“I was required to shield for longer but support from teachers meant I did not fall behind”- The college supporting their student through the pandemic and beyond

The past two years have been a challenging time for those in education, with many expressing legitimate concerns that the Covid-19 pandemic could have disrupted students’ valuable learning time.

Leah McDermott experienced this first-hand; as a secondary school student looking towards her first year of A-Levels, neither she nor her peers de ella could have anticipated what was to come.

Lockdown meant that her GCSE examinations were severely affected, and many pupils felt that they didn’t have the same adjustment period from high school to college which would have made the move feel more natural, and less of a daunting prospect.

Leah chose to study Sociology, Criminology and Applied Psychology at The Cheadle College, which stood out to her above other colleges when attending their open day, as ‘they showed that they care deeply about supporting their students’ – a value that was extremely important in the circumstances.

“It was made clear that Cheadle College ensures each of their students receive the support they require to achieve the best they can, and advise students on what pathway would benefit them most in their college experience,” she said.

“A Levels are obviously expected to be difficult, but whenever I was struggling I found support in the college. This made my time at college easier to deal with and more enjoyable.”

Leah hopes to pursue a degree in Psychology in the future

Lockdown also affected Leah in her first year at college, but thanks to the passion and dedication of her teachers, she never felt that remote learning was having an adverse effect on her education.

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“Teachers were extremely supportive throughout lockdowns and remote learning, and helpful when we returned to learning within the classroom.

“Resources were made available on Teams, and teachers kept in contact to ensure we were okay and on track, and provided additional support if we needed it.”

Leah had the extra worry of being more vulnerable to the Covid-19 virus, which meant that she was required to shield for longer than the national lockdown, but the college staff always made sure that she didn’t fall behind and kept up with the rest of her classmates.

She credits Cheadle College’s dedication to fulfilling each individual students’ needs to her success at achieving A* grades, and inspiring her to take her education further.

Leah was impressed with the support she was given at Cheadle College
Leah was impressed with the support she was given at Cheadle College

“My plans after college are to go to university. I applied to universities across the north as they are far enough away whilst still being close to home,” she said.

“I have chosen to study Psychology as I feel my teachers have provided me with the support and information required to pursue this at degree level.”

What can The Cheadle College offer other prospective students?

The Cheadle College prides itself on being an inclusive institution
The Cheadle College prides itself on being an inclusive institution

As an educational institution, The Cheadle College is committed to caring for each individual within a friendly and supportive learning environment, and they look forward to welcome a new cohort of potential students at their open day on Wednesday, March 16, the first in person meeting since the Covid-19 pandemic.

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With over 800 students drawn from all walks of life they pride themselves on being an inclusive college. All college staff and students are treated equally and with respect – regardless of background, ability, beliefs or lifestyle choice – and everyone contributes to a progressive and positive learning environment.

They offer both educational routes available to 16 year olds after leaving secondary school, namely A levels and vocational programs such as BTECs, in a stimulating learning environment, as well as the opportunity for adult learners to access a variety of higher educational courses.

A-level subjects range from the traditional to the creative; students can study from a range of English Literature and Photography, Further Maths and Business, Media Studies or Sociology.

Vocational courses include Applied Sciences, Art and Design, Health and Social care, and many more.

As a result their students progress to the first class destination of their choice, be it university, higher apprenticeship or employment.

They offer both educational routes available to 16 year olds after leaving secondary school
They offer both educational routes available to 16 year olds after leaving secondary school

The Cheadle College is part of the newly established Trafford College Group, which also includes The Cheadle College, Marple Sixth Form College and Stockport College.

The merger was approved on May 4, 2021 to create the largest education provider in the Stockport region with more than 12,000 students.

The group structure and ethos of ‘One College, Local Difference’ ensures that each college retains its local identity in order to meet the needs of its specific community. Students will see and feel very little change, but they can have confidence and reassurance that behind the scenes their education is being delivered and supported by a large college group.

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James Scott, Principal and CEO of Trafford College Group said: “At The Cheadle College we are very proud of our high academic and vocational standards but also believe students should get the opportunity to expand their horizons outside of the classroom.

“The Cheadle College is embedded in its local community and strives to be a good neighbour. Students and staff regularly get involved in charity initiatives which benefit local causes, and we hold regular college events which are open to everyone.”

The Cheadle College Open Day is taking place Wednesday 16 March between 4:30pm-7pm.

For more information, visit their website here, or follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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