Chigwell School

Chigwell School
Chigwell School
Chigwell School - - 93130.jpg
Motto aut viam inveniam aut faciam
Established 1629
Type Independent School
Religion Church of England
Headmaster Michael Punt
Founder Samuel Harsnett
Location Chigwell
Students 730
Ages 7–18
Houses (Senior School):
Caswall's     , Lambourne     , Penn's      and Swallow's     
(Junior School) Windsors, Stuarts, Tudors, Hanovers.

Coordinates: 51°37′30″N 0°04′52″E / 51.6250°N 0.0810°E / 51.6250; 0.0810

Chigwell School is an English co-educational independent school/public school in Chigwell, in the Epping Forest district of Essex. It was founded in 1629 by Samuel Harsnett, a former Archbishop of York (even though G. Stott suggests it was more likely founded around 1620-3). There are around 730 pupils aged between 7 and 18 years. Up until 1997 girls were only admitted in the 6th form. However the school is now entirely co-educational from the preparatory school to the sixth form.

The school is situated in 70 acres of land between Epping Forest and Hainault Forest, ten miles from London. It is represented on the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC) and the Independent Association of Preparatory Schools (IAPS).

The school motto is aut viam inveniam aut faciam, a Latin phrase which translates literally as Either I shall find a way or I will make one".

There are four day houses, named Caswalls', Lambourne, Penn's, and Swallow's. The boarding houses are Grange Court, Sandon Lodge, and Hainault House, although all boarders are members of one of the day houses. In the junior school there are another four houses, named Windsors, Hanovers, Stuarts, and Tudors.


Senior House system

The senior school is primarily built around the four day houses. All students and most teachers are in one of the four houses. Each house will have a Housemaster/mistress with different year groups organised split into form groups tutors arranged from the teachers assigned to the House. Each House has a main common room, with most Houses having a separate Sixth Form room. Penn's and Swallow's have several separate rooms. Pupils will attend Call Over in their House's main common room every morning, and will sit in Chapel, Church and School Assemblies in their House groups. Each House has a budget, which usually is spent on things such as entertainment (e.g. pool tables), maintenance (e.g. mending damaged furniture) and House Music (coordinated costumes).

Furthermore, pupils wear ties which note their House and age group. The senior school tie has a black background with diagonal stripes of the House's colour. In the senior school these diagonal stripes are thick but become thinner in the Sixth Form, and for House Prefects (in the Middle Sixth) are thin lines on a black background.

There are many inter-house competitions throughout the year, such as inter-house football, cross-country and debating. These competitions culminate in the presentation of two trophies at the end of each academic year to the house that has won the most sporting and academic competitions. However, the House system is not inflexible. During breaks and lunch, pupils will frequently spend their time in other Houses. Groups inside years will often socialise in a particular place in a particular House.

School buildings

  • Main School Building; containing
    • Lambourne, Caswalls' and Swallow's Houses
    • Burford Room
    • Dining Hall
    • Swallow Room
    • Swallow Library
    • Most school offices and reception
  • Penn's House
  • Economics Block
  • History and RS Block
  • New Hall Building; containing
    • New Hall (main school hall, used for important events and assemblies)
    • Most academic subject classrooms for senior school
  • Science Block
  • Sports Hall
  • Gym
  • Radley's Yard; Chaplain's House
  • Walde Music School
  • Drama Centre
  • Three junior school blocks containing most junior school classrooms
  • ICT block
  • Art and Design block
  • Two Cricket Pavilions
  • Swimming Pool
  • Chapel
  • School Shop
  • Medical Centre
  • Harsnett's House, Boy's Boarding House
  • Church House, Boy's Boarding House
  • Two girls boarding houses (Sandon Lodge and Hainault House)
  • Headmasters House
  • Wilson Building (Modern, Foreign Languages)

Notable Old Chigwellians

Notable masters


External links

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