Frequently asked questions:
Why should we choose St Hilda’s for our child?
As the only girls’ prep school in the area, we offer a broad, stimulating curriculum and a wealth of extra-curricular activities. Passionate, inspirational teachers provide a nurturing, exciting, individualised start; ensuring each child embarks on a lifelong love of learning, reaching and exceeding their full potential in every subject.
Then, when your child reaches their senior years, they are ready to move on at 11+ with confidence. We enjoy close links with a wide variety of prestigious senior schools and will work with parents to provide experienced, impartial advice about schools ideally suited to your daughter’s strengths, achievements and personality.
What is our relationship with Aldenham?
St Hilda’s is part of the Aldenham Foundation of schools. This means that we can share facilities and draw upon their resources in many areas such as sport, drama and IT. However, it does not mean that we are a link school or that girls are expected to move on to Aldenham at 11+. St Hilda’s intends to remain an independent preparatory school for girls, with its own culture and ethos, and Aldenham have always supported us in this aim.
What about our academic results?
We offer a challenging curriculum, and specialist teaching in every subject. We closely monitor each child to ensure our pupils all exceed their potential in every area. Our girls excel academically and exams results are significantly above the national average. In the competitive 11+ entry to senior school, almost all gain their first choice of school, often with bursaries and scholarships.
How do children win scholarships at 11+?
We monitor each child closely and fully understand their likes, dislikes, strengths and weaknesses. If a child demonstrates an aptitude or passion for a particular subject then we may encourage them to try for a scholarship in this area. A scholarship is an award for excellence, irrespective of background; whilst bursaries are financial, means-tested awards. Each school differs and senior schools offer their own awards and their own means of selection. St Hilda’s is very experienced in understanding the selection criteria for each school and we will ‘prepare’ each child accordingly
Does St Hilda’s offer bursaries?
We offer an extremely limited bursarial fund. Applications must be made in writing to the governors. For more details, contact the Admissions Co-ordinator.
Do we offer extra-curricular activities?
The girls enjoy a packed timetable of extra-curricular activities include music, dance, drama, languages and sport.
Do we offer extended day care?
Yes we do. Parents can drop their children off any time between 8.00 and 8.30am, for no extra charge. There is also a Breakfast Club from 07.30 and a very popular after school club run by a qualified nursery nurse, and a homework club run by teachers for older girls. This runs every evening until 18.30.
Is there a special needs’ department within St Hilda’s?
Small classes and outstanding teaching means that every lesson is structured to stretch and support each pupil as appropriate. If a form teacher believes that additional support is required then the SENCO will monitor and advise accordingly. We are an all-inclusive school and have excellent special needs’ resources; however, if a child is identified during their initial assessment as requiring a high level of one to one support then we may advise that St Hilda’s is not the most appropriate setting.
Lunches: Can pupils bring a packed lunch? Do we cater for alternative dietary requirements?
We offer a daily selection of healthy, fresh food cooked on the premises. There is always a vegetarian option and we are more than happy to cater for individual food requirements such as no eggs, pork or beef. We prefer children not to bring packed lunch.
How should we register our interest in a place at St Hilda’s?
Once you have viewed the school, the next step is to register your interest in a place for your child.
You will need to complete the St Hilda’s Registration Form and pay the £50 registration fee. We will then invite your daughter in for an assessment at a mutually convenient time.
What is involved in the assessment?
All assessments are age-appropriate and intended as a gentle introduction to life at St Hilda’s. The assessments for 4+ entry are very informal. We invite your child to play with children their own age with for around an hour. We look to see how they interact with other children and how they apply themselves to the activities on offer.
We are also pleased to accept older children at any age or at any point in the school year, providing we have places available. From 7+ we will ask children to complete a paper in Maths and English.