Excluding a folder from laravel not working with mod_rewite


I am trying to get a folder to excluded from Laravel. I have written an entry in to .htaccess which includes

RewriteCond $1 !^(forum)

I have restarted the Apache service but it is not ignoring that folder if I try to visit it in the browser. I am just getting the standard route not found error from the laravel framework.

Does anyone have any suggestions?