A Unique Setting

Chigwell School has a unique boarding community, designed especially for international students coming to study A levels in the UK. Overseas boarders at Chigwell get the best of the British education system, supported by experienced staff.

Students live in family boarding houses in the school grounds – each house has just seven or eight students, with a mix of different nationalities, cared for by House Parents who are academic staff. House Parents include senior staff such as the Director of Studies, Heads of academic departments, and several Oxbridge graduates, so students have access to the highest degree of academic expertise. There is a strong academic ethos in our houses, which makes it easier and more enjoyable to study.

Our boarding houses are situated nearby in the school grounds, and other staff, including the Headmaster and Chaplain, also live nearby on site with their families. We have a warm and friendly community life, which provides a secure and supportive base for students entering an English school for the first time.

Our boarding students want to feel at home in Britain, they want to get to know local students and their families, and see ordinary British life outside school. At Chigwell, our small boarding houses act like ordinary homes, and international students can socialise in the ordinary way with their local friends living nearby.

The Wider School Community

Girls in girls boarding house

It’s easy to get to know people in our small friendly boarding houses. Getting to know people in the wider school community is easy too, because of our Day Houses.

Students at Chigwell School are divided into four Day Houses. In order to help new international students settle in, they are each given their own student mentor. The mentor is a local English student in the same Day House who has volunteered to help a new international student. The mentor will email their student before they arrive, come to meet them in the boarding house before lessons start, take them into school on their first day, help them find their way, show them round and introduce them to other students.

Boarders at Chigwell contribute greatly to the life of the Sixth Form as a whole. In today’s global society the experience of living and working closely with students from all over the world is invaluable. Sixth Form study is the stage at which students benefit most from the independence and international dimension that boarding at Chigwell offers.

Pastoral Support for International Boarders

Preparation begins during the application and interview process, when the Head of Sixth Form makes sure that students understand the courses they are taking on, and that they are choosing the right A level subjects for them. The Director of Boarding then keeps in touch with each student throughout the time between their admission and their actual arrival, sending information, answering questions, helping with practical matters like visas, and putting students in touch with other staff and students. Students are also sent summer work to complete before they arrive for each of their subjects.

Each international student also has a Mentor – a local English student in the same year and Day house, who knows Chigwell well and can help the new boarder find their way around and get to know everyone when they arrive. Mentors contact the new boarders over the summer, so that by the time they arrive they have already started making new friends.

“International boarders are ably supported by their British pupil mentors, who volunteer for this role in the year prior to a boarder’s arrival. This early contact has a significant impact on the confidence and speed with which boarders settle. Combined with an effective induction period, the process ensures that new boarders are provided the support that they need to maximise their potential.” ISI Report 4.26, March 2016

A busy induction programme with lots of social events and plenty of enjoyable opportunities at weekends helps the students to make friends and integrate quickly into life at Chigwell school.

A Typical Day at Chigwell

Time Activity Who
7.30 Breakfast served in the Dining Hall Boarders
8.20 Registration All Sixth Form
8.30 Period 1 All Sixth Form
9.25 Period 2 All Sixth Form
10.15 Break All Sixth Form
10.40 Period 3 All Sixth Form
11.35 Period 4 All Sixth Form
12.30 Chapel/Assembly/Church/Tutorial All Sixth Form
13.00 Lunch All Sixth Form
14.05 Registration All Sixth Form
14.14 Period 7 All Sixth Form
15.10 Period 8 All Sixth Form
16.00 After school activities/free time Boarders
18.00 Supper served in the Dining Hall Boarders
19.00 Prep Time Boarders
21.00 Free Time Boarders
22.30 Everyone back in houses – House quiet time Boarders

Higher Education – Destinations and Results

In the Sixth Form we provide a structured programme designed to prepare students for life beyond school, and the Head of Sixth Form and Day House Tutors guide each individual student through the university application process and career choices ahead of them.

Chigwell’s A-level results are impressive and the school ranks in the top 100 of all UK independent schools. International students at Chigwell are extremely successful, with over 10% gaining entry to Oxford and Cambridge, and many more to other top universities like LSE, Imperial and UCL.

Our previous results can be found here

English Tuition

Although we expect applicants to already have a certain level of English, we offer additional English language support from professional language tutors. Teaching is by individual tutorials with a specialist language teacher. The cost of these is included in the school fees.

Each boarding house has two additional tutors who spend an evening every week in the house to offer extra academic support. There are also many other teaching staff in residence at the school.

What do my fees include?

Tuition (including extra English language support for international students), textbooks, accommodation, meals, laundry, and most school activities, games and societies.

Fees do not include your uniform; examination entry fees; individual instrumental music lessons (if desired); school trips; dry-cleaning. You are also responsible for the cost of your flights to and from school, and your personal expenses.

The Next Step

Applying to Chigwell School

Chigwell School understands that applying to study in a new country is quite complicated, and you may have lots of questions.  We’ve tried to answer some of the most common questions on the International Boarding page of our website. However, please do not hesitate to contact the Sixth Form Admissions team on [email protected] if you have any other queries. More information can also be found in our International Boarding Booklet.