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, Summer 2017 - meet Talise!
  3. My name is Talise and I’m 10 years old from Victoria Park Primary School in Bristol.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Learning Story for June - meet Elizabeth!
  11. 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...
  12. Learning Story for May - meet Pip!
  13. 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.
  14. Project SEARCH is a big change from going to college, as our classroom is in a council building and we go out to our work placements every day!
  15. My most recent placement was with the Performance and Customer Engagement team in Citizen Services at Bristol City Council. My mentor and team were very friendly and supportive, which helped me to learn a lot. Just a few of the things I have learnt about are customer service, using Microsoft Excel and managing my own workload.
  16. Some things have been easy for me to pick up, like communicating with my colleagues. Other things, like data entry, have been more difficult, but I have always stuck at it and have felt very proud when I have learnt new skills.
  17. I would really recommend this work placement to other Project SEARCH interns – it was wonderful!
  18. At the end of each day, I go back to the classroom with all of the other interns and we write diaries and talk about what we have been doing at work. This means we also get to learn things from other people’s experiences, as well as on our own placements.
  19. Most of all my work experience placements on Project SEARCH have taught me a lot about working life, and have made me feel much more confident about going out into the world of work!
  20. Learning Story for April − meet Annabel!
  21. I try to learn something new each year. Some years it’s something significant that I learn to love and continue to enjoy; other years it’s something that keeps my interest for a while but falls by the wayside. For me it doesn’t matter if the thing endures, it’s the act and the excitement of learning new things that I love.
  22. Last year I decided I’d learn about jewellery making. It’s something completely different to what I do in my job and it gave me a creative, hands-on experience that I wanted to try. I thought I’d make a few horrible necklaces and give it up, but this feels like one of the keepers.