support in their development shall be offered education at a recreation centre.

Fees

The municipalities may charge a reasonable fee for a place at a recreation centre. The size of the fee is determined by the parents’ income level. Today, all municipalities use a system with a fee ceiling. The ceiling means an upper limit for how high the fee can be for different families.

All municipalities use a system with a ceiling. The fee ceiling means an upper limit for how high the fee can be for different families.

School for the hearing or visually impaired (special school)

The school for the hearing or visually impaired, also known as the special school, is for pupils who have a hearing impairment, visual impairment, serious speech disorder or a combination of several impairments. The teaching is adapted to the pupils’ needs and opportunities. The teaching largely corresponds to the education provided in compulsory school. The special school comprises 10 years.

There are ten special schools throughout Sweden with different specialisations. The various schools are for:

  • pupils who are deaf or have a hearing impairment
  • pupils with serious speech disorders
  • pupils who have a visual impairment and any other disability and
  • pupils who are deaf or have a hearing impairment together with a development disorder and for pupils who have congenital or acquired deaf-blindness.

How do you apply to the special school?

You send the application to the National Agency for Special Needs Education and Schools (SPSM), which decides if a pupil is to be admitted to the special school.

Here is a link on how to apply to a special school and more information on SPSM:

The application to a special school in years 1-10 is submitted via the National Agency for Special Needs Education and Schools (SPSM):

National Agency for Special Needs Education and Schools (SPSM):s websiteexternal link

Assessment and learning in the special school

In school, the pupil continuously receives information about what he or she has learned in relation to the teaching objectives.

The teacher, the pupil and other pupils can provide feedback that contributes to guiding pupils forward in their learning. Teachers and pupils also discuss what the pupil should do to move further in his or her studies based on an assessment of what the pupil needs and already knows. It is important that the pupil obtains an understanding of his or her own learning and need for development.

Development talks in the special school

At least once every semester, the pupil, the teacher and the pupil’s guardian meet to discuss how the pupil is doing. This is called a development talk. The talk shall describe the pupil’s knowledge and social development in relation to the curriculum, course syllabi and knowledge requirements.

During the talk, a discussion shall be held about how the school can support and stimulate the pupil’s development and learning. The talk provides the pupil and guardian an opportunity to influence and take responsibility for the pupil’s schooling. Here, one also takes up the pupil’s potential need for extra adaptations and special support, among other things.

In the years that grades are not given, the pupil shall instead receive a written individual development plan once per year. The individual development plan shall contain written assessments and a planning of what the school will do and what the pupil him or herself and the guardian can do for the pupil to develop to the furthest possible extent.

Grades and grading in the special school

Grades are given from the end of the autumn semester of year 7 in the special school. The grading scale has six grading levels from A to F where F stands for a failing result. Final grades are given after year 10.

Senast uppdaterad 27 mars 2020