South Lee was founded in 1961 by several parents forming a group to purchase a large, private house in Nowton Road on the edge of Bury St Edmunds. The school began with 30 children and 3 members of staff.
For many years, South Lee was quite unique, in that it was run by a Board of Governors, the majority of whom had to be parents of pupils currently at the school. Whilst the parent governors no longer need to be in the majority, they still make up a large percentage of the Board. Currently, the Board is made up of parent governors and governors who are parents of pupils formerly educated at South Lee.
As a registered charity, we do not make a ‘profit’ but any surplus is put towards maintaining and developing the school.
Since opening, a number of building programmes were implemented and additions included classroom blocks, a Nursery, a hall/ gym, a kitchen, a science laboratory and a computer room. The original house is now the smallest part of the school.
A neighbouring house (South Lodge) was purchased in 1995 to provide more classrooms for the Prep School. The grounds were redesigned in 1996 to provide better hard courts and parking areas. In 2001, South Lodge was demolished and replaced with a new Prep School building, which retained the same name. Our most recent development is the new Sports & performance Centre, which opened in 2013.
Outdoor games lessons take place at the Victory Sports Grounds (opposite the school) and on the all-weather surface at nearby Nowton Park. Swimming, which is an option for Pre-Prep pupils, takes place at Bury St Edmunds leisure centre. Recently, the school purchased around 10 acres of land in Nowton village, which includes a cricket facility and an environmental area (including a pond) that can be used for Science and other activities.