Ofsted Inspection categorises The Forest School 'GOOD' (July 2021)

6th September 2021

The Forest School, Winnersh, wholeheartedly welcomed the recent HMI Section 5 full inspection from Ofsted on 6th and 7th July 2021. Ofsted inspected the school 3 times in 2021. The first visit was a remote Section 8 Monitoring Inspection, 30th March; the second 29th June which was an in school face-to-face Section 8 Monitoring Inspection, where the inspectors deemed a full inspection was required as they felt the judgement no longer fitted with the school, they returned and conducted the third, a Section 5 full inspection conducted by 3 members of Her Majesty’s Inspectors for Ofsted on 6th and 7th of July.

After two days of rigorous inspection, I am delighted to announce that Her Majesty’s Inspectors concluded that the school is ‘Good’ in all areas.  These areas are:  the quality of education, the effectiveness of leadership and management, personal development, behaviour and welfare, 6th Form study programmes and safeguarding.  The inspection process included: in class observations, deep dives in English, Mathematics, History and Geography, meetings with pupils, staff, leaders and trustees as well as the consideration of 178 responses to Ofsted’s online survey and a thorough analysis of Parent View (including 136 free text responses) and both pupil and staff questionnaires.

Ofsted said, “Pupils at The Forest School understand that learning is important. They apply themselves to their work, showing great tenacity. Teachers have high expectations of what each pupil should achieve. They make sure that pupils understand and remember what they learn.”

“Parents are very complimentary about what the school provides for their children. They value the ambition and care that staff have for their pupils. One parent wrote, ‘Since my son joined the school, he has enjoyed every moment. The teachers seem to really want our children to succeed. This is typical of parents’ opinions about the school“.

Parents’ survey states overwhelming support for the school. Responses from parents show: 96% of parents agree, ‘My child is happy at this school.’

The Forest School is an all-boys school from age 11-16 and has a vibrant mixed sixth form that welcomes both male and female students. Situated in Winnersh, Wokingham, the school is well served by local transport links and has excellent teaching facilities. The school has a strong reputation for sporting prowess and the wide range of extra-curricular activities encourages students to stay healthy. The school has a successful partnership with Reading Football Club, RAMS Rugby Academy, Reading and Bracknell Athletics Clubs and Ducklings to Dolphins swimming club. Bi annually, students take part in World Challenge expeditions and annually students take part in Bronze, Silver and Gold Duke of Edinburgh programmes. GCSE results have consistently shown excellent progress and are above average (when compared to boys) locally and nationally. The last two years have shown stable results, even amidst Covid related education. There are 25 A level and vocational course choices and students go on to university, apprenticeship or find employment.

Headteacher, Shirley Austin, commented,

“I am incredibly proud of the journey we have taken over the last four years, since I arrived. Our families have engaged with my vision and been fantastic. Those families deserve this recognition alongside the staff who have worked with me.  I have firmly believed that we have been an excellent school for some time; with exceptional teaching and learning options, superb student facilities and a committed, professional body of staff who engage and challenge students. Through every area of school we instil the ASPIRE ethos; we want students’ to flourish, be challenged and enjoy their seven year educational journey at The Forest School. Our community is cohesive, supportive and most of all incredibly ambitious to establish the best outcomes for all. We ensure we communicate regularly with parents and students about frameworks for teaching and learning expectations. I am delighted that Ofsted visited us to validate what we believed. “

Ofsted said, “The personal development of pupils is carefully considered. The school’s ASPIRE ethos runs through all aspects of the work on character development.”

“Leaders’ ambitions for pupils are high.”

“Learning in lessons is routinely calm and purposeful. Pupils respect and support each other in their learning.”

“Current attendance figures are above the usual national average. Sixth form attendance is also high. Leaders have tracked carefully the destinations of Year 11 and year 13 and provided support to pupils where needed.”

Please click here to read the latest Ofsted section 5 full inspection, conducted on 6th and 7th July 2021

The Forest School community engenders aspirational, safe, prepared, independent, respectful and excellent young men and women who are proud of their school and proud of their achievements. We look forward to meeting with you, if you would like to arrange a visit to The Forest School please contact Mrs J Blaney, Ms Austin’s PA, via

The Forest Open Evening this year takes place on 14th September 2021; book your visit via our website and our Open Mornings commence Monday, 20th September 2021 up until 22nd October 2021

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