Public Benefit

​ 1. Introduction

Chigwell School was founded in 1629 by Samuel Harsnett, Archbishop of York and Vice Chancellor of Cambridge University.  Born in 1561, the son of a Colchester baker, Samuel Harsnett became Vicar of Chigwell in 1597, he married around this time but his wife died in 1602.  She is buried in St Mary’s Church, next door to the School, with her husband, and the connection between Harsnett, his School and the local Church and community has remained over the 380 years following its foundation.

Chigwell School has been an educational charity for 380 years and education remains the central activity of the charity.  In the Indentures of Foundation, dating back to 13th April 1629, Harsnett says:

“The foundation of the School in Chigwell in the County of Essex by the most Reverend Father in God, Samuel, Lord Archbishop of York, Primate of England and Metropolitan.

The first ordinance that I am to make is to lay a bond and obligation upon myself humbly upon my knees during my life to praise and magnify the goodness of God who from a poor vicar of this parish hath called me to so high a dignity in his Church and to enable me to offer this mite of my thankfulness with him for all the blessing that in many he hath bestowed up me …..

I publish to all men the true intention of my heart that I most affectionately desire that the scholars of my school be nurtured and disciplined in good manners than instructed in good arts and therefore I charge my schoolmasters respectively, as they will answer it to God and good men, that they bring up scholars in the fear of God and reverence towards all men, they teach them obedience to their parents, their betters, gentleness and ingenuity in all their carriages, that men seeing the buds of virtue in the youth may be stirred up to bless them and God for their education.

I constitute and ordain that the Latin schoolmaster do teach gratis (sic) eighteen local scholars. 

….. and that the children and youth of the parish of Chigwell and the surrounding parishes forever hereafter be taught in the School Houses.

The School Motto is Find A Way, Make A Way and the aims of the School, as they are published today, encapsulate this and Harsnett’s original intent:

• To provide a high quality rounded education in the broadest sense in which pupils are provided with opportunities and the encouragement to develop and discover interests and talents across and beyond the curriculum so that they can play a full part in the life of the School and make a really positive contribution to the world of the 21st Century thereafter.

• To provide the appropriate support to allow all pupils to achieve and fulfil their individual and collective potential.

• To establish a community in which learning is encouraged, where pupils develop a love of learning and are challenged to think for themselves with critical and creative curiosity.

• To recruit, retain and nurture the best possible staff and provide a stimulating, rewarding and supportive environment for all who are employed at Chigwell.

• To encourage an awareness of the spiritual side of life and an inclusive approach to others, within the Christian foundation of the School so that all learn from each other.

• To encourage pupils to appreciate their good fortune and their responsibility for others, the community and the environment.

• To produce pupils who are able to look back at their time in school with enjoyment, pride, gratitude and a sense of affection.

2. Public benefits arising out of Chigwell School’s aims

A first class education is provided for 750 boys and girls aged between seven and eighteen, most of whom live within five miles of the School.  Pupils are admitted on the basis of merit as outlined in the Admissions Policy.  In addition, the School has some thirty to thirty five Sixth Form boarders from approximately twelve countries who benefit from the education that is offered, but who also add to the diversity of the School.  (Since its inception in 1992, Chigwell has participated in the HMC East European Scheme.)  Their presence enables local pupils to gain a greater understanding of the international world of which they are a part.

In line with the intentions of Samuel Harsnett, some means-tested bursaries are provided to those pupils who would benefit from a Chigwell education but who, without financial help, would not otherwise be able to afford to attend the School.  These awards are means-tested annually and further details are provided in the Bursaries Policy.

Many curriculum essential trips and visits are included and this is the case for lunches and tea at the end of school, both of which are considered to be an integral part of the school day to help strengthen the school community.

Those pupils who are particularly talented musically may compete for a music scholarship which not only provides some fee remission but also free instrumental tuition.

Chigwell teachers are highly qualified and subjects are taught by specialists.  All pupils study at least one language to GCSE and there is the opportunity to learn Mandarin outside the curriculum.  We are aware of the national shortage in this area and yet the need for linguists in the workplace.  Likewise, there is an emphasis on Mathematics (regularly the most popular subject at A level) and on the Sciences with all pupils taught Biology, Physics and Chemistry separately to GCSE with a majority taking the three Science subjects to GCSE.  GCSE results in this area are very impressive indeed.  There is also the opportunity for pupils to study the Classical languages to A level and we believe that it is important that this area, which is dying in many schools, is kept alive at Chigwell.

The vast majority of Chigwell students move on to a selective university with some 10% gaining places at Oxbridge and nearly half move on to Russell Group universities

Chigwell staff provide a range of opportunities for pupils and members of the wider community.  Pupils are encouraged to play an active part in charitable and community projects and the Chigwell Award Scheme encourages Sixth Formers to seek out further ways in which they can serve the community.

There are extensive links and collaboration with primary and secondary schools in the local area as outlined at the end of this report.

The spiritual side of Chigwell School remains strong.  Two members of the Governing Body are clerical, the School Chaplain has a key role in the School and is active in the community and we work in close co-operation with St Mary’s Church, Chigwell, which is used for key services at the start and end of term, and one weekly service for all Senior Pupils.  There is a multi-cultural community of pupils and all the major religions are represented and respected through a spirit of mutual tolerance and understanding (see Equal Opportunities Policy).

School buildings and grounds are well maintained and used extensively by the local community throughout the year.

3. Activities to deliver these benefits

Chigwell School has existed on its original site since its foundation in 1629.  The School maintains facilities for 750 boys and girls between the ages of seven and eighteen, in an area which covers some 70 acres.  These are well used by Chigwell pupils and by other organisations as well.

Chigwell is a significant employer in the local area with 88 teachers, 22 peripatetic music teachers and 53 support staff. 

4. Academic

The Chigwell Junior School provides a challenging but supportive education for children from the age of seven.  Heads of Key Stage 2 subjects co-ordinate the teaching and as pupils progress through the Junior School, they are increasingly taught by subject specialists.  There is a broad programme of extra-curricular activities including a whole host of opportunities in music, drama and sport.  Pupils are encouraged to develop new interests and to share in each other’s success.

At Key Stage 2, there are two forms of approximately twenty pupils each per year.  At Year 7, these are joined by another two forms of pupils of roughly the same number.  The opportunities and standards lower down are continued and Chigwell pupils are encouraged to achieve excellence in all areas.  At GCSE for the last five years 72% of grades have been A* or A, and at A level 83% of grades have been A*,A or B.  In 2010/11 87% of leavers moved on to university.

We aim to ensure that every Chigwell pupil achieves the very best that they can in all areas of school life.  Headline figures can often hide significant individual successes, and we are just as proud of the pupil who works hard to achieve a string of A* grades as the one who fulfils their true potential with lower grades. 

The School was last inspected in 2010 and a report giving an insight into the education experience provided is on our website Chigwell strives to provide a first class education in the broadest sense and success in the classroom does not come at the expense of extra-curricular opportunities.  Indeed, many of the pupils who performed best academically contributed most to the extra-curricular life of the School through sport, music, drama, the Duke of Edinburgh Scheme, or through the whole host of other opportunities.  The following gives a few examples from 2010/11. 

5. Sport

There were many notable highlights – too many to list.  However, the U14 boys’ hockey side were runners up in the national final and the U16 soccer side narrowly lost in the semi-final of the ISFA national cup.  One member of that side, was selected for the England U16 squad in the Victory Shield tournament and in golf, which continues to be very popular, of the thirteen matches played, there was only one defeat.  Several swimmers qualified for the national finals and the 1st XI cricket team beat the MCC side for the second time in three years.  Meanwhile, one senior student played for the full England women’s side and another girl played for the England U17 team.  A thirteen year old pupil is mentioned in the 2011 Wisden Almanac as the youngest ever umpire.

6. Outdoor Education

This has been another record-breaking year for students taking part in all three levels of the DoE scheme.  Forty-six students participated in the bronze award, twenty in the silver and twenty in the gold.  Many of those in the Sixth Form who did not opt for DoE, did participate in the Chigwell Award scheme. 

7. Drama

There were a record-breaking number of drama performances this year with thirteen productions ranging from James and the Giant Peach, A Midsummer’s Night Dream, Granny Must Die to the Crucible and the Rocky Horror Show, with a great deal more in between.  Chigwell drama continues to benefit from the close relationship with the East 15 Drama School and once again we hosted the Poltroonery Knight evening in memory of Ken Campbell.

8. Music

Music has remained a real area of strength, both in terms of the quality of what is produced and the number of pupils who participate.  Throughout the year, there have been many concerts involving pupils of all ages.  Once again, the major choral concert took place at Brentwood Cathedral at which there was a performance by a choir of one hundred and twenty, including some boys from Loyola School. Again, we hosted the Rotary Youth Makes Music Concert and the fifth Swing Band and Jazz evening in aid of the Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy Charity, which was a resounding success.  Over three hundred and twenty instrumental lessons take place each week, such is the vitality of music at Chigwell School.

9. Academic Enrichment

A whole host of initiatives have taken place to stretch the pupils beyond the limits of the curriculum.  Throughout the year, the Williams Project have run a series of fortnightly talks with a variety of guest speakers.  The enrichment programme has helped further prepare applicants for university and the TIC group have been working on extended essays in readiness for their university application for top institutions and courses.  The Pilot Academic Journal has been reintroduced after a fifteen year interval. 

10. Helping Others In The Community

There is a long tradition of community service at Chigwell.  Pupils volunteer to work in charity shops, at the Chigwell Riding School for the Disabled, at the Essex Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve, at the Birthmark Trust Family Day or in local homes for the elderly.  The Chigwell Award scheme encourages Sixth Formers to involve themselves in community service and the annual Activities Week includes many more community projects.

11. Raising Money For Charities

Chigwell School has, over many years, highlighted the importance of giving to support those in need, whether at home or abroad. This year over £25,000 was raised for a variety of causes:

Nearly £5000 was raised for cancer charities including the local children’s hospice Haven House. Local charities were also given £4000; these charities included ELHAP, a play area for disabled children and Riding for the Disabled. The Harvest Festival supported a local homeless person’s charity with a huge amount of non-perishable food worth over £2000.  Other gifts were for music therapy, Red Nose Day, Crisis, Help for Heroes, amounting to well over £2000.

Chigwell School has built close links with a Christian ashram in Tamil Nadu in India. Over £7000 was raised for the work of the Bless School and other charities helping the poor. Further funds, amounting to over £5000, were given to overseas charities working in Bangladesh, Africa and South America.

Charity giving is organised through the Charities Committee which is composed of pupils, parents and staff. Over the course of the year they have worked hard to put on special events which focus on particular causes. In November 2010 a Diwali Celebration was enjoyed by 160 people and raised substantial funds for the projects in India.

We are committed to continuing to work in all the areas highlighted above and to expand opportunities where possible.  Invariably, pupils who involve themselves in projects that benefit others, (and the majority do), not only appreciate that they are doing something which is really worthwhile, they learn more about others in the process.  Chigwell School has a long history of working with the community and of serving others, and I am delighted to say that this tradition lives on today.

12. Bursaries

Bursaries are funded out of a Bursary fund and the Arnold Fellows Fund.  Each year, parents of leavers are invited to contribute the deposit that they paid on acceptance of a place to the Bursary Fund and the Development Office encourages donations for bursaries.

Means-testing of all bursaries is carried out annually according to the Bursary Policy and bursaries are awarded by a group of governors in consultation with the Bursar, Headmaster and Admissions Registrar.  Most bursaries are awarded on the offer of a place - although these may be adjusted at the annual review if family financial circumstances have changed - and others are awarded to existing pupils in cases of financial hardship.

13. Other Benefits

Apart from the extensive sharing of facilities, there is widespread collaboration with local schools, sharing of expertise, the facility for those who wish to explore the idea of teaching to come to observe lessons for a few days, some teachers are Key Stage 2, GCSE or A level examiners, we have hosted PGCE students and helped others to qualify as teachers.  Facilities are made available to a whole variety of outside organisations.  This is very much an existing culture and many of these partnership activities have been taking place for many years.

14. Other public benefits which follow from the charity’s operation

There is a strong sense that it is right to support those who are less fortunate instilled in Chigwell pupils, and as part of this, there is widespread support for charities.  There is an active Charities Committee which co-ordinates charitable fundraising and this is a body that is made up of staff, parents and pupils.

15. Who is intended to benefit from the charity?

The School’s founder intended that Chigwell would provide an education for children and young people, of appropriate academic ability, of Chigwell Parish and the surrounding parishes, some of whom would have financial support.  Although the School has grown, as has the surrounding area over the last 383 years, the catchment remains relatively local and the majority of pupils live within a five mile radius of Chigwell School.

The education provided is not exclusive to local pupils, however, and the overseas boarders in the Sixth Form not only benefit from the education on offer, but contribute to the variety and richness of the School itself.

When pupils are involved in community or charity work, or collaborate with other schools, the benefit is to the elements of the much wider community.

16. Restrictions on those who might benefit from the work of the charity

The restriction on those who might benefit from an education at Chigwell are:

• Provision of bursarial support which depends on the income of families – see Bursary Policy
• The need for a pupil to satisfy the academic entry requirements – see Admissions Policy

17. How does the charity ensure that people in poverty are not excluded from the opportunity to benefit?

Chigwell has always provided financial support to those families who are unable to pay full fees but whose children would otherwise benefit from and contribute to Chigwell School as a whole.  This continues in the form of means-tested bursaries which cover books, school lunches.  Curriculum essential trips are also covered.

Bursaries are advertised through our website and through the local and national press; the School advertises jointly with  Each year we hold a Chigwell Dinner to which local heads are invited and they are informed about the support on offer.  The Headmaster, Head of the Junior School and others have regular contact with local schools throughout the year.  All applicants to the School are asked if they would like to make an application for a bursary.

18. Examples of community groups or events that have used the School’s facilities for free or at a discount:

England and Wales Cricket Board, Lord’s Ladies Taverners Charity cricket match
Cricket of Change Essex Disability Squads’ training sessions.
East 15 Acting School (Essex University) use our Drama facilities
1st Chigwell and Chigwell Row Scout Group hold events here.
The Chigwell Choral Society (the local music society) rehearsals

Chigwell Boys’ Football Club play at Chigwell each Sunday
The Birthmark Trust annual Family Fun Day
Chigwell hosts a dinner for the Children’s Society
The Friends of Jubilee Lodge dinner is held here
Some Essex County Cricket matches
Essex U13 County Schools’ FA finals for boys and girls
Stagecoach Drama School classes
Crosstyx Hockey Club use the all-weather pitch
A Chinese assistant for a local school was housed in Chigwell School accommodation
HMC Central East European scholars hosted from other schools for a London week in the October half term
Daiglen School held their Speech Day here
Chigwell County Primary used the swimming pool through the summer
St Mary’s Church Fundraising Dinner
Girl Guiding – Chigwell District – Charity Fashion Show
Rotary Club of Roding – Question Time

19. The following are examples of collaborative work which has taken place with maintained schools:

Hackney Academy used cricket facilities to play a match
Chigwell County Primary School held their swimming gala at Chigwell
The Chigwell Modern Languages department has shared material and exchanged expertise with the Kingsford Community College.
Annual year 5 primary schools quiz hosted at Chigwell
Annual football and netball competitions for local primary schools held at Chigwell
Annual cricket coaching day for primary schools is organised and hosted by Chigwell School
Norlington School, Leytonstone, play cricket matches at Chigwell
Local primary schools’ art exhibition held here
Annual art INSET organised and hosted for local teachers
Summer activities course offered to children aged 7 to 13
Coaching courses offered each year in hockey, netball, cricket and football

20. Access to lessons and educational events has been made possible:

Short courses in Spanish and Mandarin
A PGCE student had a placement at Chigwell
University Admissions:
The Head of Sixth Form shares good practice with a group of schools:
• He shares information on university funding
• Maintained sector pupils were invited to a seminar on admissions for medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine
• Mock Oxbridge interviews were held for students from other schools
Each year, Chigwell School participates in the HMC Central East European Scholar’s schemes and provides a bursary for two Sixth Form students from Eastern Europe.  The Bursar has served on the working group for this organisation for over 16 years.

21. As an organisation, Chigwell School shares knowledge, skills and expertise:

Chigwell School advertises its willingness to host those who are investigating joining the teaching profession

Five teachers are public examiners and one is a coursework advisor for West Essex
East 15 (Essex University) and Chigwell students collaborate on some drama performances
One teacher helps interview prospective medical students for University College, London
Two teachers serve on the committee of the Oxford Conference for Education