In the third instalment of our Boarding Student blogs, Helen (Year 12), describes arriving at Chigwell during a global pandemic and celebrating her 18th birthday at the School.

Choosing Chigwell

Looking back to when I applied to Chigwell in the summer of 2020, I was perplexed about which secondary school to apply to. Thus, while I was seeking online, my agency strongly recommended Chigwell School to me. After browsing the official website of Chigwell, I felt it was a good option. Not only because of the learning vibe here, but also because of the environment. As my previous school was near the coast of the English channel, I really wanted to experience the landscape of the Epping forest.

Because of coronavirus pandemic, I did my admission test online. Luckily, I had the chance to come to Chigwell School in person doing the interview. One of the students from Year 13 (Middle Sixth) showed us around the School, including the catering which is pretty nice.


When I came here to actually study and live in the School, it was quite different from the interview. Also due to the pandemic, I had to arrive at school two weeks before the term starting to quarantine. Although I was stuck in my room, I could still go for a walk around the fields. Thanks to this special experience, I got the chance to explore the School well.

A Typical Day at Chigwell

Daily, we start our school day with the morning call up, at 8:20am in our tutor room. Tutors register us and let us know if we have any special events, such as assembly and chapel service. After that, we have our lessons - six periods in total. We have four lessons in the morning and a 20 minutes break in between every two lessons. Some of us have lunch lessons. The school day finishes at four o'clock in the afternoon, sometimes, we would have extra curriculums that every student are well come depends on our interests.

Favourite Memories

Personally, the best memory for me this year is my birthday. Because I had my 18th birthday in school this year, together with other Chinese girls in our house, we cooked a Chinese house dinner, and two other girls made a delicately decorated cake.

Chigwell's Uniqueness

For prospective boarding students, the pros of living at Chigwell is that, different from most of the boarding school in the UK, there aren’t many boarders living in the houses here. Generally about 6-7 students, so here is more family-like, the relations between borders and house parents are much closer compared with other schools, from my own experience.

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