Opening Ceremony

Dear families of the International School of Tallinn,

We take this opportunity to welcome you once more and keep you updated about the latest developments after our previous newsletter.

The Opening Ceremony will take place on 3rd of September starting at 09:00 in the Assembly Hall on the 4th floor. Families are kindly asked to arrive at the school between 08:45-08:50 and pick up the school access card. The access boom for parking will be open, and you are welcome to park your car in our parking lot. The assembly hall will be opened after 08:50 when rehearsals are done.

The Ceremony will not last longer than one lesson (45 minutes).

After the Opening Ceremony, we invite all parents to join us in the school canteen for light refreshments where families may address any questions to the school management.

Students will continue with the school day with their respective homeroom teachers, and after the lunch hour, they continue with subject teachers. Students are requested to bring their school bags with school supplies with them on the first day. We do not have lockers, but there is a place in the classroom for pupils to keep their belongings. Parents are expected to pick up their kids after their lessons end.

The school has no uniform. Please dress your children festive for the occasion.

School documentation. We have drafted some new policies including School Rules, Assessment Policy and Language Policy. School Rules are obligatory to all members of the school community including pupils, teachers and parents. You can access the documents on our website.

The cloakroom is located on the 3rd floor on the right hand immediately after entering the third floor. All pupils are also expected to bring with and use indoor shoes from the first school day.

eKool. All parents need to join the eKool system to consistently monitor the progress and study results of their child on a daily basis.

Please read the guidelines at the eKool portal for access rights to join eKool and for advice on how to use the portal. Should you have any questions, please contact our eKool coordinator Eve Oro:

Lunch. Our canteen will provide lunch as a buffet with several options. This enables every child to collect an appropriate amount of food with preferred ingredients. The meal is already included in the tuition fee. No hassle to parents for additional payments.

Grade 1-2 split. As we have been receiving more applications for Grade 1-2, we have decided to split Grade 1 and 2. As soon as we complete negotiations with potential teacher candidates, Grade 1 will have its own primary homeroom teacher. Ms Lisa Parker will be responsible for Grade 1-2 until the arrival of a new teacher; thereafter she will continue with Grade 2 alone.

Aftercare. We are waiting for responses from Grade 1 and 2 parents to make sure that there is a sufficient need for aftercare. We are expecting some critical demand in order to open the aftercare.

Extra-curricular activities. The school will conduct a survey to identify the preferences of families for afterschool activities. An Estonian private school Emili located in the same premises will also open the access to their extra-curricular activities in order to broaden potential options. We will inform families soonest.

Student Cards. All students may apply for the International Scholar Identity Card (ISIC). The ISIC card is the only internationally recognized student ID, and ISIC cardholders are members of a truly global club. There are more than 125,000 student discounts on offer, including 1,000 in Estonia. Please read more about ISIC cards and find the application form on their web page

Allowances. In some cases, families may be eligible for allowances like Grade 1 support or childcare compensation in the kindergarten (also provided by most of the municipalities around Tallinn).

School diaries. We are not using diaries in the school at this moment. Should our homeroom teachers want, our pupils to use diaries we will inform on time.

For more information contact

Dear families of the International School of Tallinn

We take this opportunity to welcome you to the new school year at the International School of Tallinn (IST). Thank you for choosing IST as the best place for your child’s education. Our team is ready to inspire.

We want the first day to be as smooth as possible for you and your family, and we hope that the following information will help this process along:

  1. School starts on Monday, 3 September at 09h00 with an Opening Ceremony in the Assembly Hall of the school on the 4th floor. The event will be attended by Mr Margus Nõlvak, the Chairman of the board of Mainor, the owner of the school.
  2. The Opening ceremony will last for approximately 45 minutes after which pupils will join their class teachers for the next two lessons. The timetable will resume after the lunch break.
  3. IST is located on the 3rd floor of the school building in Keevise 2.
  4. The school canteen is on the 4th floor, and canteen services are provided by a catering company Maitsed OÜ who will provide each child with a healthy lunch.
  5. School starts at 09h00 every morning and ends according to the timetable.
  6. Please ensure that your children have indoor and outdoor shoes.
  7. Access to the parking and entry gate is by use of an access card which you will receive from Office Manager Ms Taaja Martšuk on 3 September before Opening Ceremony at the venue or by asking from her after Opening Ceremony.
  8. The timetable for the tram 4 and for the bus 15.
  9. The daily schedule is made up of 3 hours in the morning, a one hour break and 3-4 hours in the afternoon (depending on the timetable which will be specified next week).
  10. Please ensure that your child has all the necessary stationery before the school year starts. Please check the school supply list.



At IST, our teachers are our primary assets

This week we continue to introduce you to more of the beautiful people who make IST the best place for all children who wish to have International Education in English.

Eve Oro – Estonian Teacher of the Year!

I graduated with a master’s degree from Tallinn University in 1991 as a teacher of crafts and home economics. I worked at Põltsamaa Gymnasium for 26 years and gained teaching experience with students from grades 4-12. I have been a homeroom teacher of students from primary school and also gymnasium. I have always loved my work and enjoyed working with students. I care about my students a lot, and I am always ready to listen and help them.

I am a member of the Association of Estonian Craft Teachers. I have also had leadership experience as a member of the board of this association. This is an excellent place to co-operate with other craft teachers, to teach and support each other. I have always contributed to the development of Estonian craft teaching. I have been part of the working groups of the Ministry of Science and Education to develop the Estonian National Curriculum. I have trained other craft teachers to share my teaching experiences. In 2008 I became a Senior teacher (the highest teacher’s position in Estonia). In 2005 I was chosen as Teacher of the Year in Estonia.

In my opinion, the essential concepts in teaching are divergent thinking and creativity. It’s important to teach students to think and solve problems independently and creatively. I give my students the skills and attitudes – “the tools”, which will help them in real life in their future.
I get my energy and passion from my family and hobbies. I like being active and eating tasty, healthy food. I am keen on fashion and interior design. Theatre and ballet are the things that charge me emotionally.

Devyn Alyss Allen – MYP coordinator and homeroom teacher

I graduated from Mount Vernon Nazarene University with a Bachelor of Arts. Specializing in Middle Childhood Education. I started my teaching profession as a classroom teacher at Mount Gilead Middle School in Ohio, USA.

I am currently serving as a homeroom teacher and Middle Years Program (MYP) Coordinator at IST.

I maintain a personal commitment to developing students as global citizens, striving to prepare students to become empathetic, knowledgeable, and principled adults who can apply critical thinking and creativity to myriad issues to build a sustainable and just world. Through innovative instructional strategies—including both classroom and community-based projects—I believe students develop the skills and knowledge required to succeed in a diverse society.

We establish and nurture the ideals of community, respect, and personal relationships by creating a classroom community that is open and safe, and students build trust with their classmates and with me. We are creating a space where students feel valued and encouraged to care about each other. In building community, we strive for authentic and respectful interactions, including cooperative learning strategies and class-wide activities.

I believe in providing an equal, approachable, and fair learning environment. Equality in the classroom means making certain classism, sexism, racism, ableism, sizeism, ageism, and religious intolerance never interfere with the education of the students. By providing powerful learning experiences, I try to bridge the diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds of my students.

We share ideas, strategies, and projects to design learning experiences for students to identify, research, and take action on issues they feel passionate about—making students into leaders and competent citizens in a global society.

I am passionate about softball and raising awareness about human trafficking.



At IST, our teachers are our primary assets

This week we continue with insights into our teaching staff, the most valuable assets at IST. We take this opportunity to introduce you to Lisa, our much beloved lower primary Homeroom teacher and PYP Coordinator as well as Martin, our math and science teacher.

Lisa Parker – Grade 1/Grade 2 homeroom teacher and PYP Coordinator

I am a qualified teacher from the UK, I gained my teaching qualification in 2002 and worked long term in two different primary schools. During this time, I gained experience with all age groups in the primary field. My work included teaching all curriculum subjects which and I am confident and experienced in these areas. I feel it is essential to create a safe, structured and creative working environment to ensure all children have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

I have also had leadership experience as a Mathematics Co-Ordinator and Design technology leader. My favourite subjects are Mathematics and Science, and I am confident in excelling gifted children in clear and exciting ways.

I support my school fully, and I am a hard-working, enthusiastic person. I like the opportunity to share my ideas and successful teaching practices with colleagues. I feel a comprehensive approach to teaching is vital, and I ensure consistency in all areas of my teaching.

My teaching experiences

St Bernadette’s RC Primary School
Harrow, Middlesex as Primary Classroom teacher – Design technology and Mathematics co-ordinator

Blessed Dominic RC Primary School
Graham Park, London.
Year 6 and Year 3 Classroom teacher

I was fortunate enough to travel extensively throughout Asia, Australasia, South America and Europe during gaps from teaching and this has given me a chance to experience a variety of cultures. This has made me fully appreciate the wider world and enriched me. I look forward to being able to pass on skills and knowledge I have acquired while on my travels.

Education and Awards:
1998-2001 Nene University, Northampton, England
Degree: – Bachelor of Education with History and Drama (Honours)

2001-2002 St Mary’s College, Twickenham, England
Post Graduate Certificate of Education – Qualified teacher status
Specializing in Science.

My Teaching Philosophy

It is essential that all children are given the opportunity to learn in a safe, fun and stimulating environment. Learning is a beautiful gift, and I believe that children will have the most success when they are empowered to take control of their own learning. It is vital to ensure they have the chance for self-reflection and create their personal learning goals. Learning should be a fun and exciting experience that captures a child’s creativity and enables them to believe in themselves and their own ability.
I always encourage respect for one another as this is an attitude that is required inside and outside the classroom. I aim to make my class a place that the children enjoy and feel proud.


Martin Tamm

Throughout my educational years, I have studied in many schools both in Estonia and Russia. I started my high school years at Anglo-American School of St. Petersburg in Russia until grade ten.

I successfully graduated from the IB Diploma Programme at English College in Tallinn.

I hold a Bachelor’s degree from Tallinn University of Technology in the field of Applied Chemistry and Biotechnology. At the moment I am wrapping up my master’s degree studies at Tartu University in Higher Science Education. I am experienced in teaching sciences and mathematics.
For four and a half years I worked as a math and science teacher and was the head of the Maths and Science department at Kadriorg German Gymnasium. Here I coordinated the work of my colleagues. I am actively participating in projects to help further the science education evolve and be more “technical”.

My educational philosophy is that the teacher is a mentor, a supportive figure in studies and in growth for the students. Whenever there is a concern or a problem, a teacher can support the students in finding the best solution. I always listen to my students when they have something to propose or whenever they just need to talk to someone.

At IST, our teachers are our primary assets

At the International School of Tallinn, we understand that great teachers are our primary asset and we leave no stone unturned to find such people who will make a lasting impact on the lives of the students entrusted in our care. This week we introduce you to two such teachers.

Carlos Moreno-Romero who joins IST in the role of History/Geography teacher.

Growing in a family environment connected to teaching and research, I have been closely related to education from an early age. That’s why my personal, educational and professional experiences have convinced me of the importance of treating everyone – especially children – with respect, care and dignity; especially, while supporting their development in their own terms and facilitating the needed tools to explore and develop their passions through self-directed learning strategies. In my view, autonomy, curiosity, creativity and divergent thinking are not only interesting, but also essential concepts when promoting the skills and attitudes children need to deal with the social, cultural, political and economic challenges they will face in the future. In other words, I believe each one of us has inner potential and value that can only emerge when surrounded by supportive people who are ready to connect emotionally. My expectations at IST is to focus, on the one hand, on supporting children’s learning of the historical, social, economic and political aspects of our globalised world; and, on the other hand, providing the appropriate tools and mechanisms to foster children’s democratic participation in their classroom and broader communities.

Charlie holds a B.A. IN PEDAGOGY, PHILOLOGY AND LANGUAGES from Universidad Nacional de Colombia an M.A. IN SOCIAL AND CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY and we wish him well in his defence of his PhD IN EDUCATION at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain tomorrow, 20 July. PhD candidate to Education. Research areas: democratic education, education for social justice and inclusion, multicultural education, self-directed learning.

A wealth of experience:

The IBO THEORY OF KNOWLEDGE COORDINATOR Audentes International School. Tallinn, Estonia IBO teacher of social and cultural anthropology, Spanish language for foreigners, and coordinator of the debate club.

SOCIAL AND CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY LECTURER Riga Stradins University. Riga, Latvia. A lecturer of the course “Kinship systems” to students of the MA program on social and cultural anthropology.

IBO HISTORY AND HUMAN SCIENCES TEACHER International School of Integral Education – CIEDI History teacher – 20th Century, History of Colombia and America.

SOCIAL AND CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY LECTURER Estonian Institute of Humanities. Tallinn, Estonia. Lecturer of the following courses: anthropology of education, media ethnographies, kinship systems, and BS seminar.

SPANISH AND ENGLISH TEACHER Keila School. Estonia High school English and Spanish teacher.

Heddy Kivine (Estonian Teacher) began her career in education as an Estonian teacher in Finland, in 1991. She gained experience in teaching Estonian as a second language overseas in a multicultural environment of foreign language tutoring. In Finland, she taught Estonian for employees of Finnish Public Administration, diplomats, private sector clients, students in university and community college level.

She holds an MA in Estonian language and literature from the University of Tartu, Estonia. Improving her proficiency in teaching Estonian as a second language, she has taken part in several additional trainings on the topic. She built another career working for the media corporation Äripäev as a project manager and a senior editor of business handbooks. While moving with her family to the United States of America, she went through another transition and worked as a translation editor for the National Geographic Magazine.

As an avid learner herself she values lifelong learning and is open to new experiences in life. She earned an Open Learning Diploma in Garden Design from the KLC School of Design, United Kingdom, in 2017. Gardening and teaching are actually alike and are the two passions in her life. Both need attentiveness, care and patience.

Diverse professional and learning experiences and carrying my own children in different cultures and school systems have taught her the important role a teacher can hold in a student´s life. I believe that the secret of education lies in respecting the pupil, as R.W. Emerson has put it. Each student should be recognised, welcomed and supported, especially during the transition period in the new school environment. Respecting individual needs and allowing everyone to develop at their own pace boosts enthusiasm and participation. Having experiences of accomplishments at school breeds confidence and leads to a balanced and happy life. Above all, I believe that learning is a cooperative effort between a teacher and a student that bears fruit only when you hear what their eyes are telling you.