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Saint Felix School
Saint Felix School
Saint Felix School
Saint Felix School
Saint Felix School Southwold, Suffolk Visit
Saint Felix School
156 pupils, ages 11-19
Day and Boarding

Saint Felix School

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Our View

It feels like Saint Felix School is heading for great things – newly arrived head Matthew Oakman has embarked on an exciting overhaul, the school’s acquisition by the Inspired Learning Group is delivering financial heft and its 75 acres of bucolic grounds within walking distance of Southwold, the jewel of the Suffolk coast, are all propelling Saint Felix into the spotlight. A spirit of kindness and nurturing permeates the school (which has its sibling nursery and prep on site) with fantastic staff dedicated to nurturing the talents of every pupil. It’s no wonder numbers are booming.


The school dates back to 1897 and the original Queen Anne-style buildings are still resplendent. Newer builds blend in sympathetically and the whole site is remarkably unspoilt. Lots of refurbishment has been afoot, with more to come. The sixth-form house now has a cinema room, and a new International Centre is being created with accommodation and classrooms for bespoke shorter courses for overseas students.

Southwold’s famous beach huts, sandy beaches and artsy scene more than make up for the school’s not-so-easy-to-get-to location – it’s around two and a half to three hours from London and an hour on single-lane roads from Norwich. Darsham railway station is 15 minutes away, with trains to London taking two hours. Stansted Airport is just under two hours’ drive away. School buses pick up from one hour away.


Mr Oakman arrived in September 2023 after 25 years at Wellington with an inspiring vision for Saint Felix to break the mould and provide an education that lays down lifelong benefits for pupils. Individualised learning and choice, the acquisition of life skills and carefully chosen mentors are all part of the plan, as well as more on-the-ground aspects such as new provisions and facilities and a rebrand. He’s full of energy and is aiming to almost double pupil numbers while preserving the friendly family atmosphere of the school – and we don’t doubt his ability to achieve this. Mr Oakman is confident and dynamic and had a great mentor himself in the distinguished historian and headteacher Sir Anthony Seldon, whom he worked under at Wellington for 15 years.


While Saint Felix is non-selective, the school takes great care to ensure it is the right fit for a child, especially if they need extra support. Prospective pupils come in for a taster day and sit entrance assessments, CAT4 and Oxford Placement Tests, as well as having an interview with the head. Numbers are on the rise with places available in all year groups. There are scholarships for Years 7 to 13 in pretty much every discipline.

Academics and destinations

One of the school’s great strengths is the way it caters for a wide range of academic ability, offering compact class sizes and individualised learning. Both GCSE and A-level results are on the up and the school has expanded its provision, with A-level criminology and classical civilisation both new options. In addition to EPQs, pupils can also do Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and attend public lectures hosted by Gresham’s School to stretch themselves. A substantial SEND department overseen by the very experienced and capable Carolyn Lambert has just been refurbished and helps any child needing additional support. Art is strong and popular at both GCSE and A-level, with many students going on to top art foundation colleges.


The school is rightly proud of its pupils’ sporting successes, most notably in badminton: six children currently play in Suffolk county squads and it is the only school in the county competing for the national cup this year. There is also an elite swim squad, whose members regularly bring home silverware. Pupils are formidable in cross-country and equestrianism (the school has good relationships with local livery yards for those pupils who wish to ride their own horses). Small pupil numbers mean competitive teams in netball, cricket, rugby and football span year groups and plans to shake up the curriculum are being put in place for September 2024 to play more to the school’s strengths, as well as providing a broader and more unique offering, including surfing and sailing.

Art is a favoured option for GCSE and A-level and, building on the freestyle approach of the prep school, pupils are encouraged to be bold and take risks. They produce a high standard of work as a result. A new head of music has seen the choir and orchestra booming, with the department on the list for refurbishment. Musical theatre is a hit with pupils and every year there is a school production – this year it is Bugsy Malone.

Many clubs are student-run, including the very popular film club which sparks many a healthy discussion with its thought-provoking screenings. Pupils are also excited about the imminent introduction of DofE, Model UN and a debating club.


The complete range of boarding is available from Year 5 – from occasional all the way up to full. Most prep boarders are international students, but a small number of UK pupils flexi or weekly board too in one of the two boarding houses for Years 5 to 11. Somerville House for girls and Gardiner House for boys are adjacent to each other and each currently has 40 beds with room to expand. Boarders can make themselves snacks and hot chocolate in the little kitchens and the dining hall is a couple of minutes’ walk away.

Fawcett, the sixth-form house, has had a total refurb. Spacious and well-equipped, everything is spanking new and modern, and it’s the perfect environment for young adults with a cinema room, and plenty of work and social spaces. Additionally, sixth-formers (boarders and day pupils) have their own refectory (no teachers allowed) where they can also socialise or study.

From April 2024, a new Saturday-morning programme will offer musical theatre, academic and physical activities. It will be compulsory for boarders, but open to day pupils and children from the local community too.

School community

A new head of pastoral care is radically raising the profile of wellbeing across the school and has already launched a new wellbeing hub. From September 2024, every pupil from Year 5 to 13 will be individually matched with a staff mentor (not necessarily a teacher) whom they can turn to if they have any concerns or just want a chat. One-to-one meetings will be timetabled every week, and staff mentors will act as a pupil’s own personal champion, guiding them, advocating for them and advising them in any area, be it academic, pastoral, social or emotional. The school is working closely to match staff with pupils with similar passions and interests, and staff are being trained up by a dedicated growth coach so they’re ready to hit the ground running in the autumn term.

A house system runs through the whole school, from nursery to Year 13, and sees all age groups taking part in events such as the House Shout talent contest and the House Scramble relay and obstacle course. Pupils attend services in the 200-capacity chapel at least once a week and the head of boarding is also the school chaplain.

Most parents are local professionals from East Anglia, but boarders come from far and wide. An active PTA regularly raises funds for the school – recent projects include the forest school, the launch of DofE and a new gazebo. There is a very friendly atmosphere with lots of social events for parents throughout the year.

And finally....

This wonderfully nurturing school with its holistic approach to education and inclusive attitude is a real gem. With new initiatives and huge development across the whole school in the works, spearheaded by the visionary Mr Oakman, it is definitely one to keep an eye on.

Gallery See All

Girl sitting on the side of the indoor swimming pool
Sixth formers standing arm in arm by a brick wall
Senior pupils sitting on a bench in the gym with badminton rackets
Girls in blue lab coats performing an experiment in class
Girls in green with gold bibs in a huddle on the netball court
Three pupils all looking into a camera lens
Boy playing tennis on a blue court
Boy playing a green electric guitar
girl in a lab coat in a chemistry class holding a pink liquid
  • Academic results

    A level results
    Download results as PDF
  • University destinations

    1% of leavers went on to a creative arts or vocational course.
    78% of leavers went on to their first choice university.
  • Subjects offered


    Ancient Greek
    Art & Design
    Business Studies
    Classical Civilisation
    Design and Technology
    Drama and Theatre Studies
    English Language
    English Literature
    Physical Education
    Religious Studies
    Triple Science

    A Level

    Art & Design
    Business Studies
    Design and Technology
    Drama and Theatre Studies
    English Literature
    Further Mathematics
    Physical Education
    Religious Studies
  • Fees and bursaries

    Day fees per term

    Year 7£6,284
    Year 8 £6,284
    Year 9 £6,284
    Year 10£6,284
    Year 11£6,284
    Year 12£6,435
    Year 13£6,435
    Boarding fees per term

    Year 7£11,151
    Year 8 £11,151
    Year 9 £11,151
    Year 10 £11,151
    Year 11£11,151
    Year 12£11,302
    Year 13£11,302

    Bursary contact:
    Admissions Manager Admissions Manager
  • SEND

    This school currently supports the following kinds of learning needs, health needs and physical disabilities:
    Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
    Attention Deficit Hypersensitivity Disorder
    Genetic Disorders
    Has SEN Unit or Class
    Hearing Impairment
    Mental Health Conditions
    Moderate Learning Difficulty (MLD)
    Multi-Sensory Impairment (MSL)
    Physical Disabilities
    Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) Conditions
    Specific Leaning Difficulty (SpLD)
    Speech, Language and Communication (SLCN) Conditions
    Visual Impairment

    Co-ordinator: Mrs Carolyn Lambert
  • Transport links

    School Transport
    School bus service to/from London
    School daily bus network

    Public Transport
    Nearest mainline train station: Darsham
    Journey time to London by train: 120 minutes
    Nearest international airport: Norwich (40 miles)

School Updates

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  • WATCH: Boarding at Saint Felix School

    WATCH: Boarding at Saint Felix School
  • See Saint Felix in our Senior Boarding Schools Guide

    See Saint Felix in our Senior Boarding Schools Guide
  • See Saint Felix in our All-through Schools Guide

    See Saint Felix in our All-through Schools Guide

Saint Felix School is
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Halesworth Road, Reydon, Southwold, Suffolk IP18 6SD

01502 727048


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