Any experiences of Forest School, E17?(18 Posts)
Any experiences of Forest School, E17?
DS is currently 3 and we would go for entry at 4+ in 2013.
How many applications are made per place?
We are not wealthy - are we likely to be the poor people and have DS's life made hell for not having more cash? <goodness knows how we would afford it emoticon>
Having been considering state until yesterday, you may be able to tell that this is all a bit of an afterthought/panic! Please help!
my DD is 3 and entry for her would be too at 4+ for Sept 2013 entry. I was told by the prep school five months ago that there are around just over 100 applicants for 32 places.
Like you we are not wealthy so will be one of the poorer parents if we decide to go for the 4+ entry. Did you go to the open morning a few weeks back? Their recent interim Inspectorate report has rated them outstanding and the headmistress, Ms Garner seems pleasant but as you say it will take a huge chunk of your salary month and the fees does not cover after school and holiday clubs!
What state options were you thinking of? We are still in a dilemma whether it is worth paying for private primary but with the state of the state primary in my local area, it does cause me some concern!
Well, I was in the location in th 80s and it had a real drug problem then.
I was offered a place after sitting the exam at 11 but we decided not to go.
Having said that, I can see why your considering it given the options, although I believe the primaries aren't too bad.
Interesting StarlightMaJesty. Did you go to another independent school instead? We are based in Waltham Forest so the primaries are not as good as the Redbridge ones and we have no chance of getting in faith schools which seems to perform and are rated better.
It's difficult to decide whether Forest is worth the money primary age. We love the grounds and facilities etc and as mentioned their recent report rated them highly but we ourselves need to decide whether paying a huge amount each month is worth it at primary age.
No. I went to a state school that prepped me well for secondary, but the secondary was experimental
and shite bu I'm not altogether convinced it wasn't largely influenced by it being an 80s education more than anything else.
i have two children at forest and every time i write a cheque for their fees i always close my eyes and say tomyselfd that this it is an investment. i really do like the school and they have vast activities to occupy them and even at primary age i can see a difference in them and their cousinn who attend state school. i always say to myself its not only academic but all round e.g sports- my son is in the cricket and football team and he is only 8. there are some things which need to be instilled in them at a young age which may be difficult after they are set in their ways. all i can say is go for it and hope for the best
Thanks Shalom - I suppose that answers my question about whether all the other parents are all terribly wealthy! I think we would have to do the same mantra as you!
Are there lots of extra costs on top of the fees?
Was there a lot of competition to get in at 4+?
to be honest my son did the 4+ but he was put on the waiting list and then there was a space as someone left.
there are not to many extras, as all the class trips seem to be inclusive in the fees as do afterschool activities like swimming club and lunch. you would have to pay if you made use of breakfast club or afterschool club-- we really only pay for music lessons. Ithink the extras start to kick in about year 4 when they go on residential trips, or go abraosd to France for the day.
i think they now have more classes in the pre prep i.e 4+ as to when my son sat the exam
My friend sends her children there and the extra activities/trips are more expensive as the kids get older. I am sure that there are quite a few parents who send their children there and are not wealthy, but people I know who send their kids there are either lawyers, business people, professional with high payed jobs. There are other good schools in the area - whereabout do you live?
oh and yes it is difficult to get in. have you thought of a plan b?
Oh crumbs! This was sort of my plan b! How difficult are we talking?
why don't you put your childs name down for other schools in the area. like St aubyns even though they only go to age 13, Bancrofts, chigwell- though that may be far out. i cant remeber other ones from the top of my head. but did quite a few that even after he got into forest they were calling him up for assessments.
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Our daughter attended Forest from Year 2 right through to Year 13. We looked at the 'Big 3" in the area and attended several entrance days at them. Our overriding feeling was that Forest was more welcoming and open in what it wanted to provide for the children, rather than what to make and mould them into. Nurturing rather than controlling. The entrance exam then at 6 (they were just opening the prep school up fully) for our daughter was hard but made fun and interesting ... according to our daughter. I think there were 16 taken initially ... 8 boys and 8 girls but this was increased the following year but not by many. Form teachers changed annually and the school was very keen to ensure there was excellent communication with parents. Our daughter thoroughly enjoyed her time in prep school, and had wonderful opportunities to travel, participate in sport, music and drama in addition to the usual academics. We were certainly not "well-off"and found things hard but I have no regrets at all in choosing Forest as our first choice for primary education.
Our daughter thrived on friendly competition, studied hard and got involved with true Forest life and we were fortunate that she earned a scholarship to attend Forest Girls School. (Yes, scholarships and bursaries are available to able, internal pupils).
The diamond formation at Forest worked really well and gave her opportunities to mix and yet not be distracted during lessons. Her teachers all seemed to really want her to do well, were honest about her progress and were keen to challenge her by extending her further but within achievable boundaries, albeit some were easier than others. She was able to continue involvement in many areas of sport, and extra-curricular subjects and was not deterred at all by long days because of these. So many of the teachers gave so much of their time, encouragement and their expertise that, even now, we look back and remember what a difference they made to our daughter's development, both academically and personally. She became Head Girl, undertaking many additional responsibilities to her studies, but revelling in the challenges they all presented.
Our daughter achieved 11 A☆ GCSEs, 4 A grades at AS and 3 A2 all A☆/A. She got these through her own hard work but Forest gave her so much to assist her obtaining these. As a mum I look back with nothing but fond memories of her schooldays and an extremely deep appreciation of what Forest School and all its staff provided for our daughter. I can honestly say we feel we made an excellent choice in Forest and have no regrets at all about the thoroughly-rounded education our daughter received.
Also, as far as the query about peers from richer families, I can only say that there was no issue whatsoever. Her friends came from very varied backgrounds, and the friendships have endured to current day despite far-flung university choices and careers (and differing family wealth). This only adds in my opinion to how Forest schools its students.
I know a fair few people who either went there years ago or who have children there now. I have never heard anything bad about it. It sounds like a great all round school although I doubt easy to get into. Dd goes to Chigwell which is also a great school. A little further out but definitely worth the effort. Best of luck
We found that some parents who had chosen another prep school for up to 13 and who wanted their child to start Forest at 11 were put in a very difficult position, pressurised by the "possibility" that a place would not be held at that prep school for their child in the event they did not get in to Forest.
I agree the cost is a major factor for many average income families like us but as "Shalom" said, if you can manage it then go for it.We also saw a difference between our daughter and some of her state-educated friends and even if you can only manage early years to 11, it gives your child a head-start if you want them to try for secondary scholarships or bursaries or even for a selective state school.
It does get much more expensive in Forest secondary school. We would not have been able to afford the fees and all other costs if our daughter had not got her scholarship/bursary but the fact she went there initially gave her the academic advantage gained through the excellent teaching to achieve it. It was well worth the outlay.
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