United Kingdom / South East England / Surrey / Cranleigh Preparatory School

Cranleigh Preparatory School Review

Cranleigh Prep School (CPS) is a traditional co-ed prep in the Home Counties with a broad curriculum that pairs the rigorous syllabuses and breadth of subjects of the Common Entrance exams with the time and facilities for enrichment activities such as music and dance.
At a glance
School type
Private
School phase
Primary
Inspection rating
Excellent
Curricula taught
Availability 2020/21
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Availability 2021/22
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Annual fee average
GBP 19,000
Annual fees
GBP 16,062 - 20,838
Price band help
Mid-range
Status
Open
Opening year
1913
School year
Sep to Jul
Principal
Mr Neil Brooks
Main teacher nationality
United Kingdom
Main student nationality
United Kingdom
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Cranleigh Preparatory School
School type
Private
School phase
Primary
Inspection rating
Excellent
Curricula taught
Availability 2020/21
close
Availability 2021/22
close
Annual fee average
GBP 19,000
Annual fees
GBP 16,062 - 20,838
Price band help
Mid-range
Status
Open
Opening year
1913
School year
Sep to Jul
Principal
Mr Neil Brooks
Main teacher nationality
United Kingdom
Main student nationality
United Kingdom
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Cranleigh Prep School (CPS) is a traditional co-ed prep in the Home Counties with a broad curriculum that pairs the rigorous syllabuses and breadth of subjects of the Common Entrance exams with the time and facilities for enrichment activities such as music and dance.

Located in a charming Surrey village, Cranleigh Prep School (CPS) has a community of day and boarding pupils aged 7 to 13 years. Part of the Cranleigh family of schools, which also includes a senior school on a neighbouring campus, this is a small prep with 155 girls and 193 boys, mainly coming from the Home Counties. Described by deputy head Catherine Beddison as having "a busy, purposeful atmosphere", CPS offers a a very solid education from 7+ within a beautiful, modern, and well equipped campus.

CPS was rated Excellent in its most recently available ISI Educational Quality report (2015).

The curriculum at CPS includes 18 academic subjects. It follows, but is not restricted by, the National Curriculum of England and works towards preparing students for the Common Entrance exams at 13+. The English department does a fantastic job of encouraging reading, having launched its own Awesome Book Awards: this annual prize invites thousands of students from schools across the south east to read a shortlist of new fiction for young readers – and then vote for their favourite. 

Students learn French (and it is expected that the majority of students will  achieve a grade B or higher at Common Entrance), as well as learning Latin from Form 4. There's a focus on science here with Quiz Club Science competitions, SATRO STEM competitions, National Science Week, and a themed Curriculum Collapse Day in the Summer term; this is certainly effective, with the majority of students achieving a B grade or higher in science in the Common Entrance. And in design technology, students learn using everything from hand tools to Computer Aided Design (CAD) and 3D printers.

Sport and the arts

As well as weekly art, music, dance, and drama lessons, there are art clubs for all ages, weekly lessons in LAMDA, and extra-curricular clubs in ISTD Modern, tap, ballet, and street dance. The Cranleigh Music 7-18 initiative brings together the music departments at CPS and Cranleigh School, and gives the schools' most able musicians the chance to play in ensembles across all age ranges. The school's youngest students learn the violin and the cello; older students spend a term each year working on a musical where they all have a role to play, from a few lines to a main solo part or stage design. For the school's most serious actors in Form 6, they can audition for parts in a drama production, which is performed at The Arts Centre in Cranleigh.

Sport is a big part of CPS life. Students have three game lessons per week, in football, rugby, hockey, and cricket for the boys, and for  hockey, netball, and cricket for the girls. There are regular fixtures played on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, and opportunities to learn and compete in swimming, athletics, tennis, archery, climbing, dance, Eton Fives, golf, horse riding, judo, and sailing.

In Forms 1 and 2, students have lunchtime clubs, and in Forms 3 - 6 there are optional Priority Time clubs at the end of the school day, which include hobby-based activities such as Airfix modelling, brain games, chess, crafts, family history, patchwork, and stone masonry.

Academic results

The majority of students move into Cranleigh School, and CPS has a strong track record of students leaving with high levels of academic performance: 77% of students achieve A* - B grades in the Common Entrance exams, and receive A* - B grades in academic scholarship exams.

Campus and facilities

Located within its extensive grounds are a full size artificial hockey pitch, cricket squares, three tennis courts, two netball courts, nine rugby/football pitches, and a five-a-side football pitch. Students also have daily use of Cranleigh School’s facilities.

CPS has recently invested £3.1 million in new facilities, including three new science labs, design and food technology rooms, and art classrooms. Described by headmaster Michael Wilson as being "unashamedly African in its design", the new two-storey teaching block is being used by teachers to introduce more innovative science and design teaching methods.

Admission and fees

Entry is at 7+ and 11+, and the assessment includes an informal interview in groups, English papers in comprehension and creative writing, a maths paper, and fun team building activities. Annual fees for day students are £16,062 (Forms 1 and 2) and £20,838 (Forms 3 to 6); fees for boarding students own Forms 3 - 6 are £25,164 annually. There are scholarships at 11+ entry for excellence in Academic, Music (instrumental and vocal), or Sport.

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