Teachers assess preschoolers in school entry tests more mature than before

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The 21st School in Tallinn. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The coronavirus pandemic has not brought forth a negative effect when it comes to preparations for first grade, say teachers who have graded the knowledge of preschoolers going to entry tests.

In Tallinn's 21st School, four separate first grades will begin their school journey on September 1. One of those, an English-language class, has to go through entry tests first. 280 children were in the running for the 28 classroom places, ETV's daily affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported on Sunday.

"This corona did not bring anything special to studying. We continued reading and did some calculations at home. That is how preparations go," said Ingrid, a parent.

Parents had to wait outside for their children to finish with their tests, because they were not allowed in the school. According to the school's study head, the pandemic has not affected the knowledge levels of preschoolers.

"We have very experienced and good teachers, they said they did not notice much of a difference. As it always is, there are children that are well prepared and there are those, whose preparation might not be as good," said Valentina Taliaru, the study head of Tallinn's 21st School.

The results of the tests conducted over the weekend will become clear on Monday.

Parents also had to cheer for their children at the Tallinn French School (Tallinna Prantsuse Lütseum), where they were also left out of the building itself.

Every fourth child to come for the maturity tests makes it into the school and children this year are more independent than those in years prior, said Peter Pedak, the school director.

"Earlier, when they were at the testing days with their parents, there was more crying and fussing. But now, when they wave to their parents at the door and the teacher comes to get them, they all manage very well," the director praised.

Schools across the capital city must present their lists to the Tallinn Education Department next week.

Kaarli School, an establishment developed on private capital, that belongs to the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church's Kaarli congregation, said their list is just about finished. "We did not have a social maturity observation this time, because we could not get the children to play together in one room," said Lea Krall, a teacher at Kaarli School.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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