Cranbrook School

Waterloo Road, TN17 3JD

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About us

Welcome to Cranbrook School

About us

Thank you for your interest in Cranbrook School. I am proud to welcome you to our fantastic Sixth Form community.

Choosing your place of study for the next two years, as well as what to study, is an important decision, which will affect the rest of your life. Some questions you should be asking yourself are:

Does the institution do the subjects I want to do?

What are the results like?

What support will I get during the course?

What else does the institution offer outside of academic life?

Will I be stretched, challenged, supported and encouraged?

What support will I get to move me on to the next stage in my career?

Hopefully you have found out as much about Cranbrook Sixth Form as possible. If you are not in Cranbrook School Year 11, make sure you come to an open day and get a tour around the school. This Sixth Form Course Guide, alongside our open days, should provide the flavour of Sixth Form life at Cranbrook School; the experience and opportunities that are available in this unique school.

Please see the school website for the full entry criteria, including the catchment area for day students.

 Cranbrook School is proud to be part of a small but select group of schools which are state-funded and which also accommodate significant numbers of boarders. 

We are approximately 750 pupils strong, 250 of whom board in one of our six superbly furnished boarding houses. We are also proud of our grammar school status, especially as we have recently changed our year of entry for day pupils from Year 9 (age 13 years) to Year 7 (age 11 years) and aligned ourselves more fully with other, equally prestigious, schools in the Kent 11+ selective admissions system without losing our very strong sense of character.

We have a strong sense of mission focused on the development of our pupils in the widest sense – academically, socially and in terms of their character. We succeed in combining academic rigour with a wealth of extra-curricular opportunities via a rich co-curriculum, all underpinned by a deep commitment to the individual needs and enthusiasms of each pupil.

What makes us different?

Cranbrook was one of the small number of Kent grammar schools founded in the Tudor period. Its history goes back to 1518 when a wealthy Yeoman, John Blubery, bequeathed his ‘chief mansion’ to provide a ‘frescole house’ for the town’s children.

We were hugely proud to celebrate our 500th anniversary in 2018 and to have remained true to that original principle of offering a free, first-class education to both to local children and latterly to a wide-ranging boarding community.

Following Queen Elizabeth’s visit to the important cloth manufacturing town of Cranbrook in 1573, a royal charter, firmly established the ‘free and perpetual grammar school’. The first Governors are named in the charter: they included the vicar (and each subsequent vicar of Cranbrook has been a Governor), the two leading local gentlemen and ten wealthy Cranbrook clothiers.

Since that date, the school’s biggest change has been that to co-education and 13+ entry in the early 1970s, together with more than doubling of size. We have embarked on a period of similar development with our move to admit 11 year olds for the first time in over 40 years from September 2017.

Our setting, with the River Crane running through it and 75 acres of lush Wealden countryside, complements our boarding and teaching accommodation delightfully.

Student support

The Cranbrook Diploma

We believe we are a uniquely enriching school with an expansive co-curricular life that is difficult for any competitor to match. We have tried to capture this true essence of Cranbrook School by developing an additional diploma that all Year 12 students will complete. It is built around a series of challenges that we think best prepares students for success at the best universities in the world. These range from extended reading, public speaking and the Extended Project Qualification, to charity work, sport and music. This school is unique and students who fully buy into our ethos deserve to be recognised.

Co-Curricular & Enrichment

All Sixth Formers are encouraged to take part in the numerous activities at Cranbrook School. There is an extensive sporting programme, with team fixtures on most Saturday’s. The major sports are, for boys rugby, hockey, cricket, basketball, and for girls hockey, netball, rounders and cricket. There are also opportunities for swimming, tennis, dance and athletics.

In addition to sport, there are many other activities on offer, including Combined Cadet Force, Duke of Edinburgh, music ensembles (orchestra, choirs, strings, jazz and brass), drama productions, robotics, amnesty, debating, current affairs, art, coding, astronomy (can be taken as a GCSE), eco-schools, charities, newsletter, dissections and med soc.


Cranbrook Sixth Formers are encouraged to volunteer to help with a variety of schemes and projects, which include helping in local Primary Schools and Care Homes, organising activities for Junior Year Groups on Friday afternoons and visiting old folk in the community.

The Sixth Form Community

Cranbrook Sixth Form is not just a place to study, but a very friendly community. The new Sixth Form Centre is one of the best facilities in the County and it has excellent space for silent private work and also social areas. Social events are organised, such as “music nights” and there are regular talks on a wide range of topics.

Additional information

We have incredible learning and sporting facilities here at Cranbrook School. Please do join us for our Open Evening or contact the Registrar to book a private tour.