Fife United Kingdom
St Leonards School

St Leonards is a pretty magical place, a friendly and inspiring place to live and learn. We would love to speak with you about the wonderful opportunities and education that we offer here at St Leonards. Please do contact our Admissions Team, who would be delighted to answer any questions that you may have about St Leonards. We would also like to invite you to tour our beautiful grounds, see St Leonards in action, and meet key members of staff, the Admissions Team, and most importantly our current pupils in person.


St Leonards is an all-through IB, coeducational boarding school situated in a safe, historic campus in the heart of the seaside university town of St Andrews, Scotland. St Leonards follows the inspiring and globally recognised International Baccalaureate curriculum, praised by students, parents and admissions officers for its focus on depending learning and enriching minds. It is the first school in Scotland to be accredited as an all-through IB school, delivering the inspiring, globally-recognised curriculum from Year 1 to Year 13. Our coherent approach to inquiry-based teaching and concept-based learning helps our pupils to become critical thinkers, independent learners, and caring globally-minded citizens. St Leonards is a truly international school, with over 30 nationalities represented amongst the pupil body. Over the past three years, St Leonards has invested over £4 million to transform its boarding houses into spaces with smart, state-of-the-art facilities with a ‘home-from-home’ feel. Many of the bedrooms have sea views beyond the school’s playing fields. Each House has a team of resident staff who oversee the personal development and wellbeing of pupils. A varied weekend programme of trips and activities ensures that there is never a dull moment! With the beach just two minutes’ walk from the grounds, well-established links with the University of St Andrews, and seven championship links golf courses on the doorstep, co-curricular activities play an important role in school life. St Leonards offers a ‘sport for all’ approach, with pupils participating in team games throughout the school week and at weekends. The Creative Arts are also an important part of school life, whether that be a large-scale production on the stage, a concert performance, or the annual Summer Art Exhibition. Over 250 pupils receive individual music lessons, including on the famous bagpipes! The leading five-tier St Leonards Golf Programme continues to go from strength-to-strength, the Duke of Edinburgh award is the fastest growing of all Scottish independent schools, and an exciting calendar of trips and activities ensure pupils leave St Leonards with the skills and interests required to succeed in today’s ever-changing world. Truly an education ‘Ad Vitam’ (For Life).

  • Day school tuition No Information
  • Grades for day school Kindergarten/Year 1 -
    12th Grade/Year 13
  • Scholarships Available Yes
  • Number of Students 540
  • Year founded 1877
  • Boarding school tuition No Information
  • Grades for boarding school 5th Grade/Year 6 -
    12th Grade/Year 13
  • Curricula IB Career-related, IB Diploma, IB Middle Years, IB Primary Years, IGCSE, Pearson IGCSE
  • Type Co-ed


IB World School


Fees 2020-21 (£) Sixth Form Full Boarding (Years 12 & 13) £37,452 Senior School Full Boarding (Years 9 -11) £37,452 Senior School Full Boarding (Years 7 & 8) £24,651 Junior School Full Boarding (Year 6) £24,651 Sixth Form Day (Years 12 & 13) £15,474 Senior School Day (Years 8-11) £15,474 Junior/Senior School Day (Years 6 & 7) £12,741 Junior School Day (Years 4-5) £11,388 Junior School Day (Years 1-3) £9,552 Fees cover curriculum tuition, returnable textbooks, three-course lunch plus morning snack, after-school activities taken by St Leonards staff, full board for boarding students, Learning Support in the Junior School. Wrap around care for Junior School and Senior Day pupils from 8.00am-5.30pm, Monday-Friday. Fees do not cover non-returnable and damaged textbooks, insurances, uniform, trips and outings, examination costs, after-school activities taken by external tutors, stationery, school buses, tuition for some languages, Learning Support in the Senior School and Sixth Form. Fee remissions are available to families with more than one pupil at St Leonards. A limited number of requests for financial assistance with fees will be considered on a means-tested basis by the School Finance Committee upon submission of a confidential and detailed statement of personal finances.


Scholarships at St Leonards are awarded as a means of recognising achievement and excellence. They are not associated with any remission on fees, although a gift voucher will be awarded to successful candidates. The awards are open to new and existing pupils, and are awarded in the following areas at various stages of the Senior School, including the Sixth Form: Academic Art Drama Golf Music Sport There is, however, one scholarship which is accompanied by fee remission: the Tom Morris Scholarship. This scholarship recognises talent, achievement, and dedication to the game of golf. Named after the four-time Open Champion, Tom Morris, up to 50% fee remission is awarded to the successful scholar(s), along with free enrolment on the High-Performance Squad Golf Programme, at a value of £1,775.


St Leonards follows the inspiring and globally-recognised International Baccalaureate curriculum, praised by students, parents, and admissions officers for its focus on deepening learning and enriching minds. As a school, we are wholeheartedly committed to the ethos and mission of the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) and have over ten years’ experience of teaching IB courses. Our teaching and learning from aged 5 to 18 is underpinned by the IB Learner Profile. We aim to develop learners who are: inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-takers, balanced and reflective. St Leonards was the first school in Scotland to be accredited as an all-through IB school, and is the only school in the UK to actively offer all four programmes. In Years 1-6 pupils follow the Primary Years Programme (PYP), before progressing to the Middle Years Programme (MYP). This is followed by GCSE/IGCSE courses in Years 10 & 11, or a one-year pre-IB course which provides an excellent gateway for international students. In the Sixth Form, students choose to study either the Diploma Programme (DP) or, from August 2020, the Career-related Programme (CP).

Admissions Information

Admissions Process

Application for entry CAT4 assessment (verbal and non-verbal reasoning) Last two school reports Personal statement Interview (in person/online) with the Headmaster

Entry Requirements

In Years 12 and 13, pupils for whom English is not their first language are expected to have obtained a standard of English equivalent to the Cambridge First Certificate or IELTS academic Grade 6.

  • Students can join after the academic year begins Yes
  • Waiting List Yes
  • Application fee (domestic) $100 USD
  • Application fee (international) $100 USD

Waiting List

For the academic year 2020-21, there is currently a waiting list for Year 10. There are a few spaces remaining in other year groups.


  • Assigns homework Yes
  • Use of technology in the classroom Yes
  • Language of instruction English
  • ELL support Yes
  • Teacher/Student ratio 1:19
  • Gifted and talented student support Yes
  • Learning support Yes
  • Native English teachers Yes
  • Languages taught English
  • Number of teaching staff 106
  • Examinations available General Certificate of Secondary Education - GCSE, IB Career-related Programme - IBCP, International Baccalaureate Diploma - IB Dip, International General Certificate of Secondary Education - IGCSE

Teacher Qualifications

All teachers in Scotland are required to register with the General Teaching Council for Scotland


IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) GCSEs/IGCSEs IB Career-related Programme (CP) IB Diploma (DP)


Junior School: Years 1 & 2 (no formal homework, but children encouraged to share books and participate in a variety of language, phonics, and number exercises); Year 3 (homework is set once per week by the Class Teacher); Years 5 & 6 (30-45 minutes of homework per night). Senior School: in Year 7 pupils can expect to receive approximately 60 minutes of homework per night, across a variety of subjects, and this will gradually increase as they progress upwards through the school into their GCSE years and beyond.

Gifted and talented student support

Students identified as gifted & talented are appropriately placed and supported in class and with enrichment activities.

Use of technology in the classroom

Clevertouch screens iPads

Learning Support

During the application process, if a child has a specific learning difficulty, previous psychological assessments, ISPs and school reports these will be studied carefully in conjunction with the entrance tests. Where appropriate, further assessment will be carried out to ensure that such prospective pupils are not disadvantaged by a disability, provided the criteria for admission are sustained. Full disclosure is essential at admission. At St Leonards, the Learning Support Team comprises both Learning Support teachers and EFL/ESOL specialists. The team provide advice and support for teachers throughout the school, recommend resources, provide appropriate support for learning for the relevant pupils, and plan and implement intervention strategies when necessary. The Support for Learning Department aims to help pupils with educational additional support needs achieve their full potential and become confident and effective both in learning in the classroom and in exhibiting this learning in examination situations.

Languages Taught

GCSE: French, Latin, Spanish, German IB Diploma (Language and Literature): German, plus other languages subject to additional tuition fees (for example, Russian, Lithuanian, Mandarin, Dutch) IB Diploma (Language Acquisition): German, French, Spanish, Latin, Italian, Japanese English as an Additional Language (EAL) support is offered throughout the school, from Year 1 to Year 13. There is also the option for students to study for qualifications such as the English as a Second Language (ESL) IGCSE and also IELTS examinations.

School Life

  • Bus service Yes
  • Sports teams available Yes
  • Pastoral Care Yes
  • Do students practice religion at the school No
  • School start time 8.30am
  • School end time 4.30pm (after-school activities finish at 5.30pm)
  • Most common nationality British
  • Max class size 20
  • School provides lunch Yes
  • Supervised care before or after school Yes
  • Uniform required Yes
  • Access to an educational psychologist Yes
  • Student nationalities 30
  • Average class size 15

Living Accommodations

Over the past three years, St Leonards has invested £4 million to refurbish its three boarding houses: Bishopshall, Ollerenshaw, and St Rule. The renovated houses have beautiful, state-of-the-art designer kitchens and spacious communal areas, regularly used for fun evening and weekend activities. The bedrooms have been fitted with new built-in beds and study spaces with modern storage and lighting, and some of the rooms even have stunning views over the town’s medieval cathedral ruins and the North Sea that lies beyond. As part of the renovation process, the boarders were consulted on colour schemes and features that they would like included in their ‘home-from-home’. Consequently, each house has a distinct décor and ambiance. However, the design of the three houses is underpinned by the same ethos: to provide a unique boarding experience rooted in tradition, but continually adapting and evolving to meet the needs of today’s young people.

Schools Facilities

Indoor 25m swimming pool Purpose-built music school with a concert auditorium ICT suite Drama studio Art Department Science Block Squash courts All-weather sports pitches Extensive grass playing fields Award-winning school dining hall

Bus Service

The school operates numerous bus routes for day pupils, covering a wide area. Further details are available from Colin Knight, Domestic Bursar,

School Lunch

Our boys and girls are encouraged to recognise the importance of a healthy lifestyle. 
They receive nutritious meals and snacks in our central dining room, Restaurant 1877, which is named in recognition of the year that St Leonards was founded. The food is provided in partnership with Thomas Franks Ltd. A wide range of hot and cold options are available at each meal, including options suitable for those pupils with special dietary requirements. The meals are prepared using seasonal and locally-sourced produce, and include meat, fish and vegetarian meals, daily pasta, baked potato and sweet potato options, soup, fresh fruit and a well-stocked salad bar. Thomas Franks also host special events and themed days to showcase specific ingredients and cuisines, from BBQ to butternut squash!


Specialist EAL tuition is available for pupils for whom English is not their first language.

Supervised Care

'Early Birds' is our pre-school care for pupils, which begins at 8am. There are after-school activities which run until 5.30pm.

Sports Teams

St Leonards has a strong sporting heritage, and embraces a 'sport for all' attitude. Our team games instil a sense of co-operation, effort, collaboration and team building in all of our pupils at whatever level the desire to achieve – life skills which will be taken by them into further education and life beyond. We have teams for the following sports: athletics, swimming, cricket, basketball, tennis, rugby, hockey, golf, gymnastics, lacrosse, and football. The teams play fixtures against other schools, both home and away.


At St Leonards, the pupils wear their uniform with pride and it gives them a sense of identity within the school community. The younger pupils wear either a tartan kilted skirt or mid grey trousers with a pale blue shirt with tie or a pale blue blouse. They also wear a blazer with the St Leonards emblem embroidered on the pocket. In the Sixth Form, pupils wear smart, professional attire - a plain dark business trouser or skirt suit of a tailored cut with a collared shirt or blouse.

Pastoral Care

Supporting student mental health and wellbeing is central to our ethos at St Leonards. Pupils know how to access help and advice, whether that is through our pastoral care team, staff in the on-site Medical Centre, their Head of Year or Housemaster/mistress, or simply a member of staff they can trust and feel they can speak to. Mindfulness sessions cover topics including techniques for coping with exam stress, healthy living and how to understand and address depression and anxiety. Staff are trained to look out for signs of mental ill-health, and how to respond appropriately.

Religion at School

Whilst there is no organised religion at St Leonards, the pupils at St Leonards gather for regular year group and whole school assemblies. These are an opportunity to mark key events and celebrate pupil successes.

Access to an educational psychologist

Where appropriate, the Support for Learning Department liaise with outside agencies such as educational psychologists, speech and language therapists, and occupational therapists.

Extracurricular Activities

Music Ensembles: Concert Band, A Cappella Groups, Show Choir, Jazz Band, String Ensemble, Clarinet Ensemble, St Leonards Choir, Orchestra, Pipe Band Sports Offered: Hockey, Lacrosse, Swimming, Golf, Football, Basketball, Rugby, Contemporary Dance, Horse Riding, Fitness, Athletics, Tennis, Rounders, Rifle Shooting, Running Other Clubs: Computer Club, Cooking Club, Creative Writing, Crime Club, Debating Club, Model United Nations, Duke of Edinburgh, Eco Club, Mandarin Club, Science Club, Young Enterprise

University Relations

  • University counseling Yes
  • Percent that pursue university 100

University Destinations

Our pupils go onto study at a wide variety of universities in Scotland, across the UK, and further afield. Recent UK destinations have included: Aberdeen, Bristol, Cambridge, Durham, Edinburgh, Exeter, Imperial College (London), Newcastle, Nottingham, Oxford, St Andrews, and York - by no means an exhaustive list! The International Baccalaureate Diploma has also enabled our pupils to secure places around the world - in the USA, Canada, Switzerland, and Spain to name four countries.

University Counseling

At St Leonards, Sixth Form students receive comprehensive and personal support as they progress through the university application process. *Throughout the year, we welcome university representatives to deliver assemblies. *Dedicated online hub which has a plethora of useful links *Annual University Fair each June, with representatives from over 10 universities who deliver workshops. Also, an International University Fair. *Personal statement training *UCAS information evening for parents *UCAS coffee morning for parents *Drop in help available in the Sixth Form Office *The Headmaster's Society meets once per week in the Autumn Term to support those pupils who are applying for Oxbridge/other courses and institutions that require an interview *Tutors are on hand to help with UCAS forms *Oxfizz training (an external provider) for Oxbridge and Medicine interview and personal statement support *Morrisby Profiling to help pupils consider their strengths and the career paths open to them *Careers guidance interviews for pupils in Years 11-13 *Sessions from the University Guys (US/worldwide university guidance advice)

St Leonards Golf Programme

The Elite Five-Tier Golf Programme at St Leonards has been developed and refined over a number of years, and attracts students from all over the world. It is one of the largest golf programmes in the UK, and visiting agents often refer to it as ‘The Gold Standard’. The Programme offers students the best possible training and practice facilities, with unique access to some of the finest golf courses in the world. Students enrolled on the Programme also receive expert coaching delivered by Fintan Bonner, Director of Golf, and his team of experienced instructors at the St Andrews Links Golf Academy. There are over 100 visits by St Leonards students each week to the Academy with some students hitting over 3,000 balls per month, and students enrolled on the scheme are regularly successful in national competitions.