Chigwell School

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Chigwell School
Chigwell School - - 93130.jpg
Motto aut viam inveniam aut faciam - Find a way, or make a way
Established 1629
Type Independent day and boarding
Religion Church of England
Headmaster Michael Punt
Founder Samuel Harsnett
Location Chigwell
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DfE URN 115392 Tables
Students 730~
Ages 4–18
Houses (Senior School)
(Junior School)
Stuarts, Tudors, Hanovers.

Chigwell School is a co-educational day and boarding independent school in Chigwell, in the Epping Forest district of Essex, England. It consists of a junior school (ages 7–11), senior school (ages 11–16) and sixth form. A pre-preparatory department for children aged 4–7 is planned for the 2013-14 academic year.[1]

The school is situated in 70 acres of land between Epping Forest and Hainault Forest, ten miles from London. It is a member of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC) and the junior school is a member of 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 Church House, Harsnett's, 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.


Chigwell School dates back to 1619 when a schoolhouse was erected on the site. The first headmaster Peter Mease was appointed in 1623. It was formally founded in 1629 by Samuel Harsnett, Archbishop of York and Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University, and began with 16 "poor, clever" scholars.

In 1868, the school was split into two sections. The English section for local children studying arithmetic, reading and writing was housed in a building behind the King's Head public house, which was mentioned in Charles Dickens' novel Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of 'Eighty. The Latin section (for Latin scholars only) remained in the original building. Rather unusual for a boys' school at that time, in 1873, it started a bursary programme for girls to attend other schools.

Following a trend set by many HMC schools (which were mainly all-boys), the sixth form section became coeducational and its first girls were admitted in 1975. In 1997, coeducation was extended to the rest of the school. [2]

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.

Notable alumni

Notable masters


  1. A prep school for Chigwell
  2. School History
  3. "Teams Steriker Hare played for". CricketArchive. Retrieved 27 October 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links