|Motto||aut viam inveniam aut faciam - Find a way, or make a way|
|Type||Independent day and boarding|
|Religion||Church of England|
|DfE URN||115392 Tables|
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.
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. 
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.
- Eric Bailey OBE, journalist, broadcaster and colonial administrator
- George Baker OBE CBE, High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea (1974–1977)
- Peter Beckingham, Ambassador to the Philippines since 2005
- Prof Sir John Boardman (born 1927), classical archaeologist
- Sir Michael Bonallack, golfer
- Prof Percy Brandon, Professor of Electrical Engineering from 1971-84 at the University of Cambridge
- Ken Campbell, actor
- Edward Caswall, classical scholar and writer of hymns, music master at Chigwell.
- Peter Collecott CMG, Ambassador to Brazil from 2004-8
- Richard Collins FRCS, Vice-President, Royal College of Surgeons 2010
- Tim Collins, Conservative politician, MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale from 1997–2005
- William Cotton, Governor of the Bank of England, who famously set fire to the Headmaster’s garden.
- Sir Richard Dales KCVO, CMG, former Ambassador to Norway from 1998–2002
- Paul Farmer (1961–68), former Headmaster of London comprehensive schools, including Dick Sheppard School; developed use of pop music in schools, including the first CSE examination in pop music
- Pete Flint, Internet Entrepreneur, Founder of Trulia
- Vice-Adm Sir Robert Gerken KCB CBE, Captain of the Fleet from 1978–81
- Sir Arthur Grimble, colonial governor
- Sir Austin Bradford Hill, pioneering medical researcher who discovered the link between smoking and cancer
- Steriker Hare, cricketer
- Sir Ian Holm, actor
- Anthony Hossack (1882–1886) England footballer of the 1890s.
- David Landsman OBE, Ambassador to Greece since 2009, and to Albania from 2001-3
- Prof David Matthews, Professor of Diabetes Medicine since 2002 at the University of Oxford
- William Penn, Quaker leader and founder of the state of Pennsylvania in the United States of America
- Sir David Pepper, Director of GCHQ from 2003-8
- Prof James B. Ramsey, Professor of Economics at New York University
- Timothy Rollinson CBE, Director-General of the Forestry Commission since 2004, and President from 2000-2 of the Institute of Chartered Foresters
- Rt Rev Thomas Joseph Savage
- Ben Shephard, television presenter
- Christopher Shaw, 20th Century Poet and author of the Skinner Chronicles.
- Horace Smith, poet
- Michael Marshall Smith, novelist
- Jordan Spence, footballer, West Ham 2010
- Rt Rev Tim Stevens, Bishop of Leicester since 1999
- Col Bob Stewart MP DSO
- Sir Edward Albert Stone, Chief Justice of Western Australia, 1901–06
- Michael Thomas, former Attorney General of Hong Kong
- Sir Colin Thornton-Kemsley, MP for Kincardine and Western Aberdeenshire from 1939–50 and North Angus and Mearns from 1950–64
- Colin Wilcockson, English scholar and Emeritus Fellow of Pembroke, Cambridge
- Sir Bernard Williams, philosopher and Provost of King's College, Cambridge
- Prof Nicholas Williams, scholar of the Irish and Cornish languages.
- Timothy Williams, crime novelist
- Robert James, headmaster 1939–1946, later High Master of St Paul's School and headmaster of Harrow School
- Anthony Little, headmaster 1990-1997, now headmaster of Eton College.
- James Hawkins, deputy headmaster 1996-2000, now headmaster of Harrow School.
- William Henry Monk, music master, and author of the music to Abide With Me.
- Chigwell School website
- Old Chigwellians' website
- archive mentioning tunnel
- Profile on the ISC website