||This article appears to be written like an advertisement. (January 2011)|
|Motto||In Pectore Robur
(Heart of oak)
Royal Blue & White
|Former pupils||Old Foresters|
Forest School is an independent school on the edge of Epping Forest, in Walthamstow in North East London, in the UK. The School occupies a large campus based around the original Georgian and Victorian terraced buildings which are Grade II listed.
Forest was initially founded as 'The Forest Proprietary School' in 1834 with only twenty-two pupils on its roll. In 1847, it became 'Forest School'. Forest has expanded and now has about twelve hundred and forty boys and girls in equal numbers across the full age range of 4 - 18. Girls were first accepted in 1981 and, although they share the same campus, boys and girls are taught separately between the ages of 7 and 16; the sixth form is co-educational. The school is the only school to have appeared in the FA Cup, and many of the buildings have been opened by members of the Royal Family.
The head is called the 'Warden'. In keeping with the School's boarding-past, the Warden resides on campus in the Warden's House. The current warden is Mrs Sarah Kerr-Dineen - the first female Warden in the School's 175-year history. Mrs Kerr-Dineen succeeded Mr Andrew Boggis. The Heads of the Boys' and Girls' Schools are also Deputy Wardens. They are Mr M. Cliff Hodges and Mrs P. A. Goodman. Mr A. Noakes is the Head of the Prep School.
Through 175 years of existence Forest will have had eleven Wardens:
The School is divided into three: Boys' (ages 11 – 18), Girls' (11 - 18), Preparatory (4 - 11). Each of the senior schools has a Head who is also a Deputy Warden. Pupils are taught in single sex classes between 7 and 16. In the sixth form teaching becomes coeducational.
The Prep School numbers just over two hundred boys and girls. From the ages of 4 to 7 Pre-Prep pupils are taught in mixed classes of sixteen. In the main Prep from 7 to 11 boys and girls are taught in separate classes of between 18 and 25.
At age 11, boys enter year 7 and this is the main point of entry to the Boy's School, with usually 20 boys entering from Forest's Prep School, and being joined by 55 new pupils from a wide range of other schools. Participation in the wider life of the school is expected of all pupils.
The Girls' School, also beginning at age 11, focuses on the development of well qualified, confident young women ready to take up the opportunities of university and careers. The school places great emphasis on the development of each girl as an individual. As in the Boys' School, each girl is a member of a House as well as a form.
Forest's Sixth Form numbers some 250 pupils and is coeducational. Pupils can choose from a very wide range of combinations of AS and A2 courses and these are supplemented by General Studies and a programme of lectures and debates. Sixth Formers remain very much part of their respective schools, continuing to have a Housemaster/mistress as before and having the opportunity to take on responsibility in their Houses.
The School maintains its traditional values of academic excellence, and offers scholarships in both academic areas and the arts and sport to pupils who show an outstanding talent in any particular subject. It prides itself that it offers a first class education, with renowned facilities in music, drama, art and sports. It also offers school bus schemes. Many school trips take place as well, not including individual department trips. These can be purely recreational, such as skiing, or educational such as the Fun and Philosophy trip or arts-based trips.
There are eight Boys' School Houses, each with its own house master. The first houses were created in 1924, and consisted of Doctor's, Poole's and Johnian's. In 1938, Guy's was founded. Copeland's was created in 1956, Miller's in 1975, School, Bishop's and the Girls' School Houses in 1978. Bishop's and School served as boarding houses. In the 1990s Bishop's became a day house, and School served as the only boarding house. Younger boys wear a tie in their House colour. All boys in the third to sixth forms are registered by House, with first and second form boys registered in their forms. With the exception of School House, the Houses are all named after previous Masters or Wardens:
|Bishops'||Light Green||Bishops Shaw and Bullen|
|Copeland's||Yellow||William Copeland, a founder of the school|
|Doctor's||Maroon||Dr F. B. Guy|
|Guy's||Black||the Guy family|
|Johnians||Dark Green||John Smith Gilderdale|
|Miller's||Blue||Gerald Cedar Miller|
|Poole's||Purple||F.J. Poole (previous Master at school)|
|School||Light Blue||the former-boarding house|
In the Girls' School six Houses have recently been formed in 2000 to replace the old four Houses named after areas of the school (Field, Glade, Manor, and Park). They each have a House Mistress. The new Houses are named after famous women:
Common pupil appointments include Head of House/House Captain, Deputy Head of House/House Vice-Captain, Music, Drama and Sports Captains. Competitions between the Houses in both schools include House Music, House Drama, House Football, House Hockey, House Netball (girls only), Sports Day (House Athletics), Swimming Galas (House Swimming), House Chess, House Debating etc. These activities are often extremely competitive owing to strong house spirit.
Black gowns are worn by Heads of Schools, their Deputies and the Warden in assemblies.
Royal blue gowns are worn by Monitors and Prefects and are returned at the end of the academic year. These are worn during assembly, chapel services and on special occasions as well as when Monitors/Prefects are on duty. In addition, Prefects have white shield badges with "Prefect" written diagonally across in gold, while Monitors wear special ties striped in silver. The Head Girl and Deputy Head Girl each receive an additional badge to the Prefects.
Members of the Senior Chapel Choir wear crimson gowns at chapel services and formal events. This is a relatively recent change from the traditional crimson cassock and surplice. The Junior Chapel Choirs wears turquoise cassocks with white ruffs.
Twenty Prefects (girls) and twenty Monitors (boys) are decided by teachers, housemasters and mistresses at the end of Lower Sixth year.
Of these, four are chosen to be Head Boy, Head Girl, Deputy Head Boy and Deputy Head Girl who lead the Prefects and Monitors team. Another girl is chosen to be Games Captain. For years 7 and 8, pastoral care works on a form basis. From year 9, pastoral care is through the House system. There are also a set of monitors from Year 8 assigned specifically to the lower school; as it is, when years 11 - 13 are on study leave, a set of year 10 pupils are chosen as temporary monitors.
Their duties include the supervision of queues at lunchtime ("lunch duty") and supervising assembly and chapel services in addition to helping on open days. Their powers are limited to making pupils pick up litter and recommending pupils for detention.
Commendations are awarded for good work. They consist of green slips of paper with carbon transfer to white slips, of which the green is given to the form tutor and the white slip is given to the House master. Certificates are awarded for number of commendations received (bronze 20, silver 40, gold 60, platinum 80,100 you get a special pen). They are very rarely given out in sixth form.
In keeping with the Christian faith of the school, the three academic terms are known as:
|Michaelmas Term||The first term, running from September to Christmas|
|Lent Term||The second term, running from January to March (in the run up to the Christian period of Lent).|
|Trinity Term||The third (and final) term, running from April to July (named after Trinity Sunday, eight weeks after Easter|
|Aston Block||A section of the School that was built in 1953 with funds from the Aston Charities Trust. This is the main base for the Boys' Senior School (pupils aged 13 – 16) with both boys and girls going to classes in it.|
|Classroom Duty||At the end of the day, pupils (according to their house) put up chairs and pick up any litter. This is normally allocated by house and rotated.|
|Commendation||A house point awarded to a pupil in recognition of good work with a copy given to their respective House Master/ Mistress.|
|Gloucesters||Pupils who were in the Preparatory School (ages 7 – 11), which was known as the 'Gloucester Block'. Now known as Prep School pupils.|
|Monitor||A boy in his Upper Sixth year chosen to help keep discipline in school|
|Park||A major off-site sports field through the forest|
|Playground Duty||Pupils go around the playground and pick up any litter at the end of the day. This is normally allocated by house and rotated|
|Prefect||A girl in her Upper Sixth year chosen to help keep discipline in school|
|Steeplechase||A compulsory sporting event during the second half of Lent Term where pupils in the Boys' School compete in a cross country race through the surrounding forest|
|Warden||The overarching Head of School who looks after all three schools with the aid of 'Deputy Wardens'.|
The academic curriculum in the years leading to GCSE reflects the National Curriculum in its breadth and balance. However, there are one or two distinguishing points of difference: Latin, for example, is compulsory in the 1st and 2nd Forms; and the majority take Physics, Chemistry and Biology as separate GCSE subjects. Computer literacy is a major focus in the early years.
Pupils consistently produce excellent examination results and most proceed to university, many pupils taking up places for highly competitive subjects at top universities. The school achieves excellent exam results, with pupils largely achieving around 9-10 good GCSE grades, as well as 4 AS levels and 3 A levels.
Forest has a record of doing well in the academic sphere. In 2006, 18 A-level students received offers from Oxford and Cambridge (Oxbridge) Universities.
"Collambo lumbus", meaning Heart of Oak (or more poetically 'Strength in the heart'), initially appeared in the 1850s under John Smith Gilderdale. It is referred to in the School Song (below)
The school song has been set to music and is sung regularly at end-of-term chapel services and other important occasions.
More recently, a previous Master of Music, Stefan Reid, arranged this for orchestra and it premièred at the annual End of Year Concert (now traditionally held in the Sports Hall). It is sung at certain significant assemblies (e.g. end of year) and at Commemoration Day, however current convention is that only the first verse is sung.
The school's traditional faith is Christianity (Church of England) although it accepts pupils from all religious and non-religious backgrounds. All students attend compulsory Chapel services within the School twice a week.
The Chapel was built in 1857 with an extension in 1875. Prior to this, pupils and masters would attend services at St Peter's-in-the-Forest (across Woodford New Road from the school). The Chapel contains numerous stained glass windows including more recent installations designed by the pupils. The stained glass at the altar end depicts a boy at either side of Jesus, one dressed in cricket whites and one dressed in the old school uniform. The reredos in Chapel depicts the Last Supper as envisaged by Leonardo da Vinci. This was dedicated to a pupil who died during an operation at the nearby Whipps Cross Hospital, aged 17.
A memorial cross was erected outside the Chapel in 1920 in memory of those from Forest School who perished in the Great War. Memorial tablets were installed inside the Chapel in memory of those who have laid down their lives in battle then and since. In 1944, a flying-bomb scored a direct hit on the Junior School and impacted upon the east end of the Chapel, destroying stained glass windows by William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones.
Forest has a strong sporting heritage across all three schools. The School benefits from a newly created sports and leisure complex, a large sports field, hard tennis and netball courts and two swimming pools. Pupils compete between houses and our school teams compete against others.
Forest has a long-standing national reputation in both (boys') football and cricket and there are fixtures against other powerful footballing and cricketing schools. Forest achieves strong representation at county and national level. Hockey is also played to a high standard. Strong fixture lists have been developed in athletics and cross-country running. Other sports such as golf, badminton, fencing and tae-kwon-do all enjoy strong support.
Twice a week, pupils have an afternoon of 'Activities'. These are double and triple periods devoted to an activity chosen by the pupil once per term. Activities include sporting, artistic, charitable, academic and other cultural pursuits and are intended to allow all pupils to pursue interests outside the school curriculum. Sports teams have practice during activities, while the remainder of the school may choose from many options including CCF, video techniques, community service, The Duke of Edinburgh's Award, karate, photography, stage lighting, fencing, swimming, football, golf, taekwondo, Ancient Greek, public speaking and debating, Film Club and MFL Film Club, early music, and chess club.
Former pupils of School are known as Old Foresters (OFs). The Old Foresters' Club exists to carry on traditions and to promote the interests of the School. Furthermore, the OFC is there to encourage mutual help between alumni and current members of the School, whether it be through financial aid to support development, adding to the archives, or engaging in friendly sporting competitions.
The OF Club is open to all past-members of the School, headed by a Committee led by a President and Chairman. The OFC organises events for former pupils throughout the year, including Annual Dinners at the universities of Cambridge and Oxford. The Club also hosts various reunions at the School (where a tour of the school grounds is taken to show new developments) and elsewhere for former pupils to get together and share stories since leaving.
The OF Club also produces various publications including School history books.
Some notable OFs include:
There is a longer list of noteworthy Old Foresters on the school's website.
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