South Lee is an independent day school and nursery for boys and girls from 0 to 13 years of age. It provides a stimulating and caring environment, where every child is encouraged to attain the highest academic standard of which he or she is capable, and to prepare them for senior school.

We are fortunate to have talented and dedicated staff, providing the structure, stimulation and challenge that young people need. We are a community where all are considered to be important and, above all, one that cares deeply about the kind of people our pupils become.

The aim of our school is to nurture and celebrate every child’s talents.

Discover more about the friendly atmosphere of the school and the achievements of our pupils within the site. We hope it will prompt you to visit us and experience at first hand the special environment we have created here.


At South Lee, education is centred around instilling a life long love of learning in each child by developing their skills and nurturing their growth as individuals.

  • We believe that respect for children, belief in children and viewing the world through the eyes of children, should inform our teaching and care.

  • We believe in a rounded approach to education where emotional and social well-being, confidence and self-awareness are inseparably intertwined with academic progress.

  • We encourage children to develop into well rounded individuals who are ready to thrive in and contribute to the wider community and global society.

  • We encourage children to have high aspirations and in doing so to take ownership of their steps towards success.

  • We aim to channel the natural curiosity of children so that they become resilient, independent, critical and creative learners, through a rich, broad and challenging curriculum.

  • We aim to provide opportunities for development and interests outside the classroom, allowing children to develop a healthy and mindful lifestyle, a sense of adventure and a zest for life.

  • We aim for the children at South Lee to foster the values of teamwork, leadership, tolerance, kindness, trust and social responsibility.

  • We view education as a shared journey in which we work closely with parents, guardians and most importantly the children themselves.


South Lee is an established preparatory school which is dynamic and contemporary. Caring, professional and motivated staff, help to provide each child with a broad and relevant education, setting high expectations and celebrating effort, curiosity and perseverance.  A vibrant and busy school day extends beyond the classroom, providing the opportunity for pupils to develop into well-rounded individuals who are ready to thrive in and contribute to the wider community. Staff and pupils enjoy excellent relationships and pastoral care is of paramount importance with values such as kindness, resilience and tolerance being taught and encouraged.


At South Lee, the pastoral care of our pupils is of huge importance. We are of the firm belief that happy children make happy learners. Childhood is short and should be filled with memories of excitement, joyfulness and fun. We recognise that the majority of that childhood is lived through school, so we strive to ensure that we pay a significant amount of attention to the social and emotional aspects of learning. In these formative years, it is essential that we educate children not just in the sense of academia, sports and the arts, but also in terms of their mental health and wellbeing. All too often we concentrate on the exam results and attainment of young people, but miss out on those things that will help our children to grow into resilient young adults, capable of dealing with stress and difficult situations. We work hard at giving our pupils opportunities which will help them to deal not only with success, but also with failures. This is so important in helping them to cope with moving on to bigger schools where they will be less known. We equip them with the tools they need to face any challenge with confidence and self assurance.

Our staff spend a great deal of time getting to know the children as individuals. We are not only interested in them as learners, but also as unique human beings with multi-faceted views on the world around them. Each child has a tutor and we put time aside for the children to have regular tutor sessions to discuss all aspects of their lives at school and beyond. Crucially, we take time to listen to our pupils and we work hard to help them to deal with any worries they may have. Each child has a safety circle, a group of adults to whom they will go if they have a worry. We revisit these regularly so the children know that we will pay heed to their worries. Of course, a big part of the tutor system is advocating on behalf of the tutees and celebrating individual, as well as group joys and successes.

We view the children’s time at South Lee as a journey and it is what happens throughout the journey, rather than at the endpoint, that is most important. Capturing curiosity, championing individuality, expecting great things from each and every child, delivered in an environment where the staff care deeply, is what South Lee is all about. We travel this journey in partnership with our parents, so the communication between home and school is intrinsic to everything we do. Parents are welcomed into school both formally and informally to talk about their child. We encourage parents to share as much as they can about home life, so we get an excellent understanding of the wider community in which our children spend time when not at school.


South Lee is a loving and caring school, encouraging kindness, friendship, resilience and contribution to our community.


At the centre of everything we do is the children and all our systems, procedures and policies are designed to get the very best out of our pupils. We see each of them as unique individuals with their own strengths and talents and we see our role as helping them on their journey to becoming their best selves. The importance of being kind, always trying your hardest and helping others is promoted and encouraged and gives our pupils a real sense of belonging.


Growth mindset is a theory centred around the belief that intelligence and learning can be developed and improved. If someone has a growth mindset, they have a positive attitude towards learning and their ability to progress and achieve. Pupils who possess a growth mindset are said to rise to challenges and learn from the mistakes they make, rather than feeling distressed and defeated if they are unable to do or understand something. 

South Lee is a non-selective school where we believe every child can thrive academically for their ability. Emphasis on the concept of having a growth mindset, encourages children to take on challenges and to be open to having a go at things which they find difficult, or new things that they might naturally shy away from.  The same is expected of our staff and it demonstrates to the children that if we are open to learning new things no matter our age, life will be full of rich and exciting experiences.  A growth mindset encourages the children to question things and to be intellectually curious.


Our excellent system of pastoral care is designed to encourage the children to take responsibility for how to behave, whilst providing support and advice when needed. We encourage the children to talk about their worries and we openly talk about the need to look after our mental wellbeing, as well as our physical wellbeing. Each child has a tutor to whom they can talk and we have a very successful mentoring system in place, which is led by the Year 8 pupils. We champion our pupils having a voice and there are many ways in which they can do so. For example, we have a school council, house meetings, tutor time and regular surveys, all designed to garner ideas and give a forum for open discussions. Our staff are approachable and they encourage warm and friendly relationships, with mutual respect at the centre.


Our behaviour policy is not fixed on a punitive system, rather we have one basic rule- treat others with kindness and respect. When things go wrong, as they do in life, our approach is based on restorative justice, allowing the children to make up for misdemeanours by giving back to the community. This encourages the children to take responsibility for their behaviours, knowing that they are still good human beings.  


Budding actors, economists, scientists, environmentalists, musicians, game makers, artists, prime ministers, sports players, pop stars... who knows!


We celebrate every person in our community and their uniqueness! We value every achievement, however small or large. Our pupils are encouraged to aim really high, to open their minds to all and any opportunities and experiences that come their way and to ask the question, ‘what if?’……  


It is by making mistakes that we learn, but we must be able to open ourselves up to failing, in order to be truly free to embrace new things. We pride ourselves on providing a safe, warm and supportive environment so every one of our pupils feels free to take risks, to make mistakes and to learn to be their best selves.