About Cranleigh

Cranleigh School

Cranleigh is a leading co-educational weekly boarding and day school on the edge of the Surrey Hills. Pupils lead busy lives now, exceeding academic and sporting expectations while preparing for lives beyond its beautiful rural location. Cranleigh provides a breathtaking range of opportunities in a school small enough for everyone to know and support each other.

Cranleigh’s day is built around a strong academic timetable that also prioritises time for sports, music, drama and the creative arts, enabling every child’s talent to flourish. Old Cranleighans – the celebrated academics, politicians and business leaders, national standard athletes, musicians, artists and actors – are a testament to its success.

The Cranleigh motto was the phrase at the heart of the School when it was founded in 1865. Ex Cultu Robur (from Culture comes Strength) informs a robust education ethic and a heartfelt belief in the holistic development of young people. All Schools in the Cranleigh family share our motto, our two Surrey schools, our sister school in Abu Dhabi and our partner School in Zambia. Over the years Cranleigh has stuck by Ex Cultu Robur, strengthened this core ethos and continued to explore the meaning of culture. This holistic educational ethos is what makes the Cranleigh community so special.

Boarding at Cranleigh

Although they welcome both boarding and day pupils Cranleigh school is full boarding in spirit; day pupils are fully included in house life and contribute much to its vitality. Pupils of all year groups are bonded by their inherent love of joining in; no-one at Cranleigh likes to stand still and that includes staff as well as pupils.

The primary focus of Cranleigh’s boarding ethos is to provide opportunities to pupils that would be unavailable to them at home. They do not, for example, agree with the view that boys and girls should move away from their parents to teach them ‘independence’. On the contrary, Cranleigh recognises the sacrifice a family makes when a son or daughter is away from home, and they hugely value the regular input parents make during term time. A parent’s decision to allow a son or daughter to spend so much time away can really be justified only by the fulfilment of their lives at school.


Type of School Independent co-educational weekly boarding and day school.
School Address Cranleigh School, Horseshoe Ln, Cranleigh, Surrey GU6 8QQ
Number of Pupils 1245
Pupils Prep 344
Number of Boarders 661
Age Range 13 to 18
Religious Tradition Church of England
Distance from Airports

Gatwick – 40 minutes by car.

Distance from London

About 40 miles.

School Links

Cranleigh Preparatory School, located across the road from Cranleigh School; many pupils who attend Cranleigh Prep School progress onto Cranleigh School at 13+.

What makes Cranleigh really special is the caring and friendly community. Every year pupils join Cranleigh from a range of different schools in the UK and a small number from overseas. Cranleigh is accessible to all families.

Educational Programmes


All pupils study Biology, Chemistry, Digital Literacy, English, a modern language (either French, German or Spanish), Geography, History, Mathematics, Physics and Religious Studies. In addition, a pupil will choose either Latin or Classical Civilisation as well as choosing three from the following five options: Art, Design, Drama, French (as a second language), Music.

There is an options system in the Lower and Upper Fifth Forms which enables a pupil to take up to 10 full GCSE subjects before moving on to AS and A2 Levels in the Sixth Form. Core subjects for all are Mathematics, English Language and Literature and a modern language, either French, German or Spanish. Pupils are required to study the three sciences (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) and take two or three GCSEs in science subjects – either Dual Award (DAS) or Triple Award (TAS). Additionally, all pupils will embark on the HPQ (Higher Project Qualification) at the start of the Lower Fifth.


A-Level and EPQ

The Sixth Form provides a different work environment from that of the Lower School, with students generally taking three subjects in the Sixth Form rather than nine or 10 GCSE courses. Time outside academic teaching is more a student’s own responsibility and considerable trust is vested in students to use these opportunities properly. Above all, Cranleigh aims to create independent learners, as the skills and habits learned at school will last for the rest of a student’s working life.

The revision of A Level assessment has provided schools with the opportunity to reassess what academic courses are offered to Sixth Formers and at Cranleigh we have used this opportunity to adapt our curriculum so as more precisely to offer our students the best preparation we can for university, and for the world of work. Our provision therefore includes A Level courses, but also Pre-U courses (essentially courses equivalent to A Level but offering a different specification), and the Extended Project Qualification (the EPQ), to increase the variety and flexibility of what we have on offer.

We expect that most Sixth Formers will study three subjects in the Lower Sixth, along with an Extended Project (EPQ). Some may attempt four (all the way through to the end of the Upper Sixth) and we do have a few alternatives to the EPQ (namely, a 2-year AS in French, Spanish, Greek and Geology).