The Tartu Catholic Education Centre (the nursery school and the basic school) and the Recreational Learning Centre of Jacob’s Hill are located in Tartu in southern Estonia. The Centres are housed in two buildings that are dedicated to two saints: St Agatha and St Joseph. The students in Year 5 to Year 9 and the Recreational Learning Centre of the Jacob’s Hill use St Agatha’s House, located at 41 Jakobi street, while St Joseph’s House, located at 3 Oru street, houses the nursery school and students from Year 1 to Year 4.
In 1938 the Sisters of the Order of St Francis founded a Catholic nursery and bought the present St Agatha’s House. Although the nursery was closed in 1940, the Sisters of St Francis continued to uphold Catholic traditions in Tartu during the Soviet time as well. After the re-establishment of Estonian independence, the Tartu Catholic Education Centre was opened in 1993, and its founders included the members of the Catholic Church. The first head of school was Mihkel Pilv, who created the learning portal Miksike, which has become a nationally acclaimed internet-based educational portal.
The Tartu Catholic Education Centre is committed to providing a Christian education and strives to assist families in raising their children. The Tartu Catholic School believes that each human being—whether it be a student, parent or a teacher—is the creation of God and unconditionally loved by God.
The aims of the nursery school and basic school of the Tartu Catholic Education Centre are: 1) to value the family; 2) to assist parents in their vital role as primary educators of their children; 3) to value equally academic education and character development through the cultivation of virtues; 4) to create a school environment surrounded by love and respect where weaker individuals are taken care of; 5) to appreciate the Christian culture, traditions, the folk tradition and unpolluted nature; 6) to recognise and take into account the individuality of each student, and to help students identify and develop their abilities and talents; 7) to raise individuals with a sense of mission who dare and are able to make ethical choices as social beings interacting within a society.
Unique features of the nursery school
The unique features of the nursery school of the Tartu Catholic Education Centre include: an individualised approach for each child, an education centred on Christian values, religion lessons and the celebration of feast days of the Estonian folk calendar and the Church.
Unique features of the basic school
The unique features of the basic school of the Tartu Catholic Education Centre include: an education centred on Christian values, religion lessons, an individual approach to students, intensive study of English, integrated studies and discovery learning. We use assertive discipline in classroom. We honour the feast days of the folk calendar and the church and celebrate the most important ones in Tartu Catholic Church. We strive for academic excellence.
The school’s crest
The red colour of the shield comes from the main colour of the coat of arms of the historical Catholic Diocese of Tartu and from Tartu’s present coats of arms which is derived from the Diocese’s coat of arms. The candleholder with burning candles symbolises the efforts to raise and educate children which draws upon deep-rooted traditions. The three candles stand for the school, the Church and the family working together. The colours of the background circle are the heraldic colours of St Francis and St Clara and refer to the leading role of Franciscans in the founding and furthering of the school.
The Tartu Catholic Education Centre is supported by numerous sponsors and is deeply grateful for both small and large donations.
Tartu Katoliku Hariduskeskus MTÜ
Jakobi 41, Tartu, (Estonia ) EST
Liivalaia 8, 15040 Tallinn
IBAN: EE30 2200 2210 4571 9685
The Recreational Learning Centre of Jacob’s Hill
The Recreational Learning Centre offers children and adults an opportunity to pursue a variety of interests ranging from old music, art and languages to handicraft and computer programming. The Tartu Catholic Education Centre and the Recreational Learning Centre of Jacob’s Hill work in close collaboration.
Staff contacts (they may be contacted in English)
Father Miguel, Parish priest of the Tartu Catholic parish:
Sister Veronica, President of the Tartu Catholic Education Centre:
Helena Kloss, School Secretary:
Silvi Sokk, Curriculum Director (Year 5 to Year 9):
Kairi Kutta, Curriculum Director (Year 1 to Year 4):
Aleksandra Sooniste, Academic Development Director:
Ethel Toomingas, Assistant Head, Head of the nursery school:
Helena Stamberg, Director of the Recreational Learning Centre of Jacob’s Hill:
Tartu Katoliku Hariduskeskus