Forest Hill School

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Forest Hill School
Title grade.png
Established 1956
Type Secondary Comprehensive
Headteacher Mr Steve Brady
Location Forest Hill
London Borough of Lewisham
England Coordinates: 51°25′54″N 0°02′52″W / 51.4318°N 0.0477°W / 51.4318; -0.0477
Local authority Lewisham
DfE URN 100745 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Students 1360
Gender Boys (Girls in Sixth Form)
Ages 11–18
Houses Drake (Red)
Harvey (Yellow)
Reynolds (Light Blue)
Shackleton (Green)
Publication Our Voice
Website Forest Hill School Website

Forest Hill School is a comprehensive boys school located on Dacres Road, Forest Hill, in the London Borough of Lewisham. It opened in 1956. The school has very close ties with the girls' secondary, Sydenham School, which is located close by. The school is in federation with Sydenham girls school.

In 2005 the school was given Performing Arts status for its Drama, Dance, Music and Art courses and currently has a silver artsmark from the English Arts Council.[1][2] The school is now often oversubscribed and the catchment area has recently been reduced by around 200 yards. The school also has a prestigious Investor in People award.[3]

Form System[edit]

Each year group at the school is divided into forms. There are usually nine forms per year, organised by house. In years 7 through to 11 the forms are sorted into houses which the students keep from year 7, the house colours are Blue, Green, Red and Yellow. In years 10 and 11 there are separate teaching groups from the forms in all subjects. The sixth form at the school does not use the house system.


The four houses of Forest Hill are named after famous people of the 16th, 17th, 18th and early 20th centuries, each designated a colour which determines the colour of the trim on the school blazers worn by the pupils. While the house only initially determines which form the student is in, it forms the basis of sport teams throughout each pupil's career at the school. As such, friendly rivalries exist between each house especially at the end of every school year when students from year seven, eight, nine and ten take part in a sports day at the National Athletics Stadium at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre. The houses compete to win the most points to win the best sporting house award, and another award is given to the house who was the most supportive (noise, banners, house colours for shirts) that day.

Originally there were six houses, but two were later dropped: Browning and Newton. When there were six houses Browning's house colour was red, Drake's dark blue, Reynold's light blue and Newton's maroon.

Pupils are recognised by the house they are in and by the code such as R9F (Reynolds, year 9, French or S11G (Shackleton, Year 11, German).

The letters stand for:

  • F - these groups study French only, as their modern foreign language.
  • G - these groups study German only, as their modern foreign language.
  • Spanish is also a language taught at Forest Hill School but the tutor groups stay with the letters F or G in their tutor group name.
The new main building of Forest Hill School seen during redevelopment in September 2007

Student leadership[edit]

At the end of the Spring term, new Year 11 prefects are chosen, two from every form group. Leadership roles amongst the prefects include the Head, Deputy Heads and four House Captains for the student council. Other school prefects are divided between the roles of Duty Prefect and Form Prefect. The school also includes a school council which takes care of student issues and passes them on to the senior management and the headteacher. The school council works similar to the way that the form groups work, as two school councilors are chosen from each tutor group and in Year 9 a selected amount of them may become trainee prefects throughout year 10, this gives them a better chance to become prefects and house captains in Year 11.


Sports Hall[edit]

In 2006 the school's new £4.5M state-of-the-art sports facility was opened with lottery funding and help with Sport England and The FA Charter Standard Schools Program.[4] The facility features a large air conditioned sports hall with basketball nets, indoor cricket, indoor football markings and goals and a scoreboard. The other part of the gym includes a fitness suite, cafè, space for trampolining and table tennis, new changing room facilities with showers and also two of the old three gyms. The sports centre opened on top of Gym 3, but was also expanded towards Bampton Road on the other side of the school.

Main building[edit]

The new school during redevelopment

The school began a major redevelopment project in July 2006 which completed in January 2008.[5] The only part of the school which remains unchanged is the current art block, which was built recently. The rest of the school was entirely demolished and rebuilt from the ground up with the three floor plan changed to a higher four story building. The new school building now features a huge atrium which doubles up into a fully functioning theatre, two fully equipped drama rooms, a separate theatre, a fully equipped music department with a Recording studio and a Mac computer room. There is also a fully functional dance studio complete with sprung floors, mirrors, and a 600 watt speaker system, all of which enable the school to carry out its performing arts specialism.

Ofsted report[edit]

The school has received some very encouraging reviews from the school regulator Ofsted according to the 2004/05 prospectus.[6] The regulator commented on the school in general and also on the pupil/staff relationship saying that it was "very close". They also said "Pupils are known, valued, cared for and supported very efficiently in order that they can achieve well."

Notable people educated at Forest Hill School[edit]


External links[edit]