St Leonard’s, Fife

About St Leonard’s, Fife

St Leonard's Fife senior school

St Leonard’s, Fife, is Scotland’s leading independent school.  Situated in a beautiful campus in the inspiring university town of St Andrews, St Leonard’s, Fife, is a forward-thinking boarding and day school for boys and girls aged 5-18.

Our aim is to provide an outstanding education, offering both academic and co-curricular opportunities for every pupil to excel, in an unrivalled location.  We inform and inspire, with learning at our heart, both inside and outside the classroom. We offer deeper learning, wider options and richer minds. St Leonard’s, Fife, is the first school in Scotland to be accredited as an all-through IB school, delivering the globally recognised curriculum from Year 1 through to Year 13. It is a consistent and coherent learner journey, starting at age 5 with the excellent Primary Years Programme and culminating in the Diploma Programme in the Sixth Form.  It is an approach fit for the 21st century, internationally recognised, not hamstrung by the unnecessary narrowing of options at too early an age.  Learning really is for life and all its unpredictable twists and turns, and the style of learning exemplified by the IB embodies this far better than anything else. We are truly fortunate to have as our motto ‘Ad Vitam’, which we interpret as meaning ‘for life’.  The boys and girls of St Leonard’s, Fife, are being prepared ‘for life’ in its fullest sense; a life of challenges and opportunities. Founded in 1877, spanning almost 150 years of history, St Leonard’s, Fife, continues to develop and progress, and this year has been no exception: we are immensely proud to have been named as Scotland’s Independent School of the Year 2019, by the Sunday Times Schools Guide.

The Senior School offers boarding and day education for girls and boys aged 12-18. Students aged 12-14 benefit from our forward-thinking Middle Years curriculum in Years 7 (Junior School) 8 and 9 (Senior School), which is designed to allow a seamless transition as part of the overall learner journey, maximising the potential of each and every student. We teach our students to work effectively, communicate articulately, respect others and participate with purpose. In Years 10 and 11, students take GCSEs and IGCSEs, choosing from almost 20 subjects, including the chance to study the three separate sciences, French, German or Spanish and Latin as well as a range of creative options. A one-year course (also including GCSEs and IGCSEs) and known as the ‘Pre-IB’ is available as a means of preparation for the International Baccalaureate Diploma and is popular with students moving from the Scottish state school system as well as international students.

The International Baccalaureate (IB) provides a broad-based school leavers’ qualification which is recognised worldwide by universities and employers. As an alternative to A Levels, IB Diploma Programme students study six courses in the Sixth Form, three at a higher level and three at a standard level over two years. This ensures not only a breadth of experience in languages, social studies, the experimental sciences and mathematics but the opportunity to specialise in key subjects as required, keeping their options open. In addition, the programme has three core requirements: a research-based Extended Essay; a Theory of Knowledge course designed to encourage each student to reflect on the nature of knowledge, and CAS (creativity, activity and service), which requires that students actively learn from the experience of doing real tasks beyond the classroom. The Pearson BTEC in Business and in Sport is available for students in the Sixth Form who do not wish to study for the full IB Diploma. This option, which combines eight units of BTEC study with two or three IB courses, serves as good preparation for either university, college or the world of work.


Type of School Co-ed independent boarding and day school
School Address St Andrews, Fife, Scotland, United Kingdom, KY16 9QJ
Number of Pupils 538
Pupils Prep 174
Number of Boarders 129
International Boarders 108
Age Range 5-18 (boarding from 10)
Religious Tradition Non denominational
Distance from Airports

Edinburgh: 50 miles; Glasgow Prestwick: 113 miles

Distance from London

475 miles

School Links

St Leonard´s Junior School

Educational Programmes

2 year GCSE, 1 year GCSE (pre-IB), International Baccalaureate Diploma,  Btech in Business and Sport

Co-Curricular Programmes

Music: The St Leonards Music School is a hive of tuneful activity, playing host throughout the day to approximately 250 individual music lessons, band and ensemble rehearsals and concerts. Facilities comprise a concert auditorium, nine teaching/practice rooms and two full-sized classrooms. The building features work stations with the most up-to-date computers and software, providing opportunities for innovative composition and performance. As well as classes starting as early as Year 1 in the Junior School, music is offered as a subject at both GCSE and IB Diploma level. The School has several choirs, orchestras and ensembles, including brass, string, wind, jazz, flute and a pipe band.

Sport: We are passionate about sport and our aim is to give our students a love of physical exercise that will stay with them for life. There are sporting opportunities for all at St Leonards. Timetabled Games and PE lessons include rugby, hockey, lacrosse, football, athletics, cricket, tennis, swimming and, of course, golf. Students take part in regular matches against other schools, as well as travelling further afield for regional and national fixtures and competitions. We offer a range of clubs for sports from crossfit to horse riding, basketball and sailing. St Leonards students regularly receive regional and national sporting honours.

Golf: With the most famous golf links in the world on our doorstep, St Leonards students have an unrivalled chance to learn and play the game in its most revered location. They have access to the seven St Andrews Links championship courses, including the world-famous Old Course, and benefit from the all-weather, floodlit practice facilities at St Andrews Links Golf Academy. The Golf Programme at St Leonards is led by our Director of Golf who is also a PGA accredited Senior Instructor at the St Andrews Links. Students receive coaching as part of their timetabled Games lessons and/or as a co-curricular activity choice. For those who demonstrate a talent for the game or are keen to develop their passion further, St Leonards offers five Golf Programme tiers: St Leonards Minis, Introduction to Golf, Q School, Performance Development Squad and High-Performance Squad. The school also hosts prestigious annual tournaments, including the Sir Michael Bonallack Championship and the Tom Morris Championship. In addition, St Leonards celebrates outstanding achievement in golf with the Tom Morris Golf Scholarship, which was introduced in 2017. This coveted award recognises talent, dedication and determination on the golf course, and is awarded at the discretion of the Director of Golf.

Drama: Drama is taught as part of the timetabled curriculum and includes a Performing Arts GCSE and an IB Diploma Theatre Arts course. Students can also take Trinity Guildhall speech and drama exams in both Junior and Senior School. Drama is offered as a co-curricular activity and many students appear in the school productions which are often performed in a professional theatre over the course of the school year.  Opportunities to assist with stage management and production are also encouraged.  Keen theatre lovers have the excitement of going on the biennial trip to New York, participating in workshops on Broadway, or to Italy, learning about the performing arts in Venice and Verona. Meanwhile, our actors and technical crews frequently enjoy the challenge of taking a show to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Art and Design: Situated within two beautiful, historic buildings, St Leonards Art Department is home to art classes and clubs, as well as the annual school Art Exhibition, at which candidates showcase their work. This is a true highlight of the school calendar, and is open to all families and members of the public.  In addition to timetabled lessons in Years 8 and 9, pupils can choose to study Art and Design at GCSE and IB Diploma level. The department believes that art is a form of communication: that it is a means of expression, aesthetic experience and problem solving. Throughout all year groups, our aim is to encourage, stimulate and develop the students through personal expression, imagination, conceptual thinking and practical skill. The art staff offer great expertise in drawing and painting, printmaking, sculpture, black and white photography, digital photography, textiles, computer-aided design and video art. We have our own Artist in Residence, and arrange regular trips to galleries and exhibitions.

Activities: We offer an extensive range of after-school and weekend activities which give our students the chance to broaden their horizons and develop key life skills. These can be practical and active, for example learning business and leadership skills in the Young Enterprise company or developing team-building and problem-solving capabilities through the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme. We also appeal to the intellectual with chess and science clubs or beginners’ Mandarin lessons, and to the ethical with the Amnesty International Group and the Debating Society. We celebrate the Arts with drama clubs, choirs and bands, art exhibitions, creative writing for one of the student-led publications and even some Scottish Country Dancing: Burns’ Night celebrations and St Andrew’s Day are just some of the highlights of the year!