Ablaze has significant experience and expertise in managing a rich variety of volunteer led programmes for primary and secondary schools.

Our approach is simple.

  1. We listen to your needs and priorities,
  2. We recommend the interventions we think will best meet those needs,
  3. We tailor the content to best match your priorities,
  4. We find you a business to provide volunteers,
  5. We broker and manage that relationship from start to finish.

“The Reading Buddies really encourage the children to enjoy reading by spending good 1:1 time with them focusing on reading skills, praising them and discussing books. This can make a huge difference to many children. Their confidence and motivation increase as well as their attainment.”

If you are a Primary school we can offer you programmes to increase your pupils reading and maths confidence; Reading Buddies and Number Partners, a specially designed creative writing course working with a professional author and one-off role model visits and assemblies.

If you are a Secondary school we can provide you with a range of programmes from mentoring to employability workshops.

Everything we do is designed to increase student’s confidence, motivation and aspiration; knowledge of employability, careers and career pathways. Our interventions enable your students to have meaningful, multiple interactions with employers in line with the Government’s Career Strategy.

All our work focus’s on our mission to tackle inequality of opportunity for young people by utilising the skill and commitment of business volunteers.

Contact us to discuss how Ablaze can work with you and find out the costs involved.

Take a look at our evaluation results to see how our work benefits the young people who participate in our programmes.

If you have pupils who are struggling with their learning and in need of extra support to help raise their attainment levels, Ablaze can partner you with a local business to provide volunteers.

Many primary pupils across Bristol and South Gloucestershire aren’t getting the additional support they need to be able to reach the expected levels for starting secondary school. Pupils receiving the support of an Ablaze business Reading Buddy or Number Partner volunteer not only increase their attainment levels in these areas but also improve their communication skills and their outlook on life. This attention from an adult who isn’t a Teacher or family member has been shown to give children a massive boost to their confidence and self-esteem.

As well as developing reading, comprehension and language skills, the children benefit hugely from the positive relationships which are built over time.” St. Teresa’s Catholic Primary School Teacher

Why should your school get involved?

With the ever-increasing size of classes and pupils from a wide range of countries & backgrounds sharing the classroom, it is easy to see why some pupils can fall behind with their learning. Ablaze can help your school address this problem by partnering you with a local business. The business will provide volunteers who will visit your school weekly to support your pupils with their reading or mental maths through the interventions Reading Buddies and Number Partners. This support is not intended to replace the role of a Teacher but to enhance & widen your pupils’ learning opportunities and give them an introduction to adults outside of their own experience. The added bonus is that these interventions provide an eye into the world of business and can raise the aspirations of the supported young people.

Benefits for pupils

The main benefit to your pupils of receiving a business volunteer’s weekly support will be the chance  to help raise their attainment levels in reading and/or maths. Through Ablaze evaluations, it has been shown that this additional support helps pupils progress faster than they would on their own.  The increased enjoyment of reading for pleasure and the personal satisfaction when the ’mental maths’ penny drops are just two of the immeasurable benefits to pupils that go hand-in-hand with our Ablaze interventions. This more focussed attention also allows EAL pupils to get more opportunities to speak English; shyer pupils to gain more confidence speaking to an adult; pupils lacking from a positive adult role model to increase their career aspirations and pupils lacking in self-esteem to feel of value.

Before having a Reading Buddy, I didn’t like to read in front of people – now I am confident reading. I used to only read a little bit – I read more now, to get better at writing and get ideas.” St Michael’s on the Mount Primary pupil

How it works

Ablaze partners your school with a business within the local area and the business offers Reading Buddy and or Number Partner volunteers to support your primary pupils who are struggling in these areas of the curriculum. We manage all the logistics and contracts involved in setting up a business intervention and make the process as smooth as possible.

If your school would like to partner with a local business to receive Reading Buddy and/or Number Partner volunteers, please get in touch with Sally Ridley, our Primary Partnership Manager. Ablaze will then find a business within a short distance of your school and will manage all the logistics of setting up the intervention, help with Enhanced DBS clearances and manage the intervention throughout its term.

Evaluations

Take a look at our evaluations to see the impact Ablaze business volunteers can make to pupils who are struggling with their learning.

To find out more, please contact Sally Ridley, Primary Partnership Manager, here.

Reading Buddies

Help to raise the literacy levels of your under-performing pupils by giving them extra one-to-one reading opportunities with an Ablaze business volunteer.

Reading Buddies aim to encourage primary pupils to read more, read better and be more confident in their ability.  Schools have reported that when a pupil’s confidence grows from their reading sessions with a business volunteer, their comprehension & ability to master literacy improves at a greater speed than it would without this additional support.

Volunteers are paired with pupils who need extra support and they visit a school weekly, for 30 minutes, for an academic year.

If your school would like to take part in Reading Buddies we would

  • Match your school with a business
  • Manage the recruitment, training and DBS checks of your business volunteers
  • Hold review meetings with the school & business to make sure all parties are happy with the intervention’s progress
  • Broker and manage the relationship from start to finish
  • Evaluate the intervention’s impact every year, to maintain the scheme’s future success

“The children are more confident at reading aloud but also, more importantly, have had regular practice of answering questions about their reading. It is this focus on questioning which has had a real impact.” Oasis Long Cross

How pupils benefit

  • Improved reading skills
  • Enjoyment of reading and talking about books
  • Improved confidence in their abilities through the informal mentoring an Ablaze Reading Buddy can provide
  • Improved communication skills through one-to-one support from an adult who isn’t a family member or teacher

“Ablaze business volunteers give the children time with an adult not just to share a book but to discuss vocabulary, explore ideas & predictions and draw on real life experiences. It’s a very special time and all the children who take part from our school look forward to their weekly meet ups.” Blaise Primary School

Ablaze encourages schools to choose the pupils who need extra support the most – this could be because they might not be receiving reading support at home, they have English as an Additional Language, or that they just need additional reading practice so that they don’t slip behind.

Evidence

Research suggests that there is a positive relationship between reading frequency, reading enjoyment and attainment levels in pupils :

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/284286/reading_for_pleasure.pdf

There is plenty of evidence which highlights the importance of being a competent reader by the time a child leaves primary school:

https://literacytrust.org.uk/policy-and-campaigns/read-on-get-on/

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/sep/08/reading-literacy-uk-cbi-schools-read-on-get-on-campaign

Take a look at our evaluation results to see how our work benefits the young people who participate in our programmes.

Please contact Sally Ridley to find out how your school could set up a Reading Buddy intervention and the costs involved.

“Ablaze Reading Buddies have raised the profile of reading. The quality time the children spend with an interested adult helps develop a sense of worth, develops confidence and helps to increase reading skills which impacts on the whole of their learning.” St Teresa’s Catholic Primary School

Number Partners

Help to raise the numeracy attainment levels of your under-performing pupils by allowing them extra small-group maths practice with an Ablaze business volunteer.

Ablaze is a member of the National Number Partners Consortium and we are the brokers for Number Partner interventions in the South West. Please see www.numberpartners.org for further information.

Number Partners aim to increase the skills of pupils who are struggling with simple maths calculations.  An Ablaze business volunteer supports pupils by playing targeted number games for 30 minutes a week. Through the scheme, children gain increased confidence & skills when it comes to their maths work and this informal support boosts their attitude to learning maths. Ablaze businesses provide a box of twelve ‘Primary Maths Games’ for the sessions. The games can be viewed here: http://www.themathszone.co.uk/shop/new-primary-games-box-pr-4.html

“Number Partners is excellent for engaging the children, building their confidence and giving them the opportunity to enjoy maths-based games.” (Begbrook Primary Academy)

Each volunteer supports a maximum of three pupils playing targeted number games and visit the school weekly for 30 minutes for an academic year.

If your school would like to take part in Number Partners, we would:

  • Match your school with a business
  • Manage the recruitment, training and DBS checks of your business volunteers
  • Hold review meetings with the school & business, to make sure all parties are happy with the intervention’s progress
  • Broker and manage the relationship from start to finish
  • Evaluate the intervention’s impact every year, to maintain the scheme’s future success

“The children enjoy playing the games with their mentors.” Heather Morris, Woodlands Academy

How pupils benefit

  • Improved numeracy skills and raised attainment levels in maths
  • Increased enjoyment and confidence with numbers
  • Raised self-esteem, confidence and social skills through this small-group mentoring
  • Improved communication & team-working skills through working with an adult who isn’t a family member or Teacher, and with pupils not necessarily in their own group of friends

“My Number Partner has helped me by teaching me how to methodically work sums and questions out.” Year Six pupil, Holy Family Primary School

Ablaze encourages schools to choose the pupils who need extra support the most – this could be because they might not be receiving support at home, they have English as an Additional Language, or that they just need additional maths practice so that they don’t fall behind.

Evidence

Take a look at our evaluation results to see how our work benefits the young people who participate in our programmes.

Number Partners:  http://numberpartners.org/

National Numeracy: https://www.nationalnumeracy.org.uk/

UCL and University of Cambridge research into adult financial numeracy: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/ioe/news-events/news-pub/mar-2018/england-low-levels-financial-literacy

Please contact Sally Ridley to find out how your business could set up a Number Partner intervention and the costs involved.