10 out of 10 for Global Qualification!

Students and staff at St Leonards School in St Andrews are celebrating a landmark anniversary.


As the International Baccalaureate approaches its 50th anniversary across the globe, St Leonards, a co-ed school for both girls and boys aged 5-18, is marking 10 years as the only school in Scotland to offer the IB Diploma to its sixth form pupils exclusively.

The two-year qualification sees 16-18 year olds study six subjects – three at higher level and three at standard level.

With over 20 subject choices the students can opt for everything from psychology and sports, exercise and health science to computer science, business management, art and drama, in addition to traditional subjects such as English, Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Biology.

Reflecting this truly global qualification, there is also the opportunity to learn a range of languages including Italian, Spanish and Chinese, as well as ‘Information Technology in a Global Society (ITGS)’.

Girls and boys also study ‘Theory of Knowledge’, write an extended essay on a topic of their choice, and undertake core extra-curricular elements: creativity, activity and service (CAS), giving them the opportunity to carry out valuable work within their local community while gaining credits along the way.

And, as its Headmaster Dr Michael Carslaw explains, the qualification opens doors, and minds: “The flexible and rounded nature of the IB means that our young people’s options are kept very much open, meaning that no-one is pigeon-holed too soon, or put on a specific track too early.  With such a choice of subjects and two years within which to find out their strengths and weaknesses, girls and boys can develop their personalities and make an informed choice on what to do after school, whether embarking on further study or work here in Scotland, or heading further afield.  The IB really does prepare them for the transition to higher education and life beyond, helping them develop a strong work ethic and the ability to specialise on subjects they love alongside a breadth of subject disciplines, giving them ‘the edge’ as they embark on their future careers.”

The IB qualification has a proven track record of entrance to universities locally, nationally and globally. Indeed, of St Leonards’ cohort of 2015 leavers, 100% of those who applied gained a place at university, with 70% going to their first choice. They went to a wide range of universities across Scotland, the UK and internationally, with a quarter (25%) of the 2015 class achieving the equivalent of straight As at Highers.

Dr Carslaw added, “The IB shapes students into global citizens who are ready for university, further study and ultimately, the working world. They leave not only with the IB Diploma rather than a set of standalone qualifications, but a real confidence and an understanding of who they are. Armed with presentation and essay writing skills, and the ability to conduct thorough research, universities consistently report that IB students stand out and excel. Our leavers go on to succeed in a whole host of careers, from engineering and technology sectors, to medicine, law, veterinary science, dentistry and accountancy. A number of our students also go on to tread the boards in fields of drama, music and the arts.”

Reflecting on the last 10 years, Dr Carslaw added, “I’m delighted by the progress the school has made in the last decade. Behind these beautiful, mediaeval buildings lies a forward-thinking and progressive school, preparing girls and boys for the modern world. We are leading Scotland when it comes to the IB and take that responsibility very seriously. As we embark on the next decade, we plan to introduce even more subjects into our curriculum and ensure that our leavers not only enjoy a seamless transition to further study and the world of work – and  do so equipped with a wonderful portfolio of experience and expertise.”

For more information about St Leonards, and the International Baccalaureate, please visit www.stleonards-fife.org or telephone St Leonards Main Reception – (01334) 472126.




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