This is the Swedish school system

Your child can attend preschool from the age of 1. Preschool is voluntary.

As from autumn of this year, if your child has reached the age of three, he/she is entitled to public preschool. Public preschool includes 15 hours a week and is free of charge.

From the age of 6, pupils begin preschool class. After the preschool class, children begin elementary school or a corresponding type of school. For pupils between the ages of 6 and 13, out-of-school activities are available both before and after school hours and during school breaks, and offer meaningful activities. Charges are based on the custodial guardian’s income.

In Sweden, schooling is mandatory. This means that by law pupils must go to school from preschool class to grade 9. If the pupil is sick, this must be reported to the school each day that the pupil is at home. Only the pupil’s custodial guardian can report absence due to sickness. Other reports are not valid.

The Swedish school culture might differ from your previous school experiences. It might be a question of different requirements and expectations, as regards both pupils and custodial guardians.

We expect pupils to:

  • come on time.
  • hand in their work on time.
  • show respect for school property, for teachers, and for schoolmates.
  • participate actively in lessons. Being able to describe how one has arrived at an answer is at least as important as arriving at a correct answer.
  • participate actively in group work, surveys and discussions, and that they cooperate in order to reach a goal.
  • participate in practical subjects such as domestic science, art and music. These subjects are just as important as theoretical ones.

Custodial guardians are expected to communicate with the school. Good cooperation between school and home benefits both parties. Therefore, be in contact regarding matters large or small. The pupil’s mentor is the person you should contact first of all.

Work on values

The school’s values and work are based on democratic principles, as is also guidance provided by the teachers.

The education must convey and endow respect for human rights and the fundamental democratic values on which Swedish society is based.

The equal value of all, equality of opportunity between women and men, as well as solidarity between people are the values which the school must embody and convey. Teaching in the school must be non-confessional.

The school must embody and convey the values and rights expressed in the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child (the Children’s Convention)

Värmdö Municipality’s schools

There are ten municipal and five independent elementary schools in Värmdö Municipality.

At Hemmestaskolan and Värmdö skärgårdsskola there are preparatory classes in which pupils are included in a smaller teaching group for part of the school day. The rest of the time, the pupil is included in her/his large class.


All pupils who have recently arrived in Sweden and their custodial guardians meet one of the Municipality’s coordinators in order to identify the pupil’s previous language and school experience. The result of the identification gives the school the opportunity to make a good placement and also provides the teacher with a possibility to adapt the teaching to the pupil’s knowledge level and needs.

Mentor/class teacher

The mentor/class teacher is the pupil’s most important contact and is a link between the pupil and the school. Mentors/class teachers monitor the pupil’s knowledge development and the pupil’s social development. The mentor/class teacher is responsible for the measures that are taken if there are special needs or if such a rise.

Preparatory class and Swedish as a second language

Preparatory class

A pupil who is in a preparatory class learns partly in a small learning group separate from the class to which the pupil belongs.

Preparatory class is intended to allow the pupil to develop sufficient proficiency in Swedish to be able to benefit from teaching in a large class. A pupil is taught for a maximum of two years in a preparatory class.

Swedish as a second language

Pupils with sufficient linguistic knowledge to benefit from learning in a large class are offered instruction in Swedish as a second language in order to strengthen and develop their Swedish. The curriculum is the same as for the subject ‘Swedish’, but the pupil is assessed taking into consideration that he/she has a different mother tongue.

Communication between home and school

Schools in the municipality communicate with pupils and custodial guardians through an online tool, a school platform called Schoolsoft. It is on Schoolsoft that you report sick leave, make contact with the mentor/class teacher and monitor your child’s knowledge development in the form of judgement, assessment and grades.

Mentors/class teachers also publish times for parent-teacher interviews in Schoolsoft so that you can book a time. During these interviews, you get to know how things are going at school, in different subjects and have a chance to ask questions.

In Schoolsoft you also obtain information about parent meetings. At these meetings, the school’s principal provides general information to custodial guardians.

You receive login details at the school’s administrative office.

After school activities

After-school activities contribute to language development as well as social contacts and integration. Therefore, it can be beneficial to remain at school together with classmates after school hours. After-school activities are offered to younger pupils in a preschool class up to and including grade 3, while similar activities (called the Club) offered to older pupils in grades 4, 5 and 6.

Children in higher age groups can benefit from taking part in a sport, for example football training. Movement is also healthy and has many other benefits. Tomtebo, which is located above the sports hall at Hemmestaskolan, provides different activities. This is not something that the school arranges.


Pupils are on leave from the school during the holidays. If leave is needed at any other time, you must apply to a mentor or the principal. Written applications are made to a mentor.

After-school activities are open for the younger age groups during school holidays, but as a custodial guardian you must register for the activities well in advance.

Pupil health team

At each municipal school in Värmdö Municipality there is a pupil health team comprising a nurse, social worker, special pedagogue, special teacher, study and vocational guides as well as deputy principal. A school doctor and school psychologist are also available, but are not located in a specific school.

The team’s job is to supplement the teachers’ pedagogic skills as regards the pupils’ development and learning. Together with teachers and other school personnel, the team works to contribute to the best possible learning situation for the pupils.

Form to be completed and handed in

SOS form -A form with information about the pupil and the custodial guardian’s address and telephone number. On this form, questions also answered about medicine/swimming ability/photo. The form is handed in to a mentor.

Special dietary requirements - If the pupil has special dietary requirements due to allergy or for religious reasons. The form should be handed in to a mentor.

After-school/The Club - Pupils in preschool class and grades 1-6 can apply for a place in after-school activities and Club activities. The form should be handed in to a mentor.

Computers - As from grade 4, pupils can borrow a computer as a learning tool. The custodial guardian and pupil must together read the rules applicable during the loan period and sign the contract. Custodial guardians bear liability. The form should be handed in to a mentor.

Mother tongue instruction - Is offered in several languages and is strongly recommended. Research shows that mother tongue instruction has a clear, positive effect on the pupil’s knowledge development at school in all subjects.

Instruction takes place according to curriculums and subject plans for the subject and the pupil can thus obtain a grade in the subject.

An application should be sent to:

Farstavikens skola/modersmål Bergsgatan 13441 Gustavsberg

Bus pass

Custodial guardians personally apply to Värmdö Municipality for a bus pass. In most cases, pupils who live within 4 km of the school are not granted a bus pass. If a bus pass is granted, it must be collected from the school’s administrative office.