South Lee School celebrates 60th year
- Credit: Holly Williams
South Lee is a vibrant, caring and happy preparatory school for boys and girls from nursery up to age 13, with a sense of family at its core. The school believes that if you create an environment where children feel happy, secure, challenged and valued as individuals, they will thrive.
South Lee is an inclusive school which offers an affordable education, ideal for families who perhaps thought they couldn’t afford a private education. With innovations in the curriculum and technology, students receive an individualised learning journey as they’re encouraged to achieve their innate potential. This means they are supported and challenged in the right ways for them.
The school is proud to be celebrating its 60th year, and is looking forward to marking this fantastic milestone with staff and pupils, both present and past, once Covid restrictions have eased.
Headmistress Ruth O’Sullivan says: “It is really exciting for us to have something this big to celebrate, especially when the world is going through such a tough time. It is so lovely that we have pupils who have family associated with the school from the early days and whose families will continue to come to South Lee in the future. South Lee has always had the reputation of being a family school, unpretentious and welcoming, and I think that is definitely still true today.”
Ruth continues: “Although South Lee has endured many changes over the past 60 years, we are proud that the school’s values are still true today and still fit a modern education; to have high aspirations, to be intellectually curious, to be creative learners, to be kind, tolerant – ultimately to be the best you can be.
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“The curriculum has become much more innovative and we pride ourselves on being a school that is constantly looking for ways to best prepare our pupils for life in a face-paced world, whilst still allowing them to enjoy a childhood.”
The school is predominately running via remote learning, which was up and ready to go within hours of the Prime Minister’s most recent announcement, but it is still open for nursery and the children of essential workers.
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All lessons are live on Microsoft Teams, so the children have access to their teachers all the time. Children attend the lessons with the same mindsets they have when at school, and they complete tasks and receive feedback as normal. Ruth says: “We did a lot of research, learned from the first lockdown and thought carefully about the amount of screen-time for children of this age, so we have opted for five 1-hour live lessons a day.
“On top of that we have a range of extension activities, sporting challenges and family activities for those who want more. Again, we have tailored the learning to the individual, so if a child needs extra 1:1 support, they can also have that.”
Students are also encouraged to talk openly about their mental health and are taught the importance of communicating their feelings, especially if they are stressed or anxious. Staff are always on-hand to support children through these difficult times, and reassure all students that the people they know and love in school are still there too.
To promote student’s creativity and to help the connect with their community, the school has launched a ‘Drawing A Day’ challenge, where participants are encouraged to draw what is happening around them during lockdown. Drawings could be as conventional as using a pencil on paper, or experimental using sand or food - the only rule is that they must be of something that is being looked at from direct observation.
The project welcomes everyone to join in, the more the merrier! Please send a photograph of entries to firstname.lastname@example.org or to South Lee School, Nowton Road, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP33 2BT.
For more information about the school, please visit www.southlee.co.uk.