High School Programme

IST offers upper secondary education to students ages 16-19. Currently the school is following the Estonian National Curriculum within the IB framework. As a candidate school, the school prepares itself for the authorization of the Diploma Programme by offering TOK and CAS related optional courses amongst other subjects. IST is aiming to be authorized in the Diploma Programme by September 2022.

Teaching and Learning

The curriculum is designed to be challenging, rigorous and thought-provoking. The studies consist of a lot of collaboration between the students in different grades, as well as teachers. The students are taught fundamentals of leadership, acceptance between different cultures and traditions, the integrity of people, and taking action by learning, teaching, and contribution to the community through community service projects.

According to the Estonian National Curriculum, the graduation requirements are the following:

1) Passing national examinations in: – English Language; – Estonian as a Second Language; – Mathematics; – Elective (either Humanities or Science); 2) Completing and defending an Extended Research Paper; 3) Completing all of the prescribed courses.


IST uses grading scale 1-7 in the upper secondary school. At the end of 12th grade, a cumulative grade will be put on the graduation certificate on the scale of 1-5. The following table shows the percentage and conversion between scales.

Percentage (%) IB scale Estonian scale
90-100 7 5
75-89 6 4
65-74 5 3
50-64 4 3
30-49 3 2
15-29 2 2
0-14 1 1

Optional subjects offered at IST

Grade 10 Grade 11 Grade 12

–       Business;

–       Economics;

–       Design and Technology;

–       Extended Mathematics I;

–       Extended Mathematics II;

–       World History

–       Extended Research Project I;

–       Extended Research Project II;

–       Introduction to Theory of Knowledge I;

–       Foreign Language in Everyday Life I;

–       Extended Mathematics III;

–       Extended Mathematics IV

–       Preparation for the English Language Exam;

–       Introduction to Theory of Knowledge II;

–       Foreign Language in Everyday Life II;

–       Foreign Language in Everyday Life III;

–       Art History;

–       Physical and Health Education;

–       Extended Mathematics V;

–       Extended Mathematics VI;

–       Preparation for the Mathematics Exam

Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) in the community:

As active members of the community, the students are encouraged to participate and give back to the community. CAS helps the students to enhance their personal and interpersonal development by learning through experience. A balance between creative, active and service-based activities help the students to explore their interests.

Theory of Knowledge (TOK)

At IST, we believe that one of the fundamental aspects of education is the philosophy of TOK. TOK is a thoughtful and purposeful inquiry into different ways of knowing which is composed of different questions. Through different discussions and other questions, the students gain a greater awareness of their personal and ideological assumptions, as well as developing the appreciation of the diversity of cultural perspectives. As a candidate school, IST offers two introductory TOK courses to grades 11 and 12 to give an insight about the philosophy of knowing and expressing different ideologies through purposeful discussions.

Extended Research Paper:

One of the graduation requirements, the students are expected to write an independent piece of research. The Extended Research Paper provides: 1) Practical preparation for further studies and research; 2) An opportunity for students to investigate and research a topic that is of personal interest to them.

The whole process starts in the spring for 10th graders to pick an area of interest and throughout the 11th grade, the students carry out their research and compose a paper. The students are supported throughout the process with advice and guidance from a supervisor, who is usually a teacher at the school. The Extended Research Paper culminates with a public defence in spring of the 11th grade.

At IST, we value the association of theory with practice to the highest extent: musical and literary performances, practical laboratory experiments in sciences, conducting art exhibitions along with other various activities through inquiry. With the development of 21st century skills, IST offers opportunities for students to maximize their potential and to be ready for further studies.

We at IST believe that students will obtain the desire for life-long learning through academic rigor and becoming citizens of the world.

International School of Tallinn is a Candidate School* for the Diploma Programme. This school is pursuing authorization as an IB World School. These are schools that share a common philosophy- a commitment to high quality, challenging, international education that International School of Tallinn believes is important for our students.

*Only schools authorized by the IB Organization can offer any of its four academic programmes: the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP), the Diploma Programme, or the Career-related Programme (CP).  Candidate status gives no guarantee that authorization will be granted. For further information about the IB and its programmes, visit http://www.ibo.org


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