The functioning of the school can be thought of as that of a greenhouse where the purpose is to prepare the seedling for the colder outdoors. Therefore the dual task is to offer initial nurturing and protection while keeping in mind that isolation is not the goal. Be in the world, not of the world.

Love and freedom are closely and intransically connected. The basis for freedom and creativity is order. Love for order and rhythm in the classes, in the daily and yearly schedule. The school offers that children be witnesses to the life of the Church but respects their freedom for personal choices and self-determination.

D90 5421The Estonian Education Strategy 2020 provides for "Placing greater importance on the personality differences of the students, different talents (practical, artistic, social, emotional) and different cultural backgrounds (including affilia­tion with ethnic minorities) and giving these greater consideration in teaching and grading".

The aim of supporting ethnic identities is intentional. The hierarchy of values determines the priorities. The spirit of Christianity, of being the children of God, is above the divisions of ethnicity and unites, although ethnicity has an important role to play in the formation of identity.

In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity

(Quotation attributed to St Augustine)

IMG 9977ss 1The school seeks to co-operate closely with the students' families. The primary and first environment for the child's development is home, the school merely supports it. At school we endeavour to create a home-like and community-like environment where the members know each other and no one is anonymous.

This is the most perfect way - for the mother to speak to God and for God to speak to the children. If you do not communicate in this way, constant lecturing becomes a kind of intimidation. And when the child grows up it begins to rebel, that is, to take revenge, so to speak, on its father and mother who coerced it. One way is the perfect way - for the mother's and father's holiness and love in Christ to speak. The radiance of sanctity and not human effort makes for good children.

(Quoted from Wounded by Love. The Life and the Wisdom of Elder Porphyrios, 2005, p. 203)

Goals of St. John the Evangelist School

• Creating a friendly home-like environment for the growth and development of children from Christian families and for those who respect the Christian worldview
• Creating supportive conditions for the holistic personal development of children, including the physical, social, intellectual, emotional and spiritual aspects, focusing on the living Image of God within each child 
• Creating appropriate conditions for teachers who wish to work in a contemporary school environment while holding a Christian worldview 
• Creating conditions for learning about one’s own and the others’ ethnic and cultural identity in order to promote better cooperation and integration based on Christian ideals 
• Continuing the tradition of Orthodox Christian schools in Estonia
• Developing an environmental consciousness

Why is the school special?

• Conceptual and actual simultaneity with the Orthodox Church
• The striving of teachers, as carriers of the Christian spirit, to create a school atmosphere that, in a non-verbal manner forms the student better than a religion class would
• Instead of egocentric self-development and self-realisation, the emphasis is on the meeting, harmony and unity with the Other - with God and with one's neighbour, something that paradoxically and in a mystical way helps the person to find oneself
• Created on the initiative of parents and teachers of one Orthodox parish and open to all
• Unites the timeless, living church tradition and contemporary life, the two realities that are part of the life of today's Orthodox families
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The school defines its place in the Estonian school landscape as somewhere between the Collegium Educationis Revaliae (Vanalinna Hariduskolleegium) and the Rocca al Mare School. Both of the abovementioned have in one way or another prompted and inspired the creation of our school. We have been inspired by the Christian values and emphasis on creativity in the Collegium Educationis Revaliae, and the innovative approach to education in Rocca al Mare School. Both schools serve as examples with their supportive and friendly atmosphere as well as by tight and efficient co-operation with parents.
One of the aims of St. John's School is to exchange the best practices and be open to co-operation with other educational institutions.