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Chigwell School is an English co-educational independent school/public school in Chigwellmarker, 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.

The school is situated between Epping Forest and Hainault Forest, ten miles from Londonmarker. It is represented on the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference , the Incorporated Association of Preparatory Schools , and the Haileybury Group of independent schools.

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

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.

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 - e.g. a Pennians group may usually congregate in Penn's, but many will be from houses other than Penn's.

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; Politics and Classics Block
  • 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
  • Grange Court (boys boarding house)
  • Two girls boarding houses (Sandon Lodge and Hainault House)
  • Headmasters House


Some famous Old Chigwellians





Notable masters



External links




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