A new English-speaking school starts operation in Tallinn
The English-speaking International School of Tallinn, established last year by Mainor and directed at children from abroad, is ready to receive the first 20 pupils this autumn.
According to the Director of the new school, Olavi Otepalu, the idea to create the school began with the fact that one of the prerequisites for success of Mainor’s largest development, Ülemiste City, is the capacity to attract entrepreneurs that create high added value to the country, and to create the support structure that is important for the foreign specialists in these companies. ‘Since comfort and the local availability of all essential services are paramount in the development of the campus environment, it was important that in addition to the Kalli-kalli kindergarten and the Emili Kool general education school, the campus would have an English-speaking general education school,’ Otepalu clarified.
‘Schools offering international education do currently operate in Tallinn, but there was a need for a new school specifically at Ülemiste City, where there is already a large number of international companies today, and where foreign specialists with more than 50 different nationalities work every day,’ noted Otepalu, the former Head of the European School, according to whom, the three most important pillars in the case of an international school are an international environment, a highly rated and globally recognised education, and an affordable tuition fee.
In the first three years, they will offer general education in English, based on the Estonian national curriculum; afterwards, education will be based on the internationally recognised IB – the International Baccalaureate – curriculum. In the longer term, it is planned to combine two very strong curricula in the studies at the International School of Tallinn – the Estonian national curriculum, which has proven itself through the remarkable results of Estonian students at PISA tests, and the IB curricula, which have received global recognition and enable children who have attended this school to continue their studies abroad, if necessary. ‘This is an important opportunity for families, whose work requires a lot of travelling and changing their country of residence,’ said Otepalu.
At the school, a large emphasis is placed on inter-field integration, the development of general competencies, problem-solving skills, group tasks, creativity and science-based learning. To create additional motivation for studying, they adopt different digital solutions and ensure a personal approach in teaching which considers the results and needs of the specific pupil. Through the integration of two curricula, they wish the pupils of the International School of Tallinn to be successful, happy, helpful and tolerant citizens of the world.
‘It is clear that in the early years of the school, the owner must make large investments consistently, but in the longer term, it is important that the sustainability of the school is a priority of the State as well, and that it is seen as a necessary service in the improvement of the social environment and in the faster integration of the foreign workforce in society,’ noted Otepalu, according to whom, Mainor has decided to assume 25% of all tuition fees in the first year, enabling the first students to attend the school more affordably.
In the coming years, it is planned to grow strongly, and to cover the whole cycle from elementary school to the end of upper secondary school. For this, the construction of a modern school complex at the heart of Ülemiste City is already being prepared.