Principal

Dr. Virpi Vatanen comes to us from Maunula Secondary School and Helsinki School of Mathematics, one of the leading middle and secondary schools in Finland, offering education in Finnish and English. Dr. Vatanen has spent the last 15 years at Maunula serving as Assistant Principal in charge of middle school and teaching Chemistry and Physics. Dr.
Vatanen holds an MSc and PhD in Physical Chemistry from University of Jyvaskyla, one of the top 100 universities in the world, a Teacher Diploma in Physics and Chemistry and a degree in Education Administration (Qualification for Principals) from Finnish National Board of Education. Previously, Dr. Vatanen has worked at the University of Jyvaskyla as a researcher and has published in leading journals of Physical Chemistry.
Dr. Vatanen’s approach to leadership, teaching and learning is welfare through education.
To her, every child is valuable as him-/herself and deserves a safe physical, mental and social environment to practice and learn new skills – even through errors – individually and in groups.
Dr. Virpi has taught Chemistry and Physics mainly in the Secondary School with grades 7 to 9. Her method to teaching is a problem / question oriented, where students can find answers co-operating together by doing guided experiments and research projects. Learning process is enriched by shared discussions, notes and results. Technology is used when it is appropriate.
“As educators and leaders we are obliged to provide every child a unique path to learn and develop according to his or hers own abilities, together with the families we must enhance and nurture their passion seek knowledge for the future.”
Dr. Vatanen will lead the school based on best practices of Finnish education system and will particularly focus on training and coaching international and local teachers in further implementing the Finnish philosophy and pedagogy in learning. She will also be teaching a few classes in Physics and Chemistry at our school.

Mission, Vision & Values

1. Mission – Our mission is to develop smart, creative, happy and healthy individuals by utilizing the Finnish education system and teachers – the best in the world – combined with unique and proprietary educational technology. ​

2. Vision – To become the best and most innovative school in the country, building upon the foundations of Finnish education system.​

3. Values: Student Focus, Quality, Integrity, Team Work, Fun   

Our Team

Dr. Virpi Vatanen

Principal

"Dr. Virpi Vatanen comes to us from Maunula Secondary School and Helsinki School of Mathematics, one of the leading middle and secondary schools in Finland, offering education in Finnish and English. Dr. Vatanen has spent the last 15 years at Maunula serving as Assistant Principal in charge of middle school and teaching Chemistry and Physics. Dr. Vatanen holds an MSc and PhD in Physical Chemistry from University of Jyvaskyla, one of the top 100 universities in the world, a Teacher Diploma in Physics and Chemistry and a degree in Education Administration (Qualification for Principals) from Finnish National Board of Education. Previously, Dr. Vatanen has worked at the University of Jyvaskyla as a researcher and has published in leading journals of Physical Chemistry. Dr. Vatanen’s approach to leadership, teaching and learning is welfare through education. To her, every child is valuable as him-/herself and deserves a safe physical, mental and social environment to practice and learn new skills - even through errors - individually and in groups. Dr. Virpi has taught Chemistry and Physics mainly in the Secondary School with grades 7 to 9. Her method to teaching is a problem / question oriented, where students can find answers co-operating together by doing guided experiments and research projects. Learning process is enriched by shared discussions, notes and results. Technology is used when it is appropriate. “As educators and leaders we are obliged to provide every child a unique path to learn and develop according to his or hers own abilities, together with the families we must enhance and nurture their passion seek knowledge for the future.” Dr. Vatanen will lead the school based on best practices of Finnish education system and will particularly focus on training and coaching international and local teachers in further implementing the Finnish philosophy and pedagogy in learning. She will also be teaching a few classes in Physics and Chemistry at our school."

virpi.vatanen@finnish.school

Dr. Tassos Anastasiades

Vice Principal

"Born in England in a Greek Cypriot family, Dr. Tassos Anastasiades is an education veteran with over 35 years of experience of which more than 20 in international education. He joins us from Edubridge International School in Mumbai India, where he was Head of School. Dr. Anastasiades has a plethora of experience which includes, Director of Ajman Academy in UAE where he led the school to accreditation with IBO, CIS, BSO, and Apple Distinguished School, Principal of Dubai Gem Private School, Director of Quality Assurance at Innoventures Education across four schools and headships and school leadership positions in UK, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, China, Nigeria, Zambia, Malaysia and Cyprus. For many years he has been an expert and accreditation team leader with Council of International Schools (CIS). Dr. Anastasiades has a PhD in Biochemistry (Nottingham University,) MA Education (Bath University), MBA Educational Leadership (Leicester University) and National Professional Qualification for Headship. Leadership of progress and attainment tracking with a focus on all students making above expected progress through quality teaching interventions is one of his personal targets. Dr. Tassos is above all a teacher, inspiring learners, and has taught all Sciences and particularly Biology and Chemistry to A level and DP. His innovative approaches to teaching, are typically described as learner-centred – with an emphasis on student self-assessment, students actively designing their own learning activities, working collaboratively in teams on projects, and particularly designing projects that cut across the traditional subject or disciplinary lines. His philosophy is that “as educators and leaders our most important role is to empower students to become independent learners and to develop the skills to navigate in a technology driven, ever changing world.” Most recently Dr. Tassos has achieved qualifications in Positive Psychology and is an advocate of mindfulness and well-being. Dr. Anastasiades will work with our leadership and staff to develop further the Upper Secondary School and integrate Cambridge A Levels into our Finnish curriculum and pedagogy, as well as lead the school efforts in obtaining CIS Accreditation, the gold standard in international education. Dr. Anastasiades will also teach A Level Biology and will help teachers with assessment and integrating CAT4 (Cognitive Abilities Test) into our curriculum as a means to providing better understanding of our students’ abilities and developing Student Individual Learning Plans. "

tassos.anastasiades@finnish.school

Dr. Katrianna Raunio

1st grade teacher

"Dr. Katrianna Raunio joins our school this year as 1st grade teacher and 0-2 grades coordinator, after 8 years of teaching in one of the Helsinki primary schools. She has a pervasive teaching experience from primary up to university level. Dr. Raunio is recognized as one of Finland’s 100 innovators in Education by Hundred.org and received the “Teachers can award” for creating novel and innovative teaching methods and pedagogical models by University of Helsinki. She has a BA and MA in Education (Primary School teaching) and a BSc and MSc in Agriculture and Forestry and a PhD in Environmental Studies all from University of Helsinki. Before embarking on a primary teaching career, Dr. Raunio was a research in higher education pedagogy at University of Helsinki and has published in top journals. Her teaching philosophy is: “For me, it is important to facilitate meaningful learning experiences on a daily basis and to build creative learning environments. My educational research focuses on assessment practices and teacher thinking. The philosophy of critical pedagogy is driving praxis in my classroom; empowerment, ownership, critical thinking and makers’ culture are the keywords of my teaching. I closely collaborate with my colleagues and with the families of students"

katrianna.raunio@finnish.school

Ms. Emily Exter

Primary School

"Ms. Emily Exter has been teaching primary aged children for over 3 years. She was born and raised in South Africa and moved to the UK 10 years ago where she completed her degree in Primary Education. She is passionate about helping children and strongly believe in building secure and meaningful relationships with them. She enjoys arts, music, travelling and family and friends are an important part of her life.".

emily.exter@finnish.school

MSc Matthew Rowlingson

Secondary School

"MSc Matthew Rowlingosn grew up in the UK and has a Masters degree in Chemistry with a PGCE in Secondary Education. Teaching has always been his passion and with 5 years of experience, his focus is on developing strong and respectful relationships with the students. In his spare time, he enjoys socializing with family and friends, cooking and playing sports."

matthew.rowlingson@finnish.school

MA Elisa Juola

3rd Grade Teacher

"MA Elisa Juola comes from Rovaniemi, Finland. Rovaniemi is a really nice town in southern Lapland in the Arctic Circle and it's the home town of Santa Claus. MA Juola is really excited and happy to start working as a class teacher in the Finnish school of Kosovo and she is looking forward to learning new things and sharing her knowledge of the Finnish approach of learning. MA Juola has ten years working experience in Saari elementary school in Rovaniemi and an MA in Education from University of Lapland. Her personal interests are in playful learning and physical education. She wants to guide and teach students with the joy of learning and support them to succeed.".

elisa.juola@finnish.school

Arjeta Godanci

French Language Teacher

"I have been a Middle School and High School French teacher at the Finnish School of Kosovo, since 2018. Previously, I worked at the Luigj Gurakuqi High School and at the American School of Kosova. I also hold a Masters Degree in Education from the University of Pristina. Currently, I am pursuing my second Master's in Management and Informatics. My passion towards art has always been present in my life. In our school I have a fun club when I teach origami and other paper crafts".

arjeta.godanci@finnish.school

Shemsije Tigani

Albanian Language and History Teacher

"I am Shemsije Tigani and I live in Pristina, the place where I also finished my university on Albanian Language. My background consists of a lot of teaching experiences in several schools in Kosovo. Now I am working as a teacher in the Finnish School of Kosovo and it is an honor to combine Finnish educational system with the one from Kosovo. As an Albanian Language Teacher, this only makes our literature richer and richer every day!"

shemsije.tigani@finnish.school

Ardita Hoxha-Shala

PE Teacher

"I live and also work in Pristina. I have finished a Master's Degree in Physical Education and Sports at the University of Prishtina. I finished my education for Handball coach in Croatia organised by the Croatian Olympic Committee. I`ve been working in the USA Embassy as a Boot camp instructor since 2016. Being with kids all the time and seeing them play around makes me truly happy. Mens sana in corpore sano, a healthy mind in a healthy body!"

ardita.shala@finnish.school

Flutura Munishi

Teacher Assistant

"I am Flutura Munishi and I come from Vushtrri. Since I have finished my Bachelor's degree from the University of Pristina, I've had the opportunity to work in different primary schools. Volunteering is the most generous thing one can do, this is why every once and a while I try to help kids with disabilities. In the Finnish School, I’m currently a Teaching Assistant for 0-2 grades and Albanian Teacher for 0-1 grades. I help kids to develop their academic skills and behavior."

flutura.munishi@finnish.school

Eranda Gashi

Teacher Assistant

"I am Eranda Gashi. I hold a Bachelor's degree from the University of Pristina, Math and Natural Sciences Department. Before, I have worked for two commercial banks in Pristina. I feel very fortunate to work as a Teacher Assistant at one of the best schools in Kosovo, The Finnish School of Kosovo. I enjoy every aspect of teaching and have realized that students can teach us as much as we teach them. I love traveling, reading, programming and interacting with people from different national and cultural backgrounds".

eranda.gashi@finnish.school

Natyra Abdullahu

Preschool Teacher

"I am Natyra Abdullahu and I am from Presevo. I have lived in the U.S. throughout my childhood and have studied in Kosovo. I have a Bachelor's degree in Speech pathology and am currently the Preschool Teacher in the Finnish School. I have the benefit to educate young children and create an amazing classroom atmosphere that allows them to explore a variety of their skills. Through it all, the most important part is that our teaching is based on the wonderful Finnish system."

natyra.abdullahu@finnish.school

Albina Idrizaj

Teaching Assistant

"I'm Albina Idrizaj and I come from Deçan. I'm a graduate from the Faculty of Education, Primary school Program and currently a student in Inclusive Education Master studies. Here at the Finnish school I work as an Assistant Teacher in the kindergarten and my aim is to help taking care of children and create a loving environment for them. Childrens' happiness is my main purpose."

albina.idrizaj@finnish.school

Campus Facilities

The current campus has a 3,500 sqm school building and a 7,800 sqm outdoor area. Every floor of our campus has a designated area for relaxing and socializing activities where we can spend some quality time socializing with our people. Finnish School of Kosovo has carefully designed each and every detailed feature in the campuses with the objective to create an optimal environment for learning. 

The Psychology and Assessment Room is one of the most important areas of the campus. The PA room will be interviewing kids and parents to understand their learning capabilities and designing personalized curriculums.

The Computer Programming Lab is where students learn basic and advanced programming skills through Kato Computers. As students advance programming skills will be interacting with high performance computers.

The Robotics Lab will serve as a robotic playground where students learn robotics through interacting with Makeblock, Sphero2.0, mBot, Cubelets, Wowwee, Roboblock, Raspberry Pi, Arduino, and 3D Printers.

Sibelius Studio is music lab/studio which will be equipped with interesting music instruments where every student will learn how to play at least one instrument chosen by them independently.

Aalto workshop is a designated area for handcraft activities students will be participating in different handcraft related workshops and learn handcrafting different objects.

Virtanen Lab is science lab where students will be conducting experiments related to physics, chemistry, and biology related modules.

Schjerfbeck Room is where the painting academy’s activities will take place. This lab is designed to meet the artistic needs students have in their early development.

Bergbom Theatre is a small drama theater inside the campus where all the acting and drama takes place. In this area students will be learning skills related to public speaking, drama, and theatre acting.

Michelin Kitchen is the kitchen classroom students can learn and enjoy the cooking, baking, and preparing recipes. Through kitchen classroom we aim to teach students not just cooking but all different cultures around the world.

Simone Gym is the sports gym of the Finnish School where all the physical activities such as sports will take place.

Dining Area is the place where students will eat breakfast and lunch.

Plato 101-125 are the classrooms where students will be spending some of their time and will be equipped with collaborative tables and chairs, interactive boards, and mini libraries.

Game Based Learning The Finnish School in Kosovo has reached an agreement with the 5MoreMinutes Ltd from Finland, which develops one of the world’s most important gaming platforms. The online gaming platform TeacherGaming utilized by the most innovative and renowned schools in the world offers games for almost every subject and learning unit.

To date, TeacherGaming’s products and services are offered to more than 16,000 schools around the world, serving more than 1,000 other teachers who use this platform individually for their students and is ranked as one of the 100 world-changing innovations today in world from web-Disrupt100.

The Finnish School of Kosovo has already reached a cooperation agreement with TeacherGaming and the pupils of this school have full access to the use of these learning games. TeacherGaming Desk is a one-click game based learning solution and is designed to make video games a sustainable teaching tool for any classroom.

TeacherGaming Desk combines an ever-growing portfolio of playable games and powerful learning analyzes. Educators can choose games for the needs of their students, learn a variety of subjects, and track their students’ progress in terms of real life skills. This platform also offers parents online access to follow the progress of their children all the time.

Children are eager to learn new things, curious about the world around them, and experimenting with what they learn. The Finnish education system is based on these facts, and in the heart of the Finnish system is curiosity, learning through games and using technology in learning. Our curriculum is based on games, for children to have an attractive lesson, and at the same time students achieve results that cannot be achieved by the classical method. The use of more coherent technology enables students to invent and propose ideas for collective reflection, encouraging them to analyze and explore the past, present and future of processes occurring in the real world in real time.

KOONTA is the most innovative concept to be implemented in the primary and secondary schools globally, starting with sixth graders. It is a mini town with an aim of teaching students the concepts of citizenship, business, government and professional life. KOONTA is an improvised town that simulates complex concepts within society such as entrepreneurship and citizenship, thus, maximizing students learning potential. It integrates around 40 industries within the improvised town and there are around 100 potential partners to be approached in sponsoring their industry within this concept.

Food One of the great things about Finnish School of Kosova is that a parent can be sure a child has an opportunity to eat a balanced, nutritious meal. Kids go to school to learn, and part of what they learn about is healthy food and nutrition. Even if what they learn about nutrition isn’t ideal due to the food industry’s influence on what is taught, the food served at school should set a healthy example. Eating habits are established early, and eating healthfully is a life skill. That means when students are in school, providing them with nutritious, healthy meals that enable them to focus and maximize their potential and to support a healthy immune system to keep them in school, not homesick. Healthy food equals better health, better grades, and better behavior. At Finnish School of Kosova meals include more fruits, vegetables, sensible limits on calories, less unhealthy fats and salt, healthier snacks and beverages.