Forest Preparatory School for boys and girls was founded in 1924 by the Clegg sisters. Originally the school was in a large house called ‘The Laurels’ across the road from the present site. As the school flourished, so it became necessary to move to larger premises. Oak Cottage, a gentleman’s residence with its stable and large grounds, seemed the ideal place to house the growing school and the move was soon completed.
There is a strong tradition of houses and the children are placed in one when they start. The houses - Jordon, Chorlton, Mimwood and Kersal - are named after significant events in the lives of the founders. In fact, Mimwood was the house name of the uncle who bought Forest School (then known as Oak Cottage). Jordon was the surname of the very first two pupils enrolled. Since that time, the lower floor of the stable block has been converted to provide an assembly hall and the upper floor has provided further room for classrooms. Two additional purpose built blocks have been added. A resource and music room was also added, as music is a strong element of the children’s lives.
A new computer suite was created, along with a library, in the main house. Forest began as a country school close to the village of Timperley. It provided pleasant and peaceful surroundings for its pupils to pursue their studies. Now it is situated in the centre of a quiet residential area within easy access of Manchester, but its large grounds still retain that country charm.
In 2014, Forest Preparatory School joined Bellevue Education – a leading provider of education consisting of twelve schools in the UK, a school in Switzerland and a school in Qatar. Since joining the group, the school has benefitted in a wide variety of ways - from the sharing of best practice with other schools in the group, to investment in teaching, learning space and technology.
In April 2021 it was announced that current Deptuy Head and Year 5 Teacher, Mr Graeme Booth, would take on the Headship at Forest Prep. A former Forest pupil, who joined the school (age 3) in Kindergarten is excited to take the helm from September.
Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have seen a significant increase in the skills and knowledge that children hold with regards to ICT and computing. Our pupils are confident when trailing new systems, are eager to utilise technology to further enhance their knowledge and they enjoy accessing computing to further develop their love of learning. With this in mind, and with the fact that, for our pupils, computing will be everywhere in their adult world, the children will no longer have a separate, stand-alone ICT lesson from September. Computing and ICT will be integrated into the main classroom lessons, incorporating a ‘digital literacy approach’ that has cross-curricular links to all subjects. As a traditional school, the grounded values of traditional methods will still very much remain adhered to and all our current methods of teaching will remain exactly the same.
Due to the changes with our ICT provision, we have the opportunity to create a new, vibrant space that will allow our pupils to further develop their love for learning and skill set. From September, the current ICT Suite will be transformed into a new Art Studio for all pupils to receive specialist weekly Art and Design Technology lessons. This will allow pupils to have the space to develop their skills and understanding of art in a purpose built room, which our present classrooms, especially Upper School, don’t currently allow. The Art Studio will offer a space where the children can be creative, working on more detailed projects with a wider range of resources and through a more enriching style of techniques.
September 2022 saw the arrival of the school's new Nursery building (formally Year 2 classroom). The Nursery children have a purpose built indoor and outdoor area, including specialist toileting facilities.
It was announced in October 2022 that the Nursery provision would be opening 48 weeks of the year from January 2023. This facility will also be accessible for the Kindergarten class to attend.
In 2024 the school will celebrate its centenary year- watch this space for a range of exciting and celebratory activities we have planned for our special anniversary year!