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Forest School 11 plus guide

By Atom | Jul 3, 2023, 2:56 PM

Forest School, London

Are you considering Forest School for your child? We've collated everything you need to know about entry to Year 7, including key dates and what's covered on the entrance exam.

About Forest School

Forest School is a large private day school for children aged 4 to 18 located on the edge of Epping Forest in northeast London. The school has a unique diamond structure. Boys and girls are taught together from the ages of 4 to 7, separately from 7–16, and then together again in the sixth form.

The school has a proactive approach to the promotion of mental health and wellbeing. A partnership with with Place2Be provides counselling to pupils, and every member of the teaching staff receives Mental Health First Aid Training. Pupils also have wellbeing lessons, PDM (Personal Decision Making), and drop-down days, alongside other mental health initiatives.

Forest School is committed to community collaboration and partnerships. It supports Hackney Empire's Creative Futures programme and provides academic and pastoral mentoring for students at the London Academy of Excellence.

  • Headteacher: Marcus Cliff Hodges

  • Type of school: private day

  • Address: Forest School, Snaresbrook, London E17 3PY

  • London borough: Waltham Forest

  • Age range and gender: 7–18 (boys and girls)

  • Number of pupils: 1,400+

  • National league table rank (Sunday Times Parent Power): 97

  • A level results: 85% A*–B

  • GCSE results: 86.3% 9–7

Key info for 11+ admissions

  • Admissions contact: [email protected], 020 8520 1744 (option 4)

  • Open day: Saturday 23rd September 2023. Book online

  • Overview of entry process: entrance exam, interview, collaborative task and school reference

  • Registration deadline: Friday 24th November 2023 at midday

  • Assessment date: Friday 5th January 2024

Forest School fees and financial assistance

The current fees at Forest School are £8,185 per term. Fees include the cost of lunches, resources, off-site visits (excluding residential trips) and co-curricular activities.

Financial assistance

Forest School is able to provide means-tested financial assistance to families whose children pass the entrance process but would not otherwise be able to afford the school fees. Means-tested financial assistance is available through:

  • Assisted places: for pupils who perform well in the admissions process, do not qualify for a scholarship, and cannot afford to pay full school fees. Up to 100% of fees can be covered (depending on need)

  • Bursaries: for pupils who perform well in the admissions process, have been offered a scholarship, and cannot afford to pay full school fees. Up to 100% of fees can be covered (depending on need)

Forest School also provides a sibling discount (5% of basic fees) and a 5% discount to children of clergy.


Children applying for 11 plus entry to Forest School may also apply for a scholarship. These are awards based on talent in a particular subject and are not means-tested. Scholarships can provide up to 20% fee remission, but are normally awarded as a smaller percentage of between 5% and 15%.

Scholarships at 11 plus entry are available in the areas of academia, art, drama, music, and sport.

Forest School term dates

The term dates at Forest School for 2023–24 are:

  • Michaelmas term (autumn): 4th September – 15th December 2023

  • Half term: 23rd October – 3rd November 2023

  • Lent term (spring): 9th January – 22nd March 2024

  • Half term: 12th–16th February 2024

  • Trinity term (summer): 15th April – 5th July 2024

  • Half term: 27th–31st May 2024

Forest School 11 plus admissions process

Each year, Forest School welcomes around 140 new boys and girls to Year 7. Children from external schools join children moving up from Forest Preparatory School, resulting in eight form groups.

1. Visit the school

If you're thinking about Forest School for your child, it's a good idea to attend an open event first. Open days are a great opportunity to see the whole school in action, including talking to senior staff, visiting pupils in classrooms, seeing what co-curricular activities are available, and touring the school facilities.

Find out more about upcoming open events and book a place on the school website.

2. Register for 11 plus entry

Once you have decided to proceed with your child's application, you will need to complete the 11 plus registration form. A non-refundable registration fee of £150 applies.

The deadline for submitting the form for entry in 2024 is Friday 24th November 2023 at midday.

3. 11 plus exam

All children who are registered for 11 plus entry to Forest School will take the entrance exam on Friday 5th January 2024.

The exam is divided into three parts. Parts 1 and 2 are taken online and are administered by Atom Assessments. Assessments produced by Atom aim to improve typical entrance exams in English, maths and reasoning by providing an accessible, challenging, and enjoyable experience.

Part 1 of the exam takes 60 minutes to complete. Questions are adaptive, meaning they become more difficult or less difficult depending on how your child is performing. This ensures children see questions at the right difficulty level for them, so they are stretched but not to the point where it becomes demotivating.

This is broken down into individually-timed sections:

  • Maths: 25 minutes. The first section will test your child’s understanding of national curriculum concepts. The second section has more playful questions that assess your child's ability to reason, solve problems and adapt to unexpected situations.

  • English: 15 minutes. Children will be tested on their comprehension of a non-fiction text, and will be assessed in spelling and grammar. Examiners will be looking for skills such as retrieval, drawing influences, and understanding the meaning of words in context.

  • Verbal reasoning: 10 minutes. Children will be assessed on their ability to reason and solve problems with written information. This includes tests on advanced vocabulary and language use, pattern-spotting, making connections to identify rules, thinking critically, and using logic.

  • Non-verbal reasoning: 10 minutes. Children will be tested on their ability to identify patterns and think logically. Questions will require your child to analyse visual information, identify and continue patterns, and visualise changes in 2D and 3D shapes.

Forest School 11+ familiarisation

Take a look at the types of questions your child might see in Parts 1 and 2 of the Forest School 11 plus entrance exam.

Let's go!
A non-verbal reasoning question in a Forest School 11 plus familiarisation test

4. Interview and collaborative task

All registered children will additionally have an interview, and take part in a collaborative task, on the assessment day.

The interview will be held with a senior member of school staff and will take up to 20 minutes. The focus is on personal development, giving the school a more holistic assessment of your child and an understanding of whether the school is the right place for them to grow and thrive.

The collaborative task is a group activity with other applicants. Children will be assessed on their ability to work with others to solve problems and consider possible solutions. Children will present their ideas at the end of the task.

5. Offers

You will find out the outcome of your child's application to Forest School on Thursday 15th February 2024.

Children who are offered a place will be invited to taster days and tours of the school on Wednesday 21st and Friday 23rd February. The deadline for accepting an offer is 10am on Monday 4th March 2024.

Top tips to prepare for the Forest School 11+

Forest School assesses a variety of subjects for 11 plus entry, including content which is not traditionally taught on the national curriculum. Here are our top tips to help your child prepare for the selection process.

It can be tempting to jump straight into practice papers to prepare for school exams. However, this is not an effective way to learn and can cause children to feel demotivated.

Your child should have a good understanding of the content they’ve been taught in Year 5 before testing their knowledge with practice papers. Using a ‘little and often’ approach when recapping content is key, as our brains encode new information more effectively when dealing with smaller ‘chunks’ of information. Experts recommend study sessions should last no longer than 30 minutes for children aged 10–11.

Exam support & free resources

Looking for more information? Visit the Atom blog to find out more about entrance exams, learn how to develop key skills, and download helpful resources.

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