Our Approach

In the Science Department at St Leonards, pupils are encouraged to question and discuss issues that affect their own lives and the lives of others, the direction of society and the future of the world. The department aims to deliver a high-quality level of teaching and to foster high quality learning across General Science, Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Teaching in all years and at all levels of ability is based on an experimental and investigative approach and is designed to allow individuals to reach their full potential.



The curriculum taught in Years 7, 8 and 9 is the Middle Years Programme (MYP), which leads into the GCSE and IGCSE programme in Years 10 and 11, and ultimately, the IB Diploma Programme (DP) or IB Career-related Programme (CP) in Years 12 and 13.

MYP Sciences aim to encourage and enable pupils to understand and appreciate science and its implications. Pupils will consider science as a human endeavour with benefits and limitations. They will develop skills to design and perform investigations, evaluate evidence and reach conclusions.

Our aim is to cultivate analytical, inquiring and flexible minds that pose questions, solve problems, and construct explanations and judge arguments.

Themes studied include: nanotechnology, combustion and its effects, biological system, our changing planet, waves.


All GCSE students take either Science Trilogy or Biology/Geography. Science Trilogy offers a balanced science course, incorporating GCSEs in Chemistry, Physics and Biology. Each science discipline is taught by a specialist in that subject.

The course provides a wide and challenging introduction to how science works, and to the principles and concepts which lead to an understanding of the application of science in society today. The course gives a sound basis for further study of separate sciences in the International Baccalaureate and beyond.

The Biology/Geography option was introduced in the 2019-2020 academic year and is ideal for students who are targeting Environmental Systems and Societies as their IB Diploma Science and/or Humanity choice.


All IB Diploma pupils must choose an Experimental Science: Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Systems & Societies, Computer Science, Sports, Exercise and Health Science. Each course aims to deepen understanding of science as a discipline and develop an appreciation of the scientific method as a powerful tool for testing claims about nature.

The Biology course is designed to help pupils develop a broad understanding of biological principles. It includes a compulsory residential field trip to a field study centre, to facilitate the teaching of ecology, and core modules at both Standard and Higher Level include: cell biology, molecular biology, genetics, ecology, evolution and biodiversity, and human physiology.

Chemistry is an experimental science that combines academic study with the acquisition of practical and investigational skills. Core modules include stoichiometric relationships, atomic structure, periodicity, chemical bonding and structure, energetics/thermochemistry and chemical kinetics.

Physics seeks to explain the universe at all scales, from subatomic particles up to galaxy clusters. The Diploma course enables pupils to become competent at practical skills and techniques required when doing experimental work and to apply their mathematics to practical problem solving. Standard and Higher Level core modules include: measurements and uncertainties, thermal physics, electricity and magnetism, atomic, nuclear and particle physics, and energy production.


The Science Department has nine subject specialist teachers and three technicians. It is located in its own building which houses six teaching laboratories, two ICT areas, technical preparation rooms and a greenhouse. The department is exceptionally well resourced both in the laboratories and in terms of outdoor teaching areas. In addition, regular field trips are organised for pupils, including a residential trip to Kindrogan Field Study Centre.

University connections

St Leonards has close links with the University of St Andrews and pupils regularly attend the likes of the Chemistry Masterclass, Scottish schools Chemistry and Physics days, and visit the spectroscopy and honours physics laboratories. Classes have also enjoyed the rare opportunity to visit the university's Electron Microscope, located in the School of Chemistry.

Visit St Leonards

To arrange a visit to St Leonards, please contact our Admissions Team at registrar@stleonards-fife.org More

Day Bus Service

St Leonards is pleased to offer a home to school day bus service for our families, with routes covering Fife, Tayside and Perthshire. More

Summer Schools

St Leonards offers Summer School Programmes specialising in English language tuition and multi-activities. Booking is now open for Summer 2023. More

Golf at St Leonards

St Leonards offers a leading six-tier Golf Programme, giving pupils every opportunity to grow their game in the home of golf, using top-of-the-range facilities and technology. More