The school is now 120 years old, having originated in 1897 with just four pupils and one very dedicated Headmistress in Margaret Isabella Gardiner based at a house in Aldeburgh.
Under Miss Gardiner’s leadership, by 1902 the school had moved to new purpose-built premises in Southwold, where it is still located today. As part of a number of celebrations to mark this important anniversary, the Sunk Garden first established in the early 1920s has been recreated so that today’s pupils can share in the school’s heritage.
Named for Saint Felix, who was the first bishop of the East Angles in the 7th century. in the course of its history, Saint Felix has continually adapted in response to the expectations of parents and pupils as well as to changes in educational philosophy. Such changes range from the move to fully co-educational in 2002, the integration of a Nursery Department in 2015 to provide all-through education from two to eighteen years, and the reintroduction of Latin to the Year 6 curriculum in the same year.
The school’s facilities have also developed, to accommodate increasing numbers and differing interests. More recent additions include an indoor swimming pool, home to the hugely successful St Felix Swimming Squad, a full equestrian cross-country course and the 250-seat Silcox Theatre. In recognition of key figures in the school’s history, our boarding houses are named after Miss Gardiner (founder and headmistress from 1897 – 1908), and suffragist Millicent Fawcett (who was instrumental in helping Margaret Gardiner to set up Saint Felix). Our third house is named for leading female mathematician and scientist Mary Somerville, after whom Somerville College, Oxford is also named.
Saint Felix has a long history of social responsibility, including assistance for Jewish refugees from Europe in 1939, more recently for Syrian refugees along with national charities including Street Child. We also fundraise and offer practical support to local causes including the Access outreach programme for the homeless based in Lowestoft.
Saint Felix today is a thriving school that retains much of the pioneering spirit of its founder. Under the leadership of Mr James Harrison since September 2016, our mission places great value on the individual child, supporting independent learning and nurturing talent to help all of our pupils to grow into well-rounded and successful adults.