St Hilary’s, situated in the heart of Godalming in Surrey, is a non-selective, independent preparatory day school and nursery for boys and girls (2 – 11 years). We are proud to provide a stimulating and safe environment in which boys and girls can develop, be happy and flourish. The Independent Schools Inspectorate judged the overall quality and standards of our school as excellent.
About the school
At St Hilary's, pupils’ talents are developed and children are allowed to achieve their best in a dynamic, vibrant yet nurturing environment. Specialist teaching is introduced at an early age along with music, drama, competitive sport, Forest School and educational trips; all provided in small class sizes. Philosophy is a new addition to the timetable this year along with reflection time. Outside of lessons, there is a rich programme of extra-curricular activities. St Hilary's recently opened its own LEGO Innovation Studio, a dedicated space allowing innovative and creative approaches to teaching STEAM subjects.
The school is proud of the range of scholarships it secures annually and the competitive and prestigious senior schools pupils go on to.
Wrap around care and a morning minibus service is available for those who require it.
St Hilary’s School launch national charity event for Motor Neurone Disease
St. Hilary's School in Godalming, has launched 'The MND Schools' Challenge,' a new national charity event for schools to complete a challenge whilst raising money for the MND Association. This challenge is inspired by Paul Jameson, a former parent.
2nd March 2021 — St. Hilary’s School in Godalming was excited to launch the MND Schools’ Challenge recently.
This challenge is inspired by Paul Jameson, a former parent of the school and father of Rosie, who now works at St. Hilary’s.
In 2017, Paul was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND).
In response to this diagnosis, Paul has spent three years raising money for the MND Association in a number of ways, including climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and playing a game of tennis at the summit, which was a world record of the highest-ever altitude game of tennis.
Paul has continued to inspire those around him and has raised over £150,000, which has led to him being awarded a British Empire Medal.
Motivated by Paul’s story; his courage, resilience and determination, the St. Hilary’s community decided to take on their own challenge.
Pupils aged from just two to eleven years-old, parents, staff and the wider community joined together with one common goal: to collectively climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
In fact, 274,526 steps were taken during the day, the equivalent height of Mount Kilimanjaro nearly nine times over!
The school is thrilled that over £11,000 to date has been raised for the MND Association Charity.
However, this is just the beginning.
St Hilary’s is now passing the challenge on to other schools across the country and overseas, in the style of the Ice Bucket Challenge, to encourage others to get involved with this fabulous initiative.
Other schools are encouraged to set their own challenge or take on a similar one.
Through taking part, pupils' self-awareness has increased and the challenge has created a platform for pupils to feel confident to express themselves, discuss their feelings and openly talk about worries and concerns.
Furthermore, the children have developed a sense of purpose.
Children have seen the impact that messages of hope and support can empower others as well as learning that their actions of kindness, tolerance, respect and inclusivity, is positive for their mental well-being as well as that of their friends and loved ones.
Paul, continues to inspire, through his bravery and determination, to be the best and do the best he can each and every day.
Likewise, the children have learnt to do their ‘personal best,’ show ‘true grit’ and have high aspirations.
Paul’s outlook on life is 'you’ve got one life, live it!'
If you are a school, club or community that would like to become involved with the challenge, please visit the MND Schools’ Challenge website.
St Hilary’s School Collaborative Art work reaches Global Final
St Hilary’s Preparatory School pupils in Years 4 and 5 have been successful in reaching the final of the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation’s Schools’ Global Canvas Competition with their collaborative work art installation.
28th February 2020 — St Hilary’s Preparatory School pupils in Years 4 and 5 have been successful in reaching the final of the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation’s Schools’ Global Canvas Competition with their collaborative work art installation.
This year’s competition theme, which saw entries involving thousands of children from all over the world, is titled ‘Endangered.’ The challenge involved creating an exciting group mini-exhibition or art display interpreting this theme.
St Hilary’s pupils were initially concerned about the plight of the orangutan but group discussions led to the realisation that the entire eco-system of the rainforest is under threat, from forest fires in the Amazon, to deforestation in Borneo. The children wanted to highlight the importance and fragility of the ‘lungs of the world’, not only to the indigenous flora and fauna but also to us as humans.
The St Hilary’s sculpture was made from recycled materials, where possible. The rainforest tree trunks were formed out of disused carpet rolls, with the addition of papier-mâché and wire. Yarns were then wrapped around to reflect the vibrant colours found in the rainforest. Animals and insects have been created out of newspaper covered in mod roc and painted carefully to reveal texture. Lianas were made by plaiting fabric and winding with yarn. Fun Art Club made a forest textile hanging by using cold wax and fabric dye.
The school will attend the final of this competition in mid-March at London’s Natural History Museum.
Felicity is victorious at the National Biathle Schools Championships
Felicity becomes a national champion at the National Schools Biathle Championships at Leweston School in Sherborne.
24th May 2019 — Congratulations to Felicity who came first in the National Schools Biathle Championships at Leweston School in Sherborne on Sunday, 19th May. Biathle is a sport that is part of the modern pentathlon and is a run-swim-run continuous event. Felicity, aged 8 years, ran 200m, transitioned to a 30m open swim and then ran another 200m in 2 minutes 44 seconds and was first in the Year 3 girls’ competition making her national champion. The National Biathle Schools Championships attracted 350 competitors from all over the UK.
This is the second victory for Felicity who competed in the National Schools Finals of the Modern Biathlon run by Pentathlon GB in March. Felicity and fellow pupils, Rosie and Sophia, were gold medal winners in the team event.
Mrs Whittingham, Headmistress at St Hilary’s School says, “Sport features highly at St Hilary’s and is taught by specialist teachers whose aim is to help pupils reach their full potential. We are thrilled that Felicity is competing and representing St Hilary’s at a national level. It is a huge achievement and we are very proud to have a national champion.”
St Hilary's Demonstrates Dementia Friendly Status in Inter-Generation Initiative
St Hilary’s Preparatory School has teamed up with Jubilee House Care Home in Godalming as part of a new outreach project to promote intergenerational work between young children and people living with dementia.
19th March 2019 — St Hilary’s Preparatory School has teamed up with Jubilee House Care Home in Godalming as part of a new outreach project to promote intergenerational work between young children and people living with dementia. The four year olds from the school’s Kindergarten class visited the care home’s residents and will continue to do so on a weekly basis. It is believed that regular contact between the two generations will be of great benefit to both pupils and residents alike.
Following the first visit, Mrs Gemma Mitchell, Deputy Headmistress at St Hilary’s says “The children were exceptional. They showed courage and confidence in the new environment and enjoyed the adventure of travelling in the school minibus. Congratulations to our pupils who communicated and played so well with the Jubilee House residents. It was clear to see that both the children and adults felt rewarded and enjoyed the experience.”
Mrs Jane Whittingham, Headmistress of the school on Holloway Hill says “we are delighted to have teamed up with Jubilee House for this important intergeneration initiative. Since becoming a dementia friendly school, we are keen to play our part in changing people’s perceptions of dementia and remove the stigma attached to it. We believe our pupils will benefit from the new experience and that it will help them in their language development, building relationships and boost their confidence as well as giving them empathy for the older generation. We hope the residents in turn should reap the benefits of interacting with the children. We understand that the contact with the children will enable them to feel less isolated, support their memories, help them feel valued and encourage improved health benefits, both mentally and physically.”
Totka Zhelyazkova, home manager at Jubilee House, said: “The residents and care home team loved welcoming the children from St Hilary’s Preparatory School. Here at Jubilee House, we support residents to lead fulfilling and active lives, and are always looking for innovative ways to involve residents in activities and encourage new friendships.”
“The first session was a great opportunity to create special bonds across the generations – young and older people alike really benefit from the social interaction. The communication, interactions and affection between the residents and the children was incredibly moving to see – they loved spending time with each other. We look forward to our future weekly visits from our new friends at St Hilary’s Preparatory School.”
St Hilary's Preparatory School in Godalming is delighted to announce that we will be welcoming boys into Year 3 from September 2019 in a plan to become fully co-educational by September 2022.
11th September 2018 — The independent school has historically provided places to girls aged 2 – 11 and boys aged 2 – 7. However, the school will now become fully co-educational, in phases from September 2019, when boys aged seven are invited to join Year 3 and then progress through the school until Year 6.
Mrs Jane Whittingham, Headmistress since 2012, says of the move “We continually review the education we offer and the aspirations of our parents for their children. We have become increasingly aware that this is changing and many more parents are looking for an environment in which boys and girls are educated alongside each other rather than in separate schools.”
“We see that this will be an extension of what we are currently offering and the changes will mean that boys will not have to leave a school where they are settled and happy. Our ethos and values will remain the same and we are making plans to ensure that both boys and girls will continue to receive the top class education we are so proud of at St Hilary's.”
St Hilary’s has beaten the competition from 15 other countries to win the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation's Global Canvas Children’s Art Competition.
27th March 2018 — St Hilary’s is proud to announce that they have won this year’s Global Canvas Children’s Art Competition. The competition, run by the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF), was entered by 4,500 children from 16 countries and had the theme of `Into the Wild’. St Hilary’s was initially shortlisted for the finals and awarded first place at a prize giving ceremony at the Natural History Museum in London yesterday. Miss Jessica Brooker, Head of Art says “Girls in Year 4 and 5 have worked hard to create this art installation for the competition and so we are thrilled to be chosen as the winners. Year 4 felt strongly about the plight of the shark and were upset to learn that they are killed for their fins. They wanted to create a sculpture that captured the shape and movement of a shark. Pupils used chicken wire, mod-rock and papier-mâché. They then decorated `Hope’ using a Jackson Pollock paint technique. Year 5 have created this amazing textile hanging based on `The Great Wave’. They have sewn dyed made felt and embellished recycled textiles. Finally, our Fun Art Club made a fishing net by weaving recycled materials and plastic bags. Moved by Blue Planet II, the children wanted to get the message across that plastics should not end up in our delicate oceans. It has been an amazing team effort.” As first place winners, St Hilary’s was awarded with a prize of £100 and they have decided to use the money to give something back to the DSWF charity by sponsoring the endangered wildlife the charity looks after.