Learner Support

We’re with you every step of the way during your time at Marple Sixth Form College. 

Before learners start with us, the information you provide during enrolment will assist our teams and tutors in understanding the needs of the students in their classes with particular requirements and allow teachers to adopt the appropriate teaching and learning strategies that will meet these needs. From consultations with your course tutors and pastoral support, to one-to-one counselling, we want to make your time at Marple as enjoyable as possible. 

Services available at Marple

Consultation with your Course Tutor or Pastoral Support Mentor

Pastoral Support

College Counsellor (you can self-refer in Learner Services)

Mental Health and Wellbeing Workshops

See your Pastoral Support Mentor for Further details

External Counselling Service

(referral can be made via your GP)

Websites such as “The Mix” and “Kooth” offer support outside of Sixth Form

Additional Learning Needs & Local Offer

We offer a wide range of personalised support to ensure you can fully access Marple Sixth Form and your chosen course. We will help you to find the strategies that work for you during your time at college and in your future career.

We proactively implement the SEND principles: enabling participation, collaboration with partners, high quality provision, inclusive practices, removing barriers to learning and preparing for adulthood.

It’s normal to feel overwhelmed by the move from school to a Sixth Form or college. Our friendly Transition Team is here to make your start with us run smoothly, so if you have any special educational needs (SEN) or you have an educational healthcare plan then the Transition Team is a good place to start. 

As part of the Children’s and Families Act, a SEND Local Offer is a requirement for schools, colleges and local authorities to publish the provision available to children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) or disabilities.

At Marple Sixth Form we are committed to meeting the needs of all our students. Our offer describes how we support the special educational needs and disabilities of young people and adults. Find out more about our Local Offer here.

Further Learner Services Support

We embrace the opportunities that technology can bring to your studies and encourage you to use it wherever possible. The Sixth Form has a range of assistive software available for all students. We can also lend you equipment such as laptops and digital voice recorders, or even better, show you how to make the most of your own kit.

Your time at college is valuable. How you spend it will determine what direction you take after your time with us. As part of the learner support provided, the Career Guidance team is here to help you make the right decisions. We can help you in a number of ways, from giving you advice on the most appropriate course to take before you start, to helping you decide what you want to do when you finish your course by considering your interests, abilities and whether you’re after more education, training or work.

We also have a fully stocked careers library, including a section for graduates, with career databases and software packages to help you decide on your future direction.

When you submit your application to Sixth Form, or during the enrolment process, we ask that you tell us if you are care experienced by ticking the relevant box on your application form. This enables us to link you with a Pastoral Support Mentor (PSM) who will contact you to discuss a bespoke support plan and ensure that you are settling in. Your Pastoral Support Mentor will also serve as a link with any social worker you are currently working with and a parent/guardian.

As a care experienced learner you are entitled to receive a bursary to help with travel, equipment, trips and college meals. You are entitled to up to £1200 on a study programme that lasts for 30 weeks or more. Study programmes of less than 30 weeks are paid a pro-rata amount. You will be sent an application form in the post or alternatively can collect one from Learner Services. If you require any help completing the form then please speak with your pastoral support mentor or the front desk of Learner Services.

For more information for care experienced young people, please read our Principles of the Care Experienced Covenant.

For definitions regarding care experienced learners please visit: The Higher Education Statistics Agency for Definitions of a care leaver / looked after status or the NSPCC definition of ‘looked after children’.

Sometimes personal problems can make it difficult to concentrate on studying. It’s reassuring to know that you can call on a professional and confidential counselling service if you need to.

You are welcome to talk to us about issues such as relationship difficulties, bereavement or anything else that is on your mind, without judgement. Counselling is available to full and part-time students.

Tel: 0161 952 4694

Our dedicated team of learning facilitators will work with you to design a personalised support package. We also work with partner agencies to ensure you can access the help you need. This could include any of the following:

  • In-class support
  • Out of class support
  • Study skills support
  • Modified material
  • Communication support
  • Dyslexia support
  • Support from Sensory Support/SALT specialists
  • Exams access arrangements

All learners are assigned a Pastoral Support Mentor (PSM). The Pastoral Support Mentors are trained to provide a frontline service for any mental health needs and are here to support you through the difficult times in your life that could stop you achieving your best at college.

Self-care techniques and general lifestyle changes can help support a positive mental health. Here are some tips for looking after yourself that you might find helpful.

If these work well for you then you may find you don’t need any formal treatments or meetings. However, it’s important to remember that there is unlikely to be an instant solution.

  • Keep a mood diary. Tracking your moods can help you to work out what makes you feel better or worse. You can then take steps to avoid, change or prepare for difficult situations. You can create your own mood diary or find one online – there are many freely available on the internet and as apps for your phone.
  • Build your self-esteem. Taking steps to increase your self-esteem can help you to feel more confident and able to cope 
  • Nourish your social life. Feeling connected to other people is important. It can help you to feel valued and confident about yourself, and can give you a different perspective on things. If you can, try to spend some time connecting with friends and family – even a text or phone call can make a difference.
  • Relaxation – you may already know what helps you relax, like having a bath, listening to music or taking your dog for a walk. If you know that a certain activity helps you feel more relaxed, make sure you set aside time to do it. 
  • Mindfulness – mindfulness is a therapeutic technique that involves being more aware of the present moment. This can mean both outside, in the world around you, and inside, in your feelings and thoughts. Practising mindfulness can help you become more aware of your own moods and reactions, but not everyone finds mindfulness helpful. 
  • Getting into nature – getting out into a green environment, such as a park or the countryside, is especially good for you. Even if you don’t have a garden or aren’t very mobile, caring for plants or animals indoors can still help you get some benefits from nature. 
  • Get enough sleep. Rest when you can. This can help you have the energy to cope with difficult feelings and experiences.
  • Keep Active. Regular exercise doesn’t have to be very strenuous or sporty to be effective – to start with you could try gentle exercise like going for a short walk, yoga or swimming. The important thing is to pick something you enjoy doing, so you’re more likely to stick with it. If you’re physically disabled, Disability Rights UK provides information about exercises you might be able to do. Alternatively, ask your doctor for advice.