Breaking Limits is the innovative Ablaze project which engages with schools to support students who are under-achieving academically and may consequently under-perform at GCSE. The young people may include those with low literacy and numeracy skills, have English as a second language, special educational needs, be eligible for free school meals or be a child in care or a young carer – any one of which might result in low self-esteem, lack of confidence, aspiration and poor self-image.
The Breaking Limits programme provides young people with the opportunity to challenge their own assumptions about themselves, to increase their confidence and self-esteem and to view their future and their career opportunities more positively.
The foundation for the programmes lies in the need for young people across Bristol to be made aware of the wider opportunities available to them and to increase their employability skills by guiding them through a range of enabling activities.
These activities can be explored as concepts as well as practical exercises and will lead to a greater understanding of the importance of developing the skills and qualifications they will need if they are to take advantage of job opportunities in the future.
Ablaze provides volunteers – people of all ages from Bristol businesses and organisations - as subject specialists and positive role models. There is no requirement for teaching or other skills but enthusiasm and imagination are significant engagement tools which can achieve a positive response from the students.
All programme sessions are held during the school day, at the school and volunteers are supported by school staff in attendance. The Ablaze Partnership Manager is also available for advice and support.
The general framework is flexible and the programme is based on the availability of resources at the time.
The group of between 6 and 12 students works through 6 sessions of up to an hour. Each session is delivered by a different volunteer who is skilled in a relevant subject, or is a good role model who will stimulate interest through their own background, work or hobby.
All the sessions will generally serve two purposes - to provide an awareness of the topic and an insight into careers and future employability.