The respectable history and traditions of VCG require the school to be open towards innovations and changes balancing the tried principles and thus forming a true temple of education.
STUDIES – TRADITIONS AND INNOVATIVENESS
A supportive and caring atmosphere between teachers and students – characteristic to our school – is important in any teaching-learning process.
In primary school we have considered it important to provide children with options. Since grade two, it is possible to learn English, economics and computer studies. Classes that follow the Step by Step program in our school take the student’s individuality into account and are very popular in our school.
In basic school our students are divided into study groups according to their progress and abilities to guarantee everyone’s progress. More talented students have thus the possibility to have a more thorough approach to the subject.
Study trips and subject circles also play an important role in developing learning skills. We have versatile support systems.
In gymnasium students can choose between three branches: humanities, science and nature. Humanities branch offers, in addition to literature, also religious and culture studies, media and theater studies, and Latin, French or Finnish as a third foreign language.
Students in science branch focus mainly on mathematics and physics as well as other life sciences. It is possible to learn technical drawing and programming.
Nature branch is the newest in gymnasium and constantly developing. Everyday studies are expanded by economics, national defense and ecology, practical activities and participation in various projects.
For several years we have organized subject weeks that enrich everyday academic life and motivate students to take part in several contests. Together with students there are also teachers participating in the activities.
Options for integration between subjects have been utilized by students in the humanities branch by organizing thematic evenings where literature, art, music and theater of a particular era are combined into students’ performances and presentations. There are annual autumn competitions enabling students to try out their technical and practical skills.
CREATIVITY AS THE BASIS FOR INTELLECTUALITY
Open and active young people have created the image for VCG: students’ achievements in the fields of school theatre, poetry, drama and spoken as well as written expression have drawn attention all over Estonia.
Every five years collections of versatile student works are published. In addition to literary works they display art works of different styles and techniques created by students.
We were one of the first to start issuing our school newspaper “Oma Sõna“ (Own Word) in 1988. The newspaper has developed the sense of responsibility in students for what their have written, also their communication and language skills.
A strong side of our school is definitely the study material created by our teachers. However, in addition to various materials they have also published a number of articles on social and educational issues.
Our school has a long-time art circle tradition. Students’ works have been on exhibition in Viljandi and elsewhere, they have been used for designing and illustrating school publications and rooms; best students have had personal exhibitions of their works.
CULTURAL LIFE IN PERMANENT RHYTHM
Active cultural life that develops personalities can be expressed through various theatrical, fashion, and concert events, in folk dance circles and culture mornings. Literature focused mind games series for basic school students are gaining in popularity. Another long tradition is teachers’ theater festival “Sillad” (Bridges) that has for 11 years united theater-friendly and –minded teachers all over Estonia.
Performances of our talented soloists, girls’ choir, children choir and flute circle help to bring colors to the events both inside and outside school. Our students have been successful in various singing contests all over Estonia. VCG teachers’ band “Sinine Elevant“ (Blue Elephant) has gained momentum in the field of instrumental music.
CONNECTION AND SUSTAINABILITY BETWEEN GENERATIONS
At every big anniversary of our school, we release an alumni publication. A collection “Vilistlased teel” (Alumni on the way) about the outstanding scientists, culture and social figures and sportspeople who have graduated from our school, was published in 2008.
The representatives of our teachers and students have for years taken part in international students’ conferences in Latvia,Valmiera.
Turu schools in Finland have come to support us with the annual autumn competition. With Turu Joint Gymnasium we have had mutual concert performances to enrich each other’s musical taste.
Nature class has begun collaboration with Rauma School in Finland having had camping trips in the wild, learning outside and completing a research paper.
The importance of student council has increased year by year: young people are intelligent discussion partners on the issues of developing their school. They are also the initiators for organizing various events; however, their task is also to represent our school as students.
We, too, have an Estonian version of scouts and guides organization operating in our school developing patriotism and loyalty in our youth.
VCG has always favored and supported active young people because the experience gained at school helps our students to function better in their independent life later on.
Sports activities in our school are the most fruitful and active in primary school. Football, dodgeball, relay races, archery, rowing and light athletics are the fields we are at the top in Estonia. The list of top results both locally and in Estonia is quite long.
A good school is known by respectful relationships between students and teachers, and joint events. It is not only exam results that are important, how much we develop on our way also counts for a lot. Our school aims at providing our students not only with knowledge but also with general human values.
We try to make the world a bit better each day through the accomplishments of our students.