Featured School – Cranleigh, Abu Dhabi, Legacy Garden: A Journey of Head, Heart and Hand

Educational establishments are an integral and central part of a person’s development from early childhood into adulthood. Learning opportunities, whether they are academic, personal, social or emotional, provide vital tools for a flourishing and successful life. Developing the link between school, the wider community and home is instrumental in building and harnessing the holistic resources and coping strategies that children require to prepare them for a fulfilled and satisfied life in an ever changing and, at times, complex world.

At Cranleigh, Abu Dhabi we focus on wellbeing not just for the individual, but the impact you can have on others and the environment and this is represented through our committees Head (Mental Health), Heart (Environment) and Hand (Charity). It has been well documented that a focus on mental health, wellbeing and outreach must be recognized, invested in and embedded in daily living for a holistic, and ultimately meaningful, educational experience – one that is preparing and equipping our community – pupils, staff and parents – with the tools required to succeed and live happily with a sense of purpose. This is the responsibility of ALL and it should be for ALL.

Our community is diverse, individual and unique. It is important that we recognize this as a strength, and also account for the myriad factors inherent in this strength such as language, understanding, awareness and personal values. What we can hold firm to is that flourishing only occurs when we feel safe, have purpose, make a difference and are happy. This is something we all share, understand, believe in and ultimately need to succeed at, no matter our age or where we are in our learning journey. Wellbeing will not be deemed as an ‘add-on’ or linked to one ‘initiative’ at Cranleigh, Abu Dhabi. We want to ensure it is woven and bound seamlessly into the education we offer the whole community.

Our Legacy Garden was created by the community for the community. It is where the three committees Head, Heart and Hand came together to highlight the importance of unity, youth voice and making impact that we want to see in our world. It is not just about impact for us as individuals, but for others and the world we live in. This idea was created by the lead of the Heart (Environment) Committee Rachel Tracy who is a Year 12 pupil. Her Extended Professional Qualification (EPQ) focused on creating a sustainable garden to provide an education for the community on what was important and how we needed to make a change now. We are still on our journey and have a long way to go but this garden was created from her designs and involved hours of community work from parents, pupils, facilities teams and staff. Rachel’s designs and ideas came to light when the Principal, Michael Wilson, said let’s bring her ideas to life and that is what we did. Everything in the garden is upcycled or recycled. Even the path that was laid down the middle of the garden was from the initial building of the school using left-over bricks. The plants were donated by parents, pupils and staff. The mural was designed by Rachel and had input from other committee leads Head (Mental Health) and Hand (Charity).

We were lucky to welcome Dr Jane to officially open the garden and we were honored to have such an inspiring lady grace our garden with her words of wisdom, honesty and passion that left most of our community speechless and warmed by her remarkable journey.  We will be looking to make our own compost in the foreseeable future and it will be a technology free zone were the community can spend time reconnecting with others and reflecting.   We are hoping it will be the place that inspires many of the younger generation to make a difference in their lives and others around them to ultimately #bethechange


Like this? Share it!

Get social with R&S UAE

 on Twitter or 

 on Facebook.


Leave a Comment

Name and email are required. Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.