Middle School Programme

IST currently offers the Estonian National Curriculum in alignment with the International Baccalaureate (IB) framework. The curriculum is designed to meet the national and IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) requirements for students between the ages of 11 to 16.

As a candidate school, IST is preparing for authorization of MYP by offering the Personal Project and all eight subject group disciplines linked with Service as Action, aimed at making our world a better place.


Our curriculum is organized in a way that ensures teaching and learning is conceptual and relevant to the lives and experiences of our students. With conceptual learning, student inquiry is supported, and deeper academic understanding and interdisciplinary learning is fostered.

Approaches to Learning (ATL) skills:

As students develop, they learn how to be learners; this process is supported by weaving 21st century skills into the heart of the curriculum, ensuring that these skills are a part of the entire learning process. A unifying thread throughout all IB programmes and MYP subject groups, approaches to learning skills provide the foundation for independent learning. Developing and applying skills for research, critical and creative thinking, communication, collaboration, and self-management help students take ownership of their learning.

Creative Project (Grade 9):

Students are prepared to express themselves for the creative project that follows the guidelines and expectations of the Estonian curriculum.


Personal Project (PP):

The Personal Project is the culminating project for the students in the MYP. The main focus of this project is for the Grade 10 students to show how they have developed as learners. Students choose a topic of interest, complete in-depth research, and finalize by selecting a product/outcome to show their learning. The Personal Project Handbook can be downloaded here: IST-PP Guide

Service as Action (SA):

Service as Action is an integral part of the MYP and will be introduced this academic year. As service and action have always been shared values of the IST community, we continue the work with our students. Our students strive to be caring members of a larger, global community by demonstrating a personal commitment to making a difference to the lives of others and the environment around them.

Download the Service as Action guide here: IST Service as Action Guide

Interdisciplinary Unit (IDU):

When two or more disciplines or subject groups collaborate to develop a unit, students engage with the topics in more holistic ways, offering them a broader approach to the curriculum and its ties to more global contexts.

Estonian Language:

Estonian is offered to all MYP students as the language of the host country. Every student gets an advantage to study the Estonian language in addition to English and a foreign language of choice.

Middle Years Subject Groups:

The range of subjects in the MYP ensures a breadth and depth of understanding for each student.


Subject Group DisciplineCourses offered to Grade 6 – 7Courses offered to Grade 8Courses offered to Grade 9 – 10
Language and LiteratureEnglish LiteratureEnglish LiteratureEnglish Literature
Language acquisitionRussian, French and GermanRussian, French and GermanRussian, French and German
SciencesIntegrated SciencesPhysics, Chemistry and BiologyPhysics, Chemistry and Biology
ArtArt and MusicArt and MusicArt and Music
Physical and Health EducationPhysical and Health EducationPhysical and Health EducationPhysical and Health Education
Individuals and SocietiesIndividuals and SocietiesIndividuals and SocietiesEconomics, Business Studies, History, Geography and Civics

Middle School Assessment:

Teachers organize continuous and varied assessments over the course of the programme. IST offers a criterion-related assessment for all subject disciplines.


Subject Group Disciplines









Language and LiteratureAnalyzingOrganizingProducing textUsing language
Language AcquisitionListeningReadingWritingSpeaking
Individuals and SocietiesKnowing and understandingInvestigatingCommunicatingThinking critically
SciencesKnowing and understandingInquiring and designingProcessing and evaluatingReflecting on the impacts of science
MathematicsKnowing and understandingInvestigating patternsCommunicating

Applying mathematics in real-life contexts


ArtsKnowing and understandingDeveloping skillsThinking creativelyResponding
Physical and Health EducationKnowing and understandingPlanning for performanceApplying and performingReflecting and improving performance
DesignInquiring and analyzingDeveloping ideasCreating the solutionEvaluating
MYP ProjectsInvestigatingPlanningTaking actionReflecting
InterdisciplinaryDisciplinary groundingSynthesizing and applyingCommunicatingReflecting

Trimester and Final Grades:

Grades for all subjects will be calculated from the scores in the eight individual subjects, as per International Baccalaureate (IB) expectations. Each subject has its own table of grade boundaries, showing how the level obtained using subject criteria is converted into an overall MYP level from 1 to 7. (These are automatically calculated by the ManageBac based on the sum of achievement levels).

At IST, a balance of formative assignments, summative work, and the professional input of the teachers, is used to determine the most fitting and accurate trimester and final grades.

Why choose the Middle Years Programme at IST?

Children are not the generation of tomorrow, they are the generation of today. Students need a programme that is focused on preparing them to be innovative thinkers, problem-solvers, and inquirers. Our programme equips the students at IST with skills and attitudes needed to progress in their learning and understanding, to continue to grow and develop as life-long learners. We aim to empower our students to be active community members, global citizens, and skilled enough to succeed in jobs that are not even created yet. Choosing IST will not only give your student the key ingredients for the future but a passport to the world.

Click on the link below to download the IB Middle Years Programme Parent Handbook  2020/2021:

IST Middle Years Programme Handbook