The focal point of pupils' lives in the Senior School is the house. There are four day houses: Caswalls', Lambourne, Penn's and Swallow's. These are both the centre for pastoral support and the place where competitions, sporting and social activities are organised.
Caswalls' is named after five distinguished brothers who attended Chigwell School in the 1820s, the most eminent being Edward, poet and famous hymn-writer.
Lambourne is named after Colonel Mark Lockwood, who later became Lord Lambourne. He was Chairman of Governors from 1893 to 1922 and was a local landowner and reformer.
Penn's is named after William Penn (1644-1718) who was a pupil at Chigwell from 1653 to 1656. Well connected, he became a Quaker and renounced a promising career at Court in order to dedicate his life to propagating his vision of a tolerant and humane society in which war and conflict would play no part.
Swallow's is named after Canon Richard Dawson Swallow who was Headmaster of Chigwell School from 1876 to 1911. The reputation of the School was much enhanced by Swallow, who is often described as the first headmaster of the “new régime”.
The most recent ISI Inspection described the quality of pastoral care as 'excellent and allows the pupils to develop into responsible young people in an environment which is secure and caring. The strong house system enables pupils of all ages to mix freely and lies at the heart of the successful care. House staff know their pupils well and have effective contact with parents, enabling concerns to be readily addressed.'