Bristol's Mayor, Marvin Rees, made a special visit to St Michael's on the Mount Primary School
on Friday 7th July to show his support for improving literacy across the city and find out about the school's
Ablaze Reading Buddy intervention being provided by BBC Bristol employees.
BBC Bristol was partnered with St Michael's on the Mount Primary school by Ablaze, a charity
providing support for under-performing schools in Bristol and South Gloucestershire, almost seven
years ago. Since then staff have been volunteering to give weekly support to pupils who are
struggling with their reading. This one-to-one additional reading intervention gives these pupils the
extra practice they need to fully master literacy, keep up with their classmates and give them the
confidence to move on to Secondary School with their heads held high.
The Mayor was also treated to a performance from the School Choir, who sang an extract from their
contribution in the school’s Shakespearean play, as well as a demonstration of the pupils' “Talk for
Writing” project – an activity-based method used to bring a story to life.
Stuart McClelland, the School's Executive Head Teacher, said of the Mayor's visit:
“It was a wonderful opportunity to showcase the exciting learning which is happening in our
school. The relationship with the BBC volunteers, through Ablaze, has such a positive impact on the
pupils involved and is a project we really value. They are fantastic people and are so supportive
and engaging. It was a pleasure to share this with The Mayor, as we know how much he values
Marvin Rees commented about his visit:
“Giving children a good start in life is really important and strong reading skills are a big part of
this. Being able to read well not only gives pupils an advantage in education, but also opens up a
whole world of experiences which wouldn’t otherwise be available. The partnership between Ablaze
and BBC Bristol is helping these children to lay the future foundations for success, and that is
something they should be proud of. As a Learning City, we are working with a wide range of
different organisation to promote learning and this is another excellent example.”
Ablaze are a business-led charity who are wholly reliant on corporate sponsorship and CSR
involvement to help them support as many Primary & Secondary School pupils who are struggling
with their learning as possible. If your business would like to support schools in the Bristol and
South Gloucestershire area, please visit www.ablazebristol.org for further information.