Pre-IB Opportunities

Within the Transition Year programme, students are encouraged and facilitated to consider the options available to them for senior cycle at Villiers.

At Villiers, we offer students aged 16-18 a choice of national and international curriculum at senior cycle. Villiers is the only boarding school in Ireland authorised to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP), as an alternative to the traditional Irish Leaving Certificate.

Pre-IB opportunities within Transition Year should be of particular interest to students who are considering the IBDP but are available to all students in Transition Year at Villiers School.

Core Subjects

30% of a student’s time in Transition Year is spent learning their core subjects: English, Mathematics, Modern European Languages, and Irish.

Transition Year courses with an IB-tailored curriculum will be offered to eligible students in their core subjects. Eligibility will be determined through a combination of interview, review of school reports and teacher recommendations and/or diagnostic testing.

  • Pre-IB English
  • Pre-IB Mathematics (Applications & Interpretations)

Students are also encouraged to continue their studies in Language Acquisition. In Transition Year, we offer a choice of French, German or Spanish, as well as English (EAL) for those students whose native language is not English.

Please note, Irish is compulsory for all students who have studied it at Junior Cycle.

Choice Subjects

A further 30% of a student’s time in Transition Year is spent within a variety of choice subjects. This element of the TY curriculum is designed to help students make decisions on subject choices for senior cycle. Many of the choice subjects taught within the Transition Year programme are taught by IB teachers and therefore all Transition Year students will have the opportunity to experience both Pre-Leaving Certificate subject content as well as Pre-IB subject content.

The list of IBDP subjects on offer within Villiers School is included here:

During Transition Year, students who are considering the IBDP are encouraged to speak to the relevant subject teachers regarding their IBDP subject interests so that teachers can adequately contextualise the student experience.

IB Core Experiences in Transition Year

The Extended Essay (EE)

The Extended Essay (EE) in Transition Year is a year-long optional project open to all students. Students who have an interest in pursuing the IBDP at senior cycle are strongly encouraged to take part in this project. The Pre-IB Extended Essay is expected to be approximately 1500 words in length and requires independent research related to a subject of the student’s choice.

Theory of Knowledge (TOK)

Theory of Knowledge (TOK) is an optional module in Transition Year open to all students. Students who have an interest in pursuing the IBDP at senior cycle are strongly encouraged to take part in this module which prepares students for the methods of teaching and learning expected within the IBDP.

Community, Activity, Service (CAS)

Pursuing the Bronze ‘Gáisce’ Award in Transition Year is an excellent way for students to prepare for the Community, Activity, Service (CAS) element of the IBDP. ‘Gáisce’ rewards students who set and achieve a demanding challenge for themselves in four different areas:

  • Community involvement, e.g. helping older people, learning first aid, or lifesaving.
  • Personal skill, e.g. learning a musical instrument, computer skills or driving.
  • Physical recreation, e.g. swimming, football or tennis.
  • Adventure journey, e.g. a cycling, canoeing or hiking group trip.

‘Gáisce’ is optional in Transition Year. Students who have an interest in pursuing the IBDP are strongly encouraged to pursue the Bronze ‘Gáisce’ award.

Transition Year Experience

All students in the Transition Year programme at Villiers School are encouraged to participate in as many elements of the programme as possible to get the best from their TY experience. More information on the TY experience is available here:

Pre-IB Experience

No formal Pre-IB certification will be issued at the end of Transition Year, however, students will have had the opportunity to gain experience in the approaches to teaching and learning at the heart of the IB Diploma Programme, to engage with relevant subject teachers, and to gain valuable insight into their future subject choices and core experiences.

Students who pursue Pre-IB Transition Year opportunities at Villiers School, and who subsequently apply to the IBDP at senior cycle, will typically be considered better prepared for the demands of the IBDP, having had exposure to the IB approaches to teaching and learning, DP subject options and core experiences.

More Information

Correspondence in relation to Pre-IB opportunities in Transition Year should be directed to the Admissions & Communications Manager, Mrs. Susan Peña, by telephone +353 61 451447 or by email  

More information on the IB Diploma Programme is available here:

More information on the IBDP at Villiers School is available here: