“As I plan to study medicine at university, I have arranged a trip to Africa during the summer holidays. I will be spending five days in a private surgery and five days in a public surgery.”
I joined Forest in Year 7 from Loyola Prep.
What comes to mind about Forest is that the school offers you many opportunities to take part in sport, music, academia and so much more.
I have been in Big Band since Year 8, basketball team since Year 8, senior jazz since Year 8. I have also taken part in the Chemistry Olympiad. Through taking part you experience all these amazing things. Forest provides the opportunities. You need to explore and experience life which will help you as much as academia.
I am never bored at Forest - I am hosting a parents’ evening, open day, always something going on. So many opportunities. Enjoy the community here at Forest. I feel part of something special.
The Diploma teaches skill will be useful in life. Whether giving a speech in Chapel or speaking to a crowd, there are skills which are useful in life.
For work experience, I am going to Africa during the summer to compare the health care systems and lifestyles for 10 days. Five days with my uncle who owns a private surgery and five days in a public surgery. Conditions will be worse and I want to compare it to the NHS, see how stretched they are and how they deal with it. I really value our NHS in England.
I did my EPQ on whether society doing enough to get rid of cancer. I studied the work of cancer charities, and the fear around cancer. I also looked at the morality of pharmaceutical companies and how they sell their drugs.
Forest is a community and is diverse - I have a range of friends from all beliefs and lots of different cultures. The history of the School is also important - OFs are an important part of our community.
“I love the Sixth Form as it’s so separate to the rest of the School. We have our own space and are treated like adults by our teachers.”
I joined Forest from St Joan of Arc Primary School in Year 7.
I love the Sixth Form because it’s so separate to the rest of the School. We have our own space and are treated differently. We get so much more respect from teachers, we are treated like adults.
I feel it is good to have boys and girls separate for the first five years because we mature in different ways, and then we come together. Girls are more comfortable on their own.
I love being part of my House, it has shaped who I am. As Houses are single-sex, girls are not overshadowed by the boys. You have more confidence to speak out about yourself. In House Drama, women can play whatever role they need to.
As part of the Forest Diploma, I did an internship with the Police doing test purchases in local newsagents and shops of knives, cigarettes and legal highs. The Diploma has been really good, it has encouraged me to do more. I have more confidence and have gone and tried new things.
I definitely want to go to university to study History.
I love being outdoors. As part of DOfE gold, we had to climb a massive mountain in the Brecon Beacons and had to walk along a high ridge, we were right on the edge. It was very misty so we had to use our torches - we were just below the clouds. I surprised myself with how much I have achieved physically.
I play in netball and hockey teams and I play a lot of tennis. I have just started playing in the girls’ football team on the right wing.
I am quite organised and I make sure I write everything down using planners.
I did my EPQ on electric cars. I found that there are a lot of misconceptions, that they’re ugly, for example, but Tesla has new designs at affordable prices. I would buy an electric car if I am doing short distances but for long distances you have to charge frequently but they are better for the environment. To research this topic, I looked at university research and reports by car companies.
“In Year 7, I broke the record for javelin - I think my attitude to sport transfers into academic study.”
I joined Forest from WGPS in Year 7.
I really like biology - I find it challenging. If I find things easy I get bored!
I enjoy sport a lot. I tried tennis but I do more athletics, particularly javelin - in Year 7 I broke the record for javelin. I think my attitude to sport transfers into academic study.
I want to be a lawyer (my mum is a lawyer), and I want to use my hockey to get into university. My friend got unconditional from Birmingham.
In hockey, I am the goalkeeper.
“Forest is a much bigger school than the preparatory school I joined it from. What really helped me was my House family, which is two people from each year in your House who you have House breakfast with and who you basically eat lots of delicious food with!”
I joined Forest in Year 7 from Ilford Ursuline School.
Forest was very different from Ursuline because my primary school was so small. There were 16 to a class, and year groups were 20. I was nervous at first but saw that everyone else was nervous too. Walking around the School there would be people I didn’t know but it wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. I said hi to everyone and they said hi back.
The way school is organised helps, with form room and House family. A House family is two people from each year in your House who you have house breakfast with and eat loads of stuff! We eat strawberry laces but usually its croissants.
Each year is divided in four forms and that’s good because you have friends in your form who you do all your class work with but then you have your House as well .We see our form group every single day in registration and in class. In the morning you will be registered in your form and all your classes are in your form. People in my House we see every Thursday in House meetings and registration with our Housemistress on Friday.
I am in Baylis House which is one of the most sporty and have loads of trophies. Really diverse selection of people too. There are also lots of House competitions - you have House buddies who you do all your competitions with.
School separates you into small groups so you start off small and work up when you have a few friends and make more friends when you get braver. The Diamond Structure has helped too. I like being taught in all girl groups but that fact that you can make friends with boys outside class, like in drama, really helps.
There are so many opportunities at Forest. I have played sports I have never done before. There are so many opportunities like Bike Club. I really like hockey and I had never played before having joined Forest. I also play tennis, cricket, netball, athletics, rounders and I row.
I do a lot of drama. Science Club is also very fun. At Forest we are taught to enjoy our studies by working and helping each other.
I live in Ilford so I use the bus to get to school. The forest provides a really nice environment and a calmness.
“I run Forest’s Amnesty International Society. Since Year 9, we have raised £3,000. As part of a recent campaign, we wrote letters to MPs, campaigning for children to be allowed into country during the refugee crisis.”
I joined Forest in Year 7 from Snaresbrook Prep School.
I fell in love with the school and my parents did too - I liked the trees and the environment.
The fact we are surrounded by forest, it is beautiful and I feel so lucky. I live in Mile End - my mum drops me to school and I get the tube home.
When I joined Forest I was with a trumpet teacher through the School. I was Grade 7 piano when I joined. Then I played the recorder, and was Grade 5 trumpet. I have always loved music. In Year 7 I did a concerto with junior orchestra - being exposed provided excellent opportunities.
Music Department has fantastic visiting music staff. They know how the School works and direct you. I did Grade 8 in trumpet two years’ ago and I sing a bit as well.
In addition to music I run the Amnesty International Group. Since Year 9, we have raised £3,000. Loads of people have got involved in it. We have meetings once a week and we hold fund raising events once a year with buckets by the front gate. In a recent campaign we wrote letters to MPs about the refugee crisis, campaigning for children to be allowed into country.
The fact that Mile End is urbanised and Forest is quiet. As more people from an area send their children it breeds interest.
Forest encourages everyone at what they're good at and celebrates who they are. Everyone feels encouraged.
“Forest has a good aura about it. As you walk through the white gates, you get a sense of community. You feel accepted here and everyone around you is supportive. The environment here also helps me in my music and academic work and through the stressful parts of the School day.”
I Joined Forest in Year 7 from Woodford Green Prep School on a Music and Academic Scholarship. I found out about Forest at Open Day in Year 5 where I got a good feeling about the School. It had a good aura about it. Our old Warden said that as soon as you walk through the whites gates you get a sense the school is one community, almost one you would feel when you walk into your own home. You feel accepted here and everyone around you is supportive. This environment helps me in my music and academic work and around the stressful aspects of the School day.
I usually spend the time before registration, during lunch and after school playing music. I play four instruments: violin, piano, guitar and I sing.
I also have helped with tours around the School for visitors, including the new headmaster of my old school.
I play football, cricket and basketball. Being busy has helped me to develop as a person: you may not get something the first time and it may take hard work to get to stage you want to be at, but when you get there it is rewarding.
The best things about Forest are the co-curricular activities which are really outstanding. It gives pupils the scope to do so much and to express yourself in different ways.
Respect and discipline are taught at Forest: we are always kept in check and are never given the chance to slack. Teachers will always try and push you.
“At Forest we have really good coaches. Sport here gave me the pathway to play for the Leyton Orient academy.”
I am learning to play the guitar this year and it’s going well. My taste in music has shifted towards guitar music and I thought I would like to try it out myself. Learning an instrument was really difficult but I have persevered.
After my GCSEs, I am splitting my time between football and my academic studies.
I started at Forest in Reception. I have fewer disputes and confrontations than when I was younger as you become older and you learn what you like in people. I am aware of what I like in a person now. Forest has been good at developing me because there is a lot of freedom to express yourself. It’s not oppressive. A lot of diversity which is a good thing as you learn to deal with different types of people.
At Forest we have good coaches. Sport here gave me the pathway to play for Orient. My motivation is that I like to do well - I have always been competitive.
I enjoyed doing my HPQ which was on why Jamaicans dominate the sprints. Genetic base is the underpinning factor, the sporting gene. My research included Olympics 2012 documentaries on sprinters who were trying to beat Bolt, and I watched Bolt’s biography. I also read the last chapter on Bounce.
I really like having a younger brother at the School - it is nice seeing my brother around the School. He achieved top grades, plays four instruments - we spur each other on.
Being a Scholar rather than an academy boy, you see how ruthless it is. I still want to be a footballer but it makes me probably question it more than I did before. Apart from Orient, I support Arsenal.
“My Housemistress sees me every day and supports me with little things like revision check lists and to-do-lists”
I joined Forest in Reception.
In Senior School you become more independent and self reliant, and you have to organise your time more. Being busy is good as you are able to do something you like doing and it keeps things fresh.
Outside of school I play a lot of hockey. I got into JRPC (Junior Regional Performance Centre) working up to England Scheme. I first started playing hockey in Year 5, I also play a lot of netball and athletics.
I also do speech and drama, and I sing as well. In fact, I have a singing exhibition. There are lots of competitions within the school - these include Young Musician of the Year.
I think that being apart from boys and still being able to socialise with them is nice. Teachers teach us in different ways. Girls, for example, get to do more experiments. In sport, I feel it is good to be separated. After having left school, if I hadn’t been socialising with boys it would be hard to join society but the fact you are still around them and you can be friends with them is quite a good thing.
Sport will still be a priority for me 10 years down the line. I want to be enjoying it and working hard.
My form tutor always checks up on me because I get lots of clashes and my Housemaster has been very good in supporting me. Little things like a revision check list which I can email him and he will send me all the things I need to know.
“For House Music, we performed LCD Soundsystem’s Dance yourself clean. As we didn’t have a singer, I said I’d sing as I like the song. We rehearsed six weeks before and we sounded terrible at first. We then experimented with bongos and cow bells. The night of House Music, we could have been at the O2, such was the atmosphere.”
I am in Bishop’s House, which is an important network of people to work with and to explore new interests with - I have friends in different year groups as a result of my House. We are trying to escape the reputation as being the rowdy house! A House with character will push things a little bit further. Sort of a nonconformist House. That is Forest. My favourite thing about Forest is the atmosphere - no snobbery, so diverse, no elitism - Forest produces different kinds of people.
I joined Forest in Year 7 from Charterhouse Prep School. Forest given me the confidence to pursue my interests, including to put on a comedy night. A lot of schools don’t give time off for this sort of thing.
I definitely want to just get involved in as many creative pursuits as possible. Be it writing or acting. I want to do stand up and do creative stuff. My favourite subject is English. My favourite book is Slaughterhouse Five, which is a very humbly written, personal book.
For House Music, we performed LCD Soundsytem’s Dance yourself clean. We didn’t have a singer. I play drums but Louis is a better drummer than me. I said I’ll do it as I like the song and I imitated lead singer James Murphy’s voice. We rehearsed six weeks before and we sounded terrible at first. Worked out certain parts and we experimented with bongos and cow bells. House Music is an amazing competition. -it could have been in the O2, such a great atmosphere. You are very nervous and the competitive aspect is daunting but it doesn’t matter as long as you do your best. You don’t really feel you are looked down on if you do a bad performance. You are encouraged to get involved. It’s so worth it in the end.
I hope to study English at Edinburgh and hopefully university is a way to meet people. The Fringe is up there too!
“I play cricket and the bassoon, but not at the same time!”
I joined Forest in Year 3.
I have found the School very good and better than other schools. Forest has helped me to reflect on what I am good at and where I might need to improve.
Joining the Senior School I was slightly worried of what was to come. I was hoping to do well. I had brothers here and it helped me. My eldest brother is in Year 13 and another one is in Year 11. It’s nice having brothers here I find it very good. For example, if I ever get lost in the School, they will show me where to go.
Houses are very important. You get to do so much. You have some competition. I am hoping to do public speaking next year. In Prep School, there was four Houses and a House boy and girl in Year 6. I applied and got it and I had to speak about why I should be House boy.
My favourite subject is science might be because I love learning about animals and plants in Biology. There are also good guidelines on homework and during the exam period, teachers give you revision sessions.
I play cricket and the bassoon, but not at the same time!
Whatever you are good, Forest teachers praise you for that and if you need to improve they support you.
“You can choose any topic as part of the Higher Project Qualification (HPQ) in Year 11. My HPQ was on intelligent extra-terrestrial life and if it exists in our galaxy - I came to the conclusion that it doesn’t...”
I joined Forest in Year 7 from St Mary’s Primary School in Chingford on a Music and Academic Scholarship.
I feel it is always good to challenge yourself. As part of the Forest Learner, we talk about learning characteristics like time-management, which I feel I do well. The Forest Learner has also shown me that I can improve my independent work skills.
We have been using digital devices in German when learning vocabulary. It also offers collaborative opportunities for learning. For my Higher Project Qualification (HPQ) I used Project Q. My HPQ was on intelligent extra- terrestrial life, and if it exists in our galaxy - I came to the conclusion that it doesn’t.
The Forest Portfolio highlights the different aspects of school life - for example for the cultural component, I did music and sports. Under leadership and volunteering, I became House Captain for cricket.
You can choose any topic as part of the HPQ. I also started astronomy in Year 10 as an extra outside class time. Although there is a lot of academic focus in this school it gives you so many opportunities outside the classroom. If you want to get involved outside the curriculum then Forest is for you.
From Year 7 – Year 11 when just with the boys, some things in class would not have been said if it was mixed. We are happy to try things out and get things wrong.
"I play hockey, football and also cricket at Forest. I feel that these co-curricular activities are preparing me for life after Forest by giving me the confidence to take on new challenges.”
I Joined Forest in Year 7 from Woodford Green Prep School. Out of all the schools, Forest was the school I knew most about because a boy from WGPS joined Forest in Year 3.
It was exciting meeting new people. I was really excited to know what the future would involve.
Sport is a massive part of me. House sports including football, hockey, cricket, swimming and athletics. Big non-sporting House events are House drama and music, and house public speaking. I am in Johnians. It’s the best House because of our determination and togetherness. I am in the centre of all year groups so I know everyone from Year 7–Year 13.
I am a hockey fan. I got involved in Year 7. We have managed to get to regionals in the last two years. I was keen to know how well how hockey would be at Forest and it turned out to be really good.
I play football and also cricket. The School promotes sports. These Co-Curricular activities are preparing me by getting me involved in lots of different things and by giving me confidence.
After Forest, I am going to do something in life that I enjoy. I would like to play hockey at a professional level. Playing for the School has helped me with playing county level and club level hockey.
“I am really interested in journalism. For Park News (a weekly newspaper for young people in the UK) I interviewed Tim Peake before he went to space.”
I joined Forest in Year 7 from Thomas Gamuel Primary School in Walthamstow. It was a little bit scary at first because I was the only pupil from my school to join Forest. I was excited too as having first looked at the website and watched the various Forest videos on the School’s YouTube channel, I felt more comfortable. Having come to an information morning, Forest certainly wasn’t as daunting as other schools as I felt there was a warm environment. It was a perfect match!
I knew Forest would be very diverse and multicultural because you could see this at the School’s information evenings. Seeing everyone get on so well at Forest made me feel very happy and more at ease.
I have been awarded many school badges which reflects the busyness of Forest, including my Forest Portfolio, my drama badge for the lower school play – Kes, as well as house badges, one of them being house monitor. I am part of Amnesty Society at School, we meet every Friday to discuss events around the world, run many fund raising events and sign various petitions which make a difference to people’s lives who live in fear and are deprived from their human rights.
I took part in House MasterChef in Year 7 making a dark chocolate and raspberry cheesecake for the dessert. It was really cool. Our House didn’t win but we came first for presentation.
I got my silver badge because I spoke to a large audience at the 11+ information morning. I was a little bit nervous before I spoke in the Girls’ School Hall, however, as soon as I went up to the podium, I felt very confident after speaking my first few words and I felt very calm. All the girls in the front row had smiles on their faces and said it made them feel very reassured about joining Forest.
My gold smiley badge was awarded for doing an assembly to the Prep School to inspire and encourage them to get out of their comfort zone.
I am really interested in journalism. For First News (a weekly paper for young people in the UK, which has now gone International) I am a Children’s Champion for the newspaper and for this, I had to create a five-minute video explaining my hobbies and passions including why I would make a great Children’s Champion. As a Children’s Champion I speak on behalf of all the children in Britain. It is a rather daunting role for a 13-year-old but I love it. I interviewed Tim Peake before he went to space to launch his brand new mission - Principia. I also went to the Houses of Parliament to take part in the ‘State of Britain’ children’s press conference. The conference took place in the Speaker’s House and it was very nice and it felt very official. We were all given different topics to talk about - I was given bullying. The audience was comprised of journalists, from the BBC, World Radio and The Independent. I was even invited to talk at the BBC Radio - London to be interviewed by Penny Smith and Chris Rogers. They were a lovely pair!
These are some of my many achievements since I joined Forest, where every student has the opportunity to thrive
"As part of the Forest Diploma, we have weekly Mindfulness sessions. When you are stressed, frustrated, annoyed, or angry with exams or homework, practicing Mindfulness really helps.”
I joined the Prep School in Year 3 so I have been here for 10 years.
Diploma is a mix of things that covers many areas that our normal subjects don’t cover. It allows you to do what you want, for example, through the Community Service component. I volunteered at St Mary’s School and at Mencap.
As part of the Competency component, I enjoyed life skills the most as I learnt about finance when at university and the right food to make a quick meal.
With Mindfulness, I didn’t know what it was beforehand. When you are stressed, frustrated, annoyed, angry you can go back to Mindfulness, put feet on the floor bum on the chair and close your eyes, slow your thoughts down for one minute, let your emotions and thoughts pass by but don’t dwell on them. Then you will feel calmer and less stressed.
Forest is different because it’s really diverse and doesn’t solely focus on academic work. I knew I would be happier being in a place where I could just dive into anything.
The support here is also really good. My Housemistress has known me since Year 7. You have a form tutor for two years. Houses are important, they are a big part of Forest. Having House families allow us to get to know the younger pupils. Allows you find out what they are enjoying at Forest and if they are struggling.
The Diamond Structure makes us unique. I chose to stay at Forest because of it. Quite nice to work with boys as they think differently to girls.
I absolutely love the fact that we are surrounded by the forest. It makes me feels good. Makes me feel happy, we have the Park, the Astroturf.
I want to go to university and study medicine.
I have been in two school plays, including Nicholas Nickelby. In House drama, we have much more close contact with each other and we can make decisions - I helped direct. There were only three of us in the play. I want to write my own play. I am currently doing speech and drama outside school going on to Grade 8 - this has helped me with communication skills and drama skills in school. I am also in the symphony orchestra - I am working towards Grade 8 violin.
It is often said that Forest pupils are as busy outside of the classroom as they are within it.
Keep up-to-date with the latest news, views and opinion from the classroom to cloisters.
The Informed Parent (TIP) is dedicated to providing news, information, and reassurance to Forest parents as their children move up the School