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. A diverse range of approaches is employed, including a variety of teaching methods, resources, assessment methods and pupil activities.


In Years 8 and 9 the overall aim is to provide a basic knowledge and understanding of Chemistry, Physics and Biology within the overall context of a balanced science course and to provide a basis to lead into the new GCSE syllabus, including the new style ISAs and HSW, and onwards to the IB diploma. Practical work is included where relevant.

Moving on all students at St Leonards follow a balanced science course which incorporates 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 applications of science in society today. The course gives a sound basis for further study of the separate sciences in the International Baccalaureate and beyond. 

Pupils all sit Unit 1 and Unit 2 in Biology, Chemistry and Physics and this leads to Science and Additional Science GCSE.

For a small number of students showing special interest and/or aptitude in the sciences, the Triple Science course will be made available. In this course, pupils will study all three sciences in greater depth, so gaining three separate GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

GCSE - 1 year course

All Pre-IB students at St Leonards follow a balanced science course which incorporates Chemistry, Physics and Biology. Each science discipline is taught by a specialist in that subject. This leads to a GCSE in Science.

IB Diploma courses in Science (group 4)
All candidates for the diploma are required to complete an experimental science course. These include Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Environmental Systems and Societies. Each course aims to deepen a student’s understanding of science as a discipline and to develop an appreciation of the scientific method as a powerful tool for testing claims about nature.

IB Standard Level courses are ideal for those who wish to pursue science for general interest or as a requirement for non-scientific study after the IB. Higher Level courses are more rigorous and are ideal preparation for the study of Science and science-related subjects at undergraduate level. Certain Higher Level courses are an essential prerequisite for some university courses.


The Science Department has 8 subject specialist teachers and 3 technicians. It is located in its own building which houses 6 teaching laboratories, 2 ICT areas, technical preparation rooms and a greenhouse. The department is exceptionally well resourced with extensive data logging equipment, a seismometer, a Corn Snake, a Bearded Dragon, and Madagascan Hissing Cockroaches! We also have outdoor teaching areas which include a pond and meadow, in addition to regular field trips.

University connection and expeditions

We have close links with St Andrews University and pupils regularly attend the likes of the Chemistry Masterclass, Scottish schools Chemistry and Physics days, and visit the spectroscopy and honours physics laboratories.

Visit St Leonards

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International Baccalaureate

St Leonards School is recognised as Scotland’s International Baccalaureate leader More

Golf at St Leonards

Our pupils can learn and play golf in its most revered location More

Open Mornings 2019

Click here to find out more about our Open Mornings. More