St. Hild

The life and example of St. Hild (St. Hilda) are central to the core values and heart of our school. Here is some information regarding our Patron Saint.

St. Hild was born in Northumbria in 614, the daughter of Hereric, the nephew of King Edwin of Northumbria. She was baptised by St. Paulinus in 627 at the age of 13 along with King Edwin and his entire household. She learned the traditions of Celtic monasticism, which Aidan brought from Iona. St. Aidan appointed Hild as the second Abbess of Hartlepool Abbey. In 657 Hilda became the founding abbess of a new monastery at Whitby, then known as Streoneshalh, she remained there until her death. Through St. Hild’s leadership Whitby gained a great reputation, becoming a place of pilgrimage for many believers and a burial place for kings. People travelled from afar to consult her, as her wisdom became known and respected by monks royal personages. The monastery grew and St. Hild became the governor of a double monastery for both men and women, with a chapel in between. The place became a significant point of learning in both scripture and the arts and sciences. Five of the monks who studied under Hild later became bishops, including Saint Wilfrid of York and Saint John of Beverly.

Her kindness and encouraging spirit led to St. Hild being known as ‘Mother Hild.’ For St. Caedmon in particular she became a very influential person. The Venerable Bede praises St. Hild “as one of the greatest women of all time: She was the adviser of rulers as well as of ordinary folk; she insisted on the study of Holy Scripture and proper preparation for the priesthood; the influence of her example of peace and charity extended well beyond the walls of her monastery; and \"all who knew her called her Mother, such were her wonderful godliness and grace."


Often represented in art as holding Whitby Abbey in her hands with a crown on her head or at her feet St. Hild appears as a Godly and humble leader.

Even on her death bed St. Hild thought of the guidance of others with her last recorded words being: "Have evangelical peace among yourselves." She died on November 17, 680.

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Grid image for St. Hild text
Grid image for St. Hild text

We are a Church of England School

Every person in our school community is recognised as a child of God; so it is not the words alone of our Ethos statement that signify St. Hild’s as a Church of England school, but the reality of our daily life together. Our core Christian values of Care, Respect, Honesty, Responsibility and Equality underpin every aspect of school life. Students can expect to:

  • Receive an excellent education based on Christian beliefs and values – distinct beliefs and values underpin the education which takes place here every day. View our Core Values.
  • Encounter what it is to worship and live as a Christian – all students gather in year groups for collective worship, a period of calm reflection with the opportunity for prayer.
  • Learn that it is better to serve than be served – we embrace not only our many charitable endeavours but seek to serve the wider community. Supporting others and sharing God's love is a vital aspect of life at St. Hild's.
  • Develop their full God-given potential – we have high expectations of all our students, and they are encouraged to have high and increasing expectations of themselves, gradually taking personal responsibility for making the very most of their individual abilities.
  • Develop a sound basis for their own life choices – each day begins with a 'Thought for the Day' to discuss as a group. Thinking and reasoning skills are developed, also self-awareness, and students are continually challenged to take decisions for themselves, wisely taking support from those around them.
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Grid image for church of england text
Grid image for church of england text

Many faith communities are represented at St. Hild's; however it is not necessary for students or their families to be practising members of the Church of England or any other faith.

All students study a programme of Religious Education enabling them to understand and respect all the world’s major religions. Students in all year groups have the opportunity to become involved in leading acts of collective worship.