Key FAQs

Why St Hilda’s?

With a broad range of educational choice available, here are a range of topics that will answer queries and questions over why St Hilda’s represents the best choice for your child.

Background

St Hilda’s is a small, caring and stimulating educational setting which seeks to develop and nurture each pupil that comes to learn here each day.  Every school is unique and St Hilda’s strives to preserve both the importance of good manners and courtesy, whilst ensuring that each child is prepared for the demands of the modern world.  As soon as you cross the threshold and enter our environment, you should be able to sense and feel its individuality.  Coming to school each day must be an exciting, fulfilling and safe experience, whether you are aged three or eleven, and should be positively anticipated.

St Hilda’s School has a capacity of approximately 170 pupils, admitting boys and girls in Nursery from 3 years, and girls from Reception to Form VI.  Situated close to the town centre in Harpenden, the school is a true community, sited in a Victorian house which has undergone vast physical changes and additions to accommodate the numbers and the requirements needed to provide a first class education for the twenty first century.  It was formerly a family home and that atmosphere is preserved to this day.

Why Prep?

As a standalone Prep School, we are able to offer our pupils small class sizes and the individualised approach that helps give children the inner confidence and resilience to learn to the very best of their ability.  As a feeder school to a wide range of senior schools, our pupils are steadily equipped for a wide range of local independent and maintained secondary options, and some boarding schools.  We are able to advise parents on the best destination choices and encourage them to consider their options, which together with the School’s exceptional preparation, enables their child to gain their first choice.

Academic standards

St Hilda’s has a mixed ability intake but enjoys a reputation for high academic standards.  For example, pupils in our Nursery access a full phonics programme and access reading as soon as they are ready, prior to joining the Reception class.  Throughout, the foundations for success are carefully laid.  Careful consideration is given to ensure each child enters the secondary school best suited to their needs.  Preparation for the exams starts in Form IV and progresses further from Form V, where additional setting and specialist teaching in Maths, English and Reasoning enables our pupils to achieve highly, including an impressive range of scholarships is achieved each year.

Personalised approach

We strongly believe that every child should feel success and self-worth in order to become life-long and independent learners. For a child to achieve their academic potential they must be given the opportunity to explore and develop in all areas of the curriculum.  As well as a very experienced staff team of teachers, our Learning Support team provides an exceptional level of care to pupils of all abilities whether supporting those with particular needs or extending and deepening the learning experience of the more able.  We also work very hard, through small class and group sizes, to ensure that every pupil is given every opportunity to thrive and develop to the optimum.

Value added

In a world where relentless pressure can cause huge anxiety for the rising generation, our mission at St Hilda’s is to ensure that pupils can develop self-confidence and self-worth as paramount aims.  Building success through variety and creativity cannot be underestimated and we pride ourselves on providing a broad and strong range of experiences in sport, drama, music, languages, art and science, to name a few.  Our pupils have a fantastic experience and great fun along the way.  A wide range of extra-curricular activities and educational visits are also offered to suit and attract each individual, thus providing the self-confidence and motivation to enable pupils to explore and develop their personal strengths and interests.

A Christian ethos

St Hilda’s is a Christian community, which welcomes and respects all faiths and families.  Christian teaching is essential to the life of the school and our core values are those of tolerance, good manners, courtesy and respect for others, integrity, industry and achievement.  We seek to model good behaviour to them so that these qualities are instilled from the earliest age.  A child who feels secure and happy will be able to realise their potential and at St Hilda’s we strive to enable each of our pupils to flourish as an individual.

‘Train up a child in the way they should go: and when they are old, they will not depart from it.’

Proverbs 22 verse 6.