Dear IST Families

Albert Camus once wrote: “Autumn is a second Spring when every leave is a flower.” The landscape around us is turning into magical hues of burnt orange, pumpkin, flaming reds, mellow yellows and various shades of brown, while winter apples are blessing us in their splendour. Cherish these times with your loved one and contemplate the summer past while preparing for a snow-white winter season.

We take this opportunity to thank those parents who attended the first Parent Meeting of IST for the new school year. It was heart-warming to see you all on this bitterly cold day. Some of you could not make it, and we believe that you would if you could. We shared important information with parents, and in return, we created ample opportunities to ask questions directly to teachers and management.

We express the hope that the attendance will grow and that you will all help in growing the IST Community, Our Community. Your contributions are what help shape the culture of IST, and it helps to give your children, our students, a sense of belonging.

Minutes from our Parent Meeting

The minutes of the meeting can be found here: IST Parent Meeting.docx and the presentation on IB schooling by teachers Lisa and Devyn here: Annual Plan: IST Annual Plan 2018-2019 School Year (003) and Communication Tools: IST COMMUNICATION TOOLS (003).IST


We are happy to announce the appointment of our Aftercare teacher. Her name is Golikova Evgeniia, and she started on Monday, 1 October. Her abridged CV is attached. The daily schedule starts at 14h00 and ends at 17h00. The price is 60 Euro per month. A snack is available from the canteen at 0.65 cents per day. You can read more about her and the programme here:


Visual arts class. (Art styles and techniques, craft projects, sculpture, collage, bookmaking and illustrations, recycling design)


Fun science experiments and “Around the world “- countries for kids (geography, traditions, food, clothes, learn 2-3 words)


Animation class. (We will learn all stages of cartoons production: idea, story developing-script, characters design, animating, sound, editing)


“Kids favourite topic” and “Book club”-reading short stories together and analyse them (tricky words, characters, main idea, problem solution, draw illustration)


Animation class.

Different animation techniques, pixilation, stop motion, drawing and experimental animation)

All classes will include different games – an icebreaker, team building, energetic and relaxing. We will also walk in the park when the weather permits and visit museums.


5-6 –Year-Old PYP Class (Preschool)

We had a request from parents about the availability of preschool, and after some consideration, we realised that there is indeed a need for a preschool class. It will go a long way in alleviating the stress of the lack of availability of places for 5-6-year-old children whose parents are left in no man’s land due to the high demand for places in English Nurseries. Classes will take place every day from 09h00 till 14h00. The cost is 530 Euro per month (an additional 70 Euro per month for daily lunch)

We have completed our curriculum which is based on an integration of the Estonian National Curriculum for Pre-school Child Care and the Early Years Foundation Phase Statutory Framework for the UK as well as input from the Finnish Early Childhood Curriculum.

The goal of our pre-school programme is to support the children’s individuality, creativity and learning through play through combining different child-centred active learning methods such as Montessori, the Waldorf method of teaching, Reggio Emilia, language immersion as well as research, entrepreneurship and outdoor learning.

We are busy preparing our room, and we are hopeful that we will start with the class latest at the end of October. We have found a wonderful teacher for the position in the person of  Natallya Svuetsouva who joins us with a wealth of experience as a qualified art teacher as well as a fully qualified and experienced Early Childhood Educator. More information will follow very soon.




The extra-curricular programme has been finalised with Emily school. The following codes still have slots available:

We have the following activities:

Robotics for advanced is not opened yet, because Emily School had only four students interested. If we get more students, we can open the group. Nutigeen provides classes at 40 Euro per month, and they can provide us with an English teacher.

Children yoga has four places for age group 7-10 on Tuesdays from 14h55 till 15h40. Price – 25 Euro per month.

Art class (age 7-9) can take five students and takes place every Wednesday from 14h45 till 15h45. Price – 35 Euro per month.

Sports class is full, but we think about opening a second class depending on demand. It includes volleyball and a variety of other indoor sporting codes.

Capoeira (age 7-10) can take three more kids. It starts at 15h00 till 16h00 every Thursday and the price – 40 Euro per month.

Ceramics is full, but we had a word with the ceramics teacher, and she is ready to open a second group in English if we wish to have a group. Her price is 30 Euro per month.

Our music teacher has offered to teach one-on-one piano lessons as part of extra-curricular. If you wish for your child to learn the piano, then let us know, and we will make the necessary arrangements. More details will follow as soon as we have the number of students who are interested.

Most of our activities are in Estonian – so it is good for your kids to learn some Estonian.

Please write to to confirm the participation of your child in any of the activities above by latest Monday afternoon.

New developments at IST:

Due to the growth in numbers at Gr1 and Gr 2 levels, we decided to split the two classes.

The IST Family is growing, and it is vital that we maintain healthy relationships in our day-to-day school life and build a great community. We regard our parents as an important part of making IST a great school. We understand that many of you are professionals in your fields and would like to contribute to building up our young school. We kindly ask you to fill in the following questionnaire and send it back (by Tuesday, 16 Oct):


New Aftercare Teacher!

New Aftercare Teacher!

We are happy to announce that our Aftercare got underway this week under the guidance of our new Aftercare teacher, Evgeniia Golikova.

Evgeniia is a respected animator with work experience covering several years with AtomArt animation studio, Creative space (​​) -animation school for kids.
During summers she enjoys being a summer camp teacher and workshop leader working with children in groups or one on one, depending on the needs of children and the subject matter or with Huvikool Tee Tulevikku ​hobby school.
Her volunteering experience with AIESEC took her to Mysore in India where she worked with orphans as well as the Springer Loretto Girls’ School in Gorakhpur.

Evgeniia holds a bachelor degree in textile design and a Masters degree in Animation from the Estonian Academy of Arts.
She studied Artistic bookmaking at KIT, Trondheim, Norway and attended KASK-Royal Art Academy in Gent, Belgium.

Her programme for the week:

Visual arts class.
(Art styles and techniques, craft projects, sculpture, collage, bookmaking and illustrations, recycling design)

Tuesday :
Fun science experiments and/or “Around the world “- countries for kids (geography, traditions, food, clothes, learn 2-3 words)

Animation class
(We will learn all stages of cartoons production: idea, story developing-script, characters design, animating, sound, editing)

Thursday :
“Kids favourite topic” “Book club”-reading short stories together and analyse them (tricky words, characters, main idea, problem solution, draw illustration )

Animation class.
Different animation techniques, pixelation, stop motion, drawing and experimental animation)

All classes will include different games – an icebreaker, team building, energetic and relaxing. Walking and playing in the park is a standard part of the day (weather permitting).

The price is 60 Euro per month and afternoon snack at 0.65 Cents. For more info contact:

Meet our Music Teacher

Merily Heinmaa

As the lyrics of a well-known ABBA song goes, “My mother said I began to sing long before I could talk.” I believe this was the case as my childhood memories are mostly related to music – attending music school, taking part in song contests, singing choral songs etc.
After finishing high school, it seemed obvious to me to go and study music.
I finished university with a bachelor’s degree in Music and a master’s degree in Music Education.
I have been a schoolteacher and a children choir conductor for 10 years. Working in the International School of Tallinn since January 2018 has widened my perspective and shown me what it means to be a part of an international community. I am sincerely glad that my road has taken me to this school.
My educational philosophy lies in the understanding that the teacher is the one who must strive to support the students on their path, focusing on and developing their talents. I strongly believe the idea that all people are musical.

New member of the management board

This week we introduce you to our new member of the IST Management Board, Professor Eneken Titov. A BIG welcome to you and we know that together we are building something beautiful in the Estonian International Education landscape.

Education is my love and muse. I am dedicated to the development of education in Estonia, and up until today, I have been connected mostly with higher and vocational education, in particular, the academic affairs at the Estonian Entrepreneurship University of Applied Sciences. I am still participating as an expert in different educational projects like Edu & Tegu (development of entrepreneurship education at every level of education in Estonia, a programme funded by the EU and Ministry of Education and Sciences).

Despite my dedication to higher education, I am in touch with the developments in primary and secondary education. I come from a family of teachers – my grandfather was headmaster for 50 years, my parents were teachers – father taught physics and was headmaster for more than 30 years, and my mother was a teacher of Estonian language and Arts, even my mother-in-law is a teacher of Math? …and I am a teacher too.

I have been teaching teachers in the fields of study methods, pedagogy (especially entrepreneurship pedagogy), study organisation and school management for more than 15 years. Now I am teaching mostly master level students and adults via different training programmes. I have been participating as an expert in many different programmes and projects who’s target groups are secondary school teachers or management – school accreditations and quality assessments, teachers appraisal and assessment, creation and implementation of different competence models, training, teamwork development programmes etc.

I hold a PhD from Tallinn University of Technology in Business Administration and Management, and I am a professor of Management in Estonia Entrepreneurship University of Applied Sciences.

My educational philosophy is that “every child is capable of learning, every child is a talent”. Teachers’ role is to find and open this talent, and school management needs to create a supportive and creative environment for that.

Our School Director, Olavi Otepalu

This week our focus is on the school management and we take the opportunity to introduce you to our school director:

Olavi Otepalu

Director, International School of Tallinn (IST) 
I am honoured to have been chosen by Mainor as the founding director of the International School of Tallinn (since 2016). I have been working at top management level in the Ministry of Education and Research, being responsible for coordination of the issues related to the international education and visiting various international schools (mostly IB) across Europe.

My experience in International Education was anchored when I was afforded the opportunity to become the Founding Director of Tallinn European School, building it up from its very foundations to a successful school in Tallinn.

I have gained experience in the field of innovation and technology as an Estonian Biotechnology Programme Manager at Enterprise Estonia, establishing and implementing a national strategy to support the development of biotechnology in Estonia in collaboration with entrepreneurs, research institutions, governmental and international organisations. Previously I was involved in school management and teaching at several Estonian high schools.

I hold a Master´s Degree in Sociology and have a pedagogical qualification from Tartu University. I also went through the Master´s studies of a joint programme of various Estonian universities in the field of International Relations. I have taken many courses in school management including two full-time programmes in Educational Administration, led by the British Council (partly in the UK) and University of Tallinn. I obtained strong expertise in quality management system assessing the schools, companies and public organisations.

My educational philosophy emphasises the following principles: an individual approach to every child, technology use and entrepreneurship mindedness, use of best pedagogical practices.