St Leonards School, St Andrews

About St Leonards School, St Andrews

St Leonard's Fife senior school

St Leonards School, St Andrews, is a leading co-educational boarding and day school situated in the heart of this historic, Scottish coastal town. Known the world over as the ‘home of golf ’ and of the UK’s top university, St Andrews provides a unique location in which to live and learn, for pupils aged five to 18.

Founded in 1877, St Leonards has always been progressive and pioneering, yet steeped in tradition and bounded by mediaeval walls. For over 16 years, St Leonards has delivered the inspiring International Baccalaureate curriculum, and is now one of just two schools in the UK to actively offer all four IB Programmes, from the Primary Years, through the Middle Years, to the Career-related and Diploma Programmes in the Sixth Form. Most recently, St Leonards was named the UK’s Independent School of the Year for International Student Experience.

The School aims to provide an outstanding, global and holistic education, filled to the brim with curricular and co-curricular activities, and preparing pupils for life, in line with St Leonards’ motto, Ad Vitam. The consistent learner journey starts in Year 1, with a focus in the Junior Years on making the most of the great outdoors through Beach School and beyond. Academic study right up to Year 13 is complemented by a thriving programme of sport, music, drama, art and more. Activities include apiary, aquathlon, nature club, yoga, Model United Nations and a whole suite of choirs, orchestras and sports teams.

A leading six-tier Golf Programme is delivered in partnership with the St Andrews Links Golf Academy, catering to the beginner to the elite golfer, with many players enjoying access to the seven Links golf courses on the doorstep.

Boarding houses are stylish, modern and comfortable, equipped for 21st century living following an extensive programme of refurbishment. Study bedrooms have sea views to one side and look across rolling countryside on the other, all the while located right in the heart of the vibrant, cosmopolitan town of St Andrews.

With pupils of over 30 different nationalities on the school roll, graduates of St Leonards go on to an impressive range of destinations, both in the UK and overseas, with top choices including Durham, University College London, Bristol, Nottingham, Glasgow, Edinburgh and St Andrews.

There is a reputation amongst the top golfers for securing prestigious golf scholarships to US universities, enabling them to further develop their game alongside their studies.


Type of School Co-ed independent boarding and day school
School Address St Andrews, Fife, Scotland, United Kingdom, KY16 9QJ
Number of Pupils 594
Pupils Prep 175
Number of Boarders 153
International Boarders 125
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

Educational Programmes

PYP, MYP, 2-year GCSE, 1-Year IGCSE (Pre-IB), International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme, International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme

Co-Curricular Programmes

Music: The St Leonards Music School is a hive of tuneful activity, playing host throughout the week 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. Technology and software is installed for composition as a focus, in addition to music performance and theory. Music is taught from Year 1 upwards, as well as being 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: St Leonards is famous for being the ‘cradle of women’s lacrosse’ the sport having first been played there after an introduction by the School’s two earliest Headmistresses, Dame Louisa Lumsden and Dame Frances Dove. Since then, it has produced a number of national-level lacrosse players, as well as developing strengths in hockey, rugby and golf. Its Golf Programme is truly excellent, catering for complete novices to young golfers at the highest level. Sports at St Leonards aims to give students a love of physical exercise that will stay with them for life, and with this in mind, there really are sporting opportunities for all. Timetabled Games and PE lessons include rugby, hockey, lacrosse, football, athletics, cricket, tennis, swimming, volleyball, basketball, crossfit, parkour and more. Students take part in regular matches against other schools, as well as travelling further afield for regional and national fixtures and competitions. St Leonards students regularly receive regional and national sporting honours.

Golf: With the most famous golf links in the world on the 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 six Golf Programme tiers: St Leonards Minis, Introduction to Golf, Q School, Development Squad, Performance, and High-Performance Squad. The school also hosts prestigious annual tournaments, including the Sir Michael Bonallack Championship and the Tom Morris Championship. 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. Rehearsals and productions are held in the School Hall, our two purpose-built cosy Drama Yurts, and the neighbouring professional theatre, The Byre. Opportunities to assist with stage management and production are also encouraged. Keen theatre lovers have the excitement of going on trips to New York, participating in workshops on Broadway, and 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 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 expertise in drawing and painting, printmaking, sculpture, photography, textiles, computer-aided design and video art. St Leonards has its own professional Artist in Residence, currently a printmaking specialist, and arranges regular trips to galleries and exhibitions.

Activities: St Leonards offers an extensive range of over 50 after-school, lunchtime and weekend activities, which give 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 St Leonards Enterprise Programme or developing team-building and problem-solving capabilities through the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme. There are opportunities to appeal to the intellectual with chess and science clubs, beginners’ Mandarin lessons and a Medicine Society, as well as Model United Nations and Debating Society. Within the Arts, there is drama, dance drama, choirs and bands, art and crafts, and creative writing: Burns’ Night celebrations, International Day, Christmas carol services, and the inter-house competitions of St Leonards Day are just some of the highlights of the year!