Our Boarding Houses
All boarding schools say their boarding houses are like a family, but ours really are!
In each house, a group of 7 or 8 students of different nationalities live together with the houseparents and their families - which means our houseparents really can have plenty of time for everyone.
It is not know exactly when Church was built, but the oldest part is estimated to have been erected in 1600. There are many famous stories concerning the house, one being that Charles Dickens once stayed here, writing one of his novels – Barnaby Rudge.
Church house is run by Mr and Mrs Leroux. Mrs Leroux is the Head of French at Chigwell School and also teaches Spanish. Mr Leroux is an adventure tourism guide who has worked across North America and Europe guiding kayak, cycle tours and skiing. Church House aims to provide a nurturing and open environment where different cultures are shared and celebrated. The girls work hard, and we aspire that they feel at home and well supported in their academic journey at Chigwell School.
Hainault House was built in 1874 in grand Victorian Gothic style and is run by Mr and Mrs Rabbitte, who have a young family. Mr Rabbitte is the Head of Geography at Chigwell School and his wife is a qualified social worker.
Hainault House promotes an environment where students can flourish both academically and pastorally. They practice a firm but fair, and usually fun approach to boarding, to ensure that the boarders get the best support when it comes to their school life and their own personal and emotional safety and wellbeing.
Bright, airy rooms and plenty of room to work and socialise enhance the friendly, family atmosphere that is the hallmark of Hainault House. It enjoys the advantage of being at the front of the School and is surrounded by a large garden, where barbecues are a feature of the summer term.
Harsnett’s takes its name from the Founder of the School, Archbishop Samuel Harsnett, Archbishop of York and Master of Pembroke College Cambridge, who founded the School in 1629 as a school for the poor boys of the parish when he was vicar here. Harsnett’s is a family home run by Mr and Mrs Saunders, who live there with their three children. Mr Saunders teaches Mathematics and is the Director of Studies. Mrs Saunders teaches French, German and Spanish, and is responsible for English as an Additional Language (EAL) for Year 12.
Sandon Lodge was built in 1870, and has a beautiful setting in the middle of the School’s 100 acres of grounds. It is run by Mr and Mrs Lord, who met while they were students together at Oxford University. Mr Lord is the School’s Head of Classics. A graduate in Classics and English, he has also recently completed an MA in Philosophy at Birkbeck College, London. Mrs Lord is research scholar at London University and the author of several books on music and cultural history.
Mr and Mrs Lord have lived in Sandon Lodge since 1998. They have known many generations of international students at Chigwell and have a big network of friendships with former students and their families all over the world.
It really feels like a family and our houseparents seem to care about us; it’s great that they don’t treat it just as a job, but also a relationship.
Year 13 Boarder
The set-up is boutique and family style. Think snooker tables, cosy lounges and lots of language learning: the school deliberately tries to mix up nationalities to increase diversity.
Best Schools Guide - Muddy Stilettos
The atmosphere in the boarding house is actually one of the best things about living here.
Year 13 Boarder
Boarders praise the School for the consideration that is afforded to their individual needs and they relish the opportunity to share aspects of their own cultures in a positive and welcoming environment.
Independent Schools Inspectorate
Chigwell has an amazing tight-knit atmosphere!
Year 13 Boarder
Chigwell has a really great boarding community, which is small in size. The boarding houses are more like households instead of just a place to accommodate.
Year 12 Boarder