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La Retraithe Sixth Form

Hear from Our Students

Lilian: Leading the way with Zeal and Purpose

Here from Lilian, School President 2023/24:

After learning about the variety of courses and opportunities offered when in lower school, I was eager to continue my sixth form experience at La Retraite 6. After I expressed my enthusiasm for the field I want to work in, a number of teachers and school-sponsored programmes reached out to me and encouraged me to pursue my objectives.

Growing up at this school, I've learned that La Retraite is exceedingly versatile and often offers helpful guidance when faced with challenges. I urge everyone to think about La Retraite when deciding where to continue their education since, in addition to having an abundance of resources, the school community fosters a sense of familial bonds among students. It is a privilege to be School President!

Monique: hitting high notes with her passion for politics

Monique is an active member of the student leadership team and mentors’ younger students, inspiring them with her experiences of singing at Wembley with the school gospel choir and performing in a tour across Belgium.

Lessons at La Retraite are mentally stimulating, which is why I enjoy my subjects and have chosen to progress into La Retraite 6. Outside the classroom, the sixth form supports me to achieve my goal of being an outstanding communicator, and a confident public speaker and debater. These are skills that I think will help me achieve my dream of becoming a great lecturer of politics.

La Retraite 6 has incredible links through the La Retraite Legacy and its business partnerships. They have opened doors to a world of opportunities that I wouldn’t have had otherwise and have set me on my way to success. This sixth form is a unique experience, and I would recommend it to everyone.

Cristopher: Cashing in on incredible learning experiences

I was drawn to La Retraite 6 because of the range of enrichment opportunities and additional academic prospects I could experience. I believed these would be beneficial to both my own growth and to any future applications I made.

I was lucky enough to benefit from the Scholarship Programme, which first and foremost opened my eyes to the opportunities available to me. Through a series of lectures and chances to visit employers I was able to see what my future could be. In my role as Sixth Form President, I was able to build the leadership skills that employer’s value so highly.

La Retraite’s culture of encouragement, from both teachers and students, was complemented by incredible learning experiences, including a trip to Washington DC and work experience to gain exposure in my chosen industry.

Thankfully, my instincts about La Retraite 6 were proved correct. The support I received has allowed me to fulfil my dream of taking up a degree apprenticeship at the Bank of New York Mellon.

Fiona, Alumnus: close community, global opportunity

Fiona graduated from La Retraite in 2014 as the President of sixth form and with a portfolio of results and experiences that enabled her to pursue her ambitious goals. She regularly returns to talk to students about her experiences at Oxford University.

Attending La Retraite inspired my passion for academia and the people I met showed me the importance of a strong education. I have countless fond memories of my time here, including the close-knit community and the experiences I was given outside of class. These built my self-belief and prepared me for life after school. I left to attend Oxford University to read Workforce Strategy and from there went to study at Harvard University in Massachusetts where I achieved a Masters in Culture Consultancy. I now work for PwC, one of the largest professional services companies in the world.

Kalifa Gordon: going the extra mile

For Kalifa, the highlight of her time at La Retraite is belonging to a supportive community and establishing long lasting friendships. Crediting teachers for going the extra mile and always inspiring her to pursue her ambitions, Kalifa takes pride in establishing her sense of independent and learning what she can do to make a difference in society, as a result.

With plans to read Law at university and ambitious of becoming a barrister, Kalifa praises teachers for providing additional resources and networking connections to further her interests.

I have loved my time at La Retraite, from the interesting lessons and supportive learning environment to the endless encouragement and sense of family among us. The entire school community is welcoming, nurturing and wants the best for one another and each other’s wellbeing. In addition, the student body has a voice that is listened to – which I feel has provided me with practise and experience to prepare me for the court of law.

Ruth Adeyeye: hands-on experiences

The highlight of my school experience so far has been participating in shadowing schemes at universities. Gaining real life exposure and experiencing university first hand has offered a unique insight into what lies ahead of me, and how I can prepare. Such opportunities provided by the school have cemented my aspirations of studying Medicine at university and for these reasons alongside the supportive teachers and family-feel to the school, I would recommend it to any girl.

Harry Warren:  fulfilling every potential

Harry joined the La Retraite 6 in 2018, where he gained three A-Levels in English and Sciences, alongside the EPQ. Now reading Law at York University, we caught up with him to find out more about his La Retraite experience.

As soon as I joined the La Retraite 6, I wanted to enjoy all of the opportunities they offered, not only to enjoy new prospects but also to enhance my CV and university applications. I soon became President of Sixth Form, and embarked on the scholarship programme, which provided access to unique law opportunities, open days, and my own mentor from a law firm. I would recommend the La Retraite 6 to any student and encourage them to fulfil the pathway and goal aspirations they want to take – the Sixth Form staff are very supportive and dedicated to helping every student progress.

Min Luo: pushing the boundaries

Min Luo left La Retraite Sixth Form in 2019 with a long list of achievements under her belt and having secured a place at the prestigious University of Oxford, to read Oriental Studies and Japanese. Citing the support of staff, Min Luo speaks highly of her teachers, who coached her to achieve her potential and encouraged her to pursue her goals, commenting that she will remember the kindness and support for years to come.

When asked what advice she would offer her younger self, Min Luo recalls the varying experiences offered by the school to push her out of her comfort zone, that enabled her to become confident in her own accomplishments. Referring to the school as a safe haven, she fondly refers to the school as family.

My greatest achievement to date is getting in to Oxford University, despite challenges faced and high entry requirements. It was incredibly rewarding to have achieved my greatest goal, and I believe La Retraite helped me in every aspect: from the supportive community of staff and peers, opportunities offered that provided me with the skills I would use beyond school, including different learning techniques and preparation to adapting to a new environment. I am so grateful and proud to have attended the school and Sixth Form, and truly cherish my seven years at La Retraite.


“I attended La Retraite Secondary School and I was always planning on staying on for the Sixth Form, but when I heard that La Retraite 6 launched T Levels, it was a no brainer! I knew that I would be supported at La Retraite 6, as I always have been, but I had no idea that this would extend beyond the pastoral side and begin to prepare me for university, and my career beyond Sixth Form. Studying a T Level has given me a head start: every Tuesday I take part in work experience with children at a nursery, where I am able to put what I learn in the classroom into practise. The course is so advanced – by the time I go to university I will be ready for, and have already experienced: the blend of classroom and practical learning. I am looking forward to reading Psychology and Education at Exeter University, and training as a child psychotherapist.”  


“I chose to do a T Level because I was seeking a different experience, and the blend of coursework, classroom learning, and an industry placement was incredibly appealing as I knew I would gain a competitive edge, which will set my CV and applications apart from the crowd. I was the first person in my class to secure a placement, which I undertook at Vector, and this has really boosted my confidence. I believe the main advantage of taking a T Level is the exposure to the professional world and first-hand experiences of your chosen sector. I plan to use this course as a stepping stone to university and study a more complex digital course, as I hope to become a software engineer, or even try and find a way into the cyber security sector.”