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The Forest School, Winnersh

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Forest School
Robin Hood Lane

, ,
RG41 5NE

Coordinates51°25′54″N 0°52′40″W / 51.43174°N 0.87773°W / 51.43174; -0.87773
MottoEsse Quam Videri
FounderWalter G. Jackson
Department for Education URN139853 Tables
ChairAnna McMenamin
Age11 to 18
HousesAshdown, Bramshill, Kielder, Langdale, New, Sherwood, Windsor
Colour(s)Blue and gold
Formerly namedForest Grammar School
Gender of sixth formMixed

The Forest School is an all-boys secondary school and mixed sixth form with academy status, located in Winnersh, Berkshire, England. It is located on Robin Hood Lane, the B3030 road, next to Winnersh railway station.[1] Since September 2012, the Forest has educated academy players from local Football League Championship football club Reading FC.[2]


The Forest School began as Woodley Hill Grammar School in 1957, becoming the Forest Grammar School. The school was founded by Walter G. Jackson (also the mayor of Wokingham in 1953[3]), the first headmaster of the school. Jackson retired in 1968, to be replaced by J. Piercy.

In November 1965, the Nestlé company donated an Elliott 405 computer to the school, which was a first generation valve computer. The BBC science television programme Tomorrow's World broadcast a story on 5 February 1969 about how the school used this computer to teach the pupils.[4][5]

Houses during the grammar period were named after local watercourses,   Kennet,   Thames,   Enborne, and   Loddon.

The Forest School became a comprehensive school in 1974. It has been a Business and Enterprise College since 2003 and was appointed by the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust as the "Enterprise Hub School for Berkshire" in 2006. On 1 July 2013 Forest School formally converted to academy status.


In 2006 the school's under 15s (U15) football team won the National Cup. In 2007 the school's under 16s (U16) football team were runners up in the National Cup, losing narrowly to the opposition. In 2009 the school's under 14s (U14) football team were runners up in the National Cup, losing 2-1 to Audenshaw School. The match took place at Manchester United's Old Trafford Stadium in front of over 600 Forest School supporters.[citation needed]

The school has also produced several rugby players,[citation needed] the most notable being Rhodri McAtee, ex-England school boy who is now consistently selected for the Welsh International Sevens team, whilst playing for Cornish Pirates in National League One.

House system

There are currently seven houses at The Forest School, all named after English forests. Students are given a house upon entry in Year 7, and any future siblings are placed in the same house. The houses were assigned animals in September 2015.

The seven houses and their animals are:

  Ashdown Antelope

  Bramshill Bear

  Kielder Kite

  Langdale Lion

  New Nighthawk

  Sherwood Shark

  Windsor Wolf

Pastoral care

The school offers pastoral care to all students. Whenever possible, students keep the same Form Tutor and Head of Year throughout Years 7-11. The school currently has a 'Drop In Centre' which consists of the Pastoral Support Officer's office, confidentiality boxes[clarification needed], support rooms and the school counsellor's office for each year group. A group of trained mentors are also on hand in the area before school and at break and lunchtimes to offer peer support to students.[citation needed]

Business and Enterprise specialism

As a Business and Enterprise specialist, the school encourages pupils to develop their own businesses. Students are involved in managing a business, talking to potential clients, producing quotes and providing goods and services to both internal and external clients.

Forest Enterprises

Forest Enterprises is a group of student-run businesses. All of the divisions are managed by students.

Forest Design is a graphic design company run by selected students that create graphics for customers clients both within and outside of the school. Examples of well-known clients are Wokingham Borough Council and BBC Radio Berkshire.

Each year, a small number of Year 11 students are selected to create the annual Year 11 yearbook. The students are responsible for all aspects of the creation of the yearbook, including the design, pricing, advertising and printing stages.[citation needed]

Student Deaths

Tragically, in addition to the murder of a lab technician in 2006 and the suicide of Mr. Joseph Hollier, the History teacher and Deputy head on 19 January 2012, several students have sadly died young.

  • 2009 - Paddy Higgins fell off a cliff drunk while in Newquay, Cornwall on holiday with friends. He was 16 years old and had been celebrating his GCSEs.
  • 2012 - Stuart Craig was a passenger in a car driven by his friend Jack Alison from the nearby Emmbrook School who was also killed when a drunk driver ran a red light at a crossroads in Winnersh about 100 yards from the school. He died in hospital a week later aged 19.
  • 2017 - Tom Stead died from a rare form of Bone cancer on Boxing Day in 2017, he was 19 years old.
  • 2019 - Luke Freeman similarly to Paddy Higgins mentioned above died after falling off a balcony while on holiday with friends in Costa Brava, Spain. He was on the drug ecstasy and was 19 years old.
  • 2019 - Matt Sinclair a professional footballer for Chesham United died from undisclosed illness aged 21.

Previous enterprises

Forest Lockers, formerly Rentalocker, was an internal company that offered metal lockers around the school for use of the students as a replacement for the old wooden lockers that were very run down and insecure. Initially run by its creator, student Wing-Hou Chan, as an entry for the Tycoon in Schools competition, it now owns all of the lockers in the school. Forest Lockers ended operation in September 2015 after Chan left Forest. The school now manages all of the lockers internally.[6]

Forest Tech is a company specialising in web and app design service for internal and external clients. It has now created a website for a local sports council, an app for the school and many other tools used by students.

Forest Sixth

Forest Sixth Building in construction during Easter 2015
Forest Sixth Building in construction during Easter 2015

The school won a bid in early 2014 to build a new sixth form centre. The planning application was approved on Monday 19 January 2015. The building has ten classrooms, ICT work space, a lecture theatre and a cafe.[7]

Significant events

  • Caretaker murders wife and leaves body on school grounds (2006).[8]
  • Mary Sandell calls for funding; "6 million" short; gains national attention (2015).[9]

Subjects taught

Subject Taught at KS3 Taught at GCSE Taught at A level
Art Compulsory Yes Yes
Biology Part of Science Compulsory Yes
Business Studies No Yes Yes
Chemistry Part of Science Compulsory Yes
Computer Science Yes Yes (and ICT) Yes
Design Technology Compulsory Yes^ Yes
Drama Compulsory Yes Yes
Economics No Yes Yes
English Compulsory Compulsory Yes
French Compulsory Yes No
Geography Compulsory Yes Yes
History Compulsory Yes Yes
Law No No Yes
Mathematics* Compulsory Compulsory Yes
Media Studies No Yes Yes
Music Compulsory Yes No
Photography No Yes Yes
Psychology No No Yes
Physical Education Compulsory Yes Yes
Physics Part of Science Compulsory Yes
PSHE Yes Yes Yes
Religious Education Compulsory Compulsory Not timetabled
Sociology No Yes Yes
Spanish Yes Yes No
Travel & Tourism No No Yes

* Further Maths is optional at A Level. ^ Students can opt for one of the following: Electronics, Graphics or Product Design.

Notable former pupils

The Forest School

Forest Grammar School


  1. ^ "The Forest School, Winnersh". Geograph. Retrieved 21 January 2011.
  2. ^ "Academy deal done". Reading FC. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Higgins, Chris (4 June 2017). "Watch Nellie, the British School Computer of 1969". Mental Floss. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  5. ^ Nellie: School Computer. Tomorrow's World. BBC. 5 February 1969. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  6. ^ Forest Lockers | The Forest School
  7. ^ Sixth Form | The Forest School
  8. ^ "Caretaker guilty of wife's murder". BBC. 6 November 2006. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  9. ^ Vashisht, Rahul (26 March 2015). "Winnersh school calls for 'fairer funding'". getreading. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  10. ^ Martin Chalkley
  11. ^ Ivor Goodson

External links

This page was last edited on 27 March 2021, at 20:50
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