Cranleigh offers a huge range of opportunities for Outdoor Education with a dedicated centre equipped with climbing wall and rowing machines. Pupils can learn new skills and interests while having a great deal of fun and learning about the natural environment.

The activities can provide the thrill of an “adrenaline rush”, whilst teaching risk management. Some of the activities we undertake can be competitive, but in the majority of cases the only person you will be competing with is yourself.

There are many genuine, life-long benefits that are transferable to the workplace as much as leisure time. Outdoor education teaches self-reliance, motivation and organisation – all good life skills, just as useful in business as the Hindu Kush. It develops leadership and team-work skills and provides challenges to push us outside our comfort zone and possibly right up to our physical and mental limits.

Outdoor Education at Cranleigh is provided in three tiers:

Something for everyone

All members of the Fourth Form participate in a compulsory round-robin Outdoor Education programme for one afternoon a week during the Lent and Summer terms. These sessions are compulsory; so that everyone has tried everything at least once. (They say one should try everything in life at least once, except Morris dancing). Numerous members of Common Room as well as Sixth Formers run the activities. The year is split into small groups of 8-10 which then progress round all the activities on a weekly basis. The activities may include: Camp craft; Fire lighting; Knots and lashings; Actions in an emergency; Basic navigation; Making a map; Building a trebuchet; Archery; Canoeing; Raft building; Climbing; Introduction to the CCF; Basic Orienteering; Team building; and Command tasks.

Basic Skills

Fifth Formers (or those in the Sixth Form, if they wish) are encouraged to get a grounding in one or more activities. These usually involve a regular weekly commitment and frequently work towards a specific standard or award such as the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award or the basic competency test for climbing. There is also ample opportunity to go on trips and expeditions.


Later on there is the opportunity to specialise, learn more sophisticated skills and push one’s limits. We also try to provide maximum leadership opportunity for Sixth Formers. Again, numerous trips and expeditions are available each year.

Where next?

Clubs & Activities

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award


Education Choices Award Finalist 2024