Outdoor Education

St Andrews may be a small town but the world around us is big, and we know that our students learn about society, cultures, traditions and our planet both within our walls and beyond.

Outdoor education is key to broadening minds and developing skills – Ad Vitam – for life. It is in line with this ethos that outdoor learning is a core part of the St Leonards experience. 


With sandy beaches on our doorstep, Junior pupils at St Leonards make the most of every opportunity to take their learning outdoors. The neighbouring East Sands offers a glorious natural learning environment, not to mention plenty of fun, year round.

Whether they are wrapped up against the winter winds or basking in the summer sun, our pupils embrace the shoreline with a short walk down to the water’s edge with their class teachers, who are truly passionate about bringing learning to life.

Fractions are formed out of shells on the sand, forces are explored with experiments in the coastal breeze, sandcastles are built and books read perched on the rocks. There are rock pools to explore and people to meet who share the jobs they do down at the harbour. Learning through play and discovery should never be underestimated.

Back at school, a dedicated outdoor classroom complete with fire pit and log stools offers the perfect spot for bushcraft, cooking and experiments. Our outdoor amphitheatre, too, is ideal for open-air assemblies and performances, while the St Leonards Croft exists for pupils to grow vegetables and bee-friendly plants.

The pupil-led Eco Club tends to the Wellbeing Trail, which weaves through the trees by the Junior School and has been sensitively planted with shrubs and herbs to ignite the senses.

Not all classrooms have four walls.
Margaret McMillan


In the Senior Years, pupils embark upon Duke of Edinburgh’s Award expeditions – Bronze, Silver and Gold – learning survival skills, orientation and camping in the wild. They plan routes, work together, and grow as young people.

Dips or “dooks” in St Andrews Bay at the nearby tidal pool are part and parcel of life at St Leonards. Pupils enjoy everything from a paddle in the shallows to a full wild swim, supervised by staff as they build resilience and connect with a sense of wellbeing in our beautiful natural surroundings.

All outdoor activities at St Leonards are led or instructed by experienced and qualified members of staff, with the School striving to set the highest possible standards for learning both in and outside the classroom.

Contact us to find out more or to arrange a visit