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Transition into La Retraite

A welcome from Ms McFarlane, Head of Year 7

To welcome our new Year 7 girls to La Retraite and ensure their progression from primary to secondary school is as successful as possible, we have developed a bespoke transition programme that begins the moment your child is offered a place with us.

We know how exciting the move to secondary education is for every child and the role it plays in supporting their adjustment to their new surroundings. Our unique programme ensures that our girls experience a smooth and enjoyable start to their journey with us and plays an integral role in supporting the development of passionate, ambitious, and independent young learners.

As we are unable to welcome pupils onsite, we have crafted a carefully planned transition programme that will allow pupils to see for themselves all we have to offer, meet our dedicated and friendly staff, and gain an insight into what La Retraite has in store for them, from the safety of your own home. 

It is our pledge that students will still have the opportunity to meet their tutors, begin building friendships and familiarise themselves with their new environment, long before their first day.

Should you wish to discuss transition, specific needs or to request a tour onsite of the school, please do not hesitate to get in touch via the school reception.

     - Miss McFarlane

Here’s what you can expect:


Congratulations! You have received your place at La Retraite, and we are eagerly awaiting your arrival. This month, our team will send out a Welcome Pack including the latest edition of our newsletter and you will receive a video directly from our Headteacher, welcoming you to the La Retraite family.

Our traditional Friendship Afternoon will be replaced with a virtual event this year. A tour led by the Head of Year 7 will take you around the school and visit different classrooms and offer the opportunity to meet with some of your new teachers for an insight of what to expect in your first year of the subject.


Join us for virtual sessions with members of our Senior Leadership team. Aimed at parents, our Senior Leaders will be on hand to answer any questions you may have linked to the transition process, life at La Retraite, what to expect and any other questions you may have. Children can look forward to receiving a quiz led by our History Department, and Joining La Retraite Guide which includes useful information, top tips and what you can expect.

Please email any questions you might have to – these go straight to the Head of Year 7, Miss McFarlane, who will be answering these over summer.


Keep an eye on your inbox! This month you can expect an All About Me Booklet, to ensure we get to know you as much as possible before September and a taster video from our Science Department, filled with fun experiments you can do at home.


Miss McFarlane will be answering your questions via video message and letting you know if we will be able to meet you in person before the end of summer. If not, fear not! Look forward to an English Masterclass focused on poetry this month, and a special edition of our newsletter to see what we have been getting up to this term.


Nearly there! This month, the preparations for joining us really take off. A live session will allow you to meet with your new tutor and form class. Your tutor will introduce our Summer Challenges booklet, which we hope will keep you busy completing before September! Keep your eyes peeled for a video from our Languages department, to get you ready for your new French and Spanish lessons, come September.


Even though our students are not completing exams this year, in August you will receive a newsletter filled with our student’s achievements and proudest moments, to get you excited for what is to come. Start to get ready – here you will receive your final checklist, ahead of your very first day.


Welcome to La Retraite! You will have a day in school on your own to find your way around school, complete team building activities with new classmates and teachers.

Should you wish to discuss transition, specific needs or to request a tour onsite of the school, please do not hesitate to get in touch via the school reception.

Miss McFarlane, Year 7 Learning Co-ordinator

Hear From Our Students

Introducing Heli, Year 7 Student

With dreams of attending university to study Medicine or Law, Heber alumni student Heli was drawn to La Retraite for its Outstanding Ofsted status, long history of success and reputation as one of the top schools in the country.

“The change from primary to secondary school has been huge, but La Retraite helped me to settle in through virtual meetings, answering questions, transition work online and calls with teachers, which really prepared me for what was to come. I wanted to attend La Retraite because of their results, teaching and school values and for these reasons I would recommend the school to any girl”.

Olivia, Year 7 Student and St John XXIII Catholic Primary Alumni, in her own words

“I chose to apply for La Retraite as it specialises in Science, Maths and had a strong Music department: my three favourite subjects and some of which I hope to pursue later in life through my career and passions. Moving from primary to secondary school was a big change, but the school helped me, and all my peers, to settle in through visits to our primary schools to outline expectations and invitations to the school for Friendship Afternoon, Taster and Retreat Days, a staggered start and much more, which allowed us to begin building friendships, get to know our new school surroundings and meet with our teachers, which eased the process. I would recommend La Retraite to any girl looking for a welcoming school environment, lots of clubs, opportunities to try something new and teachers that make learning exciting”.

Meet Lara, Year 7 Student

Henry Cavendish Primary School alumni Lola is aiming with high, with ambitions to take her passion for the arts and establish a successful career as an actress, following the achievement of a university degree. Citing virtual meetings and a staggered start for helping her transition into life at secondary school, she praises the kind and friendly community atmosphere, and Catholic ethos for welcoming her to the school.

“La Retraite is a unique school, that wants the best for every girl. All of us are offered the opportunity to study and learn an instrument, alongside a range of other clubs and subjects that challenge us to be the very best we can be and learn new skills vital for our future. All teachers have high aspirations for us, and they are dedicated to helping us achieve what we have set our minds to”.

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