Learning Stories

Learning has the power to change lives. Our growing collection of learning stories feature Bristol citizens who share how learning has made a difference to their lives and the many ways and places they have learnt - through friends, activities, formal education and work.


  1. Featured Learning Stories

  2. Learning Story for October - meet Roger!
  3. As a young boy growing up in west Cornwall, I was an avid follower of sport on the radio and the early days of Saturday Grandstand on black and white TV.
  4. The opportunities to watch top-level sport live were limited and my contact was limited to listening, viewing and writing off for autographs and match programmes as well as collecting sports books.
  5. I often fell into a fantasy world of commentating on major sporting events and living imaginary moments as a top sports journalist, including test matches and Olympic Games.
  6. There was little encouragement to lead my career path in that direction and my career went in other ways.
  7. Imagine my delight when, in my fifties, I was given the opportunity to be the emergency stand-in announcer at Clifton Rugby Club through someone not turning up.
  8. The role quickly became permanent and one day at a match in Cornwall I was invited to commentate on matches for BBC Radio Cornwall when their teams played in the Bristol area. At last a childhood dream had become a reality, a few decades on!
  9. The commentating led to writing match reports and producing press releases for both national and regional papers. This also led me to being invited to be the ‘microphone man’ at other non-sporting events.
  10. Learning new skills and enjoying different experiences has been great fun and it shows that you should never give up on your dreams, no matter how old you are.
  11. Learning Story, Summer 2017 - meet Talise!
  12. My name is Talise and I’m 10 years old from Victoria Park Primary School in Bristol.
  13. I have been learning how to play chess every Thursday in my class for the last year. It wasn’t at an after-school club – everybody had to learn just like literacy or maths.
  14. Before I started playing chess I thought it would be really difficult, but my class was taught by very experienced chess teachers and so once I started playing I found it really fun.
  15. I enjoy playing chess because I like playing against my friends and also getting the opportunity to compete in tournaments. Recently I got to go to City Hall to represent my school at chess. There were two boys and two girls in my team – chess is fun that way because girls play against boys, and older children play against younger children. It doesn’t matter if you’re older or younger, because it’s a brain game not a physical sport.
  16. Learning how to play chess has given me confidence with maths; because it’s such a complex game you have to think about lots of different things at once, work out what the next move could be and be determined not to give up. Very often when you’re solving problems in maths you won’t get it right the first time, but in chess when you lose a game you learn from it because you pick up winning strategies from your opponent. I now try to learn from my mistakes in other things too, like maths, and if I don’t get the right solution the first time I try to see where I went wrong and I try again.
  17. Chess has also taught me how to be respectful; at the start and end of each game you have to make sure you shake hands with your component. I’ve also had to learn how to cooperate in a team, because when we compete in tournaments we have to play in a group together.
  18. I have now taught my mum and brother at home how to play chess too, as they didn’t know how to before. We all find it really fun and we’re always playing together.
  19. Learning Story for June - meet Elizabeth!
  20. Elizabeth from Bristol talks about how her hobby of making costumes led her to becoming a draper in the film and TV industry, working on some of the biggest dramas made in the West of England...
  21. Learning Story for May - meet Pip!
  22. I am an intern on a supported internship called Project SEARCH. Project SEARCH is all about learning skills to find paid work whilst working in three different placements, with support from a tutor and a job coach.