Creative and Performing Arts at Cranleigh Prep

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Seeing children discover new passions, explore creative ideas and make lifelong friends is a rare and extraordinary privilege. We never take this for granted and our commitment to every child’s aspirations and wellbeing is steadfast. But most of all, we want our children to love coming to school every day. As one of our youngest pupils put it, Cranleigh Prep is fun and ‘learny’ at the same time. We can’t argue with that and that’s why creative and performing arts at Cranleigh Prep are at the heart of the curriculum.

Children are exposed to a wide range of creative pursuits during their time at Cranleigh Prep. Our open state-of-the-art, spacious art studios have designated areas for drawing and painting, print-making, sculpture, ceramics and textiles, as well as gallery spaces to give our young artists a sense of ownership and pride in their creations. An extensive, multicultural art library is used for the study of Art History and to inspire original work. Themes are developed in each year group with visiting speakers and demonstrations of new skills to inspire each pupil.

Music runs through everything at the school – we have a lively and innovative approach to Music Education through Cranleigh Music 7-18, which links us to Cranleigh Senior School, giving opportunities to share teaching, performance space and collaborative opportunities. Over 50 visiting teachers deliver individual lessons and there is a vibrant programme of concerts, workshops and competitions to encourage performance and hear other musicians. Singing is highly valued with open access to a choir for each year group. Winning a place in one of the auditioned groups, such as Chamber Choir, is highly respected.

Dance is offered as part of the curriculum in the lower years, helping pupils to develop spatial awareness, coordination, fluidity of movement, musicality and imagination. A large number of children take part in co-curricular dance lessons for ballet, tap, modern and street dance, leading to informal dance performances and West End style dance shows.

Drama is embedded into the curriculum to help children to develop confidence, communication skills, team work and the skills of how to present and stand up in front of an audience. We carefully increase the exposure the children have and the difficulty level, to ensure each child has the opportunity to meet their potential at whatever the level is and when they are ready to meet the independent challenge. These are crucial skills the children will need to have in their future. From the earliest years there are opportunities to participate in small studio productions, fully staged plays and musicals, or events such as the school’s Shakespeare festival. Drama lessons encourage pupils to extend their range of expression in communication, acquire acting skills and understand a wide range of texts and plays. LAMDA lessons are also very popular, which helps to develop acting and poetry speaking skills alongside self-awareness and self-confidence. We have an impressive track record of high merits and distinctions achieved in the annual exams.

Our mission is to challenge and inspire every one of our pupils by broadening their horizons, enriching their learning and supporting them throughout each step of their journey. We aim to provide a safe and nurturing environment in which the pupils feel happy in their endeavours and their achievements, allowing them to play positive roles in the school community.

We recognise that all children are different and enjoy different things and this is celebrated.  One size does not fit all – pupils are expected to embrace opportunities offered, in all aspects of school life, and to support one another. 

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