Preparatory IB course

• prepare for the IB

• improve your English

• start in September, January, or April

• a study break from your own school

Created specifically for students who wish to take the full IB Diploma, this one year course is designed and delivered by IB specialists, many of whom are IB examiners themselves. Class sizes are very low and all students are guaranteed individual help and support.

The unique St Clare’s Trimester structure ensures that all students gain a grounding in the skills essential for their future success on the renowned IB Diploma. The year long programme is a careful blend of breadth of delivery coverage to ensure students experience a range of subjects and depth of exploration to ensure they have the knowledge and understanding to cope with the demands of Higher Level work on the Diploma the following year. The programme is designed to replicate the full diploma with students taking subjects from all 6 areas of the curriculum. The trimester structure allows students to take the core subjects throughout the year and rotate between some of the options.

Who is the Pre IB programme designed for?

Most students are 15 or 16, have either 2 or 3 years of schooling left and are looking for a one-year course that will give them the foundation they need to take the full IB Diploma.

Do I need to stay for the full 3 years (Pre IB & then IB Diploma)?

No. the course will prepare you well for whatever programme you take. Most of our Pre IB students apply to do the IB with us but not all. Most come for the full year but it is possible to join part-way through the year.

What are the Core subjects?

All students take 4 hours of mathematics a week, 2 hours of World Literature and 8 hours of English (IB groups 1, 2 & 5). Which subjects are optional? St Clare’s offers 4 Humanities subjects, 4 Sciences and 4 Arts subjects (groups 3, 4 & 6). Over the course of the year, students will experience 3 of each, changing each Trimester (roughly every 12 weeks).

Can I choose which Options I take?

Everyone is guaranteed their top 2 choices in each curriculum area so you can be certain that you will study in depth the subject or subjects you need for the following year.

Are the subjects streamed by ability?

For English and Maths, we place students in groups of comparable ability so that they can receive the right level of challenge and support. Native English speakers for example prepare for English Group 1 not group 2.

students on stage shakespeare
teacher in classroom with three students

A typical programme might look like this:

Trimester Group
1 World Literature Drama English History Biology Maths Visual Arts
2 World Lit – The Novel English Geography Chemistry Maths Music
3 World Lit – Poetry English Economics Physics Maths Theatre

Have a question about the Preparatory IB course?

We always encourage students and parents to visit the college. Visits can be arrange at any time and we host two Open Mornings per year.

If you are not able to visit, please contact Chris and Oliva with any questions or enquiries you may have about St Clare’s or the Preparatory IB course.


Contact Chris and Oliva on:
+44 1865 517304
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Contact the Department

We always encourage students and parents to visit the college so they can get a much better idea of our classes, teachers, accommodation, campus and what it is like to be a student here. Visits can be arranged at any time. We also host two Open Mornings per year and one Information Evening.
Chris or Olivia
+44 1865 517304
Office hours: Monday-Friday 0900-1700 GMT

IB Orientation Olympics

The orientation weekend would not be complete without the Orientation Olympics. This is an annual event for new students arriving to study Pre-IB or IB and each student is assigned a team: Blue, Green, Yellow or Red. They play a range of fun games...

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  St Clare’s is a Licensed Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Centre.  We offer our students the opportunity to complete the Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award as direct entrants. The Gold Award is achieved by completing a personal programme of activities in five sections,...

Bletchley Park Visit

  On the 29 April 2018, 11 IB students and 4 teachers visited Bletchley Park, the place which was once the central site for British codebreakers during World War Two. The location, famous for where Alan Turing broke the enigma code is perfect our history students as...

Term Dates


Autumn Term 2018
Thursday 30 August Arrivals Day — first-year IB and all other new students
Thursday 30 August – Sunday 2 September IB and Pre-IB Orientation
Sunday 2 September Arrivals Day — remaining second-year students return between 10:00 and 20:00
Monday 3 September 09:00 — Classes start
Friday 19 October Teaching finishes at 16:15
Saturday 20 October Departure Day – students leave by 12:00
Half-term holiday – college closed to students
Sunday 28 October Arrivals Day – student return between 10:00 and 20:00
Friday 14 December Teaching finishes at 16:15
Saturday 15 December Departure Day — students leave by 12:00
Christmas holiday – college closed to students


Spring Term 2019
Thursday 03 January Arrivals Day  students return and new students arrive
Parent-Teacher meetings 15:30 – 17:30
Friday 04 January 09:00 – IB classes start
Orientation for Pre-IB students
Friday 15 February Teaching finishes at 16:15
Saturday 16 February Departure Day – students leave by 12:00
Half-term holiday – college closed to students
Sunday 24 February Arrivals Day – students return between 10:00 and 20:00
Monday 25 February 09:00 – classes start
Friday 5 April Teaching finishes at 16:15
Saturday 6 April Departure Day – students leave by 12:00
Easter holiday – college closed to students


Summer Term 2019
Tuesday 23 April Arrivals Day  students return between 10:00 and 20:00
Wednesday 24 April 09:00 – classes start
Thursday 2 May – Friday 24 May Final exams for second year students
Tuesday 21 May – Monday 27 May Term 3 exams for first year students
Tuesday 28 May Graduation Day for second year IB students
Wednesday 29 May Departure Day for second year IB students – all graduating students leave by 12.00
Saturday 8 June – Thursday 13 June Science field courses for first year IB students
Friday 21 June Classes finish at 13:15. Parent -Teacher meetings 14:00 – 16:00
Saturday 22 June Departure Day – first year IB and Pre-IB students – students leave by 10:00
Further information

The Pre-IB course prepares you for either choosing to study your next stage of education at another school but, of course, we hope you will continue at St Clare’s.

Our IB Diploma Guide provides comprehensive information about studying the IB here.

  • Have a look at:
  • our student’s results
  • their university destinations and what they have chosen to study
  • the subjects available and an explanation about the subject groups
  • details about how the grading systems works for the diploma
  • more information about the other required elements of the diploma CAS, and of course,
  • the views of some of our graduating students

Download the IB Diploma Guide


Academic Year 2017-2018

Annual Fees
Day students £18,655
Residential students (weekly and fully residential) £38,820
Registration Fee £100
Enrolment Deposits:
IB course £2500
Pre-IB course (per module) £500
Annual fees are payable in two instalments
Weekly and fully residential students:
1st instalment 10 August 2017 £19,564
2nd instalment 14 December 2017 £19,219
Day students:
1st instalment 10 August 2017 £9,392
2nd instalment 14 December 2017 £9,226
(The fees above include fees and travel insurance)
Additional charges
The following prices offer an approximate guide only and there may be other charges in addition to those listed below:
Books per year £300–£350
Examination charges
SAT Reasoning Test $100
SAT Subject Tests $90–$100
IB Diploma £550
Legalisation of IB Diploma — (for Latin American, Mediterranean and Eastern European countries) £97 per country
Biology Field Trip £350
Geography and Environmental Systems & Societies Field Trip £250
Private Music Lessons £45 per hour
Music and Drama Exams £30–£80
Extra lessons and special tuition per lesson £50
UK Day Trip free–£30
Trips to Musicals or the Theatre £30–£70
European cultural weekend trips £500–£600
Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award — two practice expeditions and the final assessed expedition £650
Team Sports Clothes £50–£100
Airport Transfer (depends on single or return and on destination) £100–£250
Graduation Ball (includes Ball ticket and graduation photo) £70

This might be just the course you are looking for

Chris and Olivia will be happy to explain more

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St Clare's, Oxford