Tallinn Helen’s School

Tallinn Helen’s School (Tallinn Deaf School until 2005) is a municipal school founded by the parents of deaf children. The children with following impairments are taught from preschool to upper secondary school: hearing impairment, visual impairment, multiple disabilities, and the deaf-blind.
In 2002 an integration group was opened in preschool where the regular children learned together with children with milder sensory disabilities.

In years 2003-2008 regular students were admitted to upper secondary school. Besides other subjects they learned Estonian Sign Language, social work, media and Swedish.
In autumn 2005 groups and classes for the blind, including the blind with multiple disabilities and deaf-blind were formed in preschool and basic school.

The school was named after the famous deaf-blind woman Helen Keller. Composite classes have also received their names after their class teacher’s first names (e.g. Kadri’s, Kristiina’s, and Riina’s class).

Studying at School

In basic school, all subjects are learned throughout the whole academic year. In upper secondary school, there are courses. It means that students study in groups according to their field of study and courses.

In Tallinn Helen’s School the lessons are taught according to the national curriculum of basic school and upper secondary school, simplified curriculum of the basic school, and coping class national curriculum. If necessary, an individual curriculum is compiled.

In upper secondary school there are maximum 36 students, while each student with special needs counts for three regular students. In basic school class with sensory disabilities there are maximum 12 students. In a class with multiple disabilities there are maximum 7 students. If there are seven students or below that in two or more classes, a composite class of these students is formed.

In basic school, the students can use textbooks for free. Also, workbooks and worksheets are free of charge. In upper secondary school, textbooks can be used for free. The list of suitable textbooks and workbooks is issued each year by Estonian minister of education and research.

The academic year starts on 1 September and ends at the beginning of June. The academic year consists of study and exam periods and school holidays. The units of account of the study period are lesson, study day, study week, course, term, and half-year. There are at least 175 study days (35 weeks) in a study period. In upper secondary school the study and exam period lasts at least 175 study days. There are five study days in one week. The weekly number of lessons is determined by school curriculum. A lesson lasts for 45 minutes. A break lasts for ten minutes. The number of lessons and their order is determined in the timetable, which is approved by the headmistress of the school.

The main form of study is the lesson. Lessons take place in school or outside school as a class trip or study visit. The minimum weekly number of lessons per week is 32. In basic school, the maximum number of lessons is 20-34 lessons per week.

Source: http://helen.edu.ee/ (http://helen.edu.ee/)