Tartu Hiie School

Nature of the Study System

Tartu Hiie School is a state school where hearing and speech impaired students study from all over Estonia. 300 students from all over Estonia study at the Tartu Hiie School. There are hearing impaired and deaf students whose parents wish to give them oral education in the hearing impaired children’s department. Spoken and written Estonian is taught at school, relying on residual hearing, lipreading and fingerspelling. Basic school education is obtained in 11 years. In speech impaired children’s department there are students with normal hearing and intelligence who have reading and writing difficulties, speech impairment, pronunciation problems which hinder them from studying at regular schools. Basic school education is obtained in 10 years.

There are approximately 12 students in a class. They study in the morning and receive speech therapy, pronunciation and listening lessons, remedial teaching lessons and physical training therapy lessons after school. The students can receive counselling service where problems with studying, behaviour, and relationships can be solved. It is possible to take part in the activities of the hobby groups. Parents can visit lessons every Friday.

Teaching Estonian and other subjects at the Tartu Hiie School differs significantly from teaching at a regular school. In addition to regular lessons there are special correction lessons for students in order to develop students’ speech, hearing and psychological processes. The school has developed a curriculum which follows the national curriculum but considers difficulties that students with hearing and speech impairment have. Lesson distribution plans differ from the ones in regular schools. English is taught as a foreign language, and computer science is an elective. In hearing impaired children’s department there is one lesson of rhythmics in 1-4 form. The expenses of the students are partially paid by the state. Students living outside Tartu have a meal four times a day; they have a place in the boarding house and free study materials. At the end of school, the students take state exams of basic school. They can continue their education in upper secondary schools.

When the student’s speech impairment has been treated, he/she will be transferred back to his/her local regular school. The child can go back to regular school only at the parent’s request. In this case, the parent has to write an application.

5-7 years old children can start learning in the school’s preparatory form. Special needs teachers, teachers of the deaf students, speech therapists, psychologist and specialists in their own field work at school. A doctor and a nurse look after the students’ health.

Source: http://www.hiie.tartu.ee/ (http://www.hiie.tartu.ee/)