Founded as a local school, Cranleigh remains very much community focused, with many pupils and staff playing an ongoing role in various aspects of village life. A number of pupils spend every Wednesday afternoon participating in a wide range of local events and activities. A particularly popular relationship is that with St Joseph’s School, Cranleigh – the special needs children’s school located just across the road from Cranleigh School, and setting for many a happy afternoon for Cranleigh Sixth Formers, spent playing football or helping to bake cakes as an out-of-school activity, and forming strong one-on-one friendships with the St Joseph’s pupils. Alternatively, pupils might opt to help with litter-picking in Cranleigh and look after the village’s War Memorial; help to keep the gardens in ship-shape condition at the Cranleigh Infants School; work in the local charity shops; and participate in fund-raising activities (this year’s highlight being a walk along Hadrian’s Wall) for both local and international charities. With music such a key element of Cranleigh School life, it naturally also provides a core focus for the wider community, be it in the form of combined concerts with other local schools and groups (such as the local Open Air Remembrance Service in the village on Sunday 9th November 2009, where a united Cranleigh School, Glebelands, Park Mead and Cranleigh Youth Band ensemble led the service accompaniment) or simply in the form of old-fashioned entertainment, with many local residents, from children to OAPs, coming in to enjoy the School’s lunchtime concerts. Many of the latter are particularly familiar faces to our pupils, who derive a great deal of pleasure from their regular visits to the Knowle Park Nursing Home, and return the favour with a huge effort each year in gathering together delicious Christmas hampers, delivered to the door of up to 100 festive residents.
‘Beyond Cranleigh’ is the name for Cranleigh School’s long-term partnership with Beyond Ourselves and Kawama School – a community primary school in Zambia. Cranleigh has committed to sponsoring the education of 225 children at Kawama over the course of 20 years, as well as helping the school develop in infrastructure, provide quality education, and ultimately become self-sustaining.