La Retraite Roman Catholic Girls' School

Hear from our Staff

Hear from our Staff

Our staff are our most valuable resource and we pride ourselves on investing in them, to ensure the best outcomes for students.  Our unique working environment offers many benefits for staff, ranging from training opportunities and guest speakers to a supportive culture and financial incentives.  Hear for yourself what our staff members value the most in their career at La Retraite.

Matt Dutton, Assistant Headteacher

With a passion for making education stimulating and engaging and supporting students to overcome barriers to learning, our Assistant Headteacher, Matt, joined us over 7 years ago during his teacher training period as a Maths teacher and has progressed with ambition to his current position.

It is the sense of community, shared values, diverse population of students and progressive students with a hunger for learning which makes his role fulfilling and rewarding citing the teaching profession at La Retraite as a privilege, a challenge, and a joy.

As Assistant Headteacher, he sees the future of the school as only further enhancing and enriching the lives of our students, through working alongside the Leadership Team with this common goal and shared vision, which he believes is a key contributor to the school’s success.  He looks forward to developing the school’s response to digital learning and pioneering new ways to supporting students excel in the changing world of education, both inside and outside the classroom.

 

“Working with aspirational students and helping to support the accomplishment of these was a major draw to a career in teaching – and La Retraite School is one like no other. I  am inspired to improving the life changes of our young girls and making a real impact on their outcomes, within a long-standing and committed staff team who contribute and exceptional blend of expertise, passion, care and devotion to every child.  Our teachers believe there are no limits to the success our students can achieve, and this is makes every day rewarding”

Madeleine Love, Data & Admissions Manager

“I joined La Retraite on a temporary basis to support with covering the administration team following graduation from University with a science-based degree.  It became clear within my placement that not only the professional or academic development of staff and students are valued, but the wellbeing too – without hesitation I accepted a permanent position at the school.

Every student is consistently encouraged and pushed to achieve their potential, with a host of opportunities beyond the classroom offered to increase their cultural capital, enhance their CVs and applications, and provide valuable experiences to support their progression to further education and careers.  I have found this to be replicated in my own experience at the school.  I have been given numerous opportunities to grow, develop and take on more responsibilities.  I have progressed from Reception support to taking on responsibilities related to marketing, Scholarships, admissions, and data support, and am now in my current role as Data & Admissions Manager

I look forward to further developing my established skillset whilst working at La Retraite and acquiring more invaluable knowledge to support the development of the school and my own understanding of data and analysis within a school setting”.

Reynold Stober, Head of Business and Vocational Lead

With 20 years at La Retraite under his belt, Reynold’s passion for every student’s individual success and personal development is evident.  Citing a dedication to inspiring the next generation of learners and broadening their horizons, Reynolds believes that students choose La Retraite for its safe environment and high academic expectations, the balanced curriculum and rich student experience where every learner overcomes barriers and students thoroughly enjoy school, with inclusivity at the heart of the school community.

When queried why Reynold was inspired to work at the school, he stated the Christian principles and values which reflected his own, the community of kindness and consideration and the drive among the whole staff body of wanting every student to achieve their utmost.  In addition, staff benefit from positive and collaborative relationships with one another, allowing us to work closely in a close-knit environment, sharing best practice for the benefit of both our own development and our students.

Reynold commented that the sense of achievement and fulfilment experiences daily within his career comes directly from knowing that his contributions have made a difference to the lives of students.

 

“La Retraite is not only a popular choice for students, but also for staff through development opportunities and sense of care towards every member of staffs welfare. Within my role, I work closely with students to ensure the curriculum meets their needs, develops their skills, and prepare them for the next stage of their lives, whether that is the world of work or progression into university. I look forward to developing within my role and expanding the provision for our students, to create a broad offer that not only meets the needs of every student but empowers them to succeed”.

Marie Newell, Safeguarding Officer

A long-standing member of our school community, Marie not only attended La Retraite herself, but has remained a pillar of the school and wider community through strong ties with the local parish and primary schools.

Having joined La Retraite in 2014, Marie sees the future of her role as continuing to support staff in understanding the needs of students and to help enhance every child’s ability to achieve, through strong relationships with colleagues, students, and families. Looking to the future, Marie aims to continue providing unified support to encourage the development of the growing Pastoral team.

When discussing the student experience, Marie speaks highly of the support, high quality environment and resources, encouragement of success, inclusivity, and sense of value that every girl feels, and comments that this is not only limited to students. Praising the working culture at La Retraite, Marie commented:

 “Staff wellbeing is placed highly on the agenda of the school, with an open-door policy meaning every member of staff has the ability seek support where needed, have their voice heard and understand that they are valued and appreciated. Staff work and effort is recognised and rewarded by our visionary leaders, and I feel job satisfaction every day, and feel proud of what our school has already achieved, and what is to come.

I was inspired to return to La Retraite by the strong relationships  between the school, community, and Parish – working here does not feel like working at a school, but within a community.  I applied for the role of Safeguarding Officer when this was a relatively new concept, which I felt spoke volumes of the school’s forward-thinking, holistic and caring approach to support. I  believe what makes La Retraite is the Headteacher's drive to not only want our students to achieve academically, but meeting all of their needs and ensuring they benefit from the highest standard of teaching, pastoral support and go on to be accomplished and confident young adults.”

Naiomi Tamakloe, Head of Year 10 & Associate Assistant Headteacher

 

"As a member of the La Retraite Legacy – a member of the school alumni – myself, I was keen to come back and share with current students the school experience I had myself.  With a passion for mentoring and a love for my subject, science, I pride the school on equipping me with the knowledge, training, and expertise to deliver the highest standard of education for every student in my care.

What makes my role rewarding is the opportunity to have both academic and pastoral responsibilities, offering a unique perspective of the school. I witness how the support we offer every student benefits them and the impacts it has on their personal and academic growth and for me this is incredibly fulfilling.  Our girls love their school experience as they are engaged, respected and cared about, and this is a direct result of our approachable and visionary senior leadership team."

Andrew Bloss, Second in Charge of History

Andrew began his career journey working as a journalist and volunteering with a youth charity, where he was inspired to make a difference to young adults lives and empower them to achieve their goals.

Arriving at La Retraite 6 years ago in 2014 during his PGCE placement year, Andrew has quickly progressed to Head of KS3 History, where he has the opportunity to shape the History curriculum to ensure it is rigorous, challenging, and diverse for every student. Praising the school for supporting him in continuously improving his craft as a teacher, he looks forward to expanding his skillset as a teacher with the support of senior leaders and has now trained as a SENDCo, to further his positive impact on the school community.   He will take over as school SENDCo in January 2023.

"When I first began working at La Retraite, I was struck by the high level of both challenge and care that extends to not only the students, but also staff.  The school environment maintains a culture of growth which encourages staff and students to flourish and take advantage of CPD opportunities and progression prospects.  For me, my career is made worthwhile by seeing students’ characters grow and develop and fostering a community which challenges every student achieve both academically and personally." 

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