Back to top

La Retraithe Sixth Form


A broad and enviable enrichment programme complements the strength of our academic offer, equipping every student with the skills, qualities, and attributes necessary for them to flourish in their professional and personal lives.

We believe in the importance of beyond the classroom experiences. In addition to academic qualifications, students benefit from a wealth of social, interpersonal and leadership prospects to enhance not only their CVs, but their personal development.

Trips and experiences

Woven into the curriculum to complement academic studies and offer real-life learning experiences, our menu of trips are highly rewarding and introduce students to new things they may not have had the opportunity to experience before.

Global destinations have included Washington DC, New York, Barcelona, Iceland, Italy, and Switzerland, whilst working in partnership with St Pauls offers students access to Politics and Law networking events, Medicine conferences, UCAS fairs. Other institutions students can look forward to visiting include the Girls Talk Vodaphone, Livery Companies, St John’s College Cambridge, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and master classes at Cambridge, SOAS, UCL and Oxford universities.

In addition, workshops including the Catholic Voices and Amnesty International and Human Rights are hosted by the school, and Wellbeing Retreats are held offsite with a focus on mindfulness, scripture analysis, team building and leadership skills.

Learning opportunities

In addition to an array of enrichment opportunities, prospects to boost learning include:

  • The Sutton Trust Summer School Programme
  • Kings College London: raising aspirations for Medics programme
  • Insight Talks with the New College and Somerville College Oxford
  • Alumnae mentoring and networking events with members of the La Retraite Legacy
  • Insight talks led by industry experts
  • Mock interview practice for Oxbridge applicants led by Westminster School
  • Societies including: Medicine and Competitive Sciences; Law and Humanities; Politics, Philosophy and Economics; Maths, Engineering and Finance; Ancient and Modern Foreign Languages and T Level Python Coding at Imperial College London.


Highly regarded among universities and employers, the Extended Project Qualification encourages students to embark on a largely motivated project to explore a subject of their choice. Equivalent to half an A Level, this is an exceptional opportunity to develop research, academic and independent learning skills.

For more information, visit our course page.


At the La Retraite 6, students are encouraged and empowered to take on positions of responsibility and leadership. Formal roles include the Student Leadership Team and CAFOD Young Leaders and informal roles including leading school clubs, supporting staff in the classroom and the rest of school life.

All students also have the opportunity to undertake a Certificate of Personal Effectiveness, accredited by ASDAN. The certificate is worth 16 UCAS points/AS B Grade as is a nationally recognised qualification, based on activities undertaken by learners both inside and outside of school and a portfolio of evidence. The AoPE assessment units encourage the development of the skills required for progression to further education, training, or employment.


The La Retraite Giving Back Programme inspires our girls to work together, to contribute to their community. Through fundraising, support, volunteering and companionship, our girls are shown what it means to be empathetic and active citizens, ready to take their place in the world.

in 2020-21, Sixth Formers raise monies for Cancer Research Balham.


At the La Retraite 6, our sixth formers have access to 3 different programmes – Academic, Technical and Sports – each designed to support students with their studies and university/apprenticeship applications.

These aim to provide students with practical experience and equip them with skills and knowledge to support their future aspirations. Through a menu of workshops, additional language subjects and enrichment activity, our girls are challenged and mentored to prepare and succeed.

For more information, visit our Scholarship page.

Music Offer

Throughout the school year our music offer incorporates concerts, services, competitions, and events, including invitations to perform at ensembles outside of school, ranging from performances in London concert Halls and cathedrals, to Sunday mass services at our local parish churches.

Students can get involved in these events by joining our various performance groups including choirs, orchestras, and bands.  In addition, sixth form students are encouraged to support staff in rehearsals and events with those lower down the school.

A music tour abroad takes place annually.  Recent tours include singing in Bruges Cathedral (& Euro Disney. The department also regularly hosts trips to see concerts, operas and shows in the West End.

Students can apply to learn a musical instrument with a specialist teacher.  We offer tuition in most instruments, from violin to electric guitar, trumpet to saxophone. The school will pay for a large amount of the cost of these lessons, with parents asked to pay just a small contribution.

Our music instrument teachers are all highly accomplished at performing and teaching their instruments.  When they are not teaching in school, they often perform with famous artists and orchestras, so you will be learning from the very best on how to become a great performer yourself.