School Curriculum

National curricula establish the basic education and general secondary education standard. These are implemented in all basic schools and upper secondary schools in the Republic of Estonia regardless of the legal status of the school, unless the law stipulates otherwise.

National curricula set out the objectives of studies, expected learning outcomes, assessment criteria and procedure, and requirements for the learning and teaching environment, organisation of teaching and education, graduation from school and school curriculum.

Each school drafts its own curriculum, basing it on the national curriculum. The curriculum of a school will be established by the head of the school, but the curriculum of the school and amendments thereto will be submitted to the board of trustees, student council and teachers’ council for the expression of an opinion before establishment.

When the curriculum of a school is drafted, it shall be based on the national curriculum and the development plan of the school, taking account of the needs of the region, the wishes and intellectual and material capabilities of the employees of the school, the parents and students.

The school will allow students acquiring basic education to freely use the educational literature (e.g. textbooks, workbooks, exercise-books and worksheets) required for the completion of the school curriculum. The school will allow students acquiring general secondary education to freely use textbooks required for completion of the school curriculum. Schools are free to choose the educational literature required in each grade for completing the school curriculum.

The Ministry of Education and Research will, per grade and subject, ensure the availability of the minimum educational literature required for completion of national curricula.

The general part of a basic school curriculum shall set forth:

  1. the values and distinctive features, teaching and educational goals of the school;
  2. the organisation of studies – a lesson division plan per subject and grade, the implementation of recurrent themes and integration, the choice of elective subjects and foreign languages, the use of languages of instruction other than Estonian per subject, any exceptions made with regard to the names of the subjects or volume of lessons established in the national curriculum and the reasons for such exceptions;
  3. any activities planned for diversifying the environment of study, incl. activities that support the implementation of the curriculum, study visits, etc.;
  4. the procedure for the choice of topic, the supervision, drafting and assessment of the creative work of stage III;
  5. the organisation of supporting and assessing the development and learning process of students;
  6. the principles of the organisation of studies for students with special educational needs, the procedure for implementing support services;
  7. the organisation of career studies, incl. career information and counselling;
  8. the arrangement of notifying and counselling students and parents;
  9. the principles of planning work and cooperation between teachers;
  10. the procedure for updating and amending the school curriculum;
  11. descriptions of the learning outcomes and contents of study of subjects are set out by subject areas and grades.

The general part of an upper secondary school curriculum shall set forth:

  1. the values that serve as the basis of the curriculum of the school, the distinctive features as well as the teaching and educational goals of the school;
  2. the organisation of studies, incl. descriptions of at least the mandatory courses and the elective courses and subjects provided by the school, descriptions of fields of study if these exist, the principles of forming the study load of a student and the arrangement of studies for students with special educational needs, the principles of integrating subjects, the arrangement of student research or practical work, the use of different languages of instruction;
  3. the activities planned for shaping general competences, and diversifying the teaching and learning environment;
  4. the procedure for assessment and graduation from the upper secondary school;
  5. the organisation of notifying and counselling students, and career studies, incl. career information and counselling;
  6. the principles of planning work and cooperation between teachers;
  7. the procedure for updating and amending the school curriculum.

Last amended: 08-08-2016 00:00 | Compiled by: Ministry of Education and Research