The objective of TIS curriculum is to support each student´s individual development, through taking into consideration their individual needs, ethnicity, cultural background, and plans for the student’s further education.

The curriculum of Tartu International School (TIS) is based on the Estonian national curriculum for the basic schools, Primary Years Programme (PYP) of the International Baccalaureate (IB), the Private Schools Act, the Act of Elementary and Secondary Education of Estonia, the statute of the school, and the agreements between the school and its community.

The ideas and requirements of the community groups, such as the owners of the school, students and staff, the parents and stakeholders, have been taken into consideration when composing the TIS curriculum.

TIS Curriculum Guide

In grades 1-6 we offer a transdisciplinary approach to studies, where learning is not confined within the boundaries of traditional subject areas but is supported and enriched by them.



The language of instruction at TIS is English. The school enrols both native English speakers and students with no or limited English skills.

English and Estonian are also offered as native languages.
Estonian is taught as a foreign language from grade 1. An A-language (German or Swedish) starts from the 3rd or 4th grade.

Students who have limited English language skills are offered an individualised approach to support language immersion.

TIS believes that the development of a student’s mother tongue enables them to learn all languages more proficiently. We encourage parents to use the school facilities and equipment to arrange mother tongue and culture studies.

Learning Environment

It is an aim of TIS to create a safe and happy learning environment. The key words of teaching and learning at TIS are individual approach.

The school has small-size classes that can be joined into compound classes where a special compound class methodology is used. It is valued at TIS that the students of different age learn together, and we believe that this enriches learning and helps to meet our educational objectives.

TIS teachers have diverse cultural backgrounds; they are dedicated professionals who offer their skills and talents to educate their students. It is possible to learn a number of foreign language at TIS, either as a part of the curriculum or as an extra-curricular activity.

Relations at TIS are based on mutual respect between the students, parents, teachers, management and other staff members.

Education for sustainable development and healthy lifestyle is valued at TIS. The organisation of a school day helps to protect our students´ mental and physical health: the school day at TIS starts later than normally in schools in Estonia, the students spend breaks outdoors under supervision of a teacher. The school organises possibilities for practicing various sports, such as swimming, skiing and skating. Every effort is made to cater for students who have different diets due to their culture or health.

After-school activities at TIS are planned so that they support the learning and educational objectives of the school, complement the curriculum and take into account the students´ interests.

Every member of the school community helps to design the mental and physical environment at TIS. The school is open to its parents and uses their competence in various levels – school management, teaching, after school activities and volunteering.

The physical environment of the school meets health and safety requirements. It is possible to practice sports and support healthy lifestyle during and after school hours (sports clubs, traditional sports events).

Learning and teaching can happen also out of the school house (in the school yard, nature tracks, field trips to different organisations). Physical education lessons and other sports activities take place in high-quality and well-equipped sports venues in Tartu (Tartu University sports hall and stadium, Aura swimming centre, the sports hall of the Estonian University of Life Sciences). Technology subjects are enriched by visits to crafts workshops. Student transport is organised when needed.

Tartu International School offers a pre-school programme for 5-6 year old children. Pre-school in English is part of Tartu International Kindergarten´s curriculum and take place during school hours. Preschool in Estonian will start on the 18th of September 2017, and the programme runs for 28 weeks. Preschool sessions in Estonian run on Mondays and Wednesdays at 16 – 18 at Liivi 2D (the school house of Tartu International School). To register please send an e-mail to

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