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A snapshot: schools in Dublin considered (but not necessarily chosen) by English-speaking expats.

Schools with a full GSGI review are noted with  next to their names.

  (pending) means that the school is on our list to review.

By full GSGI review, we mean school write-ups that are completely selected, researched, visited and written by our own editors. Our final reviews take the good with the bad, warts and all, but we look for a preponderance of good before we drill down for in-depth details and descend on the school for an exhaustive visit. We are aware of the other schools on this page and we continually add or remove schools, as deemed appropriate.


In the case of Dublin, the following schools have been brought to our attention, but until we have more reports from parents, we are unable to consider reviewing them.

Alexandra College

Irish curriculum/ Junior Certificate/ Leaving Certificate; ages 4-18; girls; day and boarding; independent; private non-profit; 450 students

Founded by Quaker educationalist, Anne Jellicoe, in 1866 and now located in Milltown, Dublin. Always operated as a Church of Ireland school. Full-time and weekly boarding, open to expats. Claims to be the oldest field hockey club in Ireland and still turns out international players. School consistently ranked near the top, in terms of the numbers of graduates moving on to top-quality universities.

Belvedere College

Irish curriculum/ Junior Certificate/ Leaving Certificate; ages 13-18; boys; day; independent; private non-profit; 1,000 students

A Jesuit secondary school for boys only, in the heart of Dublin. Founded in the mid-19th century and James Joyce’s Alma Mater. Still run by the Jesuit order and known in particular for its sporting prowess. Drama and the arts well catered for and graduates leave for leading global universities, often in the US.

Blackrock College

Irish curriculum/ Junior Certificate/ Leaving Certificate; ages 13-18; boys; day and boarding; independent; private non-profit; 1,025 students

Located in Blackrock outside Dublin and once known as the French College, as its founder was a French missionary. Now run by a trust, consisting of priests from the Catholic Congregation of the Holy Ghost and a group of lay personnel. Separate buildings for junior and senior cycles, the latter more modern. Approximately 100 boarders. Strong sporting history and alumni include Bob Geldof.

Castle Park School

Adapted Irish Primary School Curriculum; ages 3-12; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 330 students

Founded in 1904 in Dalkey, a seaside suburb of Dublin, by the charmingly named Wilfred Toone. Their motto ‘Mens Sana in Corpore Sano’ is entirely appropriate, as they also run a Swimming Academy offering lessons to over 1,200 swimmers a week. Recent improvements have included the introduction of a Forest school and new adventure playgrounds.

Castleknock College

Irish curriculum/ Junior Certificate/ Leaving Certificate; ages 13-18; boys; day and boarding; independent; private non-profit; 740 students

A Vincentian secondary boys’ school, founded in 1833 and set on landscaped parkland close to Phoenix Park in Dublin. Primarily Catholic but open to all Christian faiths. One of the oldest boys’ schools in Ireland with a very strong sporting tradition, particularly Rugby, athletics and Gaelic games.

Gonzaga College

Irish curriculum/ Junior certificate/ Leaving certificate; ages 13-18; boys; day; independent; private non-profit; 550 students

One of five Jesuit schools in Ireland, founded in 1950 and located in Ranelagh, Dublin. Pupils must be Catholic and live south of the River Liffey. Academically rigorous, the vast majority of its leavers progress to university in Dublin, either University College or Trinity College. Apart from traditional sport the school consistently fields chess teams who are successful at prestigious tournaments.

International School of Dublin

PYP; ages 3-12; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 60 students

A tiny school, established in 2007 in central Dublin, the only school in Ireland authorised to offer the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme. Pupils come from over 20 different nationalities and there is year-round enrolment.

King's Hospital School (The)

Irish curriculum/ Junior Certificate/ Leaving Certificate; ages 12-18; co-ed; day and boarding; independent; private non-profit; 730 students

A Church of Ireland school but open to other faiths and denominations. One of the oldest schools in Ireland, founded in 1669. Now located on a purpose-built campus on the banks of the River Liffey in Palmerstown, County Dublin. Traditional school sending over 50 per cent of its leavers to either Trinity College Dublin or University College Dublin.

Kylemore College

Irish curriculum/ Junior Certificate/ Leaving Certificate; ages 13-18 ; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 330 students

An interdenominational school, located in Dublin. Originally established as a vocational school in 1965 but now a co-ed, secondary college with leavers heading to university and currently on a steep uphill curve. Still offering vocational courses.

Loreto College St Stephen’s Green

Irish curriculum/ Junior Certificate/ Leaving Certificate; ages 13-18; girls; day; independent; private non-profit; 560 students

Part of the worldwide network of schools, run by the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Loreto). A strongly Catholic girls’ secondary school on St Stephen’s Green in the heart of Dublin. Nearly 50 per cent of leavers head to university in Dublin, either University College or fractionally more to Trinity College.

Lycée Francais d'Irlande

French curriculum/ Irish curriculum/ Junior Certificate/ Brevet/ OIB; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 510 students

Junior campus located in the outskirts of Dublin in Foxrock and senior school in the Eurocampus in Clonskeagh, since 2001, shared with St Kilian’s Deutsche School. Offering the highly regarded alternative OIB (ages 14-18), technically, a combination of the French International Baccalaureate and the Irish Leaving Certificate.

Mount Anville Secondary School

Irish curriculum/ Junior Certificate/ Leaving Certificate; ages 12-18; girls; day; independent; private non-profit; 675 students

Located in the Dublin suburb of Goatstown, originally a boarding school but now day only. A Catholic, secondary school attached to Mount Anville Montessori Junior School and Mount Anville Convent, which was established in 1853. Over 50 per cent of leavers move on to University College Dublin with approximately 20 per cent heading to Trinity College.

Nord Anglia International School Dublin

PYP candidate/ MYP candidate/ IB Diploma; ages 3-16; co-ed; day; independent; privately owned; 200 students

Brand-new school opened in September 2018 with Lord (David) Puttnam as the chair of the advisory board. Owned and run by Nord Anglia Education, a rapidly expanding global education group. Offering three International Baccalaureate programmes but is only fully authorised to teach the IB Diploma and is still a ‘candidate school’ for the IBPYP and IMYP programmes. Obviously, no stats as yet but we will keep a close eye on it.

St Andrew's College

Irish curriculum/ Junior Certificate/ Leaving Certificate/ IB Diploma; ages 5-18 ; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 1,300 students

A junior and senior Church of Ireland school, founded in 1894 and now located in Dún Laoghaire, outside Dublin. One of the few international schools in Ireland to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma. Teaching students from over 40 countries and accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). 60 per cent of graduates head to either University College Dublin or Trinity College Dublin with the remainder to leading universities in the UK and US.

SEK International School Dublin

MYP/ IB Diploma; ages 12-19; co-ed; day; independent; privately owned

One of three SEK (an educational system developed 125 years ago) international schools outside Spain. Located near Bray in Co. Wicklow. A senior school teaching two programmes from the International Baccalaureate range.

St Columba's College

Irish curriculum/ Junior Certificate/ Leaving Certificate; ages 11-19; co-ed; day and boarding; independent; private non-profit; 330 students

A Church of Ireland school founded in 1843 and located in Whitechurch, County Dublin. Slightly more boys than girls with the majority of graduates moving on to Trinity College Dublin, probably the highest percentage of students doing this out of all Irish secondary schools.

Sutton Park School

Irish curriculum/ Junior Certificate/ Leaving Certificate; ages 4-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 345 students

One of the first multi-denominational schools in Ireland, founded in 1957. Located in a Georgian house in Sutton, close to the coast, north of Dublin. Divided into a junior (ages 4 ½ -9), intermediate (ages 9-12) and senior (ages 12-18) school.

Wesley College

Irish curriculum/ Junior Certificate/ Leaving Certificate; ages 13-18; co-ed; day and boarding; independent; private non-profit; 930 students

Methodist school, founded in 1844, under the control of a board of governors appointed by the Methodist Church of Ireland. Located in the Dublin suburb of Ballinteer and now has a brand-new sports centre opened in 2019. Over 50 per cent of leavers go on to university in Dublin either University College and a slightly higher percentage to Trinity College.

The rest of Ireland

Clongowes Wood College (Co. Kildare)

Irish curriculum/ Junior Certificate/ Leaving Certificate; ages 13-18; boys; boarding; independent; private non-profit; 440 students

Founded over 200 years ago by the Jesuits (the current head is the first layman to hold the post) and located near Clane, Count Kildare. The original castle is connected to the school buildings, which were expanded and modernised in 2000. A traditional, secondary, boarding school with a long history, huge grounds and a strong presence in rugby union. Consistently achieving way above average results for Leaving Certificate.

Glenstal Abbey (Co. Limerick)

Irish curriculum/ Junior Certificate/ Leaving Certificate; ages 13-18; boys; boarding; independent; private non-profit; 250 students

A Catholic, secondary school, located in the grounds of Glenstal Abbey in Murroe, County Limerick. Run by Benedictine monks with a strong religious ethos. The average points gained at Leaving Certificate equate to nearly 140 UCAS (UK university entrance) points. Leavers head to universities in Ireland, UK and Europe and occasionally the USA.

Kilkenny College (Kilkenny)

Irish curriculum/ Junior Certificate/ Leaving Certificate; ages 12-18; co-ed; day and boarding; independent; private non-profit; 880 students

An independent, Church of Ireland, secondary school in Kilkenny in south east Ireland. Mainly Protestant students but open to other denominations. Originally founded in 1538 but only on its current campus, on the outskirts of the city, since 1985. Roughly 50/50 boys and girls with just under 40 per cent of leavers heading to university in Dublin, with double the number usually heading to University College rather than Trinity College.

Midleton College (Co. Cork)

Irish curriculum/ Junior Certificate/ Leaving Certificate; ages 12-18; co-ed; day and boarding; independent; private non-profit; 400 students

Although founded in 1696, by Elizabeth Villiers (later Countess of Orkney) in the handsome house in County Cork (still in use today), pupils did not arrive until 1717. With a charter from William III, there have only been 17 headmasters in 300 years. Alumni include Isaac Butt (founder of the Irish Home Rule Party). Co-ed since the 1970’s but soccer is a girls only game here.

Newtown School (Waterford)

Irish curriculum/ Junior Certificate/ Leaving Certificate; ages 12-18; co-ed; day and boarding; independent; private non-profit; 400 students

A successful, multi-denominational school in Waterford City founded by the Quakers in 1798. Sends students to universities and institutions across Ireland with approximately 15 per cent heading to Trinity College Dublin and over 35 per cent to IT colleges. Also offers a Leaving Certificate vocational programme.

Villiers School (Limerick)

Irish curriculum/ Junior Certificate/ Leaving Certificate; ages 12-18; co-ed; day and boarding; independent; private non-profit; 570 students

A Protestant, secondary school on the edge of Limerick, founded in 1821. There is a significant cohort of expat students, mainly from other European countries but also from China, Japan, Mexico and South Korea. Sends nearly a third of leavers to the University of Limerick and a smaller percentage to Dublin universities than most fee-paying Irish schools.

For more information on the schools above, please go to  each school’s individual entry on The Good Schools Guide International search.

 

 


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