A celebration of Fifty Years of Learning at Glebelands School
Glebelands School celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2009. The official opening of the school was July 11th 1959, although students were taught on site from earlier that academic year. Throughout the fifty years, as you might expect, there have been many changes: to the buildings, facilities, ways of teaching and the uniform. What has not changed is the ethos of the school. Glebelands School has consistently been a focal point of the Cranleigh community and is very much a family school. This was borne out when asking for contributions to our 50th celebrations. It was amazing to find a number of families where three generations have come to the school, and to confirm the strong links that staff have in the area, often living very close to the school.
Visitors frequently comment on just how friendly the school feels and the calm, purposeful, atmosphere. This is, I believe, because students and staff are very happy to be here, they enjoy what they are doing and feel a real sense of achievement. It is clear from the archives that this has always been the case at Glebelands and I have no doubt that whatever changes do take place in the educational world Glebelands will still retain this hugely important ethos.
Your school is a very important place and time in your life, whether you are five or far older. It shapes you as a person and gives you the opportunities to make the best of whatever you choose to do in life. Many people remember their school days very clearly. I have never met anyone who can’t remember the name of the school they went to and some of the teachers and characters they met there. Many of us have friendships that continue from school days for the rest of our lives and often, as adults, we will reflect on what more we could have gained from our experiences at school.
It is clear that throughout the last fifty years all those associated with Glebelands have put the students first and been totally committed to ensuring that the school offered the best education to the children of the local community. Equally that community has been very loyal to the school and supported us through Summer Fairs, Community Days, Interview Days, Sponsorship and Mentoring. The fifty year celebration events taking place during this academic year have also reflected our community focus. Fifty trees have been planted in our partner schools and local parks at Elmbridge Village and Snoxhall, sponsored by the Parish and County Councils. Hosting BBC Radio 4 Question Time and 50 years of Science with Johnny Ball has also marked our half century.
The commemorative plaque for the façade of the school was designed by one of our students, Ethan Shi, and commissioned from John Wincentzen. It was sponsored by Surrey Community Foundation and officially unveiled on our anniversary by a great supporter of young people and the community, Colin Young.
I hope that you enjoy reading the articles enclosed, which give an insight into Glebelands’ past, present and future. Many people have been involved in contributing to this commemorative issue and all have done so with enthusiasm and a sense of pride.
One thing is certain – while the next fifty years will be very different, Glebelands will remain at the heart of the education of the young people in its community.