Basic Information & Location
Situated in one of the most stunning locations in the UK, St Leonards offers a first-class education for life. The UK’s Independent School of the Year 2022 for International Student Experience and Scotland’s Independent School of the Year 2019 (Sunday Times Schools Guide), St Leonards combines exceptional academic achievement with a broad co-curriculum, outstanding boarding houses and unrivalled sea views. All of this is underpinned by the ethos of the International Baccalaureate, which is delivered from age five to age 18.
A leading co-educational boarding and day school, St Leonards has its own safe, self-contained campus in the centre of the historic university town of St Andrews, home to the UK’s number one university and the game of golf. Pupils at St Leonards thrive on and benefit from the inspirational buzz that comes from being at the heart of this vibrant and cosmopolitan coastal town.
The beautiful campus is an inspiring blend of superb modern facilities and buildings of historic significance, all of this bounded by mediaeval walls. Idyllic sandy beaches, stunning countryside and world-famous golf courses are just minutes away. The school is around 1 hour by car from Edinburgh Airport.
Ad Vitam – For Life
Students are inspired by an outstanding teaching environment. St Leonards is one of two schools in the UK to actively offer all four International Baccalaureate programmes, from the Primary Years through the Middle Years Programme, to the IB Career-related and Diploma Programmes in the Sixth Form. Pupils at St Leonards aspire to be inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, balanced, reflective risk-takers.
Subject choices are broad and ensure doors are kept open for university and the world of work. Students reap the rewards of St Leonards’ dedication to the IB and developing young people as balanced, rounded learners, who leave with an education ‘Ad Vitam’, for life. Year after year, its students achieve outstanding exam results, finding that the doors to the world’s best universities – including Oxford and Cambridge – are opened for them. In 2022, its pupils scored an average Diploma score of 36 compared to a world wide average of 32, and 83% of all Higher Level grades were 7, 6 or 5 points (equivalent to A*/A/B at A level).
In addition to the IB Diploma, St Leonards introduced the IB Career-related Programme in August 2020, with the first cohort of students graduating in summer 2022 with a 100% pass rate and a straight set of merits and distinctions, securing places at UK and international universities including Heriot-Watt in Edinburgh, Scotland, and Glion Institute of Higher Education in Switzerland. Students choosing the IBCP do so in order to specialise in Business, preparing for further study in that field and for their future career pathway, or in order to focus on a co-curricular passion such as golf or music.
The spirit of the IB pervades everything the School does and it is not just in the Sixth Form that excellence abounds. St Leonards’ GCSE and IGCSE candidates also produce outstanding results. In 2022, an impressive 54.3% of grades achieved were 9-7, with 26.7% of grades marked as A*/9/8.
With over 30 nationalities on the school roll, pupils have an unparalleled opportunity to make friends from all over the world and to gain a global outlook and awareness of other cultures. This was recognised in St Leonards being named the UK’s top independent school for International Student Experience at the Independent Schools of the Year Awards 2022. Boarders and day pupils live, learn and play together, whether in the classroom, on school excursions or on the golf course.
Pastoral Care & Boarding
Over the past five years, £5 million has been invested into the boarding facilities at St Leonards, creating stylish, state-of-the-art homes away from home for students. Boarders enjoy modern and comfortable accommodation, with a real focus on the social spaces serving as the heart of the house. Common rooms and kitchens are used for house activities, games nights, cooking and baking together and all manner of celebrations.
Weekends are filled with cultural and active excursions, including visits to the museums, shops and galleries in Edinburgh, and more adrenaline-filled days out learning watersports, trampolining or ice skating. On campus, evenings after prep time are spent toasting marshmallows round the fire pit, playing games and getting creative in house.
St Leonards prides itself in delivering the very highest standards of pastoral care: according to the Care Commission inspection report, the school offers, “an outstanding, Scottish, boarding experience”, with the quality of care and support and the quality of the environment rated as “excellent”. Led by a dedicated Head of Boarding, the boarding team is on hand throughout the day and night to ensure continued support and channels of communication for students.
Wellbeing is at the heart of boarding life – and indeed all aspects of school life – at St Leonards. This was recognised most recently with St Leonards being named winner of the Boarding Schools’ Association (BSA) Research Award for Boarding and Wellbeing 2022.
Extra-curricular & Personal Development
A full and broad range of co-curricular activities (including sports, art, drama and music) are provided at St Leonards, taking advantage of the magnificent facilities on and off site. In any given academic year, there are over 50 activities to choose from, ranging from beekeeping to yoga, mindfulness, coding and choirs.
Students also have access to the most famous golf links in the world, situated just a few hundred metres from the School.
Elite Golf Programme
Often referred to as ‘The Gold Standard’ by visiting agents, the Golf Programme at St Leonards offers students top-of-the-range training and practice facilities, with unique access to the finest golf courses in the world, including the Old Course, St Andrews. In partnership with the St Andrews Links Golf Academy, the six-tier golf programme guarantees world-class coaching, and access to more Toptracer tracking technology units than any other school in Europe.
Catering for all levels of golfer, from the complete beginner to the aspiring professional, the programme at St Leonards tailors coaching and offers opportunities for all to live, learn and play in the home of the game. Some of the top golfers from St Leonards go on to secure prestigious golf scholarships at US universities, with recent destinations including Wingate University in North Carolina, Houston Baptist University in Texas and the University of Indianapolis.