The history of Tartu Raatuse School dates back to 15  September 1919 when Tartu Girls' Gymnasium started its work at 2 Riia street. Markus Univer was appointed the headmaster of the first municipal gymnasium.

In 1934 the school was renamed Tartu Second Gymnasium. In the year 1940 gymnasiums were arranged for secondary schools in Estonia and the school became known as Tartu Secondary School No 2.

Due to World War II the building was used by military units and teaching was carried out in the rooms of Tartu Secondary School No 1. In 1944 the building was destroyed by fire.

In 1944 the school was renamed Tartu Secondary School No3 and it carried that name till 1997. For short time, in years 1965-1969 the school was also known as Tartu Eight - Year school No 3. Working took place in Salme and Puieste street at that period. The present schoolhouse in Raatuse street was completed in 1973. Since then, German language has been taught on a more advanced level at Raatuse school.

1 May 1997 the school was named Tartu Raatuse Gymnasium. From September 1997 – June 2001 the German department was active at school. Several subjects were taught in German and the school-leavers of German department got a good starting point to apply to universities in Germany. The German department was run by German teachers.

The last considerable change in our school life took place 1 September 2013 after restructuring of school network in Tartu. The school was officially reformed a basic school. Thus, our students can acquire basic education till they finish the ninth grade in Tartu Raatuse School.

The side benefit the school has is providing English or German language learning from the first grade. Also, thanks to the cooperation of  Tartu University Academic Sports Club, the school could open a class for sports apart. Today about 465 students are studying and 52 teachers, 4 members of school support staff and a school nurse are working in our school. Moreover, there are 18 people who belong to the list of school service staff.The school has a canteen with its professional team that provides high-quality school lunches which are well-approved among the people in and out of school.

Not using a traditional grading system in primary classes with the years 1-3, has been well received. Students and their parents get oral and written feedback on the child's personal development, skills and knowledge in different subjects. Our primary teachers organize various thrilling activities to younger students like interactive quizz Mõtteragin, meant for students from town and county schools or reading nights to meet well-known writers and participate in different discussions and workshops.

The school provides variety of after school activities including sport, music, arts and crafts, Estonian as well as German drama classes. In the autumn 2013 the robotics lab was started. Students needs are always considered by a speech therapist, a social teacher, a psychologist, a specialist of learning difficulties and a school nurse. Classes are not only run in the classroom but they are also taken outdoors to offer students support in developing their practical skills and broadening their minds.

Our students are continuously successful with academic achievements and representing their school in different contests and events. The students have a great chance to participate in international and national projects which give them an opportunity to take part in the events in their own school and also widen their minds and experience while visiting other cultures all over Europe.

To teach children how to be part of a community and to see themselves as valued members of that community, the school has several all-school traditions. Certain ritual ceremonies have been followed, for example, Autumn Sports Day, Spring and Christmas Concert, Christmas Fair, Ceremonial Reception for the Best, Excursion for students who have stood out at competitions and contests, Speech Contest, The Person of the Month award.  To popularize sports by making sports life more colourful, Estonian Olympic Academy has supported our school to organize School Olympic Games for primary students. In spring 2013 the games were repeated again.

The school is continually working toward finding new opportunities to make studying more challenging through new different projects. The project days in October 2013, which took place for the first time, gave students freedom to choose and participate in different 40 workshops within 2 days. Since 2012 Raatuse School has been enrolled in the students' exchange  programme VeniVidiVici among Estonian schools and in autumn 2013 individual pupils' mobility with Italian partner from Torino was started.

In 2014 international cooperation between the Nordplus Junior Programme and our primary school is established for the first time. We are also very active in Erasmus+ projects. In year 2018 we reached the point when we had 7 actively running international projects at the same time that must be the highest number among all Estonian basic schools.

The timeline of Tartu Raatuse School goes full speed ahead.