Today Cranleigh formally opened a new girls’ boarding house to enhance its dedicated boarding community. The opening follows a period of new building and refurbishment from the Prep School right across the senior campus. This continued development and investment in boarding facilities underlines Cranleigh’s position as Surrey’s most mature co-educational boarding environment.
Sally Quick, who was the School’s first female Senior Prefect in 1987, cut the ribbon on the new West building and formally opened Rhodes, which is named after a former Headmaster, Herbert Rhodes. She commented: “I always felt very supported in my role, it felt like a privilege to be at a school like Cranleigh and I certainly threw myself into everything it had to offer. I’m delighted that Cranleigh became fully co-educational soon afterwards as it’s so important for girls and boys to have the same opportunities. With the introduction of dedicated girls’ houses they could really compete in house activities. It is lovely to come back and see how the school has developed.”
Cranleigh has three girls’ houses, West, South, and Rhodes and four boys’ houses, Cubitt, Loveday, North and East. Plans for a fourth girl’s house are underway, opening within the next two academic years. The houses have been built individually over the school’s 150 year history and each has a unique character in its layout, although all share the same busy and nurturing ethos.
Beth Lewis, Housemistress of Rhodes, said: ““Life in a boarding house is immensely fun and busy! Our Houses at Cranleigh are quite large, Rhodes has around 70 pupils, but this adds to the family feel with year groups integrated and supportive of each other. Some girls describe it as like having dozens of siblings and there’s always staff on hand to give everyone individual attention.”
A further building programme is ongoing. The Prep School’s beautiful new academic building, Townsend, will launch in the summer and boarding facilities will be enhanced and expanded to meet increased demand before the new academic year. A new academic building, the van Hasselt Centre, will open at the senior school in September 2018. The van Hasselt, named after a former Headmaster, will house a suite of humanities classrooms, careers offices and a dedicated English resource library. A large glass-roofed café space will also be included, providing an area for social activities as well as collaborative learning and seminars.
“Cranleigh has always been a dynamic community that does not like to stand still. We are a school with a strong history of innovation and development. We were one of the first to create a successful co-educational boarding community and we have kept our boarding innovative and vibrant whilst maintaining our close-knit family ethos and relatively small numbers,” said Headmaster Martin Reader.