According to the school curriculum and the Estonian national curriculum, a compulsory creative project is carried out in grade 8. In grade 7, all students carry out a project as preparation for the compulsory project. However, the same requirements and evaluation principles apply as for grade 8 projects. In grade 9, the project is not compulsory. The transdisciplinary project provides a good opportunity to integrate different subjects, implement the student’s own ideas, use ITC devices and improve independent study skills.
Students can pick a topic suggested by a teacher or come up with their own idea. Some examples of the creative project topics include: “Optical Illusions and Your Brain”, “Waste Management at Tartu International School” and “Christmas Traditions in Different Countries”. Projects can be carried out independently or as group work. Every creative project is supervised by a teacher who is chosen by the student.
The creative project can be either an inquiry or practical work. The inquiry type project is an in-depth study of a chosen topic or issue, which is presented as a written research paper. The practical work can be a performance, organizing an event, an exhibition, creating an app, making a film, etc. This type of work has two parts: the practical outcome itself and a written theoretical paper that supports the work and explains the process. All projects must follow the rules of academic writing. The TIS Creative Project Guide can be found here.
Creative projects are evaluated three-dimensionally: one grade from a student (self-evaluation), one grade from a supervisor and one grade from the committee. The grade for the project is put in the report card and is part of the year 9 certificate of basic education.
By the beginning of November, students choose their creative project and agree on a timeline with their supervisor. From November until the end of April, students work on their creative project. At the beginning of May, they submit their final written work and present their projects at the Creative Projects Conference.