The school program is divided into four stages:
In primary school, the school year is divided into three trimesters that are each three months long. The first trimester starts on 1st September, the second one on 1st December and the third one on 1st March. After each trimester, the students get course marks for their subjects. The best mark is 5, then 4 and 3. 2 and 1 stand for failure. Failing students might need to do some extra work during the summer in order to progress to the next class.
In secondary school, the subjects are divided into 35-lesson courses. After each course, a student gets a course mark. The number of courses in different subjects is different (e.g. English 12 courses, Music 3 courses). One course per year means that there is one lesson per week.
Marks that are not course marks are given out based on percentage:
Sometimes, plusses and minuses are added to marks that are near the borders to help with calculating the average mark. For example 90% would be a 5- (4.7), 85% would be a 4+ (4.3) and 100% would be 5+ (5.3).
We have 4 school holidays during the year:
While lessons in other schools in Estonia begin at 8:00, ours begin at 8:45. This is due to the fact that many students take a bus to school from the surrounding area. The lessons are 45 minutes long and are followed by a 10- or 15-minute break. Students have their lunch during one of the longer breaks.
There are 4 to 8 lessons per day (depending on the form) and the 8th lesson ends at 16:10. Sometimes, there is a teachers council at the end of the day and all lessons are shortened by 5 minutes.